You’ve known analog whiteboards for years and may have already used interactive whiteboards, but chances are you may still be wondering what a digital whiteboard is. Think of it as a solution that offers a fantastic opportunity to modernize classrooms and workplaces. There are many applications that can help leverage group learning, content sharing, and team efforts. If you’re interested in learning the difference between digital whiteboards, interactive, online, or analog ones,the distinctions are quite simple, and we’ll break it down for you right now.
Keep reading to learn more about digital whiteboards and their key features, or explore ViewSonic’s myViewboard and discover how you can seamlessly integrate digital whiteboards into your classroom.
A digital whiteboard is a great tool for distance learning, hybrid education, and remote work models as it reimagines participation, lesson planning, productivity, and knowledge acquisition.
It’s important for students and employees alike to collaborate in various hybrid configurations, using online and offline tools. With the growing digitalization of schools and workplaces, traditional whiteboards don’t cut it anymore. It’s time for their interactive successors, whose features and intuitive interfaces are reimagining teamwork and teaching.
What Is a Digital Whiteboard?
Also referred to as a virtual or online whiteboard, a digital whiteboard is a software solution that replicates the functions of an analog whiteboard. Put simply, it’s a whiteboard you can use on a computer, smartphone, tablet, or any compatible electronic device. All that you share in a classroom or during a meeting, can be viewed in real-time or later online. The most advanced software offers graphic and annotation features and can even integrate a broad range of media such as videos, interactive content, or 3D models.
A digital whiteboard, in other words, is a content-rich interactive platform that everyone has access to, at any point. All students and team members feel included in the lesson at any stage of the project regardless of their location. Everything that participants create can be easily saved, so you can finally say goodbye to notebooks, pencil sharpeners, or pens. With a digital whiteboard, everyone is always prepared.
The concept of digital whiteboarding is deeply rooted in education. However, similar solutions have become increasingly popular in the workplace. In office settings, they’re called “online whiteboards” or “digital whiteboarding apps.”
Key Features of Digital Whiteboards
Digital whiteboards are tools designed to present, interact, and collaborate. But, contrary to their analog counterparts, they offer a whole range of features that foster engagement and bolster preparation. Let’s take a closer look at the most distinctive ones:
1. Access your files from anywhere
The best digital whiteboards have the possibility to save to cloud storage everything that’s been displayed on-screen. Online access to files offers unparalleled peace of mind and convenience for all. It facilitates business meetings, project updates, and distance or hybrid learning.
As participants, trainees, or collaborators don’t feel the pressure to note everything down, they can utilize newfound time and energy to actively focus on the lesson or task at hand.
2. Engage, connect, and interact
Our lives are strongly connected to digital reality, and that only expands with engaging visual content. Online visual displays offer exciting possibilities that can transform the way we work, teach, and learn. Videos, pictures, 3D drawings, or diagrams increase performance productivity while making the whole experience more fun for everyone involved.
When students enjoy the class, they pay more attention to the lesson material and retain more of its contents. Teachers, on the other hand, can effortlessly access a rich content database and plan high-quality, engrossing lessons.
3. Collaborate remotely
With a digital whiteboard, you can also streamline your board in real-time and have everyone participate simultaneously. Brainstorming sessions and meeting recordings enhance remote learning and collaboration. Students and colleagues alike can contribute to ongoing projects by making annotations, uploading their work from home, and seamlessly redesigning visuals across devices. As a consequence, empowered cooperation creates an inclusive ecosystem for those teaching, learning, or working remotely.
4. Use a variety of media formats
A digital whiteboard encourages its users to integrate diverse multimedia. With a few clicks and a connection to the internet, teachers can view online resources, browse the content library, and find information faster. On top of that, they can include animated widgets, 3D models, and sticky notes by directly dropping them onto a limitless canvas.
Having so many different eye-catching assets truly elevates any collaborative experience from passive observation to active engagement.
Digital Whiteboard vs Interactive Whiteboard
While the digital whiteboard is the software, the interactive whiteboard is the hardware. Also called an interactive flat-panel display, this is the physical object you get to literally interact with.
In simple words, an interactive whiteboard is a traditional whiteboard taken from meeting rooms and classrooms, and converted into a huge touchscreen display. It allows you to write, touch, and draw while instantly accessing different multimedia. To be able to fully benefit from it, though, you need a compatible program that will allow you to integrate and process all the material you wish. This is where digital whiteboards come into play.
If an interactive whiteboard is the body, then a digital whiteboard is the brain and the mind – the operational headquarters that allow all the processes to happen. You can combine notes, create documents, artworks, lessons, and presentations, and later store content on embedded storage or on the cloud. Together, interactive and digital whiteboards create a fully functioning whole.
Digital Whiteboard vs Analog Whiteboard
An analog whiteboard is the old-school whiteboard that comes with markers and an eraser. While it provided a smooth transition from the blackboard of the past to modern solutions, it poses many limitations in today’s technologically advanced world. Interactive whiteboards with a built-in online learning platform (digital whiteboard) and an infinite canvas offer so much more than their non-computerized predecessor.
Not to mention great flexibility thanks to its digital format. You can simply open it up on your phone or a laptop during a meeting, review content on a bus ride, or access it while teleworking. Having a portable whiteboard creates new ways of collaborating, learning, and teaching.
Work and Education Transformed
A digital whiteboard’s assembled tools usher in high quality teamwork, coursework, and project management. It transforms any setting where people get together to share knowledge.
1. Connected Workplaces
Using a digital whiteboard gives way to seamless employee participation — in remote, hybrid, and in-office configurations. Thanks to easy content creation and annotation tools, preparing and presenting, even under tight deadlines, is simple and painless. This virtual platform is also very useful when team members are scattered across countries or time zones.
Make sure to look for enterprise-level data protection that will provide for secure data sharing. Then, with just a few clicks, you can unbury important information from under a pile of e-mails and find lost attachments or files in the downloads folder. This is a huge time-saver.
2. Modern Classrooms
The digital whiteboard is revolutionizing education, bringing historic change to EdTech solutions. It fosters engagement, attention, and focus. Any lesson topic can now be visualized, gamified, and presented in breathtaking ways. The classroom use of such online sharing platforms also cultivates digital citizenship. Furthermore, it helps develop skills needed for future-facing jobs in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or arts and design.
If you’re looking for something tried-and-tested, one of the best tools you could go for is ViewSonic’s myViewBoard, a visual learning platform that streamlines lesson planning and evaluation methods. With a rich content library called Originals, it boasts premade lessons, interactive backgrounds, and games. Teaching material template and quizzes on a vast selection of topics empower efficient preparation, presentation, and participation. As a result, teachers have less work to do, and students get to engage more deeply through gamified content on an infinite canvas.
Another noteworthy benefit of myViewBoard is that its digital whiteboard files are saved in a cross-platform Open Learning Format (OLF). Usually, whiteboard files are tied to one device or software and do not allow any additional integration. Outdated or non-flexible media formats limit schools’ or offices’ capacity to adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape. ViewSonic’s OLF files work on any device or software and support the latest media on an infinite canvas. They future-proof the modern classrooms, so collaborators can work on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and the web.
When discussing digital whiteboards, it’s important to remember the distinction between hardware and software. Interactive whiteboards are flat panel displays that work as physical hardware and digital whiteboards are virtual learning platforms that work as software. Thanks to these tools, educators and students can create, brainstorm, and visualize information in new and technologically advanced ways.
In these exciting times, collaboration and learning are becoming more efficient, fun, and convenient for all kinds of learning and working environments. Digital whiteboards pave the way for modern workplaces, classrooms, and collaborative spaces.