A whiteboard--typically a magnetic metal sheet coated with a glossy, white surface--is the modern variation of the traditional school blackboard. Whiteboards--also called dry-erase boards--are white instead of black and use dry erase markers instead of chalk to write. They make viable assets in classrooms, homes and offices.
Simple and Reusable
Whiteboards are simple to use and require no special skills. They, like their blackboard counterparts, are reusable and can be erased quickly and reused for quick explanations and spontaneous work. Whiteboards are great for explaining math problems, reading texts, matching exercises, ranking activities, discussion activities and other "unfolding processes."
Whiteboards are effective in numerous settings that require spontaneous, quick-feedback. They are used in interactive exercises, brainstorming sessions and classroom discussions. Whiteboards do not need to be hooked up to electrical outlets or computers and can be used anytime. There are a large variety of whiteboards available, varying in size and features. Laminate whiteboards, magnetic drywipe boards, lacquered steel whiteboards, portable easel whiteboards, two-hinged paneled whiteboards and hand-held whiteboards are some of the most common types. Whiteboards can be mounted on walls or fitted in mobile easels.
Whiteboards are non-messy to use and do not produce harmful and allergenic dust particles, such as those produced by blackboards. Markers leave no dust on a facilitators clothing and marks can be easily wiped off.
Whiteboards are collaborative and encourage participation. More than one person can use the board at any given time, so whiteboards multiply response and participation. They are invaluable teaching tools that facilitate the input of everyone involved. Teachers routinely use them to motivate disinterested and shy students and reward and recognize the efforts of enthusiastic students. According to David Miller et. al., in the book "EXP Maths," whiteboards aid concentration, increase interaction and motivate teachers and pupils. They are an involved and dynamic approach to learning and make the learning experience fun and educational.
Whiteboards are cost effective, inexpensive and have low running costs. As of September 2010, plain white boards measuring 36 inches in length and 48 inches in width cost between $45 and $50, according to Office Depot. Erasers cost between $3 and $8 and dry-erase markers cost between $2 and $10 each. Whiteboards cost less than constantly using and discarding flip-charts and making multiple worksheets.
- whiteboard with empty yellow post-it note image by hans slegers from Fotolia.com