PLE combines 21st-century technology with PLATO Learning’s curricula, assessment and standards management to create a unified system for integrating the key aspects of the educational process. This latest release adds new features and functionality upgrades, including the Create Custom Resource tool, teacher and student communication tools and enhanced batch enroll features.Price: $300-$1,200 per seat (inclusive of instructional content)Category: administrative tool
GENERAL-PURPOSE: Epson recommends its new model 826W ($999) as a general-purpose projector suitable for classroom use. It offers an extended lamp life of up to 6,000 hours, 2,500 lumens, a built-in closed-captioning decoder, an internal 10-watt speaker, network connectivity for remote presentations (via wired LAN) and optional wireless connectivity.INEXPENSIVE: Epson’s SVGA PowerLite S6, selling for $549, offers 2,200 lumens, plug-and-play USB connectivity (in addition to composite, S-Video and VGA) and a lamp life of up to 4,000 hours.HIGH-DEFINITION: Epson’s 4,000-lumen model G5000 ($2,499) supports the 1,080i HDTV input signal; its lamp life varies from 2,000 (high-brightness mode) to 3,000 hours (low-brightness mode).
The TriCaster Upgrade 2.5 now includes a software update of its TriCaster BROADCAST, TriCaster STUDIO, TriCaster PRO and TriCaster portable live-production systems. This upgrade adds the ability to record all video in the MPEG-2 Studio Profile, capturing with full 4:2:2 color sampling, which is important when recording chroma-key footage. In addition, enhancements to the real-time MPEG-2 encoding technology yield significant improvements in quality, with a lower compression rate, for broadcast-quality video recording.
GENERAL-PURPOSE: The Christie LX500 ($6,495) is a 5,000-lumen XGA (1,024x768) projector with a choice of four optional lenses, motorized lens shift and focus and a 3,000-hour lamp life.SHORT-THROW: The Christie LW400 ($5,495), with the optional 0.8:1 fixed short lens, can project a five-foot image from four feet away. It is a WXGA (1,280x800), 4,000-lumen projector with a lamp life of up to 3,000 hours in eco mode.HIGH-DEFINITION: The Christie HD405 ($24,495) is a 4,100-lumen DLP projector with native 1,080p HD (1,920x1,080) resolution. It offers a range of six optional lenses with vertical and horizontal lens shift. It accepts inputs of VGA through UXGA (1,600x1,200) and supports standard HDTV formats of up to 1,080i.
GENERAL-PURPOSE: Canon’s new LV-8300 ($1,099) LCD Multimedia Projector provides 3,000 lumens, WXGA native resolution and an aspect ratio of 16:10, which allows it to support data and images from wide-screen notebooks and desktop computers in WXGA-resolution computers in their native format, making compression distortion unnecessary. Its lamp life is up to 4,000 hours.SHORT-THROW: The LV-8300 projects an 80-inch image from 7.5 feet.HIGH-DEFINITION: Canon’s three new LV-Series projectors also support Blu-ray and DVD players; the DVI-I interface ensures a digital connection that supports HDCP and high-definition content. (HD signals supported include 1,080i and 720p.) The LV-7375 ($1,499) offers 3,500 lumens and a lamp life of up to 4,000 hours.
The compact AVerVision CP300 digital document camera has a 3.2 megapixel sensor, 8X digital zoom + 2X AVERZOOM (total 16X zoom), fast-response auto focus, laser positioning guide, split screen, and picture-in-picture. The camera can store up to 80 images and will support 1280x720 resolution. There is also a selection of online lesson plans, software tutorial and training video to help teachers get started. The software for this camera allows for the complete control of the camera from a computer. Presenters can annotate an image on the camera. They also have both remote viewing and remote control of the camera over a LAN. Pros: Unlike some other document cameras, the CP300 is very easy to move from one classroom to another. The software is very easy to use and learn. Since the camera allows users to record and annotate any process, a teacher in any subject can record something she wishes to teach or remediate and annotate the process. This is recorded as an avi file, which means the teacher can then post in on her Web page for students to view. This is in addition to all the standard functions of a document camera. The split screen and picture-in-picture screen allows the teacher to display both a “live” sample and a reference sample (from one of the 80 stored images), or from the Web on the screen at the same time. There is also a microscope adaptor available. Cons: The advanced features might take longer to learn than on some document cameras. But the online software tutorial and training videos are helpful and the basic set-up and operation is as simple as most. Overall Impression: At $700, this is an affordable and worthwhile addition to any classroom. Retail Price: $699-- Joe Huber
Vivitek’s new D735VX projector uses the latest DLP technology and projects at 3,200 ANSI lumens with BrilliantColor technology and a fivesegment color wheel. The new unit also has a snap-off keypad that can be removed and stored in a safe location to discourage theft or unauthorized removal of the projector. With a full 3W onboard speaker and zoom lens, the D735VX is perfect for the classroom or auditorium.