More than 450 companies were at this year’s NECC displaying their technology solutions for educators. Here are some of the highlights of companies’ products related to presentation solutions:

Having sold projectors for nearly 20 years, Boxlight Corp. calls itself a “one-stop shop” offering projectors, visual presenters, and accessories. In addition, Boxlight offers an in-house service center, 24-7 toll-free telephone technical support, and warranty and leasing programs. Educators looking for unique ways to use projectors in their classrooms or who need data to corroborate the importance of projectors for grant applications can download the company’s free white paper, “Incorporating and Purchasing a Projector in an Education Setting,” from the Boxlight web site.

News from the exhibit hall

  • NECC roundup: CEOs get behind ed-tech
  • Assessment and instructional management
  • Communications and audio
  • Curriculum and software
  • Digital imaging and creativity
  • Hardware and peripherals
  • Library systems and technologies
  • Online learning and research
  • Professional development
  • School administrative solutions
  • Security and network management
  • InFocus Corp., a provider of digital projection solutions, demonstrated its commitment to education with products it designed to enhance learning and collaboration in the classroom. The company produces a range of education projectors, projector management tools, and wireless technology. Its products are capable of projecting images from multiple sources, including computers, DVD players, and personal digital assistants. InFocus partners with TechSmith to offer projectors designed to complement TechSmith’s popular SnagIt and Camtasia Studio products. The companies partnered in the belief that their efforts would help instructors create more innovative presentations to ensure that the entire class participates in the learning experience.

    The Visual Systems Division of NEC Solutions sells and supports unlimited visual display solutions. Technologies include DLP- and LCD-based mobile, installed, and large-venue projection systems, as well as PlasmaSync plasma displays designed specifically for the unique needs of public display and multimedia presentation environments. The company showed off its new line of projectors, the VT470, VT570, and VT670, all of which it considers ideal for the education field.

    Promethean, the maker of the ACTIVboard Collaborative Classroom System, announced the release of its new ACTIVboard Pro. This interactive whiteboard provides built-in Bluetooth wireless connectivity to personal computers, as well as the ACTIVboard system’s interactive radio communication devices, ACTIVotes and ACTIVslate XR. ACTIVboard Pro completes what the company calls the world’s first fully integrated, interactive whiteboard system. ACTIVboard Pro also provides a massive 78-inch diagonal working space and enables an entire class to take tests from their desks, with their cumulative results displayed on the board in real time. On the back end, the board tracks each student’s response for use in assessment. Promethean also announced the launch of Promethean Planet, a free online resource center that gives educators from around the globe the ability to share new and innovative lessons and access an abundance of learning resources for immediate use with the ACTIVboard technology.

    It was a busy week for SMART Technologies Inc. at NECC. The Canadian-based maker of interactive whiteboards and software for schools announced a contribution of more than $300,000 worth of products to the winners of Intel’s 21st Century Schools of Distinction Awards. At a gala awards ceremony, 20 U.S. schools received a SMART Board 580 interactive whiteboard, as well as a school license for SMART Ideas concept-mapping software and SynchronEyes computer-lab instruction software. In association with its charitable arm, the SMARTer Kids Foundation, SMART also announced a price reduction on its Rear Projection SMART Board 2000i-DVX interactive whiteboard with XGA resolution. Thanks to a foundation grant, qualifying institutions can purchase the 2000i-DVX with high-quality XGA resolution for $9,499, the company said. That’s more than $3,000 off the suggested retail price. Also at the show, the Wichita Public Schools in Wichita, Kan., announced it was recommending SMART interactive whiteboards for use in every classroom across the 50,000-student district. An installation of 56 SMART Board interactive whiteboards will be complete by the start of the new school year, the company said. Other announcements included the creation of the SMART Exemplary Educator program to honor innovative teachers who use SMART products effectively in the classroom, and $80 million in grant awards intended to make SMART’s technology more affordable for school customers.

    Tandberg USA, a branch of the Norwegian visual-communications company Tandberg, showcased its new Mediaplace mobile video system. The small cart set-up enables schools to have student-instructor interaction from virtually anywhere in a building or district. Already used at several universities in Oklahoma, the system is ideal for distance learning at the K-12 level, too, the company said. It also may be used for professional development in large districts, where instructors might not be able to visit each building in person. The Tandberg system delivers rich audio, allowing for music instruction that brings students and teachers together at any distance. Tandberg also works with schools to enhance their experience of the technology, helping arrange virtual field trips to museums, zoos, and science institutes. In one application of the technology, students were able to control the movement of an underwater vehicle at a marine lab, watching the whole experience unfold right in their classroom.

    This eSchool News Online report on the 2004 NECC is made possible with financial support of Dell.