December 19, 2016
An interactive whiteboard is an instructional tool that allows computer images to be displayed onto a board using a digital projector. The instructor can then manipulate the elements on the board by using his finger as a mouse, directly on the screen. Items can be dragged, clicked and copied and the lecturer can hand write notes, which can be transformed into text and saved. They are a powerful tool in the classroom adding interactivity and collaboration, allowing the integration of media content into the lecture and supporting collaborative learning. Used innovatively they create a wide range of learning opportunities. However, in many environments they are not being used to their full potential, and in many cases acting as glorified blackboards. Interactivity is a key feature of electronic whiteboards. To keep the audience fully engaged, one needs to be able to interact with the projected content on the smart board. Content interaction involves using the fingers, the included pen or supported input device to draw, highlight and click hyperlinks on the board. It also involves playing, pausing and extracting clips from multimedia contents. One should not have to take notes while using an electronic whiteboard. As the user, can annotate and add more content to the board, one should be able to save each page at the press of a button. In addition to saving the content created on it, an electronic board should be able to share these saved pages with participants by sending them copies via email, wirelessly to connected mobile devices and as hard copies using a connected printer. In addition to the image projected onto its screen, an electronic whiteboard should also be able to pull content from connected peripheral devices such as flash drives, cameras and camcorders. Most interactive boards have USB ports for just this purpose. Furthermore, a smart whiteboard should be able to join a local network and go online either to provide access to more information or support remote participation. An electronic whiteboard can significantly improve communication and productivity in the organization, but finding the right one is key. The right electronic whiteboard meets our needs and our budgetary requirements.