An interactive whiteboard is a large interactive display that connects to a computer and projector. A projector projects the computer’s desktop onto the board’s surface, where users control the computer using a pen, finger or other device. The board is typically mounted to a wall or on a floor stand.
Basically, an interactive whiteboard is a type of touch-sensitive computer screen. They are used in a variety of settings such as in classrooms of all levels of education, in corporate board rooms and work groups, in training rooms for professional sports coaching, broadcasting studios and more.
Uses for interactive whiteboards include
- Operating any software that is loaded onto the connected PC, including Internet browsers or proprietary software
- Using software to capture notes written on a whiteboard or whiteboard-like surface
- Controlling the PC (click and drag), mark-up (annotating a program or presentation) and translating cursive writing to text (not all whiteboards)
Interactive whiteboards are used in many schools as replacements for traditional whiteboards or flipcharts. They provide ways to show students anything that can be presented on a computer's desktop (educational software, web sites, and others). Projectors, which are used with the interactive whiteboards, can also be connected to a video recorder or a DVD player, or users can connect to a school network digital video distribution system. Some interactive whiteboards are available online in the form of interactive vector based graphical websites.
In addition, interactive whiteboards allow teachers to record their instruction and post the material for review by students at a later time. This can be a very effective instructional strategy for students who benefit from repetition, who need to see the material presented again, for students who are absent from school, for struggling learners, and for review for examinations. Brief instructional blocks can be recorded for review by students — they will see the exact presentation that occurred in the classroom with the teacher's audio input. This can help transform learning and instruction.