I’m a member of a mailing list for principals and the topic of Interactive Whiteboards and value for money came up for discussion. One of the most heartening things for me was the amount of interest and knowledge that other principals had. One such principal gave some fantastic advice which would save a school thousands in costs. This principal works in Blanchardstown in Dublin and has installed 11 IWBs. He has given me permission to display his post, which I thank him for.
We have interactive whiteboards in all classrooms -(11) we install them ourselves and save a fortune on them. As a half-way measure we install the data projector first and use the computer in the classroom – or a laptop if we have one available. – When using a PC the teacher has a memory stick and brings in the lessons on that.
The Acer 1160 data projector is available on www.komplett.ie for €295 + delivery. These are the cheapest and most cost effective projectors available – we have 3 installed and no problems with them so far. I would also recommend the Vogels EPC-545 projector ceiling mount (€89.36) from the same supplier, also a 5metre or 10 metre monitor cable (€12-€18). I have been using Komplett for 3 years now and find them extremely reliable – you can also set up an account with them and they will invoice the school – thus circumnavigating the credit card problems.
If you want to install sound along with this I recommend you buy a pair of Behringer MS40 multimedia speakers from www.thomann.de (€115 + delivery) you will also need a yrk2060 audio cable from the same supplier to go between the laptop and the speakers. We mount the speakers on the wall in each classroom using B-tech ultragrip wallmount brackets (€38.16 from Komplett).
I hope this is of use to anyone ‘Shopping’ after Christmas.
To make it easier I have put the websites and products together below – Happy New Year,
(John Kearns, Scoil Bhríde BNS, Blanchardstown)
Shopping List !!
- B-Tech UltraGrip Pro black Wallmount Side Clamping loudspeaker -25Kg, Pair
- Article number: 322208 €38.16
- Acer Projector X1160, 2000 ANSI, 2000:1, SVGA
- Article number: 342123 €295.00
- Vogel’s VPC-545 Projector Ceiling Mount Max. weight – Projector 10 kg
- Article number: 344421 €89.36
- Monitor Cable VGA 14M/M 10m shielded high quality
- Article number: 100405 €18.03
- Behringer MS40 Multimedia loudspeakers
- item No: 182187 €115.00
- Cable – YRK2060 3.5mm trs to 2XRCA
- item No: 153187 €3.90
Now, John didn’t include the cost of the IWB itself. He later revealed that he uses Promethean boards (but asks them to exclude fitting costs). I don’t know how much Promethean charge for these.
The other heartening thing about the discussion on the mailing list was the huge support for eBeams. I’ve long been a fan of eBeams due to their low cost and their capability. If you add €1,000 for a wireless eBeam, you’ve got yourself an IWB for just over €1,500.
I would add another €100 to get some decent software. I’m recommending Easiteach at the moment from RM (in the UK) but with Sterling, you’ll probably pick it up for less.
So… a complete IWB package for less than €1,700? Beat that!