The Future of Interactive White Boards Based on Financial Reports
Yesterday, Brandt Schneider re-tweeted this tweet:
The tweet takes this news as the “end” of the interactive white board. That's a big jump, of course, so I looked at SMART's most recent financial news (next report due in August):
If you look at these numbers, 2012 was weaker financially in every regard compared to 2011. But this could be a fluke, so I looked at the 2011 numbers as well.
2011 was a much better year for SMART. I couldn't look at 2010, as SMART became a publicly traded company in 2010 for the first time.
My guess is that the financial downturn of interactive white boards is directly connected to the introduction of the iPad. Nobody could have ever guessed the impact the iPad would have in education when it was introduced in the spring of 2010. We can already see the impact today. Remember that wireless mirroring began in the fall (October) of 2011.
My guess is the the next financial report from SMART isn't going to be very positive, either.
As a secondary teacher–regardless of my role as a music teacher–I prefer to have the ability to teach anywhere in the room (preferrably facing my students, not with my back to them). The iPad, with wireless mirroring, allows that.
SMART is really smart. They've got an iPad app that will be released in the next few weeks. They are going to take their platform and make it relevant again. Really, any education-based company should be doing the same thing.
Is the interactive white board a technology that is past its time? If you are considering the purchase of new units as the “key” technology in your room, it is past its time. If you have one in your room, there may be very powerful things you can do with the SMART Board and new their new iPad app. If your school has no money for technology, and all you have is your SMART Board, then you should be using it. The same goes for any other IWB, whether it is a Promethean or Provision (these three make up the Lion's share (pun intended) of IWBs in the marketplace).
I just hope I don't go to another educational technology conference this year where the IWB sales people continue to mock the iPad.