When the Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) first caught the eye of educators in the late 90s and early 2000s, it invigorated hope that education technology might begin to align with the digital age. In fact, these IWBs were respectfully dubbed a “window-to-the-world.”
Today, Futuresource Consulting reports that IWBs are positioned at the front of 45% of US, 37% of Canadian, and 90% of UK classrooms--a success story by nearly all definitions. Or is it really?
Despite these numbers, IWB manufacturers find the long-term educational relevance falling under question. In the U.S., Q2 volumes fell 15% below 2012, and this trend is predicted to continue for the next few years. Over the past few years, the annual International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference has seen a dramatic decrease in the number of sessions talking about, or even referencing, interactive whiteboard technology. In fact, of the 1096 sessions offered at ISTE this past June, only 3 profiled IWBs.
How is it possible that IWBs lost their place in the same classrooms they so clearly occupied just a decade earlier? It’s valuable to identify the factors that plagued this industry:
So what now? My years as both a classroom teacher and an Education Consultant with SMART have taught me three key strategies for effective implementation of transformational instructional technology:
At the end of the day, implementation of any technology tool requires buy-in from the teacher. Make sure teachers are a partner in all steps of product creation and adoption. Although the ultimate fate of the IWB is not yet sealed, its short history offers valuable lessons for educators and edtech entrepreneurs alike.