Interactive Whiteboard

SMART Board - An Interactive Whiteboard

What is an interactive whiteboard?
Since making their appearance in the business world in the 1990's, this powerful and effective tool has finally made its way into the classroom. An interactive whiteboard is a touch-sensitve board connected to a digital projector and computer. The projector displays the image from the computer screen on to the whiteboard. Once software has been down loaded, the computer can be manipulated from the board either by touch of the hand or with specially provided pens.

What can you do with an interactive whiteboard?
A whiteboard in the classroom can be used just like a giant mouse for conventional whole-class teaching. What makes the whiteboard exciting is the manner in which the whole class becomes engaged, motivated and excited about the lesson. The students are able to interact with the materials and student participation increases.

Some of the uses of the interactive whiteboard include showing video clips from the Internet, practicing handwriting, manipulating and saving text, or graphic organizers from the board for future use, illustrating ideas and demonstrating software.

Are there different kinds of interactive whiteboards?
Yes, there are two basic types of whiteboards. The first is an electro-magnetic board that requires the use of special pens. These pens send out an electronic impulse that the screen uses to pinpoint where you want to draw or click. The second type of whiteboard is based on memebrane technology. The board is made from two layers of metal mesh pushed together to create a circuit when you press on the screen. This makes it possible to control the board with your finger, a pointer or even your nose!

Who manufactures the interactive whiteboards?
Several companies manufacture the two types of interactive whiteboards. Some of the names of the whiteboards are Actiboard, Interwrite, Mimio, ebeam and SMARTboard. No matter what the name, the boards spell excitment for everyone.