ViewSonic

The Berkeley School District

ViewSonic® Interactive LED Display Technology Brings Bright New Advantages to a New School

 
 
Customer Profile

Dedicated to providing educational excellence for all, the Berkeley County School District serves over 18,600 students with four high schools, six middle schools, six intermediate schools, and 16 elementary schools. Located about 75 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, Berkeley is a growing county that serves as a “bedroom community” for many people who work in the metropolitan Washington/Baltimore area.

[Students] were very excited about the touch displays on the wall and were actually saying they couldn’t wait for school to start to try them out.

- David Kenny, Director of research and technology.
 
Summary
 
 
Challenge
  • Evaluate and equip a new middle school with cost-effective interactive display boards that would be quick and easy to install and maintain.
  • Support educational objectives with robust, easy-to-use interactive technology.
 
Solution
  • The ViewSonic CDE7051-TL 70” interactive LED display met all the top criteria: no projector to maintain or throw distracting light and shadows; easy installation; and support for Windows® 8.
  • ViewBoard™ software (Windows® compatible) lets students write, highlight, edit, and transform documents and images in real time
 
Results
  • At a lower purchase price than the district’s projector-based IWBs, the ViewSonic LED displays also offered a longer lifespan, easier installation and less ongoing maintenance – for a lower overall total cost of ownership (TCO).
  • At the same time, functionality was improved with 6-point simultaneous touch, greater image clarity and brightness, and Windows 8 via a cordless slot-in PC.
  • Teachers and students find the display easy and enjoyable to use and collaborative learning has been enhanced with multiple students working simultaneously at the board.
 
The Challenge

A rapidly growing district, Berkeley was getting ready to open a new middle school for the 2014 school year – their third new school in four years. Among their numerous responsibilities related to the new school, the technology department needed to select and deploy interactive displays for 45 new classrooms. The tech team had experience with many types of interactive technology, with every classroom in the district using some type of interactive device, including interactive projectors and dual-touch interactive white boards (IWBs) using short-throw projectors. This time around they were hoping to find something different.

“We were trying to move away from projectors,” said David Kenney, director of research and technology. “They’re expensive to replace and maintain and we’ve had lots of difficulties finding places to hang them on the ceiling because of existing lighting. And the light from the projector can cause shadows on the display and create a distraction.”

The technology department had been looking at IWB alternatives for the new school for some time, but hadn’t seen anything that fully satisfied their goals for eliminating projectors and making installation and maintenance easier and less costly while delivering top-notch collaborative technology.

The Solution

The Berkeley Schools tech team discovered the ViewSonic CDE7051-TL thanks to Pomerory consultant Richard Sylvester, who immediately thought of them when he saw a demo of the then newly-introduced 70" interactive LED display.

“The West Virginia Department of Education was evaluating the display for possible inclusion on the state contract,” said Kenney. “When Richard saw it, he knew we’d be interested and arranged to have ViewSonic come to our offices for a demonstration.”

Right away Kenney liked the fact that the ViewSonic CDE7051-TL 70” display with ViewSonic’s “ViewBoard Software” feature delivered interactive white board functionality without the use of a projector.

“The predicted lifespan of this LED display is so much longer than projectors,” Kenney said, “that I expect this ViewSonic board to last so long that the technology will be outdated before it reaches end of life.”

Next on his list of favorable features was the display’s ease of install (again, no projector to worry about mounting) and the integrated PC with Windows 8.

“We’re just getting into Windows 8 in the district and many of the teachers use it at home. They wanted it in their classrooms,” said Kenney. “So we bought the LED displays with the optional PC module that includes Windows 8. I also liked the idea that with the slot-in PC we didn’t have to run cables from a computer to the display.”

In addition to these important advantages, Kenney noted that the cost of the ViewSonic LED displays was even a bit less than they would have paid for their previous vendor’s product – and that display, while a few inches bigger, was noticeably less vibrant, required a projector, and was dual-touch rather than the ViewSonic CDE7051-TL’s six-point.

Based on this outstanding value- and feature-profile, Kenney’s department purchased 45 ViewSonic CDE7051-TL interactive LED displays with just three and a half months until the start of the school year.

“We were a bit apprehensive about getting them here on time,” said Kenney, “But the ViewSonic team assured me they wouldn’t make any promises they couldn’t keep.”

 
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The Results
 
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The promise held true, and all 45 displays were at the school, in place and working for the new school’s open house and dedication ceremony.

“We had student ambassadors giving tours and they were the first kids to see the new classrooms,” said Kenney. “They were very excited about the touch displays on the wall and were actually saying they couldn’t wait for school to start to try them out.”

Prior to the open house, the tech team had a sample ViewSonic LED display in their offices and invited the new middle school teachers and staff to come check it out. Invariably, Kenney said, everyone loved it.

“We had people coming in to look, then spending an hour of their free time over the summer playing with it,” he said. “They liked the speed and the sensitivity of touch, as well as the Windows 8 and quality of the built-in speakers.”

Instructors were also pleased to learn that the new displays offered a variety of options for content sources.

“They liked the ViewBoard™ software and found it easy to use,” said Kenney. “And they were also glad that they were able to install and use the legacy software they were already familiar with.”

At just a month into the school year, the tech department had already received quite a bit of positive feedback about the displays, with teachers telling them that they love the convenience of the all-in-one system, the software options and the brightness of the displays.

Another bonus: with the crispness and clarity of the images and the lack of reflective light on the display, teachers don’t need to worry about where the sun is coming into the classroom – everyone can still see the display. Teachers don’t need to dim the lights, which makes things a lot more convenient. Most importantly, the displays are enhancing the learning process.

“They’re telling us that the kids are more engaged in the classroom,” said Kenney. “We’ve gotten lots of comments about the six-point touch, about how great it is to be able to have three or four kids up there at once engaged and learning together.”

Along with the success of the product, Kenney considers the support they received from ViewSonic to be a key component of the project’s success.

“ViewSonic got the displays here on time and was very helpful along every step of the way,” he said. “They helped us create our Windows 8 image and copy it to all 45 units, which was extremely helpful. The product came with the necessary mounts and was easy to install. And we’ve never had any problem connecting with technical support for those invariable little things that come up with any new technology installation. ViewSonic is an extremely responsive partner, and they’re always happy to help. That’s really important in a vendor.”

Another measure of the success of the CDE7051-TL at Berkeley County Schools: the IT department couldn’t part with the one mounted in their office, which they now use primarily for department meetings, testing software for the new school, and demonstrating the product to other departments.

“People have just been thrilled with them,” Kenney said. “Price-wise they were close to what we’ve purchased in the past, but they will last longer, get more use, and it’s truly a brighter, more beautiful display.”

For more information, contact ViewSonic at SalesInfo@ViewSonic.com or visit www.ViewSonic.com.

 
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