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The Most Innovative Whiteboard for Hybrid Learning

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By The NEARHUB Team January 29, 2023
Hybrid Learning
When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down traditional classroom learning, many school districts scrambled to find suitable alternatives amid the uncertainty of a school year cut short. For many districts, hybrid learning provided an excellent balance to accommodate their students. Now, as restrictions lift, many are wondering what the future for hybrid learning will be.
In this article, we'll explore what hybrid learning is, how it can benefit students and teachers moving forward with NearHub Board System, and ways to incorporate hybrid techniques into daily classroom plans.

1. What is hybrid learning?

Hybrid learning is a combination of traditional face-to-face classroom learning and online learning. Many teachers and school districts leverage educational technology , learning portals, and online learning management systems to provide effective online teaching.

2. Type of hybrid learning methods

In a hybrid learning environment, students may learn through a variety of teaching methods. We’ve outlined some of these methods below:

2.1 In-class learning

This is your traditional learning environment where the teacher and students engage in person for learning and instruction. In class, the teacher will teach, discuss, and evaluate the students face-to-face. This is what most school environments looked like prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2.2 Digital course modules

For online learning, many courses are made up of digital course modules. These are small sections of content and activities that teach a particular section of the course. These modules can create short, easy-to-digest learning for better retention and completion.
The modules can also provide a clear roadmap of the course’s overall syllabus. Most universities and high schools offer online courses that follow the digital course module structure.

2.3 Streaming live online teaching

In this type of learning environment, the teacher is instructing students live in a classroom while simultaneously live-streaming the lesson via video conferencing technology to at-home students. The remote students watch from a mobile device or computer to receive instruction.
As schools returned to in-class learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, some parents opted to keep their children home where they could safely participate through live streaming online teaching. The biggest challenge with this method is that it is heavily reliant on quality technology and a sound connection signal.

2.4 Experimental learning tasks

Experimental learning assigns tasks for students to learn by doing activities. It teaches through experience with the course materials rather than listening to lectures or reading about the subject through books.Experimental learning is very effective at engaging the students and helping them make connections to the course work.
Some drawbacks to experimental learning are that it can be expensive and time consuming. Because of those factors, teachers will need to decide which activities will have the most impact and benefit to the students. Science experiments are an excellent example of experimental learning tasks

2.5 Educational tools and applications

Educational online tools and applications are videos, games , widgets, assessments, quizzes, and other content that provide information and learning for students. These are excellent supplementary sources to help teach concepts, course material, and learning techniques.
A popular educational online tool is Kahoot. This customizable app allows teachers to create quizzes, games, and surveys about any subject matter that engages and challenges the students to compete in course comprehension.

3. Interactive whiteboarding features designed for hybrid learning

The NearHub Smart Whiteboard offers various features for teachers, allowing them to provide a fully customizable experience for their students, which includes:
  • An infinite canvas for creating an unlimited amount of panels
  • Pen, highlighter tools with customizable colors and thicknesses
  • Easy-to-use eraser tools and the option to instantly clear the entire canvas
  • Sticky notes for staying organized, taking notes, or creating matching games
  • A lasso tool to select and move anything around the whiteboard with ease
  • A variety of background colors and patterns (including gridlines—perfect for math lessons)
  • The ability to import documents and images from cloud storage services

4. Using NearHub Board for hybrid learning

4.1 Video conferencing options

With many classrooms moving to a hybrid learning or remote learning approach, teachers rely on video conferencing to engage with their students no matter where they are. The NearHub interactive whiteboard comes equipped with 24-element microphone array and Sony CMOS AI-powered camera, allowing users to join an immersive remote classroom. NearHub integrates several video conferencing options, including:
  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google Meet
  • Webex
  • GoToMeeting
  • RingCentral

4.2 Importing documents

NearHub integrates Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Box. While the types of files you can import depends on the cloud storage provider you use, the NearHub board supports:
  • PDFs
  • JPGs and PNGs

4.3 For remote collaboration

NearHub was built for real collaboration and encourages remote connection between teachers and students. To that end, educators can share the whiteboard’s screen and even invite students to interact with the NearHub board no matter where they are. Invites can even be sent for students to collaborate as an "anonymous editor", and they're not required to have a NearHub account or to sign in to anything. (Though students can also create a free NearHub account to collaborate on the canvas.)
Other devices that can use NearHub software include:
  • Other NearHub Boards
  • Any web browser on any device
  • Mobile application (the mobile app is editable on tablets and view-only on phones)

4.4 3rd party apps

Because educators use a variety of applications when creating lessons, they shouldn’t be limited by the technology they use. The NearHub Smart Whiteboard is compatible with over 100 Android applications , and teachers can download apps from the Google Play Store, too. Some of most popular education apps that work with NearHub include:
  • Google Classroom
  • Canvas
  • Blackboard
  • Mural
  • Miro
  • YouTube
  • PowerPoint
With this kind of integration, teachers can pick and choose which applications they want to utilize when designing their interactive whiteboarding lessons. You can also lock the download of applications with a password to prevent students from downloading apps to the NearHub board.

4.5 Split screen

There will inevitably be times when you need to use two programs simultaneously during a lesson. In these instances, teachers can split the NearHub screen between two applications. For example, you can open Google Chrome on half of the screen while keeping the other half open as a whiteboard. Users can also annotate on any app with a single touch and easily take screenshots of any app screen.

4.6 Use as a second screen

Because of its large surface area, NearHub makes an excellent second screen option, especially for presentations. Users can pull up an application like Microsoft PowerPoint on their computer and display it on NearHub. This also works when running an application that isn’t compatible with the whiteboard - simply share it right to the NearHub screen. Users can cast to the NearHub screen with an HDMI cable or wirelessly through applications like:
  • EShare
  • Airplay
  • Chromecast
EShare works on all operating systems and has a touchback feature allowing you to cast a screen to NearHub and interact with it directly from the whiteboard rather than from your computer.

5. Conclusion

Hybrid learning is key to modern education, and this learning option will build the foundation for future programs. We know that whether you’re teaching from a redesigned syllabus or using new technology, adding anything new to the classroom takes a period of adjustment. But with its intuitive, easy-to-use features and high functionality, NearHub makes it easy to use interactive whiteboarding techniques in traditional and hybrid classrooms.
For even more information, don't hesitate to schedule a NearHub Education Demo to learn more about how NearHub reinvents hybrid learning.

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