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Book Review: Interactive Whiteboards in the Elementary Classroom

Title:  Interactive Whiteboards in the Elementary Classroom, by Tony DeMonte. International Society for Technology in Education, 2013.

Description:  So you teach K-5, and you’re new to interactive whiteboards (IWBs). You’re even newer to technology integration, or maybe just not as savvy as you’d like to be. Thankfully, Tony DeMonte’s guide is jam-packed with great information that will introduce you to this learning device.

DeMonte starts off by covering the basics. He discusses the nature of interactivity, covering variations including touch-sensitive, pen/stylus-based, hybrid IWBs and touch-screen monitors. This section includes YouTube links with video examples of each variation in action.

Then comes the device’s anatomy (e.g., the board, projector and computer), which is also comprehensively covered for each variation of IWB. After that, it’s software time. DeMonte stresses the value of having good software, noting that huge expense isn’t a prerequisite for usefulness and effectiveness. Often-overlooked details—such as the board’s location in the classroom—also come into play. (The author believes that location is a big determinant of an IWB’s success.)

Next, DeMonte explains the benefits of interactive technology through IWBs. The devices have been shown to increase student attentiveness, with an extended effect afterwards. The author also addresses differentiated instruction, explaining how interactive whiteboards cover multiple intelligences and meet the needs of visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners, as well as gifted students.

The book doesn’t stop there. Readers will find guidance on classroom management, leveraging resources, the shared learning experience, motivation tactics, meeting standards and monitoring student success. DeMonte also explores lesson ideas and offers templates for games, organizers and other types of support for bringing the IWB into everyday learning.

Bottom Line:  Interactive Whiteboards in the Elementary Classroom is a comprehensive introduction for K-5 educators and library media specialists who are new to working with interactive whiteboards. If you’re bringing a new IWB into the classroom, pick up this fantastic book. You'll rip through its 104 pages of valuable information in no time.

About the Author:  Tony DeMonte is the coordinator of instructional technology for Zion Elementary School in Zion, IL. In addition to serving as an assistant principal and elementary school teacher, he has presented various workshops covering technology integration with young learners.

How to Purchase:  This title is available in paperback on the ISTE Web site for $16.95. If you’re an ISTE member, the price drops to $11.87.

Article by Jason Cunningham, EducationWorld Social Media Editor
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