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Published: July 4, 2011

Interactive whiteboard

An electronic replacement for overhead projectors and the once-ubiquitous CHALKBOARDS (blackboards) that covered the walls in classrooms across the nation. Teachers and students can put text materials, graphics, illustrations and other instructional materials on interactive whiteboards using computer keypads, or they may use their fingers to write or draw directly on the boards. A tap of the finger can call up materials such as photographs and video clips, and all materials on the board can be printed out or stored in computers for students to study after class or sent on-line to students who are absent. Invented in the early 1990s, interactive whiteboards are gradually becoming standard equipment in schools around the world, with nearly 100,000 installed in American classrooms and at least two installed in every school in the United Kingdom. Costing $3,000 or more to buy and install, the whiteboards are available from at least a half dozen companies.
Interactive whiteboard

A representative from manufacturer Smart Technologies demonstrates writing on an interactive whiteboard. (Associated Press)