Draft scenario 8

Title: IWB Journey part 2

Core purpose: to promote classroom-level integration and innovative use of IWBs. The scenario is not subject-specific but focuses more on the process of IWB-enhanced teaching and learning than the contents, which will have to be defined in detail by individual teachers.The scenario also encourages transformative and innovative uses of the IWB, by describing a pedagogic strategy that moves away from didactic approaches and towards advanced uses of the IWB involving dialogic interaction with students.

Draft narrative overview – 22 June 2012: Ms A had volunteered to act as an early IWB adopter when the head teacher, Mrs P, was looking for enthusiastic volunteers (see IWB journey part 1). A has always been interested in educational technologies and open to innovative ways to teach. After the first IWBs are delivered and mounted in a few “test classrooms”, A agrees with the head teacher and other early adopters on a number of lessons to be planned and carried out with the devices. She has used an IWB before as part of the training provided by the supplier, and she can draw on additional expertise through the [iTEC resources]. Therefore, she knows how to access all the functionalities without problems.

The challenge now is to put such functionalities to good use to enhance teaching and learning. A quickly learns that using the IWB should not rely on “whizzy” and fanciful features, and the temptation to use all functionalities just because they are available should be resisted. A becomes increasingly convinced that the IWB should instead be harnessed to serve an effective pedagogic strategy; one that stimulates and moves on student thinking.

For example, the technological interactivity and the easy access to resources opens up opportunities for dialogue that otherwise would not be present, and using the screen creatively allows for more dynamic conversations than if paper and pens were involved. In fact, A thinks that the notion of “dialogue” is absolutely central to unleash the true potential of the IWB. A dialogic pedagogy is one that actively builds on learners’ contributions, engaging both teachers and students and generating and critically evaluating ideas. In this type of pedagogy, the teacher tries to encourage students to become more actively involved in the process of knowledge construction through the use of talk and other means of communication.

Through dialogic teaching Ms A begins to orchestrate classroom talk so that learners feel confident to comment on her suggestions, and to build on each other’s ideas. This approach requires open-ended tasks, and a classroom ethos that supports exploration and questioning. As A becomes more involved in dialogic teaching, she discovers the many ways in which the IWB can support and facilitate her work. She also realises that it will take some time, possibly a couple of years, before the innovations she and other teachers are working hard to introduce will lead to significant and widespread change throughout the school. 

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