Interactive whiteboards in detail

What are interactive whiteboards?

An interactive whiteboard is a large, touch-sensitive panel that connects to a digital projector and a computer, displaying the information on the computer screen. It resembles a traditional whiteboard and is used in a similar way. The computer connected to the interactive whiteboard can be controlled by touching the board directly or by using a special pen.  Such actions (inputs) are transmitted to the computer instead of using a mouse or keyboard.

To get an interactive whiteboard up and running, five separate components are typically involved, these are the following:

  • Touch-sensitive whiteboard
  • Digital projector
  • Computer
  • Software
  • Connectivity (wired or wireless) between the computer, whiteboard and the projector

The computer and the associated whiteboard software are fundamental to the process. The digital projector allows everything that is happening on the computer screen to be projected on to the whiteboard where everyone can see it. The touch-sensitive whiteboard allows users, either the teacher or students, to interact with the information being displayed, i.e. to interact with the computer. The ‘input device’ is usually a stylus or a finger-tip.