Where does the interactive classroom displays fit in education? In our modern era, those educating our youth are facing a conundrum.  Considering the rise of smartphones, tablets, and cloud-integrated technology, the chalkboard, overhead projector, and other analog tools of yore are no longer yielding the same educational results.

If student engagement and test scores are down, what can a school do in order to reverse course? The answer is to get with the times and adapt.

However, the relevant tools and technology do not come cheap and product options are widely spread. As classroom technology improves, interactive classroom displays are becoming the standard. This is especially true as the quality goes up – and the cost goes down – on interactive flat panels like ViewBoard.

Interactive classroom display used for front facing teaching

If it’s your job to decide what type of technology to purchase for your school, it’s important to know the advantages, potential drawbacks, and what your options are around the technology you’re considering so that you can make an informed decision. Keep reading below for a deep dive into everything you need to know about interactive classroom displays!

  1. What Are Interactive Classroom Displays?
  2. What Are the Advantages?
  3. What Are the Potentital Drawbacks?
  4. What Effects Do Interactive Displays Have in the Classroom?
  5. What Interactive Displays Are Currently On the Market?

What are Interactive Classroom Displays?

Interactive classroom displays combine the touch technology of a tablet with a whiteboard’s educational functionality. They emphasize flexibility, collaboration, and creativity in the classroom. This is achieved by way of their native feature suite and their enhanced capacity to incorporate outside media, thus allowing teachers to imagine lessons in almost any way possible.

students and their teacher collaborating together using an interactive classroom display

The Advantages of Interactive Classroom Displays

By their very nature, the advantages of interactive classroom displays are present in nearly every education-based scenario. They greatly increase the ease of day-to-day tasks, such as collaboration and lesson planning. Moreover, on the broader spectrum, their inherent portability and cost savings make interactive classroom displays a worthwhile proposition as well.

Portability

Certain interactive classroom displays offer the advantage of portability. Interactive displays can be mounted on a selection of different mobile stands, thus bringing interactivity and engagement wherever they go. What’s more is that the portability also extends to teachers themselves, in that from where they are in the classroom, they can access the display remotely.

Long-term Cost Viability

Interactive classroom displays are certainly one of the more expensive classroom technology investments. However, following a purchase, the maintenance and upkeep fees for these digital boards are far less than those of an ordinary, analog whiteboard. Between that, and the benefits bestowed upon teachers and students alike, interactive classroom displays are a worthwhile investment.

Increased Collaboration

When students work together, they learn together. The traditional lecture-based teaching method offered very little in the way of collaboration between classmates, thus dooming education to be a solo activity. By using interactive classroom displays, interaction and engagement become the focal point of every lesson, making education a collaborative group effort!

Easier Lesson Planning

Teachers’ lesson plans were once limited by what the textbook, supply inventory, and budget allowed. However, with interactive classroom displays, the sky’s the limit! Due to their interactivity and internet connectivity, teachers will find that lesson plans are easier and faster to produce, thus opening up more time for other preparations.

Potential Drawbacks of Interactive Classroom Displays

For all the advantages of interactive classroom displays, there is potential for drawbacks. For those with limited budgets, the starting price of the displays might be a hindrance, as could the subsequent reliance on IT for both training and repairs. Additionally, based on classroom layout, spatial issues could become a troublesome factor.

Price

The purchase price of interactive classroom displays is greater than that of other digital classroom tools, to say nothing of their analog counterparts. When factoring in maintenance, replacements, and repairs, the cost grows even higher. Even if the total is offset in the long-term, many school districts will think twice before purchasing.

Increased Learning Curve

As when any new technology is introduced into a classroom setting, training is required to learn how to use the technology properly. Interactive displays are no different. In fact, it would be a waste of time and money to not take advantage of training staff on interactive displays as without proper instruction, the displays won’t be used to their fullest potential! With all its incredible features and functionalities, training for how to use an interactive display takes more time and effort than say learning how to use a new projector.

