Fifteen years ago, everyone was excited about the new SMART Board systems revolutionizing classrooms at Harrisburg Academy. Over the course of five years, every classroom was outfitted with one of these. The components included the SMART Board itself, a 77-inch diagonal device that looks very much like an ordinary whiteboard, but with a special touch-sensitive surface; a video projector mounted to the ceiling aimed at the SMART Board, and a computer sitting off to the side that made everything work.

Since the initial installations, the computers have been upgraded numerous times, and projectors have been repaired and replaced. Teachers learned how to work on them off to the side to avoid blocking the projector and creating a shadow, and how to keep the image aligned.

But now, a new kid is on the block!

Some of you have heard of or seen the new large-screen monitors already in a few of our classrooms or the Meeting Room that we call “J-Touch.” When the music suite was built, we installed these in those rooms as a pilot. They build on the successes of the SMART Board system and eliminate its shortcomings. Here are some of the important elements:

  • They work nearly identical to the SMART Board, but with a higher precision and no projector shadow with which to contend.
  • They will be easier and more intuitive for teachers and students to use, and with no more calibration issues!
  • They run nearly all the same software.
  • They have a consistently bright display that will stay bright much longer than the projectors ever did.
  • They have a much higher resolution display than we could display with a projector; they produce a very sharp and well-defined video image.
  • There will be no more lamps burning out and no further projector repair costs or time involved with repair and replacement.
  • The wiring from the computers to the projectors was installed before the latest video standard, HDMI, became popular. The J-Touch eliminates this wiring and the constraints it put on the quality of the projected video.
  • Because there is no projector, future moves, if needed, will be easier.
  • These displays are currently installed and operating in the Meeting Room, Room 103, Room 205, Room 206, Room 208, Room 209, Room 210, Room 304, Room 409, and the MS/US Library.

As time and resources permit, we will continue the upgrade process — there are six more in the pipeline. Keep your eyes open for our next round of these remarkable J-Touch machines!

Learn more about Harrisburg Academy on our school website.