IWB Framework

Technological interactivity:

physical interaction with the device

Predominantly Reproductive

WB is a presentation tool; This IWB activity can also be achieved using different technologies including chalkboards, chart paper and overheads.

Predominantly Productive:

IWB is an interactive tool that illustrates and generates ideas because of IWB use; More difficult to achieve with other technologies.

Pedagogical interactivity:

interaction between students and others in the classroom designed to bring about learning with the IWB as part mediator

Teacher Demonstration

The Grade 3 teacher presents a slideshow that includes key information from the lesson on repeating numeric patterns and presents a problem for students to solve. The didactic lesson approach supports visual representations. The Grade 4 teacher shows saved patterns that students generated on the IWB during the previous day. Students categorize the patterns into three sets (growing, shrinking, or repeating patterns), justifying their thinking, while the teacher highlights and moves each pattern into one of the three categories to generate a table of classified student samples.

Student Practice

Students in a Grade 2 class work in pairs at the IWB to solve 5 addition questions that have been loaded into IWB compatible software (such as Notebook) from the mathematics text. The students use the IWB pens to record their solutions. Some students use a calculator available in the gallery of items for use with the software Grade 7/8 Ontario classroom; The teacher demonstrates how to measure angles on the IWB using a virtual protractor. A small group then practices on their own at the IWB as part of a station activity, while other groups work on similar concepts at other stations.

Student Investigation

Grade 10 students are asked to work on the IWB in pairs to analyse a photograph displayed on the IWB. They are asked to use the parallel lines theorem to find relationships between various angles. Students use the IWB pens to highlight each example they find.


Students in a Grade 7 class investigate three figures that look like triangles. Some students are working with paper figures at their desks and tools such as rulers, scissors and protractors to determine which of the three representations are actually triangles. A group of three students work at the IWB with the same three representations as well as virtual tools to assess the three figures, deciding which of the three are triangles. The group at the IWB record their investigation using the screen capture tool and data recorded with IWB pens and draw tools to illustrate their thinking. This group saves their file, ready to present their thinking to their peers on the IWB.


After four groups have used the IWB to illustrate their thinking, the teacher has captured and placed the four different student representations of the same linear growing pattern onto one screen on the IWB. The teacher then asks the students to describe how the four representations are similar and different. After this analysis, the students then discuss the effectiveness of each representation in terms of when each might be most useful. Two groups of students have classified a series of geometric figures on the IWB into a Venn diagram with intersecting sets. Other students have done the same task at their desks. The whole class is now discussing their sorting strategies. The first group using the IWB presents their sort to the class using the spotlight feature in the IWB software (where one area is in view and the other areas are hidden from view). This enables the students to focus on each set in the Venn diagram independently, then the presenters show the intersecting areas. A second group then puts the image on dual screen so that both groups’ sorts can be viewed simultaneously. The students discuss which sort makes the most sense and generate a third sort by cloning and dragging the objects from both previous examples into a third Venn diagram that combines aspects of both previous diagrams.

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CBC Radio Interview

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Bruce, C. (2012). Technology in the Mathematics Classroom: Harnessing the Learning Potential of Interactive Whiteboards. Research into Practice: Ontario Association of Deans of Education. Research Monograph # 38, March, 1-4. Can be accessed at: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/whatWorks.html

Bruce, C., McPherson, R. & Sabbati, M. & Flynn, T. (2011). Revealing significant learning moments with interactive whiteboards in mathematics. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 45(4), 433-454.

Bruce, C., Flynn, T., Ladky, M. (2009). Interactive whiteboard use in math classrooms: Grounding theory in practice. Poster (PDF)

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