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 2011:
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NEC Announces New Software for Projector-iPad Use in Classrooms

NEC just announced a new software application designed to work with projectors and intended to capitalize on the trend toward iPads in the classroom as well as corporate environments. The software allows for complete control of a PC or Mac via an iPad which is linked to a projector. Interaction with the iPad would be displayed in large format via the projector thus giving a teacher or businessperson greater flexibility to move about the room and interact with students or colleagues.more

IWB Exit...Stage Left

In an article earlier this week in her blog on tweenteacher.com, writer/teacher Heather Wolport Gawron addresses an issue I raised in my mind and in an earlier post of my own: Why would schools continue to spend money on a high priced interactive whiteboards (SMARTboard,Promethean or otherwise) in light of current trends and technology options?more

Casio Lamp-Free Projector Technology Contest for Schools

It would seem that your school's chances are as good as any as the Casio America Business Projector Division promotes their new short throw projectors via a free contest. Called the Casio Lamp-Free Projector Technology Grant, this is your school's chance to win a Mobile Classroom Package worth $12,500. The package includes a Casio Short Throw Projector, Casio Pen & Software, 30 pairs of Casio 3D active glasses and an AVRover Cart equipped with a 3D computer.The promotion is currently underway and ends October 31, 2011 at 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.more

Could the Apple Pico Projector Rumors be True?

There is just too much talk out there to ignore that Apple could be moving in the direction of embedding pico projectors in their phones, tablets and possibly as an accessory for their notebooks in order to enable sharing content between users.

Accoding to multiple sources including Cnet, a new patent application filed by Apple describes a system for projecting the contents of a screen onto a neaby surface and combining multiple projectors from any number of devices to create what they’ve named the “shared workspace.” Of note is the now substantiated rumor that Apple is indeed the domain owner of applepico.com.more

Optoma Neo-i Projector on the Ultimate Dorm Living Guide "Must Have" List

It is of note that a projector product we reviewed earlier this year has made the “must have" list in the 2nd annual Ultimate Dorm Living Guide 2011. Student Advisor.com publishes college-centric guides used by both students and parents and and is becoming a trusted advisor for “must have” products for back–to-school. Their guides are full of diverse product reviews of items college stdents might not even know they need to have. This year the Optoma Neo-i iPod and iPhone Dock Projector was not only included, but received the “Best of SA 2011” distinction, one of only fifteen products to achieve the honor.more

Two New Epson Projectors for Education and Business

Budget conscious businesses and universities will soon take note of two new projectors announced by Epson last week. The PowerLite 1880 and 1850W (W denoting widescreen) are bright, lower cost portables that still offer advanced functionality. Unfortunately, determining the value of that functionality it is not always easy for every projector shopper as user applications vary so widely.more

Teachers and Technology

T.H.E. Journal recently reported on an Illinois school district’s methods for infusing technology in the classroom. As is common knowledge, K-12 school districts nationwide are often challenged by some teachers accepting and incorporating the technology immediately with others failing to grasp the necessity and reverting to traditional methods.

The superindendent of Westville Illinois Community District II attributes his success to ongoing professional development as well as an IT based learning atmosphere.more

The Flipped Classroom

I am thrilled at all the chatter surrounding the so called “flipped” classroom. It is not a new concept. It was pioneered by two very forward thinking teachers in a rural school and actually predates YouTube and online video. However, it was highlighted at the recent ITSE Conference and new discussions have emerged in blogs and forums.more

Technology as a Language

CDW released a report today claiming that only 39 percent of students claim their technology needs are being met by their highschools. I was struck by a student quote which read “I don’t want to type things just to say I used technology, I want to be doing something I couldn’t do without it.” I’m not sure why but it was reminiscent of a discussion I had with a middle schooler not long ago when asking him about the projector/whiteboard combination present in all the classrooms of his upscale school district. He told me there was really no point...that it was all the same things only shown on a projector instead of written on a dry erase board.more

Flexible High-Tech Learning Space at Temple University

If you get a chance take a moment to read the case study and watch this video recently shared with me by Temple University. It involves the transformation of their Speakman Hall Room 200 into a high-tech meeting and events space.more

Classroom Furniture Imitates Life

Identifying trends enables foresight. Sometimes those trends appear in obscure places and people don’t make the connection. For example, in education circles, what’s to be learned by looking at the kind of classroom furniture being manufactured these days? I think it is something significant.

