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Archive for June, 2012

Cool Interactive Whiteboard Storytelling Lesson

I came across this awesome whiteboard lesson and felt that I just had to share it.  It allows students to use their imaginations and storytelling skills while incorporating several different kinds of technology in the classroom.  Pretty cool.  Take a look!

Interactive Whiteboards Enliven Storytelling

Students better absorb class content when they create their own books about it using technology.

Cari Orts teaches fifth grade at Spicewood Elementary School in Texas.
posted June 27, 2012

Research has shown that interactive whiteboards make the teaching and learning process far more engaging and often lead to better retention of the material presented. With these and other classroom technologies, students can become their own content publishers.

LESSON DESCRIPTION: This lesson helps students transform an ordinary picture into an animated I SPY–like book using an interactive whiteboard, a digital camera, a digital voice recorder, classroom computers and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Begin by asking students to select the items they wish to include in their picture. They can either bring small toys from home or choose classroom objects. Have students set up scenes with the objects they have selected and then use the camera to photograph their work. These pictures will serve as the basis for the stories students will write and then transform into interactive books complete with animation and audio. Their stories must mention eight items featured in the picture and follow the basic mechanics of good storytelling. Encourage students to pick one object that will serve as the story’s “main character,” introduce a problem that will propel the action and come up with a plot resolution that will leave readers feeling satisfied at the end, as any good story will do.

When all stories are approved, instruct students to pair off and read each other’s story into the voice recorder. Help students save their pictures and voice recordings on the classroom computers and then assemble their books using Microsoft PowerPoint. The slides students create should incorporate both their photos and their voice recordings.

Next, have students display their stories on the interactive whiteboard and draw circles around each item mentioned in the stories using PowerPoint’s drawing tools. Students may have to listen to the narrative multiple times to verify that they have circled all items that appear in the story. Once all items are circled, have students animate the circles using the Custom Animation tab in PowerPoint so the circles “fly” into view as they are mentioned in the story narrative.

Conclude the lesson by showing each PowerPoint story to the class using the interactive whiteboard and challenging students to locate all of the items that are mentioned in each one.

SUBJECT AREA: This lesson teaches writing and technology skills and can be adapted for any content area or grade level.

CURRICULUM STANDARDS: This lesson addresses oral fluency, story writing, ­sequencing and technology use requirements outlined in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards established by the Texas Education Agency. It also fulfills several National Educational Technology Standards for Students developed by the International Society for Technology in Education.

RESOURCES:

GRADING RUBRIC: Students should be graded on their ability to read aloud with accuracy, expression and appropriate phrasing; their development of a story with correct sequencing, grammar and punctuation; and their use of the technologies needed to complete the assignment.

Teaching Tips

✔ Have students pick one object or item in their picture to serve as their book’s main character. This makes it easier for them to build a story.

✔ Teach students the basics of PowerPoint before beginning this lesson.

✔ Instead of using a mouse with the interactive whiteboard, have students move objects in their PowerPoint presentations with their hands for greater control over their story elements.

I found this article at http://www.edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2012/06/interactive-whiteboards-enliven-storytelling.

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eBeam Technology Rocks!

By looking at the list of Luidia’s OEM Partners below, I believe it’s obvious that eBeam technology has proven its effectiveness.  As stated on the eBeam website, “OEM partners who embed eBeam technology in their solutions gain unique competitive advantage, with the most affordable, ultra-portable idea capture and collaboration technology on the market.”  I’m impressed.  Take a look!

eBeam Technology has been integrated into products such as those listed below…

View the HP Pocket Whiteboard

Why partner with Luidia?

  1. Successful track record with a solid retention of OEM partners throughout multiple generations of product releases
  2. Differentiated technology, dozens of patents
  3. White label branding
  4. Global coverage, used in 70 countries, software translation into 10 languages
  5. Rich, intuitive software for Windows, Macintosh and Linux

From startups to established global brands, Luidia is the ideal partner for companies such as

  • Display and projector suppliers
  • Whiteboard suppliers
  • Printer manufacturers
  • Special-purpose furniture designers (e.g. podiums and design tables)
  • Conferencing solution providers
  • Telecom and audiovisual providers

This information was found at http://www.e-beam.com/partners/current-oem-partners.html.

eBeam Technology Recommended by ZDNet

Of course, I’m not surprised, I think everyone familiar with eBeam technology should recommend it, but still it’s nice to see the good reviews!  This is also just a really great informative article for anyone in education who has the awesome responsibility of figuring out what to invest in with this year’s budget.  So, take a look, and then when you decide you need to purchase some eBeam products, come check out our great prices at our website http://www.shop.ebeamrocks.com/.  Remember to mention my blog, and receive an extra discount!

