So you know over the last few months I have been back and forth over my views of IWBs (interactive white boards). My biggest push is that its main purpose is for the students to be using it instead of the teacher. My students reminded their need to use it here. You also may have read here that I recently visited the Promethean headquarters as part of their social media council. As part of that I have learned about something that will change how the technology is used by the students.
I noticed lately one thing that is driving the kids crazy while at the IWB, their inability to take turns. And I will admit it does suck when they get excited about what they want to do and someone else is already using the ActivPen. They all want to use it at the same time. The other day the kids were having to do a improv brain storming activity. They were given a planet to research, I put a picture of the planet on the screen and they had to in front of the rest of the class brainstorm what they knew about the planet in less than 2 minutes. Quick, easy, and I could evaluate who knew it and who did not. More than once a student thought of something and by the time they waited on their partners to finish their idea was gone. I even had one ask if he could write his on the markers board while the other wrote.
So this is where the new ActivBoard 500 Pro becomes more awesome than the board I have. The students no longer have to take turns. The board allows for up to 4 touches at a time. Did you see I said “touches” not pens? Yep not only 4 pens could be used but four touches as well. Pretty sweet.
So in my search for the correct way to use the IWB in a classroom, the more advanced the technology is becoming. This advancement is supporting my theory that these boards are for the kids, not the teachers to use. (Unless you are in a 4 teacher classroom, which you be annoying to all)