The alternative whiteboard challenge

I’ve talked a good talk about why no one should pay good money for an IWB in the classroom, but in the coming weeks and months I will set out to prove it. The challenge has been layed down at whiteboardchallenge.wikispaces.com. Seven challenges have been offered thus far. I think that all of them are worthy challenges that can be accomplished without a traditional IWB. With some time and help from my students we’ll try and show how to accomplish each task without an IWB.

Right now, I’ll address challenge one with an activity I did with my students last year.

Challenge 1: Using Audacity, generate tones ranging from 20 Hz to 40,000 Hz. Play the tones in a random order and have students write down if they heard the tone or not (this is basically a hearing test). Once completed, show the students the Hz levels. They will see that the range of human hearing is 20-20,000 Hz. Most of the students will have a more limited range.

For a homework assignment, make a cd, email the files, or let students use a laptop to test the tones on their parents, grandparents, or other teachers in the school. Have them analyze whether older people or men/women hear different Hz levels.

* At no point do you need an IWB to complete this activity. It would not enhance it at all, since the students will just be listening to tones. If a student needs to “interact” with the computer, have them come to the computer and press play. Change students for each tone.

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