Every teacher wants to deliver the best quality education to their students. You don’t want guesswork either, you want to know what works and then put it into practice so your classes will benefit right away.
Whiteboards have been around since the 1950s and have become ubiquitous in educational settings since the mid-90s. Does this mean they are now out of date? The evidence says otherwise. Numerous studies have shown that despite advances in technology, the interactive whiteboard is as important today as it ever was.
What is an interactive whiteboard?
When we say ‘interactive’ whiteboard, what exactly do we mean? In reality, every whiteboard can be interactive, but not all boards are created equal. What we mean when we say this is a whiteboard that opens up a classroom to the essential two-way stream of exchange that is essential to the learning process. It is the integration of constantly evolving software and cutting edge educational tools brought rapidly into the classroom as they evolve.
In the past, education was seen as a simple transfer of knowledge from the teacher to the student. The results were questionable at best as students were subjected to rote learning without true understanding. Today, educators understand that students perform far better when they are engaged and involved in the learning process.
One of the most successful school systems in the world is in Finland. Young students are heavily involved in the decision-making process of what to learn and how to learn it. This dynamic doesn’t require massively hi-tech equipment to function and in this regard, sometimes less is more.
What is required, however, is language, clarity, participation, questioning, reasoning, and the freedom to explore solutions to problems in an open-ended way. A simple chalkboard can be an excellent tool to do this, but for many practical reasons, whiteboards tend to be far better.
Top ten benefits of interactive whiteboards in classrooms for teachers
Here are just some of the reasons that whiteboards are still one of the best tools on the market to bring out the very best in any group of students across all demographics.
- Whiteboards visualize complex ideas
- Students are empowered to present before their peers
- Teachers can solve problems in real-time
- Whiteboard surfaces are bright and engaging
- They are a perfect background for projected images
- Games and competitions are easy to track before the class
- They are simple to install, remove, and replace
- Editing text or images is as simple as a wave of the hand
- They never crash, go offline, lose power
- They are easily integrated with other classroom technology
The Smarter Surfaces Whiteboard solution
Despite all the obvious benefits of keeping whiteboards at the center of your teaching strategy, there is now an even better way to draw students in and hold their learning attention.
At Smarter Surfaces, we already knew that the interactive whiteboard was an essential item in the teachers’ toolkit, but we also knew that it had limitations. We set out to remove those limits and transform an already great tool into something truly revolutionary.
The problems that educators have with interactive whiteboards include the following:
- Running out of space for content and waiting for students to catch up before you can begin to erase as the surface is being used by the software
- Interrupted train of thought when you hit that border and have to squeeze letters and numbers down to make them fit
- Limited area to project on with important details limited by edges
- Requires drilling holes in your wall, screws, bolts, planning, and probably an installation crew to put in place
- Sub-optimal use of wall space with large ‘dead’ areas of teaching real estate above and below the board
- Cost can be prohibitive
All of these problems are easily solved in a way that brings with it a host of other advantages as well. We decided to make the entire wall into a whiteboard and do away with borders, limits, and wasted space in one simple, elegant solution to all these issues.
Confused? Don’t be. The idea is as simple, and effective as it sounds.
Whiteboard paint doesn’t need any drills or holes in the wall to be applied. All you need is a clear space, a few hours, and a paintbrush. Once the paint is dry, you and your staff are ready to teach in a whole new way.
So the solution is have the interactive whiteboard to deliver its undoubted benefits and apply whiteboard paint (link) to the walls around it, giving the educator the complimentary benefits of both solutions with the added option of adding magnetic
So what’s the difference between a legacy whiteboard and an entire classroom wall transformed with Smarter Surfaces Whiteboard paint?
The top ten advantages of smart interactive whiteboards combined with whiteboard paint
There are more, but here are our top ten:
1. Never run out of space again. Whether you are solving a complex equation, illustrating a drawing technique, or writing out a piece of poetry, the floor, and the ceiling are your new limits.
2. Project your computer screen or overhead projector onto the entire wall with glare and hotspot-resistant projectable whiteboard paint.
3. Magnetize your whiteboard space with Smarter Surface magnetic whiteboard paint and easily affix transparencies and other items to the learning area
4. Watch students fall in love with the learning process as they through problems, present ideas, and collaborate with each other all over the walls of their classroom
5. Use every bit of space on your teaching wall. There will be no more dead areas on the wall above below above or outside the edges of your whiteboard.
6. Never buy another whiteboard again. If it needs sprucing up just apply another coat of paint. You can do it yourself with no outside help.
7. Integrate your whiteboard surface with virtually any technology. Whatever the tech is, if you can project it, you can put it onto the wide-open canvas of your classroom wall.
8. Turn your desks into whiteboards too. You can use paint or whiteboard adhesive on your desk and on student desks to transform the furniture into creative, reasoning, and learning spaces that will empower students to think and work independently.
9. Turn walls and desks into anti-microbial surfaces. Public health and hygiene are more important than ever. Our anti-microbial whiteboard paint will be an ally in your efforts to provide a safe and healthy environment for your students.
10. Fill your teaching space with light and make your classroom a place where you and your students love to spend time.
How whiteboards improve technology
The pace of change in the use of technology can be overwhelming at times. Despite this, the need for somewhere to present information in a clear, highly visible way remains the same as ever. Buildings still need walls to stay upright and students need to see and interact with new information in real-time for the best educational outcomes.
Whatever can be shared and achieved on a computer screen can be scaled up to share with an entire group on a glare-proof background. The small screen version of shared desktop and laptop computers becomes a fully immersive experience when seen in bright clear colors projected across an entire wall.
How to integrate smarter into your class
It couldn’t be simpler. Once you have decided which product works best in your setting, simply clear a space and apply either whiteboard paint or whiteboard wallpaper to the area. After a few hours, you will be ready to start teaching and have the entire open area at your disposal.
If you already use technology in your classroom, all you have to do is project your screen, lecture notes, and other visuals onto the newly opened space. Once your students have been exposed to the new learning environment, don’t be surprised if they are as eager to be at the front of the class as you are!
Are you ready to transform your classroom or lecture hall into an all-wall state-of-the-art sustainable and fully immersive teaching experience? If you need help deciding on which product will integrate best into your space, reach out to our education advisors and book a consultation call , we are on hand to offer advice, guidance and educator discounts.
Make sure to sign up to our Education Hub for access to educational discounts on Smarter Surfaces classroom products, new product promotions, and actionable tips on the use of next-generation interactive whiteboards.