How Do Promethean Boards Connect to Laptops?

By Michelle Goldman

Interactive Whiteboards for 21st Century Learning

Since opening their doors in 1977, Promethean has grown exponentially and is now the leader in interactive whiteboard technology. Promethean boards are used globally by educators to engage students in the classroom with vivid images, video and audio allowing students to interact directly with the lesson content, collaborate and even share with other students around the world. Promethean also maintains one of the most expansive, free online communities designed to provide teachers around the world the ability to share new and innovative lessons, access a wide variety of professional development materials, and connect with fellow teachers.

Installing Software

In order for the Promethean ActivBoard to communicate with a laptop computer, the ActivBoard driver (software) must be installed first. Either run the appropriate operating system version (Windows or Mac) installation disc that was provided when the board was purchased or download the software from using the serial number located on the back of the Promethean board. Installing the ActivBoard driver requires administrative privileges and that the computer must be re-started.

Connecting Hardware

Plug in the power cord for the Promethean board, or ActivBoard, into a wall outlet or surge protector. The board is supplied with either an 8 meter (just over 26 feet) serial cable or 5 meter (just over 16 feet) universal serial bus (USB) cable which must be securely plugged into the serial or USB port on the laptop. The distance of the serial or USB cable can be extended if necessary through an extension cable which is available from Promethean. To project the image from the laptop onto the board the laptop must be connected to a projector using a standard VGA cable. Plug one end of this cable into monitor out port on the projector. Plug the other end of the VGA cable into the video out port on the laptop. If connecting to a Mac computer, a VGA cable adapter or dongle will be required to connect the VGA cable to the laptop.

Calibrating the Promethean Board

The laptop's image will be projected on the Promethean board. Launch the calibration utility which will guide you through a process that will directly align the ActivPen (pen supplied with the ActivBoard) and the mouse cursor on the board making every tap of the ActivPen 100 percent accurate.For a windows computer, launch the calibration utility by right clicking on the ActivBoard driver icon in the system tray, which is located in the bottom right hand corner of the Windows screen. For a Mac computer, launch the calibration utility by double clicking on the ActivBoard icon in the "System Preferences" screen. Click on the ActivBoard tab and select "Calibrate". The screen on Promethean board will turn all white with the message to click anywhere on the board to begin the calibration process. The calibration program will then project a calibration cross. Click the pen accurately on the center of the cross and another cross will appear. When you have clicked on five calibration crosses, the calibration utility will automatically close. The ActivBoard system is now calibrated and ready to use.