The current generation of students, the so-called millennials is a “network” generation. The daily use of digital devices, long sessions of watching television, unlimited access to computers and the Internet has led to the ability of young people to quickly and adequately perceive visual information; they feel more comfortable in an environment rich in images, but not only texts; refuse to read large amounts of plain writing.
As a result, the intellectual cognitive activity is particularly relevant: they are more prone to induction and imaginative thinking. Thus, the widely used traditional knowledge-based approach, which is verbal oriented should be reconsidered, since it appears now ineffective.
One of the types of electronic media, similar in features and impact on the household to the computerized smartphones, tablets, PCs, game consoles, home theater systems, are the interactive smartboards (Campbell, Mechling, 2009). These tools are also referred to as SMART boards and interactive whiteboards. In this study, the “interactive smartboard” term will be used.
Interactive smartboard – a touch screen connected to a computer, the image from which is transmitted to the board through the projector. Special products software allows you to work with texts and images, to store information; to show slides, videos; to make notes; to draw graphics, various schemes, as on a conventional whiteboard in real-time; to make any changes and save them in the form of computer files for further editing, printing, sending by fax or email (Gorder, 2008).
So, it is a device that allows the teacher to combine three different instruments: a screen to display information, an ordinary whiteboard, and an interactive monitor (Hansen, 2008). In essence, it is a multi-functional computer screen. This makes possible the use of a wide range of resources, such as:
- Presentation software;
- Text editors;
- Images (photos, drawings, diagrams and screen images);
- Video (excerpts of television programs, video tapes, digital video);
- Audio files (radio, recordings, made by students or other teachers).
- Any sound from a CD-ROM or web page will also be broadcast if you have the speakers;
- Software for interactive smartboards;
- Software related to various subjects (Miller, 2007).
Consequently, the use of interactive smartboards in the learning process allows a completely new teaching method since one of its indisputable advantages is the association of the computer with the advantages of the regular school board.
All these apparently detached facts reunite under one single benefit and namely: the interactive board offers an infinite number of combinations of teaching materials, which turns this type of board into a flexible tool that can be adjusted to any learning style and students’ needs. Speaking in Giles and Shaw’s terms, the interactive white board provides “a valuable method of delivering content in an interactive and meaningful context to facilitate student engagement…” (Giles & Shaw, 2011). Besides, psychologists recommend using in teaching all major sensory human systems: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic, a task which can be achieved by means of smartboard technology (Moore-Hart, 2008). In the first chapter will be provided grounds for this assumption.
Here are a few examples of the smartboard practical implementation in the daily teaching activity:
When explaining the material, sometimes is necessary to go back to the beginning or the middle of the teacher’s explanation: something was forgotten, someone failed to capture the message etc.
On the ordinary blackboard, such a return can be difficult and time-consuming, meanwhile, the smartboard allows you to quickly return to the place of explanation, which caused difficulty or lack of comprehension, as all records can be stocked;
Secondly, the interactive board is equipped with a number of built-in tools to organize training in a fundamentally new form, so the ability to get away from the pure traditional form of presentation the material (teacher talks – students try to absorb) is obvious;
What are the benefits?
Enhances the effectiveness and exposure of the material, enabling teachers to work with websites and other resources. Makes the class interesting and exciting for students because of the diverse and dynamic use of resources, developing motivation.
Providing more opportunities for interaction and discussion in the classroom.Therefore, integrating technology into classrooms lessons is critical.