The Interwrite Mobi interactive tablet can be used in a variety of ways. If the instructor uses the tablet in “sandbox” mode, the entire class can collaborate on a project. In “split screen” mode, the instructor might have several students or several groups of students working on the same problem and displaying the progress on the screen. And, of course, the instructor can use the mobi tablet as a regular interactive tablet.PROS: The mobi uses RF (radio frequency) communication, is lightweight and compact, and is rugged enough to stand up to many hours of classroom use. The tablet recharges via a USB cable from the computer, so it does not require another AC outlet. It has a 2.4-inch built-in color display that, when used with the Interwrite CPS, shows student responses to questions on the tablet. The tablet integrates with Examview softview, and teachers can use up to seven student mobis at one time.CONS: It still uses a rechargeable pen, which could run out of power before a lesson is over.OVERALL IMPRESSION: This is the best interactive tablet I’ve seen so far. Since multiple students can participate at the same time in their own workspace, this system more or less makes the idea of expensive interactive whiteboards obsolete.www.einstruction.com Teacher tablet, $399; student tablet, $349; mobi learning system (one teacher tablet, two student tablets recharging station and software), $1,150
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.
RM ePad (www.RMeducation.com) interactive slate comes bundled with RM Easiteach so teachers can create and deliver engaging lessons with all the interactivity of a whiteboard from the palm of their hand. The RM ePad works with PowerPoint, any Internet browser, and all other classroom software. The unique hand straps make it easy to carry the RM ePad, and text entry is simple with the built-in keyboard. The wireless RF technology allows for 60 feet of unhindered movement. The LCD panel monitors the pad and pen battery, which provides more than 40 hours of use on one charge.
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 EduCast USB Duplicator System with MP3 Players from Hamilton Electronics serves three main functions without the need for a PC: it copies audio lessons or class assignments from a single flash drive to 15 units instantly (this can be expanded to 30 by daisy-chaining two drives), collects assignments and information from 15 drives and consolidates them into one for a teacher’s review of student projects, and provides a reusable and low-energy solution for storing and distributing classroom material. For example, a choir teacher can distribute songs to his students by inserting the USB into an MP3 player and copying all the songs in minutes. The teacher can copy all the files to up to 15 USB drives. At the end of a grading period, the teacher can collect all the assignments from a class to one USB drive, also in minutes. PROS: The product is simple plug-and-play. Just insert the source drive in the slot marked “source,” insert the target drives in one or more of the target slots, and press a button. CONS: It’s debatable whether the EduCast USB Duplicator’s cost is justified by the use it would get in a school. Educators would also have to be mindful of copyright infringement. OVERALL IMPRESSION: This is a really good idea, especially since more teachers have sample files they want to distribute to students. For example, in our school we have to download large-print books for visually impaired students, and this type of device would be fantastic for getting these files to them. www.hamiltonelectronics.com Retail price: $1,399 with 16 MP3 USB drives
Listen to the podcast Question: The battery for my SMART Airliner Tablet ran down over the summer, and it won't recharge. How can I revive it? The IT Guy says: Looking into this problem gave me a surprise, and not the kind I like to get! Products such as the SMART Airliner tablet use lithium-ion
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.