Clear Touch Team

Clear Touch featured by Business Black Box magazine in Q1 issue

Greenville, S.C. – Greenville, SC – Clear Touch Interactive, a leading provider of multi-touch interactive flat panels for education and business, was recently covered in the Q1 issue of Business Black Box as an editorial feature.

“We are honored to be selected by Black Box for this type of feature, to talk about our quick growth and love of our hometown community of the Upstate,” said Keone Trask, CEO of Clear Touch Interactive. “While we missed having our fourth partner, West Martin, with us for the photoshoot, we hope that our story will continue to provide inspiration to other small companies who are wanting to take on markets dominated by larger competitors, and that our story can show that yes, it is possible.”

For more information, view the article on page 50 of the latest issue here.

AVNetwork Reference 3 Tech Trends

Clear Touch Announces Exclusive Distribution of Nuiteq Collaborative Software

Clear Touch Interactive displays have been named as one of the “3 Technology Trends Shaping the Educational Market” in 2017. According to AVNetwork, increasing numbers of educational institutions are looking to interactive and collaborative technologies to increase student retention and learning. Even more traditional campuses are integrating smart, interactive panels into their lesson planning because they are flexible and customizable to any classroom set-up.

The author, Dennis MItchell, recommends Clear Touch Interactive panels specifically due to their easy-to-use interface that engages both teachers and students in learning.

[READ FULL ARTICLE]

How Proper Training Can Prepare Teachers to Integrate Edtech

Teaching Technology Versus Teaching With Technology

There’s no question that technology has changed the educational landscape forever. Much like the printing press and the telephone, today’s technology has revolutionized the way that we interact with each other. The Internet, personal computers, and mobile devices have combined to become the most open, disruptive communication and collaboration network ever created, dramatically changing business, journalism, and politics, as well as the everyday lives of billions of people.

It’s no wonder that experts in the educational field want to capitalize on information technology to increase learning and student retention—not only does educational technology make learning more fun and engaging, it also mirrors how students are already communicating with each other and how they will be expected to communicate in the workplace.

Unfortunately, even though educational technology continues to advance, becoming easier and more intuitive, many teachers express misgivings about integrating technology into the learning process. The most common complaint we hear from teachers is that, due to time constraints, they wind up spending all of their time teaching about the technology rather than teaching with the technology. In theory, educational technology presents a great opportunity; in practice, teaching with technology remains a challenge for many teachers.

This is where proper training and networking with other teachers come into play. At Clear Touch, we never just deliver one of our interactive displays to your classroom, wish you luck and leave you on your own to figure it all out. To the contrary; in addition to our on-site training, we’ve established Clear Touch Academy, through which we offer continuing support and other resources to help you make the most of your new technology. We believe that learning comes first, and technology comes second—in other words, that technology should enhance your lessons, not be the primary focus of classroom learning. Here are a few of the ways we help teachers make their technology work for their classroom:

On-Site Training. Don’t go it alone. Request on-site training on any topic at any time. Learning how to integrate technology into your lesson plans can be more rewarding when you are working with your peers, creating personal learning networks, and establishing accountability with your collaborators.  

Ongoing Customer Support. Our online customer support includes software downloads, instructional videos, and a help center where you can submit a support ticket. We are 100% U.S. owned-and-operated, and we employ regional support staff to guarantee that you get a response quickly.

Clear Touch Academy. When you sign up for a free account with Clear Touch Academy, you get 24/7 access to exclusive content, include training videos, written content, and web clinics. Our Snowflake Course is particularly helpful for teachers—learn how to sign up for the MultiTeach Lessons Community to share lessons that you’ve created on Snowflake and search for and download lessons that other teachers have shared. Lessons are categorized by subject and grade level to make planning even faster.

Ultimately, the main takeaway is that proper training is essential if you want to do more with your educational technology than teach students how to use it—or use it as a high-tech presentation device. Crafting thoughtful, interactive lessons that make full use of collaborative technology takes a little planning, but it doesn’t necessarily have to take up all of your time. Network with other teachers in the Clear Touch community and take advantage of the ongoing training and support we offer to create beautiful lessons without overtaxing yourself. After all, you have to have enough energy left to interact enthusiastically with your students and provide hands-on teaching each week.

