Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yesterdays Technology - Today!

It has come to my attention that someone has invented an "interactive" whiteboard! In fact, the School Supply industry, such as it is, is all abuzz about this new technology and its potential to revolutionize the classroom. Humbug is what I say. At least I'm not alone:

I am sure a number of readers saw this column's title and groaned. You thought you were just getting ahead of the curve by working towards installing interactive whiteboards in your classrooms, and here I am telling you that they are going away.

Meeks, Glenn "Goodbye Interactive Whiteboard." School Planning & Management 12 Dec. 2009 December ed. : 13

My usual complaint is that while technology has many applications in education, its pretty shiny qualities should make educators grab their wallets with both hands. Interactive whiteboard technology has that, built-in obsolescence and a high price tag, all in one package. Good thing you can write on them, they'll work as plain whiteboards once they're unplugged and moved to the back corner of the classroom. When schools invest big money in a technology that is so obviously not going to be part of the future, it robs funds from real education. The IWB needs software, and training. The software and training will lag behind more dynamic platforms (here comes the IPad!) and soon, no-one will bother. Software companies will have moved on, educators interested in tech will have moved on and these pretty things will have lost all their usefulness. Bookmark this post and see if I'm wrong.

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