How to use an interactive whiteboard in the classroom

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Educational technology has given teachers many opportunities to improve their teaching process and create a friendly learning environment for students. One may say that there are too many tools, apps, and methods to try out, there are technologies that all teachers should introduce in their classrooms. One of the educational technology that is irreplaceable and must-try is an interactive whiteboard.

Creating Engaging Lessons

Interactive whiteboards are a marvelous invention that revolutionized the way teachers design study materials. Educators are able to build engaging lessons that include videos, images, and recording of the explanation.

The interactive whiteboard is an effective method for laying out ideas and explanations in a visible and accessible format. When teachers or students want to describe a problem, they can easily record themselves while writing down details of the issue.

Building a Database of Lessons

One of the greatest benefits of using interactive whiteboards in the classroom is the opportunity for students to playback and review the lesson whenever they want. Once a teacher creates many tutorials it’s a good practice to organize them either in courses or folders. The teacher can catalog their works and keep it organized on year-to-year or topic bases.

Many schools create platforms where teachers can upload their lessons. It’s an efficient way to keep all of the study materials from one school in one place.

If your school has not established the library of video lesson, create your own cloud! There are many ways to store videos, slides, and other materials. You can upload it all to such platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox, ShowMe and create a playlist for easy viewing!

Entertaining Homework

Using an Interactive whiteboard has changed the way we approach creating lessons and conducting classes, but it can also have a prominent impact on homework. Teachers have struggled for centuries with the solution to make the idea of homework entertaining. Undoubtedly, it takes a great effort to encourage students to fulfill the task and submit it afterward.

Luckily, educational technology is here to rescue! Many apps that are interactive whiteboards also provide excellent homework features. Asking students to create a video tutorial with an explanation of a problem, or record a presentation on a topic would be way much interesting that dull homework!  

Benefits of Using an Online Whiteboard

The interactive whiteboard brings plenty of benefits in the classroom. The tool improves learning and teaching processes that positively affects both the students and teachers.

Engagement. Thanks to educational technology lessons are more engaging and suits to all of the students learning styles. The lesson built with an online whiteboard is more attractive to students since it includes many different types of materials: images, videos, and text. Videos created with interactive whiteboards keep students’ attention for a longer time and keep them more involved in the topic.  

Accessibility. Online whiteboards simplify and shorten the distance between student and teacher. Many students need their teacher’s support and extra help once school is over. Video tutorials recorded with an interactive whiteboard provide with the opportunity to rewatch the lessons anytime anywhere. Teachers can prepare lessons for more advanced students or for those who need extra explanation. Moreover, many apps enable to add subtitles to videos, so non-native students or students with disabilities can fully understand the topic!

Personalization. Including text, images, audio, and video in a presentation allows everyone, including those with learning disabilities, to enjoy the lesson. Each student has its own preferences regarding the type of materials to use while mastering the topic. Some students prefer text over the video, and some of them prefer audio over the visual presentation. Creations build with an online whiteboard combines all of these materials allowing each student to find what works best.

Flexibility. Studying has never been as flexible as it is with interactive whiteboards. Created and uploaded videos can be reachable from anywhere anytime. Students can watch them when they are sick or skipped a day at school. Students are able to re-watch lessons, rewind them, have a look at a specific part, or skip it.

Environment-friendly. One of the biggest benefits of introducing educational technology in the classroom is undoubtedly the impact it can have on the environment. Switching from a traditional method to digital solutions reduces the use of paper, and improves the way study materials are reusable.

Saving time. With an online whiteboard, it’s very easy to introduce a concept of flipped learning. It means that students watch the lesson at home and then come prepared to work in the classroom. It saves a lot of time for teachers that are not forced to explain the topic. Instead of that, they can focus on spending more time on practical activities and involving students one-on-one.

Obstacles in using interactive whiteboards

Introducing interactive whiteboards brings many benefits in the classroom, but every solution has its cons. Teachers can meet some obstacles while using modern whiteboards. Below we described a few that should be considered while planning the strategy.

Access to technology. Many students simply do not have computers or iPads at home. Teachers need to make sure that all students have access to their lessons before they decide to implement only video lessons instead of traditional materials.

Price. When it comes to planning using an interactive whiteboard in the classroom the cost of it is always pointed out as a con. Providing each student with a tablet or a notebook is an enormous investment, that not every school is able to afford.

Technical Inability.  Many teachers are not comfortable with modern technology. Old school teachers find using an interactive whiteboard difficult to use, while others complain about having to change their style according to the device. Even though there are still teachers who refuse to change their teaching styles, changes are necessary, and students wealth should be a priority.

Teacher Training. Once a school decides to invest in such a modern device as an interactive whiteboard, it needs to make sure that all teachers are prepared to use it. To take the full potential of educational technology each teacher need to complete the training on how to properly use it.

Best interactive whiteboards

ShowMe

ShowMe is a free interactive whiteboard that allows teachers to create video tutorials and share them with students in an easy and seamless way. The app is also integrated with Google Classroom, Google Drive and Dropbox. Lessons are uploaded on the platform and reachable from the browser. With the app, teachers are able to generate subtitles to their videos, so lessons are more accessible for students with special needs. Moreover, teachers can track the progress of every student with the Analytics feature. It is possible to see how many times students have seen the video and which parts have been rewatched. It gives an idea of what content has been mastered or where students are still gloving over.

Explain Everything

The app is an online and mobile whiteboard for collaboration and learning at a distance. The app enables to turn an infinite canvas into a mixed-media playground of videos, images, text, and sketches that captivate, engage, and inspire others. Explain Everything has a variety of features like special sets for schools, group activities, tutorials, and interactive experiences.

Educreations

Educreations is a unique interactive whiteboard and screencasting tool that’s simple, powerful, and fun to use. It allows to annotate, animate, and narrate nearly any type of content. With the app, the teacher can create powerful video lessons that students and colleagues can access any time, as needed. Created concepts can be instantly shared with others via many different channels.

Drawp for School

The app provides with the option to create and send templates to students. The whiteboard can be used as an alternative to paper-based graphic organizers, have students fill them out and share them using the app. When planning a project or answering questions, students can brainstorm digitally and even make collaborative presentations by creating pictures to add to a slide show.  Students can work independently or with a peer to create original drawings or work off of an assignment shared by their teacher.

Wrap up

Educational technology such as online whiteboards increases teacher-student engagement and boost performance in the long run. Students become independent learners, with high problem solving and technology-related skills that can benefit them in the future.

Interactive whiteboards take teaching and learning processes to another level with flexibility and accessibility that are provided both for teachers and students. Teachers are able to have all their content organized, accessible and reusable, without worrying about preparing copies and printing handouts. Interactive whiteboards can bring so many benefits to the classroom, that this solution should not be ignored by any school!

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