Posted by Peter on 8th September 2010

Raised hands or mini whiteboards?

In the classroom there seem to be two types of child: one type that always has a hand up to answer a question; and the other type that avoids eye contact and doesn’t answer out loud. For teachers, it is much easier for the lesson to flow if she keeps asking those who will answer, so the cycle is repeated.

On BBC later this month Dylan Williams bans hands up in the classroom apart from when asking a question. Instead he asked any of the children. Resistance occurred and the end result was that mini whiteboards were issued on which all pupils wrote their answer.

This is certainly not new – I was using them 10 years ago, and the Victorians used slates! It does raise the issue of participation in the classroom, with a great fear amongst many of giving the wrong answer and being made to look a fool. It also only really works for ‘closed’ questions which can only have one possible short answer. With the introduction of new technology such as ipads how long will it be before all answers are recorded and processed? Some children would love it and some would hate it

Read more from the BBC

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