Interactive whiteboards are driving real transformation in collaboration for brainstorming sessions, classroom collaboration, meetings, and conference calls. Whiteboards are valuable tools for both business and educational needs. When educational institutions or businesses use interactive whiteboard solutions, classrooms and teams are better equipped to share resources, analyze ideas, and record data together. Developing new ideas and innovating are visual, interactive experiences for students and workers, and value-added resellers (VARs) can easily help clients with these tools that will help them succeed. Following is a quick guide to success with interactive whiteboard software:
- Different manufacturers have their own brand of interactive whiteboard software. The software has a few parts. First, there are drivers that allow the whiteboard to send information back to the computer upon mouse movement. There is also software that allows users to draw over the top of other programs and then save this to picture and PDF files that can then be emailed or printed. The software will also allow a user to display a set of blank canvases to write directly onto, which is ideal for brainstorming sessions.
- An interactive whiteboard is part of a bigger solution, so your customers will need the following items (which are usually installed by VARs or professional AV installation companies):
- A computer or laptop
- A digital projector, which could be ceiling-mounted or on a desk
- An interactive whiteboard, either wall-mounted or on a stand
- A set of speakers or audio system that sits next to the whiteboard so that the computer's audio can be played loudly enough for the entire class or group to hear
- The interactive whiteboard can be thought of as a big touch screen where users can control Windows and other programs, plus the whiteboard software. The whiteboard technology used determines how the boards are used. Some boards use touch-sensitive material, which means you can use fingers to operate it. Others use just special pens that transmit their location on the board to sensors around the edges. Those with touch-sensitive material are known as resistive screens. These touch screens are mainly wall-mounted like whiteboards; however, they do not require a separate projector.
- Some of the current technologies also include dual-touch and multi-touch. Dual-touch allows a user to touch two parts of the screen at the same time. Most users have smartphones or tablets and use gestures such as pinching and expanding their fingers on pictures and website pages to control zooming in and out on the screen. This is a simple example of dual-touch. Multi-touch whiteboards allow multiple people to draw on them at the same time. Both interactive whiteboards and touch screens have models that will do this.
- There are interactive whiteboards that meet every school and district budget. Teachers report that increased student engagement is the number-one benefit to teaching with this tool. The technology allows teachers to integrate multiple information streams into a coherent lesson individualized for their students. Interactive whiteboards provide an excellent opportunity to create classroom environments where students with different learning styles can engage and learn from each other. This easy-to-learn technology ensures that both students and teachers are developing 21st century skills.
- Businesses that adopt interactive whiteboards into their daily workflow can expect an increase in innovation, a boost in productivity, more informed decision-making, and a significant reduction in costs.
VARs that sell interactive whiteboards can also increase revenue by providing a full range of services from supply and installation through training, maintenance, and support. VARs that are not selling interactive whiteboard software should consider adding it to their portfolio for an added source of revenue in a growing market.
Does your company sell interactive whiteboard software? If not, is it something you are considering? Please comment below.