Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Putting the “interactive” into interactive electronic whiteboards

Preso by Brian Retzlaff at MTI 2006 sponsored by MACE Kansas

Session will draw on another presentation: “The Art of the Digital Lesson: Technology Tools Removing the Tether”
– Brian got permission from his new employer (Cytek) to take any technology back into his classroom before he started working for them

smartboard, interwrite, promethean whiteboard are main competitors in this electronic whiteboard space

Interwrite school Pad, Mimeo, CPS, there are lots of products like this: at least a dozen that you can have

The key to making them interactive is to do something like this: pick it up and hand it to the student
– get it out of your hands, and give it to your kids!

Roles for an electronic whiteboard:
– mouse
– annotate
– interact

Use the software
– use filled boxes to hide the answers
– there are many features hidden in the software
– learn to use the software in your favor

Use a pen and hide answers on slides

As you pass the tablet around, tell the student to pass the tablet to

The interwrite tablet Brian is demoing today is about $500
– then you just need a computer and a projector
– and a fairly new computer, at least one that has USB and supports USB (Mac needs OS X, Windows NT is not supported)
– most hardware issues have been eliminated

Kids pick up using this really quickly! (digital immigrants have more problems

Big difference logistically-speaking if the whiteboard is mounted at the front
– there are issues about managing that
– plan ahead, think ahead (prep kids to be ready so you don’t waste teaching time)

You have to make a conscious effort to get to all your students!

Every step along the way, click the DUPLICATE PAGE so you can show all the steps
– there are buttons on the right side of the screen to step forward and backward on pages
– or use the popup menu at the bottom to change page being viewed

Differences between using a tablet PC and a smartboard
– interwrite is about $500
– smartboard is about $1600


Make this interactive by wandering around the classroom and putting this in the hands of the kids!

Get this interactive by giving this to kids

Software let’s you built a plant cell part by part
– put the whiteboard in their hands

The specific interwrite pad we are using today will support up to 7 smartboards at a time
– you should also have a TEACHER smartboard

– smart airliner does something similar, but doesn’t have a software program to help you manage the bluetooth connections like interwrite does (that is a major disadvantage)

If you are going to have multiple ones, put colored tape on top and bottom, color is a lot easier to see across the room
– and definitely have a teacher unit (by default if the teacher unit is in use, no other units are working)
– for other student units, the first one to start working gets control

One of the competitors, when you draw the outline of an object, will let you cut out that part (trace it)
– the interwrite can just get rectangles and ovals
– this feature is probably going to be added to the software by the other 2 manufacturers

Another good place to get stuff is the manufacturer of the interactive whiteboard! (this is the Educator resource center for Interwrite)

Wichita Public Schools has a site where they share resources for electro

Lee Summit in KC also has a great support site for whiteboards


All interactive / electronic whiteboards have a core set of features, so use them!!!

Benefit of an electronic whiteboard instead of a document camera
– you are stuck at the front of the room, instead of having wireless mobility
– biggest difference: there are a handful of additional tools that aren’t on a document camera
– save a little money on your whiteboard: instead of spending $1600 on an electronic whiteboard, buy one for $500 and use the other $1100 for an electronic document camera

most of the time a TV screen is not nearly as effective as a projector in the classroom

Waves of technology pushes
– computer on every teacher’s desk
– LCD projector in each room

Wichita Public Schools have spent over $1 million in the last year on wireless electronic whiteboards

Electronic whiteboards have changed dramatically in the last 6 months, the new ones connect to the computer, which makes it a real educational tool
– I predict this will become pervasive in schools in the coming years

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2 responses to “Putting the “interactive” into interactive electronic whiteboards”

  1. Smart Boards Avatar

    To add my two cents to your prediction, it will almost replace the traditional whiteboards coz interactive smart boards offer too much to accomplish this goal.

  2. Rebecca Avatar

    I think this is great advice if you have the tablet. However, what specific types of lessons can you create that are interactive? I have a SMART board in my classroom that students use almost every day – but it’s not as interactive as I would like. I need more examples of things I can do.