Interactive Whiteboards - Craven College Web Portal

Interactive Whiteboards - Craven College Web Portal
Interactive Whiteboards This activity looks at an introduction to using Interactive Whiteboards. How to use interactive whiteboards and the advantages and disadvantages of them Other Resources in this section are:
Make Selective Use of IT
Laptop Presentation Tips
Making your own worksheets using screen shots
Choosing and Using ILT resources
Section 1 Make selective use of IT Electronic And Interactive Whiteboards Electronic and Interactive Whiteboards are becoming increasingly commonplace in educational institutions, from Primary schools through to Universities. They are being used as teaching and learning aids, allowing both lecturer and student to interact with technology in a whole class setting. This document will outline some of the various whiteboards available, from low cost “low­tech” solutions through to more advanced technologies and includes some case studies of how different boards are being used. Overview Of Technologies Throughout this document reference is made to electronic and interactive whiteboards. The following definitions are for the purpose of this document:
· Electronic whiteboards: Whiteboards which can capture hand­written notes on a whiteboard and save them electronically.
Interactive whiteboard: Control and access a computer and its applications through touching the whiteboard. There are numerous different whiteboards available on the market at present. They can be divided into the following three categories: Low­Tech Solutions, such as eBeam and Mimio These are the cheapest solutions available. They are small, portable “add­on” pieces of hardware that can be stuck onto existing (ordinary) whiteboards and used alone as note­capturing devices (electronic whiteboards), or in conjunction with a PC/ laptop and projector as an interactive touch screen whiteboard. Integrated Systems, such as CleverBoard and Smartboard These solutions are mainly stand alone boards with built in technology. As with the cheaper solutions they can be used alone as note­capturing devices, or in conjunction with a projector as a touchscreen interactive board. The boards within this category vary in price and also in the way they operate, however in the main they allow the control of applications on a connected PC/laptop through the use of an electronic pen (sometimes a finger). Built in software allows users to switch between PC applications and electronic whiteboard functions. Advanced Technologies, e.g. Plasma Screen overlays and tablet PC wireless pads The use of additional hardware can turn plasma screens into interactive whiteboards. For example, SMART produce an overlay which, when used with Smart software turns a plasma screen into a touchscreen board. It also has a whiteboard emulator so hand­written notes can be electronically captured, stored and distributed.
ITQ Resource Pack Page 5 Section 1 Make selective use of IT Tablet PC’s/ wireless pads allow a lecturer or student to control a computer (and it’s projected image) remotely from within the classroom, giving the advantage of allowing the lecturer to move around the classroom, and also the possibility of engaging the student with the technology. Common features Interactive whiteboards, whether they are low­tech or more advanced, all have a number of common features. These are: §
The electronic capturing of notes written on the board. Interactive whiteboards and the accompanying software normally allow the user to make notes and annotations over existing applications. They also allow notes to add to a “note pad” type application, directly through writing onto the board. These can then be saved in electronic format making them easy to distribute. This feature also saves students taking notes during a session. §
The ability to control a computer and its’ applications through touching the whiteboard. When connected to a PC/ laptop and projector (where necessary), interactive whiteboards can be used as touchscreens. The board displays the active desktop of the connect laptop/PC and all applications on the computer can be controlled via touching the board, either with your finger, or with an electronic pen/ stylus. §
The distribution of electronically captured notes, either through print or online media. Notes that have been written on the board are electronically captured (as above). These notes can be distributed to student’s, either by printing the notes or by creating files through the interactive whiteboard’s software, which can be emailed to students, or uploaded to an intranet/web site/ VLE. The main differences between the various types of board are found in the way in which they accomplish these features. For example, using a plasma screen and a SMART overlay, users can simply touch the screen to operate any applications on a connected PC. Using a low­tech solution, users can still use a board as a touchscreen but will need to use an electronic pen or stylus to do so.