A summer IT buyer’s guide, Part 1: Hardware for K12 schools

By | June 14, 2012, 1:57pm PDT

Summary: This is the first of an eight-part series on our favorite thing to do during the summer: spend our budget before it gets cut!

The new academic fiscal year is upon us, many of our students have left for the summer, and all there is to keep school IT staff company is a stack of purchase orders and a few surly janitors. Some of the purchases were set in stone months ago, especially those related to infrastructure that are eligible for E-Rate reimbursement. Many others, though, are just loose requirements and guidelines. In this first part of an eight-part series on IT purchasing for the upcoming year, we’ll take a look at several bits of hardware that should be on everyone’s short lists for consideration. Software and service recommendations will be coming soon. Spend those budget lines on July 1st before the budgets get frozen and cut in October!

Hardware

No, the PC isn’t dead. It’s breathing is a bit shallow, it’s pulse a bit thready, but students still need to be able to sit down in front of something with a keyboard and monitor. They need to be able to write papers, produce videos, develop presentations, and much more. I’ve always been a fan of thin clients as substitutes for PCs in mainstream productivity settings and there are some very interesting options available. 1:1 is becoming a standard in districts that can afford it (although many are opting for tablets instead of laptops) and more than a few schools are discovering the joys of media labs with high end workstations. And if you didn’t tap E-Rate this year, there are still decisions to make about infrastructure to support all of that computing goodness.

PCs

I’m going to lump laptops, thin clients, desktops, and workstations together under the “Personal Computer” category. Here are my top picks:
Lenovo is growing fast as a PC provider for schools. Their laptops are durable (their Thinkpads are tanks built for enterprise applications, but can be pricey; both their IdeaPad and Essential lines are very solid, reasonably-priced choices for laptop carts and 1:1 applications). There are a variety of snappy choices that are small enough for primary grades and powerful enough for secondary students. Lenovo desktops, though not as well known as their laptop lines are also generally very cost-effective choices. I have yet to meet a Lenovo I don’t like. There are cheaper choices, but I’ve met plenty of Acers and their ilk that I definitely don’t like (or that don’t like the abuse students and teachers dish out). And even their new ultrabooks are within reach of many schools.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Intel’s Learning Series for K-8 applications. In particular, the Convertible Classmate is a great choice if students and teachers want a touch interface but tablets come out lacking in the way teachers want to use the machines. A strong ecosystem of related hardware and software for science, robotics, and more is readily available. Check out the Learning Series Page for vendors.

I’ve come to love workstations. They aren’t cheap, but if you’re interested in teaching professional content creation or allowing students to really explore design and multimedia, there is no better choice. These aren’t for 1:1; they’re for dedicated media labs or IT/graphics/design programs in vocational-technical schools and are powerful enough to ensure that students spend their time creating rather than waiting or avoiding software that chugs on mainstream PCs. My top picks are all from HP who have an incredibly comprehensive lineup.

I used the Z1 All-in-One workstation at an Adobe workshop a couple of weeks ago and was blown away by its performance and form factor. This thing begs to go in a computer lab. An Elitebook Mobile Workstation is my primary portable machine. It’s no ultrabook, but if you need serious multimedia power on a cart or as a 1:1 solution for students in appropriate voc-tech shops, it’s a great choice. Finally, their small form factor Z210s remain outstanding desktop workstations, particularly if you already have usable monitors and are just looking to upgrade hardware.

Thin clients remain great choices for increasing the PC footprint in a school inexpensively and in an easy-to-manage platform. Dell recently purchased Wyse and has a wide selection of everything from zero clients (essentially dumb windows into multi-user PC or server) to mobile “cloud PCs” for complete desktop experiences.

Userful isn’t as well-known but has several interesting Linux-based solutions for thin clients and multiuser computing. Their software can handle everything from desktop lockdown to computer and lab scheduling and students can have

Tablets

I hesitate to recommend tablets for most school settings because, too often, they’re gadgets rather than teaching tools. Too few people have taken the time to really develop good teaching models around them. And yet, tablets can be really compelling for young people and teachers alike. New apps are emerging all the time and interactive textbooks get better and more plentiful by the moment. So, regardless of the current state of teaching with tablets, I’m going to throw out two recommendations.

The iPad 3 has a brilliant display, a huge apps ecosystem, and is incredibly fast. It isn’t necessary for everyone and the last thing I want to see is taxpayer dollars giving 4th graders latest-generation iPads. That being said, the new iPad has powerful use cases for simulations, study resources, assessments, and more. And the display has the added benefit of being easier on the eyes for long periods of reading than any I’ve ever used.

