In consultation with CompNow, GIHS selected an initial purchase of 10x 75” and 4x 86” ZTouch interactive classroom touchscreens, pre-loaded with a customised image. The built in Android platform with apps like EShare (wireless screen sharing), Whiteboard and Chrome browser. A Chrome Box was also added with MDM capability and access to the Google Play Store.
On delivery, Darren used the ZTouch custom launcher to restrict what apps could be accessed, and selected wall papers and widgets. He configured the screens to simplify settings: “I limited each to three icons – the whiteboard app, Eshare and Google Chrome to allow classes to surf the web from the board itself. And I installed for teachers – the time, date & weather in the corner of the display”.
The inbuilt wireless screen sharing connects student and teacher laptops to the ZTouch. Teachers no longer need to leave the board to scroll down or change window. The screen can be split into three zones so groups of students or individuals can present ideas. “In this environment, our students are actively participating in their learning and working together to find answers,” Darren says.
The ZTouch Panels are used across all learning areas but are proving to be particularly popular in the STEM and arts/languages faculties.
As a Physics and innovation subjects teacher, Darren cites the example of tiling several student laptop screens with graphs on the ZTouch at once, showing the class each group’s understanding of a concept. “I can interact with their computers and highlight where they were correct and where they need assistance,” Darren says. “And when I use our iPad connected infrared camera to show heat signatures of objects, I can project it on the huge screen – the results are dramatic.”
“And the benefits of the ZTouch go on. The screens we bought six years ago, we spent a stupendously large amount of money getting them to work and they didn’t have half the features we now have – like wireless screen sharing. The ZTouches just plugged into our network and worked seamlessly. The pricing for these new, larger boards is phenomenal at three times cheaper than the original displays.”
The ZTouch displays are movable on trolleys to share throughout the school. And an innovation by CompNow has seen some mounted on the wall on sliding brackets: “This sounds like a small thing but it’s made the take up of the ZTouch exceptional. Teachers can slide the 90 kg screen up or down with just two fingers. This means they can now use the full area of the boards and adjust them to accommodate smaller or wheelchair bound students,” Darren says.
To support the rapid uptake of new digital technologies such as ZTouch, Darren conducts training session for the school’s staff.
GIHS is extremely happy with the responsive service levels from CompNow. Darren says that CompNow had the panels shipped over from Melbourne to the school in just two days, despite the Covid-19 disruptions.