Lafayette School Corporation in Indiana, a 1:1 tablet computer district, is dedicated to educating its students through a thoughtful approach to learning and investing in technology. Lafayette recently determined its aging touch boards and displays were no longer reliable in every classroom.
“Ten years is a really long time in technology years and our failing classroom audio/video systems were starting to be really expensive to service and maintain. We wanted to upgrade the experience with a solution that would truly work for our students and staff and make an impact,” said Li Zhao, Chief Technology Officer at Lafayette School Corporation.
Over a two-year period of looking at interactive displays, Zhao tested six different makes and models. The objective was to find a solution that not only had to meet the demand for whiteboard technology, but also provide high-quality imaging for the school’s robust IPTV and digital signage network.
The district selected BenQ’s RP Series interactive flat panels (IFP) after testing more than 40 65-inch IFPs installed across eight schools.
The RP Series of IFPs offers features intended to encourage engagement inside and outside of the classroom. Using cloud-based collaboration combined with BenQ’s EZwrite 5.0 platform, the IFP allows teachers and students to share ideas, notes, opinions, and make annotations on screen captures from any app, video, website, document, or image. Regardless of location, all participants can also make annotations on the screen from their personal devices. Teachers can download and upload files to cloud services such as One Drive or Dropbox directly from their screens. For Lafayette, enabling simple integrations allowed for HDMI inputs to the teacher’s laptop, Apple TV, a Wi-Fi wireless presentation dongle, and a DVD player.
“All the ports are right there on the front, which was one of our requirements,” said Zhao. “When they’re on the side of up front, it grants quick access. If they’re in back, it’s really awkward trying to plug them in or troubleshoot any issues. It’s a simple design element that in our testing really stood out.”
The IFPs also come with dual pens permitting two users to write or draw simultaneously with different color at the same time. Within Brush Mode, participants can use a physical paintbrush while the handwriting recognition feature converts written text, numbers, forms, and drawings into legible digital text without having to switch modes.
Other features include:
- Anti-glare, bacteria-resistant screen
- CO2 air-quality sensor monitors the CO2 concentration level in classrooms
- Smart Eye-Care technology, which is certified to remove the blue light and flicker.
- Voice Assistant allows teachers to start a timer or search the internet anywhere in the classroom
For Lafayette, BenQ IFPs have become the standard. More than 125 units were installed in all eight of their elementary schools, including the district’s new elementary school where BenQ’s 75-inch 4K IFP was integrated into each of the school’s 36 classrooms. The RP Series IFP were also installed in three high school special education classrooms. Each building also has access to a BenQ IFP installed on a mobile cart to provide the collaboration tools in other areas or to operate as a backup. As the Lafayette district continues to grow, the technology department is examining other areas where the BenQ technology could be useful. Most recently, the school opened up a new career center and plans are underway to install the panels into the support space.