One of the first things that people look for when they walk into a classroom for the first time is whether the room has a blackboard or a whiteboard. The chalk that is used on black (or green) boards has been a staple of education for over a century. There are plenty of stories of great historical figures who spent hours in classrooms writing out the solutions to problems in chalk. But the whiteboard, also known as a dry erase board, is starting to become the standard in classrooms around the country. What is it about the dry erase board that makes it a growing preference in our schools? There are actually several benefits to using dry erase boards over the traditional chalk boards in our schools. When a teacher writes on a dry erase board, regardless of what color marker is used, it is much easier for the class to read than chalk. The most common marker used is a black marker, and anything written in black marker can be seen by the back of the class just as easily as it can be in the front rows. The contrast of the white board against the colored markers creates bright and discernible content that students can use.
While it is possible to use different colored chalk on a traditional board, the other colors can be extremely difficult for the class to see. A dry erase board offers a rainbow of color opportunities that can allow teachers to separate information and make it easier for children to understand what is on the board. For example, a math teacher can write each of the different kinds of mathematical equations in different colors and more easily show the way that those equations are related. On a standard chalk board, color coordinating a lesson is almost impossible for students to see and understand.
One of the ways that teachers used to offer color-coded lessons was on an overhead projector. Not only are overhead projectors expensive, they can also be dangerous when their bulbs heat up. The dry erase board makes the overhead projector unnecessary by allowing color-coded teaching that can be done safely and efficiently.
From an economic point of view, dry erase boards are extremely versatile. Most dry erase boards have a metallic back, which allows teachers to use magnets to post important announcements and other information. This eliminates the need for separate cork boards and other message boards. Teachers can also project movies on dry erase boards, which eliminate the need to invest in separate screens for each classroom.
Dry erase boards are as easy to use as putting a marker to paper. Chalk takes some getting used to, and even then there is no guarantee that the teacher will always get it right. When the teacher writes the wrong way with a dry erase marker, it makes a squeaking sound that can sometimes cause a little burst of laughter to roll through the classroom. When the teacher puts a piece of chalk to a board and makes a wrong movement, it creates a sound that causes the hair on everyone’s neck to stand on end.
Dry erase boards can easily be wiped clean with a special eraser. If marker ink is left on a dry erase board for too long, it can leave a mark that withstands the eraser. But with the use of an alcohol-based cleaning compound, any dry erase board can become completely clean again.
Chalk boards can only be cleaned with water and that only works for a few years. After years of using the chalk boards over and over again, some of the marks become permanent. There are several different types of chalk that can be used on chalk boards, and some types of chalk are harder than others. When a teacher uses hard chalk for years, it can have a detrimental effect on the board. There is also a chance that chalk could cause allergies to children who are exposed to it over time.
Whiteboards are versatile, easier to see, and easier to use than standard chalk boards. When it comes right down to it, dry erase boards are the way to go in any classroom around the country. Dry erase boards can easily be used by teachers and students, and dry erase boards clean easily as well. After several years of using a dry erase board under normal classroom conditions, it can still look the same as it did the day it was first installed. After a few years of regular classroom use on a chalk board, the school will need to invest in a new board if the teacher is going to be able to educate the students.