WhiteWalls Make Their Way Into The Classroom

A couple weeks back we received a picture of WhiteWalls being put to use in a local high school English classroom. This image is just one of the many we frequently receive from satisfied Magnatag customers on a regular basis. I recently followed up with the member of our sales team that  was responsible for the order in hopes to better understand what prompted the school’s interest in WhiteWalls.

As it turns out, the WhiteWalls purchase was prompted by a faculty member that was looking to maximize wall space in the classroom. If you’ve spent any about of time researching wall-sized whiteboard solutions, you’ve probably noticed that options outside of dry erase paint are extremely limited. As the Director of Buildings brainstormed options for a large-scale writing surface, he quickly encountered a few obstacles involving dry erase paint: Primarily, dry erase paint is more likely to present ghosting issues, leaving questions regarding durability after prolonged periods of use.  The second issue was that many school districts—including the one in question—have restrictions set in place for the types of paint used within their facilities. Given that the Director of Buildings oversees an entire district, this process of approving paint involves clearing the solution for multiple schools in the area. While manageable, this process would only prolong the search for a large-scale dry erase solution.

It’s also worth noting the placement of the WhiteWall panels. In this case the panels were sized to fit above data ports and electric outlets which saved the school money on materials and installation. Another common issue that comes into play when planning a classroom is the amount of vertical clearance available at the ceiling. Specially designed with the dimensions of the room in mind, our manufacturing team was able to create panels that fit within the school district’s pre-existing building codes and actually saved the school more money on materials. According to the OSHA, the minimum vertical clearance between sprinklers and material below shall be 18-inches. The 18-inch vertical clearance requirement is treated as a horizontal plane throughout the storage area or room, meaning that anything—regardless of where it lies in relation to the room’s sprinklers—must be below the 18-inch threshold.  With these restrictions in mind, our team of engineers were able to develop a dry erase surface that was able to meet a variety of government regulations while still maintaining a modern design.

Each WhiteWall panel mounts to an individual wall bracket, allowing panels to slide together to create a continuous workspace. As you can see, WhiteWalls gave this classroom the opportunity to work out an entire literature analysis without compromising any workspace. The panels are large enough to enable ideas to flow freely, allowing both students and teachers to work out concepts side-by-side without the hinderance of a board frame.

As you can see, we’re thrilled to see that our WhiteWall panels are making a difference in the classroom!If you’d like to learn more about our WhiteWall panels, visit our website.

How One of 2016’s Best Movies Proves Whiteboards Are Awesome

This past weekend I got a chance to catch the new Amy Adams film: Arrival at my local movie theater. If you haven’t already, I highly suggested you check it out. The film covers numerous themes such as loss, love and the unknown; set against the backdrop of an alien invasion—but it challenges the conventional formula of your typical sci-fi blockbuster.

Adams plays the role of Louise Banks: one of America’s top Linguistics professors, hired by the US Government to comprehend exactly what type of threat the ominous foreign spacecraft presents. With the fate of the entire globe left in her hands, Louise must establish some line of communication between humanity and the alien species without provoking a war.

Sounds simple enough, right?

As it turns out, learning an alien language is a bit more complicated than picking up a copy of Rosetta Stone and sitting down with your favorite snack—it requires a much more hands on approach.

Minor spoilers for ‘Arrival’ follow below

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How to Properly Clean & Maintain Your Dry Erase Board

Between brainstorming sessions, random acts of doodling, and non-stop note taking, you’re probably interacting with your whiteboard on a daily basis. Just like hardwood floors and granite countertops, proper care and maintenance is required to help dry erase boards stay in top shape. In an effort to help you keep your whiteboard in tip-top share, we’ve put together this how-to guide for cleaning and maintaining your dry erase surface.

For starters, here’s the list of cleaning solutions you should avoid cleaning your whiteboard with:

Do not use:

  • Any standard kitchen or bathroom cleaner, industrial cleaner, or solution containing isopropanol alcohol.
  • Coarse or granular cloth like paper towels and toilet paper.

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Our Favorite Whiteboards of 2016…So Far!

Summer’s now behind us, and with that being said, 2017 is just around the corner! It’s been an outstanding year so far for the Magnatag team, with hundreds of custom boards coming through our manufacturing and shipping facility in the past 9 months, ranging from patient bedside boards for hospitals to tactical maps used by branches of the US government. For this week’s whiteboard Friday, we decided to show you a few of the more new and unique custom board layouts our design team has done for customers who needed special features to communicate their message.

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This first design is a reimagining of our traditional patient bedside board. While many healthcare facilities use bedside boards to enhance communication between patients, their families, and hospital staff, this particular board was designed to include a Wong Baker pain scale and an hour by hour daily agenda. Our designers completely overhauled the layout of this bedside board by placing a 24 hour treatment schedule along the right side of the whiteboard, in addition to  allocating the bottom third to strictly patient-to-staff communication. Also involved in the planning process of this whiteboard, was the decision to add icons/symbols to make headlines easier to understand from a distance. With charge nurses frequently poking their heads in and out of multiple rooms within a short period of time, the hospital wanted to ensure that every headline was easily readable and standardized for accessibility purposes.

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We also receive a large quantity of custom board requests from members of the US Military. This magnetic dry erase board was designed completely from scratch to acting as a centralized hub for a local Coast Guard division. The ranking officer that commissioned the design was looking for a solution to help inform both incoming and outgoing crew members of the current conditions, procedures and missions for the day. Since the safety of a large number of people was at stake, this design went through multiple iterations by our design team until everything was perfect.

