So I was at a meeting where were asked to vote on this question. Would you rather have a tablet (with a wireless connection to the data projector) or an Interactive White Board (with a computer connected to it)? Just a clarification: We are talking one tablet for the whole class or one IWB for the class. Explain your pick.

Tags: IWB, tablet, vote

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Hands down I would go with the IWB. The negatives of this decision would be that it is connected to the computer and would be less "mobile" i guess, and also that there are some neat things that can be done with a tablet. However the positives of having an IWB far outweigh these negatives, and anymore, one can come up with simply for one reason: the IWB can be SO interactive. Students, especially students of this generation, need and want something more than the typical boring classroom. An IWB brings just that! There is so much a trained teacher can do with an IWB that engages the students one-on-one and as a whole. Given the choice, 9 times out of ten, I would go with an IWB.

I would pick the IWB. The IWB gives students a chance to really get involved into the class. Students love getting to do different things in the classroom. When a student gets to go up to the front of the class and do whatever task the teacher asked, the students love it and the rest of the students are mesmerized in anticipation to see what their fellow classmate gets to do at the board. This then makes the students more likely to pay attention and behave because the IWB can be used as a reward system. Students are acting out don't get to use the IWB. The IWB also lets the students see what's going on from their seat. The IWB can be used in thousands of fun, interactive ways which is a change from boring power points or just writing on the chalkboard. I would choose the IWB.

I think if I had to choose between one tablet or one IWB, I'd have to go with an IWB, for the same reasons many have stated overall.  I do think however that the comparison isn't fair.  It's not likely that a full implementation (installation) of an IWB and the purchase of a tablet would cost the same.  Odds are, if the budgets are slim (and whose are not), then the tablet would be the choice purchase - it's cheaper. On the other hand, if a teacher were say given a choice between two classrooms, - for the same grade level where one had an IWB already installed, and the other didn't but could be paired with an iPad or Slate then yes, I can see it as a more realistic question.  IWB's are (for me) an extension of the digitization of large content - or an evolution of the chalkboard.  Having both would be advantageous, but it's not cost effective, and likely not to happen.  I also know that regardless of where I work, I'll likely have my own laptop - so not having the tablet is ok.

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Best wishes

Ken

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