Monday, October 08, 2012

eBoards, interactive boards, touch boards, Lenovo tablet running Windows *

Several touch boards at the TICT conference to have hands-on try out. Most are upright, with one on a trolley that allows the height of the board to be adjusted and one configurated as a table top model. 
Boards include Clever touch, and Activ board from ActiveBoard NZ and Mobi-view from Sitech Systems.
Clevertouch from Sahara, The 62” is supposed to be cost competitive and available to run with Windows 7 or 8 multi-touch, Mac drivers are available.  ActivBoards are a Promethean product.
The Sitech hardware are based around the Sharp touchboards.
All the boards are responsive with clear displays. All had safety glass or gorilla glass tops to hopefully allow them to survive classroom use. Advantages of touch board are that there is no need to set up a projector. Essentially, a touch board can is a very large flat-screen TV with touch controls that will run straight off a PC or tablet (attached via HDMI). A glorified extension to a touch enabled device.
Presently costs still high with a 60 plus inch display mounted on adjustable trolley for around $10,000 with the high end products hitting the $20,000 mark.
The tutors who tried the boards out were suitably all impressed. However, I am still awaiting information on how each of the touch board platforms will allow for students to share their work via multiple devices like tablets, smart phones, net books etc. Otherwise, the touch boards become another teaching-led piece of hardware, promoting teacher show and tell rather than active learning through discussion of student generated content.

Also had a chance to have a play with a Lenovo tablet running a pre-launch version of Windows 8. A nice tablet, based around ideapad design. It was small, thin and light with a rubberised bottom and the Windows interface responded well to usual touch gestures.