Hi Trey,

For what it is worth, I would actually suggest you consider other
alternatives to SMART Boards going forward. They have not done much to
update their software in a while and tend as a company to hold clients
hostage with ongoing annual fees. A much more reliable industry standard,
that overall reduces the cost for deployment as well, is to consider moving
to Interactive Displays, like J-Touch produces. These are essentially
touchscreen TVs with all the same inputs as a SMART Board. For an
additional cost, it can also include wireless connectivity so that you can
connect Chromebooks, Macs, etc..., to the board to swap between students
and staff displaying content if desired for instructional purposes. These
boards ultimately have a lot of the same great features, but have built in
speakers, and no need for a projector (i.e., no $200 bulb replacements!).

Doc cam's are a bit more complicated, but I've been looking into wireless
solutions for that as well, to encourage more flexible instructional
configurations in a classroom That said, we have a lot of older SMART brand
doc cams that are aging and quite frankly are overpriced. The Ipevo
on the other hand makes a solid choice and their products are pretty
affordable. Depending on how you feel about this, another route you could
go would be to swap staff devices (over time, not likely in one fell swoop)
to be focused more on Chromebooks. This not only allows students and staff
to be experiencing the same OS experience which improves troubleshooting,
it also helps if you go the J-Touch route because CB's are compatible with
that... A touchscreen Chromebook that is tied in with something like Keeper
and your Google Drive is just as efficient because you can project a
picture of a document through Google Classroom, project the screen, and
show where you are writing with a stylus, highlighter, etc.... Same idea as
the doc cam but it encourages instruction that allows for students to be
more self-paced. We've been going back and forth on how we feel about
replacing the Doc cams altogether though and have been slow to do this out
of respect for our staff. The final advantage to going Chromebook with as
many staff as possible is that you can also drop your price tag for
deployment as Mac and Windows machines are often overkill for what they are

We are trying to get a Makerspace up and running in the next year or two as
well, that we will have a set of iPads in. This will supplement the
classroom use of the Chromebooks by giving students an avenue for coding,
robotics programming, etc..., and if you can afford to have these I would
highly recommend them. Specifically, the more affordable iPad 5th Edition
is a good bet (~$320 each). Disclaimer: you may want to look at other
models as this one has been out for a little while and might be retired in
the next several years... to minimize your effective annual costs, you
should generally look at Apple's most recently released tablets to get as
many years as you can out of them before they go into Legacy... Typically 5
years after their initial release date, but that can vary slightly
depending... Devices in legacy for them cannot install updates for the iOS
anymore and this often causes compatibility issues/installation barriers
for apps that are cloud-based.

Not sure if GovConnection could help with getting them more efficiently,
but GovConnection (our contact is [log in to unmask]) has
overall been a great resource for us. Topfloor is another great option for
vendors in general, and Carrie Benati helped us with a sizeable Chromebook
lease this year that went smoothly. Her email is [log in to unmask]

Hope some of this helps!


Ethan Kichura
*Technology Coordinator*
Highgate Elementary School
219 Gore Rd.
Highgate Center, VT
(802) 868-4170
[log in to unmask]
*Technical Problems?*
Submit a Support Request <>!
Or call me (*ext. 204)*

On Wed, Dec 19, 2018 at 9:36 AM Trey Cates <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Friends,
> What is your standard for classroom AV when it comes to projectors,
> "Smart" boards (interactivity with content), speakers, document cameras,
> etc.? What is a must have for each classroom? What brands do you use? What
> vendor has excelled in delivery, installation, and service? Thanks in
> advance!
> Sincerely,
> Trey Cates
> Technology Coordinator
> [log in to unmask]
> Central Vermont Supervisory Union
> 37 Cross Street, Unit 1
> Northfield, Vermont 05663
> Telephone: (802) 485-5467 (Technology Team Office), (802) 485-5812 (My
> Direct Line)
> Fax: (802) 485-3348