Educational display solutions like electronic learning boards are effective learning tools — particularly in remote and hybrid classes. Also called e-boards or smart boards, these interactive classroom displays allow for more collaborative lessons and provide instant access to open educational resources (OERs), a vast library of free teaching materials.

Here’s how e-boards can be used in the classroom, and how educators can maximize the technology’s potential:

How to use an e-board for teaching

What precisely is an e-board?

Electronic boards are interactive displays that replace old-school chalkboards and dry-erase boards, and open up a range of additional capabilities. The portable Samsung Flip 2 display and wall-mounted interactive whiteboards, for example, allow educators to create highly visual presentations, access digital resources, run multimedia files and annotate directly on screen. Multiple students can work on the screen simultaneously, and remote learners can view the same content from their home computers.

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The supporting technology for these interactive displays has been around since the ’90s, but today’s digital whiteboards offer far more capabilities for the modern classroom. On Samsung’s Flip 2, the all-in-one touch solutions run off an embedded computing device, negating the need for an external PC.

Other benefits of the Samsung Flip 2 include:

  • It can be mounted on a wheeled stand for easy mobility
  • You can annotate and draw on it with a variety of virtual writing tools, including paintbrush mode and fingertip
  • Its menus are simple to navigate, so you can quickly change pen color or connect a laptop or tablet

Perhaps the biggest benefit of e-boards over chalkboards and whiteboards is that all your classroom activity can be saved, stored, printed and shared. Classroom lessons become living documents that can be revisited, refined and expanded. Digital whiteboards can also be used to tailor lessons to different students’ level of understanding and learning style. While many people are auditory learners, others thrive on the visual cues of text, images and video — and others learn best with tactile, hands-on examples.

Overall, these boards make lessons more interactive, fun and engaging for students. They also make it easier for teachers to structure their lessons, and make tasks like reviews and revisions more convenient because work is saved digitally and can be easily referred back to and edited.

How to find open educational resources for e-boards

Combined with open resources, interactive displays put a world of knowledge at your fingertips. These OERs — in the public domain — provide a vast library of educational materials for educators, and they’re available with open licenses. That means they’re legally free for educators and students alike to download, copy, use, modify and reshare. OER material varies from full e-books to lecture notes and assignments, as well as project resources like images, videos and animations.

As a starting point for exploring all this material, OER Commons provides a single entry point into a collection of more than 50,000 open resources. Educators can also make use of the U.S. National Science Digital Laboratory, which has a huge OER collection across dozens of categories.

Teachers can also tap into resources that focus on teaching with electronic boards: Sites like Topmarks provide free-to-use educational materials such as lesson plans and suggested classroom activities, specifically tuned to e-boards and other interactive whiteboard solutions.

The main idea behind OERs is to reduce educational barriers — like cost, format and language — and ensure teachers have access to a wealth of materials they can use to bolster their lesson plans and better engage with their students. OERs also allow teachers to share learning materials with other teachers around the world, saving each other time on lesson planning and sharing their perspectives.

All of this material is digital or digitized, which makes interactive displays the optimal medium for accessing it. This technology can directly engage students and encourage collaboration on a big screen, while allowing classroom access to locally stored and online files — which can be saved, stored and shared. With this combination of smart classroom technology and OERs, educators finally have the tools they need to bring their best learning ideas to life.

Get your free guide to giving every student a voice in a hybrid learning world with Samsung and Cisco. And explore a full range of versatile interactive displays that can help teachers connect with students in hybrid and remote classrooms.

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Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes is a well-known veteran in the digital signage industry. He consults to some of the world’s largest brands on their digital signage strategy and technical needs, but also spends time mentoring start-ups. A former daily newspaper journalist, Haynes has for the past decade written a highly-respected blog about digital signage, Sixteen:Nine. Follow Dave on twitter @sixteennine

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