Upgrade to Interactive Touchscreen Technology Drives Efficiency and Impact for Large Education Service Center in Wichita Falls, Texas
The Region 9 Education Service Center (ESC) in Wichita Falls, Texas, provides professional development and specialized assistance to 36 school districts. A vital support system for its schools and communities, Region 9 ESC is a busy place, routinely visited by educators and administrators. Maintaining the tools to deliver services is a critical component in delivering on its mission to provide a strong foundation for student success.
Driven by the vision of its new IT Director Brett Thomas, the time had come for the Region 9 ESC to upgrade to interactive display technology. Having worked at several of the area’s schools for many years, Thomas was a proponent of the educational benefits delivered by touch. Having previously partnered with design-build integrator Beyond Integration Group, he turned to owner Steve Matney to assist with the upgrade.
“Implementing touchscreen displays throughout the large facility was one of very first things he wanted to do,” said Matney, “At the time there was no consistency in size and feature sets among the large-screen displays, and none had touch capabilities.”
Within a month of coming on board at Region 9, Thomas convened a meeting with IT leaders from area schools. In addition to discussing internet security, student devices and the like, demoing touchscreens was high on the agenda.
To obtain an objective team consensus, Thomas asked Beyond Integration to demo touchscreens from several manufacturers. Other vendors on hand that day brought in additional brands.
Based on previous experience, Thomas anticipated that ViewSonic might end up their chosen brand. “I’ve done this for 25 years and used ViewSonic products a lot over that time,” he said. “It’s always been very stable and done a quality job for me.”
“We used the ViewSonic ViewBoard display for the presentation,” said Matney, “But in addition to that, at lunch break everyone came up and played with the screens on all the different displays. There was 100% consensus that none of them compared to the ViewBoard display’s performance.”
Region 9 purchased seven ViewSonic ViewBoard displays for rapid deployment including one 65” IFP6550 4K 20-point touch display and five 86” IFP8650 4K 20-point touch displays.
The functionality and features that made ViewBoard displays the favorite at that initial meeting continue to deliver as anticipated to the educators and students served by the Region 9 ESC.
“The number one reason they liked the ViewBoard display was the quality of the touch. It was much more reactive than the other displays tested,” Matney said. “Another attractive feature was the ViewBoard software, which was much more robust than anything else on display.”
Also among the ViewBoard features that stood out was the casting. Not only did it work better, according to Matney, it is built in and ready to go compared to most other brands that offer casting only as an add-on.
According to Thomas, user feedback after several months continues to be positive.
“Everyone really likes the ViewBoard touchscreen,” said Thomas. “It works the way you want it to – responsive and accurate. They also appreciate that glare isn’t an issue, which was a problem with other models we demoed.”
“The casting really adds to the product experience,” Thomas added. “We can cast directly from portable devices, and the configuration and connection of that fit very nicely within our network.”
With teacher in-service trainings as well as classes for special needs students and administrator meetings, the education center’s ViewBoard displays get a good daily workout. Thanks to Beyond Integration’s deployment strategy, the center enjoys flexible options that meet its fluid needs.
Outfitted on rolling carts, one of which is adjustable for use by young students, the 65” ViewBoard displays are a mobile resource that can be easily relocated as needed throughout the facility. Mounted in the main classrooms, the 86” ViewBoard deployment includes two displays mounted side-by-side for visual impact. One is on a fixed wall mount and the other on an adjustable wall mount, enabling the center to serve anyone from the short of stature to those who are six-feet tall.
Educators exposed to the ViewBoard displays at the ESC are taking note of their benefits, and Beyond Integration has received calls from several schools to bid on providing these touchscreens for their classrooms – and more.
“The ESC held a seminar for the district’s principals,” noted Matney. “Several principals contacted me after the seminar. One wanted a ViewBoard display for teaching music in the band hall; another wanted one for the football program; and another for supporting math curriculum. They’re using them all over, not just in classrooms.”
Beyond Integration Group, LLC, is a design-build integrator with over 40 years of combined staff experience in audio, video and lighting. Located in Quanah, Texas, the company serves a nationwide base of customers ranging from churches and schools to indoor sports parks and fitness facilities. Beyond Integration provides comprehensive services that include design, sales, service and fabrication as well as training on systems of any size.