How to turn the virtual classroom into a fun, stimulating and enriching environment where interesting things are happening all the time? The hands-on learning activities are among the most successful tools for improving students’ engagement, creativity and motivation to learn and be curious. The virtual classroom offers a great variety of features that can add a spark even to the most difficult and dry lessons.
Teachers have the possibilities to present content in different forms, like visuals, multimedia, text, music, games, discussions, quizzes and many more using the features in the virtual classroom, such as the online whiteboard, live chat, videoconferencing etc. These interactive learning exercises can make a big difference in every lesson with students of all age groups and interests.
What interactive online whiteboard activities can you incorporate in your lessons to make them more engaging and interesting?
Interactive activities are very beneficial for improving students’ decision making skills, teamwork and building community abilities, enrich their creativity and their ability to think outside-of-the-box, empathy, curiosity etc. They are great for strengthening knowledge from previous lessons and understanding more complicated concepts and issues. Last, but not least, interactive activities are fun. They are the easiest way to improve the mood in the classroom and redirect the focus of the students if they get distracted. The interactive online whiteboard activities can be incorporated in the lesson or used as break exercises in-between units. They make awesome icebreaker exercises as well, especially in the beginning of the school year.
This classic game is a well-known ice breaker that creates so much fun and excitement in everyone who participates. The rules are simple and the online whiteboard provides the perfect setting for playing together in real time. The game can be modified easily to include topics from lessons, etc. How to play Pictionary on the online whiteboard. The game can be played in teams or together with the whole class. The teacher chooses a word and sends it in a private message to one of the students. Their job is to describe the word by drawing on the online whiteboard. The rest of the students try to guess. They can either use the videoconferencing and microphones to make their guesses or write them in the chat. Pictionary is one of the simplest games that can be played for a short period of time or longer. It doesn’t require preparation and everyone can participate.
Brainstorming – solve a problem
One of the best ways to have a productive learning session is by working together on solving problems or mysteries. Brainstorming sessions are awesome interactive online whiteboard activities that boost students’ creativity and problem-solving skills. This exercise can be modified to become a great activity for strengthening knowledge from previous lessons by introducing a topic or a problem for students to think about. The online whiteboard becomes the instrument where students can share their thoughts and ideas by drawing, doodling, adding text and photos, etc. The topics can vary from fun and light subjects, like ideas for the summer holiday, to more serious topics, such as… “Imagine you land on Mars. What would you do first?”
Mind mapping is a version of the brainstorming sessions that is another great interactive activity. It is a wonderful exercise for independent work by every student to express their thoughts and ideas on a given topic. Mind mapping on the online whiteboard begins with one phrase or an image in the middle of the canvas related to the topic. The student adds connected boxes with associations, thoughts, ideas, questions and etc. that come to their mind using their own style with colors, shapes, content forms and many more.
This game is without a doubt among the most entertaining activities to play in the virtual classroom. It is a wonderful interactive online whiteboard exercise that can be played in teams. The teacher divides the class into pairs. One student from one pair gets the word they need to describe as well as a forbidden word that should not be mentioned. The players use the online whiteboard to describe the correct word through typing and even doodling while their partner tries to guess what it is. Their turn ends if the partner guesses the word or if they say the forbidden word. Then the next pair takes turn to play.
Word association is a type of interactive game that has countless versions. The rules are very easy to follow. The teacher provides a word written in the middle of the online whiteboard and every student takes turns to write associations on the canvas. In different variations, this game can be played with additional rules – for example, the associations have to be part of the same topic (food, sports, plants etc.). The teacher might add a list with forbidden words or topics that students cannot use in the associations. This game provides a great opportunity for strengthening knowledge from previous lessons, learning new terms and descriptions and many more. And it is a lot of fun.
Two truths and a lie
This icebreaker game is one of the most engaging interactive online whiteboard activities you can include in the classroom. It is exciting and entertaining. How to play this game on the online whiteboard? The notes feature is great for creating cards with statements. Students take turns to write two true statements, one lie while the rest of the class tries to guess which one is the lie. Depending on the purpose of the game the student can write statements related to themselves or related to a topic from a lesson (history, literature etc.). It is an awesome activity for practicing what students have learned and strengthening their knowledge while having a lot of fun.