No doubt many of you read the few articles recently doubting the benefits of interactive white boards like the SMART Board and ActivBoard. Some of these ‘futurists’ really see no benefit to an IWB. Usually I do not make too much of a fuss, but I think they are way off base on this topic. These are primarily folks not in the classroom any longer, not using them on a day to day basis. Plus they miss the point. Much like the educational software student released a few years ago, no, none of us say IWBs alone will improve student achievement. What they do is engage students, allow teachers to plan more interesting activities, use simulations to draw in students, and save time/planning in using pre-made content. No, they do not teach themselves, but when used as a tool, they can help teachers meet diverse learning needs.
The Utah Education Network, a partnership of the Utah Board of Ed and some other entities, grouped together many great websites to use with your white boards. Certain sites, like Starfall, just are made for interactivity. Yes, on some you really just click through stories or activities, but from my experiences, even that physical/kinesthetic movement helps certain learners focus on a task or activity. The dashboard for the site arranges all the resources into curriculum areas, then lists all the games with a description. For those of you with a IWB, a great resource to bookmark. Even without an IWB, K-2 teachers will benefit from this site!