In many cases, though, the Intel StudyBook represents a great choice for students of all ages. Science apps are included and accompanying hardware can be had from multiple vendors in the Intel Learning Series ecosystem. It’s not the fastest tablet and there’s no retina display, but it’s inexpensive, rugged, and already has learning models and tools built around it through Intel’s research and professional development.

Multimedia

Interactive whiteboards and projectors have become key pieces of instructional technology in many classrooms. Although too many function as glorified whiteboards or movie screening tools, there is a huge amount of content available, both from vendors and created by teachers that can guide their use in the classroom.

Vendors worth checking out? Luidia, Dell, and InFocus all deserve a look. Luidia in particular has rolled out some great tools to leverage tablets with their inexpensive hardware and software solutions.

This article was found at http://www.zdnet.com/blog/education/a-summer-it-buyers-guide-part-1-hardware-for-k12-schools/4918.

The Wonders of the eBeam Inscribe

Let’s take a look at the eBeam Inscribe!

Increase Classroom Interactivity With eBeam Inscribe-

The eBeam Inscribe 200e wireless tablet allows users to perform familiar mouse functions and utilize all the features and functionality of standard software applications from anywhere in a conference room, classroom, or large meeting space.

The tablets are lightweight and compact; yet provide ample workspace for efficient desktop and program navigation and input.

Tools You Use–  Through a seamless integration with eBeam Scrapbook, the Inscribe 200e offers a unique dual input feature with the tablet and the interactive stylus. While someone is drawing in Scrapbook with the tablet, someone at the board can simultaneously use full mouse-functionality to drag in images, edit strokes, or set up a shared meeting.

eBeam Inscribe centralizes the most used tool palette functions for ease of use.

 
Please check out our website http://www.ebeamrocks.com/ for more information about all of our eBeam products and for great prices.  Mention my blog when you’re ready to purchase, and receive an extra discount!

eBeam Edge and a Mitsubishi Electric Projector- A Great Combination!

So, I don’t know if anyone will be in the Las Vegas area in the next few days, but Luidia is showcasing their eBeam Edge at the Mitsubishi Electric Booth at this year’s InfoComm Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center, June 13-15, 2012.  Take a look!

Mitsubishi Electric Stands Apart With Industry Partner Synergy and Depth of Display Offerings

IRVINE, CA–(Marketwire – Jun 13, 2012) – In an increasingly commoditized marketplace, Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America, Inc. sets itself apart in many ways: the wide range of product offerings, overall product excellence and reliability, and synergistic partnerships with industry leaders to bring the best solutions and services to its customers.

Mitsubishi Electric is the only manufacturer that makes a full line of displays, including LED display boards, projectors, LCD flat panel monitors, data walls and televisions designed for a wide range of industries and applications.

At this year’s InfoComm Expo, the audio/visual display industry’s biggest show, Mitsubishi Electric will share the spotlight with Cybertouch, DisplayNote, IAdea, Luidia, Qwizdom®, ThinkLogical™, and Anacore in Booth #C8308 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, June 13-15, 2012.

CyberTouch brings its touch-screen expertise to bear on three displays in the booth, including the Photon, a multi-touch frame that converts any Mitsubishi Electric video wall to an interactive multi-user experience. CyberTouch’s Rio line of multi-touch monitors recognizes up to 32 simultaneous touch inputs and is a turn-key solution for Mitsubishi Electric dealers who want to integrate this technology. CyberTouch offers gesturing, squeezing and pinching functionalities to make interactive resources easier for untrained or casual multiple users.

DisplayNote’s software allows users to connect to Mitsubishi Electric projectors or monitors and control display content using a tablet or smart phone. Users can view, annotate, save and collaborate with other users using DisplayNote.

IAdea will be exhibiting its media players with digital signage content shown via a user-friendly interface; users can easily connect the media players to a network and effectively (and intuitively) display digital signage. Using the latest HTML5 dynamic content open standard, IAdea media players can display RSS feeds, live web and even news and weather feeds. These media players are also widely supported by many major digital signage software brands.

Luidia returns to the Mitsubishi Electric booth to showcase its interactive eBeam Edge™ platform that creates, saves and shares meeting notes, dynamic lessons, diagrams and more. Weighing less than four ounces, the eBeam Edge works with a Mitsubishi Electric projector to transform walls, traditional whiteboards and flat surfaces into interactive workspaces. This eliminates the need to replace these surfaces with new and costly dedicated interactive ones. They can also work with large-screen, flat panel monitors or display walls.

Quizdom’s WizTeach™ is annotation software that works in single and dual pen mode with Mitsubishi Electric’s projectors for greater collaboration and interactivity. It has more than 70 subject-specific tools for drawing, math, literacy, voting, science and geography. WizTeach annotations save directly into Word, Power Point and Excel, and work with a browser and almost any software application. These tools are designed to improve teaching and learning outcomes.

