District: PANAMABUENA VISTA USD Bakersfield, CA; a 16,500–student districtType Of Whiteboard: Luidia eBeam (Luidia’s eBeam Whiteboard System with Bluetooth is $1,200), www.luidia.comWhy whiteboards?“We already had whiteboards instead of chalkboards in every class. We wanted to turn them into multifunctional electronic whiteboards,” says Terrell Tucker, director of information and technology services.We chose these whiteboards because ...“eBeam turns a projected image into an interactive image without the expense of a traditional electronic whiteboard,” says Tucker. “We were looking for function and convenience and affordability, and the Luidia makes any white surface interactive.”What do you like about the whiteboards?“Teachers can control their PCs from it and do terrific lessons. Watching the kids interact is amazing, especially at the first-grade level. Everyone loves having interactivity on a standard whiteboard.”What don’t you like about the whiteboards?“A small annoyance: We occasionally get some reflection from objects we have clipped to the board and have to move it around.”Have teachers integrated the whiteboards successfully?“We installed a Luidia in one class at 5:30pm,” says Tucker. “By 11 the next morning, the students were already using the board. The teacher figured it out before school started and used it immediately.”Any advice for schools that are considering whiteboards?Tucker suggests figuring out what your district needs, what it would really like, and the fluff that would be useful. Then pick the best-fitting solution. He suggests giving it first to the teachers who will use it the most, to increase enthusiasm.
District: ENTERPRISE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DISTRICT Redding, CA; a 3,500-student districtType Of Whiteboard: eInstruction (the Interwrite Board Model 1095 is $1,825), www.interwritelearning.comWhy whiteboards?California students aren’t tied into a particular district because of where they live, so districts need to “compete for students,” says J.D. Wolfe, director of IT. “We wanted our tech offering to be the most appealing and beneficial for students.”We chose these whiteboards because ...Wolfe loved eLearning’s flexibility. “We bought just the components we wanted and integrated them,” he says. “Interwrite is only board I know that lets you use a regular pen. That makes it easier for teachers, especially those less comfortable with technology.”What do you like about the whiteboards?“The feedback is positive. Teachers say it opens a whole new realm for reaching kids. They’re thrilled with the lesson plans already created by other teachers in various subjects, and Interwrite support has been great.”What don’t you like about the whiteboards?As with any new technology, Wolfe says, there have been a few bugs, but they’ve been worked out quickly and easily.Have teachers integrated the whiteboards successfully?“The teachers who have them rave about them,” says Wolfe. “Many used the Interwrite pad before we bought these; they even bought the pads with their own classroom money.”Any advice for schools that are considering whiteboards?Wolfe suggests evaluating your needs against the products out there, and then looking at your budget. “Plan for professional development,” he urges. “Also, be sure to involve your teachers in the decision process; you’ll create more buy-in.”
GENERAL-PURPOSE: Hitachi’s CP-WX410 ($1,499) is a 3,000-lumen, WXGA LCD projector with a 2,000- to 3,000-hour lamp life (regular versus whisper mode); its inputs include S-Video, composite, component and RGB. It has a 10-watt audio output.SHORT-THROW: The company’s CP-A100 ($2,495) extremely short-throw projector creates a 60-inch image from only 1.6 feet. It offers a brightness of 2,500 lumens, XGA resolution and S-Video, composite and component inputs.INEXPENSIVE: The CPX5 sells for between $600 and $650; it offers 2,500 lumens, XGA resolution and a lamp life of 2,000 to 3,000 hours.HIGH-DEFINITION: The high-end CP-SX635 (street price, about $4,000) has 4,000 lumens, 16-watt audio, HDMI input for high definition and a lamp life of 2,000 to 3,000 hours.
