The best monitors for teachers solve an important dilemma in today’s digital age: how to keep handwriting alive while implementing EdTech classrooms? Contrary to many people’s fears, using digital touchscreens offers greater flexibility for teachers while driving student engagement. There are many other wins that follow and give liberty in terms of how the lesson is carried out for both online and in-class scenarios.
Read on to find out more about the benefits of pen devices for teachers or discover ViewSonic’s Pen Displays for Education.
What makes for the best monitors for teachers has been evolving alongside the evolution of touchscreen technologies. In the digital age, with an increasing number of learning activities being carried out using a computer, some have questioned whether there is a long-term role for handwriting in education.
And the answer is definitely yes, there is. Writing is undoubtedly one of the most important skills we acquire during the learning process. Witnessing a teacher handwrite, mark, and annotate information improves focus and makes it easier for students to follow the class.
Touch monitors nowadays have become a hybrid between tablets and laptops, giving you the freedom to precisely handwrite on the screen, while having a comfortable and ergonomic device for your desk, smart podium, or online class. Since you can use a pen (a special kind, actually, called a stylus) they can also be named pen devices, or pen displays, and we’ll be using all of these terms when referring to this range of products.
Best Monitors for Teachers Who Want to Do More
The latest touch monitors allow teachers to create a completely new teaching station for both remote and in-class setups. Intuitiveness and ease of use of such smart podiums not only cater for more original and engaging lessons, but also foster teacher-to-student connections and interactions.
However, it is important that teachers choose to use their pen devices in ways that will get the most out of those technologies. Having the ability to write by hand on a digital device can assist not only with lesson delivery but also with creating a special learning environment. In fact, in some ways, writing tablets can serve as smaller versions of an interactive whiteboard.
In this article, we explore the advantages of writing devices for teachers in more detail and look at some of the best ways that these and other similar pen devices can be used to deliver lessons.
How to Make Effective Use of the Best Monitors for Teachers
Pen displays have a wide range of potential uses for teachers, but the most crucial thing is to understand how to make effective use of them. Teachers need to try to focus on ways that touchscreens can provide real value for students and contribute to improved learning outcomes. With this in mind, we have broken down some of the best ways to utilize this technology in the classroom.
New Level of Classroom Engagement
A touchscreen monitor paired with an active stylus can help with notetaking, explaining complicated concepts, or visual learning methods, such as brainstorming, sketching, mind-mapping, and drawing. Touch monitors can be used by teachers not only for one-to-one tutoring but also to teach an entire class. Effectively, the best monitor then serves a similar role to an interactive whiteboard but all annotation can happen while standing or sitting. The concept of a digital podium equipped with such pen displays designed for teachers is currently gaining momentum
The ideal touchscreen monitors offer USB-C connectivity for a plug-and-play solution that delivers data, video, audio, and power transmission through a single cable.
Online Teaching for Hybrid or Distance Learning
Best monitors for teachers prove themselves to be invaluable for online teaching. This is especially important in an age where distance and hybrid learning models are becoming widely accepted and implemented. Thanks to EdTech, the gap between in-person and online lessons is being bridged and provides new structures for equitable and inclusive learning environments.
If students also have access to either a dedicated writing tablet or a tablet with a stylus pen, they can also participate in collaborative learning sessions. Here, when combined with digital whiteboarding solutions or screen sharing technology, it allows multiple users to contribute to a shared visual learning space at the same time.
This also enables a more collaborative experience when compared to the alternative of students typing up individual notes on their computers or writing individual notes on a notepad. The notes can be shared with everyone in the session, amended by anyone, and used to collectively dig deeper into specific topics or ideas.
Providing Handwritten Digital Feedback for Students
Touchscreen monitors, at least those from the pen displays category, enable teachers to provide handwritten digital feedback on work that students submit. While many modern word processing applications include options for adding digital annotations or notes, the ability to do this by hand can help provide teachers with greater flexibility in this area.
For example, it may be easier to highlight small errors in writing, such as spelling mistakes, by circling the error using an active stylus just like you would with a red pen, or by adding a short-handwritten note explaining the problem. Such annotations can also be easily accompanied by arrows or other marks that can aid understanding.
For certain subjects that use many special symbols or non-standard writing like mathematics, physics, or chemistry, writing tablets are a huge convenience. Even when learning new languages that have different alphabets, letters, and characters, it’s easy to just write on-screen without spending time switching between keyboards. This is especially useful for distance learning, where engagement levels can drop easily if the lesson flow becomes disrupted too often.
