'The visual helps me understand the complicated things': pupil views of teaching and learning with interactive whiteboards

Kate Wall, Steve Higgins, Heather Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Citations (Scopus)


This study is one element of a government-sponsored evaluation into the introduction of interactive whiteboards (IWBs) to Years 5 and 6 in English primary schools. This element of the research aimed to gather information regarding pupil views of IWBs and the impact these tools can have on teaching and learning. To extend current literature, the method targeted pupils’ views of how IWBs can impact on metacognition: thinking about learning. Using a template that has been developed by the Centre for Learning and Teaching at Newcastle University, pupils were encouraged to talk about learning in different contexts: this methodology and its rationale are described. The results show that overall comments from the pupils are positive, with the resulting themes encompassing how the IWB can facilitate and initiate learning and impact on preferred approaches to learning. The pupils describe how different elements of software and hardware can motivate, aid concentration, and keep their attention. On the negative side, pupils candidly describe their frustration when there are technical difficulties, their desire to use the board themselves and their perceptions of teacher and pupil effects. As IWBs are becoming more and more prevalent in schools, we discuss implications and make re-commendations for teachers and manufacturers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)851-867
Number of pages17
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Technology
Issue number5
Early online date12 Aug 2005
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2005


  • aid concentration
  • interactive whiteboards
  • metacognition
  • technical difficulties

Cite this