TouchIT Interactive Whiteboard

I finally got my finger(!) on the TouchIT Interactive Whiteboard at the IPPN conference. For those of you who have been reading this blog, you’ll have noticed I’ve been waiting a couple of weeks to see this new and interesting development. Until now, the only IWB I knew of, where you could interact with your finger was the Smartboard. (I have since found out Hitachi do one too – but that’s another review). Well the good news is that the TouchIT is all I hoped it would be.

The thing I like about IWBs that you can touch is the amount of extra opportunities it opens to the kinesthetic learner. The folk who sell the pen controlled devices will try to scaremonger you with health and safety warnings and grubby fingers but the fact is that they wish they could be touch-based and they’re looking for ways to discredit this technology.

As I said, the only option I knew of was Smartboards who are the market leaders and provide excellent service. So, what about TouchIT?

TouchIT is sold by the rather innovative company Resources4Learning, based in Limerick. This company were the first to bring eBeams to our shores and hundreds of schools have never looked back. TouchIT is the latest IWB to enter Ireland and offers a cost-effective solution to touch-based IWBs.

The Technology

TouchIT uses Infrared beams (like the eBeam). There are four in total and their job is to create an invisible mesh on the whiteboard which is broken by a finger (or any pointy device) touching the board. This broken mesh sends co-ordinates to the computer and voila, you’ve got an interactive whiteboard.

The Software

At the moment, TouchIT comes with Easiteach, which is an very good piece of software. It can be extended (unlike other software) to include Science Packs, Maths Packs, Dance Mats, etc. However, because Promethean are releasing ActivStudio as a download in March 2009, you will also be able to get the board with this software. I must admit the new ActivStudio is rather excellent so it’s worth getting this.

The Price

As with all IWBs, the price of TouchIT depends on what you want and how many you get. It can be sold as a complete package – installed in your school ready to use – for about €2,500 or less. However, if you already have a projector, you can minus that from the cost. Also, if you want someone else to install it, again, that can be deducted.

The Quirks

The thing I like about the TouchIT over its competitors is the fact it can double up as a normal whiteboard when it’s not being used as an IWB. This saves the bother of having 2 spearate boards in our very small classrooms. I also like the personal after-sales service and the genuine belief that John Hughes, the head of Resources4Learning, has in his products.

The Verdict

I now have a new favourite Interactive Whiteboard. TouchIT has now given us a cheaper option than SmartBoard (except Liosdoire’s offer, though watch this space!) but it has also given us an added feature to touchscreen IWBs – and that is the ability to use them as normal whiteboards.

Last Update: August 17, 2017  

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5 thoughts on “TouchIT Interactive Whiteboard”

  1. We have 2 TouchIT Boards in 5th and 6th classes and EBeam in all the other rooms.Having surveyed all other makes and models we feel that for utility and value for money the TouchIT Boards are by far the best at present. John Hughes is easy to deal with and has a great personal backup service.
    Ger O Mahony. Principal

  2. We have two Touch IT boards in an infant and a 3rd class room. They work pretty well but we are not too thrilled with them overall, compared to the Smart Board (of which we have 3). The teachers complain that their handwriting is poor due to the time delay using the pen and the lack of accuracy – the line produced is at least half a cm away from the pen point or finger, despite the orientation having been done more than once. The board, like many and perhaps all hard boards which allow dry wipe markers have a tiny mesh of lines across it which is dazzling up close for the teacher’s eyes. Both teachers have sometimes had difficulties linking the board with their laptops, and have had to resort to function keys to regain communication. The colours on the board are a little faded which is probably the fault of the projector – you get what you pay for and those which came with the touch IT board don’t seem to be nearly as bright or colour accurate as the Smart Board accompanied Toshiba model. All in all we are less than thrilled with the boards, despite being able to write on them with dry wipe markers. Sorry to be so negative!

    • Sorry to hear the Touch IT whiteboards aren’t working out for you as well as you expected. I have three Touch IT boards in my school and find them very good.

    • Hi Laura. Both boards are excellent. One thing to consider is geographical area but you’ll be very happy with either of the two boards.

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