Introducing Learning Resource’s brand new Interactive White Board: now!Board

How would you like an Interactive White Board for $399?
Most interactive white boards cost around $2000.  There are more affordable IWB products such as the Mimio; however, you’re still going to pay around $800.  As a partner of Learning Resources, I was asked to introduce the launch of their newest product, the now!Board, an interactive white board.  Of course, I was excited to introduce a new product from one of my favorite companies; however, being a SMART Exemplary Educator, I had a few reservations.  So… I asked my contact if she could send me the product to try out, and I set it up in my home office.
Interactive.  Portable.  User-Friendly.  Affordable
(click play below)

My Overall Thoughts on the new now!Board…
As a teacher and blogger, I believe in the importance of being honest regarding products I review or give-away.  In fact, I often turn away offers to review or give-away sites and/or products simply because I don’t believe they’re a good fit for my target audience.   On the other hand, I also like to support start-ups and companies to launch new products.  Regarding the interactive white board industry, my loyalty belongs to SMART Technologies for the following reasons: Notebook software is unmatched by any IWB on the market, the functionality is the most user-friendly for teachers and students, and SMART Exchange is wicked – tons of free resources!  Additionally, I am a certified national presenter for A Plus Workshops and SMART Technology.  However, I do realize that for many schools, districts, and homeschooling environments, the price point for a SMARTBoard may not be in the budget.  Now, there is an option for those who would like to have the benefits of IWB technology without breaking the bank. 
The now!Board is easy to hook up and install.  All I had to do was open the box, install the software, and plug in one cord from the camera to my computer.   That’s it… 
Once the now!Board software was opened, I was able to write on the interactive white board, IWB, and interact with certain Internet sites to further my learning and engagement.  
Advantages:
  • affordable
  • portable
  • user-friendly
  • easy to install and get started
  • can save your lessons/notes

Disadvantages:

  • not a touch interface (you must use a stylus)

What’s so different about now!Board?
First, it’s portable. Now you can fit an IWB in your book bag! Second, you don’t even need a board. In fact, there’s nothing you have to attach to a wall.
With now!Board, a projector and a PC/Mac…
·         any flat surface becomes an IWB
·         any classroom is transformed into an interactive space.
·         and collaboration, creativity and interactivity can happen anywhere!

now!Board will retail for $499 and will be available in April, 2012.

Are interactive white boards worth the money?
and
Which one should I buy for my classroom?
 

During trade shows and while stopping by exhibition halls, I’ve been able to work with a variety of interactive white boards.  I also have a few friends who use Mimio and Polyvision products.   Quite frankly, in order to be an ‘interactive’ white board, one must actually interact with the board… not simply display information or have a 1:1 ratio of user to board interaction.  It’s important for the learners to be the users of the product.  Therefore, there has been a lot of resistance and backlash to the interactive white board market and it’s actual place in today’s classrooms.  One of my favorite articles is: The $2 Interactive Whiteboard – Are they worth the money?

Balance is the key to any interactive learning environment.  Interaction can be facilitated in a number of ways whether using technology or not.  Personally, I believe in technology integration within the classroom because it streamlines my instruction and allows for extending our learning.  For example, I can streamline my instruction by having my notes (examples/anchor charts/graphic organizers) saved, splitting my screen to cross compare, dragging multimedia directly into the lesson (video clips, websites to reinforce the concept, etc…), and having a pace established as we progress through the lesson by having my material all in one place – ready.  We can also extend our lesson by virtually visiting places within our stories, connecting globally with friends in other regions, and allowing our senses to naturally guide our thinking – through touch.

Because balance is key, we use dry erase boards and expo markers, magnets and cookie sheets, pencil and paper, iPad/iPod technology, SMART Board technology, computers, a projector, our document camera, crafts to construct, peer dialogue and conversation, and more.  I do feel fortunate to teach in an environment that provides such resources.  I couldn’t imagine having to give up any of the resources I’m use to having at my fingertips – including my interactive white board.

Our interactive white board is not the ‘end all be all’ or magic little answer to our academic success – it’s simply a tool to enhance our learning.  Some days we use our IWB all day and other days we hardly turn it on… it simply depends on what the learning objectives are for the day.  I don’t wear my tennis shoes every day – only when the activity fits the accessory.

I understand the debate surrounding interactive white boards.  Though I honestly feel as though the conversation stems from the cost.  If the price point of an IWB were lower, I’m confident we’d all agree that they are ‘worth the money’ – providing that they didn’t monopolize the instruction… creating a ‘sage on the stage’ rather than a ‘guide on the side.’  This is precisely why I’m thankful that Learning Resources is launching the now!Board, priced substantially lower than other interactive white boards on the market. 

If you’re considering an interactive white board for your school or classroom, I highly recommend using SMART Technology.  If this is not an option for your school or district, the only other board I would even consider is the now!Board.  There is no way that I would pay the high price for any other board other than a SMART Board.  I was happy with how quick, easy, and functional the now!Board was to set up, use, and engage with.

The Big Drum Roll now…
Learning Resources is giving-away $100 to shop their site!
you may use the $100 any way you wish – 
get $100 off your IWB or shop for their great classroom products
That’s right… you can now get your interactive white board for $399!
How do you enter to Win a $100 from Learning Resources?
*leave a comment here for each item you complete as a chance to win*
  1. click here to Like now!Board on Facebook
  2. click here to share your thoughts in a YouTube comment
  3. click here to follow me on Pinterest
  4. click here to Like Kleinspiration on Facebook
Four Fantastic ways to Win $100
*winner announced February 11, 2012*

Erin

Mother. Teacher. Keynote. Author

Erin Klein is an award winning educator, national keynote speaker, author, and mother.

156 Comments
  1. Hello,
    Thank you for this information! I am a homeschooler and I own a small private school so SMART boards are out of the question even though I want one really bad!! I will definately be looking into this option. I liked them on facebook too!!
    Thanks,
    Rachel

  2. Follow you both on FB and Pinterest! thanks for sharing this great new product have been thinking out a grant for an interactive whiteboard for my classroom. this might be my answer! Love your great blog.

  3. You probably also want to look into the Microsoft Mouse Mischief option, which is a mouse based multi-student interactive system that is way cheaper than any of the whiteboards, assuming that you already have a projector. One big problem with this system is that it only allows for one input at any time, so people will have to take turns using it. That slows down the pace of the actions and makes kids lose interest very quickly.

  4. mmiafaye,

    now!Board is a device that allows you to project and manipulate any program that is on your computer's screen. If you are able to run a program on your computer you can use the Now!Board with it.

    Hope this helps,

    Erin

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