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Home/Interactive Flat Panels/Considering Interactive Whiteboards, You Need to Read This Article

Considering Interactive Whiteboards, You Need to Read This Article

You have had interactive whiteboards in your classes for the last six or seven years and you are looking to replace them. Whatever you do, DO NOT replace them with more Interactive Whiteboards! This article will help to explain exactly why you should not be replacing interactive whiteboards with more Interactive Whiteboards!

What are the Problems with Interactive Whiteboards?

Old Technology

I know it is not great to keep harping on about the latest and greatest technology; but interactive whiteboards are not it. As a company, we started out manufacturing interactive whiteboards 11 years ago – this is a lifetime in the world of technology.

Think about it for a second. If your cell phone is out of date in a couple of years, why would you want to put a technology, certainly one that has not changed in quite some time, into your classrooms?

Knowing, and yes, knowing that you are going to try and use them for the next 5 years plus. Think about it. At the end of that period, the technology is going to be 15 years old!!!! Not good.

Shadows

However hard you try, you can’t avoid them. Even with the best short throw projector, there is going to be some form of shadow on the screen.

Yes, with a bit of technique, you can avoid it, but really, there is always going to be a shadow. This is not great for that one student that is stuck right in the spot where they can’t see.

Image Clarity and Resolution

The Image Clarity for educational projectors and resolution is just nowhere need where it needs to be. Think about the image that you look at on your TV at home. I would like to bet that as a minimum, this is a HD resolution, probably 4K if you have purchased your TV in the last 24 months. It is possible of course to get HD projectors, but these generally are not the ones that you have in the classroom as they are more expensive. The budget models tend to have lower resolution.

Then there is the image clarity. You can get super-bright projectors, but again, these are not the ones that are designed for the educational market. The ones that are tend to be a much lower brightness. This in a bright room, if the sun is out for example, makes the image look very washed out.

Drivers and Calibration

Ive been in this industry for best part of 17 years. Drivers and Calibration hands down are the biggest barrier to use of this kind of technology in the classroom. You turn on the projector, wait for it to warm up. It’s ready, great, ah, not so great. You have picked the laptop out of the cart that does not have the drivers installed. Oh well, we can just use the IWB as a screen. Time and time again, this is the scenario with Interactive Whiteboards. They need drivers, which in turn means they need admin to install them as you can guarantee that you do not have the installation rights on your school computer.

Frustration builds, the lesson plan goes out of the window as does the confidence in the IWB technology.

Cost of Ownership High

Believe it or not, the price you pay for an Interactive Whiteboard an projector is not the final cost. You have ongoing costs that you may or may not have thought about or indeed realised. Firstly, there is some form of maintenance.

Whether this is a filter, or a build to installing drivers on the PC, these are all things that require time. Time is money so there is a cost.

If you need a replacement bulb, which you will unless you are using a laser projector that doesn’t require one – there is a cost to this. All this small costs over the useful lifespan of the product add up.

Difficult Installation

The installation portion of Interactive Whiteboards and projectors are difficult. They are not straight forward at all. You have to get the height of the projector above the board perfect so the throw distance and pitch match the IWB. If not, the image will not be square and fill the board.

There is the cabling, power, USB, HDMI/VGA – all very messy and time consuming. What does this mean? Well, it means that the installation is going to cost you more!

Proprietary Software

Interactive Whiteboards have become synonymous with propriety software. This means that the software and the formats are really only compatible with a certain manufacture. It is possible to “sort of” import them into other formats and software, but generally, it is messy.

Why is this a problem? Well. we’ll cover the financial implications of this below but in terms of interoperability with other hardware and software, it can be problematic to say the least. For example, take the popular brand of whiteboard from the market leader. Their software is not compatible with the popular Google Classroom learning suite.

Chargeable Software with Annual Fees

Many of the softwares that came free with Interactive Whiteboards in the first instance, are now chargeable. They are also chargeable on an annual basis which means, say the useful life of the product is 5 years, you are going to be paying 5 lots of fees!

This soon mounts up when you look at what it costs per classroom – it is a huge amount of money. This is money and part of your budget that you might not have actually thought about.

What is the solution?

Interactive Flat Panels

There is of course a new solution. I say, new, but the technology has been around since 2012. This was when we launched our first Interactive Flat Panel Display. Jump forward 8 years and we’re on our 7th generation of Interactive Flat Panel. Super bright, 4K resolution. On board Operating System that can replace the need for a PC int he classroom. Easy “hang and bang” installation with no reoccurring software fees and no maintenance cost apart from a damp cloth on the screen every so often. I’m talking about the TouchIT Rapide Interactive LED.

If you are considering Interactive Whiteboards, you should check out this product before you do anything. It will amaze you!

Thanks for reading.

 

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By |2020-02-04T17:32:59+00:00February 3rd, 2020|Interactive Flat Panels|0 Comments

About the Author:

CEO at TouchIT Technologies.