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Whiteboard Compromise

  1. May 12, 2017 #1
    Hello, I am soon to be a graduate student in mathematics. I currently have a chalkboard (well, a whiteboard covered with chalkboard paint) and I very much like it. I think chalk is fun, and I am particularly fond of how long chalk will last. The problem is that I have a laptop, on which I have all of my textbooks. I just also use my computer alot writing on the board, and I have noticed that I always end up with some residue on the keyboard, even though I feel that I am being cautious. A chalkboard is also more noisy. I was thinking about getting another whiteboard, as I would probably have access to classroom chalkboards in the near future, but I am still put off by how quickly markers die. Is there any reasonable compromise? Are there any super long lasting whiteboard markers anyone can recommend?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2017 #2


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    Sorry, just curious, what is Dubya doing in your avatar picture. Is he kissing a pig/dog, etc?
  4. May 13, 2017 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Personally I like whiteboards and markers more, even though the markers run out of ink in a relatively short time. One thing I do is to always keep the marker cap in one hand, and immediately put it back on the pen when I'm finished writing, even if I'm only pausing for a minute or two. As soon as I stop writing, I put the cap back on. I've seen so many people who wave the marker pens around, leave them with the caps off, and otherwise don't take good care of them, that I always carry about 20 of my own.

    Another thing is that some markers are refillable so you don't have to just throw away the marker when the ink is used up. Pilot makes a brand called "Begreen VBoard Master" markers that are refillable four times. When a marker starts to get faint, just unscrew the endcap, put in a refill, and screw in the endcap.

    Another strong point for the marker pens is that the colors are much brighter than chalk colors, so it's easier to emphasize certain points than you can do with chalk.

    Aside from being noisier, the dust produced by chalk is very hard on computers, so it's not a good idea to be using a laptop in close proximity to a chalkboard. I don't think the dust can get into the hard drives, but it can eventually coat everything else inside the computer, and that can't be good for the longevity of the device.
  5. May 14, 2017 #4
    I do this too. I use a small whiteboard for writing math when I don't want to chew up a lot of notebook pages using pencil & paper. Aside from quick capping, I find having a bunch of markers takes away the problem of any single marker dying. Markers aren't like chalk which lasts down to the last crumb, but so it goes.

    I too prefer the aesthetics of a good chalkboard - however the dust is considerable; also, anything but a really high quality actual chalkboard w/ a smooth surface results in bumpy, inferior performance that takes the fun away; and chalkboard paint in particular has not worked well for me for that reason. And finally, an advantage of whiteboards for personal use is that a fine-point marker allows smaller handwriting than chalk.
  6. May 19, 2017 #5
    Here is the solution -- now you have a different problem.
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