The 3 Best Interactive Whiteboard Systems Compared
Interactive whiteboard systems are used more and more in classrooms today. They can make the learning process more engaging, and therefore classroom management easier. Lessons can be more easily tailored to those with various learning challenges.
But which one to choose? There are hundreds of brands out there. The good news is that as budget-conscious teachers, we’ve done the hard work for you.
Here are our top choices for the best interactive whiteboard systems that will bring life into your classroom without breaking the bank.
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What is the Best Interactive Whiteboard System?
Here are our top 3 picks for the best interactive whiteboard systems:
The IPEVO IW2 is a lightweight, 3-piece system that turns any flat surface into an interactive whiteboard. You don’t need Wi-Fi: you just plug the Wireless Receiver into a USB port. An Interactive Pen gives you remote control of your mouse cursor and your software apps. Free software is included for drawing and annotating your existing lesson presentations and materials.
Pros of the IPEVO IW2
- It’s cheaper – way cheaper – than buying an entire interactive whiteboard.
- It’s portable and lightweight. Buy one for yourself and take it with you. Perfect for teachers on the go! Weighs only 1 lb.
- Unlike other systems, you don’t need an existing magnetic dry erase board. You just need a flat surface, so it works anywhere.
- You can print the work that is done during the lesson and save it to your laptop.
- This is a great product for home educators – just project it onto your child’s wall and they can work on assignments at home.
Cons of the IPEVO IW2
- It requires batteries. The two AAA batteries you need are included, but you have to carry spares with you.
- The pen is fragile. If a student drops it and it breaks, the manufacturer (at the time of this writing) no longer makes replacement pens. Your only alternative is to buy a new set – therefore a very expensive pen.
- Calibration can be tricky. It can take 5 to 10 minutes to set up the system, and if there’s the smallest thing in front of the lense, it won’t connect. So you’ll need to coordinate with other teachers, or teach in the same room for the day if possible.
- It must be mounted on a stable surface. If it’s on a desk that a child bumps into, you will have to recalibrate.
Our Overall Rating
We would give the IPEVO IW2 4 out of 5 stars.
The Hivista F-35 turns any TV, monitor or projector screen into an interactive digital whiteboard by connecting to your PC (IOS is not supported). You use an E-pen as a computer cursor or a tool for drawing or writing.
Pros of the Hivista F-35
- Calibration is easy. You can be up and running in seconds.
- Portable, although not as lightweight as other options. Total weight: 3.5 lbs.
- Supports any screen up to 150”.
- No need for Wi-Fi as it connects to your computer over USB.
- It’s inexpensive to buy.
Cons of the Hivista F-35
- Limited compatibility. It only works for these operating systems: Microsoft Windows XP, Win7, Win8, Linux OS. IOS is not supported
- You need a long-focus projector, which is not included.
- Downloading the software can be tricky. Some users had to disable their firewall to do so.
- Technical support is not always readily available.
- You need a AA battery which is not included.
- There doesn’t appear to be a way to purchase a replacement pen if yours breaks.
Our Overall Rating
We would give the Hivista F-35 3 out of 5 stars.
The Mimioteach transforms any dry erase board into an interactive whiteboard when combined with a projector. A small, unobtrusive bar attaches to your existing dry erase board which communicates with your computer and projector through patented infrared and ultrasound sensor technology.
Pros of Mimioteach
- It’s durable. Once you’ve attached the bar to your dry erase board and you’ve connected the projector to your computer, you’re ready to go. No fiddly sensors that a child could knock over.
- It’s easy to set up. As long as your classroom has a dry erase board and a projector, you’re good to go.
- It’s portable. It’s lightweight – only 10.8 ounces. And no fiddling with lots of wires to connect it.
- You can use it with an iPad. Just download the free app.
- Their support team is fairly responsive.
- There are tutorials and live lessons available from Mimioteach to explore all of its features. You can collaborate with other teachers and share best practice and ideas.
Cons of Mimioteach
- It’s more expensive than other portable options.
- You need a projector.
- The stylus is a bit fragile, although you can purchase a replacement here.
Our Overall Rating
We would give Mimioteach 5 stars.
So What are the Best Interactive Whiteboard Systems for you?
If money is an issue, we would recommend the IPEVO IW2. Calibration can be tricky, and you have to be careful where you put it, but once you’ve found the best place for it and it’s up and running, it seems to be the best value for money.
If you want the best, we recommend Mimioteach. Yes it’s more expensive, but you do get what you pay for. Its ease of use and durability are big pluses for us, and we like that you can attach it to your existing dry erase board and not worry about blocking the signal or knocking into it.
We also like that you can buy a new stylus if you need to, without purchasing the entire system again. So if you or your students tend to drop things, even the cheaper alternatives listed here could wind up being more expensive.
That concludes our review of 3 of the top interactive whiteboard systems on the market. Be sure to also check out our other reviews, including our picks for the best classroom projectors and document cameras perfect for any teacher!
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