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.
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.
LifeBook T4310 convertible tablet PC has multi-touch input. Configurations start at 4.2 pounds, and 12.1-inch-wide displays offer flexibility, with a modular bay and a dual digitizer supporting two-finger touch. The dual digitizer delivers traditional pen-based input as well as allowing two-finger touch to be used to manipulate images, zoom into maps, and interact with the tablet PC.www.shopfujitsu.com
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 CO-10 (www.elmousa.com), nicknamed the i-Pochette, is the smallest and lightest document camera ELMO has ever created. The CO-10 folds into a compact rectangular unit measuring 5 x 10 x 1.5 inches and weighs only 2.9 pounds. When fully expanded, the CO-10 captures a shooting area of 13.5 x 10 inches. While extremely small, the CO-10 boasts an 8x digital zoom and a twomegapixel CMOS sensor chip that enables users to select among XGA, SXGA, and WXGA resolutions. As an added advantage, up to 16 images can be captured and stored by means of the CO-10’s internal memory.
The CP-D10+FX-77GII Bundle (www.hitachi.com), named the Stimulus Bundle, combines the Hitachi CP-D10 short-throw projector, the Hitachi StarBoard FX-77GII 77-inch interactive whiteboard, and a custom-designed Premier Mounts wall mount. When the CP-D10 is mounted on the wall arm, its short-throw capability reduces the shadow cast by the presenter on the FX- 77GII and offers a better viewing experience. The FX-77GII has all the capabilities that have been revolutionized by Hitachi but includes interaction, which is enabled by the use of an electronic pen. The wireless two-button pen device, included with the StarBoard, functions as a mouse that operates and annotates on the board.
Epson’s BrightLink 450Wi is an intelligent projector that allows educators to turn any standard whiteboard or smooth wall into an interactive-learning area. This enables educators to easily integrate interactive capabilities and eliminates the need to purchase and install dedicated interactive whiteboards. The ultra-short-throw Epson BrightLink 450Wi interactive projector comes with two digital infrared pens and wall-mount hardware for easy installation.PROS: The BrightLink 450Wi has all the functionality of an interactive whiteboard without the cost or trouble of mounting an IWB. The projector can be permanently mounted as close as 2.8 inches to the wall. It is easy to set up, and the controls are well defined. Because of the USB plug-and-play, there is no need to use a VGA cable to project when using a Windows PC or Mac. The BrightLink 450Wi projects in native wide-screen aspect ratio as well as 4:3 aspect ratio. The built-in microphone input for voice amplification is good for narrating presentations.CONS: It would be nice if this projector included auto keystone adjustment, as found in other Epson projectors (users can adjust keystone manually). The built-in speakers may not amplify enough for all locations. Users must use the pen to manipulate objects, versus the finger-touch technology found in some IWBs.OVERALL EVALUATION: In addition to providing the functionality of an IWB, the BrightLink 450Wi projects an image larger than that of most IWBs. The variety of inputs and the clarity of the controls make the product an excellent choice for any school looking for an ultra-short-throw projector with interactive functionality.www.epson.com/brightlinkRetail price: less than $2,000—Joe Huber
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
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.