The great IWB swindle

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the Interactive Whiteboard (IWB – or Stupidboard as I affectionately call them). They are disproportionately expensive (£1000…for a giant trackpad?), faffy to install, fiddly to set up and unreliable to use. They offer the chance of ‘interactivity’ to children, but more often than not they’re just used by the teacher. Admittedly you can write on them (if they’re aligned) but you can write on a normal whiteboard too! The interface really isn’t design for touch either, with the normal-sized touch targets requiring pixel-perfect precision that only a mouse can offer.

I have to acknowledge that I do prefer having an IWB instead of just using an OHP and acetates, as I did last year with my music teaching. But the only handy part is being able to display lyrics on a big screen and play different tracks easily. The ‘interactive’ part is so unreliable that I often resort to using the mouse instead.

So what is the solution then? Some form of large display linked up to a computer is handy, but that could just be a flat-screen tv or just a data projector. I am also very interested in the possibilities of screen-mirroring from an iPad using an Apple TV box. Very much cheaper too…who’d have thought it?

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