Have iPads put digital whiteboards on life support?

Most classrooms these days use whiteboards. This next generation blackboard has allowed teachers to write and erase better for many years, and by using an interactive whiteboard (IWB), by projecting images and using digital responders, teachers can write and highlight important information to stimulate students. However, in the age of the iPad, is there still a place for digital whiteboards?

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The rise of the iPad in classrooms

Released in 2010, the iPad quickly made its way into the classroom as the cost for some models became more affordable. While not all schools are equipped with per student iPads, many classes do have several iPads for use in particular sessions. The value is clear: why ask students to concentrate on one large board in front of the class when they could more comfortably hold the information in their hand? In addition, students with learning difficulties can have their setting adjusted to their needs.

Managing costs

However, as with everything in education, cost is a factor. The cost of equipping a 30 strong classroom with iPads can’t be overlooked. An IWB can cost upwards of ‎£1,000, but even at-cost an iPad per child is ‎£200, and this is before the tech support administration fees. An IWB can also do almost everything an iPad does.

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But on the flipside, iPads are very easy to use. An iPad session simply requires the teacher to turn on their iPad and begin swiping from a chosen learning program. According to reputation, digital whiteboards and their projectors are incredibly complex and leave many teachers reluctant to start them up.

Back to basics

But whiteboards offer something the iPad can’t – a shared physical and tactile experience. Using dry wipe whiteboards for children means having the students get up out of their chairs, approach the board and pick up a pen. This also encourages confidence and better social behaviour. Likewise, using dry wipe boards at home from a supplier such as https://wedgewhiteboards.co.uk/product-category/education/ means children can learn better pen control and can quickly erase mistakes.

Digital whiteboards may be costly and cumbersome compared to iPad but there is still a place in classrooms for dry wipe white boards. By using both tools, teachers and parents can keep children stimulated while learning, and at the same time support fine motor function and coordination skills.

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