If you’re reading Tech in Edu Magazine there’s every chance you are the person consulted when it comes to upgrading the hardware in your school. So where is your school at when it comes to classroom displays?
Are you still changing globes in projectors where the students know that all the blinds need to be closed and the sun in the right alignment so as not to make the picture indistinguishable?
Are you still hanging on to interactive whiteboards (IWBs) where the touch is so out of calibration that it hasn’t been “interacted” with since the days when the iPad was the new kid on the block?
Did you manage to pickup a few Aldi flat screen TVs that you can never get the Chromecast or Apple TV working when you want it?
As is the mantra for our magazine, empowering teachers to innovate with technology, let us introduce the 2020 model interactive flat panel from BenQ. The RP02 panels functionality and ease of use will have teachers no longer avoiding the technology, but embracing and innovating with it.
IMPORTANT STUFF TEACHERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE BENQ RP02 PANELS...
What is an interactive flat panel (IFP)?
It’s a touchscreen “TV” with it’s own Android operating system. In other words it’s like having a 65 inch tablet in your classroom.
What’s the deal with sharing my laptop screen to the board?
Once you install the InstaShare software to your computer (Mac or Windows), you can simply and wirelessly cast your screen to the board. But wait, there’s more! Your screen can then be interacted with directly on the IFP using touch.
What’s the touch & interactivity like?
This is where the RP02 panels absolutely shine. The touch accuracy and responsiveness has improved dramatically from the previous model (RP01). BenQ calls the new touch technology 'Zero Bonding' and 'Fine IR Plus', but all you need to know is that it feels so accurate to the touch it’s a world of difference from any large screen I’ve interacted with before. It also allows for multiple simultaneous touch (e.g. have different students/groups sharing ideas at the same time in different colours). Writing this review I was stumped as to how I could convey how responsive, sensitive and accurate the touch was on this new panel...so I decided to follow a drawing tutorial on YouTube to show our readers just how good it was. This illustration was using the “brush” tool in EZWrite.
How can the new BenQ IFP actually support innovation and enhance learning and teaching?
Like any tech tool, unless it supports and enhances more effective learning and teaching...then it’s just a shiny, novel gadget. The ability to record lessons with the built in screen recorder as part of EZWrite is one of the biggest game changers. Teachers can record a lesson as they teach it or pre-make lessons ready to distribute to students in a flipped model of learning. If we examine how technology truly supports and enhances more effective learning and teaching, having the ability for students to rewatch lessons (& free up teacher time for rich, open ended tasks) is a big win. The video recordings are saved locally and can be easily shared via Google Classroom, Seesaw or your own LMS.
How can we utilise Seesaw together with this IFP?
If you are one of many schools using Seesaw as a tool to share learning with parents and/or
create digital portfolios, then check out how the built-in Seesaw app can be used directly on the board by students:
What else separates the BenQ RP02 panel from the pack?
Germ resistant screen (rather essential in 2020!)
CO2, humidity and temperature sensors which can be monitored remotely
Smart Eye-Care Solutions to ensure students' eye fatigue is minimised
Upgraded sound system: Speakers 16W x2 & Subwoofer 15W x1
USB C port
EZWrite built in whiteboard software
Supercharge your IFP #1
BenQ now have a 4K webcam available to support class video calls. With more guest speakers and incursions being conducted via video calls since COVID, the clip on webcam is perfect for engaging your whole class with a remote guest. The camera has a wide field of view, ideal for capturing your whole classroom whilst still having the ability to zoom in (via remote control) on a single speaker if required.
Supercharge your IFP #2
If your school runs Windows, then you can purchase & install an OPS (open pluggable specification). In other words, the panel can run Windows natively without having to plug in or cast another computer. You don’t lose the native Android platform (to run EZWrite etc.) as you can choose to run either one each time you boot the panel. One major benefit of Windows is the ability to utilise the Snowflake software which has a myriad of interactive tools to support learning and teaching.
We reviewed the 65" which we have found suitable for most classrooms but if you have a bigger space or your budget allows, the RP02 is also available in 75" and 86" sizes.
For full specs and details: BenQ website
If you're interested in pricing and/or organising a demo for your school, please reach out to Ian and the team at Learning With Technologies. Make sure to mention Tech In Edu Magazine for the best price guaranteed!