Holding the attention of a class or group of trainees is tough at the best of times and dull presentation slides or lengthy documents do nothing to help capture attention. The technology arena is expanding rapidly to incorporate teaching and training tools for more interactive and engaging sessions – but some people may be wary of new technology, preferring to stick to “tried and true” methods. However digital classrooms are becoming more and more commonplace, and for good reason: collaborative tools such as interactive whiteboards provide a tactile learning experience that accommodates a range of teaching and training styles.
A very attractive feature of interactive whiteboards, such as the pioneering Sharp Big Pad, is the focus on an intuitive interface and easy-to-use design. This smart board, which is a large, features a highly visible display that connects to a computer, is compatible with commonly-used software and is controlled via touchscreen. This makes it simple to display content, explain and annotate it in real time, manipulate it and edit it, all directly onto the screen using a finger or stylus.
In training sessions or the classroom, a board that allows for multi-user input – such as the Big Pad, which can accommodate four users at once – facilitates group discussions. Edited content can be saved and sent to a printer or saved to a hard drive or USB, or, to disseminate teaching material in a quick and effortless way, certain boards allow users to access whiteboard content wirelessly with their smartphone or tablet. This means that participants in a training session can leave with a copy of the annotated notes or other materials after the session, with the added benefit that their focus is kept on the session as they do not have to concentrate on writing their own notes. Interactive whiteboards can also run videos and display content from the internet, should a teaching session require these additional elements. Using an interactive teaching tool also promotes audience participation, drawing individuals into the discussion that may have otherwise been unengaged or disinterested in contributing.
Interactive whiteboards are also excellent multi-taskers: businesses who install an interactive whiteboard can also use it as a videoconferencing tool and a way to give high-impact presentations. High quality interactive whiteboards are designed to display visuals in crisp, high definition colour and have anti-glare properties so that they can be viewed in any light.
These high-tech boards are an excellent investment for anyone looking to give their training sessions or classes an edge.
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