Shared cognition facilitated by teacher use of interactive whiteboard technologies

Christine Redman (Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
John Terence Vincent (Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 15 June 2015



The purpose of this study is to examine questioning opportunities afforded by interactive whiteboards (IWBs) by highlighting pedagogical decisions enacted by teachers to ensure that they work with the wider affordances of the device.


Three primary/elementary teachers participated in a study designed to identify the types of questions that teachers could enable, sustain and afford with an IWB. The teachers selected lessons to be videotaped. Pre- and post-lessons interviews were held with each teacher. Pre-lesson interviews sought the intent of the lesson and intended use of the IWB. Post-lesson interviews included teachers reviewing videotapes of the lessons and teachers reflecting on, reviewing and explaining significant and key events. They provided their reasons and justification behind their informed choices.


Teachers enacted a framework that demonstrated their commitment to developing communities of learners. They sought strategic ways to utilise the IWB in dialogically focussed classrooms. Teachers used IWBs to sustain conversations that raise and resolve their learners’ questions, to present challenges to the group.

Research limitations/implications

This study has a small number of participants, but is fine-grained in analysis. The recorded lessons have only occurred in mathematics classes. Lesson sequences are short, and a longer sequence, over eight weeks, would have also been illuminating.


The study is unique in showing the shift in power and ownership between interactions among the teacher, students and the IWB.



Redman, C. and Vincent, J. (2015), "Shared cognition facilitated by teacher use of interactive whiteboard technologies", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 74-89.

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