Should You Use Smartboards in Your Classrooms?
As innovation takes over the planet and our daily lifestyles change, the smartphone becomes our constant companion. The younger generation is far more advanced in this phase of life. Their exposure to smartphones and tablets begins at a young age, as mothers use these devices to divert the attention of their toddlers when they have some alone time. As toddlers’ gadgets and outdoor activities are being replaced by technology, Primary learning is shifting towards technology.
Institutions across the world are embracing the equipment in their classrooms with cutting-edge technology, such as interactive touch screens. Smart boards, in particular, have been used to improve how educators deliver their lessons and how their students learn them. This article will discuss how Smart Boards affect the learning experience of students in classrooms and their daily lives.
What Are Smart Boards?
Smart boards are large display devices that use touch detection and are often installed on classroom walls. They are also known as interactive whiteboards or electronic whiteboards. Their touch recognition feature enables teachers and students to write, navigate, and erase using a pen, finger, or palm. You can use them just like a computer to edit documents, browse websites, and work together on tasks.
Scroll towards the bottom of the article for our recommendations on which 5 Smartboards we recommend.
What Are The Advantages of Using Smart Boards?
Interactive Learning Experience
Using a smart board in your classroom introduces students to a whole new method of learning. Interactive learning requires students and teachers to be actively involved in the process. The hands-on activities entailed in these devices promote learning and foster understanding.
The degree of engagement a tool provides impacts the effectiveness of interactive learning. This is why smart boards are more effective than traditional tools like whiteboards and projector screens. While a whiteboard has limited interaction, smart boards allow up to four users to write on the screen at the same time. Students can write on the screen with smart pens, which come in different colors.
Teachers and students can also interact with the smart board screen with their fingers. These features encourage learners to collaborate and share ideas in real-time. A smart board is convenient for children in kindergarten.
The level of engagement of these interactive whiteboards enables preschool kids to respond to questions by writing on the screen. Teachers can create lessons that increase student involvement using interesting animations and graphics. The success of classroom learning can be greatly improved when young students are engaged.
A smart board is a highly adaptable and versatile display. It supports a variety of connections, including HDMI, audio ports, USB, and wireless connectivity. These connections will provide you with access to additional digital tools and resources, such as laptops, mobile phones, cameras, and web browsers.
You can connect a conference camera to the interactive whiteboard to enable remote learning. Absentee tutors can connect with their students using the smartboard’s videoconferencing feature.
Furthermore, students and teachers can find numerous online resources when a web browser is available. This can help them find useful references, such as videos and images, during lessons.
Teachers can incorporate different learning styles into their lessons because of the degree of flexibility. Different digital content can be used by teachers to make their classes more engaging. For instance, a teacher can use Google Maps during geography classes to enable students better understand the features of a mountain or lake being discussed.
Lower Maintenance Cost
Some educational institutions still need to be more open to digital tools in teaching applications. They believe digital tools are complex and may require higher maintenance costs.
It is true that staff must always be trained before they can use digital tools. However, when compared to traditional tools, digital tools generally require less maintenance. Before being sold to the general public, digital technologies such as smart boards are inspected and tested. As a result, the risk of equipment failure is reduced even further.
Smart boards do not require frequent maintenance in the long run. Whiteboards, on the other hand, require regular maintenance. Marker pens must be refilled regularly by teachers. The whiteboard surface needs regular cleaning to remove dirt and residue.
Another conventional display that can result in very high long-term maintenance costs is the projector screen. It requires maintenance on an ongoing basis.
Unlike a projector screen or a whiteboard, a smart board requires no ongoing maintenance. Teachers may only clean the screens now and then to remove oily fingerprints and dust. Finally, when maintenance costs are cut, the institution or school can invest more money in areas that benefit students and teachers.
A Classroom Attention Grabber
Humans are visual beings. We all prefer visuals that are vibrant and dynamic. Materials written in chalk or marker pens can no longer entice students. They are colorless and static.
Smart boards are an excellent alternative to chalkboards and whiteboards. Its high-definition screen can provide a more vivid and sharp image. Furthermore, most smart boards on the market offer various screen size options. There is always a screen size that can meet the desired audience size, whether the classroom is small or large.