ITQ Resource Pack Page 6 Section 1 Make selective use of IT Products N.B The products below are just a few of the technologies available. All prices are approximate and exclusive of VAT. Many of the products can be purchased from a number of suppliers so it is a good idea to shop around for the best price. Some suppliers will offer education bundles which will include projectors and sometimes laptops along with the board. Cheaper “low­tech” solutions eBeam eBeam is a small triangular shaped device which can be stuck onto an ordinary whiteboard and used as an electronic whiteboard (note­capturing device), or used with a computer and projector as an interactive touchscreen whiteboard. It is small, lightweight and can be moved from classroom to classroom. Used at its’ most basic level as an electronic whiteboard device, electronic note capturing is made simple with very little set­up or technical knowledge needed. Users need to calibrate the screen size when used with a projector as an interactive whiteboard. The interactive whiteboard is controlled with the use of electronic pens. Accuracy of the pens will depend on accuracy during calibration. Additional eBeam server software provides a web­conferencing solution. Manufacturer: Electronics for Imaging Mimio Mimio is another small, portable “add­on” device. It sticks onto an ordinary whiteboard and uses infrared beams to capture information written onto the board. This information can then be distributed electronically as standalone presentations, or as images, html files or imported into MS Office applications. Using MimioMouse technology this piece of hardware can also turn an ordinary whiteboard into an interactive touchscreen. Again, electronic pens (stylus’) are needed to control the applications from the board and calibration is necessary. Mimio plug­ins (Classroom and Boardcast) allow Mimio notes and presentations carried out on the board to be shared by other computers, either across a network or broadcast over the internet. Manufacturer: Virtual Ink
ITQ Resource Pack Page 7 Section 1 Make selective use of IT Integrated systems CleverB oard CleverBoard is a whiteboard that can be wall mounted or free standing and comes with built in Mimio technology. When connected to a PC/ laptop it can be used as en electronic whiteboard, capturing hand­written notes for electronic distribution or printing. Connect a projector to the PC/laptop, project the computer image onto the CleverBoard and it becomes and interactive whiteboard, using MimioMouse technology. With the use of a Mimio pen in a stylus users can control the PC/Laptop by pressing on the board. Price depends on the size of the board. One of the main advantages of the CleverBoard is that all the components for using it as an electronic or interactive whiteboard can be locked within built­in compartments, making it very secure. As a free­standing board it can be moved from room to room and angled to suite the layout and lighting of the classroom. Manufacturer: Sahara SMART Board SMART board and the accompanying SMART software can be used as an electronic, note­capturing board. In conjunction with a PC and projector the SMART board can be used as an interactive whiteboard. The boards consist of two layers, between which there is a layer of gas. This is known as resistive technology and allows users to control and access applications, and write on the board just with the use of a finger. SMART boards are available in front­projected, rear­projected and Plasma Screen overlay models. The front­projected model requires a computer image to be projected onto the board surface. The rear projected models have the advantage of removing any problems with shadow as the user walks in front of the screen. For more information about the Plasma overlay see Advanced Technologies below. Award­winning SMART software accompanies the boards and allows notes to be captured electronically and distributed as html or PDF files. Manufacturer: Smart Technologies Inc.
ITQ Resource Pack Page 8 Section 1 Make selective use of IT ACT IVboard ACTIVboard was designed for use in education and the manufacturers Promethean have developed a whole suite of software and peripheral hardware to compliment the use of an interactive whiteboard. ACTIVboards use electromagnetic sensing technology with battery free e­pens to allow lecturers and students to write and capture notes electronically, and control applications on a connected computer. ACTIVboards can be wall­mounted or free­standing and come with the ACTIVstudio software package, which contains a resource library, question database and allows student results to be tracked. Users can build up sequences of files (of varying types) to be presented through the board. Additional hardware allows users to create teaching materials away from the board (ACTIV prep­pad), allows remote interaction and control of the board (ACTIVslate), and more recently allows student interaction and instant feedback through a wireless response system (ACTIVote). Manufacturer: Promethean Advanced Technologies SMART board for P lasma D ispla y over lay At the higher end of the market, plasma display panels (PDP’s) can now be transformed into electronic and interactive whiteboards through the use of an overlay. This overlay sits on top of an existing PDP and with the use of accompanying software can be used to electronically capture hand­written notes, and control applications on a connected PC through the use of a finger or electronic pens. As this solution does not require a projector, set­up is quick and easy and picture quality is as good as a normal PDP. ACT IVote Promethean have created a wireless response system for use in whole class settings with an ACTIVboard. Students are given an ACTIVote keypad (which can be registered with the ACTIVboard so that each student has a unique ID) and can respond to lecturers’ questions. Results can then be displayed immediately on the ACTIVboard in graphical format and can be exported to a spreadsheet.
