Interactivity with the interactive whiteboard in traditional and innovative primary schools: An exploratory study

Sandra de Koster, Monique Volman, Els Kuiper


One of the main affordances of the interactive whiteboard (IWB) is its potential for increasing classroom interactivity, yet little is known about the interactivity it supports in schools with different educational concepts. In this study we analysed what types of whole-class interactivity the IWB supports in schools with either a traditional or an innovative school concept. Interactivity was operationalized in terms of operation of the IWB, control of the IWB content, and the whole-class dialogue. A cross-case analysis of videotaped lesson observations revealed patterns in the interactivity related to school type. Comparison of the prevalent interactivity patterns at the two school types shows that students at the innovative schools had a more active role in the content of the IWB-supported lessons than those at the traditional schools. The students at the traditional schools operated the IWB more often, which coincided, however, with little or no student control of the IWB content and with whole-class dialogue that focused on knowledge transmission. At the innovative schools the active student role regarding lesson content did not coincide with student operation of the IWB. These findings indicate a link between the school's educational concept and the type of interactivity in IWB-supported lessons.


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