 

What is the difference between an Interactive Whiteboard and an Interactive Multi-Touch Display?

cti16_infographic_classroomlayouts_social1-1While many people use the terms Interactive Whiteboard and Interactive Display interchangeably, the two products actually feature vastly different technologies. Teachers, students, business leaders, and other professionals have used Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) for many years to collaborate, encouraging group learning and brainstorming. However, Interactive Whiteboards are now an older technology being phased out in many schools and businesses in favor of Interactive Multi-Touch Displays. This switch is due to some clear advantages that Interactive Displays have over Interactive Whiteboards.

The Basics

An Interactive Whiteboard is typically comprised of a large display screen and a short throw projector that connects to a computer, projecting whatever is on the computer desktop onto the Interactive Whiteboard’s surface, where users can then control the computer using their finger, a pen, or a stylus.

By contrast, an Interactive Multi-Touch Display is an all-in-one device that looks just like a large, flat panel TV. Users can connect multiple devices to the Interactive Display, including tablets and phones—and they can connect through multiple ports or even wirelessly!

Advantages of an Interactive Multi-Touch Display

Costs
Interactive Multi-Touch Displays are a better long term investment than Interactive Whiteboards for many reasons. Although the initial cost to purchase an Interactive Whiteboard may be less than the cost of an Interactive Display, the projector bulbs are expensive and have to be replaced an estimated 2,000 to 8,000 hours (or every two to three years, on average). In addition, with more moving parts, Interactive Whiteboards cost more to set-up and more to maintain. Plus, Interactive Multi-Touch displays use less electricity to run, reducing the overall cost of ownership compared to Interactive Whiteboards.

Set-Up
The set-up time for an Interactive Whiteboard can be complicated and time-consuming. The projectors are often mounted on the ceiling, requiring a professional to install and run wiring to the projector as well as audio back to a separate audio system. As an all-in-one system, an Interactive Multi-Touch Display is much easier to set up, requiring nothing more than mounting the unit on a wall—or simply wheeling it into your room if you choose a mobile stand!

Connectivity
Devices that require multiple HDMi and Display Ports are becoming more common every day since digital inputs create better quality images and better performance. Unfortunately, most Interactive Whiteboards have only one HDMi connection if they have any at all. And, since the projector is often on the ceiling, it is difficult to reach the HDMi port, if it exists. Clear Touch Interactive Multi-Touch Displays have three HDMi inputs, 4 USB inputs and, since the speakers are integrated with the panel, the HDMi audio comes from the screen and doesn’t require a separate system.

Maintenance Time
Not only do Interactive Whiteboards need to be cleaned frequently in order to prolong the life of the projector lamp, they need to be re-calibrated often, costing valuable teaching or meeting time. Interactive Multi-Touch Displays do not need re-calibration and are virtually maintenance-free, needing only light dusting from time to time—about as frequently as you would clean your TV at home.

Display
Interactive Whiteboards have a number of disadvantages when it comes to display power. First, the resolution of Interactive Whiteboards is typically less than the resolution of Interactive Displays, which feature TrueHD or UltraHD. Interactive Whiteboards also decrease in brightness as the projector lamp wears out or gets dirty, have problems with glare on the screen, and have blind spots, as even ultra short throw projectors cast a shadow. Interactive Multi-Touch Displays never decrease in brightness or have shadows since there is no projector or lamp and feature anti-glare glass. So no more blind spots and no need to close the blinds so everyone can see the screen.

Multi-Touch
Interactive Whiteboards have struggled to keep pace with the direction that new collaborative software is heading. Even the most advanced Interactive Whiteboards feature two points of simultaneous touch, while collaborative software such as Windows Gestures require up to six points of touch recognition to access the full range of gestures. Clear Touch Interactive Displays have an industry-leading 10 points of simultaneous touch.

