In 2010, with the cost of television screens continually dropping, I wrote an article (click here to read “Classroom AV – Data Projector or TV?”) weighing up the positives and negatives of ‘Data Projectors’ versus ‘LCD Screens’, in a classroom environment.
With the price on LCD’s continuing to drop, LCD screens with touch screen capability have also started to become more and more cost effective and we are now starting to see the opportunity for touch screen LCD’s to be used in the same manner as interactive whiteboards (IWB’s).
From my own perspective, this is an exciting trend and, as the prices of these touch screen panels continue to come down and their size increases, I expect to see them become more popular when being used as a collaboration tool for the classroom.
So, what things should you be considering when looking into a potential purchase of an interactive product and is it the right time to purchase a touch screen LCD?
When comparing the two side by side, the LCD touch screen certainly is the more aesthetically pleasing of the two solutions, due to the brighter image it will display and a better resolution it will tend to provide, with the end result being a better quality of picture.
However, as per my previous ‘Data Projectors vs. LCD Screens’ article from 2010, there needs to be consideration given to the size of the screen being used as a presentation tool. The largest touch screen LCD I have seen is 65”, however these are higher end models, which tend to be considerably more expensive than an IWB package. To get a closer cost comparison to a 77” (measured diagonally) interactive whiteboard, the solution that would be currently considered would sit around the 50-55” (measured diagonally) range and, for a standard classroom, this size is still just too small for the students sitting towards the back of the classroom.
So, in my professional opinion, where the budget allows, I think that a 55” touch screen LCD is ideal for smaller rooms, such as boardrooms, meeting rooms, or even small classrooms. However, for an average or larger sized classroom, they are potentially still that bit too small to be effective for all the students in the room.
Touch Panel LCD – Advantages and Disadvantages Compared to an Interactive Whiteboard
With all of this in mind, we’ve very recently had the chance to look at a brand new InFocus collaboration product, which can be used as a touch screen LCD, but has some additional advantages that I haven’t seen in comparison products. I’ll provide an overview of this product for you next month, however in the mean time, if you have any questions or thoughts on touch screen LCD technology and collaboration tools in your classroom, don’t hesitate to contact me my email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 1300 VIDEOPRO.