Optoma launches 4 new laser projectors

4 new projectors, plus immersive digital dome environment

Optoma is showcasing new and top-selling ProAV projection products in a variety of creative applications at InfoComm 2016. From dome and arch displays to interactivity and edge blending, the company is focused on providing innovative solutions with maximum flexibility for the ProAV market.

In partnership with OmniSpace, a provider of immersive digital dome environments, Optoma is showcasing a 16-foot, 360-degree video dome, powered by four Optoma EH503 1080p projectors using a 0.8:1 short throw lens with full lens shift.  This unique and scalable visual experience is suited for a variety of small and large venue applications including theaters, experiential advertising, corporate events, gaming, concerts, simulation, education, planetariums, virtual reality and more.

In addition, the company is featuring four new solid state illumination (SSI) laser phosphor projectors ranging from 2,000 to 6,000 lumens, and providing ultra-reliable, image-rich solutions for everything from digital signage to a variety of small and medium-sized venues:…Read More

Panasonic showcases new laser projectors, digital displays

Variety of laser projectors and multi-touch displays recently showcased

Panasonic has launched a wide range of visual systems technologies. The booth showcases the latest professional visual systems and professional video technologies through engaging demonstrations, including a new flagship 4K+ SOLID SHINE Laser 3-Chip DLP projector, high-impact projection mapping solutions, an ultra-narrow video-wall display featuring virtually invisible bezels, along with other new professional display and  professional video products.

Product highlights at InfoComm 2016 include:

Projectors

PT-RQ32KU 3-Chip DLP SOLID SHINE 4K+ Laser Projector…Read More

Gale expands historical digital newspaper offerings

New collections include historical archive of The Telegraph – one of the world’s best-known newspapers, a unique collection of Chinese periodicals, and British Library Newspapers

Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, has expanded its digital historical newspaper collections with the launch of several new archives. Now available are The Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855-2000, a 145-year archive of Britain’s best-selling quality newspaper; China from Empire to Republic: Missionary, Sinology, and Literary Periodicals, a collection of English-language periodicals published in or about China from 1817-1949; and British Library Newspapers, Part V: 1746-1950, which adds newspapers from the northern part of the United Kingdom to Gale’s comprehensive digital collection of British newspapers. All collections are fully indexed and the metadata and data are available for text and data mining and other forms of large-scale digital humanities analysis.

“These collections speak to the range of partnerships Gale has with different institutions around the world – from the British Library to the National Library of China and beyond – and what allows us to bring such unique, global content direct to researchers,” said Terry Robinson, senior vice president and managing director for Gale International. “In addition, we hope having access to these archives as data leads to the discovery of new insights by digital humanities scholars. Analyzing historical newspapers is a great way to uncover rich cultural and societal perspectives across any number of themes.”

The Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855-2000 enables researchers to full-text search more than one million pages of the paper’s back issues, including the Sunday Telegraph from 1961. Providing a balance of personal interest stories alongside incisive analysis, the archive offers a fascinating glimpse into daily life as it was experienced over the past 145 years.…Read More

5 ways music and tech are adding a little STEAM to our lessons

Technology plus music is an easy, accessible way to put STEAM in lessons — and students love it

The holy grail for those of us in education is a method that imbues students with higher-level thinking skills that stick, preparing them for what comes next in their lives.  This means not just reaching all students with the content they must learn but making sure this information stays around in their heads to improve their school performance and knowledge base.

As we all know, this can be a tall order, but in my school district, we’ve been using the latest and newest technologies that help to engage kids in learning. Our results have been significant and, I believe, worth sharing.

My job involves instructing both teachers and students in how to implement technology tools into their lessons. All our middle- and high-school students in Moore County, N.C., have Chromebooks so our digital tools must be compatible. As part of our constant brainstorming of new ideas and tools, my team heard about an online music recording studio called Soundtrap that runs on Chromebooks and we developed a curricular program to use it at many schools in our district. I personally use it at both of my middle schools.  One is a Title 1 school with a minority population of about 50 percent, and a free or reduced lunch status of about 65% while the other one is not a Title 1 school and its minority population is about 20 percent.…Read More

Why digital PD needs an urgent overhaul

Technology, collaboration, and new standards are changing the classroom at a rapid pace. Every teacher’s professional development must keep up

Like so many of us, I have been grateful throughout my life for the professionals I’ve needed to call upon for vital services and expert guidance. The surgeon who had years of residency and practice before treating me on her own. Or the lawyer, who was constantly staying abreast of federal and state regulations in order to offer me sound advice.

