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Title: Embedding Interactive Whiteboards in Teaching and Learning: the process of change in pedagogic practice


1
Embedding Interactive Whiteboards in Teaching and
Learning the process of change in pedagogic
practice
  • Bridget Somekh
  • Education and Social Research Institute
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • b.somekh_at_mmu.ac.uk
  • Full paper now published Lewin, C., Somekh, B.,
    Steadman, S. (2008). Embedding interactive
    whiteboards in teaching and learning the process
    of change in pedagogic practice. Education and
    Information Technology, 13(4), 291-303, 2008

2
Acknowledgements
  • The evaluation of the Primary Schools Whiteboard
    Expansion Project, 2004-06 was sponsored by the
    Department for Education and Skills of the UK
    Government (now the Dept for Children, Schools
    and Families).
  • The MMU research team comprised Bridget Somekh,
    Maureen Haldane, Kelvyn Jones (consultant from
    the University of Bristol), Cathy Lewin, Stephen
    Steadman, Peter Scrimshaw, Sue Sing, Kate Bird,
    John Cummings, Brigid Downing, Tanya Harber
    Stuart, Janis Jarvis, Diane Mavers and Derek
    Woodrow
  • The evaluation report (2007) is available from
    http//partners.becta.org.uk/upload-dir/downloads/
    page_documents/research/whiteboards_expansion.pdf

3
Key Features of the Design
  • Mixed methods research, moving back and forth,
    each data set informing the other
  • Multi-level modelling statistical analysis of
    quantitative data, looking at variation at the
    levels of school, class (teacher) and student
  • Case study data with a strong focus on classroom
    observation with digital video recording
  • Analysis of digital video by collaborative,
    progressive focusing, using a (loose) grounded
    theory approach
  • Length of the study making it possible to
    evaluate the embedding of IWBs over two years (as
    a result of agreeing an extension with the
    Department for Education and Skills)

4
Key Features of the Findings
  • Enthusiastic response of teachers in PSWE
    schools, leading to integration of ICT use across
    the curriculum (i.e. IWB use)
  • Huge increase in teachers ICT skills over a two
    year period
  • Observable process of CPD through the development
    of a Community of Practice was this an example
    of the IWB mediating the process of CoP formation
    (or strengthening)?
  • Measurable gains in childrens test score results
    (at age 11) in Mathematics, English and Science
    when they had been taught with an IWB for more
    than two years
  • Development of a grounded model of the process
    of change in (interactive) pedagogic practices,
    using triangulated data.

5
What were we looking at?
  • Primary school classrooms in England
  • IWBs permanently installed and used almost
    exclusively by one teacher and a group of
    students and TAs
  • On all day (although in some classrooms the data
    projector was switched off for some of the time)
  • All day access to the Internet and the schools
    server with all its resources, lesson plans
  • Laptops and/or memory sticks meant that teachers
    could plan at home using IWB resources/software
  • Teaching dominated by the Primary Strategy
    the three part lesson including mandatory whole
    class teaching (WCT)
  • Teaching Assistants (TAs) in all classrooms
    often more than one with special responsibility
    for specific children.

6
Objectives of the Evaluation
  • Assess the extent of the impact on literacy and
    mathematics
  • Identify the effects on a range of other outcomes
  • Investigate the contribution to development of
    pedagogies and cross-curricular embedding of ICT
  • Evaluate the impact on teacher professional
    development
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the implementation
    and operation of the Primary Schools Whiteboard
    initiative (2004-06) (This aspect of the work is
    not covered in this paper see the full report
    at www.becta.org.uk .)

7
Quantitative Data Impact
  • Tracking two groups of pupils, aged 11, who took
    national tests in 2005 and 2006 (Cohort 1 and
    Cohort 2), enabling combined and separate
    analyses, using national test data aged 7 as
    baseline
  • Multi-level-modelling (MLM) data analysis with a
    two level hierarchical structure of pupil and
    classroom
  • Analysis based on the length of exposure to IWBs
    (in months) experienced by pupils.

8
Impact on Attainment in Maths, Science and
English at age 11
  • Length of time pupils have been taught with an
    IWB is key
  • National Test data aged 11 Maths
  • Average and high attaining pupils made greater
    progress
  • Little effect on progress of low attaining pupils
    but gains once IWB embedded, Cohort 2
  • National Test data aged 11 Science
  • Cohort 2 (embedded) showed benefits for all
    (ceiling effect)
  • National Test data aged 11 English
  • Indications of positive gains (but measures less
    stable)
  • Cohort 2, once IWBs were embedded, showed a
    positive trend in low attaining boys writing
    (plt0.094) of 2.5 months additional progress
    (after 2 years)

9
Data from Visits to Schools
  • Phase 1 10 representative schools selected from
    Questionnaires
  • Two day visits on either two or three occasions
  • Classroom observation and digital video in 4
    classrooms (analysed using a loose grounded
    theory approach)
  • Interviews with teachers and selected pupils
    following observation
  • Interviews with Principals and ICT / literacy /
    numeracy coordinators
  • Observed teachers kept logs of use of IWBs over
    two weeks prior to visit
  • Schools questionnaire data (from quantitative
    survey) also scrutinised
  • Phase 2 9 teachers selected whose pupils in 2005
    showed progress in national tests different from
    the main trend
  • Classroom observation and digital video
    (qualitative analysis to test hypotheses from
    prelim MLM analysis, and focused on the role of
    the IWB in mediating the interactivity between
    teacher and pupils).
  • Interviews with observed teachers and pupils,
    Heads and ICT coordinators

