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A Teacher’s Perspective: Interactive Technology in the Classroom

Would you say that your classroom productivity is high? As time has gone on, our society has become more and more results-oriented. Whether it’s in the classroom or in the workplace, sometimes it’s necessary for productivity to see a boost.

That’s where interactive flat panel displays come in. Thanks to the implementation of technology into the classroom, research has discovered that these tools boost productivity for teachers and students alike.

Hands-on learning works, and designing classrooms and curriculum for active learning has become a major push across K-12 and higher education environments. Project-based teaching, collaboration, and interactive technology all contribute to the proven benefits of hands-on, do-it-yourself learning.

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What Business Do I Have Talking About Interactive Technology in the Classroom?

For the past five months, I’ve been working as an Account Manager for Classroom Technology. However, I spent the majority of my professional career as a teacher. I taught for 21 years, mostly as a high school math teacher. While I wasn’t certified to teach Special Ed, I had an affinity for teaching classified students. Therefore, a large percentage of my students were “mainstreamed” students, even at the Advanced level. I created many projects for my students with the idea that math was relevant and had real applications to the student’s life. My projects included determining risk tolerance by buying and selling mutual funds (probability); choosing a career and making a budget based on the average income of that career (percentages, measures of central tendency); and “spending” $5,000 on a credit card and watching the total amount that gets repaid at different interest rates (exponential growth/decay). I created a project for each chapter that we studied and all of my projects required the use of online technology.

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My Personal Challenges with Interactive Classroom Technology

I had a SmartBoard in my classroom, but there were several drawbacks to the SmartBoard. First, if I wanted to write on the SmartBoard, I would have to sit at my computer to type text or use the special markers (which were always getting lost!), both of which required me to turn my back on the students. This was certainly not ideal as good classroom management requires a teacher to keep visual contact with the students at all time.

The students loved to write on the SmartBoard to explain how a problem was solved, unfortunately, their handwriting wasn’t always legible! If I uploaded a worksheet/form onto the SmartBoard, writing on the form wasn’t always easy. If I remember correctly, it was a two- or three-step process and even then, the final product wasn’t always neat.

The ViewSonic ViewBoard interactive displays have huge, 20-point touch enhanced touchscreens, which allows multiple users to write, edit, and draw onscreen for dynamic lessons and creative brainstorming.

The ViewSonic ViewBoard also comes with a free lifetime license of the myViewBoard™ software – this software allows you to create a personal yet social whiteboarding experience that is cloud service integrated, highly secured, and multi-functional.

The stylus writing pens that come with the ViewBoard for annotating and drawing on the screen are incredibly accurate; there is also a feature in the embedded myViewBoard™ software that enables handwriting recognition and converts handwritten letters and words on a touch-screen device to typed text!

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In addition to the drawbacks of the SmartBoard functionality, I also faced issues with platform compatibility and having to learn a new program/protocol. I remember when our Technology Director switched us from Windows to Google Docs. We were promised that it would be SO EASY to convert our lesson plans from one program to the next. As far as text was concerned, the conversion was very easy — a few formatting glitches, but pretty simple to correct those. Symbols, however, did not translate at all! Math is a symbolic subject. For me, that meant that 17 years of math lesson plans, documents, projects, etc. were lost! The technology department did a quick about face and had to allow us to access both Windows and Google Docs.

The great thing about the ViewSonic ViewBoard gives you and your school the freedom to use the digital tools that work best for you, from legacy lesson files to browser-hosted apps, Google Classroom or Microsoft 365. The ViewBoard supports a full range of end user devices including Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices. This summer, in fact, ViewSonic became a Google for Education Partner and the myViewBoard™ platform has become Google for Education certified, signalling ViewSonic’s official participation in the Google for Education ecosystem and further commitment to the education market.

