Invigorating Teaching with Interactive Whiteboards: Case Studies 7-10

By Bayliss, Tim; Collins, Lawrence | Teaching Geography, Summer 2007 | Go to article overview

Invigorating Teaching with Interactive Whiteboards: Case Studies 7-10


Bayliss, Tim, Collins, Lawrence, Teaching Geography


In the last of three articles, Tim Bayliss and Lawrence Collins offer further case studies to help you develop your use of IWBs.

IWBs should always be regarded as a highly effective tool to aid enjoyable classroom teaching, and certainly not as the sole means for delivering lessons. Through a series of simple case studies, firmly rooted in classroom practice, we will demonstrate, explain and justify a number of highly effective key techniques. These case studies will enable you to develop your own teaching resources and supporting materials, with the clear advantage of providing exactly what you require for your needs - key stage specifications, students and teaching styles.

Case Study 7 uses the IWB as an immediate contact to a plethora of useful websites for teaching geography. Dedicated websites, active webcams, and the fabulous potential of GIS, become accessible at a click.

Case Study 8 shows how fieldwork techniques can be both demonstrated and practised before the pupils leave the classroom.

Case Study 9 demonstrates how visual imagery, no matter how crude, can promote ordered reasoning and understanding.

Case Study 10 shows how 'ticker tapes' can give students instant feedback. Both IWB resources and past examination papers can be adapted easily to prepare whole-class revision tasks.

Case Study 7: Weblinks bringing the wide world into the classroom

Key stage 3: World population growth

Hardware, software and screen background

Promethean ACTIVstudio2, with 'sky and clouds' background appropriate for dyslexic students

Background to the lesson

Year 8 pupils have studied world population distribution and the factors determining this. Introductory work for this next lesson reinforces graphical skills in the construction and subsequent annotation of the classic J-shaped graph showing world population rising to the number estimated today.

What we prepared before the lesson

Graph axes were drawn using stock annotations provided in the software, and off-screen labelled text boxes typed for suggested annotation. The 'Copy page' command allowed a completed annotated graph to be saved. A hyperlink ( hotspot) to the World Population Clock website (www.opr.princeton.edu/popclock/) was then inserted at the point representing world population today.

What we did during the lesson

Both whiteboard-prepared graph axes and normal (arithmetic) graph paper were distributed according to ability, for the pupils to construct their own graphs. In plenary review, both the context and the scope of the lesson were illustrated dramatically by a pupil clicking on the hyperlink - so revealing the inexorable World Population Clock. This was left counting as the students left the classroom.

How IWBs enhance the learning process

* Some websites have no classroom alternative - such as active webcams to places being studied, weather systems evolving as you teach (viewed directly from satellites), and so on. The impact, scope and spontaneity of geographical issues and phenomena as they happen, brought directly into the classroom, should not be underestimated.

* There are a plethora of useful websites for teaching geography but often only a selection of useful pages within them.

Going further

'Hotspots' or hyperlinks are powerful tools, particularly when used creatively. Hyperlinks can be made to most file types, including web pages (including, if appropriate, saved Offline' web pages), GIS software, audio and video files (see Case Study 5, Teaching Geography, Spring 2007). 'Static' electronic documents, including existing word-processed hand-outs, come alive when linked to from within a flipchart.

Particularly useful websites may be saved in the Internet Explorer Favourites folder or, for instant access, directly onto a flipchart page.

The organisation of websites with regular review, vetting, deletion and addition, is made straightforward by saving as described above. …

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