Whiteboard

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Whiteboard.JPG
A small whiteboard with pen and eraser clipped to top

A whiteboard is the name for any plastic glossy surface, most commonly coloured white, where markings can be made. Whiteboards operate analogously to blackboards - they allow markings that temporarily adhere to the surface of the board and that can be easily removed.

However, instead of using chalk (as on blackboards) to make the markings, a special whiteboard marker containing removable ink is used (see non-permanent marker).

The term whiteboard is also used metaphorically to refer to features of computer software applications that simulate whiteboards. Virtual whiteboards allow one or more people to write or draw images on a simulated canvas. This is a common feature of many virtual meeting, collaboration, and instant messaging applications.

Advantages and disadvantages

Whiteboard ink markings are less susceptible to external influences, such as water or accidental erasure, because the ink adheres slightly more strongly than chalk adheres to blackboards. The ink is also less messy than chalk, which generates chalk dust during use and erasure.

Another advantage is that a whiteboard can be used as the background for a presentation from an Overhead Projector. This allows the person giving the presentation to fill in blanks or make comments by writing on the whiteboard. For instance, a form can be copied onto the transparency, and the presenter can demonstrate how to fill it in, in the way just described.

Whiteboards, however, are slightly more expensive than blackboards. In addition, only special whiteboard markers are suitable for use on whiteboards; using other markers that resemble whiteboard markers but that contain the wrong kind of ink creates indelible (or very hard to remove) markings. Also, the white background can cause contrast problems for people with vision impairment, and some people have allergies or sensitivities that are affected by the strong odor of most whiteboard markers. For the latter, reduced-odor markers are available.

Technical advances

Most whiteboards provide temporary viewing of markings. However, there are automated whiteboards that have side-mounted scanners, allowing the markings to be saved electronically for immediate, or later printing, or viewing on a computer.zh:白板

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