Interactive whiteboards are crap. There is little teaching theory behind there effective use. They can't be used as regular whiteboards when computers or networks are down or bulbs burn out, and they lock you into proprietary formats that will burn you if you ever want or need to switch.
Clearly written by someone without a clue. The so-called "proprietary formats" you are referring to may have been true five years ago, but now any interactive whiteboard software can use lessons created with any other interactive whiteboard software. You may need a plugin or a reader, but it's still usable. There is also talk of creating a standard format to be used by ALL interactive whiteboard software, regardless of manufacturer. Talk in the gov't, not just the industry. And most can now import files from regular document formats as well, and saved as such when done. As far as being used as regular whiteboards when the computer/networks are down, some can. Mimeos (sp?) and Hitachi Starboards are usable as regular whiteboards (hell, the mimeos ARE regular whiteboards with a little bar that turns it into an interactive whiteboard sending the IR signals to the computer).
As far as the teaching theory behind *their* effective use, have you ever actually seen one in use? In the hands of a teacher that knows what they are doing, they can engage the students far more than any other teaching medium out there. Forget powerpoints, powerpoints are for business meetings. Forget overheads, those were last millennium. The power at your fingertips with an interactive board and a computer with access to the internet is virtually unlimited. I once watched a teacher give a presentation on North Korea and I completely forgot that I was there to fix her desktop, I was so engaged in the lesson. She used a ppt as the basis for the presentation but deviated regularly to the internet for media and pictures to augment the lesson, and soon was far beyond the simple powerpoint. I caught myself after a bit and looked around the room and saw that every single student was not only paying attention, but actually seemed to be learning. And if you've been in a high school in the last 10 years you'd find that to be a rare event. And, no, this was not an AP class.
Interactive whiteboards, when used properly (and its not hard to do), can do wonderful, powerful things. Even teach this ADHD computer geek something. I had to literally tear myself away to fix the computer I was working on. But I learned a little bit about the DMZ between N and S Korea that day.