The Pondering Pixel

A close-up wide angled but abridged look at projectors and other classroom technology, product reviews and releases, tradeshows, debates and conspiracy theories as well as humble observations on schools and screens.

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Archives for the year 2010:
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Writing Implements Come in Multiple Forms

Discussion and debate surround the Oregon Department of Education’s decision to allow “spell check” to be used by students taking the state writing exam online. Proponents claim such a move is part of the natural evolution and represents how students will write when they move on to college and the workforce. Critics see this as another example of our system of education lowering standards and caving in to technology.more

Interactive Projectors Shake up the World of Interactive Whiteboards

As much as I love the world of projection technology, I do have another life. By night that I am a rabid conspiracy theorist with an insatiable appetite for news, clues, and connecting the dots. I fought to keep my lust for intrigue at bay and to not overreact yesterday as I posted this press release from NAD—the advertising division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. In it they discuss certain untrue and some only partially true advertising claims made by SMART Technologies, the makers of the SMART Board Interactive whiteboard and projector system.more

Video Contest with Interactive Technology Prizes

Whenever I see the word “interactive” my droopy eyelids open wide. This is likely spurred by my interest in interactive classroom projectors and how they will make interactive whiteboards superfluous in classrooms already using them and open the door of interactivity to classrooms who cannot afford the interactive whiteboards. We’ll be reviewing several interactive projectors in the weeks ahead in addition to the reviews already posted on the Dell S300wi and the Epson Brightlink.more

Pico Projectors Get a League of their Own

I’m excited to see many experts turning their attention to the needs of picture thinkers. I’ve even seen business reporters discussing education technology using terms like “visual learners” to talk about the solutions offered by the display industry. I for one have been following the evolution of pico projectors for the past two years and often grumbled when these devices were unfairly dismissed by many in my industry.more

Visual Learners Will Have Their Day

In the Tri City Herald a few days ago, there was an article about a middle school math teacher Jeremiah Robinson, in my home state of Washington, who has developed a tool for teaching math to visual learners. Having struggled with mathematical concepts himself and understanding that by the time a child reaches eighth grade they often unjustifiably label themselves as math incompetent, his simple tool speaks to many and has resulted in increased test scores among his students, and perhaps more importantly, a renewed sense of confidence in children who may have otherwise been lost.more

Because Not All Great Minds Think Alike

I have a theory about the impact that will be made made by the 3D DLP projectors provided to the Shelton School by Texas Instruments as part of a pilot program to test their effectiveness in this environment. I’m especially interested in this school because of the kindred spirit I found in teacher Lauren Sanders.

She and I spoke on show floor at InfoComm about her work at the Shelton School, her commitment to and understanding of the needs of students who learn differently, and her use of classroom technology to engage the disengaged.Specifically, we discussed her use of 3D projectors and her enthusiasm for what the future holds for students with learning differences.more

Navigating Social Media is a 21st Century Skill

Jeffery Rosen’s recent article in the New York Times provides the best evidence for my contention that navigating social media is indeed a 21st Century skill. Therefore, in addition to supplying classroom technology like projectors, 3D software, whiteboards and document cameras, a mandatory middle school course with refreshers in high school should be developed and implemented in classrooms across the country.more

Bretford Revisited

Classroom technology shoppers can win a free room of classroom technology furniture for 30 students and professionals simply by entering the “Oldest Product” video competition by Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. Bretford’s been around for decades and chances are when you were in school, you had Bretford products in your learning environment.

To participate, entrants must create and submit a video showing their oldest Bretford furniture product still in use today. I know for a fact there are plenty of 1960's Bretford AV carts laden with shared classroom projectors and document cameras rolling in the halls of schools across the country. What else is out there?more

Samsung Techwin Announces Contest Winners

Seven kids from across the country each earned $1000 for essays they wrote answering the question "Is technology a good investment for schools? Why or why not?” The papers were judged on original thinking, relevance to the real world, and writing quality.more

3D in the Classroom's Alive and Content's Afoot

3D entertainment is very cool. 3D sports, even cooler. But my exuberance for 3D projectors in the classroom knows no bounds. Beginning right around this time last year 3D exploded onto the scene and I got teary with thoughts of how it could revolutionize learning—especially for extreme visual learners in both the special education arena as well as in the mainstream whose needs and skills are often overlooked or unrecognized causing untold detriment to the student’s psyche.more