Expansive School District Achieves Seamless Upgrade and Meets Multiple Needs with ViewSonic ViewBoard Interactive Displays
School districts faced with a technology upgrade have more options than ever. As such, the evaluation process can be time consuming, involving everyone from the IT and edtech staff to teachers and administrators. With a large and diverse network of 40 schools across an expansive geographic region, this district had a fleet of Promethean projectors that were reaching the end of their life cycle.
Not only were the projected images hard to see in ambient light conditions, the systems often needed replacement parts and were expensive to maintain. When it came time to make a transition to newer technology, the school board undertook a comprehensive search and trial of leading technologies, from projection systems to interactive flat panel displays (IFPs). Their primary objective was to find new classroom display technology that would be flexible and intuitive enough to meet diverse needs throughout the district.
Although 93% of the district’s teachers were actively using the outdated interactive boards in the classroom, the projectors were dated, and the boards weren’t touch enabled. Additionally, the boards had to be manually recalibrated every time they were moved, so making this technology work was becoming increasingly challenging and time consuming.
As they began the search for new technologies, the district’s IT team already knew that interactive flat panel systems would be more flexible to use, easier to install, and require less maintenance than projectors. After ruling out other alternatives, they invited teachers from across the district’s region to evaluate four different IFP systems in person at a central location.
ViewSonic’s myViewBoard platform enables real-time collaboration from any location, with cloud-based portability, screen mirroring/sharing and digital whiteboarding supporting a variety of pedagogies over an open, agnostic, and secure platform.
ViewSonic’s ViewBoard® interactive displays with integrated myViewBoard® whiteboarding software was the clear winner from the start, according to the district IT director, who noted that at the end of every day teachers gathered around the ViewBoard to spend more time trying out the display’s smooth, accurate touch response and myViewBoard tools.
Teachers expressed just one concern, which ViewSonic was able to easily address. For many years, they had been creating and amassing content used on the Promethean boards; to lose it would require them to recreate massive quantities of work. The ability to transition this content would be critical to the success of the deployment, and acceptance of the new technology by the teachers. Thankfully, they discovered, the myViewBoard Whiteboard software natively opens Promethean Flipchart files, allowing teachers to easily manage all their content created on the older software.
The district decided to standardize around the 86-inch ViewSonic ViewBoard IFP8650 displays with integrated myViewBoard software, which they purchased for every classroom in their 40 schools.
The IT team removed the old technology in an evening and completed installation of the ViewBoard displays by the end of the next day, making for a smooth and fast transition. Teachers from across the district were able to access and use their existing content, and the transition to the new technology was accomplished with minimal interruption.
With such a mix of different schools and teaching styles, the district has different use cases for the technology, said Paul Demsky, Senior Regional Sales Manager of Education for ViewSonic.
“In choosing ViewSonic’s myViewBoard platform, flexibility was a key consideration,” he said. “The beauty of ViewBoard displays is the ability to adapt to the curriculum of a particular school or classroom, while enabling centralized maintenance and control through the myViewBoard software. Another key advantage over the older projection systems is the improved contrast, which provides clearer images and better viewing angles.”
Additionally, the ViewBoard displays are capable of wireless connectivity, which enables screen sharing from any laptop. This allows teachers and students to easily share content via their in-class devices, which was another primary requirement for the district.
Today, district teachers enjoy the added features offered by the new technology, such as the many digital learning tools and the ability for multiple students to engage on the screen at the same time.
The advanced interactive display technology has also proven to be a valuable drawing card with parents, according to the district IT Director, who noted that, “Parents are always looking for what’s best for their kids. If they see us effectively using cutting-edge technology, the decision to send them to our schools is easy.”