Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

New Presentation Tools Improve Instruction & Collaboration Options

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

New Presentation Tools Improve Instruction & Collaboration Options

Article excerpt

Many educators, perhaps inspired by the way the Internet and network technology is affecting their lives, are beginning to see new possibilities with A/V and presentation technology. Yes, an LCD projector is still just that, but presentation tools that may look like the "same old thing" are being infused with technology that runs the gamut from Internet linkage to document sharing.

For example, when the University of San Diego hosted the final 1996 Presidential Debate, they utilized six of Dukane's new ImagePro 7010 LCD projectors to present a live C-SPAN telecast of the debate to faculty, students and guests. While most LCD projectors are used with smaller groups, these units were used at sites with 300 or more people, giving each a live, "theater-like" presentation of the debate.

In New Hope, Pa., the New Hope-Solebury School District uses Canon's VIZCAM 1000 camera with White Pine's CU-SeeMe software for videoconferencing over a LAN and the Internet. Multimedia learning, macro imaging in science classrooms and creating visuals for presentations are all common uses for this potent combination. And the Global Schoolhouse uses VIZCAM for Internet-based collaboration, letting students present maps, illustrations or documents to global colleagues.

Others are taking entirely new approaches. Instead of appropriating $5,000 for a projector, desktop computer and related instructional tools, Yonkers School District, N.Y., purchased six Gateway Destination PCs to serve as classroom instruction centerpieces. With a 31-inch screen, and compatible with VCRs and stereo equipment, Destination systems serve quite nicely as presentation units. The Destination units can also be moved around to different classrooms, taking Internet training out of the computer lab and onto the big screen.

It took a while, but now that presentations and meetings are getting truly interactive, schools have a plethora of options to explore. Whichever method of presentation is chosen, one no longer has an excuse to use old, stale technology. This article shows that even "stable" technologies like monitors are going state-of-the-art.

Even More New Projectors

In a move that will surely delight medical, science and industrial-design educators worldwide, Sharp has debuted a single-lens LCD projector capable of projecting stereoscopic 3D images. The XV-3D incorporates Sharp's six panel LCD technology and two high-brightness optical engines to deliver stereoscopic 3D images at 1000 lumens. This should greatly increase students' understanding of intricate 3D models such as DNA strands, molecular structures, etc.

Another new offering is Pioneer's RVD-XG1, a portable LCD projector that provides excellent XGA resolution using their proprietary digital reflective imaging technology (DRI). DRI works to eliminate the so-called "pixelization effect" via uniform dispersion of colors. A resolution of up to 1024 x 768 with 16.7 million colors enables presenters to project even the most detailed images.

On a different front, Polycom's ShowStation is a "document conferencing" projector that links distant meeting rooms or desktop PCs via ordinary phone lines, with the capability for real-time review and revision of documents. The unit lets participants annotate and print documents or data files. Computer-based presentations can also be shared by connecting a PC to one of ShowStation's auxiliary ports.

As with all technology, projectors get smaller, more powerful and cheaper. Epson's ultra-light ELP-3500 is one of the smallest, most powerful VGA-compatible LCD projectors around. With 650 ANSI lumens, its output is brighter than many full-sized projectors. Weighing under 15 pounds and sized like a large dictionary, the ELP-3500 offers portability to go along with its power.

And, Lightware has a projector that weighs an amazing 9.4pounds. Its VP 100 is nearly half the weight of most portable projectors, with a pop-up lens that folds into the case for protection in transit. …

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