In the past week, I have made several lessons to teach using my interactive whiteboard. I know what you’re thinking. Here’s another cool lesson that is going to take 2 hours to prepare. Believe me, I’ve had the same thoughts numerous times after reading blogs.
There are some really cool things that can be done with an interactive whiteboard, but yes, many of them take quite a bit of up front preparation, time that most teachers don’t have. For the time it takes, most of the time it just doesn’t seem worth it.
The lessons that I planned this week weren’t anything fancy. Most of the activities were prepared in a matter of minutes. Most of them probably could have been done in some manner on a normal old whiteboard. They certainly could have been done with an overhead projector.
But here’s the deal: I have a $15oo dollar interactive whiteboard on the wall and it works good, even for simple lessons.
One lesson I did revolved around vocabulary. I typed each of the words on a separate page along with a sentence that contained the word. I applied the screen shade so I could show the word first and do a few different activities with the words alone before revealing the sentence. Making the slides took about 15 minutes, not bad for a lesson I am teaching in 6 different class periods.
Another lesson simply consisted of grammar worksheets I found online. I printed them to SmartNotebook pages using the document printer. I applied the screen shade, and we went through the sentences one at a time as a class. I had students come up and write on the board to show correct answers. Preparing this lesson took about 2 minutes.
Using the interactive whiteboard doesn’t have to be a big production. Sometimes, teachers think too hard about it and all that money spent on technology was wasted because it sits unused. What we need to do is find ways to use technology to make the simple tasks simpler not harder.