SamrtBoard or Epson Interactive Projectors.With education’s push toward making use of technology in the classroom, another challenge they must tackle is being able to couple this push with creative a more interactive curriculum. Interactive projectors are a way many classrooms are able to mix both innovations in education. With classrooms across the country and in many parts of the world implementing these projectors in their classrooms, schools who haven’t are looking into what is the best for their schools. Two huge names in the projector industry are SmartBoard and Epson. Who reigns the best for your classroom? Let’s look to find out.
Interactive projectors are seen as a useful tool in classrooms due to how they are an effective way to allow students to get up and stay active in the classroom. Teachers have found ways to create games and presentations that allow students to come up to the board and physically make use of the activities. This is the perfect way for them to imprint the lesson in their minds and apply it to real world situations rather than just text on a sheet of paper. The exact level of usefulness from these projectors all depend on which one you choose and their capabilities.
Features and Capabilities
First, let’s look at some of the features included with SmartBoard. A common sentiment among users is that the software of SmartBoard is superior, including interactive shared lessons that are very easy to use. When looking specifically at which SmartBoard model is best for your needs, the included features vary a bit. Those who are in a smaller classroom will not make much use of the short-throw projects found on 885ix, 800i, 685ix, 600i, and 480iv models. Despite this, all SmartBoards allow for interactive collaboration with multi-touch writing with either a finger or the included, color coded pens.
Epson Interactive projectors are known for being quite cost efficient and includes many similar features of that found with SmartBoard. The Epson projectors, unlike SmartBoard, all include a short-throw projector. This means that space should be considered when going this route, however all in all, Epson projectors run a bit smaller than SmartBoard – even with the throw projectors.
Pros and Cons of Both
For our pros and cons, let’s look at two specific models for a more accurate comparison. First, we will look at the Epson BrightLink 450Wi. This classroom friendly model is quite affordable, requiring very little if anything for a classroom to purchase aside from what comes in the box. However, you should plan for this model to be a permanent fixture of your classroom because otherwise, you will find it quite a shlep to uninstall this sturdy and heavy device. As a whole, Epson Brightlink is very affordable compared to the Smartboard.
The SmartBoard is a interactive projector household name. Despite classrooms being split on what they actually use, a majority tout SmartBoard as a great option. For this comparision, we will feature the SmartBoard 685i3. Even with their special educators pricing, the 685i3 comes out to cost a little over $3400, about $1200 more than the Epson. Despite this, the appeal comes from the SMART technologies easy to pick up software, high quality collaboration, and smaller build.
All in all, the decision, despite seeming difficult at first, is very easy to make when dealing with the bottom line. If you district or school is working on saving money, the namesake of Epson will not let you down. Despite some issues with software, it isn’t a horrible experience in the end. SmartBoard is great for those who are able to spend a bit more or if you aren’t implementing it in large bulk. Pricing is the only consideration. During testing with SmartBoard, another issue found was calibration issues. The touch screen overtime had to be calibrated regularly to keep for clean writing and creating.
Which interactive projector are you looking into getting? Let us know in the comments.
SmartBoard – Great quality projector, a bit higher in pricing, but wonderful software.
Epson – More affordable, projector-only makes it possible to project on any surface.