Why is a whiteboard important?

by | Mar 17, 2020 | In the Classroom, Whiteboard Walls

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The countless benefits of installing ReMARKable whiteboard painted walls in your office, school, home, or other setting may be viewed from the standpoint of the right and left sides of the human brain. In popular psychology, generalizations are often made about certain functions, for example, logic and creativity, being localized in either the right or left hemisphere of the brain. The left hemisphere is known to be responsible for controlling the right side of the body but is also believed to carry out tasks involving logic, analysis, details, facts, numbers, and verbal thinking, as in science and math. On the other hand, the right hemisphere coordinates the left side of the body, and in popular belief is thought to perform tasks related to creativity and artistic expression. If whiteboard painted walls are considered from this perspective, the following are among their many advantages.

Left-brain benefits of using a whiteboard wall

Traditional “left brain” qualities are said to include being able to think analytically and logically; being detail and fact-oriented; having good math skills; and tending to think in words instead of images.

1. Improved Analytical thinking using a whiteboard wall

Due to their huge surface areas, whiteboard walls allow for practically endless amounts of analytical reasoning through the use of flowcharts, outlines, word lists, pros and cons lists, and the like. Outlines present a linear flow of the underlying data, a process involving functions ascribed to the left hemisphere, and this is easily done on the large surface area of a dry erase wall. Another commonly used tool for analytical thinking is the flowchart, a diagram depicting a process, system, or computer algorithm, using rectangles, ovals, diamonds, and other shapes to define the given steps, along with connecting arrows to describe flow and sequence. Widely used to document, study, organize, improve, and share processes in clear, easy-to-understand diagrams, the flowchart is also ideal for presentation on whiteboard painted walls. With its large surface area, a whiteboard wall allows for long, detailed flowcharts to be created, making it unnecessary to erase part of the chart in order to write the next part, as would be required on a traditional whiteboard.

2. Using a whiteboard wall to present details and facts

An obvious advantage to the large areas of whiteboard walls is the ability to present numerous details and facts in a clearly visible format with almost limitless possibilities. Also, the fact that writing on a dry erase wall is a slower process than typing on a keyboard is an advantage in learning and remembering details and facts. A recent study in the journal Psychological Science found that students who took handwritten notes got better scores on tests of learning and comprehension than students who took notes on laptops. This result can be generalized to writing on whiteboard walls, as the act of handwriting in itself has been found to engage many parts of the brain and to increase neural activity.

3. Students grasp numerical skills using a whiteboard wall

According to academic studies, math skills can be improved by using a hands-on approach. When students do physical activities such as writing out problems, they’re able to ask and answer questions and use the written problems as visual aids for learning. When teachers write out visual clues such as charts with pictures and key procedures, for example, students grasp math strategies more effectively than they would by just studying from a textbook. And what better way to clearly present such visual clues than on an immense dry erase wall?

4. Using a whiteboard wall to think in words

Recent research shows that people are losing the brain benefits of handwriting as the practice becomes less common due to easily accessible keyboards on computers, laptops, tablets, and other devices. For example, a 2017 study discovered that writing by hand can improve a person’s memory for new information, as brain regions related to learning are more active when a task is done by hand, as opposed to on a keyboard. The researchers say that writing by hand may promote “deep encoding” of new information in ways that keyboard typing does not. Other researchers have also stated that typing letters on a keyboard can’t match writing by hand with respect to improving learning and cognitive development.

Right-brain benefits of using a whiteboard wall

Typical “right brain” traits are said to include creativity, a tendency to be freethinking, an ability to see the “big picture” in a situation, having good intuition, and being inclined to visualize more than think in words.

1. Release more creativity using a whiteboard wall

Because of their great size and easy erasability, whiteboard walls are ideal vehicles for boundless creative thinking and imaging, since their dimensions allow students, staff or family members to express ideas through both handwriting and drawing pictures, charts, graphs, and other forms almost endlessly. On a whiteboard wall, creative people can come up with new thoughts and images for as long as they can, using the same space over and over to add and erase in real-time. In this way, people’s ability to focus in a brainstorming session, meeting or conference may be greatly improved. According to a recent study by researchers at Indiana University, the mere action of writing by hand releases creativity that’s not easily accessed in other ways.

2. Simplify freethinking using a whiteboard wall

Studies show that writing by hand on surfaces such as dry erase walls sharpens brain functions, enhances learning, and may even help people to think more positively. Sequential hand movements, like those used in handwriting, activate large parts of the brain responsible for thinking, language use, healing, and working memory. This effect can liberate the mind, allowing people to think more freely and openly in order to come up with novel opinions and concepts independent of authority or external influences. Another often unnoticed benefit of writing by hand is that it forces people to slow down and enjoy the moment — a novelty in today’s world. According to neuroscientists, handwriting rests the brain, potentially sparking creativity, so whiteboard walls are ideal spaces on which to exercise this skill and become more creative and able to pursue “outside the box” or even groundbreaking ideas.

3. See the bigger picture using a whiteboard wall

The massive surfaces of dry erase walls permit users to create mind maps and other planning tools that can help them see the “big picture,” the global or holistic perspective on projects, so as to develop plans of action that consider the interconnections among all parts of the whole. So-called “big picture people” like to brainstorm and come up with as many ideas as possible to address a given problem or begin a venture. Being idea generators, they conceive of major changes, projects, and opportunities to create new business, formulate systems, or make products, and once again large whiteboard walls are perfect for such thinking.

4. Fostering intuition using a whiteboard wall

As mentioned, writing by hand is a powerful tool for learning, relaxing, promoting creativity, and making connections. Handwriting can also inspire intuitive insights and renew old ways of functioning. National Book Award-winner Robert Stone says, “The pen compels lucidity.” And lucidity offers a different and often clearer perspective on our dreams, goals, and challenges. When writing by hand on a dry erase wall, sudden flashes of intuition can thus come up and lead to transformations in business practices, scientific research, students’ learning, and other areas.

5. Improve your visualization using a whiteboard wall

Visual thinking is a way to organize one’s thoughts and improve one’s ability to think and communicate. It’s a great method for conveying complex or possibly confusing information, and involves tools like pen and paper, index cards, and computer software to externalize inner thinking processes, making them clearer, more explicit, and actionable. With whiteboard painted walls, visual thinking becomes more effective than with other communication tools because, as with the process of handwriting mentioned above, drawing images to foster visual thinking slows down the brain and lets knowledge flow in a more relaxed way than by using electronic devices. Today more information is available to the public than ever before, but people are often overwhelmed by its vastness, and when faced with too much data they shut down. If your ideas can’t be drawn, they often can’t be realized. Visual thinking is thus a vital skill for developing new concepts and designs, communicating them effectively, and collaborating with others to make them real. Dry erase walls provide the ideal medium for doing just that.

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