When you are wanting to upgrade your classroom with the industry’s latest technology, why not consider replacing aging whiteboards or projectors with an interactive display? Interactive displays for education have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years. There are many brands out there who boast numerous models, but having a wide variety to choose from can be a gift and a curse. How do you know which interactive display for education is the best for your needs? Well, there are certain features of a digital whiteboard to consider when evaluating your options and what will best fit the diverse needs of your classroom.
Some of the features to look for in an interactive display for education include:
- Multiple Touchpoints: This means that more than one person can write and move things on the screen at once. The more touch points, the more students can work together (or separately) on one board.
- System Compatibility: Whether you work in Windows® or Mac®, you need an interactive display that can easily connect to your computer. If the system can also connect to a phone or tablet, that’s even better!
- Screen Size Options: Most brands will have two or three screen sizes in their series, and this is helpful for classrooms with size constraints.
- Digital Whiteboard Software: Most, if not all, brands have their own digital whiteboarding software that really enhances the functionality of the board and its features.
So, which brand offers the best interactive displays for education? Let’s take a look.
The ViewSonic ViewBoard family of interactive displays with a wide variety of features for classrooms of all sizes, as well as for in-person and virtual learning. The series in this family best suited for education include the IFP50 series and the IFP52 series.
The IFP50 Series has an ultra-fine, 4K resolution touch screen featuring 20-point touch that allows multiple users to simultaneously write or draw on the display’s surface using styluses or their fingers, or both at the same time. Screen sizes are available in 55”, 65”, 75”, and 86”, and even 98”. These displays work with Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and Chrome. What’s more, the ViewBoard IFP50 series diplays deliver optional slot-in PC capability for more computing-intensive interactive applications. A VESA-compatible design allows for installation on a wall mount, or on an optional ADA-compliant trolley cart for more flexible installation in classrooms.
Designed to support lessons that flow, ViewSonic’s IFP52 Series of interactive digital whiteboard displays combines a 4K Ultra HD display with user-centric design features, best-in-class collaboration tools, room-filling sound, and a centralized remote management system to deliver an industry-leading interactive whiteboard experience for teachers, students, and IT teams. It’s equipped with all the same features of the IFP50 series, but features some fantastic new improvements.
Available in three screen sizes (65”, 75” and 86”), the IFP52 series features a dual-pen, 33-point ultra-fine touch and palm awareness technology for a natural writing experience and in-class collaboration, USB-C for plug-and-play connectivity via a single cable, a noise-cancelling microphone array that boasts detailed sound capture for distance learners, and new touch control.
All ViewSonic interactive displays come with the myViewBoard collaboration software – 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. You can also import existing lessons from other manufactures, such as SMART and Promethean, so there is no need to recreate lessons. This software is available at the Entity level (which includes all premium features plus a whole lot more) at no cost to schools and education organizations.
Within the myViewBoard platform are a variety of software tools such as:
- myViewBoard Classroom: myViewBoard Classroom is a hybrid teaching software tool packed with a variety of features to help create a classroom environment in the digital space. Whether you are in the classroom, teaching from home, or a combination of both, this dynamic online platform that offers educators easy access to their teaching tools, assignments, courses, and documents – all in one place.
- myViewBoard Manager: myViewBoard Manager is a cloud-based management solution that empowers IT administrators to remotely monitor devices, manage apps, push out broadcasts and more within the myViewBoard ecosystem. IT administrators can seamlessly monitor and maintain individual classroom display screens across large organizations from a single control panel.
- myViewBoard Livestream: Created for classrooms that are practicing distance learning, live streaming with myViewBoard empowers teachers to create an accessible learning experience that engages more students with interactive features and real-time interaction.
- myViewBoard Clips: myViewBoard clips is a video-assisted learning platform that delivers access to over 2 million licensed educational videos, giving educators the freedom to create interactive and engaging lessons with rich content directly on the myViewBoard canvas. All the content is educationally curated, ad-free, and suitable for global curricula.
The Promethean brand showcases an ActivPanel® series that is perfect for the classroom. Promethean has also recently released an ActivPanel® Elements™ Series, which features the latest technology in purpose-built interactive displays. Both the ActivPanel® Titanium™ and the ActivPanel Nickel in this new series have large-scale interactive capabilities.
The ActivPanel® Titanium™ can operate under up to 20 simultaneous touch points, which includes tasks like regular writing, as well as resizing and moving multiple windows. This interactive display comes in three sizes (70″, 75″, 86″), includes a proximity sensor that will warm up the system whenever someone walks into the room, and is built with an Android™ 8 operating system. When paired with the Promethean Chromebox, users can easily access thousands of Google apps like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Drive.