Collaboration
Of course, at Clear Touch Interactive, we care about the technical specs of our products. But we’re more concerned about the people who use our technology—and what they can do with it. Greater display power, easier installation and maintenance, multi-touch capabilities, and better connectivity all mean one thing. Better collaboration. Compared to Interactive Whiteboards, which tend to encourage passive viewing or limited participation, Interactive Multi-Touch Displays encourage true interactivity, small group collaboration, and active learning.

Clear Touch Extends Exclusive Distribution Agreement with NUITEQ for Bundling Collaborative Software with Multi-Touch Interactive Panels

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Dec. 6, 2016 – Clear Touch Interactive®, an American-owned and operated company headquartered in South Carolina and a leading provider of multi-touch interactive flatscreen panels, today announced that it has extended its exclusive distribution agreement with NUITEQ®, creator of the award-winning Snowflake software, for an additional three years. The new agreement extends Clear Touch’s exclusive distribution rights of NUITEQ’s Snowflake software to Canada, while maintaining the U.S. exclusivity and bundling of Snowflake MultiTeach® with Clear Touch panels, which was the premise of the companies’ initial distribution agreement last year. It also expands the product portfolio to include Snowflake Entertainment in addition to the Snowflake MultiTeach and Snowflake Business software suites.

“Many of our customers have had tremendous success with the Snowflake software, and we are pleased to be able to continue providing a seamless experience by offering Snowflake to customers in the United States and now to those in Canada as well,” said Keone Trask, president of Clear Touch Interactive. “Furthermore, this new distribution agreement not only builds upon our existing relationship with NUITEQ, but it also represents an ongoing collaborative effort to develop new and unique features that further transform the interactive experience for our mutual customers.”

With the ability to recognize up to ten simultaneous points of touch, Clear Touch panels feature a true multi-touch interactive design that fuels collaborative experiences in education and business environments. Each HD LED display produces brilliant colors on a 4mm anti-glare, anti-friction tempered glass surface. Clear Touch panels are available in six sizes ranging from 55 to 98 inches, and provide more data ports and connectivity options than any other panel on the market today.

In the United States and Canada, only Clear Touch has the ability to deliver Snowflake MultiTeach licenses along with its interactive panels. Snowflake MultiTeach is available free-of-charge to Clear Touch customers. Snowflake Business and Snowflake Entertainment are available as add-on items.

Clear Touch Announces Exclusive Distribution of Nuiteq Collaborative Software

 

  • Snowflake MultiTeach is a suite of collaborative learning games for teachers and students in K-12 classrooms. It engages young minds and creates memorable interactive classroom experiences that increase student and teacher performance. In addition to the more than 30 built-in apps with preset content, busy teachers can also use the Lessons app to quickly and easily create curriculum-specific touchscreen lessons with their own custom content.
  • Snowflake Business is a suite of multi-touch business tools that drive information sharing and collaboration. Designed for use in boardrooms, corporate lobbies, and in presentation and training environments, it comes preloaded with a variety of easy-to-customize apps that reduce prep-work and decision-making time and revolutionize the way people work.
  • Snowflake Entertainment is a suite of fun and engaging games that are designed to create emotional connections between customers and corporate brands. Its uses are varied – from attracting audiences to booths at community events and industry tradeshows to keeping kids entertained at children’s corners in stores, healthcare facilities and other public spaces.

“It has been a privilege to work with the Clear Touch team over the past year and to see, firsthand, their enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication to providing outstanding solutions to customers in education and business,” said Brian Collins, co-owner and business development manager at NUITEQ. “Our ongoing commitment to the partnership will allow us to continue to work together to push the boundaries of what is possible in classrooms and boardrooms today and into the future.”

About NUITEQ

NUITEQ® is a world leader in collaborative touchscreen software that enables natural interaction. The company is reimagining and redefining education technology. Its software suite of collaborative learning games, Snowflake MultiTeach®, helps to improve education outcomes for teachers, students and schools. The software creates higher engagement, greater enjoyment and better collaboration while learning. MultiTeach is used by schools in over 70 countries. NUITEQ’s vision is to empower educators to help kids learn by playing. For more information, visit www.nuiteq.com.

