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Okay, so like most schools it? It’s time to replace your interactive whiteboards (IWBs). What to buy? So many choices and not enough time to run through all the options yourself. Fear not! One of our roles in schools is to organise the purchasing of hardware and we have tested all the major products when it comes to replacing your R.I.P. IWBs.

Let us introduce the concept of an interactive panel. An interactive panel looks like a TV (slightly thicker in dimension), comes in all different sizes, is able to be wall or trolley mounted and is TOUCH. Our top pick that ICT EDU Magazine recommends to its own schools is the BenQ Interactive Panel. To be technical the RP7501K 75″. The panel itself comes in a 65″ (RP6501K), 75″ (RP7501K) and 86″(RP8601K) if size matters.

The Panel Itself 

The BenQ Interactive Panel is a quality product. The 4K UHD is aesthetically pleasing as it appears to look like a normal TV. It blends into the classroom space with its design focus being on the learning rather than the busy hardware.

The BenQ Interactive Panel has clear visibility (anti glare) from all viewing angles for students and teachers which means there isn’t a need to close the classroom blinds when viewing media.

BenQ Interactive Panel RP6501K Classroom - ICT EDU Magazine

The RP7501K panel has a built in Android OS kit that allows you to use the panel without attaching a laptop/computer. This is a brilliant feature for teachers as it frees up the use of their laptop as well provides a device for emergency teachers so learning can continue as normal. Alternatively, you a can connect your laptop, Chromebook or Mac to the panel, wirelessly or via HDMI cable.

It also packs a CO2 level indicator to monitor air quality and smart eye care solution (flicker free and low blue light technology).

All About Touch

Let’s talk TOUCH. The panel has 10 points of multi touch interactivity (Android kit) and 20 points of touch if connected to a Windows computer. The touch functionality can be with fingers or the two pens supplied. The brilliance is you can have multiple students working collaboratively on the panel recording ideas, annotating text, images or even web pages. The panel is loaded with some nice classroom care features such as the germ resistant screen, handy indeed as there will be lots of little hands touching the screen.

EZ Write 5.0 - ICT EDU Magazine

EZWrite 5.0 – Built in Whiteboarding Software

Time to talk software. So this is where other panels we have played with generally fall down. The software is what makes or breaks an interactive panel. EZWrite 5.0 is feature packed with tools to enhance learning and teaching, but best of all is super simple to use.

Click play to see EZWrite 5.0 in action:

Mind Blowing Feature Award

The feature that blew our minds in the EZWrite software is the ability to share your whiteboarding screen with students on their device. Students scan the QR code and can instantly collaborate on the learning together. Drop sticky notes, annotate and give everyone in the classroom a voice.

Connecting Devices

The panel operates without a device (thanks to its Android OS) but mirroring your computer or laptop to the BenQ interactive panel is as simple as a single click. BenQ?s software (InstaQShare) allows you to mirror your screen (wirelessly) to the interactive panel. Not only does it mirror, it makes it interactive and touch capable. This is available for Windows & Mac. You also have the ?old fashioned?option of plugging in any device via HDMI cable.

Click play to see the BenQ interactive panel function overview

For iPad Users/Classrooms

The feature that blew our minds in the EZWrite software is the ability to share your whiteboarding screen with students on their device. Students scan the QR code and can instantly collaborate on the learning together. Drop sticky notes, annotate and give everyone in the classroom a voice.

Connecting Devices

The panel operates without a device (thanks to its Android OS) but mirroring your computer or laptop to the BenQ interactive panel is as simple as a single click. BenQ?s software (InstaQShare) allows you to mirror your screen (wirelessly) to the interactive panel. Not only does it mirror, it makes it interactive and touch capable. This is available for Windows & Mac. You also have the ?old fashioned?option of plugging in any device via HDMI cable.

For the iPad users out there, connecting an iPad is a breeze via Airplay. Share and showcase your students work with the whole class #effortless.

Teacher Testimonials 

I love how students can Airplay to the panel and see their work straight away. Love the stopwatch and countdown timer. It’s very visual.

Jenny Freeland, Classroom Teacher

The clarity of image is crucially important in art. The images are clear and the differentiation between the colour tones are sharp.

Amanda Heggen, Visual Arts Teacher

Our BenQ’s have been a great investment. We love using the writing EZ whiteboard. It writes smoothly and accurately and using the 10 touch point feature means that more than one student can use it at the one time.

Penny Hansen, DT Leader & Classroom Teacher

I love how you can write on one panel then push the content to next door?s panel too.

Margaret Warren, Classroom Teacher

 Wishlist

The Android kit does not run Google apps (Drive, Docs, Slides etc.) natively. We found the workaround for this is to simply open Drive, Docs etc. on your laptop and mirror your screen, which still allows for interactivity.

Tech Specs

  • 4K UHD panel
  • Front facing in built sound bar
  • 5 USB ports
  • 3 X HDMI in
  • 1 HDMI out – ability to daisy chain the panel to another panel
  • VGA input
  • 2 microphones (1 on the front of the panel, 1 on the back input)
  • Ability to push out apps wirelessly via the DMS- Device Management System. This is a new feature that we tested and it works
  • Use NFC cards to create teacher accounts so that they can access their profile on the panel
  • Save work to your local network, Google Drive or One Drive

See full technical specifications here

Final Word

If you’re considering purchasing an IWB replacement, look no further than the BenQ Interactive Panel. In order for any device to be successful in a school setting it must be two things: reliable (simple and works every time) as well as enhancing learning & teaching. The BenQ interactive panel ticks both boxes and should be on your 2019 shortlist.

Contact LWT for more information and pricing on the BenQ Interactive PanelLWT LogoBenq Logo

BenQ Interactive Panel Classroom 2 - ICT EDU Magazine

Posted by:TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION

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