Interactive whiteboards (IWB) allow science and math teachers to teach multi-sensory lessons, seamlessly jumping from one type of media to another. Interactive science or math lessons can easily integrate text, sound, video, and graphics based on the tactile nature of the IWB.
The following are six tips and tricks for interactive white board implementation in science and math.
1. Brainstorming – the advantage of using an IWB for brainstorming sessions or discovering prior knowledge and experiences (PKE) students have regarding specific science concepts. This strategy permits students to focus on brainstorming sessions instead of concentrating on recording information in notes.
One example – information written on the IWB about how algebra is used in everyday lives is saved. Files containing brainstorming sessions are uploaded to a class Wiki or Blog for student use during review sessions.
2. Interactive Lessons – math and science teachers can simultaneously access a number of real-time data and supporting websites for display on the IWB. This strategy supports groups working in web-based learning centers during data collection or problem solving activities.
One example – during a meteorology lesson on interpreting weather maps, students’ access real-time data from cities around the country or world to make weather predictions. Next students check their predictions using web cam images from selected areas to determine if they are correct.
3. Problem-Based Learning in Science and Math – students complete a problem-based learning activity and save their work in their section of the class Wiki or in Google Docs for presentation to the class.
One example – forensic science activity where students’ play detectives attempting to solve a crime. Fingerprints of suspects are displayed on the IWB and a fingerprint from the crime scene is made 50 percent transparent for overlay suspect finger prints. Students determine which suspect’s fingerprint matches the fingerprint collected from the crime scene.
4. Observing Animal Behavior – using web cams are used to observe animal behavior in the wild. The behaviors can be recorded and played back for annotation and editing as part of class or group projects in comparing behaviors of several animals.
One example – observing the real-time behavior of eaglets in their nests as they compete and interact with each other. Students then compare web-cam observations of birds at the National Zoo in Washington, DC.
5. Mind Mapping – similar to brainstorming, science or math teachers can lead their students through a class discussion on a specific science concept and develop a mind map of information on an IWB. The mind map can then be saved for uploading to the class Wiki.
One example – students create a class mind map about geometric shapes and at the end of class for students to record the mind map in their notebooks is not required.
6. Discussing Science and Math Issues – interactive websites, real-time data websites, and other web-based resources can be used as a class for comparing and contrasting differing points of view regarding a scientific concept.
One example – focusing a discussion on what is causing bees to disappear in this country and their impact on the environment. Students research online resources to support their points of view and share these sources in when comparing and contrasting the issue.
These six tips and tricks for using interactive white boards and other IWB techniques provide the catalyst for engaging students in web-based research and study, as they use real-time data sources or online resources for carrying out science or math investigations.