Another feature distinguishing a smart board from conventional tools is its ability to share digital content. It can read and write a wide variety of digital file formats, including videos, images, graphics, PDFs, animations, and PowerPoint presentations. Digital content can pique students’ interest and motivate them to take action.
Smart Boards Compliment Every Learning Style
An adaptable smart board can accommodate any learning style, regardless of the student. Visual learners benefit from the countless visual aids that can be displayed on the large screen of the smart board. You can use your smart board to play music, podcasts, videos, and other sound-producing learning materials for auditory learners.
The smart board’s touch screen provides a fun way for students to learn. They can complete their lessons and stay engaged if they are kinesthetic learners who often use their hands and perform physical activities to solve problems. Multiple students may also use the board at the same time.
Better Assessing Techniques
As a teacher, you can make quizzes and assessments much more interactive, resulting in better learning experiences. You can also use multiple-choice tests in primary and elementary school classrooms. These encourage students to participate more and understand why they are being assessed, reducing the likelihood of cheating.
You can make quizzes and assessments more enjoyable. This can be achieved with the help of smart boards, which have built-in software specially developed for classwork and hand-held response systems.
How Much Do Smart Boards Cost?
The interactive whiteboard market has expanded at a fast pace in recent years. When interactive whiteboards first became popular, they were only in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. You can now find interactive whiteboards around the world.
The cost of a smart board is frequently the most pressing concern for those researching the advantages of having one. Cost is a major consideration when looking for remote solutions that will benefit an entire institution, aid in-class sessions, or elevate the home classroom. Especially now, fastly adapting to an evolving world is causing unexpected financial costs.
A quality smart board will cost between $2000.00 and $6000.00. Your desired size, features, and accessories will determine the amount you spend.
What Extra Features Do Smart Boards Have As Price Goes Up?
There are a number of factors that affect the cost of a smart board, as explained below.
Size is the most obvious factor that would raise the price of an Interactive Whiteboard. The basic rule of thumb is that larger screen sizes are more expensive. When measured diagonally, the most popular sizes for smart boards range from 55 inches to 98 inches. The most common sizes bought range from 65 to 84 inches.
Smart Board Software
Software is commonly a hidden or unexpected cost that increases the cost of an interactive whiteboard. Apps such as Google Jamboard and Microsoft Whiteboard have helped many businesses and classrooms transition into the new digital era.
They have achieved this by replacing traditional whiteboards with interactive whiteboards for increased efficiency. Almost every smart board includes basic whiteboarding software; however, there are some things to look for when assessing whiteboard software.
Text and Shape Recognition: The best smart board software will convert your handwriting into editable text. It can also fix your circles and squares so you can arrange them however you want and create perfect diagrams and organizational charts.
Pre-made templates: Do you need a sheet of engineering paper, a blank music staff, or a football field to jot down your thoughts? With a smart board – these templates include a screen, allowing you to draw your latest play directly over a virtual layout. Then save and distribute it as needed. However, this feature comes at an extra cost, so you should dig deeper.
Cloud-based collaboration: If you need to communicate with people outside the office or classroom, the best models include a tool that allows you to collaborate remotely on the board. You can send them a link or a QR code, allowing them to connect to your display and begin writing on the board from any location.
Almost all smart boards include a built-in computer that documents and stores files and presentations directly on the television. The most pricey models allow you to log into your touchscreen TV and access files stored on network drives, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
Popular brand products are only sometimes expensive due to their high quality or cost of production. They are so costly because people are still willing to pay for them. Some inexpensive brands offer higher quality at lower prices than luxury ones. Like any other product, some smart board brands may cost more than others.
Different learning institutions have different standards for selecting the best interactive smart boards. However, regardless of your criteria or application, these features are critical if you need to use a smart board in a classroom. Without these features, your application will never run smoothly. Teachers require smart boards with the best features to effectively assist students and children in learning.
What is a Smart Board Used for In a Classroom?
A smart board is mainly developed for web browsing as well as project work. You can also use it with either your finger or a mouse. It is helpful for teachers because interactive whiteboards can retrieve information and save data.