The ActivPanel Nickel is also available in three sizes (65”, 75”, 86”) and boasts a 15 simultaneous touch point system, plus palm rejection technology that allows users to rest their hand on the screen when trying to steady their writing. Like the Titanium, the ActivPanel Nickel also includes an Android™ 8 operating system that is fast, secure, and reliable. Both this display and the Titanium also have front-facing speakers that emit clear, rich audio.
Promethean also houses the educational Lesson Delivery Software, which is compatible with all ActivPanel series products as well as Windows®, Mac®, and Linux® operating systems. With this software, teachers can create their own interactive lessons, upload learning materials like powerpoints and PDFs, and encourage student engagement with interactive math tools, Spotlight features, and multi-touch functionality. ClassFlow® and ActivInspire® are created and supported by Promethean, designed by teachers for teachers, and included with the purchase of the ActivPanel Elements series with no annual subscription required.
SMART Digital Displays
SMART hosts three different series for the education industry: 6000S, MX, and GX. Each of these series feature certain assets that are better suited for specific learning environments.
The 6000S Series is powered by HyPr Touch with InGlass technology, and can handle up to 20 simultaneous interactions. This interactive display is available in 65”, 75”, and 86” screen sizes, and is compatible with both Windows® and Mac®. The 6000S Series is built with helpful software for annotating, whiteboard-ing, and note-taking.
The MX Series features HyPr Touch with Advance IR technology, and can also accommodate up to 20 simultaneous interactions. This series is compatible with Windows® and Mac®, is available in four screen sizes (55”, 65”, 75”, 86”), and is designed for collaboration. The MX Series can let students share assets via student-connected devices, and this series can handle up to four connections.
The GX Series includes Advanced IR as well as up to 20 points of simultaneous interaction. This interactive display has built-in Android™ computing software that eliminates the need for a computer. Like all of the SMART series, the GX Series is compatible with both Windows® and Mac®, and is available in the token screen sizes of 65”, 75”, and 86”.
The SMART Learning Suite includes Lumio – an intuitive web-based software that helps you create engaging lessons students can interact with in class, remotely or on their own time all on their own devices, and SMART Notebook – which allows you to create interactive lessons and dynamically deliver them on an interactive display. The SMART Learning Suite is subscription based. It’s $59 per teacher/year but if you’re looking to purchase for a school or organization, you can request a quote for a discounted price.
ClearTouch Interactive Panels
ClearTouch showcases three series for their interactive panels that are specifically designed for the education industry: the 6000K, the 6000K+, and the 7000XE. The 6000K Series has 4K resolutions in all three screen sizes – 65”, 75”, and 86”. This series also features up to 20 points of simultaneous touch, 10 points of simultaneous writing, and can be wirelessly connected to up to six devices. The purchase of this series includes a 1-year warranty, which can grant classrooms and education officials peace of mind in their investment.
The 6000K+ Series has 4K Ultra HD resolutions in all three of its screen sizes (65”, 75”, and 86”). Everything you need to get started with this display is included in its box: a built-in soundbar and subwoofer, WiFi module, USB-C cable, and a wall mount with pre-installed brackets. The 6000K+ Series is the new and improved version of the 6000K Series, with faster processors, clearer images, and a thinner body that’s no less sturdy. A 1-year warranty is also included with the purchase of this series.
The 7000XE Series has HD resolutions in all three of its screen options – 43”, 65”, and 86”. This interactive display can handle up to 20 points of simultaneous capacitive touch, plus 10 points of writing interactions. The screen is able to pick up pressure, and can produce thick and thin lines accordingly. The 7000XE Series also includes a 1-year warranty, and has additional warranty options available, just like the other ClearTouch series.
ClearTouch offers a few different interactive learning software solutions – Snowflake, Canvas, Collage, and Command – which all come bundled with the purchase of a ClearTouch panel at no additional cost.
- Collage: Connect up to 6 student devices at once, make lesson notes on-screen, control applications with ease, stream video from connected devices
- Command: Schedule software updates automatically, broadcast school-wide messages instantly, enhance emergency notifications, monitor up-to-the-minute usage statistics
- Snowflake: Save on-screen notes for future reference, build customized interactive lessons, boost interaction with multi-zone & tabletop modes, connect with a vibrant online community
- Canvas: Sketch notes & diagrams on an infinite whiteboard, incorporate unlimited web browsers, integrate video content with ease, store lessons & presentations in the cloud
Boxlight Touch Boards
Boxlight is currently in the works developing Samsung Interactive Displays, but their available lineup includes the MimioTeach Interactive Whiteboard, plus a few Touch Board options.
