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Topic: Interactive Boards vs. Interactive Projectors
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Joined: Apr 28, 2014
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I have been researching the advantages and disadvantages associated with the choice between interactive projectors and interactive whiteboards for class room instruction. There does not seem to be an abundace of information on the web comparing the pros and cons. Please let me know if anyone has any advise (a link to an internet site would be great).
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I don't think there are any/many comparisons other than manufacturer driven.

I have not played with interactive projectors before. This is something of a concern to me as they certainly offer a serious price advantage. But, I have used Promethian, Smart, and StarBoard interactive white boards.

Frankly, they all are very similar.

The big difference between any of these products comes from the software, not from the hardware. I think this is why interactive projectors are less known and less tested and less used. I'm not aware of any that really stand out with top-shelf software.

Promethean is one of those board manufacturers that does a good job with their software:
http://www.prometheanworld.com/us/english/education/products/classroom-software/activinspire/

ActiveInspire software can be used with a number of different interactive projectors, and may be ideal to be used to save some money.

My biggest pet peeve is not this choice you are making, but determining whether a interactive whiteboard makes sense at all, and for what situations it does make sense. After all, what you are talking about is really just a large mouse pad. Someone stands up, like they do in front of a chalk board, and uses it. This isn't always appropriate, and end-users often don't have proper training and the full suite of appropriate software to fully realize the potential of the product.

Then, the PC must still be connected and used for it to be worthwhile at all.

Maybe explain what you are looking for a bit more, and how important it is, and I can give you a bit more information.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
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I did a little research on interactive projectors vs. interactive whiteboards over the weekend. It looks like the trend is moving in favor of projectors.

Some of pros associated with projectors are:
• Less expensive
• Less prone to damage (can be mounted out of reach [doesn’t scratch])
• More portable (small and light)
• Easier to repair (easily shipped)
• Surface Agnostic (works on any surface)
• Software Agnostic (runs on whatever laptop is plugged into it has)
• Can be manipulated from a great distance (allowing teachers to interact with kids from anywhere in the room)
• Image can be adjusted to fit size of any classroom
• Easier to install (fewer moving parts)
• Versatility of interactive wand

http://www.projectorcentral.com/interactive-projectors.htm

https://canvas.instructure.com/courses/787272/pages/3-dot-1-epsons-brightlink-system-getting-started
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About the only questionable aspect is the software agnostic portion. Interactive whiteboards and interactive projectors are often manufacturer specific in both their hardware and their software.

At their root - they are identical. They are a giant 'mouse pad'.

But, the software and all associated drivers for various products and manufacturers may, or may not, work with each other. I've certainly had SMART software I've used which does not work unless your PC is plugged into a SMART Board. If it doesn't find the board, then the software doesn't work.

So much for software agnostic.

So, care must be taken to ensure that when any interactive product is purchased that the software that is desired to be used is going to work with that product. Certain manufacturers are more open to their software being used freely, while others are highly proprietary.

I personally think the interactive projector is a excellent way to go as long as care in software is properly observed.

Far to often people are not being properly trained and do not have the proper suite of software to actually use the interactive functionality the way it could be used.

Much like handing a person a computer, it's pretty useless without the software on it. Giving someone any extended interactive product is useless until they are given the tools, and training, to use it effectively.
AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology consultation during the build and installation process in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
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