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Whiteboards: Traditional versus collaborative.

9th August 2017

The infamous blackboard. A rather simple invention, but a very effective one – mostly associated with learning. Before the blackboard, teachers had to write the alphabet on the back of student’s hands! Capturing students’ attention was difficult too, because there was nothing to attract them to the front of the room, where the teacher was speaking, and nothing visual to help with learning.

So the blackboard was a true revelation 200 years ago.

We’ve went through a few “boards” in our lifetime. Blackboards (or chalk boards), traditional whiteboards, digital whiteboards, and now collaborative whiteboards.

To be perfectly honest, I see no benefit of a traditional whiteboard over a blackboard – other than they’re probably a bit neater looking in the classroom or office.

But the collaborative whiteboard – that’s a whole other ballgame.
There’s a lot more to collaborative tools than simply the whiteboard. But these modern versions have a number of benefits over the traditional whiteboard. We’re going to discuss our top three.

1. Collaboration.

The obvious one. And you may think “hey, people can collaborate on a traditional whiteboard too”. You’d be right. But realistically, how many people can huddle around one whiteboard and write or sketch at the same time? Two, maybe three tops. And they all must be in the same room. Collaborative whiteboards allow limitless people to work together on an infinite canvas. And these people can be anywhere – in the same room, in a different office, in a different country – (even from the comfort of their home). People can annotate, sketch, comment on a digital whiteboard in real-time, providing suggestions and feedback making for a more productive workflow. Working together should not be inhibited by distance. Collaboration should take place no matter where people are. We previously discussed how we've all been collaborating since the day we were born - now it's time for workplaces to facilitate collaboration.

2. Any Device, Anywhere.

Following on from the fact that people can collaborate from anywhere, they can also collaborate from any device. We all have our preferences as to what devices we prefer. For example, I prefer a laptop for writing, a tablet for sketching, and a smartphone for social media. In the UK alone, more than 60% of adults use at least two devices every day. In fact, there are more mobile devices than people in the world. Allowing people to collaborate from whatever device they feel most comfortable, and switching seamlessly between device, to whiteboard and back again, will enhance creativity and help facilitate teamwork.

3. Communication.

Collaboration isn’t the only important thing – communication is equally as significant. If someone in one office is annotating and sketching ideas on a whiteboard, people in the other office could be lost as to how they came up with this idea, or even, not fully understand what the idea is. Some collaborative whiteboards include a video-conferencing functionality. This allows people to sketch ideas and suggestions, and at the same time, talk through these ideas with colleagues in another room. They can explain in real-time, as they are collaborating, as well as gauge the reaction and receive feedback from the team in the other office.

Final Thoughts.

These are only a few of the benefits relating to a collaborative whiteboard. Imagine this in the workplace. Collaborative whiteboard, screen-sharing capabilities and video-conferencing – meetings would be truly productive.
Don’t just take our word for it – check it out for yourself. Take a sneak peek at our new solution, Mosaic.

For more news about Mosaic, and when it will be available, follow us on Twitter @displaynote

Next Steps...

If you wish to learn more about collaborative tools that suit everyone's needs, or if you have a question about DisplayNote Workspace get in touch.

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