9 Reasons Education IT Administrators Love Interactive Displays
Education IT Administrators play an important role in education environments. They’re not only responsible for IT strategic and tactical planning, but also identifying, selecting, and deploying the appropriate technology resources that will support the school’s goals and objectives, facilitate learning, and support their teaching staff and students. They also take pleasure in helping students grow and achieve success.
For that reason, many education IT administrators are big advocates of interactive touchscreen displays, particularly because of the amazing teaching and learning benefits they offer. We recently updated a blog about why teacher’s love interactive touchscreen classroom technology, which detail real-life experiences of these learning advantages. In this blog, we’re diving into the top reasons education IT administrators are often supporters of interactive touch screen displays in classrooms, which has much to do with the burden they relieve from educational IT teams and managers. So, keep reading below for nine of the top administrative benefits of interactive touchscreen displays.
1. Interactive Touchscreen Displays are an All-In-One Solution
Many of the IT benefits of interactive touch screen displays follow from one basic fact – interactive flat panel displays (IFPs) are an all-in-one solution. They deliver all the goods in a single package. This out-of-the-box solution means you’re not having to constantly replace spare parts, no bulbs or filters to install or replace, and no calibration needed to get up and running. Just connect your laptop or PC to the interactive display and you’re up and running!
2. Interactive Displays are Easily Upgradeable
Sometimes out-of-the-box isn’t quite enough. Some interactive touchscreen displays, like ViewSonic ViewBoards, make it easy to boost computing power. ViewSonic slot-in PCs are a simple, one-time add on. Simply hook them up and gain support for HD audio and video; plus, added computing power, faster Wi-Fi and expanded storage.
Technology Director Kevin Powers of the Fenton Area Public School District in Fenton, Michigan initially piloted the ViewSonic ViewBoard IFP7550 using Android and their own PCs. “Then we tested the slot-in PC and found it to be a more robust solution. It gives teachers more options,” said Powers. “For example, we have a teacher running a graphic calculator emulation. Our yearbook teacher runs the Adobe creative suite and uses the display to bring up page designs for discussion. Having the Windows flexibility with the slot-in PC is tremendous.”
His team ultimately deployed ViewSonic ViewBoard interactive displays equipped with slot-in PCs to classrooms across their district. The result: added functionality, engagement, collaboration, and efficiency.
3. Freedom from Fees
Software licensing fees add costs and complexity. Thankfully, many interactive touchscreens displays are both device and software agnostic. They play nice with everyone. Not only does this reduce ongoing IT costs, it enables the flexibility to choose ad hoc software as needed to best support the learning needs of each school, grade-level, and specialized curriculum.
4. Interactive Displays are Easy to Implement
Easy installs cut costs and free up IT staff to meet other needs. Since interactive touchscreen displays are all-in-one solutions, they are faster to deploy than projectors and projector-based display solutions. Whether wall-mounted or cart-mounted, deploying IFP displays is fast and intuitive. Seamless compatibility with any laptop, iPad, or other tablets further adds to setup ease. In most cases, instructors simply connect the display and they’re ready to go. When it comes to mounting, wall-mounting an interactive display is easier than mounting a projector.
5. Seamless Technology Transitions
Transitioning to new technology is often difficult and time-consuming. Change is tough, and teachers don’t always take to new tools. The greater the reticence, the more time and effort needed by the IT staff to conduct training and respond to calls for help. Interactive touchscreen displays are an incredibly accessible tech – they look just like teachers’ at-home TVs and they operate just like a giant iPad.
When the Wilmington Area School District began replacing their aging projector-based systems with ViewSonic ViewBoard interactive touchscreen displays, the transition was incredibly easy, according to Matt Maine, district Technology Manager. “ViewSonic came in and did some training for the teachers,” said Maine. “And we helped them get started. But mostly, they figure it out. Working with the ViewBoard displays is very easy and intuitive.”
Interactive displays are also easy for teachers and students to use, which is a benefit for everyone. Happy users mean happy IT staff with fewer complaints, fewer job tickets, and more productivity all around! To make teacher’s even more satisfied, look for an interactive display with features that make teacher’s lives easier, like one-touch direct-to-Google save and built-in content sharing capabilities, such as ViewSonic ViewBoards.
