The journey from blackboard to whiteboard is complete, with most teachers having embraced the benefits of touchscreen technology in the classroom. However, the journey hasn’t come to an end here, it continues apace towards the latest technology utilising LCD and LED touch-sensitive screens.
Interactive white boards, often referred to as SMART boards, are a strong example of the benefits of touchscreen technology in the classroom. Where a normal whiteboard can only be written on, an interactive white board can do so much more. Written text can be moved around, images added, websites accessed and annotated, and educational games played, and it is as easy for a five year old as for an adult.
The advancement in LCD and LED display screens has developed so fast that they are now increasingly popular with education and business establishments. The functionality and multi-media application of interactive touch-sensitive displays make them a high performance alternative to the interactive white board.
So, is it time to adopt into the next stage of the journey?
Change for change sake, should not be a reason alone. However, early adopters of interactive white boards may be at a stage where, for example, their projectors could be coming to the end of their lives, or indeed not be of sufficiently high resolution to deal with everyday graphics. Rather than reinvesting in the same technology, the benefits of LCD/LED touch-sensitive screens may justify the upgrade.
To make this decision, one needs to be aware of the benefits of this new technology. In short, LCD/LED touch-sensitive screens have all the advantages of interactive whiteboards without the drawbacks. The additional benefits may be grouped under three key factors:
High Definition Display
LCD/LED screens are all high-resolution wide screen format with HD compatibility, providing extremely sharp, colour rich images which provides fantastic clarity for an audience. The advantage being that there is no projector glare or the need to close blinds in bright sunlight. LCD/LED screens are equally robust but add the advantage of multi-touch function allowing multiple users to work on the screen at the same time, even at a distance.
The purchase of the interactive white board isn’t the only cost you need to consider when considering touchscreen technology. The costs of projectors, speakers and their installation, not to mention the replacement of projector lamps with usage are all real expenses. Interactive LCD/LED display screens have only two costs; initial purchase and installation, meaning no ongoing maintenance costs. Additionally, a single screen can be a mobile asset deployed around a building and used at different heights depending on the audience without any extra installation costs.
Data projectors require regular maintenance, notably with regular cleaning of the air filters every 3-6 months, and checking and replacing lamps, whereas interactive LCD/LED displays require no maintenance beyond cleaning the screen. Additionally they are a single piece of equipment, using less power overall.