ITQ Resource Pack Page 9 Section 1 Make selective use of IT Videoconferencing/ Br oadcast ing Additional software can be bought to work with most forms of interactive whiteboard which allows the broadcast of any information on the board. Examples of this include Promethean’s ACTIVision. This can be bought with an ACTIVboard, or can be added to any existing ACTIVboard. Using a broadband or ISDN connection you can communicate with other users and share applications. At the other end of the scale, Mimio’s can be used with the Boardcast plug­in which streams any notes/ applications on a whiteboard used with Mimio (and live audio) across the Internet. One advantage of this technology is end users (people wanting to view the presentation/ lecture) need only have RealPlayer installed on their PC and a connection to the Internet. Mimio have also developed the Mimio Classroom plug­in which allows students to connect to a PC on the same network as the tutor’s PC and view any notes on the whiteboard. Student’s can also ask questions which the tutor can answer in the session or at a later time, and student’s can add their own notes to a Mimio session. T ablet PC’s and wirele ss pad s Wireless pads and graphics tablets are being integrated into whole class teaching. Promethean’s ACTIVslate allows students to add their own comments to an ACTIVboard session, and allows control of the board to be shared through the use of the small, lightweight hand held graphics tablet (A6 size) with an attached electronic pen. Apart from allowing student’s to interact with the ACTIVboard, these also allow the lecturer to move around the classroom and control the board from anywhere in the room, meaning that the lecturer does not have to remain at the front of the class. This gives the lecturer more freedom to give individual attention to students. For a an overview of more solutions see­files/Education/documents/2003/01/06/eyesfront.pdf
ITQ Resource Pack Page 10 Section 1 Make selective use of IT Case Studies The following case studies cover real teaching situations. They try to give an overview of how the technologies are being used and what benefits and disadvantages lecturers have found through using them. Using Mimio’s Lecturer: Elaine Reddy College: Bedford College Course: A1/2 Assessors Set­Up In this case study the lecturer is using Mimio as an electronic note capturing device. The Mimio bar is permanently connected to a laptop, which in turn is connected to a printer. The room in which the teaching takes place is an ordinary classroom; students have no access to PC’s in this classroom.
ITQ Resource Pack Page 11 Section 1 Make selective use of IT Deliver y The tutor uses Mimio to capture notes written onto the whiteboard throughout the session. Notes are then printed out during the session and given to students. This means that students do not need to spend time copying the notes on the board and can pay more attention to the information a tutor is giving. Further Information The lecturer has already used Mimio with this group and materials taken from sessions using Mimio are referenced throughout the session. Students have kept notes captured by Mimio and organised them in their student files as resources. The lecturer seems to use Mimio as a way of reminding students about a particular session or topic, e.g. “Remember when I wrote “x” on the board and printed it out with the Mimio”. Tutor Feedback How do you think the Mimio benefits you as a teacher, and the students? “I tend to use it as a smart or capture board and in that respect the students think its great. I have not used it as an interactive whiteboard yet partly because I do not do a lot of presentations in that room or teach IT. I would like to get more information on the possibilities of the machine. “The students use it for word­storming exercises but mainly to play with to see how it works. These are usually teachers which then leads onto the question of their handwriting and board writing practice.” Are there any negative points about the Mimio? “Forgetting to press the new page button and ending up with two pages written on one!! Apart from that there is the problem of what the end product looks like, i.e. is it comprehensive to someone who missed the session. The other problems I have been told about is that it makes the learners passive and if they cannot get the board notes immediately they are not so effective.”
ITQ Resource Pack Page 12 Make selective use of IT Print out of Session notes captured by Mimio
Section 1 ITQ Resource Pack Page 13 Section 1 Make selective use of IT Using a Cleverboard Lecturer: Ken Lamb College: Bedford College Course: HNC/ HND Computing (various modules) Set­Up In this case study the lecturer is using a free­standing CleverBoard. The CleverBoard is essentially a whiteboard with the Mimio technology built in. There are various different sizes available and they can be free­standing or wall mounted. Using a CleverBoard without any additional hardware (e.g. laptop/ projector) it can be used as an electronic note­capturing device. Attach a projector and it becomes an interactive whiteboard. As this board is free­standing, it can be angled towards the students as necessary and moved from room to room.
