Mimio Educator

5 Tips for Buying Interactive Flat Panel Displays for the Classroom

Posted by Stevan Vigneaux on Wed, Oct 15, 2014
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How to Choose the Right Display For Your Classroom

5 Tips for Choosing Flat Panel DisplaysLarge flat panel displays fill an increasing number of living rooms with dazzling images, and the theater experience is becoming a daily experience at home. Many of today’s students are accustomed to high definition – for them it has become the expected standard. As educators and schools strive to find ways to better engage students and motivate learning, they are recognizing that using interactive HD technology in the classroom is key. In these tips we highlight the top five things to think about when making this purchase.

LED vs CCFL Displays

1. LED, LCD, What !#$

All displays are LCD; they are backlit by LEDs or CCFLs. LED backlighting provides a brighter picture and is more energy-efficient. Don’t strain your brain over the acronyms – LCD/LED tends to be the better choice.

2. Does Size Matter?

Display Size Equation for Room SizeStudents should be able to easily read 20-point type from the farthest point away from the display in the classroom. To make that determination, use this simple equation: 3X the diagonal screen size = the farthest distance from which a student can easily read the text on the display. A 70 in. display can thus serve students as far away as 17.5 ft (5.3 m), and an 84 in. display can serve students as far away as 21 ft (6.5 m). 

3. HDMI, VGA, Oh My!

HDMI and VGA connections for displaysCertain connections must be a given for your display to transmit and receive the necessary data effectively. So use this as your guide: 2 HDMI, 1 VGA, a stereo connection if you are using VGA, and a microphone port if you will be using a microphone.

4. How Many Touch Points Do I Need?

Touch Points and Interactive DisplaysHere’s what touch points really mean to an educator. If an interactive flat panel display has 6 touch points, there can be as many as 6 students at the display, each using a single touch point (one finger or a stylus). Or, 3 students can each use 2 fingers to manipulate and move objects on the display. To find out how many touch points you need, ask yourself these two questions: How many students will I typically have working at the display? How many students can comfortably work at the display at the same time? 

5. It’s the Software, Stupid!Classroom Software for Displays

At the end of the day, what are you really using these displays for? Teaching! That’s why you want to make sure that the software that comes with it gives you more than drivers and a slide show. You want to select software that can actually enable and engage learning – software that offers collaboration opportunities, provides assessment, and integrates with mobile learning.

If you found these tips helpful, check out our complete guide to Interactive Flat Panel Displays in the Classroom. Download Now.>


Topics: Classroom Technology, Interactive Whiteboard, Flat Panel Displays


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