TASD Replaces Smartboards Districtwide

The+ActivPanel+Titanium+provides+an+integrated+learning+display+that+is+touch+controlled+and+can+be+shared+with+student+devices+in+the+classroom.

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The ActivPanel Titanium provides an integrated learning display that is touch controlled and can be shared with student devices in the classroom.

The Tyrone Area School District installed new Promethean Titanium smart boards in all classrooms, replacing old units that were between 10 and 13 years old.

The high school teachers were in the process of learning to use the new technology when the school shutdown began in mid March. 

For all practical purposes [the smartboards] are a 75 inch Android tablet that has a Chromebox. You have everything an Android tablet can do, as well as our normal Chromebooks”

— Glen Drager

The new smartbroads are a big step up from the old ones.

“The older boards were just display devices. They had inputs so that you could hook it to your computer and run some of the software on your computer,” said TASD Network Administrator Glen Drager. 

The new smartboards have a bright 75″ 4K LED display, they are touchscreen, come with a stylus pen, wirelesss connectivity to other devices, and HDMI inputs and outputs.

“For all practical purposes [the smartboards] are a 75 inch Android tablet that has a Chromebox. They can do everything an Android tablet can do, as well as our normal Chromebooks,” said Drager. “since we’re so involved with Chromebooks, the Chromebox allows us to do anything thing we can do on the Chromebooks on the smartboard.”

The teachers are looking forward to learning how to use the new technology as soon as possible.

“Most of us were just learning how to use the boards when the school year was cut short, so hopefully when we can get back into the building in the spring or summer, we will have time to get more comfortable with using them,” said TAHS teacher Todd Cammarata.

The new boards will also make the tech department’s jobs easier because not all of the old boards were the same model.

“We had a lot of different technologies,” said Drager, “three different models of Promethean boards, and two different interactive projectors with different software and different capabilities. It was difficult to teach everyone [how to use them].  Now everyone has the same thing, so it will easier for us to optimize training for our staff.”

These new boards are now in every educational space in the district, with the elementary school getting them over summer.

The district has been talking about this upgrade for a while, and this is a long term technology  investment by the district.

“We expect these to last for 10 to 15 years,” said Drager, “[the old] panels were near the end of their lifespan. Some of them in the high school are 13 years old.”

The purchase was made this school year because of a discount the district was able to get from the manufacturer.

“Each board normally retails for around $5,000,” Drager explained, “but we got a discount which is why we did it early, so our cost was around $3,200 dollars each.”

We expect these to last 10-15 years, [the old] panels were near the end of their lifespan”

— Glen Drager

This is not the first time the school upgraded their technology, and the school has been using smartboards for a while.

“We’ve used smartboards for over a decade in the district,” said Drager, “The first one was put in 2005. We put some more in with some grants in 2007 in the high school and the middle school in 2011 and the elementary school some time after.”