Many of you at Country Home Learning Center have probably noticed the addition of Interactive Whiteboards in our Resource Room. Besides the fact that this feature is new and exciting, it also provides great educational value to our students. With the addition of the Interactive Whiteboards, our students will gain access to many hands on learning experiences.

You might be asking yourself what added education can you receive from the Interactive Whiteboards, however, with their growing popularity in recent history, studies have been conducted to see the overall success of these boards. As it turns out, the Interactive Whiteboards will continue to change and maximize the way that our children learn, develop, and grow.

For many of you who are still unfamiliar with how the Interactive Whiteboard works, it is a large display that connects to a computer and a projector. The projector projects the computer’s desktop onto the board’s screen. From this screen you can control the computer with a pen, your finger, or any other device.  The boards at our centers are mounted about a foot off the ground so that children as young as 3 can touch and use the entire board.

To prove the effectiveness of the Interactive Whiteboard, recently a study was done with 85 teachers and 170 classrooms.  These 85 teachers were asked to simply instruct lessons that they had been teaching without technology on the Interactive Whiteboards. The outcome was remarkable.

The study results proved that while using the Interactive Whiteboards, students in these 170 classes improved 16% in total gain in student achievement. This means that expected children in the 50th percentile in a classroom, could potentially increase to the 66th percentile by using the Interactive Whiteboard while learning.

Besides the increase of student achievement in the classroom, there are three other valid effects that come from using this technology while learning. First is the “learner-response device”. For example this can occur while children are using ABC Mouse. While completing an activity, children can see if they have successfully answered questions correctly. If the answers are finished correctly, then they will receive tickets. Ultimately this shows a response to something that the children are learning, and by letting students see their correct answer immediately it can promote even higher gain in student achievement.

The second feature that has been proven to provide an excel to children’s learning is the use of graphics and other visuals to represent information. Again, while on ABC Mouse children can click anything on the screen to learn more information. If they see a walrus on their ABC Mouse account, all they have to do is click on it to hear more facts about this animal. By doing this, children are actively using visual aids to enhance their learning experience.

Reinforcing ideas, answers and topics is another proven effective learning skill that comes from using Interactive White Boards. An instance of this would be while using ABC Mouse, children can play educational games that lead to answers about unusual content that they wouldn’t see in every day life. For example, children could be playing a word-associated game about the tundra. When children comprehend this content, or answer a question correctly, applause will sound. The reinforcing sounds and visuals can help children remember answers and discussions about things that may be hard for them to comprehend in other circumstances.

After learning more about the Interactive Whiteboard and everything that it can do, it is obvious that it is much more than just a giant projector and screen. Children can actually use it throughout their day-to-day experiences while learning in the Country Home Learning Center Resource Room. We are excited for our children to start using the boards so that we can get them engaged in our exciting curriculum.

Marzano, Robert J. “The Art and Science of Teaching / Teaching with Interactive Whiteboards.” Educational Leadership 67.3 (2009): 80-82. Nov. 2009. Web. 15 Aug. 2013.