Using Electronic Whiteboards in Your Classroom: Benefits

Anecdotal accounts | Research

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Anecdotal accounts of how electronic whiteboards have improved teaching and learning

Dr. Mary Ann Bell, Assistant Professor of Library Science at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas addresses the question: "Why do I like interactive whiteboards so much?"
For full text, go to
  1. The interactive electronic whiteboard is great for demonstrations....
  2. The interactive electronic whiteboard is a colorful tool. Research indicates that students respond to displays where color is employed...
  3. The board can accommodate different learning styles...
  4. All ages of students respond favorably to board use...
  5. Distance learning is an excellent setting for interactive whiteboard use...
  6. One-computer classrooms can maximize the use of limited computer access...
  7. The interactive whiteboard is an excellent tool for the constructivist educator...
  8. The boards are clean and attractive tools...
  9. Students with limited motor skills can enjoy board use...
  10. It is interactive...
  11. It can interface well with other peripherals....
  12. The board is great for meetings are lessons where the participants need printed copies...
  13. It is a kid magnet! ...
FERL [a post-secondary site on the use of Information Learning Technologies] provides anecdotal evidence of the impact of electronic whiteboards
  • Learners show increased motivation and enjoy the interaction the technology offers
  • It makes the subject come alive
  • It captures the attention of learners
  • It encourages the involvement of learners in the subject
  • It enables tutors to use multimedia resources and the internet with a whole class
IT Learning Exchange discusses the educational valueof SMART boards. 
Argues that "As with all technology, it's how it's used, not the technology itself, that will ultimately determine its value for teaching and learning."

Atherley School in Southampton, England describes how electronic whiteboards can benefit teaching and learning. Full text at
  1. The teacher at the front of the class and the whole class engaged together...
  2. It gives the teacher instant access to a vast array of electronic resources...
  3. It enables seamless links to be made between the technology and the subject material...
  4. Teachers are rethinking their approach to teaching...
  5. The flexibility and the scope for imaginative lesson planning is huge...
  6. Pages can automatically be saved and can be printed, emailed or even pasted into a website...
  7. The flipchart files can be updated or merged with other Windows applications...
Mary Ann Bell of Baylor University conducted a study of teachers' use and perceptions regarding the interactive electronic whiteboard as an instructional tool, on the following:

Research study results documenting the impact of electronic whiteboards on teaching and learning

Teachers' Perceptions Regarding the Use of the Interactive Electronic Whiteboard in Instruction
Findings: Interactive and collaborative qualities of board use were regarded as important reasons for using the equipment.
Full report available at

Teacher Perceptions
Findings: "All staff who used the Whiteboard were extremely enthusiastic about the possibilities of the technology and a lot were inspired to use ICT more in their lessons and were given confidence by the fact that the Whiteboard was reliable and easy to use."
Full report available at

What is uniquely contributed by the interactive whiteboard? In other words, what teaching and learning benefits cannot be achieved with a large display alone?
Findings: "The interactive whiteboard is an effective medium for teacher input to the whole class, and for reviewing the lesson. The teacher is able to present from the front, and is better positioned to observe pupils' response. ... [It is ] an effective support for teacher-led group work
Full report available at

Language Arts
Interactive use of the board in 8th grade writing class
Findings: Statistically significant improvement in student attitudes towards both using computers in instruction and towards writing instruction.
Full report available at
Math Intervention "SMART" Project (Student Mathematical Analysis and Reasoning with Technology)
Findings: Grade one Math study showed significant growth in experimental group v. traditional teaching
Full report available at
Report on the Use of the SMART Board Interactive Whiteboard in Physical Science to counteract gender differences
Findings: Found that use of SMART Board to visualize complex phenomena may help women gain knowledge in physical science classes
Full report available at
Special Needs
The Aural Enabler: Creating a Way for Special Needs Kids to Participate in the Classroom Lesson Will the SMART Board assist in improving language skills of special needs students, and as a result, stimulate positive participation and retention in classroom activities? Does the SMART Board improve the learning environment for special needs students?
Findings: "The special needs teacher noted that the most significant attribute was the attention and motivation the students had when working with the board. During the course of the study, there was no diminishment in enthusiasm and the students continued to want to complete most tasks using the board. The collaborative interaction within the group improved over time. This sustained motivation and persistence with the use of the board are the two key factors in aiding with learning outcomes.
She noted an increase in the level of participation of all students in both grades. There appeared to be a correlation between the need for modification and the change in the degree of participation by the students."
Full report available at
Student Self Efficacy
Gains in Self-Efficacy: Using SMART Board Interactive Whiteboard Technology in Special Education Classrooms E/BD adolescent social behavior (limited study)
Findings:  "In the academic setting, they yielded significant increases in their self-esteem, appropriate peer relations, and overall self worth."
Full report available at
Student Perceptions
Findings: "Students were motivated and said that their learning had benefited from the use of the Whiteboard. They liked the idea of being able to see what they were supposed to be doing rather than being shown on their own computer. This links in with accelerated learning techniques involving visual rather than verbal instruction. The students said their attention was more focussed from having a large focal point and colour image within the room."
Full report available at

updated September 2002

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