About Clear Touch Interactive

Founded in 2012, Clear Touch Interactive®, Inc. is transforming interactive experiences for educational institutions, government agencies and commercial enterprises. Clear Touch™ panels, related accessories and software provide a truly immersive experience with twenty simultaneous points of touch and rapid refresh rates, HD LED display technology that produces brilliant colors on an anti-glare, anti-friction tempered glass surface, and are available in six sizes ranging from 55 to 86 inches. For more information, visit www.getcleartouch.com

NUITEQ, the NUITEQ logo, MultiTeach and Natural User Interface are registered trademarks of Natural User Interface Technologies AB in the EU and USA. Clear Touch Interactive is a registered trademark of Clear Touch Interactive, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Classroom Layout and Design Affects Student Learning

cti16_infographic_classroomlayouts_social1-1Education research over the past decade has demonstrated that classroom layout and overall design can have a profound effect on student learning—it’s no longer a question of if the learning environment affects learning outcomes but how and how much it affects learning outcomes.

In an often-cited, powerful study published in the journal Building and the Environment, the UK-based architecture firm Nightingale Associates teamed up with the University of Salford to conduct a year-long pilot program from the fall of 2012 to the summer of 2013. The goal: to determine how classroom design impacts student learning. The research team collected data from 751 students in 34 classrooms at 7 primary schools, each with different learning environments and a variety of age groups.

What they discovered was eye-opening but, for most teachers, not surprising. When controlled for all other variables, classroom layout and design accounts for a 25% impact, positive or negative, on student achievement, and the learning environment has the greatest influence on younger learners. Overall, the difference between the best and the worst classroom designs represented in the study was a solid year’s worth of academic progress.

Due to this study, and others like it, administrators, teachers, parents, and students have begun advocating for classroom environments that reflect the needs of the 21st-century student, supporting active learning and promoting collaboration, hands-on creation (or project-based learning), and communication. Sounds good. But how do you do it?

Classroom Layout Tips: Designing for Active Learning

When you hear active learning, what do you picture? For most of us, the phrase evokes idealized images of students gathered around interactive learning stations, fully engaged and sharing the joy of discovery together. Or a bright, colorful classroom where students drive the day’s lesson and participate fully, using the space and the classroom technology as the backdrop for their own curiosity.

Then reality sets in. Time concerns, classroom management, budget constraints. You’ve read the research, and you know that you should encourage a more collaborative, active classroom. But all of these factors can drive a wedge between the classroom that you want to create and the one you feel you are able to manage.

Don’t worry. Classroom design experts all agree—start small, build your repertoire, do what you can. Even small classroom changes can have a big impact. Here are some of our favorite tips we’ve gathered for encouraging active learning through classroom design:

Stay Flexible. In the UK study referenced above, the researchers found that of all of the factors they tested for, only six design parameters had a significant impact on student learning. One of these six parameters is flexibility, or how easily teachers can rearrange the classroom layout to support the learning goal for that day. It turns out that a rigid classroom layout, where desks are always arranged in rows facing the teacher have a negative effect on learning outcomes. This remains true, even for high-tech classrooms with fixed interactive whiteboards as opposed to mobile interactive panels.

Other studies support these findings. The Learning Space Rating System (LSRS) lists the “reconfigurability of the room” as one of the seven core principles for good classroom design. Similarly, after a comprehensive classroom redesign project, the University of Oklahoma pared down their must-haves for active learning to a couple of elements, including maximum flexibility and the ability for students to capture their work. The upshot: movability matters. Of course, our mobile and convertible stands for our Clear Touch Interactive Panels make classroom flexibility simple. But even if you have a low-tech classroom, or an immobile interactive whiteboard, you can find ways to make sure your classroom configuration supports student learning through learning stations for early finishers, roundtable discussions, or angled rows that encourage face-to-face interaction between students. Anything that gets students out of their seats and moving around promotes a more collaborative classroom.

