When I spoke in 2003 about using interactive whiteboards (IWB) in classrooms, not many people took me seriously. It was too expensive and there was no added value for the teachers and their pupils. Now (2015) more than 60 % of primary education schools in Flanders, Belgium have IWB in combination with a beamer installed. No, I don’t sell IWB’s nor beamers but the company I work at – VAN IN – does yearly research on that matter. This implementation of ICT seemed for many teachers very feasible thanks to the educational content that fits within the didactical processes and is provided by the educational publishers as addition to their methodes. So why will the IWB’s get replaced by smart touch tv’s in the future?
4 The beamer lamp is the weakest, most expensive element in the long run
Lamps last about 2000 hours on average in beamers of a reasonable price. School budgets are not that big to buy high end beamers so they settle for beamers of average prices. A new lamp is quite expensive in relation to the purchase price of the beamer. Users dare to buy imitation lamps that are cheaper but they don’t last that long and can cause a small ‘explosion’ at the end of their life inside the beamer. In that case the warranty of the producer of the beamer is no longer applicable. So much for good intensions.
3 Shadows are always there
Some producers have a cool system where the beamer is attached to the IWB. A major improvement in relation to the beamer hanging on the ceiling. But shadows of your hand and arm are always present on the whiteboard and you have to deal with some beamer light in your eyes as well if you’re a teacher.
2 Fan noise and reflection
Ambiant noise is always present when the beamer is activated. Although some producers have beamers that produce low noise it still remains very present in a classroom. It becomes clear when the beamer is turned off. Another effect of working with a beamer is that the light is reflected by the board. This is surely the case with older systems where the beamer is attached to the ceiling.
1 When education chooses for diversity only smaller groups will get instructions
There will be no longer need for a big IWB in the classrooms of the 21st century as groups that are going to be taught, will be smaller. The big screen on the wall will make place for a touch tv with integrated sound. And even two touch tv’s can be present in the same room without any interference.
In all of these situations the touch tv is the obvious winner even when its size being smaller. The teacher will use it for a smaller number of children in a setting that reflects a home situation maken the pupils more feel at ease. There is no fan noise and as a light source behind glass it is more tranquil to look at. Also the resolution of such a screen – especially UHD 4K – is far better than the average priced beamer. And a horizontal placed multi-touch tv opens more opportunities as several pupils can work together. The only downside is the price of the touch tv. But as was the case with the IWB’s with beamer at that time, prices of the smart touch tv’s will drop making it possible for schools to replace their IWB configurations by a smart touch tv.