So with the current focus on updating our 5-year Technology Plan, I’ve been thinking about new hardware. In the area of interactive whiteboards, the newest thing is an all-in-one solution that includes the whiteboard, a projector, speakers and all necessary computer hookups in one wall-mountable system. The version from SMART Technologies, our district’s standardized brand, is the model 600i. I was just reading an article about how Sarasota County in Florida is installing thousands of Promethan’s all-in-one model, the ActivBoard+2. I figure GTCO Calcomp has a version as well, or will soon (have not looked into that).
So why are these so sweet? The price is higher than any of the components separately, but when you factor in ceiling installation of a projector, labor, cabling, etc., the price suddenly becomes very competitive. All the pieces for an excellent A/V teaching station are built right in together. My biggest concern is that since these are newer technologies, how wil they perform? Specifically the projector – it uses “short-throw” technology – since the projector is on an arm connected to the board, it has differnt components to do so. The TCO of such projectors is the largest question mark vs. a typical ceiling mount installation.
In some conversations I have had, it appears the technology is good – so its worth investigating if this is a solution we want to pursue. I’m looking forward to finding out!