Hands Off, Vanna!

Hands off, Vanna! Giving Students Control of Interactive Whiteboard Learning

IntroTips and Strategies • Working with wordsWorking with images
Create/improve/decideTeacher SharingResources

A presentation by Candace Hackett Shively, Director of K-12 Initiatives, The Source for Learning
Given at ISTE 2011, Philadelphia

Read the presentation description in the ISTE conference planner.
View the presentation (visuals only) via SlideShare 
See Resources for other downloadable files and sharing policies for their use.


Ever since Bill Ferriter’s January, 2010 article, “Why I Hate Interactive Whiteboards,” the debate has raged about expenditures on IWBs. Central to anti-IWB arguments is the notion that IWBs promote teacher-centered lessons and lecture-based teaching methods. Whether or not IWBs are worth the expense, they are already in our classrooms. If we have them, let’s use them well. First and foremost, let's give students control of IWB learning. These ideas and strategies will help you configure both physical space and learning activities so the IWB becomes a collaborative, student workspace instead of a magic, teacher-centered lesson machine.

These pages offer ways for students to work with words, work with images, and collaborate to create/improve/decide on this shared student workspace in your classroom. Think of that big white thing (IWB) as the students' shared workspace for practice, discussion, creating, and problem solving. The Tips and Strategies page offers ways to structure time and classroom management to facilitate student access and use of the IWB.

No one brand of IWB is necessary or "best." Try these ideas with whatever you have. If you are an IWB novice, be sure to play with the Skills to Try on the Teacher Sharing page. Experiment with a colleague or a small group of students to figure out these basics of your IWB. Since each brand is different, these are the things you and your students will want to know about your IWB.

As you become more adept and your students discover new ways of learning together on the IWB, we hope you will share your findings on the Teacher sharing page. We have included a Google Doc form for you to tell us what worked and what your students did and learned.


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