Besides, using digital annotation on a writing monitor is environmentally friendly. As students submit different assignments throughout the school year, the amount of paper needed to print all of them for grading is huge. Especially if you multiply the number of assignments, by the number of students by the number of schools in just your city, for example.
Teaching Handwriting Lessons to Younger Students
Despite the shift towards more and more schoolwork being carried out digitally, let’s not forget handwriting still has a major role to play. Lessons in this area improve children’s motor skills and can assist with learning in general.
This is explored further in an article by Science Daily. Essentially, the process of learning to write by hand and then the activity of actually doing it strengthens the learning process. This occurs for a number of reasons, including the fact that it triggers a kind of ‘learning by doing’ response within the brain.
Teachers can use the monitors effectively in the early years of education for the youngest students. Handwriting sessions can help with the development of fine motor skills, but there is also value in handwriting lessons for their primary purpose – teaching students how to write in a legible way. This is an important life skill that will continue to serve students throughout their time in education and beyond.
A good example of software that teachers can use to deliver handwriting lessons using touch monitors and other writing tablets is Kaligo. The application has been designed to align with international education curriculums, offers artificial intelligence-assisted feedback, and can be used by teachers to create personalized lesson plans.
Best Monitors for Teachers: The Key Features
Purchasing a pen display for the class can tend to be complicated if one isn’t particularly familiar with this kind of product. There are different functionalities for different budgets and purposes. Of course, the features to prioritize will depend on the ways the writing tablet is going to be used. Whether it’s for STEAM teaching, blended learning, digital podium, or collaborative classroom, each teaching model represents a different set of needs to be fulfilled.
Generally, however, a dedicated touch display for teachers is going to be better for purely academic applications than a more all-purpose tablet. Touch monitors are designed to pick up on the nuances of handwriting, and they tend to be better equipped to handle writing input from left- and right-handed people alike.
Here are the key features that should help you decide which Pen Display Device would suit your teaching and objectives best:
1. Palm Rejection Technology
Makes sure the monitor you wish to buy offers palm rejection technology what means no accidental touch of your hand is registered as valid input. This is especially important as the latest models can tilt and be used much like a tablet. Additionally, don’t forget to check if the desired pen display offers multiple touch points so that two or more people can use the screen at the same time. This can be a gamechanger for classroom collaborative activities, homework reviews, or presentations with multiple speakers.
2. Anti-glare Technology
Another thing to keep in mind would be anti-glare coating of the screen. Glossy displays, although they can look more classy, often reflect ambient lights, resulting in poor visibility. For optimal use in both the classroom and at home that doesn’t require adjusting of the light to different rooms and times of the time, chose a model that offers anti-glare technology.
3. Hardness Level
Make sure you’re aware of the hardness of the touchscreen. It will determine how long you can effectively use it and what the total cost of ownership will be. The levels are measured using Moh scale of mineral hardness. For something durable choose monitors with screens offering a hardness of 6H which almost equals that of a steel nail.
4. Stylus Pen
Let’s not underestimate the importance of the right stylus pen. When paired properly with the tablet, it can truly work magic. Ideally, you want to go for an active stylus pen that has a smaller nib than the previous stylus generations. The movement and tilting of the active stylus on the touchscreen are more easily detectable thanks to their precise operational protocol. Passive pens with a large nib, on the other hand, will not be able to deliver such accuracy as they are mostly suited for performing touchscreen button press inputs rather than writing or drawing.
While we’re on the topic of stylus pens, you also need to carefully consider their pressure sensitivity. The higher the pressure sensitivity, the better. It’s measured in levels, and there’s quite a few to choose from. For pixel-perfect precision and maximum flexibility choose the 4,096 sensitivity level, that will serve all your needs flawlessly, including elaborate writing and technical drawings
Investing in the best monitor is more important than ever for teachers as the digital age and the rise of distance and hybrid education have shifted the ways we think about learning, teaching, and handwriting. New smart podium setups and distance education solutions have come into place, so it’s the perfect time to hop on the bandwagon and bring new engagement to the classroom while saving some time and energy.
Pen displays can bring lessons into the digital sphere while fostering the learning environment. The ability to provide handwritten feedback on digital files or draw complicated concepts in real-time can be invaluable for teaching all age groups and all topics. While any school subject can become more dynamic and memorable, those which use non-standard writing formats can especially benefit from a reliable touch monitor.
If you liked this read, you might also want to be interested in 5 Benefits of Technology in the classroom or discover the ViewSonic Pen Display products for modern Education.