Benefits of Whiteboards in the Classroom
- 13th October 2021
- Anthony Bowie
Teachers face the challenge of keeping students engaged every day, but one solution to this problem is one of the simplest learning tools in the classroom: the traditional whiteboard. Writable surfaces can be easily integrated into the learning space by adding mobile whiteboards, mini handheld whiteboards, whiteboard tabletop surfaces, or even whiteboards to the back of storage.
Whiteboards allow students to showcase their thinking, share ideas, brainstorm and best of all it’s not permanent! Students realize the power of being able to erase and are not as intimidated to share and learn together.
In a 2019 study, teachers expressed that whiteboard surfaces had a significant impact on student engagement in the classroom. Whiteboards not only improve engagement, but also offer benefits for teaching and learning.
Here are some of the benefits of whiteboards in the classroom:
Increased Student Engagement
To grab and maintain students’ attention, teachers need to find ways that fully engage students’ brains and bodies. Students often work standing at the whiteboard, which increases alertness and allows students to actively engage in the activity. Working at a whiteboard also utilizes visual, sensory, motor, and social-emotional senses and skills, which engages more learning styles––making whiteboards a great way to engage a wide variety of students.
Learning Zone Differentiation
Whiteboard activities are often done in a different learning zone from where students spend most of their time during the school day. This learning zone differentiation helps to promote active learning and improves memory and cognition as students enter a new learning space that is more engaging and interactive.
Additionally, mobile whiteboards offer the benefit of segmenting different areas of the classroom into distinct learning zones, as these surfaces also act as temporary walls. This separation filters out many of the distractions of the classroom and helps students focus more deeply on learning.
Fine Motor Skill Improvements
Especially for young students, vertical whiteboard activities offer a great opportunity to practice and improve students’ fine motor skills. Fine motor skills develop first through large movements and working on vertical surfaces supports students’ progression towards dexterity and control of these movements. Working on vertical surfaces also promotes an upright posture that engages core muscles and increases hand and shoulder movements that lead to greater strength and coordination.
Flexible for Teaching
Whiteboards are a flexible option for educators who are utilizing an active teaching methodology and want to be able to teach in a variety of settings and groups of students. Whiteboards at the front of the classroom are helpful for whole-class activities or for sharing instructions, formulas, or other important assignment information with students. Mobile whiteboards can be moved around the room to provide ample work surfaces for small-group activities, student presentations, and more.
These are just a few of the benefits of using whiteboards in the classroom to improve learning and teaching. Whiteboard surfaces are a practical and flexible addition to any classroom that wants to promote active learning, improve student engagement, and learning outcomes.