BenQ Panels Lend Unique Flexibility to Elementary Classrooms
There’s a new interactive flat panel showing up in Hen Hud elementary school classrooms, and early reviews are nothing but positive.
Due to the rapidly changing nature of technology, the district schedules regular upgrades to technology at all five schools. When SMART Boards at the three elementary schools were due to be replaced, Director of Technology Vineetha Joy organized a focus group of teachers and administrators to assess the feasibility to replacing them with BenQ panels.
“After learning about the BenQ panels and watching a demonstration comparing them to SMART Boards, the focus group overwhelmingly preferred the BenQ product,” said Joy. “The fact that they were significantly less expensive than SMART Boards made the decision that much easier.” She noted that the purchase was made with American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds that were distributed to school districts during the pandemic.
The panels have been in place for a few weeks at Furnace Woods and Buchanan-Verplanck (they are scheduled for installation at Frank G. Lindsey over the summer), and teachers are already giving them high marks for ease of use and functionality. “It is a great tool for 21st century learning,” said Joy. She said a feature particularly favored by teachers is the ability to split the screen into three separate sections, which can then function as independent panels.
Furnace Woods teacher Kiley Cole has used the split screen feature to display videos or other visual tools to her K-2 students on one side of the panel while they simultaneously engage in a related activity in the other side.
“It’s a much more accessible system, and we are continuing to discover new ways to incorporate it into the classroom,” said Cole. She particularly likes the timer function, which helps keep her students on track; the expansive color choices, which her students find fun and motivating; and the ease of use over paper worksheets, handouts and notes.
The BenQ panels also lend themselves to hybrid and remote learning and can help students who are absent to keep up with classroom work. Lessons can be recorded and watched by students at home and are even accessible through a simple QR code. Additionally, a built-in collaboration tool allows students to connect with the classroom from home using their Chromebook. “Once they enter a room code into their Chromebook, they can actively participate remotely, adding their responses or input right onto the screen that is being viewed in the classroom,” said Joy.