What’s an Interactive Whiteboard, and What Does It Do?

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Interactive whiteboards are becoming more common both in the classroom and the workplace. With the ability to use a display as a touchscreen device , an interactive smart board allows you to accomplish a wide range of tasks. By using this tool, multiple people can engage in a collaborative experience to take notes, annotate content, and share screens.

Ready to stop saving your work with “Do Not Touch” signs on the standard dry-erase whiteboard and jump into the future? Read on to learn more about interactive whiteboards, what they do, and how to use them in business or classroom settings.

How is an interactive whiteboard useful?

Interactive whiteboards are a better way to collaborate and save your work for future use. Using a stylus pen or your finger, you can draw, highlight, or interact with elements via the board’s touchscreen surface. By recording thoughts and ideas on the smartboard, you can share, archive, and save your notes as digital content.

Plus, the Vibe smartboard allows for integration between mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. You can connect devices to Vibe either wirelessly or with an HDMI cable. From there, users can easily annotate on top of the content pulled from the connected device. You can also use it the other way around: share your Vibe project from the board for instant real-time co-creating from another Vibe board, computer web browser, or tablet.

Directly sharing content from devices makes presentations more fluid and cuts down on time spent organizing notes. And when you’re done, there’s no need for physical storage space. The annotated content is saved on the Vibe cloud to use later on your choice of connected device.

Related: Project Planning from Start to Finish with the Vibe Smartboard

What is an interactive whiteboard used for?

You’ll often find this kind of technology in education settings. Interactive whiteboards have made remote learning more accessible than ever before. However, many of the benefits cross over into business uses as well. 

Some of the activities that you can use an interactive whiteboard for include:

  • Group note-taking. Encourage teams to work together by having everyone jot down notes on their whiteboard app. You can then publish the document as a PDF.
  • Interactive lessons . Get students excited about learning by getting them more involved. For businesses, look for professional development opportunities that could benefit the whole team at an upcoming training session.
  • Split-screen options are also available, along with a spotlight feature that helps break up learning and focus your audience as you work through a presentation. Multi-app usage makes presentations and lessons more interactive and engaging.

Is there a difference between interactive whiteboards and smartboards?

An interactive whiteboard works like a normal whiteboard, but the added digital component allows you to interact with it on a computer and save content for future reference

Smartboards are similar, but they offer more user interaction. Smartboard technology allows multiple people to access and use the board from other locations. 

Both technologies offer interactive features within their display. They are generally connected via an HDMI or VGA cable.

Related: Digital Whiteboards: the 11 Best Reasons to Invest

Benefits of interactive whiteboards in education

It’s difficult to capture the attention of an entire class in today’s fast-paced, tech-driven world. Keeping their attention and using technology to your advantage can be even more difficult. Similar to how the best teachers can integrate life, art, and science, the best technology combines experience, design, and science to solve your problems efficiently. Many educators have integrated technology into the classroom with fantastic results.

Interactive technology raises student engagement. Engaged students are more attentive, and engagement offers a whole host of benefits: increased comprehension, improved test scores, and stronger literacy. The same engagement/attentiveness relationship holds true for corporate training and learning in adults, making the Vibe board a useful learning tool in any collaborative learning situation.

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Learn more about Vibe smartboards for education

Interactive whiteboard options in the classroom

Learning is becoming increasingly digitized. Luckily, technology is also becoming more intuitive and takes less time to implement. Yet despite these digital improvements, many classrooms still use projector-based whiteboards.

Projector-based interactive whiteboards require more time to install and warmup. The calibration process can be more complicated than simply mounting a display. Plus, the integrator will have to make sure that the image fits and the touch capabilities function like they should. Even with professional help, installation can take at least a day.

And between changing bulbs and replacing filters, projector-based solutions can be more expensive to maintain long-term. Comparatively, display solutions like digital whiteboards eliminate the costs of overhead plastics and filters. Maintenance is solely on an as-needed basis.

Vibe’s interactive whiteboard technology can quickly and easily be installed and implemented in your classroom or boardroom in a short time. There’s no projector, so installing this fully integrated interactive display takes less than an hour. Vibe solutions are standalone systems that don’t need any significant wiring or programming. In other words, you can start using it right away.

Ways interactive whiteboards can assist with lessons

Interactive learning: Children are often tactile learners, so their understanding of the material comes from touching, drawing, or writing on the board. Entire classrooms can join in on educational games, even if you have students who are learning remotely. Since interactive whiteboards offer immediate feedback, teachers can easily assess student progress.

Enhanced lessons: Interactive whiteboards are useful for integrating several learning styles . Students can experience an extra layer of connection to learning by hearing, seeing, and interacting with the board through touch. Because of this, students learn better and remember more.