The Hitachi (www.hitachi.com) CP-A52 3LCD projector offers ultrashort- throw capability, easy maintenance and the ability to project an 80-inch image from 25 inches away. This means that teachers no longer have to worry about obstructing the projected image when they stand in front of the screen. Additionally, there are no shadows to interfere with the image or any light in the presenter’s face. The CP-A52 also has a hybrid filter that requires maintenance only every 2,000 hours. The projector’s saving mode reduces power consumption to less than 5W by disabling RS-232C control except for power-on command, monitor-out and audio capability.
has introduced the new StarBoard FX-77GII, which has an electronic pen. The wireless, two-button pen device, included with the StarBoard, functions as a mouse that operates and annotates on the board. With 12 customizable function buttons, the FX-77GII is highly adaptable to the specific needs of each user and that user’s environment. It also comes with 500 new lessons.www.hitachi.com
announces the introduction of the StarBoard WT-1 Interactive Wireless Tablet. The new tablet has an interactive pen with two customizable buttons. The WT-1 features a range of up to 30 feet by deploying RF technology, and has a battery life of up to 16 hours of continuous use. The tablet includes 16 shortcut-function keys, handwriting recognition, search-engine integration, and a built-in LCD indicator screen to alert users of available battery life. Presenters can connect as many as seven WT-1 systems to a PC.
The Lewis Palmer School District in Monument, CO has selected Hitachi Software StarBoard interactive whiteboards to help develop educational programs, purchased through Troxell Communications. The district uses twenty four of the FXDUO 77 model StarBoards at the elementary and high
District: ROBSTOWN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT Robstown, TX; a 3,500-student districtType Of Whiteboard: PolyVision (the 78-inch eno is $1,595. Pricing decreases for multiple quantities), www.polyvision.comWhy whiteboards?The goal was to enhance education through technology, says Fred Zamora, the former technology coordinator. “We wanted to gain the attention of the learner, and with a board, all eyes are on the instructor.”We chose these whiteboards because ...“PolyVision proved itself,” says Zamora. “They listened to our needs and promised to deliver as much staff development as we needed—for no charge. We didn’t have to make the product fit into our plan; PolyVision made a product that let us do what we needed to do.”What do you like about the whiteboards?“The boards are very well made, and the construction has been designed for longevity, which helps with technology budgets. The new eno board is supereasy to use and is practically indestructible.”What don’t you like about the whiteboards?“The board response was being confused by our teachers resting their hands on the board as they wrote, but the eno resolved that.”Have teachers integrated the whiteboards successfully?“The teachers recorded a 30 percent jump in test scores. I believe that was at least partly due to teachers using boards, as they amplify teacher instruction.”Any advice for schools that are considering whiteboards?Ask yourself: Will the product enhance education? Will the company provide free tech support? Is staff development provided free or at a nominal cost? How long is the warranty? What are the installation costs? Do teachers want the product?
Disrict: CRESTVIEW ELEMENTARY Lubbock, TX; 830 K-5 studentsType Of Whiteboard: Dukane (the Dukane LB77S is $1,799), www.dukcorp.comWhy whiteboards?“We created a standard tech solution for all elementary schools,” says Denise Salmon, technology coordinator. “Whiteboards let the whole class interact with technology. Every student goes up to the board and is engaged.”We chose these whiteboards because ...“With Dukane, a small component operates the entire board. If there’s a problem, you just need to detach that component and attach a replacement. Also, students can actively manipulate it. Most other boards have a stylus; Dukane allows kids to use their fingers for tactile interaction.”What do you like about the whiteboards?“Teachers like the interactivity, and they can use so many programs. They love the immersion into the curriculum. I like that they didn’t require an extensive amount of training.”What don’t you like about the whiteboards?Salmon would love it if the boards had a way to disengage. “When a kid touches the board, the PC it’s connected to gets affected.”Have teachers integrated the whiteboards successfully?“Definitely,” says Salmon. “They are doing a great job of integrating them. Even our student teachers have embraced the technology and been able to use it with students. They love it.”Any advice for schools that are considering whiteboards?“Look at what functions and features you need. Put together a rubric to compare different boards. We didn’t just buy the first board. We want it to be standard in every school so that at the district level, maintenance is a no-brainer.”