Aim for Interactivity. The main problem with the traditional, inflexible classroom set-up is that it doesn’t encourage interactivity among the students, or between the students and the teacher. If you’re a teacher, you already know this. A few students at the front of the classroom actively participate while most of the students are, at best, passive listeners. At worst, completely disengaged.

The LSRS suggests that tools and technology that support “distributed interactivity” are critical for maintaining a quality learning environment. In other words, all students should be able to chime in and have access to the teacher, other students, and the lesson. Our smart, interactive panels with mobile connectivity to multiple devices lower the entry point for more reserved students and allow everyone to get involved.

Give Students a Choice. One of the best ways to promote active learning in the classroom is through student choice. We all know that students learn in different ways. Teachers who allow students to present their learning in different ways encourage students to take ownership of their education. Depending on the age of student you teach, asking for students to submit project proposals is a good way to give students a choice while also putting the responsibility on them to manage their learning. Our comprehensive educational software suite offers students many different ways to learn, and to present their learning.

Choice can also play an important in creating a successful classroom environment that promotes active learning. In the same way that choice makes students take ownership of their learning, it also makes students take ownership of their learning environment. Many schools are reporting great results from allowing students to collaborate and decide how their classroom should look and function—from classroom layout to color scheme and decor. Consider making a classroom design project part of your beginning of the year curriculum and see how students respond.

Be Patient. A collaborative classroom layout isn’t a magic bullet that will instantly solve all of your teaching challenges—it is merely another means you have at your disposal to make learning more challenging, and rewarding, for your students. Have some patience with yourself and with your students as you try out new configurations and lesson plans. Allow yourself some time to grow into a more active classroom. Often, teachers find that students don’t know how to act when they are first introduced to a collaborative classroom layout, so be sure to spend plenty of time getting students oriented and explaining how the process will work. Having student buy-in from the beginning is important for the long-term success of your classroom.

Resources:
http://er.educause.edu/articles/2015/2/seven-principles-for-classroom-design-the-learning-space-rating-system

https://campustechnology.com/Articles/2015/07/08/6-Secrets-of-Active-Learning-Classroom-Design.aspx?Page=3

https://www.fastcodesign.com/1671627/study-shows-how-classroom-design-affects-student-learning

 

Using Classroom Technology to Address Learning Styles

 

cti16_infographic_squareformatBy now, it is common knowledge that students have preferred learning styles. What began as a hypothesis is now backed up by decades of educational research: Teaching in a way that addresses a student’s preferred learning mode leads to increased comprehension, motivation, and metacognition.


In theory, as a teacher, you should try to address multiple learning styles each week and, ideally, during each lesson. In practice, you are just one person trying to meet the needs of twenty or more students every hour—often on little sleep and lots of coffee.

Educational technology can help you bridge the gap between your desire to reach students where they are and the reality that you have limited time and resources. By using technologies such as tablets, learning stations, and Clear Touch Interactive displays with built-in interactive whiteboard capabilities, today’s teacher can address multiple learning styles, and provide individualized instruction, without having to spend hours planning and prepping.

Here are some of our favorite tips for using your Clear Touch Interactive panel to effectively address multiple learning styles.

Don’t Overthink It

Chances are, you are already catering to various learning styles in your classroom. Have you ever led a class discussion and asked a couple of students to jot notes on the board for everyone? Have you ever asked students to read aloud in class, act out a scene, or present new material to the class? Have you ever used graphic organizers, flashcards, or review games? These time-tested teaching methods are still around because they have been proven to work, and because they naturally incorporate visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles.   

Our smart, interactive displays and comprehensive educational software suite simply make it easier for you to create and present your teaching materials. Engage students from the moment they step into the classroom by allowing them to mark themselves as present on your interactive flat panel. Post your bellringer activity rather than writing it on the board. Turn your interactive flat panel into a self-paced learning station for students who finish individual work early. Use the interactive whiteboard setting to take notes as a class and our EasiCapture software to freeze the notes, save them for later, and email them to students. All of these convenient applications free you up to spend more time doing what you do best—engaging with your students.