Smart boards can also open PowerPoint presentations and Microsoft Word documents, saving teachers from having to write important points on a regular board. Presentations are much easier and run much more smoothly. When teachers or instructors want to show a clip, they can easily find one on YouTube or download it.
This gives smart boards a major benefit and may also improve students’ knowledge of the subject. Teachers from around the world can also connect and exchange ideas on the best teaching techniques and practices. Below are some of the uses of smart boards in a classroom setup.
Smart Boards Act as a Personal Assistant
A smart board can supplement learning content because students learn best through in-person interaction. While lecturing, teachers can easily navigate around using a board.
Teachers can prepare for class much more quickly, for example, by integrating PowerPoints into their daily lessons. Smart boards are also low-maintenance because they do not require spray cleaning like traditional boards.
Teachers can connect to any device, including video, microscopes, and digital cameras.
Effective Key Points
When a teacher uses PowerPoint or a video to deliver a lecture, they can highlight any text to enable learners to understand the key points of a topic.
This helps students prepare to study for tests and understand what to expect. Students get extra points for being innovative with how they take notes.
Colors also play a crucial role in memory. Teachers and learners can remember which information relates to which topic based on the colors.
Using a whiteboard in a classroom means learners will focus more on problem-solving. A teacher can present a question to the class and then hand the interactive whiteboard over to the students to solve.
Students can collaborate more effectively when the board is at the center of the lesson. They can also connect to the lessons better because of the advanced technology they use every day.
Respond to Student Inquiries
A teacher or a student can present a problem on the board and have students respond to it. Make a point of looking up the answer on the smart board and saving it beforehand.
The class can then respond to the question. After that, open the saved data with the solution and send it to any students who need it.
Teachers are able to save paper by uploading learning materials on the interactive whiteboard. When most information is uploaded on the board, students can access their syllabus by going to the class portal or website.
Flip the Switch
By saving data on the smart boards, teachers can assist students who missed classes or need extra attention. Absentee learners can also watch videos and presentations at home as well as solve problems with their teachers remotely.
Pros and Cons of Using Smart Boards
Touchscreen: One of the main benefits of a smart board is that it has a touchscreen and enables users to change the data on the screen with their fingers. The inclusion of this feature has greatly simplified and improved its use.
The touchscreen aspect also makes the classes for small children much more enjoyable because they are much more involved. Because the interactive whiteboards have touchscreens, the instructor can easily move the data around.
Online Help: The smart board allows users to connect to the internet via the device. As a result, instructors can use any software that is available on the internet. The use of an interactive whiteboard also allows instructors to play clips from the internet as needed.
Imaging: The high-quality imaging provided by these interactive whiteboards makes the classes far more interesting and informative. The students’ involvement and collaboration grow, which improves the overall quality of the class.
Technical inability: Many old-school teachers need to be more comfortable with modern technology, including the smart board. Some teachers find the device difficult to use, while others may protest the modification of their teaching style as a result of the device.
Some schools need help to acquire fully utilized devices, and the interactive whiteboard frequently falls on the wrong side of the debate.
Excessive screen time: Many schools are increasingly using screens in their institutions. While technology is often beneficial to many children, the health risks associated with excessive screen time, such as obesity, are well known.
Screens present additional challenges for parents of children with ADHD as well as other learning differences. They can have a negative impact on brain development because children spend fewer hours playing and participating in physical activity. Getting away from screens can help learners focus and think more clearly.
Size Limitations: Young and short students may have difficulty reaching the top portions of smart boards. Teachers may find stepladders or stools helpful, but there is the risk of students falling while attempting to solve math problems or filling sections out of reach. Educators can reduce the projection, but there is less space on the board for tasks to be completed.
Learners in the back of the room may also have difficulty seeing the interactive whiteboard over students’ heads in the front row. Furthermore, because whiteboards aren’t as long as chalkboards, teachers can’t leave homework assignments and tasks on whiteboards for long periods.
The cost: One of the major drawbacks of using an interactive whiteboard in the classroom is the cost. Unlike a chalkboard, which is relatively affordable, the price of an electronic smart whiteboard ranges from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.
