Since chalkboards and whiteboards are just relics of the days of academic yore, interactive flat panels are paving the way for the future of classroom teaching tools.
Interactive flat panels (IFP’s) giftwrap the major features that college classrooms need in a writing surface under one, low-friction coated screen. From enhanced visual impact and easy accessibility to collaboration-encouraging features, IFP’s are appearing in college classrooms faster than a click of a mouse.
Cecelia Lowe , Vice President of North American Education Solutions for SMART, says that IFP’s are replacing both traditional and interactive whiteboards, and are making the classroom experience better.
“The experience that is happening in the classroom is much improved with flat panels over the interactive white boards and projectors,” she says. “People are moving into more project-space learning and they’re looking into the possibility of bringing other boards into other places within the classroom.”
Aside from enhanced collaboration opportunities, Lowe says IFP’s are easy to use, especially for teachers that are hesitant to move on to a new hardware system.
“Teachers love our technology because they’re familiar with those types of devices in the work place,” she says. “They feel very comfortable going up and navigating. It’s not like they have to learn a whole new piece of hardware.”
Lowe says if colleges are looking into investing in IFP’s, they should measure the physical size and caliber of interactions that take place their classrooms. She also says professors should evaluate where the best location would be to place an IFP in his or her classroom.
“Look at the size of the classroom, think about what sort of interaction you want with this device,” she says. “Are you looking at something in the front of the classroom and moving towards the sides, or are they all at the front of the classroom?”
Finally, Lowe says professors should also have a grasp on the types of collaborations that go on in their classes, and determine what kind of collaboration they’d like to encourage among students.
“How do you leverage collaboration in the classroom?” she says. “When [students] start with our products, whether they’re working on a table or using one of our products…where they can interact and touch, you see amazing things.”
Video: A look at how SMART’s interactive flat panels work.