Perhaps it is best to first consider that US colleges and universities,the ultimate destination of many of many K-12 students, are now seeking to "host the discussion" rather than simply house the genius. In other words, they want to be the facilitators of innovation. It takes student collaboration to achieve this.The ability to work successfully in groups is a 21st Century skill and is not innate simply because we're human.more

Panasonic Projectors Focus on Saving Energy

I was just reading about Pansonic’s new PT-FW430 Series projectors. Its re-engineered lamps give users up to 6,000 hours of life and can also be used in Panasonic’s PT-FW300, PT-FW200, and PT-FW100 Series projectors. This move should get the attention of IT departments under pressure to cut back on parts inventory. Additionally, Panasonic designed the projector so that it can stay mounted during a lamp change.more

Raising the Banner for AV Efficiency

It was announced today that Casio America and Crestron Electronics have partnered so that users will have with help desk management, remote monitoring, and control of networked AV devices.

As partners, Casio is able to include Crestron's RoomView Connected software in their USB and LAN capable projectors making them compatible with Crestron's RoomView Express.more

Pico Projectors on a Mission

Once again I am happy to report on the successful use of pico projectors as teaching tools. In this case, Optoma pico projectors are one component of a custom built backpack from Renew World Outreach, a company that provides teaching tools to missionaries in the field. Co founder David Palusky utilized his engineering prowess to create these AV kits which contain compact equipment that can run off of solar powered batteries.more

Mitsubishi adds to Classroom Projector Lineup

Mitsubishi recently announced its contribution to the classroom projector release season with the wide-screen WXGA WD570U. Widescreen is important for a lot of new classroom applications and hi def video. Since the projector has LAN display, four computers can be connected to the device at the same time to divide the screen into fourths in support of a move toward more collaborative learning in the classroom. With its 3500 lumen output and 3000:1 contrast ratio, I don’t see this projector being limited to the classroom—it should find solid footing in the business market as well. We look forward to receiving a product sample and reviewing this projector in the coming weeks.

Two New NEC Classroom Projector Offerings

It is the season of new classroom projector releases and NEC announced two new models—entry level mobile projectors both of which are less that $600 MSRP. The NEC V260X and the V260 are 2600 lumen DLP’s with a contrast ratio of 2000:1. The former has an XGA native resolution and the latter, SVGA.more

Document Cameras offer Eco Solution

Although our site is dedicated mainly to projectors, and this blog focuses mostly on classroom projectors, we would be remiss if we did not include information on document cameras --especially due to the large number of site visitors who are involved in education or training. I started thinking about document cameras this morning after I forked over nearly $90 for replacement ink cartridges for my printer. Stewing over the expense got me on a train of thinking that led to my local school district, the budget cuts and how this technology can help schools save a dramatic amount of money on paper and photocopying.more

Pico Projectors and Rural Health Education

There is nothing as satisfying as when multiple interests converge to create something new and exciting. As our resident pico projector cheerleader, my passion for the potential use scenarios of these handheld projectors led me to offer one as a solution to obstacles faced by an organization near and dear to my heart,Pre-vent.org as their Chairman surveyed programs in Africa and Guatemala.

A little background is in order.more

Data Comes Alive

If only this technology had existed when I was struggling with my college statistics courses! Swedish academic Hans Roslin uses a projector and augmented reality animation to plot life expectancy against income for every country of the globe since 1810.more

Pico Projectors and the Psychological Edge

If you have not yet checked out Evan Powell's excellent post on pico projectors read it here. While he primarily talks about an intimate sales scenario, the psychological component he discussed was highly applicable to the classroom environment.more

Samsung Launches SUPERHERO Video Competition

Samsung Techwin seems to be big on contests and I think it's a good thing--especially when it gives kids a chance to showcase not only their video making talents but their creative and academic prowess as well.

Students are to portray their favorite historical character on video. All entries will be posted on the company's website and each week they will post one of the best videos on Facebook.Each student who wins gets $500 and their class receives a SAMCAM 860 document camera.more

Projectors with Voice Amplification Capabilities

Something new from Epson and due out in March are the The PowerLite 915W and the Powerlite 905 classroom projectors introduced at a K-12 technology conference this week.more

High School PE Online--Yes!

A huge proponent of online learning, I’m constantly debating the naysayers who insist that students who opt into blended learning programs, or even complete online programs are somehow “not yet ready for prime time.” I finally figured out that these are people of my generation who remember the “other” high school in all of our respective school districts and equate students who opt for nontraditional programs to be the equivalent of the cigarette smoking skateboarding mowhawk sporting so called “troubled” kids who could not get through the “regular” high school. This is nothing short of ridiculous and people need to tune in to some exciting developments in educationmore

Samsung Scholarship Contest for High Schoolers

I had to give a plug to Samsung Techwin for sponsoring an essay contest whose submissions might give some great insight. Ten high school students have the opportunity to win $1000 scholarships for writing on whether technology is critical to a live presentation or if it is is only a crutch.more