10
Examples of pedagogic change
  • Improvement to an established pedagogic practice
  • the use of the IWB to facilitate a co-learner
    style of teaching, where teacher and pupils
    (we) work together. The IWB mediates this by
    allowing the teacher to stand off literally
    and/or metaphorically.
  • A new style of lesson planning by storing
    prepared materials for the IWB. The plan is
    thereby transformed from a paper sheet which
    lists actions to a dynamic script for actions.
    Stored and shared and can be tweaked.
  • Emergence of a new pedagogic practice
  • The script reduces the teachers cognitive load
    that is, it is no longer necessary to keep part
    of her mind occupied on planning what to say next
    and remembering to use key vocabulary. Teachers
    are able to hear what individual children are
    saying to a partner or a TA and focus teaching
    much more specifically on childrens needs.
  • the wide range of strategies used by teachers to
    keep the whole class mentally engaged while
    individuals have come up to work at the board
    eg telling your partner what you think, writing
    on a wipe board or acting as scrutineers,
    commentators or helpers

11
The IWB mediating pedagogic interactivity
  • Extract from post-visit analytical notes - Year 6
    Numeracy lesson
  • When the board was in use, the teacher tended to
    be at the board when he needed to bring up/change
    to a different screen, when he needed to write
    something on the board, and when he wanted to
    point something out. At other times, he seemed
    to stand away from the board, sometimes moving
    into the classroom, but often standing just to
    the side of it at his desk (which was just to the
    left of the screen). In terms of where the
    children focused their attention many of them
    often seemed to be looking at the screen rather
    than at the teacher. (Of course, this was not
    always true and sometimes dependent on what was
    being talked about/shown etc.). But, as I looked
    around the room a number of times, I noticed that
    the children did seem to be looking at the board
    and not the teacher interestingly, this was
    confirmed by the children I spoke with in the
    interview. They told me that sometimes they
    found the board was useful for helping them to
    better understand what was being
    explained/discussed or, if they lost track of
    where they were up to, they could look at the
    board for reference. Many of them said that
    sometimes hearing something out loud from the
    teacher did not explain it clearly to them, but
    looking at the same idea expressed in a different
    format, i.e. on the IWB, would often help to
    clarify this for them.

12
The IWB enabling more personalised teaching
Extract from an interview with a teacher in Phase
2 (example of tacit knowledge being made explicit
through probing questions in an interview) I
also knew quite quickly whether they had
understood or not because their hands went up
before (the SEN TA) had even said anything to
them and then you can see whether she needs to
say something to them and re-word and re-phrase
and just bring them back a step and help them
and then you can almost see the penny drop, or
that she is still going. So you think, Right, I
wont ask them that question, because they
havent quite got there yet. So sometimes you
might pick up shes still talking to them and
the rest of the class has got to the point where
theyve answered (so you go on with the class)
then (the SEN TA) will carry on teaching them to
that point and then theyll pick up again (with
the rest of the class).
13
What is the impact of the IWB on Pedagogy and
Embedding ICT across the curriculum?
  • The IWB is embedded in teaching and learning
    across the whole curriculum in these primary
    schools. (But in some cases only at the stage of
    fit with traditional practice)
  • The IWB acts as a multi-modal portal (for all the
    resources available through a computer/ the
    Internet). Teachers model use of the internet.
    IWB is a Touch Screen Computer for shared
    working.
  • The IWB is an ideal support for whole class
    teaching (WCT) it focuses pupils attention and
    increases engagement. Therefore, the impact of
    WCT is an integral part of what we evaluated.
  • The IWB is also an ideal support for individual
    children working alone, or pairs working with a
    skilled teacher of literacy or maths.

14
Anything else about the Impact of the IWB on
pedagogy?
  • Teachers say that the IWB is particularly useful
    when teaching difficult concepts or demonstrating
    skills (it supports visualisation)
  • Young children who have not yet acquired writing
    skills, and SEN pupils can demonstrate their
    skills and knowledge by tapping and dragging.
    Teachers say this helps with assessing childrens
    learning.
  • Children who are not achieving the expected
    level do not benefit in terms of attainment on
    traditional tests from the IWBs impact in
    improving the pace, variety and interest of WCT.
  • Where children are partially sighted or
    completely blind the use of the IWB creates the
    need for new kinds of support from TAs.

15
A model of the process of pedagogic change with
ICT
  • We were able to track the process of pedagogic
    change over two years and derive a three-stage
    model of its development.
  • The process was one of IWBs becoming integrated
    with pedagogy as an extension of the teachers
    self (McLuhan) and mediating the interactivity
    between teacher/students and student/students
    (Wertsch, Vygotsky).
  • The three stage model consists of
  • fitting new technologies into established
    pedagogies
  • collaborative exploration of new opportunities
    offered by these technologies
  • embedding of the technologies into transformed
    pedagogic practices.
  • Stage 1 is relatively easy to achieve. The UK
    primary school supports progress to stages 2
    through a Community of Practice of teachers and
    TAs. Stage 3 does not always occur.

