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

  • Author / Creator
    Lovell, Meridith
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Elementary Education
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Phillips, Linda (Elementary Education)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Branch-Mueller, Jennifer (Elementary Education)
    • Buck, George (Educational Psychology)
    • Wood, Eileen (Wilfred Laurier University)
    • Hayward, Denyse (Educational Psychology)
    • Leroy, Carol (Elementary Education)