An Introduction to Interactive Whiteboards
Being a fairly new technology, many people know about the interactive whiteboard (IWB) but few are familiar with its ins and outs.
Interactive whiteboards are devices that display computer generated imagery on a board using a projector.
The imagery can be manipulated and interacted with using your hand or a special pen as an input medium directly on the screen. Interactive whiteboards, due to their versatility, have found use in numerous fields and profession, the most common of which are listed here:
In Higher Education
Interactive whiteboards can be really powerful tools in classrooms, adding the benefits of digital media content in lectures and in supporting collaborative learning. If used effectively, they can be of immense aid in education. However, at present, they are mostly not being used to their full potential. Moreover, few educational institutions outside of private schools have been keen on adopting this new technology.
As A Pedagogical Tool
Interactive whiteboards can help encourage teaching and taking in information. A person can use the flexibility it offers and adopt different and more effective learning styles. You can touch and move items on the board and even make notes. It is easier for a person to be attentive when someone uses this rather than a traditional whiteboard or a blackboard. It is easier on the eyes as well, being more visible as well as less bland.
Interactive whiteboards were originally made to be used in the education sector, but being highly versatile in function, the technology was soon adopted for other purposes. In business, interactive whiteboards can better help present information and show various charts and figures accurately. It can also be of significant aid in group meetings and discussions, serving as an effective tool for brainstorming and presenting information. It is not surprising that many large businesses as well as entrepreneurs in South Africa are using these.
How It Works
Your curiosity about how interactive whiteboards work might not have been quenched by the brief introduction, so let’s look at how it works in more detail. The board is first connected to a computer using either a USB connection or in cases of newer models, Bluetooth or even Wi-Fi. A driver is normally installed on the said computer to allow you to interact with the board. The projector connected to the computer displays the video output.
The user must then calibrate the image on the board into the right position using a pointer if required, and then he/she can start using the IWB, to activate e-programs. The basic features of a standard IWB include screen shade, i.e. the ability to cover one’s screen, spotlight which allows the user to focus the attention of the audience at a particular area of the board, magnifier which allows the enlargement of a specific part of the screen and screen capture which allows you to take a screenshot of what is being displayed on the board. Some of the more modern IWBs come equipped with special software that allow for even more functions and features.
So, hopefully now you will have some idea of how interactive whiteboards work and the purposes you can use them for. For more details and info on interactive whiteboards, feel free to contact us. We will love to answer all your queries. Contact us here.