16
Thank you for listening
17
Quantitative Data
  • Survey of Heads/ICT Coordinators (Nov 2004,
    repeated June 2005)
  • Survey of two teachers in each school (Nov 2004
    and June 2005)
  • Schools provided unique pupil numbers (UPNs)
    and these were matched with national pupil data
    (NPD) to track individual pupils. The baselines
    were KS1 national tests (for KS2) and FSP (for
    KS1).
  • Tracking pupils who took national tests in both
    2005 and 2006 (Cohort 1 and Cohort 2), enabling
    combined and separate analyses
  • Multi-level-modelling (MLM) data analysis with a
    two level hierarchical structure of pupil and
    classroom (as pupils share the same experience)
  • Analysis based on the length of exposure to IWBs
    (in months) experienced by classes of pupils.
    Intervention measured as a continuous variable
    rather than a binary measure of exposed or not.

18
Impact on Attainment in Maths, Science and
English
  • The length of time pupils have been taught with
    an IWB is the major factor that leads to
    attainment gains. This appears to be an effect
    of embedding IWB use in teachers pedagogy the
    qualitative data strongly supports this
    interpretation.
  • KS2 Maths
  • Average and high attaining pupils made greater
    progress
  • Little effect on progress of low attaining pupils
    but gains once IWB embedded
  • KS2 Science
  • Cohort 2, once IWBs were embedded, showed clear
    benefits for all except high attaining girls
    (ceiling effect)
  • KS2 English
  • Indications of positive gains (but measures in
    English are less stable)
  • Cohort 2, once IWBs were embedded, showed a
    positive trend in low attaining boys writing
    (plt0.094) of 2.5 months additional progress

19
Impact on Attainment (continued)
  • KS1 findings are less robust because Foundation
    Stage Profiles for these children were in the
    trial stage
  • KS1 Maths
  • IWBs appear to have a positive impact on
    attainment once teachers have experienced
    sustained use
  • KS1 Science
  • IWBs used much less for Science in Cohort 1.
    However, girls of all attainment levels appear to
    make greater gains with an IWB, and there were
    indications of positive impact on average and
    above average boys.
  • KS1 English
  • Once IWBs become embedded average and high
    attaining pupils appear to benefit from exposure
    to IWBs.
  • No effect on low attaining pupils, which may lead
    to widening the gaps in progress between them and
    their peers.

20
Additional analysis to address queries
  • The length of exposure has been used, rather than
    a with/without intervention analysis
  • Collapsing into a dichotomous category would lose
    power to detect the effects and lose richness of
    data. This is particularly the case because we
    were unable to get an equal number of classes
    without the intervention.
  • Surprise that we found that IWBs had made a
    positive impact on outcomes (compared with the
    Newcastle research, DfES 2005)
  • At least some support for this finding from each
    of the cohorts and each of the sexes even with
    small numbers there is consistency on
    replication.
  • Considerably more training, and far more
    available materials, for the PSWE teachers than
    for those involved in the Newcastle research.
  • Our findings suggest that the key is embedding of
    the IWB in teachers pedagogic practice and that
    this can only be achieved over time. So a study
    conducted two years later would expect to have
    different findings.
  • Possibility of bias in the sample because
    non-project schools had to be recruited to
    provide the without IWB comparators
  • We investigated this and found no evidence of
    bias resulting from the new schools included in
    the extension phase analysis.

21
References (1)
  • Lewin, C., Somekh, B., Steadman, S. (2008).
    Embedding interactive whiteboards in teaching and
    learning the process of change in pedagogic
    practice. Education and Information Technology,
    13(4), 291-303.
  • McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding Media. London
    and New York Routledge and Kegan Paul.
  • Somekh, B., Haldane, M., Jones, K., Lewin, C.,
    Steadman, S., Scrimshaw, P., et al. (2007).
    Evaluation of the Primary Schools Whiteboard
    Expansion Project. Coventry Becta-DfES
    http//partners.becta.org.uk/upload-dir/downloads/
    page_documents/research/whiteboards_expansion.pdf.
  • Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in Society The
    Development of Higher Psychological Processes.
    Cambridge MA Harvard University Press.

22
References (2)
  • Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice
    learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge UK, New
    York and Melbourne Cambridge University Press.
  • Wertsch, J. V. (1998). Mind as Action. New York
    and Oxford Oxford University Press.
  • See also
  • Jones, K (2007) http//www.cmm.bristol.ac.uk/learn
    ingtraining/sig_test/Significance_testing.html
  • Kam, Cindy D and. Franzese, Robert J (2007)
    Modeling and Interpreting Interactive Hypotheses
    in Regression Analysis University of Michigan
    Press, Ann Arbor. Rasbash, J. Steele, F. and
    Browne, W J, Prosser, B(2005), A users guide to
    MLwiN version 2.0,  University of Bristol
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