Presentation Products: Hardware
ViewSonic's VPW425 42" plasma TV (www.viewsonic.com) is a slim display that incorporates a variety of useful features for the education environment. The 3.7" deep display has a built-in TV tuner that accepts all VHF and UHF channels, as well as CATV input. ViewSonic's NextVision technology brings images to life with brightness and depth, while its XtremeView performance produces up to 160-degree viewing angles. Educators can take advantage of the VPW425's picture-in-picture and picture-on-picture (split-screen) capabilities to further enhance learning. In addition, the display comes with built-in surround-sound speakers and progressive scan technology. Compatible with resolutions of VGA up to SXGA, the VPW425 also features high-definition signals including 480p, 480i, 720p and 1080i.
The new PLUS M-5 Copyboard from PLUS Vision Corp. of America (www.plus-america.com) is the only electronic whiteboard that features built-in memory and CF memory card functionality. The PLUS M-5 measures 46" x 28" and offers two writing surfaces - the traditional whiteboard or the flip-chart board. And all material written on the board's surface is saved to internal memory or to an optional CF memory card. Using a USB cable, the board can be connected to any PC so that stored information can be saved to the desktop. This enables information written on the whiteboard to be easily printed, e-mailed or stored to a network. The PLUS M-5 comes standard with dry-erase markers, USB cable, wall-mounting brackets and a power cord.
Classroom crowding d'esn't have to be a problem any longer with use of the Flat Panel Radial Arm 7500 by Innovative Office Products (www.lcdarms.com). For use with flat-panel monitors, this flexible mounting arm is ergonomically beneficial as well as a space-saver. The 7500 suspends any monitor weighing between 2.5 lbs.-42 lbs. above the desk surface, allowing users to easily adjust the viewing angle. The pivoting monitor makes computer sharing easy as it extends 27" from where it is mounted and is capable of tilting up to 200 degrees. In addition, the 7500 rotates a full 360 degrees at three swivel joints and pivots easily from portrait to landscape mode.
The Interactive Plasma Display System from Polyvision (www.polyvision.com) brings the interactivity of a single computer to a whole group of students or teachers in a classroom. With an 8,000 x 8,000 resolution, the system provides exceptional clarity and precision cursor tracking that allows students to follow every detail of the content placed on the display. The system's software allows users to transfer images via drag and drop, clipboard or file export, as well as offers real-time playback. The system comes with optional wall-mounting brackets, infrared wireless connectivity and PenOffice handwriting recognition software.
Alliance International's Digital Class Multimedia Lectern (www.alliance-intl.com/digitalclass) is a single-width lectern that incorporates an interactive LCD-writing monitor with electronic whiteboard software that connects to virtually any display device. The flush-mounting LCD is placed in the lectern at a slight incline, making it easier for educators to write comfortably directly on the LCD screen. Made with a choice of fine woods, the lectern features fold-up wings on each side that can be used to support books, papers or other equipment such as document cameras. The lectern is powered by Digital Class software, which allows users to annotate over image on the monitor. The software also includes features such as drawing tools, a pressure-sensitive highlighter, and the ability to record voice and notes. In addition, Digital Class comes with templates for whiteboard, blackboard, writing paper, graph paper, music staff and many other display options, which make teaching any subject fun and easy.
The Neo-Flex Arm by Ergotron (www.ergotron.com) enables teachers and students to position their computer screens in a manner that is most comfortable; thus, reducing strain and stress on the eyes and neck and shoulder muscles. The streamlined arm provides 8" of vertical movement so that users can position the top of their monitor at or slightly below eye level as ergonomic experts recommend. The Neo-Flex Arm clamps to the back of a desk or table and works with any monitor that weighs 18 lbs. or less and is VESA-complaint (i.e., features a four-hole bolt pattern on the back of the monitor). The arm locks into place so that once the proper adjustment has been made it will not be lost. In addition, the arm has 180-degree right/left tilt and up/down tilt, a 360-degree portrait/landscape rotation, and a 360-degree arm side-to-side range.
Hitachi Software Engineering America's Interactive Communications Group (www.hitachi-soft.com) recently launched the new StarBoard T-15XL interactive display. This 15" TFT display features XGA quality graphics and an integrated electromagnetic sensing digitizer for wireless pen-driven operation. With built-in Starboard Software, teachers can annotate directly on the display, and all annotated images can be simultaneously projected on any display or LCD screen. With StarBoard Software, the T-15XL also enables users to partake in videoconferences when used with a desktop, Web cam and microphone. To further assist teachers, all annotated data can be saved in several file formats, including HTML files for viewing with any Web browser.
This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2004 issue of THE Journal.