A digital whiteboard is an electronic version of a dry erase board, a classroom and boardroom staple seen around the world. There are a number of applications for digital whiteboards, ranging from product presentations to adult literacy programs, and several companies manufacture them, along with accessories such as styluses. Costs vary, depending on the size of the whiteboard and the desired level of sophistication involved.
Digital whiteboards can work in a variety of ways. Most start with a board which can be hung on a wall or propped up on the easel. The board is white, like a traditional whiteboad, but it can be used to display images from electronic sources, such as computers. Users can also utilize it like a regular whiteboard, writing on it directly with dry erase markers or specialized styluses. The writing on the board can be preserved in a computer program, which can be useful for people who want to save the contents of a whiteboard before erasing it.
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Most digital whiteboards are designed to be used with styluses which can be custom configured to generate different colors and line thicknesses. People may also interact with a digital whiteboard directly with their fingers or any other pointed tool which can be dragged across the board and read by the computer. In addition, the display can be altered from the computer which controls it.
In classrooms, a digital whiteboard can be a powerful tool. Both teachers and students can use the device, and teachers can save previous whiteboards to evaluate students, identify areas in which the class needs work, or to show parents what they are doing in class. Students may also custom configure the whiteboard for presentations. For example, a student talking about the water cycle could preload images in the computer, and bring them up on the digital whiteboard as needed while also interacting with them to keep other students engaged.
Digital whiteboards can also be used in sites like college classrooms, where they can be useful for saving work when whiteboards have to be erased at the end of a class session. Professors can also configure the computer to bring up neatly printed terms, definitions, sketches, and so forth as topics come up in lecture, while also interacting directly with the board to add other thoughts. Businesses often have use for the flexibility of digital whiteboards as well, for meetings, presentations, and so forth. Unlike a conventional projection screen, which usually requires dimmed light, a digital whiteboard can work in regular lighting conditions, which is useful for taking notes and seeing other people present in the room.