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Promoting dialogic interactions in the classroom using interactive whiteboards and touch screens


Course Title:                  
‘Promoting dialogic interactions in the classroom using interactive whiteboards and touch screens’.

Course Nr.: 9

Target Groups:               

  • primary teachers and teachers of social sciences/arts/science subjects in secondary and vocational education who want to start to and/or further develop their skills in using Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) and touchscreens with a learner-centred focus. 

  • teachers and/or ICT coordinators who would like or are expected to take a leading role in local, related professional development activities.

Dates / Venue:  Cambridge : 24 June – 29 June, 2018

Course Description


The focus of this course is on developing classroom interaction skills, digital resources and design guidelines to support technology use related to promoting:

·     Dialogue in the classroom
·     Collaborative learning
·     Collegial, collaborative professional development related to these topics.

Input and activities aim to promote participants' professionalism by offering challenging tasks involving analysis of classroom practice recordings, assessment and construction of teaching materials requiring the application of theoretical concepts and design criteria related to effective use of technology with a focus on dialogic teaching and learning.

The course combines plenary, tutor-led introductions of methodological topics & presentations to demonstrate and discuss exemplary IWB-materials & classroom procedures with follow-up activities when participants do practical work individually, in pairs and small groups applying the concepts and principles presented while analyzing and/or creating IWB materials and activities.

To supplement the course’s pedagogical focus hands-on activities have been planned in the IWB/touch screen-equipped room(s) to support further development of personal boards skills and competences for IWB-supported teaching.

To address the anticipated variety in participants' interests and needs (in terms of target groups and individual IWB skills levels) most task designs aim to lead to differentiated relevant learning experiences and outcomes.

At the end of the week delegates will share and discuss a lesson created during the hands-on sessions.

To provide flexible access to course related tasks and resources a virtual learning environment (VLE) will be used. After the course concludes, participants will be able to access the VLE to promote follow-up communication and collaborative learning.


Course objectives:

  • To further develop the competence and confidence of teachers in using classroom technologies such as interactive whiteboards (IW)

  • To promote teacher professionalism in selecting and evaluating existing resources and materials

  • To develop participants' skills related to adapting and designing materials 

  • To enhance teaching skills related to promote dialogic learning using classroom technologies and enhance the learning experience for the student.     

  • Assessing the quality of ready-made IWB materials

  • Using IWB features for specific lesson objectives, phases and activities

  • Specific objectives include extending participants' knowledge and skills related to:

    • IWB related software (e.g. Notebook, Active Inspire etc) for adapting and/or creating content

    • Using Textual annotation tools (pens, brushes, erasers, handwriting recognition etc)

    • Using Graphical annotation tools: (colour use, shading, underlining) 

    • Using Focusing tools (spotlighting, revealing, drag and drop) 

    • Integrating media resources (using audio, video and images)

    • Using the floating or on-screen keyboard

    • Adding hyperlinks to IWB flipchart pages to facilitate navigation and independent use by learners 

    • Using the IWB to save annotated pages for future use (e.g. content rehearsal and/or elaboration)

Course Materials and Approach
The workshop will be based around a research-informed professional development programme aiming to involve teachers in developing their understanding of classroom dialogue and in devising new technology-based teaching approaches to support it.
The programme was produced by a team based at the University of Cambridge (UK), including one of the course facilitators, Sara Hennessy, along with fellow academics (Paul Warwick and Tatjana Dragovic), and three teacher colleagues.

The multimedia materials include a rich digital resource bank of annotated screenshots, video exemplars of dialogic classroom practice and flipchart templates for creating activities. They are designed for use across school phases and subject areas.

The teaching approaches encourage active participation of students, collaborative knowledge building and learning through reasoning, inquiry, and evaluating ideas during whole class dialogue.

The professional development approach is based on critical reflection; peer learning, observation and feedback; structured experiential tasks and classroom trialing, focusing on immediate teaching needs. It starts from participants’ current practices and thinking and exposes them to new approaches as a stimulus for further development, within a supportive atmosphere.


