What It Is
Mini whiteboards are personal-sized dry erase boards that can be used for individuals in small group or precept settings or by groups in a large class. These little dry-erase boards can be fantastic for language-learning or for quick information recall. They can also be used to play games or to allow students to process information on their own before sharing it with the group.
How to Access It
The Office of Digital Learning has 30 mini whiteboards available to rent from the Digital Learning Lab on a class-by-class basis. They are available on the table by the door. Please sign the check-out sheet if you take them to use and return them the same day. You can also buy your own set for around $30-40 on Amazon.
Idea 1: Reveal “thin slices of learning”
Use the whiteboards to help reveal “thin slices of learning.” In Intentional Tech (2019?), Derek Bruff writes about “thin slices of learning,” which refer to the small parts of learning that add up to a larger skill or piece of knowledge. In teaching, when we reveal the thin slices as we go, we’re better able to help students fill in any gaps of knowledge acquisition.
Pass out the whiteboards to individuals or groups before a lecture and punctuate the lecture by asking questions or for ideas that students can quickly respond to and show on the whiteboards. For example, you could say something like, “In one sentence, summarize the key point I just made in the past ten minutes.” Something like this would help you see in real time how well you have communicated to your students through your lecture. It also helps include everyone’s “thin slices” instead of just a few vocal students.
Idea 2: Think —> Pair —> Share
Use the whiteboards to help include all students in reflecting on course material. Pass the whiteboards out before a lecture and punctuate the lecture using the think–pair–share technique. With the whiteboards in hand, students can respond to a question individually (think). Then, they can share their whiteboard responses with one or two other people (pair). Finally, you can have the students come together to share highlights from the insights gathered (share).
Idea 3: Illustrate an idea
Use the whiteboards to let students illustrate a concept. Deep learning takes place when material is presented in a variety of modalities. It might help if students can visualize material in a new way. Pass out the whiteboards and have students draw or map out an idea. (Teaching tip: “Learning styles” like visual, auditory, and kinesthetic don’t have a lot of scientific backing. Instead of teaching for learning styles, matching content with method is best!)