Promethean drop their price (but is it enough?)

Following from my last article about Interactive Whiteboards, it appears that things have changed a little. Promethean have felt the heat and have restructured their pricing. It no longer costs over €6,000 to buy their IWB solution. According to Louise Moore from Promethean on the CESI Discussion List, you can buy a range of their solutions from €800 to €4995. But what do you get for your money?

To be honest the €800 option is not an option. It’s only really an add-on if you’ve already got a Promethean board. It’s also just a graphics tablet. I can buy them for €40 anywhere else and integrate them with any other IWB.
They also have a €3995 option. This, in my opinion, brings them almost in line with other permanent IWB solutions price-wise. However, I still think it’s far too much money to spend when the equivalent portable solution (including fitting, training and software) costs about half that. Promethean’s €4,995 option has a short-throw projector by the way.
So… I guess if you were still obssessed with getting a permanent IWB, Promethean have edged back in the price war. It puts pressure on Smart anyway to do something. However, I still 100% believe that portable solutions are the best option for Primary schools. Remember a portable solution can easily become a permanent solution by simply not moving it.

0 thoughts on “Promethean drop their price (but is it enough?)”

  1. As a teacher who has worked with a portable Interactive whiteboard, i could not disagree with the above comment more. I have a lot of experience with different IWB’s after teaching in England for a number of years and now working in Ireland. A portable system is the least practical option. The school I work in now invested in a portable option as it was felt by the staff that it would give more teachers the opportunity to use it. We ended up asking the company to come back and install the system because of the following reasons:
    -The stand for the whiteboard took up far too much space in the classroom.
    -The projector had to be set up each morning and put away every evening
    -The cables from computer to board etc provided a serious health and safety issue.
    -Teachers that had weak ICT skills would not use it because there was the added skill of being able to set up the system.
    -It had to be calibrated each time it was set up.
    -The portable system was not moved once in a year.
    It had got to the stage where the board was not being set up and not being used which would have been a waste of school funds.
    It has now been installed as a fixed unit and is being used to its full potential.
    I would agree that the portable options are cheaper, and yes you could call them a permanent solution by not moving them, but they are very impractical in a classroom situation. I know this from my own experience. Having used Smart, Hitachi, Promethean and Mimio boards in teaching, i am convinced that Fixed units are the best option. Yes they are more expenive but when spending any money on ICT products it is important that they are used. I am a fan of Promethean as i feel out of all the IWB’s, they are the most accurate, have great software and also provide great support for teachers.

  2. As a fan of portable solutions, I guess I should respond. I need to reiterate the fact that if you don’t move a portable IWB, it has all the benefits of a permanent solution. I don’t see how they are any more inconvenient than the permanent solutions, if they are installed in a permanent way. I would love this explained.
    In fact, the main reason I prefer portable solutions is because they are cheaper.
    I am convinced that all IWBs provide exactly the same benefits whether they are €800 or €5000, whatever companies brainwash people with in their sales pitch. I find it, considering how little money schools have, bizarre why anyone would want to spend more money than is necessary on equipment.
    Having used almost every IWB available, I have found little to no difference in their quality.
    Having said all this, I think the way I would go about buying IWBs would be to buy projectors in every classroom before buying the IWB gizmo. You can do nearly anything with just a projector and PC as you can with an IWB. As we buy IWBs (i.e. the Mimio, Ebeam, Onfinity (or even Wiimote)), I would share these around until everyone got one.
    When companies stop ripping us off with €5000 solutions and offer them for about half that price, I will certainly change my mind.

  3. If you don’t fix an IWB system, what you have is a board on a stand and a projector on a table in front of the board. All the wiring is then across the floor. For security reasons, in my school we had to lock the projector away each evening. Along with the lack of space in our classrooms and the health and safety concerns, it became a huge inconvenience for teachers to have to set the system up at the start of each day. Teachers rotate and if the system wasn’t set up, it then had to be done infront of a class by the teacher wishing to use it. Again i have to say that this wasn’t a problem for teachers who knew what they were doing, but completely turned other teachers off from using it.
    So although you find it very practical to use a portable system, maybe because you are in your classroom all day, myself and my colleagues found it not to be.

  4. I think using technology in the classroom is the way forward but because of the time pressure on teachers it has to be as convenient as possible.
    So as a German teacher myself I came up with the idea to firstly put the German first year Junior Cert’ syllabus online with the objective to maximize the time the teacher has per lesson with the least inconvenience. I see the computer as the assistant to the teacher and a valuable friend. I believe IWB have their place but we have to turn to the computer to take the pressure off the teacher and provide all resources the teacher needs to conduct a lesson. The teacher is therefore in more control and the students are using the medium they love. It is a win win situation.

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