Technology Integration: Exploring Interactive Whiteboards as Dialogic Spaces in the Foundation Phase Classroom
Among its many affordances, the interactive whiteboard (IWB) as a digital space for children's dialogic engagement in the Foundation Phase classroom remains largely under-exploited. This paper emanates from a study which was undertaken in an attempt to understand how teachers acquire knowledge of emerging technologies and how this shapes their classroom practices when employing technology as a pedagogic tool. The findings of this ethnographic case study show that, while teachers have become technically skilled through continuous professional teacher development (CPTD), they have also begun to reflect more rigorously on constructivism as a learning theory. Data was generated through semi-structured interviews and classroom observations with digital video recordings. Observations revealed a perceived gap in the use of the IWB as a promising space to generate reciprocal dialogue in classrooms to influence curriculum delivery and learning. This paper argues, therefore, that IWBs can become spaces for dialogic engagement to expand learners’ participation and higher order thinking skills through pedagogic strategies. Thus, there is a need to introduce Foundation Phase teachers to dialogic teaching methodologies and the potential impact thereof on learner engagement and learning.