Permanent Professional Development 2009: Integrating Technology to Language Learning
Interactive Whiteboards: Friend or Foes? by Gareth Davies
According to the presenter, interactive whiteboards are like ordinary whiteboards but with some improvements. He presented several advantages and disadvantages about them. To begin with, he mentioned the positive uses a teacher could give to an Interactive whiteboard, such as encouraging heads up activities, bringing outside world into the class, cutting down on copies and time, and the most important, motivational tool for digital natives. Within the negative aspects mentioned, we could find the fact that if not well used the can be teacher center and if overused, they become less effective. He mentioned that the use of interactive whiteboards required teachers’ training and they need to complement a lesson not determine it. The presenter finally mentioned the use of itools in the EFL classroom and demonstrated the complementing itools for some Oxford books. (http://www.oupeltpromo.com/interactive/oxford_itools.php )
When googling Gareth Davies I’ve found an article he wrote recommending the use of Interactive whiteboards and itool. I’d love to share with you the following link that includes a set of tips for the introduction of this new technology into our classrooms (http://fds.oup.com/www.oup.com/pdf/elt/project/project_iwb_guide.pdf). Even though introducing Interactive whiteboards in the class can be really motivating for our students, we need to keep in mind that in a communicative classroom as the one we would like to foster, the active role of our learners can´t be limited just for the use o technology. It is essential that any new item introduced in the classroom, and even more with the new web 2.0 we need to make more emphasis on developing critical thinking and autonomous learning.