Learning First, Technology Second

As with any teaching tool, interactive panels have both pitfalls and potential. The main pitfall of teaching with technology is the tendency (and the temptation) to teach the technology itself instead of using the technology to help your students reach their learning goals.

Of course, you already know this. One of the most common laments we hear from teachers who are trying to incorporate technology into their lesson plans is that the set-up is so complicated they spend all their time learning and teaching the technology itself. That’s why we’ve made our Clear Touch Interactive panels easy to use and intuitive. Typically, we are able to install our panels and train teachers on our software in about a day.

Get Creative

We know that being a teacher is a difficult job—and even the best teachers get in a creative rut from time to time. When you are feeling tired or overwhelmed, you are more likely to rely on tactics that have worked for you in the past. For teachers, this may mean falling back into a comfortable classroom routine, whether that’s lectures and notes or group discussions for days on end.

Just like people need variety in their diets in order to be healthy, students need variety in their lessons in order to fully understand difficult concepts. Even though research tells us each student has one main learning style, the reality is not so black and white. The truth is that students need to be taught in every learning style at some point—as what worked for one concept may not work as well for another. You have likely noticed this phenomenon in your own life. Perhaps you are primarily an auditory learner, but you still look online for demonstration videos before attempting challenging new recipes, read the newspaper to keep up with current events, and like to travel or attend events to truly grasp a different culture.

Your students have the same learning needs that you do. Combining multiple learning styles into one lesson, or several lessons covering the same topic, yields the best results since students get to explore an issue from many different perspectives. Clear Touch Interactive panels are a great way to encourage student exploration and engagement through multiple learning styles. For example, you can begin a Social Studies lesson with a virtual tour of Colonial Williamsburg, ask students to answer comprehension poll questions on their connected tablets or laptops, lead a whole class discussion about life in early America based on what the students just saw, and then play a review game to cement the learning.

Get Connected

One of the best ways to remain creative and flexible in your teaching methods is to connect with others who are trying to accomplish the same goals. While it’s important that you make each lesson you present your own, it’s not always necessary to create everything you use in your classroom from scratch! Instead, build on the work of others who may help you look at your subject, and your teaching methods, in a fresh and interesting light.

Our instructional videos are a great place to start when you are looking for new teaching strategies. Also, there is a large community of other teachers who are creating and sharing lesson plan ideas using our educational software. Create, save, and share lessons with Snowflake—and look at the vast resources that teachers just like you are sharing in the Clear Touch community.

This holiday, give your favorite teacher something they’ll never forget.

$500 > Apples

Your favorite teacher deserves something different this holiday season

Remember that favorite teacher you had in fifth grade? You know who we’re talking about. The one who made math understandable. And fun. Or maybe it was the English teacher who took the time to talk to you about your creative writing outside of class. Or the teacher that helped you believe you could do or be anything.

Your children have favorites, too. Teachers who take the time to listen to, and to care about, their students. Teachers who nurture childhood creativity and who make their students excited to go to school. Wouldn’t you love to do something special for a teacher who is having an impact on your children? The teacher they’ll remember fondly twenty years from now.

Honor a favorite teacher for a chance to win

Starting this November, you can help Santa make 2016 a ClearTouch Holiday! Enter our Free & Clear Holiday Contest through December 10th for the chance to win $1,000 in Amazon gift cards. That’s a $500 gift card for your child, and a $500 gift card for your child’s favorite teacher—just in time for the holidays!

Entering is easy

Step 1: Like Our Page on Facebook

Step 2: Write a post on Facebook explaining why your child’s favorite teacher deserves to win. Use the Hashtag #ClearTouchHoliday and be sure to mention us in your post by using @getcleartouch Clear Touch Interactive

Please keep your nomination short (100 words or less) and feel free to include a picture or video.

And that’s it! Entering our Facebook contest is a great way to talk about school with your children and learn about their likes and dislikes—and it’s way more fun than helping them figure out differential equations. Plus, it’s the only homework they’ll ever do that might reward them with $500. So enter today and let us know about a special teacher who deserves a little appreciation.

