You are here:

Interactive whiteboards: Real beauty or just “lipstick”?

, ,

Computers & Education Volume 51, Number 3, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


There has been extensive investment by governments and individual schools in interactive whiteboard technology in developed countries premised on the assumption that their use in education will impact positively on learners’ achievements. Developing countries, such as South Africa, keen to raise attainment among their learners are following suit. While at least one of the nine provinces in South Africa had undertaken pilot roll-outs of interactive whiteboards (IWBs) in schools, the Eastern Cape Department of Education commissioned a feasibility study to determine teachers and learners perceptions of the potential benefits and drawbacks of using interactive pen technology, specifically the eBeam, in their teaching and learning environments, before embarking upon a large scale roll-out. This paper reports on a case study of three government schools and highlights the learners and teachers’ enthusiasm about the “big screen” and the multimedia options, but also raises concerns about the lack of ICT literacy displayed by teachers and learners and the cost of technology. As most of the benefits mentioned by the teachers and learners seemed to accrue to the use of the laptop and data projector combination and most of the drawbacks emanated from the use of the interactive pen technology itself, we suggest that it may not be expeditious to attempt to “leap-frog” the use of interactive technologies. Instead we suggest that an evolution of ICT related pedagogy is necessary to make optimal use of interactive pen technologies such as the eBeam and that teachers should be offered technologies, not have them imposed upon them.


Slay, H., Sieborger, I. & Hodgkinson-Williams, C. (2008). Interactive whiteboards: Real beauty or just “lipstick”?. Computers & Education, 51(3), 1321-1341. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved April 6, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on April 18, 2013. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

Full text is availabe on Science Direct:


Cited By

View References & Citations Map

These links are based on references which have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake, please contact