Affordances of Interactive Whiteboards and Associated Pedagogical Practices: Perspectives of Teachers of Science with Children Aged Five to Six Years

The integration of information and communication technology into early year's classrooms is increasingly important for engaging and motivating digital learners. One of the more promising recent revolutions in educational technology that encourages learner's involvement is interactive whiteboard (IWB). Many schools have accepted IWB as core teaching technology for teaching young children. Yet there has been little research that looks into it especially for teaching science in early year's education. This paper reports on selected preliminary findings from a recent study which highlighted a number of affordances, practices and challenges related to teaching science for children aged five to six years using IWBs. A phenomenological perspective was adopted in this study. In-depth interviews with teachers to explore their individual experiences and perspectives about the uses of IWBs were recorded. Data were collected and analysed according to a qualitative approach. The preliminary analysis of the data summary across the seven case studies revealed that the teachers used IWBs in a wide range of ways with the intention of bringing contemporary content into the classroom and leading to the learning of investigative science. Promoting authenticity and connectedness, multimodality and versatility, and efficiency were the most frequently mentioned by participating teachers. This study also illustrates the disruptive effects of conventional classrooms setting, low technical support and insufficient training towards the process of implementation of IWBs.

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