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Interactive Whiteboard Use: Changes in Teacher Pedagogy in Reading Instruction in the Primary Grades Open Access


Other title
Teacher Pedagogy
Reading Instruction
Educational Technology
Interactive Whiteboards
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Lovell, Meridith
Supervisor and department
Phillips, Linda (Elementary Education)
Examining committee member and department
Branch-Mueller, Jennifer (Elementary Education)
Leroy, Carol (Elementary Education)
Wood, Eileen (Wilfred Laurier University)
Buck, George (Educational Psychology)
Hayward, Denyse (Educational Psychology)
Department of Elementary Education

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) use is increasing in Canadian classrooms accompanied by numerous claims of benefits for pedagogy and learning. The purpose of this study was to examine how IWBs are integrated into reading instruction in the primary grades (K-3), how their use enhances or alters teacher pedagogy and practices, and supports curricular technology integration mandates. Four teachers who taught in mainstream primary classrooms and were frequent IWB users participated in this four-month study. Eight English Language Arts lessons were observed per teacher. Data sources included interviews, observational data, logs, reflective journal responses, and training materials. Quantitative data on duration and frequency of activities with and without IWB use were analyzed to compare teacher and student use, the content of reading instruction, and the interactivity of activities. IWBs were in active use for approximately 50% of instructional time. The most frequent uses were guided practice, information provision, and questioning. Students engaged in paper-based literacy practices such as worksheet completion and shared and independent reading. The type and duration of students’ IWB use varied between and among classrooms. Paper-based texts and not digital texts predominated. Overall, the primary use of the IWB was to display information and interactive affordances were used infrequently. The teachers perceived IWB use made lessons more engaging and motivating, but support for their perceptions was inconclusive and mixed. Teachers concluded the IWB was a tool that improved the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching, however the nature of their pedagogy had not changed. My results contribute comprehensive, empirical support to the growing debate over pedagogical benefits and changes with IWB use, particularly for interactivity. The appeal of the IWB is such that use of the interactive and multimedia functions may overshadow the development of effective pedagogies and materials. Administrators are cautioned to consider carefully reports of benefits to determine under which circumstances use would be beneficial for their teachers and students. Additionally, teacher training must provide support for pedagogical decision-making in subject areas. Further research to determine the optimal conditions for training and use would assist educators and administrators to use the IWB to best benefit in teaching reading.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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