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Manzana to supply 2Touch – New Zealand’s own Interactive Whiteboard.

28/08/08

2Touch brochure

Since introducing SMART Boards to New Zealand classrooms in 2001, Manzana has continuously grown educator awareness for new enabling technologies for classrooms.

Seven years down the track, Manzana announces a significant new development in classroom solutions. Effective immediately, Manzana will commence supplying and supporting NZ educators with New Zealand’s very own 2Touch interactive whiteboard (“IWB”).

The 2Touch IWB provides ease of control over any computer using finger touch over a massive 2,4m wide standard whiteboard. For the first time, the dream of instantly connecting to computers from any flat surface such as a wall, table or conventional porcelain steel whiteboard, has become reality thanks to optical touch technology developed in NZ. Although a kiwi product, 2Touch has been well received in Australia since its inception in February this year and featured prominently at the recent Australian IWB conference.

Among its many superior benefits, the 2Touch IWB combines the durability and marker compatibility of its standard whiteboard surface, with the intuitive ease of touch to access any computer form the whiteboard. With 30% more board width than competitors, 2Touch boards provide far more flexibility and more opportunities for student involvement. The new optical touch technology eliminates the calibration problems inherent in membrane based touch surfaces, and offers the potential to support more than one user at the surface. Because 2Touch boards are “plug and play” (no special drivers or software need to be installed), everyone can immediately start using them.

One of the compelling attractions for those schools already savvy on IWB’s, is that the 2Touch philosophy is completely open and emphasises easy switching between brands. Other IWBS are supplied with special software which is licensed restrictively, prohibiting users from using any hardware other than the vendor from which they purchased. As teachers commit themselves unwittingly to the current vendor software, schools are then locked into a single vendor arrangement. On the other hand, the 2Touch Workbook software is openly license throughout the school, can be used on any IWB hardware, and furthermore provides an easy import path for lesson activities created using SMART’s Notebook. 2Touch therefore slips nicely into any school with existing IWB technology – regardless of the brand.

Manzana director Karen Rolleston observes that introducing 2Touch supports Manzana’s policy of “providing our educators with the flexibility that they deserve in choosing the solutions that they want to run on their IWB, without compromise.”

Manzana has also added two new response solutions, WordWall and Optivote, to its tool kit for educators. WordWall is a sensational collaboration concept: every student is challenged to participate in the lesson by sending text to the display right from, their seats. The stimulation of higher level thinking and collaborative understanding evidenced from the class input to the display is coordinated by the teacher’s focus on questions or challenges. Optivote’s database driven assessment supports teachers needing to introduce continuous formative assessment practices into their classrooms, by enabling easy questioning and collection of response data for instant decisions or later analysis.

Naturally, Manzana assures its existing customers that it will continue to provide the same first-rate support services, PD and training to our SMART customers.

For further information on 2Touch or any the solution contact Manzana via sales@manzana.co.nz or phone on 0800 200 121