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Hardware Thread, Interactive Whiteboard info? in Technical; OK, here goes my first posting with a request for some info/advice. I'm one of the IT volunteers that help ...
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    Interactive Whiteboard info?

    OK, here goes my first posting with a request for some info/advice.

    I'm one of the IT volunteers that help out at a small local school.
    I've been asked to find out about buying a projector and/or a whiteboard but the school only has very limited funds so we're looking at budget stuff here.

    Have researched the forums a bit and seen some Hitachi's and Epsons suggested whilst others suggest staying away from InFocus.
    I'll also need to take into account the cost of replacement bulbs as well, I guess? Any other ongoing costs I should know about?

    What about Interactive Whiteboards? I have seen them for about 800+ on the net. What about ongoing costs? If you buy the board, do you get the software with it or is that extra? Have really no idea about this smartboard stuff so any advice is really appreciated, thanks.

    Apologies in advance for the newbie questions but am not really up to date with the multimedua stuff! Supporting the school stuff is much harder than my normal job, definitely .... Citrix is a doddle compared to all this

    Thanks

    P.S. Excellent site with really helpful ideas and information!!

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    steve's Avatar
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    Projectors:

    I hate to say it but RM have some good deals atm:

    RM Deals

    Epson EMP-X5e has 4 years hardware and lamp warranty

    Then it comes down to which type of interactive board you want:

    Promethean (work with a pen), SMART (work by touch) - both of these include the software needed.

    The board and projector are connected to your PC/Laptop with the software installed on it.

    Speaking to your LA is probably the best advice I can give as they will typically only support / train on one or the other.

    Once you have decided on the board/projector its just a matter of getting it installed. There are lots of companies that can help out here - typically 300-500 inc. fixings / cables etc.

    You may also want to consider a sound system.

    There are some all in one systems by both Promethean and SMART that are considerably more expensive but offer the ability to adjust the height of the board, allowing all size of student to use the board.

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    projectors

    we have just started looking at replacement of some old projectors
    Found an excellent company 300 including install for a sanyo 2000 lumins dlp projector. contact me if you would like compant details.

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    Have you considered eBeam Projection?

    It's a device that will make any whiteboard interactive. It's portable so teachers can share it but as it's 1/4 the price of a decent sized Smartboard the school may be able to afford one for each teacher.

    We have about ten of them and the only problem was one pen that broke. They replaced it without asking any questions.

    You should be able to get one for 300 or so.

    eBeam - Interactive Whiteboard Technology, Luidia UK Ltd, System3, Interactive, Projection, Whiteboard, Integral

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    Quote Originally Posted by e-class View Post
    I've been asked to find out about buying a projector and/or a whiteboard but the school only has very limited funds so we're looking at budget stuff here.
    I have a Dabs4Work catalouge here that's offering a projector for 200. That's for 800X600 resolution - perfectly good (DVD quality, certainly - actually thinking about buying one for home...) but many applications consider a usable "minimum" to be 1024X768 these days. Bear that in mind when looking at projectors - if you find something that's dead cheap there's probably a good reason.

    I'd second the eBeam idea, also Mimio sell a similar system. Both are around 300, and can be a lot more flexible that a wall-mounted IWB - at the BETT show this year I saw an eBeam mounted flat on a table so people could use it as a large interactive desk.

    There's also been a couple of posts in these forums about making your own pen/whiteboard system using a Wiimote. This is actually a lot simpler than it sounds - see:

    Johnny Chung Lee - Projects - Wii

    The software provided with interactive whiteboards is designed to lock you in to a particular brand. The idea is that teachers start creating resources with the software, then when you next come to buy a board you wind up having to buy from the same company so your resources still all work. Ditch any included software and use PowerPoint instead - since Office 2003 there's been pen-based annotation facilities built right in, it's all the whiteboard software you need.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Polyvision boards are pretty robust, cheap and do the job well. Softwares fault proof as well, and the customer service is second to none.

    Sanyo CPC/DABS seem to be running some nice deals on the projector front as well.

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    First of all thanks to all who have added their thoughts to this thread, it's been really helpful.

    The school is a small independent community school which has a very small budget, so I'm going to do some more investigations into the Epson ones and possibly look at the RM deals being offered as mentioned by Steve.

    The Wiimote smartboard idea looks REALLY interesting and am going to try this out so if anyone has tried it and has some experience please let me know, I'd be really greatful.

    Thanks everyone!

    e-class

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    Quote Originally Posted by e-class View Post
    The Wiimote smartboard idea looks REALLY interesting and am going to try this out so if anyone has tried it and has some experience please let me know, I'd be really greatful.
    Darn - I know someone did, and posted their experiences on these forums somewhere, but searching for "wii" on the forum search doesn't find anything!

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    David Hicks

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Darn - I know someone did, and posted their experiences on these forums somewhere, but searching for "wii" on the forum search doesn't find anything!

    --
    David Hicks
    Inexpensive design for an Interactive Whiteboard

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    Just a quick addition to the advise... as the teachers if they have any experience of boards already. To us technical people a board is a board but teachers seem to find it difficult to switch between brands.

    I was fortunate when choosing our boards in that the teachers had no preference - I chose GTCO Calcomp Interwrite boards saving about 300 per board over Promethean ones. I have also found BenQ projectors to work very well and they are cost effective with cheap lamp replacement.

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    800 for a Interactive whiteboard is not very much. Have you ever thought about lease to allow your School to spread the costs.

    Other than that you could look at buying a smaller Interactive whiteboard as they do come in 48", but this would depend on how many children would be using it. They cost just over 620. Projectors start from around 250.

    Which would mean bare minimum for new kit would be around 870 without installation.

    Ideally you should be looking to have around 1200 to get a bigger Interactive whiteboard and better projector.

    Hope this helps

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