Magazine article Technology & Learning

It's Show Time: The Latest Projectors, Document Cameras, and Digital Whiteboards Help Educators Make a Good Impression in the Classroom. (Spotlight)

Magazine article Technology & Learning

It's Show Time: The Latest Projectors, Document Cameras, and Digital Whiteboards Help Educators Make a Good Impression in the Classroom. (Spotlight)

Article excerpt

Presentation technology is a growing product category in the education market, as more and more educators incorporate new tools into their teaching. Digital projectors, document cameras, and interactive whiteboards, in particular, are increasingly being used to help teachers integrate media-rich instruction into classrooms.

Today's digital projectors are smaller, lighter, and more powerful than even just a year ago. Educators can expect to find a unit with SVGA resolution (800 x 600 pixels) or better, and more than 1000 lumens of brightness, for under $2,000. That means teachers can project crisp images of PowerPoint presentations and other media, without having to turn out the lights. Some companies now offer wireless connectivity options, eliminating the need for cables between projector and computer.

While digital projectors are great for showing off 2-D computer graphics or video, document cameras are ideal for projecting 3-D objects, microscopic images, slides, and fine print on documents. This is especially useful in the science classroom, where a biology teacher, for instance, could display detailed images of local flora and fauna.

The electronic, or interactive, whiteboard is another tool putting a high-tech twist on teaching and learning. The technology records what's written on a "smart" whiteboard into a digital file or, conversely, projects electronic files from a computer onto the board. For example, teachers can capture their classroom lecture notes and then post them on a Web site along with links to additional materials. As with digital projectors, some whiteboards now work with Wi-Fi wireless networking technology.

Following are just some of the many presentation hardware tools available for education. For more detailed information on the features of a particular model, be sure to check the company Web site.

PROJECTORS

Boxlight offers the SVGA-resolution CP-19t, which weighs 9.7 pounds and comes with 1800 lumens of brightness, digital zoom, and automatically enhanced image resolution. An optional Wireless Imager Kit enables wireless connectivity between PC and projector. $2,184. (800) 884-6464, www.boxlight.com

Canon offers a full line of multimedia projectors, including the 6.39-pound LV-S2, which delivers SVGA resolution, 1000 lumens, and a 350:1 contrast ratio. Other features include video capability, a wide-angle lens, digital keystone correction, and wireless remote. $1,999. (800) 652-2666, www.canonprojectors.com

The 3200MP MicroPortable Projector recently introduced by Dell Computer weighs 3.5 pounds and features 1300 lumens, 1800:1 contrast ratio, integrated zoom lenses, and digital keystone correction. The model offers native XGA resolution that will automatically adjust to accommodate the resolution of the source device. $2,199. (877) 499-3355, www.dell.com

The XGA-resolution ImagePro 8755, the latest in Dukane's LCD projector line, weighs 6 pounds and provides 1800 lumens of brightness, HDTV compatibility, keystone correction, as well as two computer and three video inputs. The projector comes with a remote with mouse/cursor control and laser pointer. $6,195. Educational pricing is available. (800) 676-2486, www.dukane.com

Epson has announced three new projectors priced under $2,500: the SVGA, 1200-lumen PowerLite 52c; the SVGA, 1700-lumen PowerLite 53c; and the XGA, 1500-lumen PowerLite 73c. All models include optical zoom, digital keystone correction, multifunction remote control, and picture-in-picture technology. 52c: $1,574. 53c: $1,784. 73c: $2,624. (800) 463-7766, www.epson.com

Hewlett-Packard's HP digital projector sb21 weighs 2.2 pounds and measures 7.9" x 5.6" x 2.3". It features SVGA resolution, 1000 market comparable lumens (800 ANSI lumens), 1800:1 contrast ratio, video capability, and automatic image resizing. $1,999. (800) 888-3224, www.hp.com

The Hitachi CP-S225W is a 5-pound, SVGA projector offering 1100 lumens and a short-throw lens that lets users project a 60-foot image from as little as rive feet away from the screen. …

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