Day-to-Day Course Topics

Day 1
• Meet & Greet / Introductions
• Questionnaire review / finetuning expectations
• Cultural Event

Day 2
• Overview of course and course structure in VLE
• Introduction to / revision of IWB features (& tablet apps) with a focus on their potential for interactivity
 •to projects and IWB repositories to locate potentially useful content for local use
• Finding and (re)using resources. Copyright & Open Educational Resources (OER)
• Analysis of the main course task: (re)design and develop an interactive lesson: selecting textbook topic / unit in current practice for elaboration 
• Review of day 2

Day 3
• Introduction to dialogic teaching & learning
• Reflecting on uses of classroom talk and classroom climates for dialogue; sharing current personal practice
​• Hands-on activity: Analysing teacher behaviour and sample materials, providing feedback and suggestions for improvement
• Translating interactivity and dialogic teaching & learning concepts to subject specific IWB materials
•​ Hands-on session: IWB-board skills development, trialling materials
• Review of the day

Day 4
• Supporting dialogue in groups by exploiting interactive features of the interactive whiteboard
• A tool for monitoring and increasing learner participation in learning-focused dialogue and small-group work
• Exploring the Resource Bank 
• Hands-on session: Analysing and assessing classroom practices and & materials
• Introducing materials design criteria
• Hands-on activity: Review & design materials
​•​ Review of day 4

Day 5
• Using Concept mapping / mind mapping for diverse educational purposes
• Adapting IWB templates to design/customise subject-specific materials
• Trialling lesson unit elements and talking about designing materials to support dialogic interaction, gaining initial peer feedback
• Developing materials & micro teaching unit
• Briefing on follow-up activities and tools, and sharing your ideas within school
• Review of the day

Day 6
• Strategies for IWB-related continuing professional development
•  Finalizing materials for the sample lesson designs.
• Demonstrating, sharing & reviewing materials created by participants
• Course wrap-up and evaluation

t the end of the week delegates will share and discuss a lesson created during the hands-on sessions.

To provide flexible access to course related tasks and resources a virtual learning environment (VLE) will be used. After the course concludes, participants will be able to access the VLE to promote follow-up communication and collaborative learning.


Participants familiarize themselves with the course platform (Schoology), study the recommended readings and - to align the course contents to their needs and interests - participants will be asked to complete an online intake questionnaire. To further optimise the relevance of the course for individual teachers, participants are also invited to bring (local) digital content and/or select topics relevant for their current practice to be elaborated when developing activities and materials during the course.

For the demonstration and practice of the pedagogical IWB-related concepts and materials SmartBoards and the related software ‘Notebook’ will be used.
With a view to materials development for different IWB brands participants are advised to bring their own laptops with their preferred IWB software and apps pre-installed.
Delegates are also advised to bring USB sticks

TELLConsult in collaboration with Dr Sara Hennessy (Cambridge University) and the partners of the EU Projects iTILT and Tabula Alba.
Facilitated by the University of Cambridge.

Course Fee
The total fee for the course is: 580,- Euros  (including organisation costs but exclusive of meals, social and cultural activities, travel and accommodation costs)

For the course run in Cambridge rooms could be applied for at Homerton College, next door to the course venue. More details will be sent upon (pre)registration submittance.

Pre-registration is possible without any obligation and is recommended as the documents issued after pre-registration can support the organization of the school’s internal EU grant application and/or implementation procedure.
​Pre-register here

Full Registration 
Pre-registration leads to full registration after payment of the invoice for the course fee sent to the school by TELLConsult course administration.

EU Grants:    
This course is eligible for ErasmusPlus KA1 Mobility Grants which can be applied for at  your National Agency.

Course pre-registration cancellations by individual participants are accepted without additional costs if done in writing and before the running of the course has been confirmed (some 2.5 months before the course start date) 

In the event of course cancellation either by individual participants or TELLConsult the school can expect a payment refund within 10 days.
Only course fees are reimbursed so do NOT book any flights or hotel rooms before the course has been confirmed.