Interactive Touchscreen V Interactive Whiteboard

  • Overview


Interactive Touchscreen V Interactive Whiteboard

Interactive whiteboards that are powered by projector technology have formed the back-bone of classrooms across the UK for many years, enabling teachers to deliver engaging lessons as well as encouraging interaction and collaboration from students. The UK market has subsequently been dominated by a few key brands, including SMART who account for over 60% of the interactive whiteboard market in UK schools.

However, as technology has advanced in the last 2 years, interactive whiteboards are rapidly being replaced with interactive touchscreen devices. These are large TVs that offer better image quality, more interactivity and are a more cost-effective solution.

Quick Comparison of Interactive Touchscreens and Interactive Whiteboards

Interactive WhiteboardInteractive Touchscreen
TouchMaxium DualUp to 10 Point Touch
Lamp LifeUp to 6,000 hours per lamp, costing around £250 per lamp and needing replacing, on average, every 12-24 months.No Lamp. Screens from Sharp come with on-site warranty so there is lower costs.
CleaningRegular cleaning to ensure life of unit is optimised and safe.No Cleaning Required
ShadowShadow will be cast, so terachers have to ensure they stand away from the centre of the screen to see what they are writingNo Projection, so no shadow. Teachers no longer have to worry about blocking the image
Resolution1024 X 768 XGA1080p Hull HD. Newer Devices Support 4k for Ultra high definition image quality
InputsVariousMutiple options: VGA, HDMI, DVI or even wireless connectivity.
Engergy EfficiencyHigher Power UsageLower Power Usage

Negatives of Interactive Whiteboards

Projector life span and cost – projectors require lamps to work. These lamps are expensive and offer a fixed life span. The majority of projectors in schools need their lamps replacing on an annual basis at a cost of £250 per lamp. Additionally, projectors tend to only have a life span of up-to 5 years.

Brightness issues – if you have been in a classroom with an interactive whiteboard on a sunny day, you will have probably had to close the curtains in order to be able to see the screen. A dark classroom is not conducive to high levels of concentration, or engagement.

Cleaning – projectors have a fan, this sucks in air and ultimately dust. This dust needs removing regularly to ensure that the dust doesn’t cause the projector to overheat. As the majority of projectors in schools are mounted from the ceiling, it can pose a health and safety issue, with teachers or caretakers having to climb up tall ladders.

Calibration ¬– Teachers continually having to calibrate their interactive whiteboard pen? It’s known as one of the most common burdens facing teachers that use interactive whiteboard technology.

Shadows – Projectors that are ceiling mounted often cast shadows on the screen. When the teacher approaches the board to write, his / her body will block the projection and cause a shadow to appear on the screen, meaning they can’t see where they are writing. Technology advanced to ultra-short throw projectors that were mounted to the top of the board, however shadows are still an issue.

Sharp Interactive Screens for SchoolsWhy an Interactive Touchscreen is a better investment?

Multi-touch – Today’s interactive screens enable up to 10-points of touch, allowing up to 4 people to use the screen at any one time, enabling ultimate collaboration.

Lamp Life – Interactive screens don’t use lamps, instead they are commercial panels that use LED technology. They have an estimated 50,000 hour life. They also do not lose brightness over time, as their projector counterparts do.

Cleaning – Although screens should be kept clean to remove fingerprints and surface dust, they mechanical parts of the devices are sealed from dust.

Improved connectivity – Most interactive displays feature 2-3 HDMI ports as well as VGA connectivity, ensuring that whatever laptop you use, it can be connected.

Better viewing angles (178 degrees) – even in the largest classrooms, students will be able to see the screen, even if they are sat on a virtual right angle to the screen. Additionally, the brightness is strong enough to be seen even in the brightest of rooms, so there is no need to close the curtains or turn lights off.

Greater engagement and interactivity – Screen sharing to iPad using Sharp Display Connect. Connect to the network, students are for more engaged and are able to actively participate in the whole class.