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Suppliers support Becta’s bid to make interactive whiteboards more accessible

Leading suppliers have expressed their support for a Government-backed bid to make it easier for colleges and schools to use interactive whiteboards.

Becta has announced it is working with interactive whiteboard suppliers to help solve issues currently preventing lessons being shared between and within schools.

Steve Lucey, Becta’s Executive Director for Strategic Technologies, said: "We know that this technology is capable of bringing lessons to life, motivating learners to participate with enthusiasm and helping them to achieve better results.

"Becta is working to help the education sector get better value from investment in technology, which is more important than ever in the current economic climate. Sharing resources and ideas is one of the ways to stimulate more effective use of technology and make the most of that investment."

Interactive whiteboards have helped to revolutionise teaching in class rooms across the world, and research has highlighted than, in certain subjects, the more experience the teacher has of using them, the greater the likelihood of positive attainment gains for pupils.

However, the rapid surge in use and in the number of different suppliers has led to problems over the creation of content that can be read on all systems. The lack of a common file format is presenting a major barrier to developing content on one platform and presenting it on another.

The government’s education technology agency has welcomed the commitments it has already received from a number of suppliers willing to work together to solve the issue.

Ms Lucey continued: "Becta is encouraged by the support it has had from the industry for the project to develop an interactive whiteboard file format that will meet the needs of teachers, lecturers and tutors. We have been spurred on in this work by the level of interest of user representatives in England and internationally.

"We are keen to do what we can to ensure all providers understand the benefits this specification has to its users. We therefore intend to work towards adoption of the specification by other providers and continue to encourage their involvement in the project."

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