Choosing the Right Interactive Display for Your School

Today’s students have grown accustomed to constant stimuli from smartphone apps, streaming platforms, and high-definition interactive displays. With Generations Z (years 10-24) and Alpha (ages 0-9) being born into a world where algorithms keep them constantly clicking, scrolling, and swiping, it comes with no surprise that attention spans have reduced.

With this, teachers now face a dilemma: how do you adjust the traditional curriculum to keep students’ attention and accommodate children who have grown up with technology? As technology advances, educators must keep up with emerging trends and incorporate them into the classroom.

In this blog, we help you identify what factors you should consider when picking the right display for your classroom and outline the different types of interactive displays that educators usually use.

Picking the Right Interactive Display for Your Classroom

Deciding on which interactive display to bring into your classroom can be a confusing task as the numerous options out there come with their own set of benefits. Whether you’re thinking about a touchscreen television for your kindergarten classroom or an interactive flat panel display for your chemistry lab, you’ll want to weigh all of your options and pick one that facilitates both teaching and learning.

What You Need to Consider Before Buying an Interactive Display

1. Cost

Arguably the biggest decision driver, it’s important to consider more than just the product cost when picking the right smartboard. You’ll also need to weigh the following when calculating costs:

  • The product’s initial pricing
  • The cost of installation
  • The ongoing costs of system upkeep and maintenance
  • Cost of staff training

But that’s not all; if you’re looking to buy several displays, you’ll have more purchasing power to reduce the individual unit cost, which would impact your choice.

2. Installation Logistics

While you may want to get an interactive whiteboard, in addition to the cost of installation, you’ll need to consider the logistics of it with questions like:

  • Where will the device be installed?
  • Does that location have the right infrastructure? (E.g., Are there sockets nearby? Is there a load-bearing wall? )
  • Who will be doing the installation?
  • Is there enough space for the device?
  • Will you need to install additional wiring, window glare-reducers, or other infrastructure?

Aside from this, you will also need to put together an implementation plan to ensure enough time to install and train your staff without disrupting classes.

3. Classroom Software and Functionality

An interactive display isn’t very useful without the right software to support it. The essential functionality, user-friendliness, language availability for the user interface and software usage flexibility are a few key factors to consider when choosing your interactive display.

When making your decision, make sure your chosen device is compatible with any software you may need.

4. Purpose

Why are you looking to invest in an interactive display?

Evaluating and understanding the need for the display and how often it will be used will prevent you from spending money on an expensive piece of technology only to be used as a TV. Prevent this from happening by setting out an implementation strategy with the teachers to define the desired outcomes and uses of the display.

The Different Types of Interactive Displays

Now that you know what you need out of your interactive display, here are the different types that you can consider.

1. Interactive Whiteboard ( IWB)

Interactive whiteboards use motion sensors that enable the device to be interactive. The image is projected from a computer and actions can be executed with motion sensors instead of using a mouse and a keyboard. Smart technology, such as interactive whiteboards, can help your teachers connect with students and keep them engaged while encouraging in-class participation.

An interactive whiteboard in the classroom allows students to use technology that they are familiar with while creating the perfect solution for Gen Z and Gen Alpha’s learning styles.

An interactive whiteboard would work well in classrooms with more students. The bigger display ensures the entire class can see and interact with it. The simplified connectivity with a computer allows teachers to make amendments and plan classes from the comfort of their own computers. The wide range of compatible apps allows teachers to incorporate many different approaches to learning and is best suited for day-to-day use in the classroom.

2. LED TV Monitor

An LED TV monitor is one of the easier ways to add technology to your classroom. Most of us are familiar with LED TVs, its simple plug-in and play characteristic creates a visually stimulating environment in the classroom. However, with an LED TV, it is much harder to encourage active participation from students.

An LED TV would work well to display videos in classes where videos are an important component of teaching but limited interaction capabilities won’t be a big factor, e.g., Physical Education classes. With a simple plug and play function, and high-resolution playback, the LED TV is best used where instructors require less interaction with the screen.

3. Interactive Flat Panel (IFP)

An interactive flat panel display mimics a large-screen television but incorporates multi-touch screen interactivity for a hands-on learning experience. With an interactive flat panel, you can automate classroom management, gamify educational exercises and enable students to collaborate. With simplified hands-on learning experiences, educators will be more inclined to incorporate activities as learning tools instead of lectures as a mode of teaching.

The interactive flat panel is best suited for smaller classrooms. The demands of a smaller class size are well suited for the flat panel as it is typically smaller in size when compared to an interactive whiteboard. The interactive flat panel occupies the middle ground between the interactive whiteboard and LED TV in terms of both cost and ease of installation and works wonders in helping students and teachers in smaller classes.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Interactive Displays.

Display Advantages Disadvantages
Interactive Whiteboard
Large screen size
Easy to use
Various connectivity capabilities
Strict lighting condition
High maintenance cost
High implementation cost
No built-in sound system
Multi-touch options are limited
LED TV Monitor
Easy to use
High resolution
Built-in sound system
Limited touch screen
Limited software support
Limited size options
Interactive Flat Panel
Easy to install and can
be placed anywhere
maintenance and installation
Multi-touch capabilities
Extensible software solution
and BYOD friendly
Certain brands have limited
software facilitation capabilities

The Bottom Line

The benefits of an interactive display are unmatched in today’s educational toolkit. While each piece of technology has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, the most important thing is that it helps you teach your students in the best way possible. The key to determining the best fit for your particular classroom is to carefully consider the specific conditions, such as the budget, the syllabus, and the available space.

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