6. Interactive Displays are Low Maintenance
Take a moment and think about your home TV. When was the last time you had to do anything to keep it working? The answer is probably “never.” The same goes for quality interactive touch screen displays. IT staff at schools that deploy well-vetted IFPs to replace projectors and projector-based display systems can wave a happy goodbye to changing bulbs, cleaning filters, and helping harried teachers with calibration. With no projector to maintain, interactive displays reduce both costs and staff time. Class downtime is also minimized, with no unexpected bulb burn-outs or downtime waiting for bulbs to be replaced.
Rob Zdrojewski, Director of Instructional Technology at the Oakfield-Alabama School District in Oakfield, NY reports that his team couldn’t be happier with their implementation of ViewSonic® ViewBoard IFP7550 75” interactive flat panel displays. “With our former Smart Board projectors, teachers were continually having to deal with calibration and issues with the accuracy of what you’re touching on-screen lining up correctly,” said Zdrojewski. “With the ViewBoards, there’s not much that can go wrong with them and, in contrast to our Smart Boards, which we had lots of issues with, we get virtually no tickets submitted related to the ViewBoards. They’re very maintenance-free.”
The IT team at the Chico Unified School District, located in California’s Sacramento Valley, had the opportunity to experience supporting projectors, Smart Boards and ViewSonic ViewBoard IFPs. “I’ve asked our technicians which ones they want to support, now that they’ve been exposed to projectors, Smart Boards, and ViewSonic ViewBoard interactive flat panel displays,” said John Sclare, Chico SD Information Systems Analyst in charge of Technology Bond Projects. “They say it’s far easier to support the ViewBoard interactive displays, which are no different than supporting a computer. They don’t need much, they just work.”
7. Reliable Resource Sharing
The proliferation of interactive touchscreen displays has propelled the development of benefit-extending accessories. Among these, a wide variety of manual and motorized trolley carts make sharing resources easier than ever. Recent design developments have produced carts that are more stable, smooth rolling and financially accessible. Options include the ability to raise, lower and tilt to various degrees. Some carts can even create a horizontal surface ideal for young learners and virtual maker-spaces.
In contrast to projector-based systems, these cart-based resources can be widely shared without the need to recalibrate when moved or jarred – safeguarding teaching time and reducing IT staff needs. Not only are they great for resource sharing, but mobile stands also let teachers move displays throughout their classroom space – tapping into the benefits of a flexible classroom environment.
8. Interactive Touchscreens Have Long Life Spans
With a useful lifespan 2-3x longer than a typical projector or projector-based IWB – including laser projectors – interactive touch screen displays keep their benefits going for the long haul. Many interactive displays are rated for 50,000 hours of use. This is often translated to a 10-year lifespan. In reality, it may be much more.
For example, if a display was used for the full 7 hours in a typical school day, five days a week, that equates to a potential 27 years of use! Realistically, schools will likely be looking at updated tech before a quarter-century goes by. Nonetheless, the long lifespan of IFPs offers the flexibility to continue using tech that’s meeting your needs well past a decade of use. Not to mention that all these years of use come with virtually zero maintenance and absolutely no replacement supplies (like bulbs or filters), for an outstanding total cost of ownership (TCO) equation.
9. Interactive Displays Have an Outstanding ROI
Each of the benefits discussed above adds to the outstanding return on investment delivered by interactive touch screen displays. It’s an equation many IT professionals live by. “The number one reason we wanted to make a change came down to cost savings, along with wanting to avoid proprietary software,” said Matt Maine, district Technology Manager. “The cost of a new Promethean whiteboard plus the required projector exceeds the cost of a new ViewSonic ViewBoard display. Plus, the projectors need new lamps every year or two. ViewBoard displays are rated for 50,000 hours of use…I look forward to [many] years of zero-cost maintenance!”
The bottom line: interactive touchscreen displays require less IT time, lowering costs and improving efficiency and productivity. They add years of use that bring outstanding learning advantages to classrooms and students.