ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Electronic Whiteboard: An Interactive Tool for Classroom and Boardroom

Updated on July 18, 2018
mulberry1 profile image

I have been researching and writing about consumer electronics for over 13 years.


An Introduction to the Electronic Whiteboard

Twenty years ago, a whiteboard was standard in meeting rooms and classrooms across the country. We could draw a few things, make some notes, and erase them when we were done. Now, with electronic whiteboards or smartboards, things have changed.

Now presenters, teachers, and others can put on multimedia presentations, turn their whiteboard into a giant touchscreen computer, teleconference across the globe, store and share information effortlessly, or actively engage kids in the learning process with these interactive screens.

In this article, you can learn about the advantages of an electronic whiteboard, get some tips on choosing one, and find some well-regarded models as well.


The Power of Electronic Whiteboards

Electronic whiteboards are perfect in both classrooms and meeting rooms. These devices make saving, storing, and sharing information effortless. In addition, they can turn a whiteboard into a huge touch screen computer essentially. They give users access to their PC and applications remotely from the board.

In classrooms, they capture and sustain the attention of kids. They allow for interactive learning and give teachers access to a huge number of resources with the touch of a finger or electronic pen. Teachers can print handouts, include video in their teaching, and post assignments, a syllabus, and more online where kids can access it anytime. Some offer software that can save time in planning lessons and allow an instructor to plan an entire multimedia presentation around a given topic.

Businesses can use these interactive whiteboards to save time and money as well. They can be used for worldwide teleconferencing. They can assure that all participants receive the same information and can cut down on preparation time since handouts don't have to be produced ahead of time. In fact, paper can be reduced by sharing all of the information electronically.

In all cases, electronic whiteboards are easy to use. They offer intuitive controls and provide the remote control necessary to make presenting and teaching an easier job.


Buying Tips

If you, your business, or school are considering investing in an electronic whiteboard there are features you should consider:

  • Size
    Clearly, if you'll be in front of a class or group of professionals or workers, you'll want to be sure the board is of sufficient size to be viewed by all.
  • Connections
    Some of these boards offer wireless connectivity, others offer only wired connections. If you want to connect to other devices, such as an audio player for instance, you'll need the right type of connectors. When connecting with your computer, you'll also want to be sure it's compatible with your operating system.
  • Mount
    Some of these interactive whiteboards can be mounted on the wall, clearly, this can save some space. Stands are another option, and many are wheeled, making them more portable/versatile. The stands are often purchased separately.
  • Input
    If you want the most flexibility, a multi-touch board will be preferable to a surface with simple touch technology. Multi-touch can allow more than one person to write simultaneously on the board. In addition, it allows pinching, zooming, and so forth.

    Some of these electronic whiteboards allow input by electronic pen. Others allow you to also use your fingers or even just a dry erase marker and eraser.
  • Printer
    These board generally allow the user to save information and images on the board, store it, share it, and print it. Some will even come with an integrated printer.
  • Software
    For optimal performance, consumers need to consider the software that comes with the board. This is where much of the functionality really comes into the picture. For instance, businesses may want software that helps them organize and store documents. A document manager and document viewer can help. They may want software that provides them the ability to teleconference easily and to use their business-oriented applications. A school, on the other hand, will want access to teaching oriented tools that can help instructors put together lessons and so forth. Simple things like being able to highlight and to magnify sections of the screen are important too.

Panasonic Panaboard

Panasonic has a line of electronic whiteboards; the Panaboard. The UB5815 comes with a built-in printer, TWAIN, and print drivers that allow the user to scan the board and, with the press of a button, print the information on the board. The software includes a document manager and document viewer that allows users to file and distribute materials easily. They can save BMP, TIFF, JPG, PNG, and PDF formats. This interactive board can be wall mounted or used with a floor stand and offers USB connectivity.

The 5315 is a space saver, and measures 50"x 35" . It comes with an integral printer as well. The UBT880 offers a multi-touch 77" (diagonal) surface that allows up to 3 people to write simultaneously on the board. Either a finger or an electronic pen can be used. It offers remote PC operation, 2 USB hubs, built-in speakers, and an optional wireless kit.

Another interactive whiteboard from Panasonic is the UB5838C. It offers a color scanning system that allows users to scan PDF or JPEG information/images without the need for drivers. Information can be scanned to a USB or SD memory card and can easily be distributed electronically. It's Windows and Mac compatible.

