Interactive Whiteboards


Wikipedia defines interactive whiteboard, or IWB, as a "...large interactive display that connects to a computer and projector. A projector projects the computer's desktop onto the board's surface, where users control the computer using a pen, finger or other device. The board is typically mounted to a wall or on a floor stand." As technology evolves there are many new technologies that replicate the functionality of an IWB by using iPads, AppleTV, apps and wireless networks.

RVS currently supports three different types of IWBs - SMART boards, ActivBoards and Mimio. Schools generally select the type or combination of types that work best in their environment.

  • SMARTboards and ActivBoards are fairly similar - both require a unique "board." Because the Smartboard is touch activated anything can be used to control it - a finger, the "pens" that are supplied with the board or any other object. (Do not use objects that will gouge or cut the board.) SMARTboards do not require a power source unless they have built in projectors. They are connected to the computer with a USB cable.
  • ActivBoards are electromagnetic and require the use of a specific stylus to operate. Users must be careful to avoid repeated dropping of the pens or they will need to be replaced. ActivBoards require a power source. They have both USB connections and optional wireless hubs.
  • Mimios do not have boards but utilize existing whiteboards in the school. They are comprised of a Mimio "bar" that attaches to the whiteboard (or other flat surface) and is connected to the computer via USB or optional wireless hub. They are operated with standard batteries or can be plugged into a power source. A stylus pen is used to control the computer from the board. An optional Capture device can also be used to capture anything written on the whiteboard, with or without a projector.

All IWBs come with their own software which is crucial component in the decision making process.

Technical Requirements

All IWBs require a projector and a wall to either mount a board or project an image from the computer. Software is downloaded from each product's respective sites and are activated when connected to the board.

Contact Person

Joan Kollewyn, Learning Specialist

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