FAQ For Interactive Flatscreens for Classrooms
Having a strategy for how you bring personal tablets into the classroom is paramount – for example you may want to provide each pupil with a specific tablet device that works in harmony with front-of-class touchscreens. Alternatively, you can introduce a BYOD policy allowing students to bring their own compatible device. The latest interactive touchscreens enable greater connectivity between student and teacher devices.
For up to date software, content and apps, it’s advisable to choose the most recent technologies for both interactive touchscreens and personal devices as these are geared towards collaboration and have a more fluid user experience.
When it comes to front-of-class touchscreens choose a brand that gives you the ability to open and edit multiple file formats quickly. To save time in class, opt for an easy to use touchscreen that works without an attached PC. A secure Wi-Fi network, device compatibility and using a specialist UK based Cloud provider to back up and store files should be at the heart of your decision-making process.
An operating system gives mobile devices like tablets and interactive touchscreens a brain. The most common and adaptable operating system is Android, which is an ‘open-source’ platform used by developers to make a variety of apps, games and software. By contrast, Apple has developed its own ‘closed-source’ operating platform (iOS). Both operating systems are designed for tablets and mobile devices with touch technology at their core.
Rather than just focussing on the operating system, pay attention to the user interface. This is what you see when you turn on the touchscreen – teaching staff and students will use the interface to open and save files, access software and apps. Is it easy to use, intuitive, responsive? If you can use it without even thinking about it then you’re on to a winner!!
Clevertouch Pro, Plus and Plus 4K now come with LUX, the most advanced user interface ever built for large format interactive touchscreens. LUX lets teachers and students present and interact with information on their main interactive display as instinctively as the device in their pockets. Developed for teachers based on their feedback, the LUX user interface makes light work of accessing key features that they rely upon like the apps and award winning software. It also offers an advanced range of connectivity options, which includes HDMI, VGA, LAN, Wifi, USB and EShare.
As you touch the screen a signal is sent to the frame indicating where it has been touched, allowing the user to control a connected PC or the inbuilt operating system.
Interactive touchscreens can have quite a wide range of touch points depending on the model and size of the touchscreen. More touch points give the user greater gesture control and, providing the supplied software can support multiple touch points, the best overall user experience. The Clevertouch software suite and user interface has been designed around touch and gesture control to maximise and simplify the user experience. With 20 touch points, children can work on the screen side by side using the split screen or collaborate with several children on an activity without it affecting functionality.
Interactive touchscreens are very reactive – some more so than others. Before buying, check the responsiveness of the screen to ensure you can easily replicate letters and symbols of varying sizes. When it comes to how you touch the screen you can use a stylus, finger or anything with a soft tip.
With most interactive touchscreens, you simply connect the screen to your PC or laptop using an HDMI or VGA cable and enable ‘touch’ with a USB cable. The Clevertouch Plus, Pro & V Series are the first interactive touchscreens with an integrated Android operating system and user-friendly interface, which means they can be turned on and used as easily as a personal tablet or attached to a PC as described above. Students can wirelessly connect personal iOS or android devices to the Clevertouch screen, mirroring and sharing what they’ve been working on with an entire class.
Because interactive touchscreens are mounted on a wall or placed on a stand in front of a class they often face direct and indirect sunlight throughout the day. For this reason, most interactive touchscreens are fitted with anti-glare glass. Ask your reseller or check online for anti-glare specifications.
HD is most common however; newer 4K models are available.
With the exception of Clevertouch, most interactive touchscreens need to be connected to a Wi-Fi enabled laptop or PC using an HDMI or VGA cable to surf the net.
Multiple student devices can be wirelessly connected to Clevertouch using the android powered interface or the included software. Clevertouch also comes with embedded Airplay and sharing/casting technology, which lets students mirror iOS, Android, PC and MAC devices to the screen. Conversely, the Clevertouch user interface and home screen can be viewed and operated via the connected devices using bidirectional touch.
For secondary schools, Clevertouch Pro screens come with CleverShare wireless, which lets users take control of the display, streaming, viewing and editing content from a connected device…they don’t even need to be in the same building.
This depends on the number of pupils, size of room and what you want to use if for. Most classrooms of 30 children opt for a 65” – 75” touchscreen, but they are generally available in a range of sizes including 55”, 65”, 75” and 86”.
Most people use tablets or smartphones in their daily lives and will be familiar with interactive touchscreens so using them will not be complicated at all. However, to truly realise the full potential of touchscreen technology including its features, software and apps, it’s advisable to sign up for a course of training sessions with your technology provider. Clevertouch conducts training programmes in schools, which can be arranged via your reseller
Interactive touchscreens were primarily designed for use in schools and are extremely robust. Most models come with a 4–5 mm toughened glass screen, which means devices can withstand knocks and bangs directly to the display.
