We are constantly creating and inventing new programs for both Interactive Whiteboard and for Ipads and we are strong advocates of using technology in the music classroom, but what actually works best?
In other words…
Is it better to use an Interactive Whiteboard or an I-pad in the Music Classroom?
So here’s the situation:
If you were to walk into your classroom, what would you want to see?
a) Your class sitting down close to an Interactive Whiteboard screen which is accessible to everyone, they can enjoy group activities together with sounds directed by the teacher. It makes it easy for a student to get up quickly, do a short activity and sit back down without the fear of someone tripping over extra wires and cords;
b) A student up the front holding an IPad tablet device, probably with a wire attached so you can get it to project up on a spare space on a wall or on an existing whiteboard with his or her head down on the device while the others watch on.
c) Your whole class working independently on their individual IPads which are open to sounds and other distractions.
Because in reality, this is how these two devices work. They seem like they can do the same things, but actually they work better in different situations.
Now I don’t want you to take me the wrong way here!
In the past I’ve told teachers that they don’t have a whiteboard to use our resources – and it’s true- you don’t!
If you don’t have an interactive whiteboard, you can simply purchase an iPad and attach it to a projector so that it can function in a similar way to an Interactive Whiteboard or simply use materials on a computer. Now this strategy works well if there is nothing else available and it allows low income schools and budgets to get access to interactive materials where it wouldn’t be possible in any other way – and it works for small groups.
If I had a choice between the options above in a school classroom setting which had access to technology, I know that the best choice for me would be to use the Interactive Whiteboard.
I’ve been so fortunate to have shared stories and feedback from so many teachers all over the world and I understand that many want to be able to control sounds and distractions; they don’t want obstacles (like wires ) for students to have to climb over; they don’t want the threat of having something with glass in it dropped because it’s being passed around from student to student; but they DO want classroom games and activities based on subject content to make learning relevant, educational and fun, but without having to spend time setting it all up.
These are all reasons why the Fun Music Company products are not interchangeable! In other words we don’t make the same materials and resources for interactive whiteboard available as an IPad Application. The classroom group activities and games are made specifically for use with class groups to play together and while it’s possible to use an iPad to play them in some situations, they are not quite as effective as playing them as a whole class on an Interactive whiteboard. Also the nature of programming on Interactive whiteboards means that the display would look slightly different at times on IPad and wouldn’t all the activity’s and they generally don’t work as effectively as they do on interactive whiteboard.
We are currently creating interactive textbooks specifically for IPads which can be used effectively with a teacher showing a class or as students using them independently at their desks.
We will also have Interactive whiteboard materials to go along with each of our textbooks so that group learning activities based on the book content can still happen and used together it really brings the iPad Interactive textbook learning alive. I can really see this working well in the upper primary and middle school. Anyway It’s all coming soon and I’m so excited to show you more in the next weeks ahead, however I hope you can see that they serve very different purposes.
But for now…..
What are your thoughts? Do you think interactive Whiteboards are better to use in the classroom than iPad’s? Let’s continue the discussion by using the comments section below.
Ready-Made Resources for
A complete lesson curriculum for early elementary/primary school for music lessons.
A curriculum for middle elementary/primary school featuring lots of singing, playing, composition, aural training and musicianship games.