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How To Crush The Language Barrier Between Departments In Your Organization

Every industry develops its own set of words and phrases. Whether you’re a lawyer, production manager, executive, accountant, or engineer, you’ll encounter catchphrases and trade names on a daily—if not hourly—basis. Frequently used as a method to help us communicate complex or multifaceted items quickly and efficiently, industry slang is a great device for the sake of simplicity in the workplace. The thing about industry-specific terms and phrases is that they carry an enormous amount weight for people familiar with the trade. The only downside is: they’re not universally understood.

How many times have you found yourself in a meeting and heard one of these phrases and felt slightly embarrassed for of asking what that stood for? It’s not necessarily words that trip us up, but the thought process and industry specificity of them that ultimately trips us up. In cases like these, a lack of base-level communication creates anxiety among professionals and can even lead to frustration at times. Imagine how much more productive you would be if you could bridge this communication gap. Well, some companies are setting out to do just that.

We recently caught up with Henry Jacobson, Product Manager of Pulsafeeder, to inquire about the difficulties he faces when aligning the sales, marketing, and engineering departments that work as a collective. Pulsafeeder is one of the few manufacturers that specialize in highly engineered chemical injection pumps—think chemical processing plants or wastewater treatment centers. Part of Henry’s responsibilities as a Product Manager is to strategize a roadmap for Pulsafeeder’s products, defining their purpose and position in the marketplace; this requires a constant need for simultaneous collaboration between members of every department in their organization. When speaking to us in regards to his duties as a Product Manager, Henry also made note of the distinct language barrier that can be found between different departments of a company.

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A WhiteWall Story: A How-To Guide For Wedding Planning

Every year, 2.3 million weddings occur within the U.S. alone. That averages out to roughly 6,200 weddings a day according to statistics provided by soundvision.com. Sound Vision also estimates that couples receive gifts from an average of 200 guests, with each gift ranging anywhere from $70 to $100 in price. With all these numbers being thrown around, weddings can easily transition from an exciting and joyous event into a major headache if not planned accordingly.

We recently caught up with Wedding Planner extraordinaire, Pauleen Vacca, to discuss some of the stresses that couples frequently face when planning their wedding day. With design choices varying on a wedding-to-wedding basis, most couples frequently seek Pauleen’s guidance to help set up the foundational building blocks for their big day.

It is worth mentioning that Pauleen is also a WhiteWalls adopter, so naturally, we were curious to see how Magnatag’s products are incorporated as part of her planing process.

You can check out the video above for more details on what exactly goes into the wedding planning process. When you’re finished, be sure to check out our list below for some of our favorite organizational tips to help with your planning process.

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Whiteboards We Love: The Importance of An Educators Artistry

Everyday, thousands—if not millions—of posts make their way onto Reddit in hopes of achieving 15 minutes of Internet fame. With the domain’s user base exceeding seven figures, only the best of the best content makes its way to the site’s front page. A few months ago, James Mayne, a high school History teacher living in Paradise California, uploaded a collection of personal whiteboard illustrations to the popular site to much acclaim (a link to which can be found here). The Magnatag team was extremely impressed with James’ craftsmanship so we managed to get in touch with him for this week’s iteration of Whiteboards We Love. Here’s what he had to say:

Q: What made you start drawing pictures on the whiteboard?

 A: Well, it was my first day of teaching and I was attempting to get my classroom situated for my first day of class. I just got finished segmenting the whiteboard into different portions and I realized I had an extra space I did not account for. Given that I had a few extra minutes before students would begin showing up, I just spontaneously began drawing and it evolved from there. My drawings only take on average anywhere from five to ten minutes, with the more elaborate portraits taking upwards of twenty. I had the spare time so I figured “why not?”

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Infographic: 3 Ways Whiteboards Foster Creativity

We love whiteboards here at Magnatag (we know, shocking!) and we believe that dry erase surfaces are at their best when encouraging others to collaborate. Commonly used as a tool to help revitalize the conference room of days past, whiteboards are built from the ground-up with creativity in mind. Don’t believe us? Check out the infographic below to see for yourself!

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Whiteboards We Love: Rand Fishkin and Whiteboard Friday’s

With another weekend just around the corner, it’s time for a new Whiteboards We Love blog post. This week we’re looking at a popular online web series hosted by the Internet’s Rand Fishkin, Founder and former CEO of Moz.

Over the past couple years, Rand has become infamously known amongst digital marketers as the host of Whiteboard Friday’s, a series of videos that unwrap the best practices for SEO. Each week, Fishkin unpacks a new topic for the SEO Community with the help of a pre-dawn whiteboard (an example of which we have provided below).

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Whiteboard Friday’s have been a widely successful venture for the Moz team—and for good reason. Fishkin’s videos are elaborate and concise, an oxymoron of sorts, but one that mysteriously works. Videos range anywhere from 5-12 minutes in length while diving deeply into some of the web’s most complex search algorithms.

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Ushering In A New Age For The Whiteboard

A few weeks ago Business Matters Magazine ran an article featuring how some UK-based startups spark creativity and collaboration in their offices. The article details that Epson UK—a leader in worldwide digital imaging technology—recently conducted research amongst 500 entrepreneurs, which found that over 70 percent of new businesses utilize dry-erase technology on a daily basis.

And in even more recent news, whiteboards took center stage at this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament with each team—North Carolina, Syracuse, Villanova, Oklahoma—all utilizing dry-erase surfaces for strategizing last-minute plays. Both articles came as a surprise to no one in the Magnatag office, as we use our whiteboards just as frequently as we ship them.

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