With ViewSonic, you don’t have to worry about losing your legacy lesson plans! You can convert, edit and share existing content saved in .iwb, .notebook, .ppt and .pdf formats. My ViewBoard also allows you to import/convert your existing Promethean Activinspire (.flipchart), SMART (.notebook), orEasiNote3 (.enb) files and use them instantly! Additionally, you can enliven your existing lessons by incorporating online content, apps and tools via myViewBoard™’s built-in Chrome browser. For teaching or training, there are 10,000+ ready-to-use .iwb files for reference.

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You never have to worry about having access to your lessons either – you can simply login to any ViewBoard via QR code for instant access to your pen presets, personalized canvases and saved lesson content. When you’re done, just logout and leave the ViewBoard free for the next teacher to use!

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More Features I Love (And I Think All Educators Will Too)

Another feature I love about the ViewBoards is the automatic shut-off so the boards won’t burn out from being left on. When classroom technologies are accidentally left on overnight such as projectors, the bulbs burn out quickly and are very costly to replace! I know from firsthand experience how easy it is to get pulled from your classroom after school and forget to return to shut down computers and other technologies.

Lastly, I want to touch on support. As I discussed earlier, it was very important to me as a teacher when considering a new classroom technology that all the lessons that I had already created could still be used, as is, with no further adjustments, and that I wouldn’t have to learn another program/protocol to use the new board.

Here at Parmetech, our resident classroom technology expert is amazing! He does a fantastic job of demoing the features of the board and how to use it in real-time in the classroom. Parmetech also provides on-site and virtual training sessions to make sure your entire team feels comfortable with the technology – and for the virtual trainings, we record the sessions for you so you can keep them for reference whenever you need.

Parmetech has a phenomenal partnership with ViewSonic, who not only provides on-site warranties for up to 7 years, but they back it with a US-based service team and award-winning customer support. As a former teacher, I know how frustrating it can be when your technology is down. It is so helpful and comforting to know that the support is always there to help whenever you need it.

The myViewBoard™ software also comes with a library of easy-to-follow, self-paced video tutorials that touch on topics from basic account setup, to understanding tools, to file management and more.

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How Important is Interactive Technology Today?

Instructors and administrators are working to leverage flexible furnishings and collaborative technology to create spaces that promote active engagement and meaningful learning. In one recent national survey of pre-K-12 teachers, 94% said that classroom and instructional technologies are extremely important or very important. Among these technologies, the front-of-room interactive display plays a critical role. Teachers report that increased student attentiveness and engagement is the number one benefit to teaching with interactive front-of-room technology, and a majority of educators – around 77% in one survey – believe that an interactive display in the classroom is very important or an absolute must

One landmark study of 85 teachers across 170 classrooms found a student achievement gain of 16 percentile points when interactive whiteboards (IWBs) were used. This jumped to 26 points when well-conceived graphs, charts, videos, and other visuals were used to reinforce information; and when “interactive reinforcers” and audience response polling were added, achievement rose a whopping 31 percent.

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To Sum It All Up

We can all agree that Interactive Displays are here to stay. The technology is evolving and the investment is big. Choosing the right IWB will be a very important aspect of a school’s EdTech investment cycle. I think the ViewSonic ViewBoard’s are the best choice; after all the 75” ViewSonic ViewBoard display won Best of Show at ISTE 2019 and the entire Interactive Flat Panel 50 series panels won Best of Show at TCEA in 2018 and at ISTE in 2017 (but hey, maybe I’m a little biased). Learn more about ViewSonic’s interactive technology offerings and how to create an interactive learning environment.

If you’re interested in seeing firsthand how this technology would work in your classrooms, please feel free to contact our team for a complimentary ViewSonic ViewBoard demo!

We are also offering all educational organizations a First Time Buy Promotion – first-time ViewBoard buyers receive exclusive low prices (savings up to $1,430) and free shipping on their first purchase!

Connect with me on LinkedIn 🙂

By | 2019-08-26T15:04:44+00:00 August 26th, 2019|Education, Experience, Interactive Technology|