Technology has come a long way since the days of the Interactive Whiteboard or “Smart Board” as they became known. As the upgrade process is well under way due to the age of most of these Interactive Whiteboards, it is well worth taking a look at what an Interactive Flat panel can actually do. In this article we will look at 7 things that perhaps you didn’t know they could actually do.
Onboard Operating System
One of the huge differences between a legacy interactive whiteboard and a new Interactive Flat Panel (IFPD) is the onboard operating system that they come with. Android is very much common place amongst the IFPDs and it does present you with a number of new possibilities.
The first is to run your all your daily tasks directly on the OS without needing to connect your computer. Browse the web, use an App, annotate (which we will come onto next) can now all be done directly on the screen as a stand along device.
No need for a computer to be connected, it is an all-in-one solution for the classroom.
Direct Whiteboarding on the LED
Just because you get an IFPD in your classroom certainly does not mean that you are going to loose your whiteboard. It just becomes a little more “digital in nature” and in the form of an App rather than something you where you need to pick up a physical pen.
Apps like the Just Annotate software from TouchIT Technologies have been designed specifically to be really super simple to use and zero learning curve. That means anyone can open up the App and annotate on the screen.
You are then able to save your annotations directly to the LED.
We’re all familiar with Apps now – this is not a new concept thanks to our “fruit loving friends” over at Apple Inc. Apps and installing them on tablets and cell phones is something we all do every day. This is now the same on Interactive Flat Panels too. Apps are everywhere and panels like the TouchIT Rapide from TouchIT Technologies comes with its own store.
There are over 1000 Apps in the store and if there is something you are looking for that you cannot find, you can actually request it directly from the store. That means that there is an ever-increasing ecosystem of Apps that you can use in the classroom.
What is more, make sure you ask the vendor if their Apps are all manually checked for suitability – we do that at TouchIT so you wont find video games or social media in our App Store.
Having the ability to send the screen of a Student’s device up to the IFPD in the class is awesome. You don’t have to mess around with cables, a couple of click of the browser and viola – there is the screen in all its glory being shown to the class. You are also able on Apps like TouchIT’s JustCastIT to have multiple screens (an entire class if you wish) being shown on the IFPD at once.
Casting use to be a 1:1 thing but now, it is certainly a 1:many as far as the IFPD is concerned. You should also not have to purchase any additional hardware for this to work, it should all be possible from the IFPD directly.
Collaboration is somewhat of a given these days with an IFPD. They all do it, the question you want to ask yourself is how much is this going to cost me and do I have to pay each year. Every manufacturer has a different stance on this but to put TouchIT’s position on this – we don’t charge for any updates and all software is unlimited.
What this means in a collaboration sense, is that you can have a whole class connected and collaborating with you on the Contribute Cloud software for example and you have nothing to pay! Not all manufacturers do this so make sure you are checking exactly what you are getting.
Directly Access your Learning Management System like Google Classroom
Learning Management Systems are nothing new in the Education space – although they have got a lot better over the last few years. The links of Blackboard and Google Classroom can be accessed directly from the the IFPD whether through a native App or a browser, it depends on the LMS. The main point here is that you do not need to do one thing with your class and your chrome books and then another on the IFPD, they work together.
Zoom from the LED
Given the recent and arguably ongoing pandemic, the terms “let’s Zoom each other” is certainly one that most people understand. As a company, we understand that Zoom went from 20 million users pre-pandemic to 200 million plus users during. That is a huge amount of people that may have discovered video conferencing for the first time. Zoom has become the defacto in simple and easy to use video conferencing.
Why is this important with your Interactive Flat Panel? Well, the thing is that by adding a simple webcam (make sure that it is Android compatible and there is no shortage on Amazon and the like for this kind of thing) you can turn your IFPD into a simple video conferencing system. Download and install the Zoom App or indeed any other video conference provider of choice and you can use your screen for VC applications without needing to tether a computer.
Can we arrange a demonstration?
Its quite fitting that we finish with Zoom as we would love to show you just what the LED can do over a Zoom video conference session. Contact us for more information or use the chat window in the bottom right hand corner of this page.