No More Chalkboards: Interactive Whiteboards

by Judith Maginnis Kuster

Speech-language pathology and audiology clinicians and academicians are increasingly discovering the unique capabilities of the interactive whiteboard (IWB). This large interactive display connects to a computer and projector, which displays the computer's desktop onto the board's surface; the user controls the computer with actions on the board. Clinicians are increasingly using whiteboards in classrooms and treatment settings as a dry-erase board or flipchart, for group treatment, and in many other ways.

The brand name "SmartBoard" has become a generic term, like jello, kleenex, zipper, and styrofoam, but there are many other companies that produce IWBs including ActivBoard, eBeam, Mimio, Polyvision, Numonics, Interwrite, Starboard, and Webster. IWBs usually connect with computers, but Tim Tyson describes how to "Turn Your iPad 1 or 2 into an Interactive Whiteboard" (

For Professors and Presenters

Most universities now have IWB classrooms. Although an IWB can function as a traditional dry-erase or chalkboard using a special stylus/tool, some have found these ideas helpful:

Other products on the market allow much of same functionality of an IWB on an old-fashioned "pull down" screen. AirLiner by SmartBoard, for example, is a slate that communicates via Bluetooth with a computer connected to a projector. The user can type, write, draw, surf the web, and advance slides remotely from anywhere in the room. All changes on the slate show up on the screen.

For Clinicians

Many speech-language pathologists have IWBs in their treatment rooms; those working in an inclusion setting find classrooms equipped with IWBs. There are many interactive sites online that are suited for clinical use, especially in language and literacy. Check my extensive list of these sites ( for activities (which also can be used with small groups or individuals sitting in front of a computer). A few examples:

Several sites have IWB activities, including:

Judith Maginnis Kuster, MS, CCC-SLP, is a professor emeritus in the Department of Speech, Hearing, and Rehabilitation Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Contact her at An archive of all of Kuster's columns can be found at URLs change; there is no guarantee that links from previous columns are still functional.

cite as: Kuster, J. M. (2011, August 30). No More Chalkboards: Interactive Whiteboards. The ASHA Leader.