Educators today are working hard to help students catch up from two years of remote and interrupted education. Classroom tools such as interactive smart boards can’t remove all the challenges, but they can help teachers boost engagement and bridge the gap between in-person and remote learning.

Dozens of studies show that using smart boards for teaching enhances the learning process, increases student engagement and improves their knowledge retention. Samsung’s Flip 2 and 85-inch Interactive Display, for example, allow teachers and students to write intuitively — using their finger, a stylus or another writing utensil — then save and share their work right from the board. With audio and video support, the touchscreen display can also access internet- or server-based content, making them easy to integrate into existing lesson plans.

Here are eight ways you can use an interactive whiteboard to improve the classroom learning experience.

1. Get competitive in the classroom

Many teachers want to know: Can a smart board be used as a whiteboard? Yes, due to its touch screen functionality, teachers and students can draw or write equations, imagery or text directly on the surface.

Interactive whiteboards like Samsung’s 85-inch Interactive Display support up to 20 touch points, so a group of students can work on the screen simultaneously. They might race to see who can solve an equation faster, or who can find a prepositional phrase first. This helps students put their learning to the test in lighthearted, engaging ways.

2. Highlight what’s important

Teachers and students can highlight words, answers, photos — pretty much anything that’s on the smart board. Teachers can highlight specific phrases as well as important facts. For example, you might ask students to highlight misspelled words on the screen or highlight the correct answer to a problem.

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3. Take a virtual tour of a museum or historical location

One of the best ways to use smart boards for teaching and learning is to connect to the internet to play and display audio and video files. Teachers can use the board’s web browser to take an interactive tour of Ellis Island in New York while they’re teaching about immigration or take a virtual field trip to Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution while teaching American history — without having to leave the classroom.

4. Interactive whiteboard fill-in-the-blanks

There are hundreds of websites for engaging math lessons — and many of them were created especially for interactive whiteboard use. Sites like Math Playground, Eduscapes, PBS Kids and the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives give you starting points for how to use a smart board in the classroom. Anything you’d normally print out for the class can be done on the whiteboard, paper-free.

5. Create your own calendar, game board and more

The Flip 2 can be customized with preloaded templates. You can choose between game boards, calendars, world maps, blank sheet music, menu boards and more. You can keep everyone on track with a daily agenda, annotate and fill in maps during social studies or help budding recorder players learn “Mary Had a Little Lamb” — all from the same smart board.

6. Share your presentations

These interactive whiteboards allow for screen sharing, so teachers and students can easily project a PC display — or any device’s screen — to share with the class. You can also control your PC screen directly from the whiteboard, so you can create presentations, lessons and documents from home or in your downtime and bring them right into the classroom. With Airplay built into Samsung’s Flip 2 interactive whiteboard, there’s no need for wires or set-up. One click and everything on your personal device is right there on the smart board.

Using the built-in document viewer, you can open Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and PDF files directly from the board and make edits, too. You might use this feature as a tool for group essay editing, or to create classroom rules or other lists.

7. Read a story, and ask students to read along

Sites such as Scholastic Kids Home Base and Storyline Online feature popular children’s books that can be displayed right on your interactive whiteboard. Storyline Online’s videos feature books read by professional actors, and books are searchable by grade level, run time, author and title. In addition, many school districts may have access to e-books, which teachers can download onto their own devices and share to the interactive whiteboard screen so the whole class can see.

8. Connect with remote students

When students are sick or absent or can’t get to school due to inclement weather, remote learning technology allows them to participate from home. Teachers can use their smart board’s videoconferencing solution and real-time collaboration features to support hybrid lessons. Teachers can push assignments to students in the classroom and remotely, and use digital learning assessments such as polls and interactive questions.

Interactive smart boards unlock a world of options for teachers and students. When educators take advantage of all the potential interactive whiteboard activities out there, they can create a highly effective learning environment that helps all types of learners stay engaged.

Learn more about how simple, scalable and secure display solutions empower educators to take control of curriculum in this free guide. And discover the full range of Samsung interactive displays, all designed for more engaging and visually enhanced collaboration.

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Karen Bannan

Karen J. Bannan is a veteran business, health, lifestyle and technology journalist with a wide range of publishing experience. Her tech and business work has appeared in Forbes, BusinessWeek Online, Adweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, MyBusiness Magazine, Government Computer News, Workforce Management, CFO, AdWeek, Crain's New York and Crain's BtoB.

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