ITQ Resource Pack Page 14 Section 1 Make selective use of IT Deliver y The tutor uses the CleverBoard to capture notes written onto it during a session. Notes are printed out and saved and distributed to students either in hard copy or electronic format. This means that students do not need to spend time copying down the notes on the board. Students also become engaged with the technology through using the board to capture their brainstorms which they can print out immediately. Using CleverBoard as an Interactive whiteboard CleverBoard is also used in class time as an interactive whiteboard. PowerPoint presentations are displayed on the board via a laptop and projector and the tutor then activates the presentation (i.e. moving from slide to slide) using the MimioMouse pen. Tutor Feedback What are the main benefits of using a CleverBoard? “It is very useful for brainstorm sessions as we can print out any notes straight away. The students like to use the board in this way so class time becomes very student focused. It’s great for using in conjunction with a projector, with for example a PowerPoint presentation as I’m not tied to the computer when teaching. “It is a good tool, but only one tool in my repertoire. It hasn’t changed the way I teach….It’s advantageous but not revolutionary.”
ITQ Resource Pack Page 15 Section 1 Make selective use of IT What are the benefits to the students? “Giving them the opportunity to use the technology seems to engage the students.” How does the CleverBoard differ from a plasma screen or a portable Mimio? “Compared to a Mimio these boards take up more room. I’d consider attaching it to the wall in this room so that it didn’t take up so much space, but then we wouldn’t be able to move it from room to room as we do now. I do think that it’s easier to set up than a Mimio though.” Are there any negative sides to using a CleverBoard? “Generally speaking it’s quite good, but it does play up a bit when the batteries in the pens run out.” Using a Plasma Screen with Smart Software Lecturer: Sharon Monie College: Bedford College Course: WebStep (Basics of web design) Set­Up In this case study the lecturer is using a wall­mounted plasma screen installed with Smart software. The plasma screen is permanently connected to a PC at the front of the class. The classroom is a PC room with 12 student computers. The room is mainly used by staff from the Computing & Business programme area and as such is used for demonstrating software and technologies. Deliver y The tutor uses the Plasma screen to display what is on the tutor pc desktop. Windows (and any other software on the machine) can be activated and controlled by touching the screen either with a finger or an electronic pen. Smart software allows notes to be written on the screen with the use of an electronic pen, and then converted to text and annotations. These files can then be distributed in PDF or text format. The lecturer can use the electronic pen to highlight areas (i.e. by drawing a ring on screen). A snapshot of the screen can then be saved as an image file which can be distributed to students. For example the lecturer may write assignment instructions on the plasma screen with an electronic pen. This would then be converted to text by the Smart software and then saved as a PDF file. This could then be printed in class or distributed via email/disk/Intranet/VLE for the students at a later date.
ITQ Resource Pack Page 16 Section 1 Make selective use of IT Tutor feedback What are the main benefits of using a plasma screen? “It’s so simple to use. It’s already set up. All I have to do is turn up to the lesson, turn the tutor PC on and the screen automatically starts. It’s a great way of highlighting parts of a piece of HTML code and making notes around it, for example, giving explanations or responses to students’ questions. It’s also really good for presentations – you just touch the screen and the next slide appears. I don’t have to keep going over to the PC and clicking the mouse.” What are the benefits to the students? “I think the students can understand explanations better when they can see what I’m talking about. It helps them if an example is on screen and I can easily point out what they should be looking at and demonstrate answers to their questions. It’s very easy to move between software, presentations and notes which keeps their attention on the subject. Also as I can print all the notes out in class it means their attention is with me and the example, rather than on scribbling down notes all the time.” How is a plasma screen better than, for example a Mimio? “The main difference is that I don’t have to set up any equipment at the start of a lesson…I don’t have to carry a laptop and projector and endless cables. It’s quicker and easier to use. And also I think the picture quality is better and as I am walking in front of the screen I am not covering the image­ unlike with a Mimio.” Are there any negative sides to using a plasma screen? “I understand that these cost a lot more than for example a Mimio, and also it is not really portable. With the more low­tech solutions at least you can move from room to room with them. You also have to save everything you have done in the lesson,
