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Epson's Wireless Projectors Provide Closer Link Between Teachers and Students, Improve Interaction and Classroom Collaboration

LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 7, 2004--The technology leadership teams of two Hinsdale Township High Schools (located in the suburbs of Chicago) were standing at a crossroads as they tried to determine which technology would best suit their computing needs for the future. They were torn between replacing classroom computers with combinations of desktop PCs and TV monitors and a more progressive setup consisting of tablet PCs and multimedia projectors. Whichever technology solution was selected, it would need to improve interaction between students and teachers and become the springboard for launching the schools' new team learning and problem solving concepts.

The infrastructure for the township's two high schools, Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South, was built to support access to personal computers and handheld computing devices for approximately 5,000 students, faculty and staff. Hinsdale District 86 had established a reputation for providing access to the latest technology for students and staff for over 15 years, and they were now ready to evaluate new tools that would promote greater classroom collaboration. The Hinsdale District 86 technology teams wanted their new equipment to stimulate more interaction between students and teachers and increase opportunities for collaboration and information sharing in a robust learning environment.

"The Hinsdale Township High School District is not only interested in creating the technology-based classroom of the future -- but wants to design the instruction of the future as well," said Jim Polzin, assistant superintendent of Hinsdale's District 86. "We need a solution that allows students and teachers to solve problems together -- engaged by the interaction and linked through technology."

Realizing they could not provide adequate, traditional lab space to accommodate faculty and students, members of both teams soon agreed on a new classroom model based on wireless technology that would give teachers and students one-to-one access 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The combined functionality of Epson PowerLite wireless multimedia projectors along with tablet PCs was essential for the transition.

In order to integrate the most advanced and flexible projection technology, the Hinsdale District 86 technology teams decided to install Epson's 3-LCD PowerLite projectors with 802.11 wireless technology in every classroom over the next three years. Teachers and students will use tablet PCs to extract data and images from various media sources like the Internet, DVDs, video and cable TV so they can embellish upon basic lesson plans and make them more interesting and effective. The projectors can deliver vibrant colors and detailed imagery into a classroom environment as never before so it can be inspected, manipulated, filed or discarded with the help of their tablet PC. Students are engaged through technology as they learn to capture, project and share diagrams, photographs, presentation slides, and even their own handwritten notes made with a digital pen.

"One of the most exciting advantages of the Epson projector and tablet PC combo is the way they have redefined student-to-student and student-to-teacher relationships," said Tim Hohman, director of technology, Hinsdale District 86. "A math teacher can challenge students with a complex trigonometry problem and, in turn students can show classmates their solution by controlling the projector wirelessly from their tablet PC."

These tools also streamline the teaching process and reduce lag time since students are not called to the front of the class to work out problems on the chalkboard in front of their peers. Now the focus is on learning as a team, rather than on whether or not students get the right answer."

Hinsdale District 86 officials say educators who build and deliver their curriculum by tapping into the host of data and image sources available today will be surprised how much easier it can be to capture and retain the students' attention. Epson's PowerLite projectors make it easy for presenters to share the platform and switch from one input source to another. This feature is also useful when instructors want to modulate the flow of their presentation to introduce new concepts at a slower cadence.

Epson's 4.4 pound, ultra portable PowerLite projectors are designed for quick setup, trouble-free integration and easy network management using remote diagnostics and monitoring. Educators concerned about keeping projectors secure and minimizing repair costs will appreciate new built-in and programmable security options in some of Epson's models that will regulate projector usage and minimize the risk of loss or theft. Presenters of all ages will find the projector easy to use by navigating through a simple set of control panel prompts.

"As for the brightness and quality of the image, it was a given that the Epson projector would give us exceptional image quality, no matter how bright the classroom," Hohman said. Featuring Epson's exclusive LCD technology and XGA resolution, the projector also has EasyMP(TM) technology to accommodate PC-free presentations.

With its renewed direction in technology, Hinsdale Township High School District 86 is better equipped to roll out and sustain a successful transition from the traditional classroom to a more dynamic model. By carefully selecting the right combination of technology, educators can create a collaborative learning environment that promises to be rewarding for both students and teachers by improving or reinforcing retention, which they hope will lead to higher test scores.

"We've come a long way from when our staff would roll desktop computers through the hallways to classrooms on old cafeteria tables," said Polzin. "The winning combination of wireless multimedia projectors and tablet PCs will encourage more institutions to invest in technology that supports a collaborative learning process and enriches the learning experience for all students."

About Epson

Epson offers an extensive array of award-winning image capture and image output products for the consumer, business, photography and graphic arts markets. The company is also a leading supplier of value-added point-of-sale (POS) printers and transactions terminals for the retail market. Founded in 1975, Epson America Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, a global manufacturer and supplier of high-quality technology products that meet customer demands for increased functionality, compactness, systems integration and energy efficiency. Epson America Inc. is headquartered in Long Beach, Calif.

Note: Epson is a registered trademark of Seiko Epson Corporation. PowerLite is a registered trademarks of Epson America Inc.