Following on from this previous blog post detailing over 30, here are what I think are 10 really effective ways you can start to use your interactive whiteboard (IWB) like a pro. I shall be demonstrating these during the Tuesday and Thursday luncthime sessions in H14. 🙂
1. Shade your screen!
Using the Screen Shade tool you can hide part of the screen on your IWB. You can use this for starter activities where students have to guess what is in the rest of the screen or to prevent students ‘jumping ahead’ with a lesson’s learning sequence.
2. Erase lots of stuff without ‘scrubbing’
If you’ve quite a bit of writing to erase from your IWB, simply use the eraser to draw around it, then use it to press in the middle of the writing. It should then disappear! (see video)
3. Tap and drag for a more accurate IWB
It’s sometimes difficult to click exactly in the middle of the crosshairs when orienting your IWB. Instead, take one of the IWB pens, press it on the IWB near the crosshair, drag it into the middle of the crosshair, and then release. This makes the tracking on your IWB spot-on!
Learning these keyboard shortcuts could make using your IWB more productive and less frustrating:
Ctrl+G – Group objects
Ctrl+R – Ungroup objects
Ctrl+K – Lock an object
Ctrl+J – Unlock an object
Ctrl+D – Clone an object
Ctrl+M – Insert blank page
Ctrl+PgDn – Send object backward
Ctrl+PgUp – Bring object forward
Ctrl+Shift+PgDn – Send object to back
Ctrl+Shift+PgUp – Bring object to front
6. Record a sequence of events on your IWB
If you’re doing something procedural, it’s a good idea to record the steps you go through. Use the SMART Recorder to record what appears on your IWB. This is useful to then play on repeat whilst students are completing a task, to put on your website, or on your school’s virtual learning environment.
7. Create puzzle-image starter activities
Befuddlr takes any picture from Flickr (an image-sharing website) and makes it into a puzzle. This is great for IWB’s as students can come up and re-arrange the puzzle to make meaning. Creating your own Flickr account is easy and free, so there’s unlimited potential for all different types of puzzle. Check out Tom Barrett’s suggestions for how to use Befuddlr in various ways here.
8. Rub and Reveal
Using a pen the same colour as the background covers-up words, images – anything you choose on your IWB. If you then use the eraser it will ‘reveal’ what you have covered up!
9. Google Earth
If there’s one application that comes into its own on an IWB, it’s Google Earth! You can zoom, pan and scroll as well as discover ‘layers’ to add value to your lessons. Google themselves have put together a useful guide, and there’s a Google Earth Education Community that breaks down resources by subject. You definitely need this installed and be using it in whatever lesson you teach!
10. Get involved in the Whiteboard Challenge!
The best way to learn is with other people, either face-to-face or in an online group. That’s why the Whiteboard Challenge is such a great idea. It’s a 14-week course that began on 15 August 2008. Have a look at what’s available and get involved here: http://whiteboardchallenge.wikispaces.com
*BONUS* 11. Do the double-tap!
Don’t click-and-drag, instead put the finger of one hand on the object, then the finger of your other hand where you want to move it. The object will move half-way inbetween. Remove the first finger you put on the IWB and the object will ‘fly’ across! (see video)
I couldn’t get this one to work, which is why I didn’t include it in the original 10… 😮
So it turns out that the rumours are probably true and that Google are making a mobile operating system to power mobile phones. No big surprises there – I already use their GMail and Google Maps application on my Nokia N95, whilst catching up with my RSS feed reading through the (mobile) web-based version of Google Reader. I’m pleased to see that the probable manufacturer for such a device would be HTC, maker of the SPV range of mobile phones that go under the Orange brand in the UK. Read more →