Shifting my stance (a bit): IWBs

Joe Wood dropped a comment on my last post (Where I Stand: IWBs) that helped to rethink my stance a bit on the IWB. I'm pretty surprised by this, since I really have thought about the "IWB dilemma" quite a bit and wasn't anticipating changing my position any.

What stays the same

Okay, so most of the opinions I spelled out in my last post haven't changed. I'm still not a big fan of IWBs. Starting from scratch, they would not be my first choice for a tool to help improve instruction and transform the classroom. That being said...

What has changed

Many schools aren't starting from scratch. Many teachers who have similar thoughts that I have are still being force-fed IWBs. My school has, or will soon have, an IWB in every classroom. There's a significant amount of professional development time being thrown together focusing solely on using IWBs. Joe pointed out that this can open doors to talk about effective instruction as well as become a springboard for teachers who might otherwise be resistant to technology. Sure, I'm not happy about the purchase of IWBs for every classroom in our district, but I need to stop complaining about the unchangeable past and start focusing on how I can use what we've been given to bring about positive change.

What's next

  1. Try to get myself back on the IWB training team (I declined the invitation earlier this year). It might be too late for this.
  2. Re-familiarize myself with the IWB. I'm not really looking forward to this but I need to know what I'm talking about.
  3. Work to convince my administration to set up a professional development program similar to what Joe described- with a focus on improving instruction.
  4. Look to build off of the IWB training to introduce non-IWB specific tools (i.e. Google Docs, Ning, Moodle, or other collaborative, connective tools) and further the discussion about what makes good instruction beyond IWBs.

I'm pretty sure I can convince the powers-that-be that focusing on improving instruction is a worthwhile goal, though we'll see if that will translate into an improved professional development program.

Bonus

Joe dropped a link to his district's ActivBoard User Group site, which includes a boat load of resources on the topic. Check it out.

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Image credit: Poster in my room, taken by me. :-)