Madrid-Waddington Implements Clear Touch™ Panels

Effectively Using Clear Touch™ Panels in a Rural School District

Madrid-Waddington Central School District is a small rural district in the far northern reaches of New York, just a stone’s throw from the St. Lawrence River and the Canadian border. MWCS enrolls 700 students in Pre-K through 12th Grade on a single campus—but don’t let the district’s smaller size and remote location fool you. Their technology plans and the tools they’ve implemented easily rival those of any large district in the state.

Clear Touch’s 75″ flatscreen panels are the most recent addition to the district’s technology arsenal, as of the 2016-2017 school year. Thanks in large part to the Smart Schools Bond Act, these multitouch interactive panels can be found in every classroom, in the school’s two libraries and in the auditorium on the MWCS campus.

Out With the Old, In With the New

Clear Touch panels were considered alongside two other technologies. “We arranged to have pilots so we could test out our options. Our teachers came in and worked with the three different technologies being considered, and they all agreed the Clear Touch panels were hands-down the best solution for us,” said Burke. “We applied for the Smart Schools funding, and while we awaited approval, we bought five panels out of district funds.”

“We had interactive whiteboards with pens and projectors in our classrooms, and they were reaching end-of-life and starting to fail. We knew we wanted to replace the old projector setup with interactive panels of some sort, and I had seen the Clear Touch panels at ITSE 2015 in Philadelphia. I was impressed with the features, the ten points of simultaneous touch and the amazing onboard software, though we did look at other options.”

— Michelle Burke
Instructional Technology Specialist for Madrid-Waddington Central School District


A Great Team Effort

MWCS was approved for the Smart Schools funding in May, and an additional 55 panels arrived in July 2016, bringing the total to 60. Burke worked closely with Clear Touch to make that happen, but it’s the MWCS tech and custodial teams who deserve all the credit for getting 55 brand new Clear Touch panels installed and operational by the start of the new school year. The tech department did the wiring, while the custodial staff installed the 75” panels in the elementary and high school classrooms.

The installation team mounted each panel according to teacher preference. “We gave our teachers a choice of mounting hardware. About 60% chose to have their panel wall-mounted. The other 40% chose the mobile stand option,” said Burke. Clear Touch panels in the K-2 classrooms are installed on height adjustable wall mounts, which enable teachers to easily raise and lower the panels to accommodate users of shorter statures.

Today, there are 57 panels in use in MWCS classrooms and three additional panels used elsewhere on the MWCS campus. In each of the two libraries—one for elementary students, one for high schoolers—a Clear Touch panel is mounted to a convertible stand, which allows it to be turned into a table that students, or coaches and their teams, can gather around. These two panels feature Clear Touch’s optional integrated computer module, which slides directly into the back of the panel and is connected wirelessly to the school’s network. One panel can also be found mounted to a mobile cart in the auditorium.


Integral to the Overall Plan

“We have a lot of technology, but much of it has been piecemealed over the years. The panels pull it all together,” said Burke. “Teachers have been running the panels with existing desktops and laptops, but we’re also in the process of replacing about a third of our teacher PCs with onboard processors like we have in our libraries. Clear Touch’s integrated PCs have i7 processors that are so much faster than what our teachers are currently using.

According to Burke, Clear Touch panels are a key part of the district’s technology plan, which begins with “providing a foundation of physical technology development” in elementary school and continues through middle and high school to “allow all students to become career and college ready.” There are many technological resources available to MWCS teachers and students, including Chromebooks, iPads, and mobile labs for both Windows and Mac platforms.

The panels are software agnostic and integrate with all of these available resources, and more. Connecting the panel to a third-party device provides for instant screen-sharing, enabling teachers to quickly and easily display any Windows-based application, iPad app, video, website, etc., and manipulate what’s on the screen using only their finger. The panels also come preloaded with powerful Clear Touch software, like EasiNote, which is designed for drawing, annotating and writing on existing presentations, photos and videos as well as on built-in background images like graph paper.

