Four school video tools worth exploring

Roland VR-3EX AV Mixer

vr3ex_right_diag2_galRoland Systems Group demonstrated its latest all-in-one audio-visual mixer, the Roland VR-3EX, which expands the company’s lineup of live video production, streaming, and recording solutions.

The Roland VR-3EX includes an audio mixer, video mixer, touch-screen monitor, and USB port for video streaming and recording. The device builds on the company’s popular entry-level AV mixer, the Roland VR-3, by adding four HDMI inputs/outputs, built-in scaling with resolutions up to 1080p and WUXGA, HDCP support, a full 18-channel digital audio mixer with effects, and more than 200 video transitions and effects.

The Roland VR-3EX’s expanded features and affordable cost make it an ideal AV mixer for education, and its compact design lends itself to portable applications—especially where size and space are considerations. The device will be available for sale in March.


Swivl-Home-Page3Swivl is an innovative solution for capturing video that we first highlighted last year, but at TCEA 2014 the company demonstrated the next generation of its product—which enables users to capture lessons and other presentations easily using any tablet device.

The product consists of a robotic base station with a slot that you can set a camera-enabled smart phone or tablet into, and a remote transmitter that you wear. As you walk around the room, the base station automatically swivels to follow the transmitter, so the camera on your mobile device continues to focus on you. The transmitter doubles as a remote-control device for operating the base station manually as well.

Swivl’s first-generation product supported smaller iOS devices only, such as iPhones and iPad Minis. Its second-generation product, demonstrated at TCEA, features a sturdier base station designed to support full-size tablets (up to 8 pounds)—and it works with Android devices as well. It also includes software for combining a video clip with a slide presentation, without having to edit the video first—reducing the process of “flipping” your classroom down to just a tablet and the Swivl.

In addition, the company offers a cloud-based platform for storing and sharing video—including analytics to show who has watched each clip.

Dennis Pierce

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