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Exploring equipment Interactive whiteboard by wanghonghx

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									Section 6                                                                     Exploring equipment

                 Exploring equipment: Interactive whiteboard
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Price guide: Front projected £1,500 upwards. Rear projected £7,000 upwards. Interactive
overlay for plasma screen £2,000.

‘Interactive whiteboard’ is the standard term for a product on which you display your computer
desktop and through which you can then interact with your computer: you can open
applications, navigate websites and write and save whiteboard notes and drawings. These
notes can then be printed, emailed or uploaded to a learning platform for the students to
access.

An interactive whiteboard connects to your computer with a serial cable, and is powered by the
computer. Once the whiteboard’s driver has been installed on your computer, it will
automatically power up the whiteboard as soon as the computer is turned on.

With a data projector connected to your computer (see ‘Using a data projector’), you can project
the computer’s screen display onto the interactive whiteboard in the same way as you would do
using a normal whiteboard setup, then interact with the computer’s display at the whiteboard.
Interactive whiteboards can also be used with a VCR or a DVD player, whereby the interactive
whiteboard replaces the normal white projection screen and the film is projected directly onto it.

Software supplied with the interactive whiteboard, once installed on your computer, will allow
you to annotate anything displayed on the interactive whiteboard, write and edit notes and
record data.

You can use your fingers or the interactive whiteboard pen as a mouse on the whiteboard. The
interactive whiteboard driver will convert the contact you make with the interactive whiteboard
into mouse clicks or electronic ink, depending on which technology the interactive whiteboard
uses. (See ‘Using an interactive whiteboard’ for more information on interactive whiteboard
technologies.) Interactive whiteboards use one of two technologies to identify where the screen
is touched:

         Electromagnetic scanning: using special pens supplied, the frame of the interactive
          whiteboard detects the location of the pen on whiteboard area. If the screen of the
          interactive whiteboard becomes damaged it can be easily replaced. Several pens are
          normally provided with this type of interactive whiteboard. Examples of interactive
          whiteboards using electromagnetic scanning technology include the Hitachi StarBoard
          and the TDS ACTIVboard.

         Resistive: two strips of resistive material with a small gap between detect pressure on
          the interactive whiteboard when it is touched. Interactive whiteboards using resistive
          technology do not require the use of special pens and will react to pressure applied
          using your finger. An example of an interactive whiteboard using resistive technology is
          the SmartBoard.

The majority of interactive whiteboard software packages include built-in optical character
recognition (OCR) software, which enables handwritten characters to be converted into
computer text.




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Section 6                                                                      Exploring equipment

An interactive whiteboard may use front or rear projection:

       Front projection: the data projector is positioned in front of the interactive whiteboard,
        which means that if the tutor stands in front of the screen, shadows will be thrown
        across the board, making it difficult for the students to see clearly. Data projectors can
        be mounted on the ceiling and locked in place if the location is permanent. Front
        projection interactive whiteboards are diagonal and range in size from 47” to 77” wide.
        They can be freestanding, wall mounted or can stand on a desktop. Portable versions
        are also available, but only in the smallest sizes.

       Rear projection: the data projector is positioned behind the interactive whiteboard,
        eliminating all shadows. This is a more expensive option. Rear projection interactive
        whiteboards use a special screen material. Cabinets are available where the data
        projector is mounted in a cabinet underneath the interactive whiteboard and a series of
        mirrors project the image onto the whiteboard. The cabinets will also house a computer
        base-unit, VCR and DVD player.

It is also possible to get an interactive touch-screen overlay for a plasma screen, enabling it to
be used in the same way as an interactive whiteboard. Plasma screens have the advantage of
being rear-projected, thus eliminating all shadows, but have the disadvantage of being a much
more expensive and less portable option.

An interactive whiteboard can be used in the following ways:

       As a conventional whiteboard.

       As a projector screen for multimedia presentations.

       As an electronic copyboard connected to a computer to save and print notes and
        drawings made on it. A copyboard has the appearance of a normal whiteboard but
        includes the facility to print out on A4 paper any notes and drawings made during a
        session utilising a built-in printer that sits underneath the whiteboard. The majority of
        copyboards can now also be connected to the computer, which allows the notes and
        drawings to be saved and distributed electronically.

       As a touch screen when used in conjunction with a data projector. Multimedia content,
        such as animations or video clips and software packages such as Microsoft® Word or
        PowerPoint® can be projected onto the interactive whiteboard. Data files can then be
        updated and saved.

       As an instructional tool. The projected image can be annotated to highlight areas of
        either the data or the software application being used. Again, these annotations can be
        saved to the computer.

       As an inclusion tool. Students can add their contributions to the image projected on the
        interactive whiteboard. This can be further enhanced by using a tablet PC or a wireless
        pad, which will allow the computer and its projected image to be controlled remotely
        within the room, meaning the tutor does not have to teach from the front of the room,
        and students can interact with the technology without having to move around.




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Section 6                                                                   Exploring equipment

      As an access tool. Provided the computer is connected to the internet, websites can be
       accessed and annotated on screen.

      As part of a video-conferencing system. The same computer image can be displayed at
       all the locations connected to the video conference. Any notes made during the
       conference can be saved to the host computer and distributed electronically to the other
       locations.


Computer specification for running an interactive whiteboard
      PC:

             o   IBM compatible Pentium® 150MHz processor (Pentium 11 or later
                 recommended)

             o   48Mb RAM (128Mb recommended)

             o   Windows NT 4.0, 98SE or later

             o   100Mb free hard disk space

             o   CD-ROM drive

             o   Available USB port

      Macintosh®:

             o   350MHz processor

             o   128Mb RAM

             o   Mac OS X v10.1 or later

             o   25Mb free hard disk space

             o   CD-ROM drive

             o   Available USB port


Further information
Background information:

      The Ferl website, ‘Types of display screens’, lists and discusses the different
       technologies [http://ferl.becta.org.uk/display.cfm?page=253]

      The Community Focus on Research Dissemination compares commercially available
       interactive whiteboards [http://www.mirandanet.ac.uk/pubs/smartboard.htm]

      The Becta ICT Advice for Teachers website has a summary on interactive whiteboards
       [http://www.ictadvice.org.uk/index.php?section=te&cat=004&rid=521]

      Ferl Practitioners’ Programme, Module D, ‘Delivery Technologies’.

      The Joint Information Systems Committee, ‘Interactive whiteboards’
       [http://www.jisc.ac.uk/index.cfm?name=techlearn_white]




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Section 6                                                                Exploring equipment

Product information:

      CleverBOARD™ [http://www.ambra-solutions.co.uk/cleverboard.htm]

      Smart technologies [http://www.smarttech.com]

      Promethean Limited [http://www.promethean.co.uk]

      Hitachi [http://www.hitachi-soft.com/starboard_1.1.2.htm]

      PolyVision [http://www.polyvision.com/products/interactive_presentation.asp]

      Plasma screens [http://www.plasmascreens.co.uk]

      Copyboards Panasonic Panaboard
       [http://www.panasonic.com/business/office/cat_whiteboards.asp]




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