The past few years, teachers and educators have been forced to adapt constantly as classrooms shift between remote, hybrid, and in-person learning. In the middle of planning a lecture, you can get the fateful email that your school is switching modes yet again, meaning your lesson plan needs drastic changes–or may have to be scrapped completely. Of course, students are struggling to manage these changes as well.

Throughout it all, educators and administrators have kept their focus on equity in learning, searching for tools to help keep students engaged as classrooms shift and change. One of the simplest ways to boost engagement and make the classroom a more collaborative, accommodating space is by incorporating an interactive whiteboard into your lesson plan.

Let’s explore how you can elevate your classroom, lesson plan, and students’ experiences with a FRM smartboard !

How Educators Use Learning Styles

Educators often leverage learning style categorizations to understand the different ways that students learn, behave, and interact in a classroom. By acknowledging that not every student is the same, and embracing students’ differences, educators can provide equitable educational experiences and opportunities for all students.

One of the most popular, tried and true methods to categorize learning styles is the VARK model , designed by Neil Fleming in 1987. The VARK model emphasizes the various ways that students learn–and how educators can reshape their lessons to better fit with their students’ specific learning preferences.

The VARK model is broken down into four learning styles : Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic, and Reading/Writing. It’s important to consider all of these learning styles when lesson planning or when deciding class rules–are students allowed to doodle on their notes while they work? Can they listen to music if it’s not disrupting others?

The FRM Smartboard helps tailor lessons to all different types of learners. Let’s go over some different features and uses that can help all kinds of students learn, in whatever VARK style works best for them.

How A Smartboard Helps Visual Learners

According to the VARK model , visual learners work best in a learning environment that uses images, illustrations, and graphics. Rather than reading a report or listening to a lecture, visual learners excel when studying diagrams, watching video demonstrations, and drawing charts, maps, and more.

To better understand a new concept, the visual learner needs to see it.

The smartboard is an easy choice for the visual learner. Students can use the board to draw free-hand diagrams– or use one of the many diagram templates available to them –and better understand new ideas on the screen. With FEM’s infinite Canvas, there’s never a need to erase the board to make room for more ideas.

With a smartboard, visual brainstorming is a given. Students can leverage FRM’s pen tools to highlight, underline, and circle text–or they can write in different colors to make the most important points stand out. Teachers and professors can also easily upload photos into the Canvas to help students learn and remember maps, historical figures, famous places, and more. Better yet, students and teachers can use the FRM stylus to annotate over images on the board to really make it all pop.

Visual learners are also greatly benefitted by video content. With the FRM Smartboard, educators can pull up a documentary, lesson, or demonstration on YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, or other video sources.

The FRM Smartboard also has the potential to help educate students with other kinds of learning differences. For example, students who are deaf or hard of hearing can more easily follow along with in-class instruction due to the visual capabilities of a smartboard, so educators can ensure that every student’s learning needs are taken into account.

How A Smartboard Helps Auditory Learners

The VARK model defines auditory learners as those who learn best by listening. Sound is everything, whether the student is the one speaking or the one listening–which means music and videos can help auditory learners gain a deeper understanding of material, as can oral communication and lectures.

To better understand a new concept, the auditory learner needs to hear it.

Luckily, the FRM Smartboard makes it easy to record any and all lectures within Canvas–or you can tap into the Setting Panel and record the entire screen. This way, students can listen back in on class recordings to better grasp the material.

Since communication is a key pillar of auditory learning, group discussions are a great way for students to get the point of a lesson. If your classroom is hybrid or remote, real-time collaboration is easy with Vibe. Students can join the same Canvas to brainstorm ideas together, then use that as a jumping off point for deeper discussions. With the ability to access your Canvas from any device, anywhere, students can easily pull up class notes and Canvas recordings and start a new conversation wherever they are.

If an auditory learner needs some extra assistance after class, tutoring sessions, TA meetings, and office hours can be held over Zoom and recorded–another way to provide the student with an audio recording they can revisit when needed. With plenty of video-conferencing options available on the FRM, students can participate in as many additional sessions as they need.

How A Smartboard Helps Kinesthetic Learners

In the VARK model , the kinesthetic learner is one who appreciates a “hands-on” approach to learning, valuing physical interactions, movement, and more active forms of participation–like building or sculpting–in their learning environment of choice.

To better understand a new concept, the kinesthetic learner needs to feel it.

The FRM Smartboard is the perfect fit for more tactile learning. Students can come up to the board and draw, change elements, add diagrams–the possibilities are endless. Plus, the FRM stylus offers a smooth drawing experience, so adding to the board is just like gliding across paper.

For students–or teachers–who can’t hold a pen or stylus, using a finger to navigate the board can be a huge help–and anyone who can’t make it up to the board can still actively participate in class by accessing the Canvas on their own personal device, such as an iPad, laptop, or phone.

Like visual learners, kinesthetic learners can also benefit from the various pen tools and capabilities available on the smartboard, such as the laser pointer, highlighter, and shapes options. With annotation mode, students and teachers can take notes and (literally) draw attention to the most important points in a lecture, video, or presentation, keeping lessons highly interactive and collaborative–even in a massive lecture hall.

How A Smartboard Helps Reading/Writing Learners

Another largely visual learning style, reading/writing learners absorb information best when reading and writing text , rather than looking at illustrations or images.

To better understand a new concept, the reading/writing learner needs to spell it out.

Reading/writer learners excel when they can take active notes, make lists, and read textbooks–all of which can be made easier with the right Canvas templates , such as the Flowchart , Decision Tree , or Problem Statement templates. You can also download third-party note-taking apps like Evernote to enhance your board’s note-taking capabilities, so students can jot down notes in a way that works for them. To help with legibility, the Handwriting to Text feature on Canvas lets you quickly convert handwritten scrawl into standard text as you or your students write on the board.

With a classroom centered around FRM’s Canvas, all class notes and lecture recordings are automatically backed up in the cloud, meaning that students can always return to lessons, diagrams, and notes to reread key lesson points.

Students with learning differences like dyslexia or ADHD can also benefit from being able to access Canvases later and learn on their own time–especially since the Canvas doesn’t need to be erased, so students can take as much time as they need to read through class notes that don’t disappear once the lesson ends. With class notes and lessons centralized, students who struggle with staying organized never have to worry about forgetting the right papers, folders, or binders again. Not only that, but students who have a difficult time communicating with other students or adults can use the collaborative Canvas from their own device as a way to develop their communication skills at a safe, self-determined pace–while still participating in class with other students.

What We’ve Learned

It’s important to keep in mind that the VARK model is just one approach to understanding how students can learn. Not everyone fits into one single learning style–in fact, the VARK model is largely bimodal, with the majority of students fitting into two categories.

The goal here isn’t to pigeonhole students into small categories, but to broaden educators’ understanding of learning styles and make sure education is something that is accessible and accommodating to all students, no matter how they learn.

By making a FRM Smartboard the new center of your classroom , educators and administrators can better align lessons with different students’ learning styles–and keep every student feeling happy, engaged, and appreciated.