Reliance on Technical Support

For both implementation and maintenance, the burden involving interactive classroom displays falls on technical support. For schools upgrading their classrooms, consideration should be paid towards how much of IT’s time will be taken up, as well as the amount of class time could be lost waiting for a repair to take place.

Classroom Factors

Interactive classroom displays don’t necessarily feature scalable projection. Depending on the classroom layout, as well as the presence of external light sources, ocular issues could arise when students strain their eyes to see the display. The same goes for displays’ volume, which students sitting far away might not be able to hear.

What are the Effects of Interactive Classroom Displays?

Beyond advantages and drawbacks, the true appeal of interactive classroom displays lays in the effect it has on the class as a whole, particularly in the long term. Greater student engagement, improved capacity for educational accommodation, and improved communication practices are just a few of these effects, and therefore, strong investment motivations.

Greater Engagement

Nothing is a greater indication of a functioning classroom than noticeable student engagement. In fact, it’s been proven that students engaged in active learning, as opposed to passive, are much more unlikely to tune out. Since student engagement can be facilitated by an interactive classroom display, there’s no reason not to upgrade!

Classroom Accommodation

The best lesson plans are those that truly account for everything. Considering the flexibility afforded by interactive classroom displays, teachers should be able to be ready for anything. This holds true not just for unforeseen obstacles (such as stay-at-home orders!), but also for accommodations having to do with different learning styles, speeds, and other special requirements.

Communicative Improvement

All students go through a phase where they’re reluctant to communicate in the classroom, both in large settings and small. For many, this phase carries on into adulthood. Considering, however, that interactive classroom displays bring greater collaboration and interaction to the environment, students have the increased opportunity to gain communicative strength naturally.

Teacher using an interactive classroom display for his classroom lesson

What Interactive Classroom Displays are on the Market?

There are many top brands of interactive classroom displays on the market such as ViewSonic, ClearTouch, Promethean, SMART, and BenQ. So how do you choose which one is best for you?

Research! It’s best to always do your research when considering such a purchase. Identify what features and functionalities are important to you for your education goals and how each of these brands compares. Some key factors to consider are:

  • What is your budget?
  • What size display are you looking for?
  • What type of display am I looking for? (Infrared, Capacitive Touch, etc)
  • How many touch points do I want?
  • What features am I looking for in the software suite?
  • What type of warranty does the display come with?

But the list can go on and on!

We understand research can be a time-consuming process, so to help you get started we’ve put together a competitive comparison of the top-industry brands for interactive panels.

Through this research, one display seems to rank supreme, and that is the ViewSonic ViewBoard. With a heavy emphasis on total engagement and dynamic, ‘front-facing learning’, the ViewBoard aims to thoroughly transform learning. Through a synergistic combination of a touch display and a cloud-based software suite, it achieves just that.

In practice, the ViewBoard appeals to customers through its relatively low cost, ease of use, and customizability. In addition to extremely competitive pricing, ViewSonic offers special first time buy pricing to new customers so that you can truly get a feel for the display and what it has to offer before investing in displays for the entire school. Additionally, ViewBoard interactive display bundles make it easy to get the right hardware, software, and whatever else you need, for your unique installation – all at one easy price.

The myViewBoard™ software that comes integrated with each ViewBoard (but can also be accessed through your online browser) is a powerful tool that enables teachers to build dynamic lesson plans, import engaging content, and share lessons with students – all with one easy click. Whether yours is a Windows, Android, or Chrome environment, myViewBoard works well with existing technology and seamlessly integrates into nearly any classroom.

In addition to professional development and on-site training, ViewSonic provides an extensive library of self-paced videos and an online knowledge base to ensure that teachers are equipped with the resources they need to master their ViewBoard to use it to its fullest potential. There is also no need to worry about maintenance and repair costs – ViewBoard displays are protected by one of the industry’s best pixel performance policies, and are warranted for three (3) years from the date of first consumer purchase for parts and labor (with the option to add on an additional (4) years to that warranty!)

If any of this as piqued your interest and you want to learn more, schedule a virtual demo to see how ViewBoard can change enhance education and the classroom experience!

(From the editor: This article was originally published on ViewSonic Library.)