Archive for February, 2011

Color does matter:Blue is better than black.

February 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Normally the color of things makes no difference.  There is at least one exception.

The original "blue" eno stylus.

When it comes to the stylus for the Eno board from Polyvision, color appears to matter greatly.  To the gang at Polyvision, if you are reading this, I want the BLUE stylus back.


Over the past few years I have integrated almost 20 Eno boards into various classrooms throughout my district.  Each of these boards shipped with the blue stylus, which performed without any issues.

Since the beginning of this school year, I have brought in over 100 more Eno boards, with plans on installing over 300 more within the next few weeks.  Apparently, at some point, Polyvision switched to the new “black” stylus.  Each of the new boards this year has included this new stylus.

For the most part, the new black stylus performs pretty well.  I have received an extraordinary  number of complaints about the new stylus though.  Almost immediately after rolling out the new stylus, the teachers began to complain about battery life.  Literally within hours of beginning to use the new black stylus, teachers reported they needed a new battery.

Normally, the lithium AAA battery that ships with the Eno stylus will last a teacher weeks or even months, depending on usage.  The Polyvision driver includes a mechanism for alerting users to a “low battery” to allow them time to replace the battery before it completely runs out (usually right in the middle of a lesson that is being observed by an administrator.)  It turns out the batteries are fine.  There appears to be issues which cause the warning to pop up prematurely.

I must not be alone with this issue as Polyvision has recently provided an updated driver which turns off this “low battery warning.”  While this “fix” will prevent the warning from appearing and will likely decrease the number of requests for unnecessary battery replacements, it does not really address the problem.  It is sort of like placing a piece of black tape over the check engine light that appears on your car’s dashboard.  The problem isn’t really fixed, but as long as you don’t see that annoying light you don’t feel compelled to do anything about it.

Now I will be receiving panic calls from teachers when their stylus’ battery really is dead, since they no longer receive a warning ahead of time.  When the battery is dead, the teachers will be in a jam.  They cannot use the Eno board without a stylus.

I want to be very clear here.  I love the Eno boards.  Even more importantly, the teachers who have received their Eno boards love them too.  The boards are extremely durable and versatile.  Teachers use them as interactive white boards, dry erase boards and magnetic boards.

The teachers and their students love the easy to use board tools that are included.  The teachers that have taken the next step and are using the included RM Easiteach software, are very impressed.  The only complaint we have is with the new black stylus.

Polyvision please bring back the “blue stylus.”

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