Archive for April, 2010

Recently our school district purchased an Epson Brightlink 450Wi interactive projector.  The install took about one hour and the device has proven to be very responsive.  We are using an existing whiteboard as the background, and our initial setup had the image passing through an ELMO TT-02RX.  The ELMO caused image resolution issues and presented a “shake” to the projection image.  We separated the devices (laptop and ELMO) and plugged each separately into the projector.  This solved the issue.

After a week of use we are quite pleased with the device.  The main challenge I see is the problem of young children (K-1 0r 2) not being able to reach the top of the image.  A stepping stool will suffice for now, but some sort of extender for the pen would be a better solution.

I know BoxLight has a similar device and an extended pen; so, that device may be one to try out.  Overall, the Epson Brightlink 450Wi is a solid device that serves as a cost effective replacement for interactive whiteboard devices such as SMART Boards or Promethean Active Boards.  At about half the cost and just as good, if not better responsiveness, the Epson Brightlink is a better value for cash strapped school districts.  A longer pen solution would make it better.


This will make you think…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Derek Lomas: Open Source Games“, posted with vodpod

I had the opportunity today to work with seven wonderful 4th graders as they created podcasts, via Photo Story, about animals they had researched.  This was the culminating part of a project based activity as they had already done their research, gathered pictures, and written their narratives.  What we accomplished today was to create the final presentation of what they had learned.

In the process, there are many things that these students will take away from what they have done, not just the content, but also the ability to utilize technology to share what they know.  The podcasts are quite simple, nothing fancy.  They are straight forward pictures, text, and best of all, narrative.  The students didn’t need much “training” as far as using the computer or the software, they pretty much went right to work.  In the end, they had a product that encapsulates their knowledge.

I was a facilitator in this process, and I cannot take any credit for what they have produced:  I shouldn’t.  The activity was embedded into the learning process, there was no need to wonder about the details of the computer hardware or software.  The students simply shared their ideas and content, it was posted, and now the world can see and hear what they know.

The technology tools didn’t get in the way because the students weren’t afraid to use them, and I wasn’t afraid to let them use the technology.  Could the final products be better?  Probably.  Will there be time to re-edit and fix?  Maybe.  Should students be doing things like this each day in their pursuit for knowledge?  Yes.  Do they?  Probably not.  Why?