An interactive whiteboard itself is not bad for your eyes – but the data projector used with the board can cause eye damage.
When you are outside a building on a bright summer day your eyes won’t hurt when you look at a tree. How do you see the tree? The light from the sun shines on the tree and is reflected to you so that you see the image of the tree. But if you look directly at the sun your eyes will be damaged. Likewise, looking at the image on an interactive whiteboard won’t hurt your eyes, but looking into the beam of the data projector will.
You can project your eyes – and those of your learners – by following a few simple guidelines:
Don’t stare directly into the beam of the data projector.
Avoid standing in the beam – but if you have to enter into the beam, don’t look at the audience for more than a few seconds.
When writing on the board, face the board, with your back to the beam.
Switch the data projector off when not in use. This practice saves your eyes – it also saves energy!
The effect of the beam is reduced when the data projector is installed in the ceiling.
These guidelines must be explained to learners before they interact with the whiteboard, in the same way that you would brief them about the correct way to observe a solar eclipse without damaging their eyes.
An interactive whiteboard is safe to use if you remember that you must never look directly at the strong light emanating from the data projector. Protect your eyes – they have to serve you for a long time!
Click here for more information about interactive whiteboards.