400,000 teachers join interactive whiteboard community

17 Sep 2009

Interactive education giant Promethean has revealed that membership of its teaching and learning community Promethean Planet has hit 400,000 professionals, including 3,600 in Ireland.

Other figures reveal that downloads of flipcharts, Promethean’s interactive teaching content, exceeded 4m in one year, while September 2009 hosted the busiest day for site traffic with nearly 30,000 visits in 24 hours.

Highlighting local growth, Irish members have increased by more than two-thirds since January 2009 to more than 3,600. To address the growing demand, Promethean Planet has recently launched four local language sites, with a further four becoming available by the end of September.

Promethean Planet is the world’s fastest-growing online interactive whiteboard community, designed to provide teachers with the ability to share new and innovative lessons, access a wide variety of professional development materials and connect with each other from every corner of the world.

Supplying content that works across major operating platforms (Mac, PC and Linux) and with all leading interactive whiteboards, Promethean Planet is a virtual library accessible to all and completely free to join.

Membership is on a voluntary basis with a range of benefits designed to support, develop and inspire educators of every age and ability.

New members can choose from nearly 14,000 flipchart and resource packs available for download which contain literally hundreds of thousands of images, activities and media files.

Flipcharts are customisable and can be quickly adapted to suit individual class needs; greatly reducing the amount of time needed for lesson planning.

Promethean Planet’s success is attributed to its huge wealth of educational content which is a unique mix of teacher-supplied content, strong partnerships with leading education publisher names, such as Dorling Kindersley and Oxford University Press, thought leadership articles, a range of forums and an ‘ActivEducator’ blog.

The recent launch of an iPhone application proved instantly successful, with more than 3,000 downloads since the launch and an entry into iTunes Top 100 free educational apps in August.

Over the past year, Promethean Planet has witnessed a surge in membership and site visits, with the period between August and September 2009 showing almost a 50pc increase in visits compared to the same period in 2008.

Responding to the increased demand, Promethean Planet rolled out four new language sites – German, French, Italian and Portuguese, and launches another four this month – Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Russian.

“We aim to provide a platform where all educators, whatever their preferred platform or technology, can share ideas, voice opinions and help to shape teaching and learning in the 21st-century classroom,” said Brent Taggart, head of Promethean Planet and Strategy.

“Our strong connections with industry thought leaders allow a dramatic insight into the future of technology in the field of education for teachers through a range of podcasts, interviews and blogs, which members are able to comment on and discuss.

“In turn, these thought leaders are provided with valuable feedback from those in the field which can be incorporated in decision making. It is the facilitation of these ‘open’ conversations combined with the variety and rich educational content of our flipcharts available for download that have led to our success,” Taggart added.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Promethean’s interactive teaching content has exceeded 4m in one year.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years