Chalkboards, Whiteboards, and Smart-boards, oh my!

June 10, 2014

board-02When you think of a classroom, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Often, one of the first things many people think about or picture is a chalkboard, the traditional learning tool that assists teachers in their day to day activities. Since their inception, chalkboards have been a staple for classrooms due to their ability to allow teachers to perform their lessons and transfer information to a group of students without making several copies. However, as technology continues to advance and materials become more sophisticated, the traditional chalkboard that many administrators and teachers grew to love has started to be replaced by new, innovative whiteboards and smartboards. The question now becomes, which tool is better for learning? The following are a few guidelines that you can follow when deciding which teaching tool you’ll use in your classroom:


Since chalkboards have been popular for quite some time, most classrooms are already equipped with the proper space needed to use one. Additionally, chalkboards are relatively inexpensive and particularly durable, meaning you’ll get your money’s worth due to their long life span. While they provide a great space for activities and are easy to erase and reuse, eventually you may start to find that the boards lose their clarity as chalk dust builds up over time. Further, some may find that chalk is difficult to write with, impeding students’ ability to understand the material being translated to them.


With a transition from chalk to dry erase markers, whiteboards prove to be helpful since information can often come across more clearly to students. Whiteboards are also great for learning because they can assist in showing power points or other projector presentations due to their surface. In terms of aesthetics, whiteboards can often look more professional since they don’t leave behind the same chalky dust that chalkboards do and can appear clean, neat, and shiny – but don’t be surprised when they get tough to clean. Like chalkboards, you must clean your whiteboard properly in order to eliminate marker streaks, and don’t forget that leaving information on the board for too long can make it difficult to erase. As far as cost, whiteboards are usually more expensive than chalkboards, but prove to be worth it in the long run.

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Interactive Whiteboards/Smartboards:

From the first whiteboard or “dry erase board,” interactive whiteboards and smart-boards have been created to allow teachers and students to physically interact with their lessons. Though they are usually the most expensive option, interactive whiteboards can be extremely beneficial for your classroom since they encourage more participation and have turned learning into a more interactive experience. But don’t forget to be careful about which markers you use for writing – interactive boards typically come with board specific markers that can easily be erased. Unfortunately, if used by accident, typical dry erase markers will leave permanent marks on your board.

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Now that we’ve covered some of the basics, which board will you choose for your classroom? Like all learning tools, each of these boards have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to pick the one that can best help you achieve your goals. At Nickerson Corporation, we understand how important it is for teachers to have the proper tools to effectively teach their lessons. To help, we supply a variety of chalkboards, tackboards, projection screens, and interactive whiteboards that can enhance your lessons and make the educational experience better for both you and your students. For more information, contact us today at (631) 666-0200.

Don’t forget to comment on our Facebook page and let us know which board you prefer!