The Possibilities are Endless

Glance into classroom after classroom, and you’ll see extreme panel versatility in action. Kindergarteners arrive in the morning and approach the Clear Touch panel to contribute to the daily lunch tally. Each student taps the icon that represents their choice: “brought lunch from home” or “getting hot lunch.”

In a fifth grade classroom, the teacher uses the spinner app in Snowflake MultiTeach, an edutainment suite of apps created by Natural User Interface Technologies (NUITEQ), to randomly call on students. Clear Touch Interactive has exclusive U.S. distribution rights for Snowflake MultiTeach, which now comes bundled with every Clear Touch panel.

Middle school math students can often be found side-by-side at a Clear Touch panel. The teacher divides the panel into zones, and each student tries to solve the problems within their zone. This multi-touch functionality is made possible by Clear Touch’s ability to recognize

Middle school math students can often be found side-by-side at a Clear Touch panel. The teacher divides the panel into zones, and each student tries to solve the problems within their zone. This multi-touch functionality is made possible by Clear Touch’s ability to recognize an incredible ten simultaneous points of touch.

Several teachers use games and game-based learning platforms like Kahoot! to engage students.

In some classrooms, teachers create learning centers called “stations.” The station-based model of learning fosters small-group interaction and teamwork. In these scenarios, the Clear Touch panel serves as one station, and the content rotates. For example, the panel may feature math problems one day, phonics games the next.

Meanwhile, Spanish and French teachers are leveraging another Clear Touch software, EasiCapture, to record themselves teaching their daily lessons so they can be shared with students for future reference.

Sixth grade students in Danielle Maclin’s social studies class recently participated in a lesson about Otzi the Iceman. “We watched a documentary about his discovery and theories related to his death. As we watched, we paused the video, and students pointed out examples of ‘evidence’ by writing over the video itself. We were also able to keep a running log of the theories next to the video,” said Maclin, who also posts a Question of the Day and asks her homeroom students to write their response on the panel every morning when they arrive.

Whether for student manipulation, work in small groups or whole-group instruction, it’s clear to see that the panels are empowering teachers with new tools, and driving student engagement to new heights.

“I’m starting to see more student-centered activities around the panels. Instead of teachers just standing and lecturing all day, they’re letting students go and learn on their own. The result is a powerful one.”

— Michelle Burke
Instructional Technology Specialist for Madrid-Waddington Central School District


Ease of Training & Maintenance

I’ve never seen professional development go as well as it did when we introduced teachers to the panels,” said Burke. “We gathered a dozen Clear Touch panels in one of our libraries for training. We had 48 teachers, four per board, and the collaboration was unparalleled. We had language teachers paired with math teachers, art with social studies, and so on. They weren’t just learning about the panels. They were creating new lessons and finding inspiration. It was amazing to see so many teachers working together and learning from each other.”

Clear Touch Interactive panels are made with HD LED displays that produce brilliant colors on a 4mm antiglare, anti-friction tempered glass surface—so they stand up extremely well to heavy daily use.

“We haven’t had any problems with the panels, and Clear Touch have been great to work with,” said Burke. “We’re pleased with our choice, and the feedback from teachers and students has all been positive.”

Contact Clear Touch to learn more about our classroom technology or read more about this customer story here.

Clear Touch in Washington County, TN Schools

Clear Touch is honored to be part of Boones Creek Elementary and Jonesborough Elementary Schools. Beginning in August, 32 Clear Touch panels have been implemented in schools in Washington County.

“The response and interest from the students have been great and it has really helped the teachers in doing some higher order skills in their classrooms,” Boones Creek Elementary Principal J.W. McKinney

It is a technology that is not only benefitting themselves [students], but it is benefitting the teachers. It has been amazing, because where in the past with the Smart Boards, that was more of a ‘let me show you’. But now the students are more involved in the learning and it is a great motivator and it engages them more.” Boones Creek 3rd grade teacher, Candie Wright

 

To read full article visit: Herald and Tribune