Acquiring smartboards for an entire institution can be incredibly expensive, especially when several are required for different classes.
Smart Board Uses Across Age Groups
Different age groups may use interactive whiteboards for different purposes. However, the majority of its features are for general use. A smartboard, for example, can provide an interactive experience that converts passive learners into an active audience. The multi-writing feature enables multiple users to write on the screen at the same time.
The ability to directly annotate, draw, or write comments on a displayed document or image enables all audiences to better understand the content. Regardless of their age, humans are visual beings, and visual cues help them remember information more effectively.
How Preschool Teachers Use Smart Boards
Motion in Kindergarten Lessons: Young children have a relatively short attention span. They tend to respond better to instructions that include movement and hands-on activities. Smart boards help preschoolers participate more actively in lessons.
They respond positively to the colorful graphics, which are easier for a large crowd to view on a big screen. Preschoolers can sort items on an interactive whiteboard using various input methods to move virtual items around. This demonstrates what they know about a specific subject.
Make Digital Learning Available to Preschoolers: Teachers are helping young learners improve their presentation skills by giving showing them how to manipulate input devices on smart boards for a classroom setting.
Smart boards for classrooms have transformed how lessons are taught and how teachers manage their classrooms, including simple record-keeping tasks, engaging student interest, demonstrating complex information, and so on.
Music: Music activates all aspects of a child’s growth and school readiness, including cognitive, language, social-emotional, motor, and overall literacy. It promotes the coordination of the body and mind. Early exposure to music helps children learn the sounds and meanings of words.
Preschool teachers usually display kid-friendly music and exercise on the smart board for everyone to see. This grows into one of the most popular lessons in the class over time. Interactive activities aid in the development of spatial awareness and gross motor skills.
Digital Stories: Teachers use interactive whiteboards to read aloud stories to preschool children. Projecting stories on the board makes them visible and engaging. These stories are an excellent way for preschoolers to learn letter names and sounds. Teachers also use pointers to help learners follow the story by pointing out letter names and sounds and how to read them properly.
Is the Smart Board the Right Choice for Your School?
While most institutions are transitioning to the digital world, evaluating the benefits of interactive boards before implementing them in your school is critical. Here are some things to think about before making the big move.
What to Buy Vs. Why You Should Buy
Planning for new technologies frequently begins with the question, “Why are we considering buying these? ” Are we buying devices to help teachers perform their duties better, or are we focusing on tools to equip learners with new skills?”
A well-thought-out purpose can provide a clear road map for subsequent decisions about selecting, implementing, and incorporating any new technology.
The Need For Remote Learning
If some or all of your students in the class are learning remotely, smart boards will make it easier for teachers to bring in these students through video conferencing. There is no need to install any additional cameras. Students at home can interact with their peers as well as the teacher. This not only enables but also encourages hybrid learning.
Affordability is an important aspect When thinking about buying smart boards for your learning institution. Can your organization afford high-quality smart boards? If so, how many of them will completely meet your requirements? You should also consider whether you can afford the maintenance costs.
Ensure to check all these boxes before deciding whether or not to incorporate interactive whiteboards in your school.
Screen Time Policy
Digital media is everywhere, from TVs to phones, Chromebooks, laptops, tablets, and other school-related technology. Children of all ages consume more digital media than ever before. Is “screen time” the best way to describe or measure children’s media consumption?
Media balance is most important in students’ daily activities outside of school. Every day, families in our school communities are presented with a myriad of media options. If teachers assist families in finding media balance at home, incorporating a smart board into your School’s learning activity will produce positive results.
Smart Boards as An Assistive Learning Technology
Smart boards are a tried-and-true solution for assistive technology used in the classroom. They benefit children with cognitive disabilities, hearing or vision impairments, mobility limitations, and children who face a language barrier.
Students with visual impairments, for example, find it easier to read from an interactive whiteboard because the text can be bolded, expanded, or highlighted. Teachers can also complement with audio so that students can listen to their lessons instead of looking across the room.
This is especially beneficial for children who have dyslexia and other reading difficulties. Teachers can record class lessons on the smart board for students to watch them again in smaller chunks and master a new concept at their own pace.
