The IT era has raised more challenges to the 21st century educators, when the traditional chalk and whiteboard combination in the classroom has been replaced with dazzling interactive displays. Teachers nowadays are free from the worries to handle technologies, while new interactive panel brings revolutionary plug-and-play user experience for them to create collaborative and engaging class quite easily.
That being said, it’s not that easy to choose the right interactive panel when faced with plenty of options in the market, where vendors present their products with all the technical jargon and fancy promotion. Therefore here we are, to give you ten things to consider before making your big decision, and help you get the most suitable touch panel for you and your students.
- Size comes first
Most of the classrooms could fit interactive touch panels from sizes 55’’ to 98’’, but the most popular ones are those sizes ranging from 65’’ to 84’’. Normally the size of the classroom determines it shall be equipped with which size of the panel. After all, you don’t want students sit at the back of the class struggle to read a 20pt font everyday. However, do bear in mind that larger size comes with heavier weight, and inevitably it leads to more trouble for logistics and installation, the safety of wall-mount positions and possible movement of future maintenance.
- Resolution rules all
When you go and buy a TV for home entertainment, resolution is definitely the central factor that keeps your eyes on the monitor. The same is with the interactive panel. The quality of the visual effect is made up of the number of pixels, which defines the sharpness and clarity of the image displayed in the screen.
Nowadays technology has spoiled people with High Definition images everywhere, which you may hear as 1080P or 2K (1920×1080) resolution. This leaves you a clue that any interactive panel with resolution less than that should not be considered. Resolution lower than 1080P HD might be fine with smaller screen such as your PC or laptop, but to be seen on a screen larger than 55’’ just exposes the blurriness in every level and gives you unpleasant visual experience.
Moreover, some interactive panels are already ahead of the tech trend and offer Ultra High Definition (4K, 3840×2160) as total package. Some may argue whether the 4K resolution is too luxurious for education use, but think about the young generation that we are nurturing for the future, don’t they deserve the best that technology could offer to be well-armed in this IT world?
- Warranty terms and service
Today’s market of interactive panels is filled with different manufacturers and suppliers that from various backgrounds, but it certainly does not stop new brands emerging up with fancy design. We are not telling you to walk away from the newbies, but like always, you can’t be too careful when it comes to the warranty terms of the device that you are going to purchase, and to know how long it’s expected to function just fine.
Normally used in the classroom environment, any interactive panel that can be regarded as durable should be able to last at least 50,000 hours of expected use with a lifespan of over 15 years. It’s also important to know the warranty terms before making decision, whether it’s on a basis of 12 months or 5 years on-site maintenance.
- Make the most of the touching experience
What makes you choose the interactive panel instead of just a large-size TV in the classroom? The reason is simply because of its touching feature. Whether to use hand or pen or stylus to touch and tap the screen, you count on the display to perform daily tasks same as you would do with chalks and whiteboards back in old times, just much more to be expected. However it should be recognized that not all screens are equal when judged by their touch smoothness and flexibility with different touch sources. Some of them could be much sensitive and accurate by a touch of a finger, while some could suffer a little bit of delay when you write fast or hasty.
There’s also the matter of multiple touch points functioning simultaneously. Most interactive panels nowadays are available with 6-20 touch points, which you may find weird because clearly we won’t be seeing more than 10 students standing in front of the touch panel to engage in the activities, but then again, surely you need to have options with at least 6 touch points for more interaction possibilities.
- Dual system – is it necessary?
One of the main features of the interactive panel is the built-in dual system – Android and Windows. Simply turn on your interactive panel, connect it to the internet and start the journey of plug and play. Users could shift from Android to Windows without restarting the machine, which saves time and boosts efficiency in class teaching. Most of the Android system supports the access to Google play store, making the download of education apps rather easy and enriching the class interactivity at a certain level.
Besides, the availability of Windows saves the teacher from bringing his own laptop back and forth to the classroom. Though the integrated Windows system does not boast with high specification as those external PCs, it’s more than enough for a general classroom environment.
Do we give you a lot to think about? We’ll stop here today to let you chew on the above five points for a while, and come back with more by next time. Feel free to leave your comments and discuss with us anytime.