Technology Enhanced Learning at Sussex

Interactive whiteboards (SMARTboards)

What is an Interactive Whiteboard (IWB)?

Interactive whiteboards are digital screens that connect to projectors and computers so that you can use your fingers on the board as if it is a touchscreen, use digital pens to annotate and create digital files of anything that is on the board. Most of the interactive whiteboards on campus were made by Smart Technologies and are therefore known as SmartBoards. Other brands of interactive whiteboard do similar things but use different software.

How do I use an Interactive Whiteboard (IWB)?

What can it do?

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  • Use it as a virtual flipchart - save and share what is written on the board during a workshop or seminar.
  • Present and interact with material prepared in advance using the SMART notebook software.
  • Present and interact with material imported from existing PowerPoint presentations.
  • Use the ink tool within PowerPoint to annotate presentations.
Benefits for learning

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  • Reducing the need for students to copy what is written on the board and allowing them to focus on discussion - especially useful for students with specific learning needs or for whom English is not their first language.
  • Facilitating use of a wide range of materials.
  • Providing a rich resource for students - pdfs with embedded and attached files as appendices.
  • Possibilities for student interactivity: e.g. annotating diagrams, acting as class scribe.
Limitations
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  • Need to be calibrated before use to ensure the accuracy of the pens.
  • Relies on using additional software, such as Smart Notebook and Smart Ink.
  • The display can be too small for some purposes, making it difficult to display information for large group teaching.
Which rooms have interactive whiteboards?

You can tell which rooms have interactive whiteboards by consulting the Teaching Room & AV Facilities web page. Under the ‘board’ column, look for ‘interactive’. You will see that all of the rooms in Fulton and Jubilee have interactive whiteboards as well as about half of the teaching rooms in Friston, and a few other places around campus.

Lecture theatres are often shown as having a ‘stylus’. This involves a tethered stylus which is used to ‘write’ on the computer monitor and the result is displayed on the screen. The system uses the same Smart Notebook software as the SmartBoards in seminar rooms so materials can be prepared in advance, saved and shared in the same way.

Resources

How can I learn to use an interactive whiteboard?

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This SMARTboard Guide by TEL will get you started and we also run workshops on using SMARTboards. If there isn’t a workshop coming up, please contact the team on tel@sussex.ac.uk to arrange a tutorial.

 

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