Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What Makes a Good Interactive Whiteboard Lesson?

Have you ever wondered what makes a good IWB lesson? Just like with any lesson a teacher creates, the purpose and objective(s) should be clearly stated. The lesson should also state what will be covered in the lesson, what the standard course of study goal and objective is, and instructions on how to deliver the lesson. Because I am talking about "interactive" whiteboards, obviously the lesson must contain activities to get students to the board. 

What would some activities be? Anything from the Lesson Activity Toolkit in SMART, resource packs in ActivInspire, or anything that the teacher creates designed to get the students to touch the board during the lesson.
Why would a teacher want to add instructions for delivering the lesson? When a teacher shares the lesson with other teachers (via Learning Village, Promethean Planet, or SMART Exchange) the peeople using the lesson need to know how to deliver the lesson to their students.

In ActivInspire, teachers should add Page Notes to each page with instructions on what to do on that page. To add Page Notes go to View, Browsers, and click on the "Sticky Note" icon. This will open Page Notes and the teacher can add instructions on each page. Can you just imagine teachers saying "Thank you" when you add this important piece to your lesson plan!

What about page design? Directions to the students should be "front-and-center". Font size should be big enough for everyone in the class to be able to view the board; it should not be smaller than size 24. Choose fonts that are easy to read (for example a sans serif typeface, Century Gothic, Arial, etc.). Be careful of the colors you select. Some colors do not look good together and they look different on the computer and on the interactive whiteboard. Too much text and/or images on a page could cause students to shut down and not pay attention. Images should be relevant to the lesson; do not put images on pages just for the sake of inserting images.

What ideas do you have for creating a good interactive whiteboard lesson? 

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