Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

An Investigation of Teaching and Learning Interaction Factors for the Use of the Interactive Whiteboard Technology

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

An Investigation of Teaching and Learning Interaction Factors for the Use of the Interactive Whiteboard Technology

Article excerpt

Introduction

In January 2002, the Welsh Assembly Government in the United Kingdom announced that it would provide every primary school with one interactive whiteboard (IWB), one computer, and one projector while every secondary school would receive three of each. In the meantime, pilot studies in England resulted in the 'Schools Interactive Whiteboard Expansion Initiative 2003-04' in September 2003. These moves made the IWB a particularly important focus for educational debate and research (Beauchamp, 2004). Subsequently, in April 2009, the Taiwanese government approved a budget of NT$3.9 billion (about US$12.4 million) to invest in better-designed classrooms and e-teaching equipment in elementary schools as well as to fund Internet access upgrades. These classrooms were set for installation with different facilities, each according to the subject taught. IWB was one technology under consideration (Ministry of Education, 2009).

IWBs have become significant platforms for learning interaction between teachers and students. Such devices not only replace traditional blackboards but also enable users to integrate and manipulate visual multimedia resources. A growing numbers of studies (Armstrong et al., 2005; Bruun, 2009; Glover & Miller, 2001; Jankowska & Atlay, 2008; Kennewell & Morgan, 2003; Lopez, 2010; Schmid, 2008; Smith, Hardman & Higgins, 2006) have focused on curricula, pedagogy, and the process of utilizing IWBs in schools. For example, in a traditional classroom, teachers allow students to use the blackboard for demonstration purposes. Classroom demonstrations can now be integrated with IWB functions and enable students to move the material, accomplish tasks, and mark annotations as needed. These capabilities can improve the demonstration activity and reveal students' developmental progress, thus affecting the teaching and learning interaction in the classroom (Glover, Miller, Averis & Door, 2005).

Although these IWB related studies focus on the relationship between technology and interactive pedagogical practices in the classroom. Little attention has been paid to relevant associations among teaching, learning and IWBs. Research is especially needed to examine how teachers actually use IWBs and how this use could be strengthened (Torff & Tirotta, 2010). Moreover, there are no specific demonstrations of teaching and learning interactions in the literature, and almost all of the relevant studies take place in a Western, rather than an Asian context. These are the gaps in the research that the current study seeks to address.

This study develops a method of analysis that provides richer insights into technology-mediated teaching and learning interactions and then investigates the associations among IWBs and teaching and learning interactions.

Teaching and learning interactions with regard to IWBs

Interactions between teachers and students are not always in consensus reciprocally but are instead a process of confrontation and negotiation. In the interaction process, both teachers and students utilize various strategies in an attempt to confirm their own ideas. These strategies usually result in a well-ordered interaction model and the development of a common consensus. For example, the way a teacher provides information to a student is dependent on his or her perception of the student's cognitive abilities. This perception is directly influenced by the prior interactions between the teacher and student (LeBlanc & Bearison, 2004). On the other hand, the interaction between teachers' perceptions of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and pedagogy is also important. Loveless (2003) highlighted the teacher's perceptions of ICT as a social and cultural phenomenon that requires more investigation.

After the IWB was first introduced into the classroom, it obviously influenced the interaction between the teacher and his or her students, which initiated the interaction reform in the classroom (Glover et al. …

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