School Chooses Monitor for Its Crisp Text Display and More

Is the technical specialist for Saddleback Valley Unified School District in Mission Viejo, Calif., Norm Neville has had the opportunity to preview some exciting technological advances. For example, roughly two and a half years ago, when he was also working as a consultant for IBM Corp.'s Columbus Illuminated Books Manuscript project, Neville witnessed a demonstration of Tempe, Ariz.-based Covid's M3 Multimedia Monitor. Neville was impressed with the monitor's ability to handle not only the curriculum's images but also the text. "Columbus' color-background text screens are difficult for other monitors to handle," Neville explains. About the Monitor He was also pleased with the M3's sturdy, student-proof casing, its front-panel controls and voice-activated commands. But most of all, the monitor was very easy to use due to its one-cable hook up. The 27" M3 MultiMedia Monitor displays high-resolution computer and video images as well as accommodates a full range of inputs such as RGB analog, composite video, S-Video and stereo audio. Its 25-watt stereo audio system converts to a public address system, thus eliminating the need for an external amplifier and speakers. Smart circuitry is designed to prevent overload damage regardless of volume setting. A computer and two different video sources can be connected simultaneously. The M3 also boasts a computer-video interface. And an "Auto Power Saver" feature saves electricity and money by automatically turning the monitor off after one hour if an image is not being displayed. For larger audiences, an optional Multi Link cable joins several M3s together. The M3 connected to the computer controls the functions of all other monitors in the chain. Back in School Back at the district, the Columbus project was a big hit. Lake Forest Elementary School also needed monitors for classroom use and evaluated Covid's monitor along with three or four others. Covid's came out on top, primarily due to its one-cable hook-up. The school took delivery of ten monitors, five of which were used with the Columbus packages and the others mounted in each classroom. Classroom monitors will be on sliding mounts within wall cabinets. Connected to the 27" monitors are VCRs, videodisc players, cable TV hook-ups, an IBM PS/2 Model 35 computer and in-house cable feeds. Neville is working on having a switch made for the cabinet door that would activate the different sources just by pushing a button. Other schools in the district have purchased the Columbus curriculum and Covid monitors. "We have five high schools," Neville says. "Four of them have the Columbus package. We have three intermediate schools, and only one has Columbus. As [other schools] purchase more Columbus curricula, I always recommend the Covid over any other monitor because the text display is so good." In addition, IBM has developed more Illuminated Manuscript modules. Four copies of the Evolution to Revolution modules have been shipped, each of which is going to a secondary school that already owns a Covid monitor. However schools that want to purchase this new project will want to acquire Covid M3s if they do not already have one. Instructor Use Neville states that instructors enjoy using the monitors. "They find them simple to operate and like the clarity," he elaborates. All involved feel that the M3 is the perfect monitor for viewing the Columbus Illustrated Manuscripts as well as any other multimedia material.

This article originally appeared in the 08/01/1994 issue of THE Journal.