This 3-D-ready projector from BenQ was one of several new products on display in the TCEA conference exhibit hall.

A partnership between Texas Instruments and NASA to develop free math lessons with a space exploration theme, professional development from PBS TeacherLine for educators who teach online, and new 3-D-ready projectors and content were among the highlights from the exhibit hall at the Texas Computer Education Association conference in February.

Here’s a roundup of TCEA exhibitor news…

The American Education Corporation announced the release of Algebra I: A Function Approach Part 2, a new interactive high school course for the company’s A+nywhere Learning System courseware program. Part 2 gives students varied interactive approaches to solving algebra problems using real-world examples and scenarios.

Apperson Education Products announced a new program that awards up to $1,500 to schools on the company’s web site receiving the most votes. The school with the most votes wins $1,500, second-most votes award $750, and the school with the third-most votes wins $500. Money may be used for any educational purpose, such as a new computers or software.

BenQ introduced the MP780ST, an extreme short-throw DLP projector with full 3-D capabilities and built-in whiteboard functionality. The projector’s PointDraw technology can turn any surface into an interactive whiteboard. It also includes a LAN display for integrated daily video announcements or emergency messaging, and USB video without the need of an external VGA cable. The MP780ST features 2,500 lumens, a 2,500-to-1 contrast ratio, and WXGA (1,366 x 768) resolution for wide-screen display.

Bretford introduced a new line of Intelligent Laptop Computer carts. The line includes two different models with space for either 20 horizontally stored or 30 vertically stored laptops. The carts also feature a power management system that decreases heat and electrical stresses while proportionally distributing power to the laptops.

CDI, a supplier of recertified brand-name computers, announced that Vienna High School District No. 13-3 won the first ever CDI “Share Your Story” contest. Vienna High School Principal Patrick Harner wrote a compelling story about the district’s efforts to keep technology current for all students so they can enter the 21st century world of college and work with high-level technology skills. CDI is giving the district a complete tech lab valued at more than $10,000. The company also operates a recycling program and ships more than 25,000 units on a monthly basis.

CDW-G discussed its work with Katy Independent School District in Texas, Upper Darby School District in Pennsylvania, and Evansville Vanderburgh School District in Indiana to improve the districts’ core IT infrastructure and enable 21st-century learning initiatives. Districts sometimes make technology decisions without having the correct infrastructure in place, and ensuring that technology purchases will be well-supported is essential, CDW-G said.

Dell unveiled new services and relationships to help educators integrate digital content into their teaching practices. A partnership with Agilix Labs, for instance, makes that company’s BrainHoney platform available to Dell customers. BrainHoney is an open platform that allows teachers to align their lesson plans with state standards to develop curriculum maps using a simple drag-and-drop interface. It also generates daily reports on student progress toward state standards. In addition, Dell’s Digital Content Adoption Services include an assessment to help school leaders ensure their technology infrastructure can support digital instruction, as well as private computing clouds that enable teachers and students to share resources over a network.

Epson displayed its line of K-12 and higher-education projectors. The PowerLite 85 features energy savings, Mac compatibility, a wider-range microphone, and the ability to project lines or a graph onto a whiteboard for math or handwriting lessons. Its wireless functionality gives educators the ability to send data across a school’s network.

Hatch introduced its TeachSmart Learning System, a comprehensive SMART Board package developed specifically for early childhood education. The system lets children independently access learning activities. Students can narrate their work, and teachers can electronically save their observations and create portfolios.

Hitachi displayed its line of projectors and projector tools, which give educators and IT staff access to easy scheduling, easy IT configuration, centralized reporting, eMail alerts for necessary maintenance, monitoring, a content sharing feature, and function control over a LAN connection. The Projector Messenger Application lets educators display real-time text messages on the projector screen.