Interactive whiteboards are a better way to collaborate and save your work for future use. Using a stylus pen or your finger, you can draw, highlight, or interact with elements via the board’s touchscreen surface. By recording thoughts and ideas on the smartboard, you can share, archive, and save your notes as digital content.
Plus, the smartboard allows for integration between mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. You can connect devices to either wirelessly or with an HDMI cable. From there, users can easily annotate on top of the content pulled from the connected device. You can also use it the other way around: share your project from the board for instant real-time co-creating from another board, computer web browser, or tablet.
Directly sharing content from devices makes presentations more fluid and cuts down on time spent organizing notes. And when you’re done, there’s no need for physical storage space. The annotated content is saved on the cloud to use later on your choice of connected device.
A traditional interactive whiteboard uses a projector that displays the image on a special screen equipped with cameras and sensors that enable a teacher or student to control the computer using their fingers or an electromagnetic pen. This enables easy annotation of digital images, and companies like Smart and Promethean have built large libraries of interactive lessons to make it easier for teachers to use the technology.
Despite these advantages, there are some solid reasons schools are looking to make the switch to interactive displays.
Calibrating a whiteboard can be difficult
One problem with a traditional interactive whiteboard is the need to “calibrate” the system so the camera can properly interpret the location of the pen or finger on the screen. This is an essential part of the setup, and if the projector or screen is moved – it may need to be re-calibrated.
For example, some school districts have dedicated web pages to ensure that their teachers can properly go through all the steps to calibrate their system if the system gets bumped – or somehow loses its setting.
Projector lamps are expensive
Most interactive whiteboards sold in North America over the last decade use lamp-powered projectors to fill the screen. Many of these projectors not only have lamps that are expensive to replace – but they also have filters that need to be regularly cleaned. Replacing a lamp after a few years is expensive – and since these lamps contain mercury – may require special handling and disposal.
Interactive Whiteboards are hard to move
If you have read about the benefits of a flipped classroom and would like to use this concept to help your students perform better – a large wall-mounted interactive whiteboard can make this difficult to implement.
Also, because many of these systems have fixed cables in the wall between the computer and projector, moving the system is often impractical. And if you do move it, you will need to recalibrate everything.