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The best interactive whiteboards/projectors?

Started by Sam Hamilton 06 Aug 2012 12:58pm () Replies (17)

Kia Ora Tatau,

I am a Teacher at Matata Public School in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.  We are just beginning our e-learning journey are i am investigating how well interative whiteboards work in the classroom and what are the best projectors and software to get.  I was wondering if folks could pass on some of their knowledge in this area.  

Our school has very high ceilings and also as lots of trucks drive past the school there is a lot of shaking.  THis may cause trouble with collaboration of software.  So i have been thinking of 'short-throw' projectors.  Can anybody tell me much about these? are these a projectors to use?  

Also, in terms of making our whiteboards interative what hardware/software would people recommend?  I have heard schools use different things for different year groups.  Is there a difference in what they can do for different year groups?

This is my first post on here and any help would be hugely appreciated.  i am sure there are lots of questions i have failed to ask but this is just a start:o)

Thanks vary much,

Sam Hamilton

Replies

  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 06 Aug 2012 1:16pm ()

    Hi Sam

    I can't tell you a lot about interactive whiteboards and what is best etc, however I can tell you what my own kids' school has done (of which I am on the BOT). They started down this track last year and are hoping to buy some more this year - they decided to buy interactive projectors. Rather than paying for an expensive interactive whiteboard as well as data projectors, these projectors do everything themselves using whatever board you have already. I believe they are short-throw projectors. (Sorry I cannot remember the brand, but if you want to know, I will find out for you). I believe they cost around about $3000 each including installation and training (although I think this can be a negotiable expense) - we put in three last year.

    Cheers
    Nathaniel 

  • Sam Hamilton (View all users posts) 22 Aug 2012 1:34pm ()

    Hello everybody, thanks for the great responses.  I have found out something myself with your help!  I think the short throw projectors are the go.  THe interactive ones look good as well!  

    Torque IP have provided me with some information and i am looking forward to finding out more about these in the near future.

     

    My next query is about software and interactive resources.  What is the software like on your interactive whiteboards?  Have any of you found good interactive resources online that you can use?  

    Thank you all in advance for any info!

  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 22 Aug 2012 1:43pm ()

    Hi Sam. The projectors are Panasonic PT-TW231REA and yes they are interactive.

    I don't know anything about the software unfortunately as I don't use them (I'm only on the BOT at that school). I can put you in touch with someone there that is using them though if you would like.

  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 06 Aug 2012 1:19pm ()

    I just remembered I had an email about them.

    They are Panasonic projectors PT-TW231REA

    Hope that is helpful.

     

    Cheers
    Nathaniel 

  • Craig Robinson (View all users posts) 06 Aug 2012 1:44pm ()

    Hi

    We have 16 Interactive Ultra short throw epsom projectors. We run Mimeo software. It all works very well. We got a site license for the software by purchasing 1 of their slates. Subsequently we have brought new slates as teachers have shown a desire to use them.

  • Sam Hamilton (View all users posts) 22 Aug 2012 1:48pm ()

    Hi Craig,  Can you provide me with some info regarding your epson projectors?  Are they interactive in of themselves, or is that with the mimio capabilities?  We have one mimio here at school which works with your everyday run of the mill projector which makes them interactive.  

    If your projectors are interactive, is the mimio software better than the software that comes with the projector?

    What is the feedback of the epson projectors from your teachers? do they work well? enhance teaching?  can laptops connect to the projectors wirelessly? or are they hard wired.

    Thanks a lot!

  • Glen McKay (View all users posts) 06 Aug 2012 6:38pm ()

    I have had interwrite board for the last 4 years but have begun a school trial using an iPad instead. I think that is definitely an option you should look at. They are mobile, you can plug them into a projector and when not working on it kids can use for apps, camera, voice etc. Cheaper and you can do more!

  • Iona Rait (View all users posts) 06 Aug 2012 6:56pm ()

    Kia ora Sam

    We have had a couple of wall mounted interactive boards, which work really well in the senior end of the school.  They do have a funny light to them when you are up close that I personally don't like, but they seem to orientate well after any shakes to the projector.  These are out of action at our other school while we are off site due to the earthquake though!

    We also have two interactive teaching stations in the junior end of the school, I share one with another teacher.  These are very good, and you can plug an iPad in.  The newer model has a slanted board on the front, or one you can pull out, so you can prop up your shared book which is necessary otherwise you end up needing another board.  The height is ideal for the shorter student!  The size of the board could be an issue if you have a small classroom.  Not 100% certain we have the right software as it mucks around a little which can be frustrating.

    While the other teacher is using the interactive teaching station, I am using an apple tv and iPad.  The wireless-ness of this is great and the kids like seeing another child drawing up on the screen this way.  There could be some issues mirroring video this way due to our bandwidth though, as while using sock puppets it wouldn't show the show up on the screen.  I like this option the best so far.  

