Here is the solution:
Surround the room with ordinary whiteboards (one of which will receive the projector display if necessary). As a maths teacher, I often run out of space. I don’t think certain other subjects run into the same problems, and a whole lesson can have tasken place with just a few keywords appearing. Not so in maths. Years ago my presentation of a solution was once criticised for being too crammed, and I thought at the time, I had only crammed it in because of the physical limitations of the board I had. Consider also how much space an A level question can take, especially if you go down a few blind alleys. Yes iwbs have the ability to ‘go back a screen’, but I would rather have it all there across the front wall.
I would also like them on the side walls, where possible, and along the back wall. Think how useful they could be when working with a small group. They would only need wiping when you actually need new space. Think of the learning opportunity, when a different class sees something that has been going on in a previous lesson. Just like displays are supposed to prompt enquiry, this would be more ‘real’, perhaps showing a ‘mathematical conversation’ between teacher and student.
I know I would personally feel more free to express myself mathematically. Several things have unlocked this idea for me, one being the huge sliding boards that can be seen here
I am not imagining myself as a lecturer, by the way. I am very much a classroom teacher. Also I am suggesting whiteboards, because blackboards may be considered a step too far (backwards) for some, although the link at the end is interesting.
Here are possible reasons why my idea won’t happen and disadvantages:
- cost – placing whiteboards around a room is nothing compared to the money squandered over the years on other stuff
- fitting them – not hard, even I can drill a few holes
- that one time when room is used by a colleague who really does use the iwb and pen – unlikely because it hasnt worked for months
- phallic symbols and other graffiti appearing – yes, and this would be a challenge if you are in the type of school that allows kids in rooms unsupervised
Anyway, that’s my idea. Please tell me if you think I’m wrong.