The Basics of Interactive Whiteboards

Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) are sizable interactive displays that connect to a computer. Projectors display the desktop of the computer onto the surface of the board, where users manipulate the computer with a finger, pen, stylus or other implement. The board generally mounts on a floor stand or the wall.

Interactive whiteboards have applications in many different settings, such as corporate meeting rooms, classrooms at all grade levels, training rooms for sports coaches, broadcats studios, and work groups.

The global market for the IWB industry was projected to expand to sales of $1 billion worldwide by 2008, and by 2011, one in every seven classrooms around the world was projected to have one by 2011, according to industry consultants. In 2004, about one in four primary classrooms in the UK had interactive whiteboards.

By 2008, the average number of IWBs increased in both primary and secondary schools.

The whiteboard connects to the computer with a serial port cable, USB cable or through a wireless connection such as a 2.4 GHz wireless setup or a Bluetooth. If you use the 2.4 GHz wireless setup, security through WEP and WPA/PSK is available for your use. It is common to install a device driver on the computer to help the interactive whiteboard act like a Human Input device (HId), much like a mouse. The video output from the computer connects to a digital projector, permitting the projection of images on the interactive whiteboard service.

Then the user calibrates the image on the whiteboard, using a pointer when needed. Next, the pointer can activate programs, menus and buttons from the whiteboard, much as one would do with a mouse on a computer. If you require text input, the user can call up an on-screen keyboard or use handwriting recognition, depending on the software. This makes the IWB perform the roles of a mouse and a keyboard when needed.