Interactive Whiteboards in Australia

News, ideas and discussion about interactive whiteboards in education

Using IWBs in a secondary school

Posted by rosiemacalpine on June 16, 2009

As part of my work, I visit primary and secondary school to help them learn how to use the software and integrate this technology into their classrooms.

Introducing IWBs in primary school is easy. Primary teachers love the idea of highly visual, interactive activities for their children. When you combine this with the wealth of free interactive resources that exist for this age group, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular.

It can be more of a challenge for secondary teachers. (A disclaimer – I have never taught in a secondary school, so the following is based on comments and observations of secondary teachers). The curriculum is more demanding, and usually doesn’t allow much time for the type of exploration that works so well on the IWB. The physical set up of the classroom can make IWBs more of a challenge too.

Having said that, I’ve met lots of teachers in secondary schools who love their IWB and wouldn’t be without it. Here are just a few ways that I’ve seen these teachers use this technology to enhance their teaching.


  • Use MathType or EquationEditor (Word) to write equations then paste them into flipcharts
  • Use existing software such as GeoGebra to investigate shape.
  • Use Promethean’s maths tools (such as a calculator, protractor and compass) to demonstrate concepts.


  • Embed Java and flash science animations into your flipchart
  • Snapshot and label diagrams
  • Use annotations to demonstrate how things move on the board (e.g. dots for particles)


  • Use the deconstruct text method to pull keywords from a text
  • Embed videos into a flipchart and then use the built-in video snapshot (ActivInspire) to take snapshots of scenes for viewing activities
  • Use Promethean’s free Manga Shakespeare resources to bring a modern day perspective to the writing

Design and technology

  • Embed YouTube and other videos showing correct use of tools, cooking techniques etc.
  • Use the resources with your whiteboard to sort food in correct food groups

Phys Ed

  • Put a large playing field or court on your board. Drag pictures of players onto the board to demonstrate where and how they can move
  • Watch videos showing correct game techniques

Business studies

  • Use the Tablet Panel in Vista to write directly into Excel spreadsheets
  • Drag highlighted labels onto a credit/ debit sheet to identify the matching pairs


  • Use fonts from other languages (e.g. Japanese) and type in these fonts on your board
  • Use the microphone to record correct pronunciation of words
  • Drag and drop to match pictures and words together
  • Match the word and the correct translation
  • Rearrange a sentence into the correct sentence structure


  • Visit virtual museums and galleries and use the snapshot to collect the images for your class
  • Use free programs like ArtRage to draw and paint on the board


  • Scan books, workbooks and worksheets and then write on them on your IWB
  • Use the camera tool to snapshot and enlarge diagrams and pictures from the web
  • Look for high quality interactive websites which enhance your subject. Ask students for ideas – they often have superior web browsing skills!

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