What is the basic hardware setup for an interactive whiteboard?

Man and woman in an office using an interactive whiteboard

Published: January 6th, 2022

When you purchase an interactive whiteboard (also known as an interactive display), you know that you are getting the best tool to enrich your presentations. Users often know  the benefits of using one, but may not be familiar with the basic hardware setup.

Today, we detail the basic hardware setup for Promethean interactive displays so you can get the most out of your equipment.

What is an Interactive Whiteboard?  

Interactive whiteboards are an interactive tool for presentations, courses, and lessons. Traditionally, meetings and classrooms have used blackboards with messy chalk, plain whiteboards with erasable markers, or projectors to display information during meetings or lessons. These methods offered static displays that could not easily be interacted with, nor could they connect to your computer.

An interactive whiteboard blends the best features of older technologies with increased functionality. Not only can you write on the whiteboard, erase or edit what is displayed, and project from a computer, but you can also interact with the desktop from the whiteboard screen.

An interactive whiteboard connects to your computer and a projector. The projector displays an image from the computer onto the board. You can use the interactive whiteboard like a mouse or a keyboard to control the applications from the computer right on the whiteboard.

This functionality allows you to write into documents from the interactive whiteboard, solve equations, and more. Anything you could do on a computer, you can do with the interactive whiteboard’s functionality.

Interactive Whiteboards – Basic Hardware 

Remote Control 

To control your interactive whiteboard remotely, you will need to use the included remote control. This remote looks similar to a television remote, with inputs for volume, source, audio, power, and numbers.

You can use these functions to control the interactive whiteboard without needing to continually return to the computer.

Mount or Stand

Your interactive whiteboard will include hardware to help you mount the display screen onto the wall. This allows you to fix it in place for easy use. Or, if you want your interactive panel to be mobile, you can purchase an interactive whiteboard stand and fit the panel into the stand so it becomes portable. 

Display Screen  

You can’t use just any screen for your interactive whiteboard. Unlike projectors, you will lose functionality if you are not using the correct display screen.

Interactive whiteboards require LCD touch screens that are sensitive to fingers or smart pens being used on them. 

Smart Pen  

The smart pen is similar to a dry erase marker in terms of look and feel. However, unlike previous whiteboards, smart pens do not leave a mark on the screen when you are writing on the whiteboard.

The board can sense which pen is being used based on an optical sensor in the smart pen tray.

As you write or erase on the whiteboard, the interactive screen will digitally mark your progress. It makes it incredibly intuitive to use, even if you’ve never seen an interactive whiteboard before.

Setting Up an Interactive Whiteboard 

Before you install your interactive whiteboard you will need to ensure that you have all of the basic hardware prepared for use. 

To begin, you will need to choose the location for your interactive whiteboard display screen. Set up the mount and mount the display screen on it (or set up your stand if you choose to go that route). This will be the permanent location of your interactive whiteboard, so choose it carefully.

Before you install your interactive whiteboard, you will need to set up the software for the system on your computer. Your whiteboard will come with a CD that has the latest version of the interactive whiteboard’s software. Set this up on your computer before installation.

Shut down your computer after the installation is complete.

Interactive Whiteboard Installation or Set Up: An Overview  

Your interactive whiteboard will come with installation instructions to help you set up the basic hardware. If you are struggling or have any questions about installation or set up, please reach out to Promethean Support for set up help or Learn Promethean to ensure you’re using the ActivInspire software as optimally as you can. 

What are the features of an interactive whiteboard?  

The primary feature of interactive whiteboards is audience engagement. Your presentations and classroom lessons will never lag when you have dynamic material that the audience can interact with. This is extremely beneficial in classroom settings since students can work with elements of your presentation using the content interaction features.

You can directly save and print work from your interactive whiteboard. This allows you to quickly get hard copies of your notes or brainstorming work so you don’t lose it.

If you are using remote workspaces or remote learning, an interactive whiteboard has incredible interconnectivity features to make you feel like you’re in one place. You can set it up so all users can engage with the whiteboard as though they are in the room.

What do you need to use an Interactive whiteboard?  

You will need a computer, a wall space large enough for your screen, an outlet, and your basic interactive whiteboard hardware.Your interactive whiteboard should also come with teaching software to enable you to get started preparing teaching resources such as lessons, etc.

Can you use an interactive whiteboard without a computer?  

No, you cannot. Without a computer, an interactive whiteboard is simply a screen. It needs the software from your computer to function with the other programs.

Interested in Learning More?

Let us help you create a truly transformative learning experience for your classroom or office with the Promethean ActivPanel. Contact our team to learn more and request your free demo today!