The endorsement of Intellectual Quality throughout all lessons is of great necessity in ensuring that students tap into deeper levels of thinking and understanding as opposed to just attempting to rote learn endless amounts of information. According to Kent (2008), Interactive Whiteboards enable the ongoing promotion of Intellectual Quality much easier to achieve.
This modernised form of technology provides endless opportunities for constant interaction with and manipulation of content, as well as lodging easily accessible resources that can be altered for any stage group. For example, a simple labelling activity for an early stage 1 class can be changed into an activity for stage 2, which may pose questions that require critical thinking and reflection before than going on to label the same diagram. Interactive Whiteboards also offer features of high ambiguity and randomness that ‘promote higher order thinking… lead substantive conversations… and present knowledge open to multiple interpretations’ (Kent, 2008, p. 21); all of which are key components in enabling the development of intellectual quality.
However, according to well known educational theorist; Vygotsky (1978), the physical utilisation of concrete materials is the most essential methodology in assisting children in constructing their own knowledge, with interactions between teachers and students promoting the zone of proximal development. The construction of one’s own knowledge has the greatest influence on ensuring that intellectual quality is promoted, with teacher-student interaction providing guidance and direction when building an understanding.
Whilst it appears Kent (2008) was accurate in stating that Interactive Whiteboards enable the ‘easiest’ promotion of high levels of intellectual quality, it is only when they are used in conjunction and reinforced by additional teaching methodologies where communication and interaction between the children and their educators is prevalent, that they become the most effective in achieving this purpose. ‘The difference between high quality and average quality teaching with an IWB,… is the quality of the underlying teaching’. (Kent, 2008, p. 25)
Kent, P. (2008). Interactive Whiteboards: A practical guide for primary teachers. South Yarra, VIC: Macmillan Publishers.