Research and Development

Interactive Whiteboards and Linux

Interactive whiteboards have been coming to classrooms for some years already and here at Opinsys we've seen the growing interest towards their linux compatibility. The situation for schools using linux is challenging as there is not much information available and it can be also conflicting. Here at Opinsys we have some experience in getting some models to work, but because there are so many whiteboard models, display setups and software versions, our answers have been fuzzy at best.

To get all the confusion sorted out we decided to do something about it and challenged all the Finnish importers of interactive whiteboards to get the following done:

  • List linux compatible hardware and software
  • Find out how the setup can be managed in centrally managed LTSP thin and fat client environments and on laptops (testing will be done on Ubuntu)
  • Give feedback to vendors and software developers on encountered issues, bugs and wishlist items
  • Create a public document in our blog on how interactive whiteboards and their software work on linux. We'll translate the document to Finnish, Swedish and English.
We hope that the outcome of the project helps schools to find out what hardware to buy, make it easier for vendors to sell to schools using linux and help us to support the teachers and students better.

We have now three companies participating in the project - Hedcom with Promethean products, Sahara/Cleverproducts with Cleverboards and Suomen koulupalvelu with Mimio products - and we welcome also others to join us!

We'll be testing the interactive whiteboards during the next month and update the blog with our findings, so stay tuned.

Do you have experiences on interactive whiteboards that we should know while testing? Leave your thoughts in comments.

-Antti Sokero / Veli-Matti Lintu