Top 5 Favorite Smart Boards For Preschool Classrooms
1. AG Neovo IFP-6502 Interactive Flat Panel Display
The AG Neovo IFP-6502 is an interactive display board. Its 65-inch digital display and 4k 3840 x 2160 HD screen resolution bring images to life in a way never seen before!
The use of 20-point multi-touch technologies enables a user-friendly interactive display in which users can draw with their finger or a special touch pen.
What’s cool about this screen is that it supports multiple users at the same time! The AG Neovo supports screen sharing via Airplay, Chromecast, and Miracast from different mobile devices.
This operating system, which supports both LAN as well as wireless connections, ensures that you are always connected.
2. SMARTBoard SB680-R2-846142 Interactive Whiteboard
This 77-inch smartboard whiteboard is not just an interactive whiteboard. It’s also a projector!
The projector function of the SB680-R2-846142 works wonders to produce balanced and high-quality images, with a contrast ratio of 1200:1 and excellent native resolution!
Users can easily draw or write on touch-sensitive surfaces with thumbs or touch pens. Thanks to innovative smart technologies, you can write or edit notes directly into your presentation using any computer application.
Its wall-mount design allows it to be easily set up at the front of the classroom. This is unquestionably an all-in-one interactive whiteboard!
3. DTEN ON 55-inch All-in-One Collaboration Device
The Dten is yet another fantastic smartboard. With a 55-inch display, students seated in the back of the classroom will have no trouble seeing the content. Its 4K resolution makes it brighter and crisper.
Students can effortlessly write or draw on the smart board with their fingers or touch pens when using a touch screen interface.
The Dten is not only great in terms of visuals but also in terms of audio! System-specific audio features, such as long-range audio sensors that produce crystal-clear sound.
4. Vibe All-in-one Interactive Smart Board
The Vibe OS allows for multi-device sharing and editing, and this smart board is one of the more aesthetically pleasing whiteboards on the market.
What’s great about this interactive whiteboard is that it includes a portable space, making it simple to transform any nontraditional classroom space into the ideal learning environment!
The Vibe OS is quick and simple to set up and use, with a 5-minute setup time. After configuring it, you’ll notice that the 55-inch HD screen makes viewing files clearer than ever!
Users can save their files to the Vibe Cloud or transfer them to other cloud storage services like Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dand Box.
5. Smart Tech Interactive Smart Board SBX85
This smart board and projector set includes all of the necessary accessories to get you started immediately. When you buy this smart board, you get a slew of collaborative tools, including
· A Smart Projector UX60.
· Two speakers.
· Two Smartpens for the board.
· One Smartboard tray.
· One eraser.
The Smart Tech’s internal speakers provide excellent audio quality, ensuring that audio presentations run more smoothly.
Easy finger-touch technology enables real-time collaboration. This quick-touch functionality is ideal for drawing, editing, and writing!
A low-gloss surface reduces eye strain and makes it easier to operate in bright classrooms.
We are all familiar with the chalkboards and blackboards that lined the walls of our classrooms. You could get powder all over your hands or clothes by passing these boards. Then things changed, and the famous blackboard turned white. Markers took the place of the brittle sticks of chalk that stain our clothes. Whiteboards are still popular, but what comes next?
Smartboards are a new technology that is transforming the nature of learning with applications in education and business. Incorporating these tools into classrooms is changing the way students learn and defines the future of learning.
These visual tools have transformed how teachers manage their classrooms. These include demonstrating complex information, engaging student interest, preparing students for the digital world, and assessing learning.
The goal of using a SMART Board is not to replace traditional book learning, paper testing, or hands-on experiences. Instead, they are intended to energize and engage students by varying instruction, getting them moving, and providing interesting ways to learn. As a result, when used appropriately, smart boards can be extremely beneficial to the current educational system, particularly to teachers and students alike.
-This article was written by Rebecca Calbert.
Rebecca is a licensed architect with over 30 years of experience. She owns and operates an architectural firm, Calbert Design Group, and educates her clients through the commercial real estate development process with online content at SaveOnBuilding.com. Rebecca’s “purpose” is to educate small business owners and protect them from what they don’t know.