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The quest for better student engagement has been aided dramatically through the introduction of digital whiteboarding. Modern software solutions can offer the key benefits of traditional whiteboards, while also allowing for far greater interactivity and simultaneously helping to facilitate a greater level of collaboration.
In this article, we will explore how digital whiteboarding software and interactive whiteboards can help to improve the learning experience for students.
Digital whiteboarding software solutions have a number of potential benefits for educators, but one of the most significant is the ability to achieve better student engagement. This boost to engagement can occur for a number of different reasons, but the new opportunities that are on offer for interactivity and collaboration play a particularly major role in this.
In addition to serving as a direct replacement for a traditional blackboard or whiteboard, digital whiteboarding offers features like digital augmentation and online connectivity. This enhances the teaching experience in several ways, but arguably the single biggest plus point here is the ability to allow students to take a more active and central role within the classroom.
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The interactivity on offer from digital whiteboarding represents a major advantage over more traditional chalkboards or whiteboards. Aside from the core function of allowing teachers and students to write and draw on the board, a typical user interface also offers options to undo and redo previous work, clear the board instantly, and even send information to other devices. Furthermore, audio, videos, and images can all be added to the screen with ease.
In truth, there are many additional ways that digital whiteboarding solutions can help to make classes more interactive, and with the increasing shift away from projector-based interactive whiteboards, towards interactive flat-panel displays with touch-screen capabilities, this interactivity is only going to increase in the years ahead.
Whether it is the introduction of gamification elements, the use of polling or other audience response options to liven classroom debates, or the ability for both teachers and students to use digital media to support their points, the interactivity on offer can help to make lessons far more entertaining and avoid situations where students are expected to passively listen.
The best modern whiteboarding software will allow digital whiteboard displays or slide show presentations to be exported or otherwise shared with other devices. This can be invaluable in some modern classroom settings, allowing students to view the board or presentation on either a laptop or tablet and add their own annotations or personal notes to it.
Not only can this help to facilitate better student engagement in the moment, but it can also serve as a valuable resource when students need to look back on previous work from the class, such as during preparation for exams, or when writing essays.
Another way in which digital whiteboarding has helped to redesign educational tasks is through the facilitation of a far greater level of collaboration, and there are many examples of this. For instance, when it comes to students delivering group presentations, they now have the ability to work together, drawing on the board, presenting a PowerPoint style presentation, sharing video clips, following hyperlinks to online resources, and much more.
Collaborative classroom discussions or brainstorming sessions can be enhanced through this ability to work together, adding different elements to the board. Indeed, some digital whiteboarding solutions will even allow students to cast content from their own devices onto the screen at the front of the class, allowing the entire class to benefit from useful content they may have found online, whether it is a piece of research or an educational video.
The ability for teachers to receive instant feedback from students through polling and audience response options can help to form group consensuses more easily. Meanwhile, the shared experience that is often generated through the use of interactive digital technology in the classroom has even been shown to improve learning outcomes and overall student engagement among children as young as 3-6 years of age.
The greater level of interactivity and collaboration that can be provided by digital whiteboards has helped to make them an integral part of many modern academic institutions. Whether it is the use of digital media on the boards, capitalizing on the interactivity provided by interactive flat-panel displays, or the ability to easily share content with the rest of the class, whiteboarding software can greatly aid teachers looking to increase student engagement.