OK, so it is that time of year Again where you are slowly, and we know slowly, starting to think about deploying Interactive LEDs or Flat Panels into your schools in summer 2019. Yes, we know the work begins now. Your projectors are getting dimmer and dimmer. Students are complaining they cannot see the image on the screen. Your interactive board still hasn’t got the right drivers installed on your computer so you cant use it. You are fed up of calibrating it and to top it all off, your current supplier is charging you an annual fee for your software. Yes, we’ve heard it all before. So here we go – our top 5 tips
Online Demos First
Most of our searches if not on a recommendation by another school, colleague or friend, come from Google So have a look round and you will see that there are lots of us on the market essentially all looking to sell you interactive LEDs. A good place to start is by seeing those companies that are willing to show you the product online in a webinar demo. There are a nice introduction to the company and product and it means that you don’t have a sales person knocking at your door and you can make an initial decision on a few units you would like to see in the “flesh”. This also gets rid of those manufactures that claim to be in your country but are actually based in the Far East where support is going to be an issue.
Demo Unit Shoot Out
Next, from your shortlist you want to see a demo unit in person. Now, just sending a demo unit is not good enough either, you want someone from the company to come and show you what it can do and how to do it – an in person demo. Then you want to actually play with the unit yourselves for a week – you don’t need any longer than this. This also gives you a comparison of being able to show a unit side by side against another brand. Make a list of what you like and dont like of each unit.
Wall Mount or Stand Considerations
So you are looking at a unit, you’ve got to give some consideration to how these are going to be mounted at the school. Not only from a physical mounting perspective, but also from a point of aesthetics. If you are removing a whiteboard or a SmartBoard, do you need to decorate and paint what is behind? Can you just put a wall mount straight through your whiteboard into the wall behind and mount that way (this is common FYI) Have you considered accessibility and having the LED moving up and down so it is accessible by students and teachers of all sizes? Have you considered the cost of these as they can soon add up to nearly a couple of thousand dollars a unit if it is not a regular wall mount.
Software Deployment Considerations
So your traveling sales person that has come to show you the unit has shown you this wonderful piece of software. What do you do about the software already in use. Our answer is simple, don’t forget what you have been doing all these years just because you are getting something new in the classroom. You will also need a period of transition if you are running some IWB software for example and plan on transitioning over to a new piece of software, you have to run them in tandem for at least a school year otherwise you are going to get a great deal of push back from your teachers.
Professional Development Considerations
What is this company selling you a shiny new LED actually going to do for you once they are installed? How are they going to support you? What materials do they have online? Will they come and do on site training and what is the cost for this? There are lots of post-sale considerations for training, professional development and support. Don’t be fooled by a cheap price an no support – you want support from your supplier to help you get the most out of the unit.
You’ll be pleased to know that this is the sales process at TouchIT Technologies for pretty much all of our large scale roll-outs of Interactive LEDs. If you want to talk with other teachers in districts that have deployed hundreds our our screens, we’ll connect you for sure.