High-end interactive whiteboards and lower-cost ones
August 26, 2014 2:12am CST
Interactive whiteboards (INTECH IWB are fast becoming the next big thing in educational classroom technology. When used in conjunction with a video projector and a computer system interactive whiteboards have shown time and time again that they can capture student attention and keep that attention longer than plain old ordinary infrared interactive whiteboard. Still, the IWB system has to be adequate for the job at hand and has to be able to provide tools that the teacher can use effectively in the course of their classes. Not every electronic whiteboard system is created equal. Some are better for business installations while others are more appropriate for the classroom. Interactive white boards take several forms and come in many different price ranges. The more high-end devices are complete whiteboards that mount on a wall and contain embedded circuitry that acts as a touch sensitive surface for the teacher or student to manipulate. Lower cost options include portable devices that attach to an existing whiteboard and convert it to work interactively with a computer. The lowest cost option is one that true do-it-yourself types can use to create an ultra low cost interactive whiteboard using off the shelf components. The price ranges of these products also speak to their utility in the classroom. Higher priced products in general provide a better, more easily accessible user experience. Lower cost models require more setup and do not ship with software that is as robust as their higher end counterparts. At the lowest end of the scale no software is provided at all other than the drivers that help control the board. Potential whiteboard buyers need to consider these things when planning an interactive whiteboard purchase and attempt to find adequate funding to purchase the right brand of interactive whiteboard that is correct for their situation. For the teacher, the biggest hurdle to using an Interactive Display whiteboard in class is not the price, it is the preparation. Although companies such as Smart and Promethean have made great strides in producing high quality software for their systems, many teachers will still find themselves having to create their own presentations and activities from scratch. Depending on the technical know-how of the teacher, this can be a significant time sink, and many teachers find themselves spending more time creating materials than they had to when not using the IWB.