AVerPen combines the features of interactive-whiteboard technologies in a mobile collaborative-learning solution-all usable with virtually any surface in the room. Teacher pens are able to control all features as well as activate, limit, and expand student-pen functions. PROS: The product is lightweight and easy to use. It lets teachers use any hard surface as a wireless slate, and with the class pack, several students can interact at the same time (as many as 60 student pens can be registered). The screen can be split so that each user can work in his or her own section. Using the built-in keypad on the pen, teachers can ask any yes-no, true-false, or multiple-choice question and display results on the screen. In the transparent mode, you can annotate on existing documents. CONS: The pen is more expensive than a student-response system, but because it adds key elements of an IWB in a mobile, collaborative solution that includes assessment, it is a cost-effective alternative to a full IWB, SRS, and slate solution. OVERALL EVALUATION: The AVerPen is a good value in that it combines several 21st-century classroom products in one. If your school has AVer document cameras (the pen is compatible only with AVer), this product is an excellent addition to the classroom. [ED note: Aver does not market the pen as an SRS.]www.avermedia-usa.com/presentationRetail price: Starter pack, $799.99—Joe Huber
The AVerPen Interactive Collaborative Learning Solution (www.avermediausa. com/presentation/averpen) combines collaborative learning with mobility, simultaneous teacher-student engagement, and immediate feedback, all from virtually any surface in the room; teachers needn’t carry a static board or a bulky slate. AVerPen starter sets include one teacher pen and four student pens that can work concurrently. Teacher pens control all AVer+ software features as well as activate, limit, or expand student-pen functions, and they fully integrate with AVerVision document cameras.
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.
The new eBeam Edge is the next-generation hardware version of Luidia’s eBeam interactive whiteboard system. Like previous eBeam systems, it works with standard computers, projectors, and a variety of input devices to transform existing whiteboards and writing surfaces into interactive whiteboards. Users can present, annotate, and interact with projected content while capturing the results, which can be shared over local networks and the Internet. This means that teachers can use the device as they would any other interactive whiteboard, but since it will work on any surface, they can also project onto, for example, a map or another image and “write” on it, something they cannot do on a traditional interactive whiteboard.PROS: The Luidia eBeam is lightweight (less than four ounces) and easily fits in a laptop case. The receiver device covers an area of up to five feet by nine feet, requires only one pen, and is extremely easy to set up and calibrate. The software has an easy-to-use, unique navigation interface. It uses the same software as the Luidia document camera and the Luidia Interactive tablet and interfaces with these devices.CONS: None.OVERALL EVALUATION: All the Luidia products use the same software and interface, so they’re beneficial and economical when it comes to professional development. Also, the eBeam Edge uses a single pen and “electronic color,” a more sensible approach than that of other whiteboard systems.www.luidia.com4Retail price: $899.95
The Lumens PS660 SXGA desktop visual presenter offers one-touch integrated audio and video recording and has an HDMI interface for transmitting uncompressed digital data. The presenter has a large capture area and includes HD resolution and the ability to store 240 images internally. Since the PS660 integrates with most interactive whiteboards, labeling images and saving lessons are no problem. Because it records to a standard SD memory card, teachers can save prerecorded lessons to play back at a later date. PROS: The presenter is fully integrated with interactive whiteboards and built-in audio and video recording. It records to a standard SD memory card and has a 15X optical zoom with auto focus at end of the zoom. The HDMI output, at 1,080p, allows direct connection to high-definition media sources with one cable. The software has TWAIN/WIA support for both PC and Mac. The large capture area has more than enough lighting. The controls are well labeled and easy to use. Recording (audio and video) is done with the touch of one button (the presenter does not have to record from an attached computer, as do many of its competitors).CONS: None.OVERALL IMPRESSION: The PS660 is a little pricier than some other visual presenters on the market, but its features make it worth the cost. An experienced user would make good use of the extended features, such as the HD output and recording to the SD memory card. Perhaps the PS660’s most impressive feature is its ability to perform both audio and video with one touch.www.mylumens.comPrice: List, $1,995; education, $1,499
The ProjectoWrite2/W (www.boxlight.com) emulates an interactive-whiteboard experience in a stand-alone and portable unit. It features a short-throw lens that allows for a 60-inch surface from 48 inches back and an 80-inch surface from only 64 inches back. In addition to having the built-in interactive-whiteboard technology, the Projecto- Write2/W is a fully functional LCD projector featuring 3,000 lumens with XGA resolution. Users can write on the screen with a “light pen” or stylus. A keyboard can be pulled up for normal keyboard functions; pen color and line thickness can be selected, and any notes taken can be saved as image files for future use.
The Torch (www.ignitelearning.com) delivers digital content and assessments configured entirely by grade level, subject, and state. The device, as small as a Wii controller, allows administrators to select customized curriculum for purchase and immediate use. Ignite!’s plug-and-play platform is fully functional on both Mac and PC, requires no installation, and is ideal for interactive-whiteboard-equipped schools, though it also works with a simple projector-computer setup in any classroom. Teachers build and save state-standards-based lessons while administrators, through usage-tracking features, can assess how investments in digital content are being leveraged for academic progress.
announces the SMART Slate WS200 wireless slate. SMART Slate enables teachers and students to interact with digital lessons projected on a screen, an interactive whiteboard, an interactive display, or an interactive pen display from anywhere in the classroom. SMART Slate charges via the USB cable and supports 10 languages. The addition of a third programmable button enables customization, and the eraser function on the battery-free, tethered pen makes annotating with digital ink even more intuitive than it was on the WS100.www.smarttech.com
eBeam software for the eBeam interactive whiteboard now allows users to send a wide variety of interactive-whiteboardgenerated content directly to their Amazon Kindles and Kindle DXs. Students can use this feature to review class lessons, and parents can see what children have studied in class. Price: Contact company for pricing. Category: presentation software