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Fostering Classroom Engagement with Electronic Whiteboards, Tablet PCs, and DyKnow

Thursday, January 1, 2004


Contemporary learning theory emphasizes the importance of student engagement during class. For example, the National Research Council encourages educators to provide "active learning environments for all students, even in large section, lecture dominated courses." Contrast this with the traditional classroom where a teacher writes copiously on a blackboard while each student's energy is devoted to mechanically copying the instructor's board work. Students are often so busy copying that they only occasionally find time to listen to the teacher, engage with the material, and exchange ideas with others in the class. Even when teachers use technology such as PowerPoint to enhance their presentations, students are rarely engaged in interactive learning activities. In this context, PowerPoint is being used as a presentation system to direct a message to the students; however, providing the active learning environments urged by the National Research Council requires moving beyond the old concept of a presentation system to a new concept called an interaction system.

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