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Fun and Games with an Interactive Whiteboard

An interactive whiteboard is electronic display media that is connected to a computer and a projector to enable a group of people to all view the content of a computer screen at the same time. The whiteboard is placed on a wall or a floor-stand and the computers desktop is projected onto the whiteboard via the projector.

The user controls the computer via the whiteboard using a pen, finger or another device.  This allows the teacher or person delivering the training course a greater degree of versatility and interaction during the lesson or training session with pupils, students or trainees.

In a lot of schools whiteboards have become so popular they have replaced the traditional blackboard. In the work environment whiteboards are used in training rooms, board rooms, work groups and any other situation where it’s important for information to be delivered to a group of people at the same time.

Interactive whiteboards come in a range of sizes and specifications. Some allow use by a single user only, whilst others can be controlled by multiple users at the same time. Most interactive whiteboards include software such as maths tools, sounds, templates, and gesture touch applications. These tools really help to make learning a lot of fun and allow the teacher or trainer to provide immediate feedback to the pupils or trainees.

They also encourage learners to ask questions and can develop good working relationships with each other.

Some whiteboard manufacturers restrict software compatibility so only their own works on their whiteboards. This is not a bad thing, especially in the case of the major companies in the interactive learning sector, but it is something to take into consideration when during the research stage.

There are a number of benefits to using a whiteboard:

  • Learners  easily absorb more information compared to lecture-style teaching/delivery
  • They encourage group participation and discussion which frees concentration from note taking
  • The teacher/trainer can provide quick and rapid feedback to ensure all learners have a full understanding of the topic
  •  They encourage team-work in group situations
  • Lessons/tutorials/presentations can be stored and viewed at any time (useful for providing retrospective lessons/tutorials/presentations)

As well as being an educational tool to deliver lessons and information to people in the room where the whiteboard is situated, they can also be used for long distance learning or communication. The in-built tools of some interactive whiteboards allow users to draw circles or arrows on the screen to highlight points of interest. Some of the more advanced whiteboards allow all users to not only see program documents like Word or Excel, but to make changes to the document too.

Stephen Thomas writes for JP UK, a leading supplier of electrical equipment to schools, universities and businesses.

 

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Do You Know LMS vs. LCMS?

These two terms are so similar that in many instances they are employed to talk about the same thing when in reality they are different systems.

LMS stands for ‘Learning Management System’ and LCMS stands for ‘Learning Content Management System’.

Both systems provide training for employees; but it is important that you understand the differences between both before making the decision to invest in one of them:

  • LMS

This is basically a system that manages learning, and it is normally web-based and referenced as e-learning. With a LMS you can plan, organize, and follow learning from a central platform, and from it you are able to supervise and send training to employees as it is required.

Let’s say an employee needs training on presentation skills and another one has to learn about workplace violence. Through LMS you can send a presentation skills course to the first one and a workplace violence course to the latter.

In both cases, as the employees move forward with the courses, you are able to see their improvement and test results. At the same time, employees can take the training from their desks and go as fast or slow as they need to.

A good LMS will offer a wide variety of courses, allowing you to train your staff on many subjects and according to each employee’s needs.

  • LCMS

This system is centered on supervising content instead of individuals. It focuses on creating content, which is provided by specific instructors and internal content developers.

In this case, you are able to take content that already exists, sections or targets, and mix and match them to create new courses, allowing you to reuse content that already existed instead of creating a completely new course.

So, which one works best for your company?

It all depends on what you need.

If your company has its own trainers or coaches, it could be very valuable to give them the chance to create and supervise content through LCMS.

If you don’t want or need to create and supervise content, but rather prefer to employ courses already created by a third party, you should go for the LMS option.

However, bear in mind that the LMS can’t reuse the content you already have and build another course; it can’t create courses. This is precisely what the LCMS can do. It can build, deliver and manage courses, but also manage all of its individual pieces. These chunks of information, also known as “learning objects”, may be reused and organized to form a different, new and improved course.

 

So, once again, the decision is yours. But now you have what you need to make an informed decision.

Byline:

Mark Doyle is a freelance writer who lives with his dog Smokey in the Pacific Northwest and learns best throughe-learning.

 

 

 

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