Thinklogical is one of the world’s foremost developers and manufacturers of high-performance fiber optic video, audio, KVM (keyboard, visual display and mouse) and peripheral extension and routing solutions. The company will show its Velocity Extender product — the VelSys3 Fiber Optic Input Card — built specifically for Mitsubishi Electric video walls. The VelSys3 plugs directly into any Mitsubishi Electric Seventy Series DLP® cube’s optic engine or Seventy Series: Flat monitors as an optional input board for a quick fiber optic connection.

Adding to the excitement in the booth is content provided by Anacore, a leading custom software development company specializing in collaboration and digital signage systems. Visitors will experience powerful and dynamic interactive tools that streamline collaborative discussions, reminiscent of the high-tech wonders found only in futuristic movies.

Mitsubishi Electric works with companies that have a solid reputation in their respective areas of expertise, be it touch screens, interactivity, or thin client communications. Mitsubishi Electric also provides a support network to resolve issues that may arise with one call, to one company.

“Unlike other manufacturers, if you have a problem with a Mitsubishi Electric product, you call us first,” said James Chan, vice president of marketing, Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America, Inc. “Even if the issue lies with one of our software or third-party providers, we’ll coordinate the service call so our customers have one point of contact.”

“Our core competence is our expertise in display technology that goes back decades,” added Chan. “From huge Diamond Vision™ displays in stadiums and on Time Square to our big-screen TVs, Mitsubishi Electric makes display devices that are specifically designed to improve the viewer’s visual experience.”

About Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America, Inc.
Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America, Inc. is a US subsidiary of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation of Tokyo, Japan. Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America manufactures and markets projectors, data wall display systems, LCD digital signage monitors and players, industrial printers, photo kiosks and digital photo printers, large-screen 3D DLP® televisions and the world’s first laser TV, LaserVue®.

For more on Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America, visit http://www.mevsa.com. Connect with Mitsubishi on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/MitsubishiDisplays) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/MitsuDisplays)

DLP is a registered trademark of Texas Instruments. Thinklogical is a trademark of Thinklogical. Qwizdom and Wizteach are registered trademarks or trademarks of Quizdom. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

This article was found at http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/mitsubishi-electric-stands-apart-with-industry-partner-synergy-depth-display-offerings-1669006.htm.

The Wonders of the eBeam Edge Projection

Interactive Whiteboards – eBeam Edge Projection

Transform meetings from ho-hum to “wow” in minutes

Lightweight, portable and oh-so adaptable. eBeam Edge Projection transforms flat surfaces into lively interactive workspaces.

Place it on traditional whiteboards, walls, tabletops and even glass. Install it in minutes. Draw freehand in vibrant color, annotate on Microsoft PowerPoint documents and use tools that help focus attention on meeting content.

Everything can be shared live, saved and reused.

The eBeam Edge works with any projector and Windows computer. It comes with a lightweight stylus and powerful interactive software.

Please check out our website http://www.ebeamrocks.com/ for more information about all of our eBeam products and for great prices.  Mention my blog when you’re ready to purchase, and receive an extra discount!

The Wonders of the eBeam Engage

Let’s take a look at the eBeam Engage!

eBeam Engage™ interactive whiteboard device combines more than ten multimedia and navigation tools in one sleek console to make lesson delivery effective and fun. Key highlights include:

  • Plug and play
  • Makes lesson delivery fluid
  • Puts frequently used tools within arms reach
  • Keeps focus and attention on content
  • Improves navigation with customizable links to commonly used applications, folders, files and URLs and scroll knob
  • Wireless keyboard eliminates need to toggle between computer and interactive surface
  • Simple installation requires no special skills or tools – usable on existing surfaces
  • Records sound and video in real time with one-touch recording button, built in microphone and line in/out port
  • Provides two built in USB ports to attach additional peripherals to the console

Click on the images to enlarge

     

Features of eBeam Engage

High Fidelity JBL Speakers
Built in microphone
Line in/out audio jacks
One touch recording
Sroll knob
eBeam interactive receiver
Wireless mini keyboard with magnetic sleeve
Multi function stylus
Customizable eBeam home
Software and curriculum resources
Kensington lock slots
2 USB ports

Included Components of eBeam Engage

1 USB cable
1 power cable
1 power adapter
1 AAA battery
1 quickstart guide
1 USB key with eBeam education software
1 Engage system
1 installation template
1 interactive stylus
1 package of spare stylus tips
2 mounting brackets with spare adhesive
1 RF keyboard with sleeve and USB charging cable
1 keyboard mounting plate for non-magnetic surfaces

 
Please check out our website http://www.ebeamrocks.com/ for more information about all of our eBeam products and for great prices.  Mention my blog when you’re ready to purchase, and receive an extra discount!