We haven’t reviewed an Interactive Whiteboard for a while so it was lovely to receive an invitation from Prowise to have a look at their new Interactive LCD Screen. In the fashion conscious world of interactive screens, Interactive Whiteboards are becoming “so last season” and if you were to believe the hype, it’s all about touch-based LCD screens. There’s pros and cons to both and I wouldn’t be replacing working Interactive Whiteboards with LCD screens yet. However, if you were in the market for a new Interactive Whiteboard or screen, I wouldn’t disregard these new shiny ones.
As it’s the summer, I had a little bit of time to make a video, which attempts to give a basic overview of the Prowise Interactive LCD Screen. You can watch the video here below or read on for further thoughts. The video was supposed to be 2 minutes long but ran onto about 10 minutes.
The screen that I got is the top of the range model with 4K resolution, NFC logon and a fancy holder for pens. I didn’t bother focusing on this in the video as most schools will buy the lower spec model. I looked at the screen in terms of size, screen brightness, sound quality and software.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the screen is only 65″ rather than the standard 78″ Interactive Whiteboard. While this isn’t a problem for me (65″ is big) some might want to have a look at it to check if it is suitable for their own classrooms. It does come in a variety of sizes at a variety of prices. I was using the screen in the middle of July on a rare sunny day in Ireland. The sun was blaring into the classroom. However, I could see the screen well. It’s worth checking this out on the video above just to see what you think. Sound quality was impressive. You definitely don’t need external speakers in your average classroom. I had it up halfway in volume in the video and it was still loud.
You can get the screen attached to a wall like normal IWBs or you can have it attached to a trolley. The trolley allows the user to put the screen at an angle including at a 180 degree angle so it can be used as an interactive table. It is height-adjustable, so can be used in any classroom with any age-group. It also has the ability to adjust to the exact requirements of whatever teacher is using the board when they log in.
Speaking of logging in, this is where the board comes into its own. We are living in a post-IWB software world. Back in 2008-09, software was probably the most important aspect of buying an interactive board. Promethean had everything right in terms of their offering. It was bright, colourful and easy to use. However, times move on and most teachers no longer use IWB software, or at least very rarely. In Ireland, sharing of IWB resources never really took off, so there isn’t really that much out there. Prowise have stripped back all the bells and whistles of IWB software and created a slimline, clean interface. The difference between it and other software is that it is entirely online. Any time you load up the software, you can log on and no matter what board/screen you are using, it will have all your presentations. There are 2 versions of the software. The first of which is free but has very limited access to all the online functionality. The second is the Pro version which has full functionality for a subscription of about €25 per annum to cover the unlimited cloud storage. However, Prowise are offering this for free for the first year.
Apart from the basics, it allows users to search for graphics and videos that are stored online then presents them really nicely on the screen. Your YouTube videos will never look better! It also has some customised grids and lined-paper, which is useful too. However, for me, the most interesting aspect is their Prowise Proconnect tool, which allows the teacher to create quizzes and students can use their own devices to answer the quizzes, much like the amazing web site Kahoot. Students are sent a code to their device via an app and they can answer the quizzes from their seats. The software records their answers and these answers can be exported to a spreadsheet for assessment purposes. Other features worth noting that impressed me were:
- You can push content out to the student devices.
- Students can amend/add to that content and send it back to the teacher for review or display.
- Teachers can connect live to multiple devices and observe as thumbnails on the panel student work in real time.
- Proconnect tools such as Maths Races, Word Cloud and Mind Map allow collaborative and competitive activities to be contributed to through the students own devices.
There are some other bells and whistles but most of them are similar to other pieces of Interactive Whiteboard software. You have maths tools, games, activities and things like that. As the software is online, you can share presentations with other schools or simply within your own school, which is handy.
Back to the board itself, it is sturdy, responsive and I can’t really fault it in any way. Windows 10 is built in to the board in the form of a slot in PC unit which in the future could, if need be, be replaced or updated just like any other PC. but most teachers will probably plug their laptops into the screen anyway.Price-wise you will find these Prowise panels to be competitively priced. Prowise will argue that their parts of better quality than others and now that we are living in a post IWB world, I imagine you pay for what you get.
Since this review, the following features are now in place. These were sent to me by Prowise themselves.
- We only supply one type of screen now the Prowise Touchscreen. (Product sheet with pricing attached)
- Screen resolution is 4k UHD LED-IPS (In plane switching) allowing for a better viewing experience.with a viewing angle of 178 degrees , the new mainboard is capable of displaying up to 8k imagery.
- The screens now have dolby digital certified sound as standard
- Prowise App store. Prowise have developed its own app store with educational app such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Youtube to name but a few prebuilt in to the screen. This allows the user to work independently of integrated PC’s or personal devices.
- The screens now support airplay allowing users to cast any apple device to the screen without the need for cables. (Chromecast and Miracast are imminent)
- Our Pro-reflect app allows users to cast 4 x Mac’s or Windows PC’s simultaneously to the touchscreen and control them from the screen.
- Our much improved Presenter 10 software is currently still in development a beta version is currently available, release is imminent it is free to all users and will remain free. It is even more user friendly than before and will include 3D imagery and an embedded education based search engine (www.webforclassrooms.com) and will be made available via our Prowise app store (again allowing the user to be independent of integrated PC’s or personal devices)
- A major addition to Presenter 10 is Prowise Move. Prowise Move allows the user and in particular a pupil to interact with the screen without touching it. Presenter 10 will include Prowise Move specific educational content and games. A Prowise move camera worth €350 is free with every touchscreen purchased after the 21st January 2019.
- There are 4 x wide area microphones built into the screens enabling a full conferencing solution using the Prowise Move camera.
- Our new iPro lift systems are fully compatible with the screen they can be wall mounted or mobile. The height and or tilt can be adjusted via the screen or via a foot-pedal. The iPro lifts are also compatible with NFC allowing height and tilt angles to be preset.
Last Update: February 6, 2019