Tricks of the trade . . .
Perhaps the biggest drawback to using whiteboards is the use of dry erase markers. They can be messy, are a consumable item and are non-renewable. There are alternatives you might not be aware of, however:
- "There are a couple of solutions to yucky pens. They make whiteboard markers that are refillable and use a water based ink. I like the ones made by AusPen . The six pack with refillable six color inks cost $50. Used them for entire year and never needed replacing. They needed refilling about once a week. On the other hand, no dust and the board is far, far easier to erase and clean. New pens cost $1.50. Ink is extra.The nibs wear out and need replacing. I love them." -- Zeke Kossover
- "There are also whiteboard crayons. They require more effort to erase than dry erase markers. I wouldn't use them on my main board, but for small boards they work fine and the crayons don't need capping so they last pretty much forever." -- Zeke Kossover
Helpful hints on buying and maintaining whiteboards -- Jane Jackson
Whiteboard care & cleaning (compiled listserv discussion from ASU's modeling website)
Propping whiteboards up in the tray of the chalkboard/markerboard in the front of the room helps students see them all at once. You may even be able to prop them up on the upper frame of the chalkboard/markerboard. Alternatively, whiteboard stands can be purchased/made (for larger whiteboards). Guitar hangers could also work. . .
Chalkboard paint can be added to the back of an economy board for using chalk. -- Jim Deane
If you (or your students!) are tech-savvy, even smartphones or iPads can be used as "mini" whiteboards:
Above is a screen capture of a graphic created with the Doodle Buddy on an iPhone. In this example, the numbers of apps resulting from searches were plotted. While this is done in tongue-and-cheek (the implied exponential trend is meaningless), it does demonstrate how text can be inserted, rotated and graphs generated. This particular app is free and has limited but useful features.