Interactive Whiteboard: Smartboard

Basic Understanding

  • Define:
    An interactive whiteboard (IWB), is a large interactive display that connects to a computer. A projector projects the computer's desktop onto the board's surface where users control the computer using a pen, finger, stylus, or other device. The board is typically mounted to a wall or floor stand.
  • Basic Pedagogical Use: For Brainstorming, For Saving notes, to display interactive links, to demonstrate keyboarding skills, to engage in Collaborative Learning and to provide students with material asynchronously online.


  • Can be printed, saved, loaded online and shared with student through email or through ELMS
  • Color presentations for visual learners
  • Can control application directly on the board instead of working behind a computer
  • Accommodates different learning styles
  • Can create collaborative PowerPoint’s


  • Effective interactive whiteboard presentations require extensive planning
  • More expensive than conventional whiteboards
  • Requires specific software to download for classroom preparation


Tool Information Pages (TIP) are intended to be an introduction to various technology tools and their specific implementation here at the University. The tabs "Basic Understanding" and "Pros and Cons" describe and define each tool in its generic form. Starting with "Basic Operation," it becomes specific to the UM option and highlights a bulleted list of concepts that would roughly correspond to that level of operational understanding. Faculty may use these lists to help identify their level of understanding of a given tool, especially in conjunction with ETS training offerings or requests.

For further information, please contact:
Rosalia Reyes-Webb
Learning Technology Specialist
Educational Technology Services

Basic Operation

Use the list of concepts below to self-evaluate your level of operational understanding. If you are familiar and comfortable with the utility and implementation of most or all of these items, you are (at least) at the basic level of operational understanding.