Shopping for Digital Whiteboards
Digital whiteboards encourage interaction and collaboration among users in learning environments. While they're popular teaching aids in classrooms, you can also find these giant displays in corporate conference rooms, sports training rooms, and broadcasting studios. Compared to regular marker boards, interactive displays make content come alive by allowing users to write and digitize notes, as well as share and save them.
What's a Digital Whiteboard?
Also known as a smart whiteboard, an interactive board is a large display that houses a computer or serves as a peripheral for a computing device. Although it looks like a regular whiteboard, this device usually has a touch-enabled surface that accepts pen and/or touch input. Digital boards are functionally similar to tablet PCs and electronic paper displays but have much bigger footprints. While these smaller alternatives are for personal use and small groups, interactive models are big enough to be visible across school classrooms and business conference rooms.
Types of Digital Whiteboards
There are five broad categories of interactive digital boards. Each type uses a different technology to project content on screens. The most affordable type is the pen-based infrared whiteboard. This system works on any flat surface including regular whiteboards, walls, and chalkboards. Another type of infrared smart board accepts pen and touch input as well as dry-erase markers.
The third category consists of resistive touch-based models. These have mesh or membrane surfaces that depress slightly when registering touch. For full-featured touchscreen whiteboards, consider pen-based units with electromagnetic surfaces. Most of these can accept pen and touch input, and they allow multiple users to write on them at the same time. The fifth type of digital writing boards are whiteboard projection screens that pair with interactive projectors. Infrared cameras on the projectors register input by tracking pen movements across the surfaces of these boards.
How to Select an Interactive Whiteboard
First, consider size. Most digital boards measure 70 inches or larger. There are smaller models that work in portrait orientation. Businesses use these to replace flip charts mounted on easel and display boards. The digital board you select should be big enough to command the attention of everyone in a room. It's also important to make sure you have the wall space to fit the model you order.
Another important factor to consider is computer compatibility. While some interactive options only support Windows, others connect to Mac and Windows computers as well as Chromebooks. If you prefer an interactive board system with an embedded PC, compare spec sheets when looking at different models. Take note of the Windows OS version supported, as well as components such as processor, RAM, and storage capacity.
Electronic whiteboards make classes and meetings more enjoyable by making ideas more engaging, and encouraging participation from everyone in attendance. Browse the wide selection of audiovisual presentation equipment at B&H Photo and Video to find the right interactive board for your training sessions.