I was asked a few days ago if I could I do without my Interactive Whiteboard in the classroom for the next 40 days! My no-hesitation reply was “No Way!” The more I thought about this the more I realised just how integrated this piece of technology has become in my classroom. Homework notebooks and ‘Glaoch na Rolla’ take a back seat to the ritual awakening of the laptop and data projector from hibernation – I know!! Not particularly Green or environmentally friendly but I’m a self confessed impatient person and waiting for the Operating System to boot from cold every morning just isn’t me. Lists of Foclóir Gaeilge are awakened from overnight slumber, the page of Long Division examples are ready at a pen touch, the words of ‘Flight of Earls’ are still neatly laid out in a word processor document; all ready for instant viewing on the Whiteboard. Now that I think about it, I am doing my bit for the environment – currently I’m the lowest user of the photocopier in the school since the IWB reduces the need to ‘print and photocopy’!
I believe that using the IWB has led to a much more integrated teaching approach in my classroom. Before the mid-term break we were reading the poem ‘Eldorado’. A Google search led some of the pupils to the whole legend about the city of gold; further searches produced images of Spanish conquistadors on horse back which led on to an Art lesson using Paint Shop Pro to place artistic impressions of Eldorado into a vignette of a Knight on horseback. By the time we had finished we had integrated English, Art, Drama, SPHE and ICT into something that had started out as the reading of a piece of poetry.
S0 40 days without the technology in my classroom….. no thanks, I’ll stick to the more traditional Irish Lenten values!