The MimioTeach Interactive Whiteboard is a portable bar that can be attached to any old regular whiteboard. When you connect this to your classroom computer and projector, it becomes an interactive whiteboard. This interesting take on an interactive display includes the MimioStudio™ classroom software, which teachers can use to develop lessons and activities for their students.
The MimioBoard touch board series is an interactive touch board that can handle up to 10 points of simultaneous interactivity. There are two models available in this series: the 78” (available as 4:3 or 16:10) and the 87” (16:10). This touch board can act as either an interactive whiteboard or a regular, erasable whiteboard, thanks to its erasable nano-coated surface. The MimioStudio™ classroom software allows educators to create interactive whiteboard lessons and collaborative and team activities, and perform real-time formative assessments. MimioStudio classroom software is offered via a 5-year subscription and educators can submit for a pricing request.
BenQ Interactive Displays
BenQ offers a few solutions for interactive learning: Interactive Flat Panels and the Interactive Ultra Short Throw Projectors.
The Interactive Flat Panels include an AG+ Screen and total Eye-care solution, which prevents eye strain and is safe to work with for long periods of time. Teachers can also use multiple ClassroomCare™ IFPs and connect through a Cloud Whiteboard to discuss and work through the same project from different classrooms. The Interactive Flat Panels are compatible with a wide range of software, but BenQ’s EZWrite 3.0 annotation software is perfect for writing and general interactivity.
BenQ hosts quite a few series for their Interactive Flat Panels, with screen sizes including 55”, 65”, 70”, and 75”.
The Interactive Ultra Short Throw Projectors have an “ultra short throw ratio,” which means that no matter how close the projector is to the board, the projection range will still be large enough to enjoy, even in a small classroom. These projectors can also turn any surface into an interactive whiteboard, with a PointWrite™ and QWrite software combination.
BenQ’s interactive whiteboard software, as mentioned previously, is called EZWrite 6 and allows teachers to create class materials, have access to a variety of tools to enhance lessons, and enjoy a consistent cross-platform experience. EZWrite allows students to annotate, discuss, and participate from their seats. It also lets you save class sessions to continue at a later time.
Newline Touch Screens
Newline houses a couple of innovative series that are great for the classroom: the RS+ and the I. The RS+ Series features 4K ultra high-definition resolutions on its 20 point touch recognition screens that are available in 65”, 75”, and 86” sizes. The regular RS Series is available in a 98” screen for especially large classrooms, like college lecture halls. This series can be wirelessly connected to smaller screens, and has an Android™ 8 operating system.
The I Series, like the RS+ Series, has a Windows interface that is unfortunately only compatible with similar operating systems. With these devices, you have the option to download Newline’s Teach Infinity II software for free, which has tools for subjects like Math, Chemistry, and Physics. The I Series also has a 20 point simultaneous touch system, with 65”, 75”, and 85” screen sizes available.
Newline offers a couple different software solutions for classroom collaboration:
- Newline Cast – Wireless Screen Sharing: Easily share your screen from any device. With one click you can present wirelessly from any network. Control and annotate from the Newline display or from your own device.
- Newline Broadcast – Content Sharing to Large Classrooms: Tap one button and share your display screen with the students who may not be able to see the display as clearly. They can follow along with the lesson on their own personal screen.
Which Interactive Display for Education is Best?
There are many benefits to having interactive flat-panel displays in the classroom. These interactive digital whiteboards encourage collaboration and engagement among students, make lessons more memorable and interactive, and allow teachers and educators to adapt to an ever-changing educational environment by arming them with the tools to conduct remote and hybrid learning.
Having so many brands to choose from can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. This blog was just a high-level look at the top brands in the interactive display market – feel free to download our Interactive Displays: Battle of the Brands for a side-by-side comparison of some of the top interactive displays. When choosing the best interactive display for education, it really comes down to which display best fits your classroom and teaching needs. And though we didn’t include anything about the prices of these displays in our blog, all of the displays we looked at today come in at different price points – some more affordable, others more expensive – so your budget will definitely play a big part in determining which display brand is best for you.
All that being said, things can be a lot easier with an expert in classroom and office technology solutions on your side, and that’s what Parmetech is here for. Our team can meet with you and discuss your needs, and from there we’ll find the perfect interactive display for your classroom. Get started on upgrading your classroom technology today with Parmetech! Give us a call toll-free today at 1 (800) 727-6383, send us an email at info@parmetech or fill out a form on our website to get started 🙂