It’s no secret that interactive displays (also referred to as interactive whiteboards) have become increasingly popular over the last year, especially in response to the global pandemic and how these tools can be utilized for remote and hybrid learning. In fact, the latest data from Statista on e-learning and education shows that 92% of students worldwide are interested in personalized support and the use of digital devices during the learning process. This means that virtual classrooms are ideal learning environments for a huge number of learners.1
When it comes to interactive displays for education, there are plenty of options to choose from – ViewSonic, Promethean, SMART, Boxlight, Newline, ClearTouch, the list goes on and on. With so many manufacturers and different options to choose from, it may be difficult to know where to begin when evaluating which option is best for you. Well, let me help make it a little bit easier.
Truth be told, from a hardware standpoint, a lot of these interactive displays are very similar. Some are even manufactured in the same factories. The displays are similar, the touch capabilities are similar, the input connections and speaker systems are all pretty similar. So, what sets these displays apart from one and other? It’s actually the software.
Interactive Whiteboard Software for Interactive Displays
When it comes down to it, it’s the interactive whiteboard software features of the interactive display that really power the board and what it can do. Each manufacturer has its own software — SMART has the SMART Learning Suite, ViewSonic has myViewBoard, Promethean has ActivInspire, etc. When evaluating interactive whiteboard technology features and capabilities, some of the features you should be looking for include2:
- Infinite canvas that can be zoomed in and out of
- Shareable whiteboards, so that users can still collaborate before or after a live meeting
- Exportable and downloadable boards
- Designed for interaction with tablets and smartboards; supports multiple touches at a time
- Integrations with video and web conferencing platforms
- Built-in design features such as templates, color, shapes (like virtual sticky notes or arrows), digital writing tools, and text/font options
- Support for multimedia (images, videos, etc.)
- Support for importing data from other documents
- Polling capabilities
Additionally, two very other important factors to consider are cost and price.
Cost – While some interactive whiteboard software may seem like their free to use, there is usually a feature restriction and you need to upgrade to a paid version to unlock all of the features. For example, the SMART Learning Suite offers a free version of their software with up to 50MB of lesson storage, but to unlock unlimited storage, plans start at $59 per teacher/year. It’s important to keep this in mind when evaluating different brands for your interactive display needs.
Integrations – Searching for a virtual whiteboard software for Windows? It’s important to understand the integration and compatibility of the interactive whiteboard software you’re investing in offers with your existing platforms such as Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. For example, ViewSonic is a Google for Education Partner and the myViewBoard Classroom platform is Google for Education certified which would be very important to a Google school.
The Best Interactive Whiteboard Software for Education
Hands down, our pick for the best interactive whiteboard software for Education is the ViewSonic ViewBoard interactive display’s myViewBoard Classroom. As mentioned previously, ViewSonic is a Google for Education Partner and a Microsoft Partner, and ViewSonic’s myViewBoard Classroom was recently awarded “Overall e-Learning Solution of the Year” the EdTech Breakthrough Awards 2021.
ViewSonic’s education ecosystem encompasses one of the widest arrays of display tools and software that engage students in distance, remote and in-classroom learning environments. Developed for both remote and in-class learning environments, the ViewSonic myViewBoard Classroom is a teaching software tool packed with a variety of features to help create a classroom environment in the digital space. It’s essentially a web based “digital twin” of real-classroom designed for distance and hybrid learning in a fully controlled environment, allowing teachers to switch between physical and virtual classrooms seamlessly.
With myViewBoard Classroom, teachers have a secure and easy-to-use platform for engaging classroom content, interactive lessons and to encourage participation. myViewBoard Classroom features include a Collaborative Digital Whiteboard that enables students to interact with a teacher either in class or remotely. The platform includes a built-in one-way video streaming that allows students to see teachers but also protect their privacy, classroom management allowing for teachers to control, manage, and moderate the classroom and, importantly, a safe learning space.
- Engage students in class: Import lessons and slides to the whiteboard. Add interesting videos, pictures, and annotation.
- Less teacher interruptions and secured participation: Manage your virtual classroom with hand raising and speaker selection. Provide students with a secure virtual classroom only accessible to selected users.
- Get students to collaborate online: Students can brainstorm, work on the shared canvas, and chat – all in the virtual group.
- Teach in class and online at the same time with easy set up: Start a lesson virtually or in the classroom, all you need is an Internet connection and a browser.
- Give students access to lessons on demand: Students can learn anywhere and anytime with lessons that can be recorded and shared.
- Low bandwidth accessibility: Developed to perform in areas with limited bandwidth.
Remember those other two important factors to consider – integration and cost? myViewBoard Classroom works from most web browsers (Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, Opera) for most devices (Windows, Linux, Chromebook, Mac, Android, iPad OS, iOS). Schools and education institutions get free entity access to the entire myViewBoard suite, including myViewBoard Classroom.
If you’re a single user, ViewSonic is currently offering complimentary access to myViewBoard Premium features through June 30th, 2022 – all you have to do is sign up by June 30th, 2021 to get one-year free access to Premium.
Embrace the Future of Education with myViewBoard Classroom Interactive Whiteboard Software
Made for blended learning, hybrid teaching, and the future of education, myViewBoard Classroom is a purpose-built solution that is constantly being updated and evolving with new features being added each month to help teachers produce an effective and engaging classroom environment, both in person and digitally.
If you’re interested in seeing firsthand how this technology would work in your classroom environment, please feel free to contact our team for a complimentary ViewSonic ViewBoard and myViewBoard Classroom demo!