IWB’s – Marketing Missile, Not Education Changer

Here’s a very well written article that really reinforces, for me, my belief as to why Interactive White Boards don’t belong in 99.9% of Indian classrooms.

Edweek Article on IWB’s

The article does highlight some wonderfully creative uses for these boards in the hands of some highly trained, highly skilled and motivated US teachers. I know from first hand information that when these types of boards were first put in to UK classrooms, the amount of training that needed to take place to enable teachers to really make use of the boards effectively was very extensive indeed. However, we know that when these boards are going in to Indian classrooms they are in the hands of teachers whose existing training levels are already far less. They are given perfunctory training in how to use the board …… and then, the key. A big board is put up outside the front of the school saying that this school has interactive white boards (underlying message being that your child in this school will be guaranteed great success because of the presence of these great technology gizmos!). All very sad.

I once received a haranguing phone call from a salesman for a company marketing these boards. When I figured I’d heard enough I asked him, “What happens if I’m a really traditional teacher and you put one of these boards in my classroom?” Without a second’s hesitation, the genius salesman replied, “Well, that’s the great thing. You won’t have to change a thing”.

Isn’t it sad how some salesmen don’t get irony?

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