Are Interactive Whiteboards an ICT4E Wonder or Waste?


At eLearning Africa 2012 there was a strong interactive white board (IWB) presence. Yet I wonder how effective they are for ICT for education interventions in the developing world. I've only seen one teacher use IWB's effectively, and she was one of the best teachers at an elite private school in Jordan.
Teachers across Africa and South Asia are usually working in schools that are overburdened and under-resourced. The teachers themselves often lack training and professional development opportunities. Or as Doug Crets says:
I think that white boards are great, but they were often purchased with out time for training, or resources for smart implementation. The problem is not really the tech, it's who purchases the tech, why the purchase it, and what they do after it's purchased. It's hard working in a school system where other people decide how a teacher uses things, or where they spend money on things without consulting teachers. This is the story I hear, generally.
In this resource-poor education environment, is an interactive white board practical?
I've not see teachers in Africa use them nor have I heard teachers talk about using them. As teachers rarely use any ICT in the classroom it could be that IWB's are no better or worse than other technology interventions. But somehow the big flashy IWB vendors at conferences seem more out of place than the computer manufacturers.
Now if there were only a cost-effective, low-tech IWB option...

Get ICTworks 3x a week - enter your email address: