The Touchscreen Revolution in Education
Until recently projectors dominated the education sector, but touchscreens are fast becoming the new ‘top dog’. So why is it that educators are choosing this modern alternative over its trusted predecessor?
Many of the latest projectors are sold as being cost effective and financially viable, but even the most advanced projector technology will struggle to compete with the financial efficiency of touchscreens.
The average classroom may require up to eight hours of use 190 days of the year, resulting in an annual usage of 1,520 hours per device. Touchscreens typically last around 50,000 hours, allowing the average school an incredible 32 years worth of use from a single device. In contrast, a typical education projector needs to be replaced every 3 to 5 years, and also requires the regular replacement of lamps at around £100 to £200 each every 4,000 hours, resulting in spiralling costs for the unsuspecting user.
Installation Made Easy
Sometimes it can feel like you need a team of engineers to install a projector in a classroom environment, but the touchscreen revolution is also set to transform the dreaded device installation process. In fact, the typical touchscreen comes as a single unit that can be quickly attached to a wall, stand, or even a trolley, for those creating a truly versatile learning environment.
Get Connected, Stay Connected
Technology continues to advance at a rate of knots, but touchscreens have taken the lead in the education market by offering more input options that you can shake a ruler at. Unlike more traditional devices, touchscreens make it easy to connect to other devices, offering an all-in-one solution that is capable of connecting to almost any device and any software, subject to licensing. The new kid on the block also bypasses calibration issues, so teachers everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to setup.
As the education sector increasingly embraces the technology age, educators and students alike are seeking advanced levels of interactivity to improve the learning experience. Many educators initially turned to tablets to make learning more collaborative, but this can result in segregated education in large groups. Thankfully, touchscreens are the ideal replacement, offering six to ten point-touch as standard, and in some cases providing up to 30 touch points. This new brand of learning makes it easy for an entire classroom to get involved in every task, advancing education into the digital age.
Seeing is Believing
Building on visual technology already in use in televisions in homes across the world, touchscreens can provide up to 4K resolution images that bring learning to life. Backlit displays further enhance brightness, making documents more vivid and impervious to ambient light. Touchscreens also prevent students or teachers casting a shadow over a screen; a common problem associated with the use of projectors in classrooms.
Manufacturers to Watch
Bett 2016 showed us the brands to watch in the touchscreen sphere, and three in particular stood out as frontrunners as we look to the year ahead.
At this year’s Bett event, industry leaders Ctouch showcased their popular Laser air range, which continues to dominate the budget touchscreen market. Along with industry favourites, the display featured a sneak peak at a new addition to the series, which is set to provide even more technology without such a high price tag. For those wishing to dip their toes in the touchscreen market without a high initial outlay, Ctouch could provide the ideal inaugural device.
Clevertouch was also back for Bett 2016, dominating the touchscreen software market. Already a leading name in touchscreen manufacture, Clevertouch is now asserting its market dominance with the creation of a range of integrated software solutions.
Among the brand’s latest offerings was the updated Snowflake MultiTeach, which is designed to encourage collaboration and enhance group activities, from early learning to secondary school. In an industry pushing for a new age of classroom interaction, Clevertouch could be set to lead the way.
Although not currently as well known as their counterparts, the experts at Iiyama are beginning to make waves thanks to their paradigm-shifting touchscreen innovation. Focused on the future of touchscreen technology, the brand has developed a range of advanced features that are currently only found on top-budget devices including touch flexibility, which allows users to touch the screen using anything from a finger to a credit card. As touchscreen use becomes more widespread, it’s likely Iiyama will set the bar high.
Were you at Bett 2016? We’d love to know your thoughts on the latest education technology. Or if the event inspired you to review your school’s technology options, have a look at some of our best selling touchscreen devices here.