WOW… Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) and Presentation Software

I never thought I’d be so impressed! Another inspiring ICT session…

Today we looked at SmartBoards and how they can be used in the classroom. Smart Notebook is the software you need to use to prepare anything you want to show on the Smartboard; so you can plan at home and take the prepared document into school ready to use in an interactive way!

It was useful to learn that Smartboards can be used to develop questioning skills. By planning open questions to ask the children and then providing opportunities for discussion, this enables them to elaborate on their thoughts. The children can actively participate and contribute their ideas by writing them on the IWB, which has the ability to turn written words into typed text.


I explored the idea of questioning a picture; display a picture on the IWB and use the “5 W’s” questions “Who? Where? When? What? Why?” Use a different coloured pen to categorise the “5 W’s” and write the children’s answers immediately on the picture or let them do it!

You can extend learning by capturing a specific part of a picture to discuss; you use the ‘magic pen’ to focus on an area, here’s my example:

Things to consider about IWB’s:

  • Think about the impact the use of the IWB is having on the children’s learning. It may look good, but there’s no point in using it if it is not helping the children to learn.
  • Consider the position before it is fixed; appropriate height for children, can the area be dimmed to enable a clear screen?
  • Teach the T.A. to use it too!
  • Don’t over-use them……  boring!

Benefits of  IWB:

  • children can see the teacher point to specific area, not relying on a small cursor pointing.
  • a pen can be used to mark areas and highlight important parts.
  • they enhance active participation as children can come up and touch the board
  • can be used by people with communication difficulties using pictures and text.

More advantages are discussed in further detail, along with the disadvantages at:

I found a video I would like to share of an Early Years pupil using an IWB to carry out activities based on The Very Hungry Caterpillar:

Personal reflection on IWB’s:

After today’s sessions I can say that IWB’s are good in great deal of ways: they make children feel special/important, they are engaging, can be used cross-curricular, they are suitable for all ages, can be used to promote teamwork, enhance all areas of development and that’s just off the top of my head! Before today I knew very little about IWB, I have only used them a couple of times. I have now installed SMART Notebook onto my laptop so I can explore it’s features and familiarise myself with it’s potential.

Presentation Software:

I have used MS Powerpoint a fair few times and can work my way around it, but on a very basic level. Here is a ppt about Polar Regions which I created for use with Early Years children to use as an introduction to Polar Regions, to create this I learnt a lot more about the software and developed my skills quite a lot. I learnt how to: edit the Slide Master to give a consistent appearance for each slide, insert a hyperlink which opens a short video about Arctic Animals and how to insert a sound clip which is of Inuit Music. By adding such features it enables the children to learn via a multi-sensory method; catering for different learning styles.

Until today I was not aware of any other presentation software. ‘Prezi’ was mentioned, so I have taken the opportunity to find out a little more about it…

Along with countless other tools, Prezi offers a Digital Scrapbook template, having watched the video ideas came flooding to me about how I could use this in the classroom. A digital scrapbook could be created instead of or alongside a Learning Journey, children could use digital scrapbooks to create projects – independently or collaboratively, or a ‘class scrapbook’ could be created for special events to be recorded.

Personal reflection on Presentation Software:

When presenting to children I would personally use IWB’s so the children can be actively engaged in the session, for example; if you are talking about animals and their habitats, an activity could be created where the children can get up and physically match the pairs by touching and dragging. I fully enjoyed creating resources on SMART Notebook and on Powerpoint and I will definitely be using these more frequently to enhance my skills and to pre-plan activities for potential use in schools.


“Plant a Question, Grow an Answer”

Creating an Answer Garden was the first blogging tool I used on my blog, and at first I didnt think it was working as the answers didnt appear; it seemed to update over night though… so bear this in mind if you create one and the answers do not appear immediately. However, it was REALLY is to make, try your own:

I think it’s great to be able to ask a question on a blog where you know people can only post a short answer, as some comments can go on far too long. It also takes up minimal space!

Why use Powerpoints?… at

Inspirational ideas for ICT in the classroom

I’m trying to think of all the ICT equipment I have ever encountered in classroom, as a student myself and whilst working in primary schools. Powerpoint presentations spring to mind the most (as an adult learner) and Interactive Whiteboards are probably what I have seen most frequently used with children along with digital cameras, PC’s for word processing, games and research, video recording children’s performances and using floor robots.

This short video – only 1:15mins long – is an excellent summary of how rapidly ICT is evolving in the classroom, and it’s us, as teachers, who have to keep up!

ICT in the Early Years shows a lovely video of how ICT can be integrated into the EYFS. The children are encouraged to independently access IT equipment e.g. digital cameras, the children all have their own floppy disk (which can be identified by the child’s photograph on the front) so they can download the photo’s they take, and print them. ICT is also used as much as possible in the role play area e.g. a hospital will have a laptop, a light box to use as an x-ray machine and a telephone. This site offers a range of resources and planning materials – it’s well worth a look!
I came across the Hot Potatoes suite which enables you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for use with children. It is free and can be adapted to suit any project.

Good use of ICT not only enhances experience for students, but the outcomes they generate too.” – Mark Anderson

Peers can be the best teachers, because they’re the ones that remember what it’s like to not understand.” Peter Norvig. His video is really interesting and you can relate to it… I found myself nodding in agreement to my laptop! Worth watching:

This video shares 5 ways in which ICT can be used within the classroom:

‘Building’ a PC with Year 5 – Chris Leach. This idea involving the children ‘becoming’ the components of a computer is a super idea, the active learning will certainly help them to remember the different components of a PC. This ICT lesson was taught through the use of freeze framing, much more fun than a worksheet!

NAACE offer workshops for Teachers, Subject Leaders etc to help plan for “full integration of ICT into all aspects of school life”. They are a professional association concerned with improving education through ICT.


This first session has opened my eyes to actually how much ICT is actually involved  in schools; until now, I was only aware of the basics. Having divulged into the ‘Browsing and Reading section’ for session 1 I am more aware of how ICT is, and can be, used in the primary school. I am keen to continue researching resources to use in the classroom whilst enhancing my personal ICT skills at the same time. I have also ordered ‘The Really Useful Book of ICT in the Early Years’ by Harriet Price.