The UB8325 also offers a built-in printer and an electronic pen that can be used like a mouse. Strokes can be recorded, saved, and replayed as needed. Of course, it offers remote control of your computer and Windows applications. You can save, send, and print information as well as hold real-time global teleconferences using Microsoft NetMeeting software.

A Closer Look at the Panasonic Panaboard UBT880

PolyVision TS620

This PolyVision electronic whiteboard a wired connection to your computer. There are wireless versions available as well. This model measures 65" x 43". It features a low gloss surface that improves visibility when used with a projector. The whiteboard has a resistive sensor for touch screen capabilities. It works with whiteboard markers, your finger, and erasers. Users can connect up to 4 whiteboards to a single computer if desired.

Users can capture, save, upload, e-mail or print notes, and photos to share and review at any time. Using it with a projector allows users to project multimedia presentations and provide an interactive experience as it functions like a very large touchscreen computer and allows you to work within various third-party applications.

This electronic whiteboard has 8,000 x 8,000 resolution and supports both Windows and Mac operating systems.

A Closer Look at the PolyVision TS Series Electronic Whiteboard

Quartet IdeaShare Q8600

This electronic whiteboard comes with software, a stylus/wireless mouse, electronic pens, dry erase markers, USB cable, and accessory tray. It offers USB connectivity to your PC and allows you to print or save notes and images on your PC or handheld device and to share those items live via the internet. It essentially becomes a touch-sensitive computer when used in conjunction with an LCD projector for interactive presentations. Users can host free collaborative web meetings for up to 25 remote participants or conduct classes.

The long-lasting porcelain surface minimizes projector reflection for greater visibility and PC control from the whiteboard makes your work easier. It's compatible with Windows, Mac, and Palm operating systems.

IdeaMax R5-1000

This interactive whiteboard offers a low gloss magnetic porcelain surface that's warranted for 50 years. (Product has a 3-year warranty) It uses infrared finger touch technology to let you interact and control your computer with your fingertips. (both USB and wireless connections available) Users can save and share notes, e-mail them, and more. The software allows you to highlight, choose responses, draw, make notes, illustrate key points using an eraser, dry erase marker, or your fingers.

With a 91" x 51" surface (79" x 45" projection area) and 16:9 format, it's ideal to use with classrooms and large meetings as well. This Windows device allows you to use your own software or the IDEA Learning Systems built-in tools which include functions for image capture, a screen recorder, on-screen keyboard, protractor, triangle rulers, rulers, a compass, magnifier, and much more.

Numonics Intelliboard

With a 77" diagonal, durable hard laminate surface, this electronic whiteboard offers plenty of space for displaying information and multimedia presentations. It connects to a PC with USB or optional wireless. Using the electronic pen, users can control their computer from the board, write, draw over projected images, annotate in color, highlight, as well as cut and paste images and save and distribute information electronically.

In fact, it provides dual pen functionality which means that 2 students can write on the board simultaneously. Teachers can download free internet content, run digital video clips, open files and more in front of the class without going to the computer. It comes with the Encyclopedia Brittanica Ultimate Reference Suite DVD and a limited lifetime warranty on the writing surface.

A Closer Look at the Numonics Intelliboard Electronic Whiteboard

© 2011 Christine Mulberry


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • KenWu profile image


      8 years ago from Malaysia

      Can't deny that an electronic whiteboard is useful for both business and education but they do not come cheap.

    • profile image

      Blair Stover 

      8 years ago

      Electronic white boards are great. They are perfect for business and in the class room. It is also a great way for people to interact and learn the material better. Great and interesting hub!

    • Ms._Info profile image


      8 years ago from New Jersey

      Although we never had one of these at my school when I was younger, interactive whiteboards are present in most of the classrooms at my son's school. They are indeed a great learning tool.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      As a former science instructor, I would have enjoyed using this as an instructional aid for student learning and understanding.

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 

      8 years ago from USA

      mulberry - Good article about interesting products. One time a group of us used a service (both free and for sale) that provided a virtual white board over the Internet. The white board appeared on the computer screens of up to about 200 or so participants. As I recollect, the service was provided by ""

      Gus :-)))

    • Susan52 profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      8 years ago

      Very cool technology! I've always loved white boards and had one for our homeschool. An electronic whiteboard would be so much fun!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)