RF Based Pens Support Group Collaboration
AVerMedia debuted a new classroom product that is shaped and used just as a pen, and allows up to seven people to annotate and collaborate on the same screen at once. The AVerPen Mobile Interactive Collaborative Learning Solution, consisting of one teacher pen and multiple student pens, lets participants to contribute without the need for a slate or board--the pens can be used on any surface in the classroom, including student desktops, tables, notebooks, and binders.
Along with annotation, the AVerPen can be used for image and screen capture, lesson engagement, and group response. Group response is done via six response buttons on the pen's stalk, so teachers can quickly gauge reception and understanding of an activity. Up to 60 pens can be registered to a single receiver for the group response feature. Responses are tabulated and stored in the AVer+ project file.
The way the AVerPen works is that receivers are attached via USB to a computer for projection onto a screen. The pens use radio frequency (RF) to send the pen movement signals. Up to six students and one teacher can work simultaneously on one screen, or they can use the split screen function for individual workspaces. The pens can be operated a generous 60 feet from the receiver.
The AVerPen uses AVerMedia's object-oriented AVer+ software, which allows students and teachers to annotate images, objects, video, and screen recordings, then save them as projects and export the files in various formats. The teacher can also use this software to annotate, capture, and record documents, presentations, Web browsers, and other computer programs.
AVerMedia suggested that the combination of the AVerPen, the AVerVision document cameras, and AVer+ software results in an end-to-end solution for display, annotation, collaboration, presentation, capture, record, response and export capabilities.
AVerPen is available in the following configurations:
- Starter Pack: One Teacher Pen and four Student Pens for $799.99;
- Classroom Pack: One Teacher Pen and eight Student Pens for $1,099.99;
- Standalone Teacher Pen: One Teacher Pen for $499.99.
An add-on pack is also available with four Student Pens for $499.99. Further information is available here.
Denise Harrison is a freelance writer and editor specializing in technology, specifically in audiovisual and presentation. She also works as a consultant for Second Life projects and is involved with nonprofits and education within the 3D realm. She can be reached here.