Interactive whiteboards

What is an interactive whiteboard? An interactive whiteboard is connected to both a multimedia projector and a computer. You can write or draw on the whiteboard with an e-pen and save the image to the computer. The e-pen can perform the function of a computer mouse, tapping the surface of the whiteboard onto which is projected a computer screen. The teacher can show a Word document, any other program such as Excel or Access, a Power Point presentation, or a web page.

Having an Interactive whiteboard can be very useful for impromptu use of the Web. One of my students had never visited Cambridge and told me so – she said she would love to see a picture or two. I immediately went into Internet Explorer and did a quick search through Google images and she could see photos of the city! It is also excellent for Learner Training eg. a demonstration of a web-dictionary.

There are many uses if an IWB in Business English: fill in a Word document on-screen and save it onto a server for the student to print out later; create a Power Point presentation with the students during the lesson; demonstrate interactive business English materials etc.

Using an IWB is not without problems – it can be tricky to change from “hand-writing mode” to script mode. In my first lesson, I needed to use the computer itself to get a @ symbol. But this is arguably normal for using new technology. Many BE teachers will not have access to this technology but my feeling is that the number of such boards will grow, especially in bigger institutions, which can afford the initial outlay.

Being able to tap into the web at any time in a can be a major benefit. Find out more from:

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