I've been landed a job that looks tough: persuading the teachers and trainers in the school where I work (International House Barcelona) that they should use the 10 eBeam interactive whiteboards (IWBs, or "smartboards") that we've just acquired (image, right, the annotation tool palette).
It looks tough first of all as I don't have a lot of experience actually using an IWB as a teacher; secondly because I've preferred not to, being cynically unable to see the return on investment — by which I mean the amount of learning produced for the time invested.
So — obviously — the first thing I did, this morning, was open my browser… and then I didn't go straight to Google-is-Evil. What I wanted was a few expert opinions on how the technology should be used, how we might increase that return on investment.
Instead, I went to places I already knew and trusted and thought might well have ideas (not something I can say of Google), and used the search options there:
- Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk Blog
- Nik Peachey's Learning Technology Blog and his Quick Shout Blog
I did go to Google-is-Evil afterwards to search for "interactive board": the Wikipedia interactive whiteboard entry was first, there were some resources, particularly for UK schools [here and here], but not necessarily for language learning and teaching — but what I was really looking for, expert opinion, wasn't there, at least not in the hundreds of results for people trying to sell me an IWB.
But that's Google-is-Evil for you… Fortunately there are some excellent alternatives.