Friday, March 8, 2019

Adding Interactivity to the Makerspace with @newlineIDEAMAX

A while ago, I was at FETC checking out the vendor floor when I came across an Interactive Board company. I stopped and watched a demo and my interest was piqued enough to go in and ask some questions. What I found out blew my mind and I had to get a demo for the makerspace. The refresh for our boards in school is around the corner, so testing out boards is a great way to get an idea on what we need for the classroom. I'm super excited about the possibilities of the Newline TRUTOUCH RS Series.

One of things that has been lacking in the Prototyping Space in the Knight's Forge Innovation Lab was access to a screen that allowed students to explore their designs more fully after they have created a prototype. I needed to be able to have students easily connect their device so they can showcase their design work as well. Doing this wireless would be even better. Lastly, I wanted an interactive board that would allow for multiple people to use it at the same time. These were lots of asks from my end, but the RS Series does all of these and more!

One of the cool things about the RS Series is that it can come equipped with a Windows Device. That means you do not even need to connect a computer to have it work. The image above shows that my computer is connected, but that is not the image on the screen. That is the OPS running Windows 10. I can easily switch between the Windows Device and my attached Mac with just a couple of taps on the screen. I like this because it allows for a standard device that can always run and be accessed even if you don't have a device connected. Then, a student can quickly add their device and show their screen. The OPS has a touch screen keyboard that pops up when you need to type, but you can also just connect a keyboard and mouse if you want to work with the OPS that way. 

The OPS has Intel processors that work flawlessly with the Newline board and allow for quick processing speed and minimal lag. This is important to note for the techy people out there because that processing speed needs to be quality. Fast speeds allow for smooth transitions and powerful computing across the board. It is awesome to see Newline invest in quality by going with Intel. If you have used different boards, you will notice the different. If not, the Newline boards will spoil you with their quality. 

Another awesome aspect if the 4K Ultra HD screen. It is bright. That is perfect because I have these windows without shades that let in wonderful natural light, but make it near impossible to project anything on the board. I could cover the windows and turn off the lights, but having the natural light is awesome and the RS board allows me to have the best of both worlds! 

This is the main screen that allows you to choose which screen you want to display. There are multiple options to choose from on this board. 6 total options to be specific and that doesn't even cover the ability to use AirPlay for Macs, Chromecast, or another downloadable app for Windows mirroring. All of these options are great for my school because we are BYOD and the students have a wide variety of devices. The flexibility of the device is key in getting more students to be able to showcase their work seamlessly. 

Another awesome feature is the ability to annotate on the screen directly. The screen is still active and you can annotate write on top of it. Here is a shot of me pointing something out to a student on Minecraft. I was able to click on the menu that runs on the side of the screen to pull up the annotation tool, I chose the color of the pen and started writing. It was so smooth to do. When I was done, I was able to take a screenshot so I could save the annotations and share them as needed. 

The board also allows for multiple users at once. This is great for students trying to work out problems together. Here are a couple of students working on factoring some problems. This is a great example of how a board can be used in a Math class. Multiple students on the board working out a problem and screenshot saved could be shared to the class or students that were out of school that day. It is responsive up to 20 touch points. That is a crazy amount at one time, but perfect if you have multiple students using the board at once.

Below is a tweet where I shared a video of Cospaces and their Quidditch program being Airplayed from my Mac. The quality is amazing! The ability to stream video through Airplay without the lag is huge. For any teacher that connects to the device wirelessly, not having to worry about the lag of videos being played saved tons of stress. 

 The fact that this is on a stand has made it very easy for us to wheel it to our common space to allow for morning meetings to be much nice than trying to project onto a tiny wall space. The picture is vivid and the screen is large enough that all of the students in our large commons area can see the screen.

The build in speakers can be controlled from the remote control and they are loud for a large room. Sometimes speakers on monitors like this can be wimpy, but these are legit.

Final Thoughts:

For schools or districts that are looking to change the way students and teachers interact with screens in the classroom, the newline RS Series is worth exploring more in depth. With multiple connections points, 20 touch point capability, built in OPS, wireless mirroring, 4K Ultra HD, built in annotating tools, built in whiteboard app, and so much more, it would be crazy not check out the board. Oh, did I mention that it is software agnostic? It doesn't matter if you run other whiteboard software. This board works with it all! For more specifics on the specs, check out this download.

Nerdy Disclosure:

Newline Interactive sent me the board to demo for the purposes of this review, but that doesn't make it less awesome. 

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