Exploring interactive whiteboard use in the 4-6 grade classroom using Gagne's nine events of instruction

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University of Alabama Libraries

The purpose of this study was to examine how interactive whiteboards are being used for instruction in classrooms using the framework of Gagné's nine events of instruction. According to Gagné's instructional theory, there are nine events that need to occur in instruction to create optimal conditions for learning. Interactive whiteboards were created for the specific purpose of instruction and have the potential to revolutionize instructional practice of classroom teachers (Betcher & Lee, 2009). As the use of interactive whiteboards for instruction grows, it is important to know if the whiteboards are being used to create conditions for learning. This study adds to the current knowledgebase and may help decision makers determine if they should invest in interactive whiteboards for their classrooms. For schools or districts that have already made significant investments in interactive whiteboards, this study helps shape the professional development plans to improve instruction using the interactive whiteboard. Twenty-five teachers from fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade classrooms responded to an open-ended questionnaire on the use of the interactive whiteboard for instruction. Eight of these teachers also participated in a classroom observation and follow-up interview. The findings from this study revealed that the use of the interactive whiteboard is a valuable tool for creating Gagne's conditions for learning. Participants recognized that the interactive whiteboard provides flexibility in the presentation of lessons and the promise of increased student engagement. Participants stressed the need for time to explore the whiteboard's available features, plan for instruction and share best practices. The majority of the teachers did not ask for more training on the software, but requested time to learn from other teachers on the instructional use of the whiteboard. The subjects most often taught using the interactive whiteboards are language arts, math and science.

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Educational technology