No more chalk dust: The benefits of Smartboards in the classroom


Shay Aitken-Geddes

A smart board; modern and stylish way to engage in learning. Fits into any classroom setting.

The benefits of smart boards in schools are undeniably remarkable. They enhance teaching and the learning experience, allow better communication, are environmentally friendly, offer access to online information and tools, encourage interaction and sharing, integrate technology, are low maintenance, and provide flexibility. These boards are quite popular in classrooms and, according to the maker of these boards, “They are used in more than 1.5 million K-12 classrooms and by more than 30 million students globally.”  Research suggests that whiteboards encourage “[student engagement, motivation], and knowledge retention.”

Interactive whiteboards do a great job of enhancing the learning and teaching experience. These whiteboards can allow for multiple styles of media to be used, like pictures and videos, and interactive maps, illustrations, graphs, and games. These different styles are much more appealing to students than a hand drawn picture on a chalkboard, which gives students more motivation and excites them to learn. The boards also have touch screen technology, allowing anyone to easily use them and eliminates the problem if the stylus gets misplaced.   

The whiteboards are also environmentally friendly. Teachers now have the ability to show any piece of information possible without wasting paper. This gets rid of the need to print information, make copies, and share papers. Also, since these copy machines and extra papers won’t be needed, it will save schools money. In addition to being environmentally friendly, they are low maintenance. Since the boards do not require uncleanly chalk or markers that stain, the board does not need to be cleaned on a regular basis. And the information shown on the board can be modified or erased by using your fingers or the special pen that comes with the board.   

The whiteboards also do a great job of bringing communication to the classroom because they can connect to different classrooms and teachers. There are many ways to bring communication into classrooms with these boards. One example is that teachers can set up polls and quizzes on the board where students can use their phones to answer the questions. The whiteboard even works with different communication games like Quizlet and even Kahoot.  

Many online and interactive tools and resources are available for use with the whiteboards. They can access a wide variety of online databases like knowledge databases, online videos, and even news can all be imbedded to their lesson plans. Tools like calculators, rulers, protractors, and even graphs are also accessible using these whiteboards, which allows for math classes to benefit from these boards.

Another aspect of these boards is their ability to integrate technology. Many things can be set up to these boards that advance the learning experience. For example, objects like microscopes, document cameras, and video cameras can all be hooked up to the boards. These tools are very useful in all different types of classes, a microscope will be beneficial in science class, video and still photography cameras are a key part of a photography class, and document cameras are very convenient in all subjects.  

Interaction also plays a huge role with these boards. Students have the ability to show their learning through touching, drawing, and writing on the board. This makes learning interactive and fun, and more understandable with the ability to easily show experiments, draw shapes, and write information. Drawing shapes is especially helpful in math class for everyone to see, as opposed to handing out multiple resource papers. The science classes can benefit from the interactive online experiments because everyone can go up to the board and take turns doing the experiment. Finally, all class subjects can benefit from the ability to write information on the board as it can be helpful when students are taking notes.  

Over the last seven years interactive whiteboards have been taking over classrooms bringing many technological advancements which enhance learning, provide interactive tools, flexibility, technology integration, bring excitement to the classroom, and are environmentally friendly. We can only wonder what future smartboards will bring us.