ITQ Resource Pack Page 17 Section 1 Make selective use of IT that is all the notes you have written on the screen. With Mimio you can download it all later when you get back to your office. The notepad [whiteboard emulator] is not as easy to write on as a standard whiteboard. I have to take more time and care with my handwriting as the pen recognition has a slight delay”. Considerations The solutions available vary in price and features, therefore it is hard to make comparisons between products. However, there are a number of points to take into account when considering using an interactive whiteboard in teaching. Portable Vs Fixed/ Permanent Portable solutions are cheaper and more flexible. It could be possible to provide some teaching staff or departments with, for example a Mimio or eBeam, meaning that the use of the technology is not restricted to certain classrooms. However, portable solutions tend to require longer to set up and need to be carried from room to room (along with any additional equipment such as laptop and projector). Integrated solutions (such as SMART board and ACTIVboard) are generally easier to start up and on the whole have more features than portable devices. However they do not offer the same flexibility and are more expensive. Security & Durability It is important to consider how and where interactive whiteboards will be used, and whether access to the room is allowed without supervision. Most integrated solutions have tough, durable surfaces but will only remain so if used correctly. Portable solutions inevitably carry a higher security risk. Room size, layout and lighting How the room is laid out will play a big part in how you use an interactive whiteboard. It is a good idea to think about how a room is used for teaching, i.e. what teaching takes place, whether the room has other PC’s and whether you would like student’s to interact with the whiteboard. It is also important to look at lighting in a room – perhaps you will need to invest in black out curtains, or blinds to enable students to see what is being projected onto the whiteboard. Also consider whether you will need a printer in the room, if you plan on printing out electronically captured notes in class. Training Most interactive whiteboards are easy to use. However, consider whether you will need training, and whether there are people available to provide that in­house. Many of the suppliers and manufacturers can provide training for you, however this is an added expense. Support Again, when investing in expensive technology consider the support that is provided with the package on purchase, and what extra support may be needed. Consider whether you will get free software upgrades and plug­ins, and how often these are likely to be produced.
ITQ Resource Pack Page 18 Section 1 Make selective use of IT Advantages Interactive whiteboards have been hailed as a technology that fits around a lecturer and students, rather than requiring lecturers to change to fit the technology. Some of the advantages of using electronic and interactive whiteboards are outline below:
The technology can be used in whole class settings.
Students are engaged in the subject and are not having to copy notes from the board whilst listening to the tutor.
The use of various media through a whiteboard captures students’ attention and motivates them.
Much of the preparation can be done before class, so lecturers may not need to spend so much time in class drawing diagrams.
Notes can be saved electronically and distributed to students in a variety of ways to suit the learner, the lecturer and the institution.
Interactive whiteboards can allow integration of various media types into one lesson.
Interactive whiteboards can be useful in distance learning situations, with the use of additional software (e.g. Boardcast plug­in for Mimio, ACTIVision).
Lessons can actively engage the learner, both with the technology (by devising quizzes and asking student’s to use the board to respond to the questions) and with the subject. These are by no means the only advantages, and some may not agree with all of the above points. However, it is clear that even at a very basic level electronic and interactive whiteboards can save the tutor and the student time, and help with explanations with the help of visual aids. Software and resources to use with whiteboards Hot Potatoes – the interactive quiz development programme is one example of software that can be used with interactive whiteboards. For example, lecturers can create a drag and drop quiz in Hot Potatoes (where students match up questions and answers). This can then be displayed on the Interactive whiteboard. Student’s can use either an e­pen, or their finger (according to the whiteboard’s features) to complete the quiz. Discussing web site content is another example of a resource that could be used with an interactive whiteboard. By projecting the web site onto the whiteboard the whole class can see the content, and notes and annotations can be added by the tutor. Specific areas can be highlighted and notes can be copied into a notepad for distribution to students either by print or electronic media for reference and individual work.
ITQ Resource Pack Page 19 Section 1 Make selective use of IT PowerPoint presentations can be displayed on an interactive whiteboard. Lecturers can then control the presentation, moving from slide to slide simply by clicking on the board. Notes can be added to the board, and snapshots can be taken of the PowerPoint slide and notes. These snapshots can be distributed to students for their reference. Demonstrating applications Computing and IT key Skills lessons can greatly benefit from the use of an interactive whiteboard. Student’s can easily see how an application works, what the features are and how to access them, by the lecturer using the interactive whiteboard as a touchscreen board. One of the greatest benefits of an interactive whiteboard is the ability to show different types of media. By projecting onto the screen students can view videos, animations, presentations, notes, web pages etc, all linked together and controlled through the interactive whiteboard. Useful Links For further information on SmartBoard technology visit For more information on ACTIVboard and additional hardware see For more information on CleverBOARD, visit http://www.ambra­ For further information on E­beam go to: http://www.e­ For more information on MimioMouse visit http://www.classroom­ For more information on Mimio ® Boards click on the link below:
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