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K-12 Education Technology: May 2011

K-12 Education Technology: May 2011

Scoring Big with 3D in the Classroom

U.S. student test scores in math are notoriously uncompetitive when compared to those in other countries, but research out of Illinois suggests a 32 percent improvement of math scores by students that have lessons using 3D projectors, and this improvement was reflected even more substantially by data from young girls specifically.

“It’s pretty amazing to see [what students are learning],” said Jaime Beringer, custom marketing manager for DLP. Beringer manages DLP’s 3D pilot programs in schools, of which there are about 30 of in the United States and 60 across the globe.

But it’s not just students, teachers, and school administrators that are benefiting from the interactive learning technology; DLP’s 2010 fourth quarter numbers show a 53 percent 3D technology market share. A recent study by Pacific Media Associates (PMA), market information specialists on front projectors, estimated that the worldwide front projector market for 3D-enabled models increased to about a million units in 2010. These numbers are expected to skyrocket to 5.4 million over the next four to five years.

DLP is ready to meet this booming market demand. “We have a massive install base of 3D-ready projectors for the classroom,” Beringer said. And there is minimal investment for schools. “We turn on the 3D at no cost, so they are the same cost as other DLP projectors.”

One of the challenges with this market that manufacturers have been concerned with centers on the limited amount of 3D content that is available. Beringer notes that with 3D movies, as the install base of 3D-ready cinemas grew, studios responded with more content. In the education market, Beringer said there is a small but growing pipeline from content providers.

DLP expects that all major academic publishing houses will move into the digital curriculum market very soon. “Digital content is going to become the norm,” Beringer said. “[Education publishers] are going to be coming down this path with us.”

—Lindsey Snyder

Epson PowerLite 96W

The Powerlite 96W is a budget-friendly projector from Epson designed for classroom use. It offers 2,700 lumens color, and white light output with WXGA (1280x800) resolution, which allows teachers to make full use of widescreen notebooks or tablets and widescreen DVD content. The projector features network connectivity to monitor and control networked Epson projectors remotely, and it is capable of transmitting both audio and video content over the IP network, as well as through an optional wireless module. The 96W improves on its predecessor with a built-in speaker, more brightness and HDMI connectibity.

Hitachi iPJ-AW250N

Hitachi combines interactive whiteboard functionality with projector technology in the iPJ-AW250N. The iPJ-AW250N features and ultra short-throw lens for close surface mounting. Keeping educators in mind, the projector comes with teaching and lesson-building tools, including graphic tools, templates, and colors. AV inputs offered include HDMI, S-video and composite video inputs, RGB computer video, stereo minijack, RCA and microphone. The projector offers brightness in 2,500 lumens, WXGA resolution and a 1.8 foot throw distance for an 80-inch diagonal image. The iPJ-AW250N ethernet capable, allowing remote accessibility.

Boxlight OutWrite

The OutWrite is a projector add-on module from Boxlight that turns any projector into an interactive device. The module either mounts directly onto an existing projector or can be set on a table for portable applications, and there is no need to dismantle or buy interactive whiteboards. The OutWrite uses a CMOS camera, IR wand and pen, and LightPen software. Developed for users that want interactivity but have existing projectors or projector requirements.

LG BX286

LG’s BX286 projector is a short throw designed for the education space. This projector is easily installed, and it can project a 79-inch diagonal image at one meter away, so it fits in any size classroom. It also includes built-in stereo speakers. It operates at a brightness of 2,800 ANSI lumens with a 1024x768 resolution and a 2,300:1 contrast ratio. This means presentations, videos, and other cont tent can be easily viewed in bright, colorful high definition.

Casio Lamp-Free Data Projectors

Casio’s new family of lamp-free, eco-friendly data projectors have yet to be officially named, but the line features three new categories: Signature, PRO, and Short-Throw, that will begin shipping this summer. They offer 3D capability, intelligent brightness control, interactive whiteboard, and pointing and MobiShow functions. Each model features Casio’s laser and LED hybrid light source.

ViewSonic PJL3211

The PJL3211 has a 1024x768 XGA resolution, 2,500 ANSI lumens, and a 500:1 contrast ratio to display clear images on any surface. The product’s six-picture mode capabilities enable high-quality images to be displayed in the dark, daylight, or onto a white or blackboard, allowing multiple presentation formats in a classroom setting.

Sony VPL-EW130

This 3LCD portable projector provides a wide screen solution for education or business applications. With a 3,000 lumens light output, Sony’s VPL-EW130 balances performance and prices. An eco mode reduces overall power consumption, so depending on the lamp brightness mode and power saving features selected, the projector has up to 6,000 hours of lamp life. The filter design requires maintenance only when the lamp is changed for easy care.

NEC M300XS and M300WS

The NEC Display Solutions M Short Throw series now includes the 3,000-lumen M300XS and M300WS digital projectors. They accommodate standard and widescreen purposes, delivering images to screens and interactive whiteboards from a 3.6-foot distance. The portable projectors have a virtually maintenance-free filter and 0.47:1 throw ratio for easier installation on a wall above the screen or whiteboard.

Panasonic PT-DZ570

The PT-DZ570 series projectors feature up to 4,500 lumens brightness, high image quality, and native WUXGA resolution for high resolution. Panasonic’s RGB Booster achieves the high image quality and combines vivid color control technology with a lamp modulation drive system in a one-chip DLP projector. A daylight view feature measures surrounding light with an ambient light sensor and corrects the image in real-time.

BenQ 4’x12’ Interactive Digital Whiteboard

By integrating three projectors into one 4- by 12-foot display, BenQ has broadened the workspace by almost eight feet. Traditional digital whiteboards feature one projector and one smaller screen. Designed specifically for teachers, this projector allows them to control a single desktop. Teachers can save and share work in a desktop environment, allowing them to collaborate together. The technology uses sensors to track a digital pen’s movement, thus eliminating the need for traditional whiteboard markers and cluttered spaces.

Mitsubishi EST Line

The WD380U-EST and XD380U-EST ultra-short throw projectors include dual format USB support, LAN display, built-in 10-watt speaker, audio standby, closed captioning, 3D-capability, and low cost of ownership from the filter-free design. The WD model is in wide format while the XD features XGA resolution. They are capable of projecting a 70-inch diagonal WXGA image at less than 27 inches away. They operate quietly at 28 decibels, with lamp life estimated up to 6,000 hours. The high brightness models output 2,800 and 2,500 lumens, respectively for the WD and XD.

Samsung SP-H03

This portable, palmsized pico projector from Samsung holds up to 1 gigabyte of memory for built-in multimedia playback. Weighing six ounces, the SP-H03 fits into a pocket, backpack, purse, or briefcase. An energyefficient LED light source help does away with lamp replacement. For education applications, the built-in document and media viewers further enable PC-free projection of files.

Sharp 3D Ready DLP Series

Sharp’s five 3D Ready DLP BrilliantColor professional projectors offer a variety of brightness levels, resolutions, and features. Available in two different chassis sizes, the new projectors are well suited for classrooms. The series incorporates DLP Link technology and can be used with compatible 3D content, PC/graphics card, and optional 3D active shutter 3D glasses that support the DLP Link System.

3M MP180

This pocket projector measures 2.5 inches wide by just less than six inches long but supports screen size up to 80 inches with 32 lumens brightness. The MP180 is fully equipped with sound, and the battery lasts up to 120 minutes. The four gigabytes of memory built in and microSD card compatibility store video, music and presentation files. The MP180 features a touchscreen, WiFi, and Bluetooth capability.