Alternatives to interactive whiteboards

The ICT Training Support Team took the drop-in days to Caithness, Lochaber, and Skye to enable Head Teachers and others to look at alternatives to the interactive whiteboard. We looked ways that would allow practitioners to become digital teachers, able to provide interactive opportunities for their pupils, without the expense or logistically difficult placement of an IWB.

These days proved very popular and mutually informative. We saw and spoke with approximately 90 staff over the three days, many of whom expressed the same concerns about the expense and practical problems of placing IWBs in significant numbers of classrooms.

We concentrated on the hardware/software balance that is often missing from the ‘hard sell’ tactics of IWB sellers. We demonstrated the tools that the ICT Training Support Team uses when ‘on the road’. Our hardware set-ups typically include the core requirements of a laptop and projector augmented with wireless keyboards and mice, and Airliner tablets. These provide us with all the interactive tools that we’ve ever needed. We usually project to large screens or onto blank walls – rather than the limited sizes of 5 or 6 foot boards. The cost savings of not buying boards leaves us funds to buy the very best visually attractive software to underpin our digitally based teaching methods.

There are no plans to repeat these drop-in sessions but anyone with any questions should contact Alan Stewart or Liz Roberts at The Dingwall Education Centre to discuss.

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About Alan Stewart

I'm a teacher who changed direction after teaching visually impaired pupils. I became interested in how technology could assist young people overcome or deal with various disabilities. I've, since, been an Education Support Officer, an ICT Training Support Officer, and have been Coordinator of Highland's Assistive Technology Support Service for the past 20 years. I'm also the proud father of two young boys (2003 & 2008). View all posts by Alan Stewart

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