As with all technology you have growing pains when you put something into real world application. ActivBoards are no different. You have to look at what ends up running on a laptop in a classroom compared to testing at a controlled lab. We have had different issues with our ActivBoards over the last year, but they have been worked out through proper troubleshooting. Some problems would be the pen would freeze in the middle of a lesson or the sound was distorted.
I always upgrade in batches of test boards numbering 5 to 10. This helps me keep the damage of a bad upgrade to a minimum, while keeping a small number of boards as a control group after everyone else is updated. Problems will grow in the beginning of a release as more teachers use the boards on a regular basis because that is just a statistical fact. But, if you keep up with troubleshooting you will find that you can stop issues before they start.
I always go through a multi step troubleshooting process. My troubleshooting process began with listing all the things the problems had in common. In the freezing issue two things stood out on this list: boosted USB cables, and the ActivDriver version. So, for test number one I ran a non-boosted USB cable from the logic board straight to the laptop. This worked and I thought I had an answer, but I also wanted to try the software solution.
I definitely knew the 3.0.6 was rock solid even though it had to be manually installed for any port that you wanted to plug the USB cable into. As I found, there were some issues with one of the updates to the USB ActivDriver which was solved by doing a rollback to 3.0.6 until a new update was released. The newest 4.13.18 works great and fixes this issue, but working through the problem with my resources with the district, Logical Choice and Promethean we were able to work through any issues.
A lot of people like to use difficulties as tools or ammunition to tear down a good project or program like the ActivBoards. It is ashame that people are more concerned with their best interests and not our children. The ActivBoards and the Next Generation Learning program that our district are using are a good thing. FCAT testing began this week and will conclude in March. Please watch the results, I believe you will be surprised at the improvement this year because of the ActivBoards and Next Generation Learning.