Interactive whiteboards, also known as SMART Boards, are tools that have made their way into classrooms around the world. These boards allow teachers to integrate the traditional chalkboard with modern technologies including computers, overheads, projectors and televisions.
The first interactive whiteboards were designed and manufactured for use in the office. They were developed by Xerox Parc around 1990. This board was used in small group meetings and round-tables.
SMART board introduced their first interactive board, which was simply an LCD screen attached to a computer, in 1991. Intel took interest in the idea and provided funding for further research in 1992.
By the late 1990s, a number of improvements had been made on the design, including the addition of an eraser, colored markers and back-lighted projection. The target marketing had also changed significantly: the technology that started as an office tool was finding its most profitable sector in the K-12 educational system.
In 2001, eInstruction released its first fully mobile interactive whiteboard. It used wireless technology to allow free movement. This allowed instructors to teach from anywhere in the classroom and removed the limitations put on the technology when it was tethered to the computer system. In 2009, eInstruction released a system of remotes and mini-boards that allow students to interact with the larger classroom board from their desks.
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