Futuresource reports that the interactive whiteboard market has grown at a tremendous pace over the last decade. When interactive whiteboards first hit the market they were only popular in a few countries. Namely the United States, UK, and Mexico. Today, Interactive Whiteboards are common globally.
It’s a challenge to find interactive whiteboard prices on the web. I tried to Google the price of an interactive whiteboard before we made this purchase and I couldn’t find a site with simple, realistic, up-to-date prices. Many websites of interactive whiteboards’ brand forwards you to a sales representative contact form. Blogs and websites seldom mention prices. My social media friends on Twitter and Facebook couldn’t give me an answer either. Even school administrators I talked to didn’t know exactly what they cost.
Please keep in mind, we’re a business and we were charged the corporate price. I have a feeling school prices are much lower because they often buy interactive whiteboards in larger quantities. (The salesman I dealt with seemed less than enthusiastic to answer my e-mails and sell me a board. I think he had bigger and more important clients to deal with in schools.) Of course, prices will also vary depending on the model and options you choose.
Things to know:
1. We were quoted for two different sizes. There are standard and wide-screen versions available. We went for the standard, since that’s what most schools in the area seem to have.
There are single-touch and multi-touch. We went for the multi-touch, even though it was about $600 more. I imagine the single-touch ones are probably being phased out;
2. We learned that new interactive whiteboards are sold only through authorized dealers. There is only one dealer in our area, so there wasn’t really any way to shop around.
3. There are many brands of interactive whiteboards. I’m sure many are much more expensive than ours and some are probably cheaper than ours.
There are ways to save money, if your budget is tight.
1. If you have already the projectors in your classrooms. I’ve seen several schools use less-expensive projectors. These are usually mounted on the ceiling. Since we rent our office space, we didn’t want to cut holes in the ceiling and lose our security deposit. The attached projector also made wiring easier.
2. The speakers are optional. While you can use computer speakers, you can choose cheaper speakers which could meet your requirements for classrooms use.
3. Could we have installed it ourselves? Probably. However, I was afraid to try because I didn’t want to ruin my $5,000 board and void the warranty because I hung it on the wall incorrectly. However, I watched the installers do it and it didn’t seem that complicated. So if your staff could install by yourself, then you can save the installation fee. Or, you could find some interactive whiteboard brand which does not need the installation fee at all. For example, IQBoard allows you to install by yourself easily.