There is a swathe of research, articles and experience based documentation on the benefits of using tablets and interactive touchscreens in the classroom. The general view is that learning is best optimised when a variety of multimodal channels and activities are employed. By their very nature, tablets and interactive touchscreens enable sensory based learning.
Yes, by connecting your existing computer to the screen you can view and edit lesson plans and documents controlling the cursor by touch instead of using a mouse or laptop trackpad. If you are using a touchscreen with Android inbuilt like Clevertouch, you can download an app that enables you to open and edit application files like Microsoft PowerPoint and Word.
You can also use Lynx 5 software, which comes with all Clevertouch touchscreens, to read a wide range of file formats including those associated with other touchscreen brands. So, if you’re changing your brand of interactive technology, there’s no need to start over with your favourite resources.
As you are probably aware, free educational apps often contain in-app advertising. This can be avoided by purchasing premium apps from your preferred app store. Clevertouch has developed an educational app store called Cleverstore that contains apps, which have been specially developed for front-of-class screens. Apps in the Cleverstore are free to use, do not contain any advertising or in-app purchases and have been vetted for primary and secondary education by teachers. Some apps in Cleverstore, such as G.C.S.E. Revision Buddies, offer schools subsidised or free licenses of apps for student devices.
Teaching resources can be downloaded for free or purchased through several channels like Twinkl Resources & TES. However, this can be time consuming and relies on a good internet connection. Most touchscreen brands come with some resources and software inbuilt.
For example, Clevertouch comes with a range of pre-prepared, curriculum specific lesson content and teacher optimised software. Lynx 5 presentation software has a lesson dashboard, which makes it easier for teachers to find recent lessons, open multiple lessons simultaneously and switch between lessons. Teachers can use the media manager to embed videos directly into lessons, without the content opening in an external browser. And, video files from YouTube or live webcam can be annotated over and incorporated into lessons.
Great for primary schools, Snowflake MultiTeach® software lets busy teachers quickly and easily create curriculum specific touchscreen lessons with custom content using the Lesson app. All game and activity applications in Snowflake MultiTeach® have been designed to develop students’ knowledge of subjects including spelling, grammar, maths, geography and biology.
Yes – most touchscreens come with annotation software. Clevertouch has on screen annotation tools and apps inbuilt. For example, Note and Lynx 5 presentation software come with Clevertouch Plus and V Series models, enabling users to write and draw over images and video before saving them.
Most interactive touchscreens have internal speakers, which are sufficient for typical classroom use. If you want to increase the audio, additional speakers or a sound bar can be added.
Clevertouch Plus screens are great for primary and secondary schools. For higher education, Clevertouch recommends the Clevertouch Pro, a professional solution with advanced functionality and collaboration options.
Interactive touchscreens can be mounted directly onto the classroom wall or used with a mobile trolley stand. You can control and adjust screen height on a stand or a wall so that younger students and students at the back of the class can view it. It is important that all interactive touchscreens are fitted by a fully qualified installer as they are extremely heavy.
You can play DVD’s on most interactive touchscreens using a DVD player or laptop with a DVD drive. Television and video can be streamed easily on a Clevertouch Plus & Clevertouch Pro just as you would on a personal computer, tablet or mobile device – you can also view video content from a connected USB drive or a cloud based storage such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
Check with your supplier or refer to your manufacturer’s warranty – most interactive touchscreens have an extended warranty and on-site de-install/re-install. For example, Clevertouch troubleshoot over the phone and will send an engineer to fix, remove or replace the device in the rare event that something goes wrong (with a less than 1% failure rate, Clevertouch is one of the most reliable touchscreens on the market).
Touchscreens last approximately 80,000 hours – that’s equivalent to running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for approximately 9 years. However, it’s unlikely that an interactive touchscreen would be used this heavily so it should last until you decide to upgrade.
Speak to Toomey Audio Visual for latest pricing and quantity based deals.
We’ve compared the costs* of running a traditional interactive whiteboard system and a typical 55” interactive touchscreen on an annual basis.
Interactive whiteboard Total cost of ownership over 4 years: £1519.92
Clevertouch Plus 55” Total cost of ownership over 4 years: £276.96
*Please note these calculations relate to Clevertouch models and results will vary between brands. Costs are calculated on 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, over 38 weeks. Total cost of ownership includes an average figure over 4 years of service, bulb replacements, filter cleans and energy costs.
Although technology will undoubtedly change, touch technology is unlikely to be superseded anytime soon. The biggest changes will be seen in the way we enable technology, share content and back up, store and access data.