Making learning accessible and flexible

Easy to use: One of the biggest perks of interactive whiteboards? They don’t require a lot of maintenance. You can easily mark data by using a stylus for highlighting, drawing, and writing. There’s no need for extra writing tools or ink, which means no mess and no clean up.

Flexibility in the classroom: An interactive whiteboard can host a diverse range of media types. Teachers can choose from a wide array: photos, graphs, maps, illustrations, videos, and more. Vibe’s easy-to-use digital toolbox supports teachers as they create inspiring lesson plans for their students.

Teaching through technology

Connected to the internet: Vibe boards are directly linked to the internet so you can access online tools and information. Teachers can access many resources to support and enhance their lessons through articles, images, videos, learning tools, and more. Access to online resources also gives students a rich resource for learning and research.

Integrated technology: Vibe board technology lets you integrate many other technologies to help your students learn to their fullest potential. From computers to microscopes to cameras, you can attach nearly any device you can think of to the board’s HDMI-IN to further enhance instruction.

A woman gives a work presentation using a Vibe smartboard. A woman gives a work presentation using a Vibe smartboard.

Benefits of interactive whiteboards for your business

Having an interactive whiteboard can significantly enhance the way your business runs. From presentations to meetings, here are a few benefits of using an interactive whiteboard.

Collaborate at meetings

Meetings have always been group discussions, but with an interactive whiteboard, meetings are changed for the better. This technology allows everyone to access the same content through their own device. Teams can share and edit content in real-time, allowing for maximum collaboration.

Include remote attendees

You can easily use the same technology to add remote attendees to meetings. Interactive whiteboards can help those remote employees participate in real-time during presentations. These remote meetings can also double as a webinar. Easily print or share materials post-meeting with absent coworkers.

Connect everyone in the room

Designers of interactive whiteboards have accounted for the interaction levels that traditional meetings have. As long as your device has the correct app and internet connection, everyone can participate.

Reduced supply costs

Traditional whiteboards need markers. They dry out and need to be replaced often. And depending how often your team writes on it, traditional whiteboards need to be completely replaced on a regular basis. Interactive whiteboards use stylus pens, or you can even just use your finger, which means no more markers, erasers, or the frustration of being unable to read the board.

Related: How to Design a Remote-first Workplace

Implementing interactive whiteboards at the office

Implementing interactive whiteboards at the office can revolutionize how your team works together , whether they’re on-site or working remotely. Similar to using this technology in a classroom setting, there are many ways to use a smartboard to improve engagement and efficiency at work.

Whether your office decides to use traditional interactive whiteboards or a projector-based one, both are easily installed in your current settings. The integrator will set up the touch capabilities and help with installation. (Remember, though, that projector-based options can be more expensive to maintain long-term.)

Create collaboration opportunities for distributed teams

It’s normal for a company to have multiple offices in different countries. With a digital whiteboard, you can conduct virtual meetings and also have an endless amount of canvas to jot down ideas with coworkers all over the world . Keeping record of meetings is beneficial for employees, especially new hires who are still learning the business. Even if offices open back up to the level everyone’s used to, a digital whiteboard is a great tool to have.

Streamline note-taking

With a digital whiteboard, the entire presentation is saved so that you can access it later without missing a moment of the meeting when it’s happening in real-time. A standard whiteboard doesn’t have this function.

Easily annotate documents

This technology allows you to even work off of other materials. Highlight important information on an old training PowerPoint with this interactive system. This allows everyone attending the meeting to add their own annotations.

Mobile accessibility is an important feature of digital whiteboard software. Mobile accessibility is an important feature of digital whiteboard software.

Things to consider when installing an interactive whiteboard

When installing an interactive whiteboard, make sure that the board’s wall is mounted with sufficient room. Proper structural support in the wall and appropriate mounting techniques are crucial, especially for larger displays.

It’s also essential to choose an optimal location for easy viewing. Pick a place in your classroom or boardroom that most participants will be able to see easily.

Vibe’s interactive solutions are intuitive, user-friendly, and low-maintenance. Still, consider follow-up training for less tech-savvy employees or new employees who come into the organization for seamless integration. Watching a Vibe demo or attending one of our upcoming webinars can give you and your team more confidence with interactive whiteboard technology.

[Editor’s note: this post was originally published on November 1, 2020 and updated on August 9, 2021.]


Vib e offers a collaborative solution combining an interactive digital whiteboard and innovative smart software. Increase engagement and efficiency at your brainstorming sessions, virtual training, and classroom sessions by integrating your favorite applications with video conferencing and an infinite, mess-free writing canvas. Collaborate today with Vibe.

Looking for the latest in interactive whiteboard technology? Check out Vibe today!

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