This is a guest post written by Kate Willson of collegecrunch.org.
Interactive whiteboards are essentially giant touchscreens that allow educators to handle educational data and materials from their PC/laptops for their entire class to see. Teachers can use the interactive whiteboard as an instructional tool to enhance their lesson plans in just about any subject. History lessons can be further elucidated by pulling up images from the era; math lessons can be fleshed out with graphical interpretations of numbers; science classes can make sense of a dense list of key terms by showing how they work to communicate an overarching scientific process.
The examples above hint at the advantages of an interactive whiteboard as a learning supplement to traditional lessons. The device is perfect for ramping up student engagement and participation; most students relish the break from traditional textbook-based learning. There are a number of great sites that offer educational games specifically for interactive whiteboards:
- For example, we love the educational games for grades K–12 on Scholastic‘s interactive whiteboard Web page. Among Scholastic’s entries for interactive whiteboards is a game called “If You Were President,” which puts students in the position of Commander in Chief and has them make key policy decisions. Another game from Scholastic is “Poetry Idea Engine,” an interactive game where teachers can teach students about the basics of poetic form and structure—students can even create their own poems on the fly!
- PBS Kids also offers a plethora of interactive and intellectually stimulating games for the interactive whiteboard. Among their titles are “Cyberchase: Lucky Star,” an adventure game-turned basic study in arithmetic. PBS Kids offers titles that cater to younger kids, mostly grades K–5, but they also have a much wider selection than other venerable game sites I’ve seen.
- Another resource for interactive whiteboard gaming is Mathsframe. This site offers comprehensive interactive math games and activities for all ages, from the basics of arithmetic to the advanced stages of algebra. One of the great things about the games on Mathsframe is that they allow students to visualize complex math problems in such a way as to make the material easier to understand.
- And finally we have a beautiful interactive whiteboard activity from National Geographic. Their MapMaker series allows educators to navigate all parts of the globe with a simple tap of the whiteboard screen. Not only can students learn about world geography through this rich application, but they’ll also learn about different cultures, how people live in other parts of the world and so forth. Students will have a blast exploring the world from their classroom!
Kate Wilson is a freelance writer currently writing about political involvement in higher education for collegecrunch.org. Kate also covers topics related to higher education and mobile tech innovations, especially when both of those topics intersect. Feel free to send some comments her way!