Imagine a whiteboard on which you can not only write but play videos, show interactive presentations and recall previously-erased information. That's what an interactive whiteboard does using a special touch-sensitive whiteboard in conjunction with a computer and projector to receive commands and display information. While the information is projected onto the whiteboard, nothing is actually written on the board; it's processed on the computer. This gives interactive whiteboards more functionality than traditional whiteboards, making them advanced tools in places of education and work.
One of the most significant advantages of interactive whiteboards is that they enable far greater participation than traditional whiteboards. For example, interactive whiteboards can be used in conjunction with individual devices that enable participants or an audience to answer questions or vote from their seats and have their responses collected instantly on the whiteboard. They also enable people to manipulate information in ways that wouldn't be possible or practical on a regular whiteboard, such as tapping to performing calculations on the screen, reveal layers of information, or moving information around with the tip of a finger.
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All of the information on an interactive whiteboard actually comes from a connected computer and is simply projected onto the whiteboard. This means whatever you do on the whiteboard can be recorded directly to a hard drive and even transported on portable storage. This enables you to recall and reuse the information, such as the results of a brainstorming session, any time. By contrast, data on a traditional whiteboard must be copied manually or lost when erased.
There are a variety of visuals that can be used with interactive whiteboards. Videos can be uploaded from websites or previously saved files. Additionally, entire presentations can be uploaded onto an interactive whiteboard. You can display and manipulate complex images and graphics. All of this can create a more engaging presentation and that can help keep the audience's attention and even increase their retention.
Particularly for students, an advantage of interactive whiteboards is that they give students a chance to interact extensively with technology, thus interweaving technology with education. Particularly if students are allowed to use the whiteboards for their own presentations, the use of an interactive whiteboard can be a great way to introduce students to electronic devices and a variety of software.