Deploying Promethean Interactive Boards at St. Peter Lutheran School
Denise Murphy, the Director of Technology at St. Peter Lutheran School in Arlington Heights, IL had a big challenge in front of her and her team: How can St. Peter retrofit its classrooms to accommodate interactive boards that expand educators’ teaching power–all on a limited budget AND without disrupting classes.
She identified the need for three things:
- Interactive boards (also known as interactive flat panels/IFPs)
- Mounting and installation
- Teacher Training
Questions still remained: Which panel was the best fit for St Peter? What was the path to a successful implementation of interactive boards? And who would she partner with to make it all happen?
Murphy and the administration at St. Peter Lutheran School decided it was time for an update. Their preexisting boards were clumsy and time-consuming to set up and use. Teachers were losing valuable teaching time calibrating old interactive whiteboards, adjusting ambient lighting, and fiddling around with an unintuitive UX. What’s more, many teachers expressed wanting functionalities that their current boards wouldn’t support. Capabilities such as screencasting for student devices and compatibility with their favorite lesson-creation tools were a must.
Murphy and her team hoped that with greater functionality from new interactive boards, St. Peter’s teachers would be able to weave their preexisting student devices into a richer technology ecosystem within the classroom.
The St. Peter team needed a solution that:
- Teachers would approve of and could
- Could be quickly turned on and signed into for a smoother classroom experience
- Supported screencasting and lesson-creation software
- Seamlessly connected their entire classroom technology ecosystem including Google Workspace for Education and Google Classroom
- Satisfied the requirements of curriculum decision-makers at the school
- Could be implemented during the school year without disrupting classes
“Because the project was started after the school year began, our goal was to have the project completed in the least disruptive way to classes that were in session” Denise Murphy | Technology Coordinator, St. Peter Lutheran School
The Plan For New Interactive Boards
After researching their options, the technology team at St. Peter’s determined that Promethean’s ActivPanel 9 was the right interactive board for their classrooms.
Panel manufacturer, Promethean, touts their boards for being designed for teachers by teachers, delivering an intuitive and impactful UX. Their interactive boards are universally compatible across operating systems. Plus, they even work well with Google Workspace for Education apps.
The team considered alternatives but ultimately decided that Promethean ActivPanel 9 was the perfect fit for St Peter’s educational goals. They then chose Trafera as their technology partner to help work through the challenges of deploying IFPs and plan a successful deployment.
Learn more about ActivPanel 9 Premium and ActivPanel 9
During the project, St Peter’s worked heavily with two Trafera team members: an account manager and an implementation specialist. The account manager worked with St. Peter’s to answer questions, overcome objections, and gather pricing and discounts. Meanwhile, the implementation specialist got to know the physical layout of the classrooms to understand how to successfully install their new interactive boards.
According to Murphy, “the Trafera team was timely, professional, and prepared,” making the entire project run smoothly from beginning to end.
Here’s how it went:
Challenges and Solutions:
Right off the bat, Murphy and her team faced five challenges to break through during the project: budget,curriculum buy-in, availability, installation, and training.
St. Peter Lutheran School had a fairly limited budget to use for its interactive board project. To overcome this hurdle, St. Peter’s Trafera account manager worked with Promethean to extend a deep discount on ActivPanel 9. With the discount, Murphy was able to acquire all the panels needed to update every classroom.
The technology team needed the buy-in of St Peter’s curriculum decision-makers to show the value new technology would have in with learning experience.
Their Trafera account manager worked with Promethean to set up a “Why Promethean” presentation for curriculum staff that helped them understand how Promethean ActivPanel and its Classroom Essential Tools could be leveraged. After the presentation, Murphy was able to get the curriculum team on board with the new purchase.
Industry-wide supply chain stress made timely procurement of new technology a challenge, as it has for a number of seasons. Limited product availability, logistics, and extended turnaround times were an obstacle to completing the project within St Peter’s desired timeline.
Increased communication between the Trafera account manager and the Promethean partners–in addition to consistent communication on timing/expectations with St. Peter’s technology team–helped overcome and ease the stress of timing.
Retrofitting current classrooms in a “historic” building to accommodate new interactive boards was no simple task. Their classrooms had mounted whiteboards that either needed to be removed or adjusted to allow for panel mounting. Additionally, St. Peter’s needed a flexible height-adjustable solution in rooms with existing whiteboards.
Trafera’s implementation specialist worked with St. Peter to understand the layout of each classroom and come up with a plan for installation. Together, they were able to work through options for accommodating new boards from overboard mounting solutions to cutting whiteboards for wall access. In the end, they executed a combination of special wall mounts and whiteboard removal to achieve the desired outcome.
The best part? The entire interactive board installation only took one day, with minimal disruption to classroom learning.
“The biggest win was having the entire project completed in one day,” stated Murphy. “Trafera was great about working around our time schedule in order to not disrupt classes as much as possible.”
“The biggest win was having the entire project completed in one day!” Denise Murphy | Technology Coordinator, St. Peter Lutheran School
In order to tie this entire project together to truly transform the teaching and learning experience, educators needed flexible but comprehensive training that prepared them to use their new panels to their
With Trafera, Murphy was able to get access to online training options specific to the panels they purchased so that teachers could gain proficiency and confidence in their new classroom technology
With the help of Trafera’s account managers and implementation specialists, Denise Murphy and St. Peters School were able to purchase, install, and train teachers on new interactive boards, all within budget. This included consultation, installation, and professional development.
7 Classrooms equipped with interactive boards and mounting solutions
1 Day to complete installation
7 Teacher trained on Promethean ActivPanel 9
When asked what advice she would give another school planning an IFP project, Murphy answered, “Installation of these flat panels is best left to the experts. If you don’t have the correct mount, mounted correctly, it could be a costly mistake.”
Want to dive in and see another example of an IFP deployment done right? Check out how Trafera helped bring Promethean Active Boards to over 40,000 students at Jefferson Parish Schools.
Thanks to Murphy and her partners at Trafera, teachers at St. Peters can look forward to years of enhanced teaching using their new Promethean ActivPanel 9s.
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