The Benefits of Using a Physical Whiteboard During Virtual Learning
The last several years have brought about a great deal of advancements in classroom tech, from touch-screen devices to hi-def Internet-capable monitors. However, even as technology has improved, the classic whiteboard has remained a staple in classrooms around the world because of its versatility, its variety of available sizes, and its low cost.
Today, virtual learning is more prevalent than ever before, and teachers are having to adapt their classroom functionality and teaching style to fit an online format. Though many in-person learning and teaching practices are being temporarily set aside in the virtual learning environment, the whiteboard should not be one of them. Whiteboards are a vital tool when it comes to information comprehension and kinesthetic learning connections.
Why are whiteboards useful in the classroom?
They boost brain activity. Research conducted at Indiana University has shown that the neural activity of young students reached a far higher level when they practiced writing letters by hand as opposed to students who only studied the letters visually. The University of Washington’s research has also indicated a very closely connected relationship between the brain and the hands when someone is exploring an idea or internalizing a new concept, no matter their age.
They encourage creative thinking. Adding an element of aesthetic satisfaction can provide that extra boost in student engagement and creativity that you’re looking for. When you provide students with the creative possibilities of colored markers and immediate erasing ability, they can incorporate their own personal style and flair and really have fun with their assignments in class. Utilizing whiteboards in class, whether it’s one large board for everyone to share, small individual boards for each student, or a combination of the two, leads to increased creativity in students because it provides them with a customizable visual medium that they can use to connect their individual thoughts, ideas, and presentation style to the structured concepts being taught.
They allow quick and easy visual evaluation. Whether a classroom uses individual whiteboards for each student, one large sharable board, or something in between, completing classwork on whiteboards gives both teacher and student an easy way to quickly and accurately assess whether the work has been completed correctly or needs to be edited.
They serve a variety of purposes. Whiteboards aren’t just for learning to write or doing quick math problems. They come in a multitude of sizes, shapes, colors, and functions, working to improve classroom productivity through many different avenues.
- Miniature whiteboards can be used for individual drawing time, brainstorming, and classroom games.
- Stick-on whiteboards come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and can be adhered to any surface.
- Dry erase wall paint allows instructors to utilize an entire wall of the classroom for visual and kinesthetic learning and practice.
- Dry erase calendars are an easily customizable, easily edited option for a visible class calendar that helps both students and teachers stay on track with assignments and goals for the month, semester, or year.
- Dry erase sticky notes act as a reusable, creative replacement for paper sticky notes.
- Dry erase desks allow students and teachers to take notes, work out problems, and make lists right at their workstations without the need for any additional items.
Whiteboards in all their many forms essentially function as a never-ending piece of scratch paper for students of all ages to practice their writing, do math problems, map out timelines of important historical dates, participate in classroom games, and anything else they may need to succeed in a class.
In the virtual learning format, cultivating a high level of student comprehension is more important than ever. Without a lively classroom environment and the watchful eye of their teacher, students are increasingly likely to have trouble understanding concepts or even disengage with the material entirely. By including physical whiteboards in the presentation of your online lessons and providing miniature whiteboards for your students to practice concepts on their own, you can greatly increase the success and enjoyment of your students, no matter their ages or what subject you teach.
How can I incorporate whiteboards in my virtual classroom?
- Use one yourself during class time. Students respond much more strongly to information being visualized and relayed in real time as opposed to preloaded, stagnant information presented in a slide format. Instead of presenting your lecture by speaking over a series of slides, set up a large whiteboard or dry erase wall in your teaching space and map out the contents of the day’s material for your students to watch and better visualize. Since learning virtually makes it harder to students to directly connect with you, you can make connection and engagement more attainable by presenting the class’s concepts in your own handwriting in real time.
- Provide each student with their own. Luckily, there are multiple options for at-home personal whiteboards that a teacher or school could provide to families for the increased cognitive function of their students during virtual learning. A personal whiteboard or other dry erase surface gives students an opportunity to better internalize information with personalized notes or markings and practice concepts learned in class, all on an easily erasable and reusable surface.
- Use a dry erase calendar at your teaching station. During virtual learning, one of the most important duties of teachers is to try to uphold as much of a sense of normalcy and routine as possible. While dry erase calendars can be incredibly useful in any in-person classroom, they are especially useful for giving online students a visual, real-world reminder of due dates and expectations, helping them to better retain the information. A dry erase calendar is also an easily customizable way to establish routine in the virtual classroom and to help the online learning format feel a bit more comfortable for both students and teachers.
Looking to incorporate whiteboards or other dry erase surfaces into your online learning experience? At Writey, we have the solution for every whiteboard or dry erase surface need with high-quality, reusable products that will boost classroom productivity from any location.