Planning to teach with digital tools: Introducing the interactive whiteboard to pre-service secondary mathematics teachers

Kathryn Holmes


Teaching is a complex endeavour that requires teachers to meld knowledge about the nature of learners, pedagogical strategies and discipline content. In recent years an increasing variety of educational technologies are finding their way into the school classroom, including the widespread acceptance of interactive whiteboards (IWBs). The emerging literature on IWB use is mixed, with no clear verdict on the merits of this technology in relation to teaching or student learning outcomes. However, as this equipment is fast becoming standard in a growing number of classrooms, it is important for pre-service teachers to be familiar with its features, potential difficulties and to have had experience in developing lesson activities that utilise the technology.

This study examines the lesson activities developed by a group (n=13) of final year undergraduate secondary mathematics pre-service teachers. The analysis is guided by the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) framework of Mishra and Koehler (2006). The study reveals that the pre-service teachers were able to plan effectively to integrate IWB features within their mathematical lessons and demonstrated developing TPCK as a result. They found that the primary benefits of the technology related to its potential to engage students with varied visual representations and virtual manipulatives which can aid conceptual understanding.


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