Finding the best interactive whiteboard for your school’s classrooms can be a difficult thing to do. With all the options available to you, it’s down to you to assess what features are important to your school and your staff. In other words, you must think about what is it that you value from your whiteboard. This article will look at some of these options and examine an alternative solution that helps to combat many of the limitations associated with traditional interactive whiteboard solutions commonly used for classroom applications.
Interactivity is a MUST
These days, interactivity is certainly a must.
With Pro Display’s intouch 65” Interactive Whiteboard, this is covered – plus some. This screen doesn’t just boast ‘interactivity’, it benefits from a keen 6 point multi-touch functionality, offering the ultimate solution for touch screen applications. With this capability, there can be up to 6 people using the touch facility of the screen at any one time, making it ideal for classroom use with things such as educational games, presentations or even specialist software. An added benefit of our Whiteboard is that it comes inclusive with a range of stylus tools with
a strong fabric tip, allowing chief users to benefit from pleasant day to day operation and increased longevity, compared to many others.
An alternative solution
It is also important that your chosen whiteboard offers good enough visibility for the whole class to see it properly. Viewing angles and screen brightness are often serious issues in classrooms, as many still rely on projectors and front projection screens to display content. Front projection screens in classrooms can present consistent problems for teachers, primarily causing shadows, calibration issues and that’s not to mention the general care to be taken over projectors which are subjected to heavy use. With this, also comes other considerations, such as classroom lighting levels, projector settings, projector bulb life, screen brightness and viewing angles. These are things that need assessing in depth before purchasing an interactive front projection screen for a classroom.
Pro Display offers an alternative solution which counters many of these problems. Our 65” Interactive Whiteboard has a high brightness backlit LED panel, offering great visibility from every angle, even in brightly lit environments such as classrooms.
No more turning the lights off to display important content!
Supporting the curriculum. Supporting you.
In recent years, many schools have started to utilise the benefits of the internet by engaging online with international ‘pen pals’, fulfilling elements of the curriculum. Our 65” Interactive Whiteboard offers the ultimate solution for this, being equipped with an integrated webcam for simple video conferencing, making entire classroom conferences possible. This may also be beneficial for higher educational facilities such as Universities or Colleges, who may wish to feature video conferencing as part of their seminar structure. An integrated webcam will also enhance the general functionality of your screen, allowing you to offer students more interactive content, games and software, which could see them integrate with the whiteboard in a similar way to how they would integrate with ‘augmented reality’ systems. Augmented reality has recently seen a huge surge in popularity in the form of games such as ‘Pokemon Go’, and is expected to take centre stage in how educational games and entertainment works in future.
Great for sharing
Permanent PC ‘stations’ are frequently utilised by Primary schools or smaller Secondary schools, with many other educational facilities opting to supply staff with laptops. Our interactive whiteboard facilitates both these approaches, offering easy access front connectivity for HDMI and USB. The ‘shared-room’ life of a secondary school teacher or University lecturer is ideally suited to this screen, allowing for fast connectivity to a laptop via an HDMI port. However, for those looking for a more permanent solution, this screen also contains an OPS slot for an optional integrated PC. Many permanent classroom PC stations see the PC tower unit and attached cables trailing around the front of the classroom where the teacher is based. This may not only present Health and Safety issues, even in the most diligent of schools, but it also takes up more space than is needed. The messy cables may even affect clarity of mind- something which is vital to a teacher and a classroom of children. The OPS slot is a space for a small, versatile PC which is easy to install and allows you the flexibility to upgrade it without having to replace your entire screen. Using an OPS PC saves space, but even in a ‘shared-room’ environment, you are still able to utilise the HDMI connection should you wish to display content from another device.
Your pupils need to see the interactive whiteboard
When it comes to daily use of your whiteboard, there are few which can offer the ‘finishing touches’ our 65” Interactive Whiteboard can. This screen, unlike many others on the market, comes integrated with a very special anti-glare, anti-friction coating, ensuring an enjoyable experience when interacting via stylus or finger. This is an important aspect for education, particularly if the board sees heavy use. The anti-glare coating, combined with the high brightness LED backlight ensures maximum viewing angles, meaning that the screen can be seen in high brightness environments and, depending on where positioned, can be seen from most points in the room. This results in pupil placement being less of a concern, specifically, balancing pupil placement so it benefits their individual productivity and so they can see the screen. Recent reports have shown classroom pupil sizes to be on the increase, making this screen a perfect solution to help deal with this, as it allows you to make the most out of areas in the room you may not have been able to before due to viability concerns.