    I have heard about/seen the mimio boards and would love to see them in action.

    I definitely think there is not one solution for every level in the school.  On the other hand you probably don't want a different option for each room!

  • Craig Robinson (View all users posts) 22 Aug 2012 10:54pm ()

    Hi Sam

    The projectors are stunning. The ultra short throw is definitley the way to go. They are interactive and come with the software that enables the computers to talk to the projectors (Easy Interactive Driver) and therefore the use of their interactive pen.They also come with a basic creation package (Easy interactive tools). This is pretty gutless and hence our use of Mimio software which is fully functional with this set up. As I said previously you can get a site license for this software by buying 1 Mimio tablet which makes it very cost effective. The projectors aren't wirelessly connected. They work really well for us and staff are using the interactive features more and more. Hope this answers all your questions.

    Cheers Craig

  • Sam Hamilton (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2012 12:08pm ()

    Well i have just returned from uLearn2012 and am no cloder to making a decision.  I really liked what smart board and ActiveBoard had to offer, but will they suit the classrooms we are trying to develop.  Where we move away from teachers at the front of the classroom teaching to a more facilitator role, will Interative whiteboards loose some of their purpoer.  

    Would an interactive projective/big screen tv with apple tv and ipads be a better way to go.

    THis is beginning to hurt my brain...which isn;t all that hard after the rediculous mount to thinking that went on this past week at uLearn...

  • Andrew Wooster (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2012 12:22pm ()

    haha Sam, I agree, my brain is hurting at the term hasn't started yet.  Many companies will give you a test drive of tech gear if you find the right rep......tell them you want to spend six figure and they get around fairly quick!! Then get the students to decide? Just a thought and I'm procrastinating. Wink

  • iDave (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2012 2:48pm ()

    Hi Sam - one thing not to forget is planning for PD (incl cost) with what ever tech you bring on.  I don't mean how 'to drive it' PD (yes some of that is needed) but pedagogy stuff which fits the school vision.  Often schools forget the actual cost of PD both in (maybe) facilitator time and time for the teachers to develop.  Teachers spending hours of their own time is a hidden cost.

    Currently our school has Smartboards but interestingly enough some of the teachers are opting  for Apple TVs with a 60" TV ($1450) when it comes projector replacement. Don't forget to factor projector life/position and classroom light and  into the equation too.  The teachers are loving Airplay and the way that students can jump onto the screen with their Apple device. (The Apple TVs are connected via a network port to cut down wireless traffic)  We have on-sold some of the boards already. Incidentally the cost of ownership for the TVs is much lower. 

    Happy to discuss our journey further with you if it would help.

     

    Dave

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2012 7:30pm ()

    Hi Dave - I'm interested to hear that your staff are opting for 60" TVs. Is this both junior and senior class teachers? Are the TVs being afixed to a wall, or are they on some sort of stand. Space is a concern for us.

  • iDave (View all users posts) 14 Oct 2012 1:41pm ()

    Hi Carol - a mix of junior and senior. We have them fixed to the wall - teachers choose where.  For some of our rooms it has solved issues with lighting.  60" seems to be a good size although this is smaller than a projector on a screen or the IWB.  Teachers with newer Macs love the airplay (no cables).  We trialed it in the staff room first.

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 14 Oct 2012 2:39pm ()

    Thanks Dave. With TVs affixed to a wall, what sort of height have you found best? I am imagining that, in a Junior class where students are more likely to be in a group by the teacher, and closer to the screen, they won't want to be tipping their heads up high to see the screen. Whereas for students at desks and back further in the room, the screen would need to be higher to be seen above other heads. It's all tricky, and I'm all for flexibility if it's possible. Here in Christchurch, we need to watch that things like TVs aren't going to fall over or drop off walls, too!

  • Fiona Paurini (View all users posts) 13 Oct 2012 8:18pm ()

    Hi there

    Did you check out the Mimio interactive system at the Waterman's stand.  These clip onto existing whiteboards and just calibrate them to the space you want.  They can be moved from class to class, or can be used on a desk (using a capture pen). There 'inter-activeness' (new word?!?) is through their software rather than built into the board itself. Much more mobile and versatile.  

    I'm looking with interest at this discussion because we are looking at making some choices between flat screen TV, apple TV, more mimio boards (we have leased a couple, but haven't been used too much this year, so we are going to have to have some training to get the best out of them).

    Also at one of the breakouts was mentioned the ability to get a touch screen overlay for flat screen TVs.  Does anyone know any more about that?

    I'm thinking that a mix and match option may be the way to go rather than a one size fits all, depending on the teacher, year level, and children.

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