Chalkboards may seem like a memory of the past and while only some of us remember using chalkboards, everyone has used a whiteboard during class. Remote whiteboards are indispensable to the classroom and provide a shared space where everyone can visualize and understand information together. Not only can you visualize together, but everyone can work together and contribute to a shared medium.

Because whiteboards enable classrooms to engage on the same board together, they perform crucial roles in learning at any age. It is incredibly hard, however, to integrate whiteboards and positive collaboration into the classroom when you are operating from an online platform.  Due to the ongoing repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, many classrooms have been shifted online with no real end in sight.

It’s more important than ever that these classrooms, no matter the size or age, pivot to use online whiteboards. In this article, we will discuss the 5 most impactful ways that remote whiteboards engage the classroom.

People working on remote whiteboards engaging in classroom activities.

If you want to learn more about online whiteboards, check out our comprehensive guide, and visit our thought lab to explore more articles. Also, check out our post on the Lander Inc. blog where we talk about why virtual whiteboards enhance marketing teams.

Remote Whiteboards Classroom Applications

As we’ve already seen, remote whiteboards applications do not stop merely at collaboration from a professional perspective. For many different reasons which we address in this article, remote whiteboards reach their collaborative potential in the classroom.

Among the numerous benefits of using online whiteboards, one of the biggest ones that stands out for instructors is the increase in student engagement. There are many methods that allow for teachers or instructors to better engage their classrooms, but mainly the possibilities online whiteboards offer allow for students to take leadership in their learning and adopt an integral role in their online education. 

Interactivity

The interactions digital whiteboards enable from students demonstrates a huge advantage over traditional collaboration methods. Besides allowing students to collaborate with each other and their instructors, they can also access a version history to amend their work instantly, transition quickly between diagrams and ideas, and collaborate from multiple different devices.

You can also engage with multimedia content, allowing for a more diverse range of materials to be utilized in the learning process. This could be links to helpful websites or charts/graphs that help explain information. Utilizing and engaging on content like this isn’t possible through traditional whiteboarding, so while there might be some struggles with online classrooms, there are also some possibilities that they unlock.

Multiple people interacting on remote whiteboards, demonstrating how versatile they are.

Features like live polls for the whole class mean that people can engage in a vote to answer any questions they want, effectively simulating and visualizing methods of raising hands and voting on options. This is just another example of the features of online whiteboards helping to engage the classroom from multiple different angles.

Editing

Due to their online nature, virtual whiteboards can import and export dense multimedia content. Top-tier whiteboarding programs can not only post and manipulate this data but can create and use slideshows that integrate the learning elements you need.

Having a presentation shared with the entire classroom makes student’s experience of this learning much more interactive, allowing them to create their own notes, annotations, and reminders directly to the presentation. This method of note-taking is highly effective and helps cement information into the student’s memory.

By granting students the ability to take notes in a unique and personal way, you create a positive environment for their learning to occur. They can study in any way that suits them best, empowering them in their learning experience.

Remote whiteboards being used for collaboration between people.

Collaboration

Virtual whiteboards have effectively restructured the way that people envision and engage in collaboration. By granting students the ability to operate on the same board not only with teams but with their whole class, expands the collaborative potential of the entire classroom. 

For example, during a brainstorming activity, students don’t need to operate in turns, they can all add their personal insights to the board simultaneously, making for a more efficient and collaborative instance of collaboration. Not only is this more efficient, but it helps students engage in their own thought processes, not hindered by the contributions of others or by the infamous pressure of the classroom.

Remote whiteboards are catalysts for collaboration at any level, and especially for students, they make very effective collaboration tools.

Permanence

Permanence can be a real struggle when students miss a class or forget to write down that one important note and they cannot directly access the materials they were learning from. This poses a big problem for students and traditional whiteboards aren’t of much help.

While traditional whiteboards are either relegated to a grainy image or erased forever, online whiteboards exist permanently for students to access whenever they need a reference or a reminder. This fundamentally changes the ability of students to engage in class and then go back and access the required materials later. This means that if students experience a misunderstanding or miscommunication during the class, they will always have direct access to the source document that explains exactly what they were looking to learn.

Two people collaborating on virtual whiteboards with each other.

They can access the source document, and thanks to the annotations they can use on whiteboards, they can also write notes directly on the board or slides, meaning they will have the important stuff saved.

Collaboration becomes more accessible through this medium too, and there is a greater ability for students to understand each other’s contributions and thought processes by checking in on the board at a later time

Language Learning Possibilities

Remote whiteboards expand the language learning possibilities across the globe, something that has been impossible before these whiteboards were present. 

Teaching in a normal classroom setting is positive using virtual whiteboards and allows you to engage the entire classroom. Especially in times like this, it can be really hard to keep students present, and providing engaging new technology can keep students involved and interested in learning.

Before you could use a shared platform online, teaching languages from a distance was borderline impossible because you need a visual aid that accompanies your teaching. With virtual whiteboards, you now have that exact tool. Not only can you share visuals but you can actively contribute and collaborate on the board with whoever you are teaching to or learning from.

This opens up a world of possibilities for teachers and students to expand their abilities internationally. Expert teachers can access students in need across the world and students who need a native-speaking teacher now have that at their disposal. Virtual whiteboards are the perfect tools to expand the ability of language learning and exchange to the entire world.

People working in an online classroom.

Conclusion

Classrooms and schools have been some of the areas hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only can students not attend school and experience all the joy that comes with it, but they also lose out on the valuable collaboration they can achieve in the classroom. While this may not be attainable through traditional collaboration methods, it is made possible by the engagement of virtual whiteboards. 

Here is an overview of the 5 biggest ways remote whiteboards engage classrooms:

  1. Interactivity – Students are able to collaborate with each other, their instructors, access document’s version history, integrate multimedia content, and engage from multiple different angles.
  2. Editing – Editing presentations, boards, and other documents directly on the source makes learning more informative and personal.
  3. Collaboration – By granting students the ability to collaborate with their entire class simultaneously on the same board, you increase the collaborative potential of the entire group.
  4. Permanence – Collaboration and the takeaways from lessons are now more accessible than ever, creating an environment where referencing previous knowledge is an inherent possibility.
  5. Language Learning Possibilities – Using a shared visual board means that teachers and students can expand their learning potential across borders and engage in serious lingual education.

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