8 Ways To Unlock The Power Of Your Interactive Whiteboard

Interactive whiteboards are a great classroom tool. Many teachers use them to project and capture images – basically as a high tech, connected chalkboard. While definitely useful in these ways, the handy infographic below describes using your interactive white board that way as letting it go ‘underused’.

So how do you ensure that this great piece of classroom technology isn’t underused? The graphic below outlines eight different ways to ‘exploit the pedagogical potential’ of this tool. Whether a whiteboard is a new tool to you or you’re looking to use yours in different ways, keep reading to find some new ideas!

Your Interactive Whiteboard’s Awesome Potential!

Oh how can your interactive whiteboard make your classroom more interesting? Let me count the ways…

1. Model ICT skills: Discuss plagiarism, show where and how to find information online

2. Promote collaboration: Brainstorm ideas, and show collaborative writing, track changes, etc.

3. Share student-generated content: Combine pupil generated quizzes with the use of learner response systems during your lessons.

4. Go beyond the board’s accompanying software: Think of the board as a giant, touch sensitive computer. It can do more than what the basic accompanying software offers.

5. Bring the outside in: Bring rich, real-world content into your classroom

6. Combine with web apps: The board can be a powerful tool for collaboration when you use it with other apps (like Twitter)

7. Don’t use it all the time: If you want the students to work collaboratively or sit in a circle, don’t turn it on. It isn’t the perfect tool for everything.

8. Let the students use it: find meaningful opportunities to let the students interact with it

8 Whtiebord things




  1. Joe Butler

    December 7, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I am a fan of IWBs in classrooms and have 10years experience using them.
    I don’t, however, agree that this list includes items that are exclusive to IWBs, ie. most of them only require a data projector.
    What a IWB offers over most projectors is ‘TOUCH’ not necessarily ‘INTERACTIVITY’. Interactivity should refer to engagement of students (more often than not this is mental rather than physical).
    Number 2 & 8 on the list are probably the only ones that show a benefit of touch enabled screens.
    Brainstorming, shared editing of work, creating digital art, using digital manipulatives and interacting with virtual worlds or simulations are all examples of where direct touch can enhance experience.
    The biggest argument against IWBs is cost, especially when so many teachers and students now have ipads that can be mirrored to a projector. If your classroom already has a IWB you should try to make the most of it though.

    • Sam Sinclair

      December 10, 2013 at 2:08 am

      Joe Butler: I completely agree. In my experience, most teachers have simply replaced the old-fashioned ohp with an IWB or projector. The point about the iPads is spot on; an iPad & appletv & projector is probably between one third and half the cost of an IWB, and offers the key benefit of mobility. This allows for more spontaneous sharing (eg take a photo of a student’s work and share on big screen) and changes the dynamic in the classroom.

  2. Tommy Gober

    December 9, 2013 at 9:28 am

    You might retitle this, 7 ways… *Not* using it doesn’t count as a way to use it.

    Besides, most of these don’t need an IWB per se, just a projection screen. If all you’re using an IWB is an overpriced projection screen, you’re doing it wrong.

  3. Ron Farrow

    December 12, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I completely agree with all of the previous comments. I was confused when reading the article as most of the strategies listed could be done without an IWB. Ineffective use of an IWB is simply using it as a projection of your computer (twitter as a positive use? really?). Would love to see a revised list!