Response times matter
Excellent touch accuracy and response times are highly important, yet rarely prioritised features in a classroom whiteboard. As touch screen technology becomes increasingly used by both children and adults alike, tolerance for poor touch accuracy and speed is decreasing. In many schools, older interactive whiteboards are powered by even older PCs, giving rise to a noxious combination which may see the patience of any teacher or pupil slowly erode over the course of days or months of use. This subject also presents pragmatic problems, where, due to a slow response time or poor calibration, children have intended to click on one thing, but unintentionally clicked on something else entirely. This happens more often than you may suspect, and whilst it is likely to not be a huge issue most of the time, it can cause wider child safeguarding issues when occurring on the internet, for example. It can also waste a huge amount of time cumulatively, as the teacher attempts to return to the page or application which was accidentally navigated away from. These issues can be hugely disruptive in a classroom environment.
Our 65″ Interactive Whiteboard offers one of the most accurate and responsive touch functions on the market. One of the most notable educational installations of this product saw a number of them rolled out to Cambridge Education Group. The feedback given from the teachers using these products stated that our screens are more sensitive and more precise than similar screens from leading brands. Whilst competitor’s screens were ‘sensitive and accurate as new, [they] degraded quickly with no way to re-calibrate them without returning to the manufacturer.’ Since our Interactive Whiteboard does not require any additional software to operate, in the very rare occasion you may need to, you can always calibrate it through Windows, maximising ease of maintenance.
Our screen is even compatible with many of the leading Whiteboard software systems, allowing you to continue using your .notebook or .flipchart files, providing you still have access to the software required to use these files. As well as compatibility, the teacher’s feedback also stated that our screen was more compact than competitor’s screens they had used previously. The feedback given also featured reference to the quality display, a lack of the annoying shadow seen from front projection screens and positive comments about the screen’s ability to serve as a large format TV screen.
Your interactive whiteboard needs to be hassle free
Positioning is probably the single biggest problem with front projection interactive whiteboards that educators can face. Being unsuitable for the rigorous demands of a busy classroom, a simple nudge of the projector or its housing unit can render the whiteboard – and specifically, its interactivity – totally useless. In many cases, a simple re-calibration can only hold off the inevitable need for re-positioning, which many teachers are left no choice but to rely on IT professionals to fix.
An interactive front projection whiteboard system also usually requires invasive renovation work to be done in the classroom to set up the projector as required. For this set up, the projector often requires an expensive secure housing unit, which is suspended from the ceiling, causing both inconvenience and a lengthier set up than is needed. The cables for this projector are then required to be fed throughout the classroom so they come out by the teacher’s desk or at the PC station.
Our 65” Interactive Whiteboard is up to the task; totally self-contained, it is ready for busy classroom applications. Being LED powered and offering a dimming ‘eco button’, energy conservation is high on the agenda with this screen, allowing you to power just one device for your needs, as opposed to having to power both an interactive whiteboard and a projector- another important Health and Safety aspect, especially if mains power points are limited.
Help your school benefit from new technology
The use of an LED powered screen over a front projection screen is widely accepted to be a superior solution for classrooms, and in fact, front projection applications in schools are largely only derived from the use of OHPs (Overhead Projectors) which saw a decline in use around the early 2000s. As demonstrated by our 65” Interactive Whiteboard, the cost of large format touch screens has drastically decreased in recent years, making it more affordable when budget concerns are an issue.
An investment in this technology would provide an overall enormous benefit to your educational institution when compared to many alternatives on the market, and there should be no reason why your school or University can not benefit from this superior solution as much as possible.
Our 65” Interactive Whiteboard is both simple and intuitive, offering teachers the latest and most responsive touch technology to support an active and inspired learning environment.