Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Whiteboards Boost Learning

Research conducted in the United Kingdom concludes that interactive whiteboards have a positive impact on primary school students in math, science and English. Children who consistently used interactive whiteboards for extended periods of time progressed more quickly. In 2003-04, the British government funded the Primary Schools Whiteboard Expansion Project, allocating £10 million to 21 local school authorities to support the implementation and continued use of interactive whiteboards in primary schools in England. The evaluation study examined the progress of 7,272 students in 332 classrooms. The researchers found that the length of time pupils have been taught with an interactive whiteboard is the major factor that leads to achievement gains. This appears to be the result of the interactive whiteboard becoming embedded in teachers' instructional practice; when teachers have had sustained experience (around two years at the time of the evaluation) of using an interactive whiteboard, they are able to change their teaching practices to make best use of its features. Analysis combining the data from the 2005 and 2006 cohorts found that math students in grades three-six made additional gains of 2.5 to 5 months' progress. In sixth-grade science, some students made as much as 7.5 months' additional progress. Teachers reported that using interactive whiteboards positively impacted lesson preparation time, student assessment and student learning outcomes. The United Kingdom has the highest classroom adoption of interactive whiteboards. An estimated 100% of primary schools and 98% of secondary schools have at least one interactive whiteboard. Overall adoption in all UK primary and secondary classrooms is estimated to have surpassed 55% as of 2007.

Source: British Educational Communications and Technology Agency

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