A versatile utility, the whiteboard is a very practical investment for many companies and schools alike. Before a purchase is made, however, it is advisable to weigh the benefits of the two primary types available: mobile whiteboards and stationary. Most budgets will require a choice between the two, so it is important to be sure you are acquiring the type that will prove to be most useful for your specific purposes. Here is a guide to help ensure that you ask yourself the right questions before making your decision.
The most important information to start with is your price range. It must be noted that although they are more versatile in their capabilities, mobile writing surfaces can cost considerably more than those that remain fixed in one position. A basic rolling easel will likely represent a moderate price increase, but more full-featured models can up the cost even more. If your budget is a little more modest, it might be best to stick with a stationary whiteboard.
If you have a little more financial flexibility, wheeled whiteboards offer not only mobility, but can boast a variety of additional features. Many boards are two-sided, allowing the work of colleagues or other classes to be preserved without hindering the next user. In addition to dry erase surfaces, one can also find units that flip over to chalkboard surfaces, or even cork bulletin boards. There is something for just about every type of application.
Many classrooms, meeting rooms, and office areas do not offer much in the way of open free space. In many of these cases, it could be more sensible to opt for a stationary whiteboard. While not offering the agility of its mobile counterparts, a stationary board can be installed flush against almost any wall. By opting for a model that does not feature a pen tray, you can save yourself a few extra inches, which can sometimes be the difference between a comfortable work space and a crammed one.
By contrast, if the room in question is particularly large, it may be wise to consider a mobile whiteboard. The ability to move the writing surface throughout a room allows more people to be directly involved, giving everyone the opportunity for a closer look, regardless of where they might be situated.
A smaller entity working with a tighter budget, such as a small business, may have the need for whiteboards in more than one place, but not the cash to acquire multiple units. Although they do typically cost more, a whiteboard on wheels can still be cheaper than purchasing more than one stationary model. Provided there are smooth, flat surfaces connecting the rooms in question, a mobile board can be an ideal solution if money is a factor.
If the planned use is more along the lines of a single location setting with smaller groups, a fixed unit may be sufficient, with savings to be had both in space and spending.
In a school, it’s usually safe to assume that teachers will be the most frequent, if not the only users of whiteboards. However, that doesn’t mean that students will not regularly be near the board, or possibly asked to demonstrate work on one directly. Although any quality mobile whiteboard will usually offer locking castors and writing surfaces for stability, there is still some amount of risk involved with taller, narrow objects that are not affixed to a stable point. Smaller children could accidentally send a wheeled unit for a tumble, or disengage locks meant to maintain the whiteboard’s position.
There is also minor risk to consider in areas prone to earthquakes or other natural events that might result in the type of disruption capable of knocking over furniture or other large items.
The typical classroom is not going to change orientation very often—schools are usually quite uniform in design, and favor simple functionality. That isn’t always the case for professionals, who may work in environments that shift more dynamically, whether it is out of necessity or just a desire to keep things feeling fresh and interesting. Many people believe in the value of redecorating and updating surroundings to improve energy and focus, and more employers seem to be adopting a similar philosophy when it comes to planning out the workplace.
For those who prefer to continually reinvent their environment, mobile whiteboards may almost be necessary to allow a maximum sense of creative freedom. They can also facilitate the kind of quick, focused meetings that take place in various common areas of the office, eliminating the need for moving the staff to a designated sitting area to view a fixed writing surface.
Installing a wall-mounted whiteboard, for most people, is not heavy-duty work. However, larger boards may require the use of a power drill in order to properly secure. Assembly of an easel or rolling cart can range from simple to fairly complex, if you’re not particularly inclined, but in most cases will only require basic hand tools, which are often more readily available.
There are certainly other factors that can be considered, such as how different types of whiteboards will fit alongside existing décor, just for one example. The most important details, though, remain the cost, the dynamics of the room, and the people who will be using this tool the most frequently.
A whiteboard on wheels can be a great convenience and enable teaching or collaboration to take place in a more agile, connective way. They also tend to require a greater investment both in floor space and capital—both of which are already at a premium for many businesses. Stationary boards offer a smaller footprint, greater safety, and considerable savings when compared with mobile units.
Regardless of the particular style you ultimately choose, a whiteboard is a sound investment for any school, office, or creative environment.