Similarly, students and parents rely on me every day. As teachers, we are entrusted with our nation’s children, and their futures, yet many of us find ourselves isolated in classrooms without the right training or support. Others find ourselves supported by just one or two afternoons of professional development per year. As we collectively elevate teaching so that it may sit comfortably alongside other highly respected and important professions, we must think carefully about how to provide higher-quality, effective continuing education for teaching.

The need for more practical and effective professional learning opportunities for teachers is especially important right now, with new academic standards being introduced and adapted in schools across the country. As a teacher leader who has had this conversation with teachers, administrators, policy makers, and parents, I recognize an important distinction to which we must pay attention. People outside the profession often want to see a greater sense of urgency about our work. Oftentimes, the desire for urgency looks more like drawing small circles around teachers through evaluations, ranking, and sorting. For a classroom teacher, though, this has the opposite effect. When I feel small, I don’t feel urgent. I feel scared and uncertain.…Read More

3 Google Fiber programs that could help ease the digital divide

Google’s affordable broadband service is already impacting some communities and schools

The latest Digital Equity report from the Consortium of School Networking paints a picture of an educational environment where schools are at least on the right path to providing access to high-speed wi-fi within their walls (though there is still plenty of work to be done). An equally pressing problem is the fact that the number of pupils with fast connectivity dwindles as they move away from their K-12 hubs—and the divide deepens even further when issues like socioeconomic status, income, and race are taken into account.

According to The Pew Research Center, 82.5 percent of American households with school-age children currently have broadband access at home. This is approximately 9 percentage points higher than the broadband adoption rates across all households, CoSN reports, but there are still 5 million households with school-age children which lack broadband in the home.

“Students in these households experience what is being labeled the ‘homework gap,’” reported CoSN, pointing out that more than 75 percent of school district technology leaders have no strategy for addressing off-campus access.…Read More

Survey: Teachers now use twice as much gaming and video in the classroom

Annual survey reveals digital resources such as game-based environments and online videos have experienced increased use in classrooms

Teachers’ use of game-based environments and online apps has doubled in the last six years, according to the annual Speak Up survey released on May 5.

The national report, From Print to Pixel: The role of videos, games, animations and simulations within K-12 education, reveals that in 2010, only 23 percent of surveyed teachers said they used games, compared to 48 percent of those surveyed in 2015. In 2010, 47 percent of teachers said they used online videos, and that jumped to 68 percent of teachers in 2015.

“Many more schools are demonstrating greater use of digital content, tools and resources today than six years ago and we believe that the increasing adoption of interactive, visual media in the classroom by teachers is the driver for much of that change,” said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, in a press release. “The explosion in teacher interest and usage of videos and game-based learning could be a harbinger of a new awakening for digital learning.”…Read More

Fab labs to launch in early childhood programs

Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM will develop early childhood fab labs in Head Start programs

Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM (TIES), a developer of digital fabrication laboratories (fab labs) and STEM curriculum and school design, has been named a partner in the Federal government’s new Early Education STEM initiative.

TIES is among a group of leaders who participated in April’s Early Learning Symposium hosted by The White House, in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services and Invest in US. The event highlighted the importance of promoting active STEM learning for our youngest children and to celebrate a broad range of public- and private-sector leaders committed to promoting STEM learning across the country.

In March 2016, The Bay Area Discovery Museum, in partnership with TIES and FableVision, launched the world’s first Fab Lab for young learners (ages 3 to 10) to help them navigate the design process from concept to production, and turn their ideas into reality.…Read More

The digital signage upgrade that didn’t break the bank

Open-source software and existing devices form the backbone of one district’s big signage upgrade

Ed. note: Author Wayne Fulton will be a panelist on DSF’s May “Hangout” discussion, “How to Leverage Signage in a K-12 Setting,” on Wednesday, May 11 at 2 p.m. EST, available free to members and nonmembers. For more information, visit the DSF website.

It all began with our front desk receptionist, Cloteele.

When visitors historically entered the central lobby of the Manor Independent School District in Texas, they were warmly greeted by Cloteele. Whether they were there for a meeting with the superintendent, a professional development session, or new employee orientation making sure visitors know where to go has always been one of Cloteele’s many responsibilities.…Read More

Amazon wins $30M contract to sell e-books to NYC schools

A big move into education, Amazon edges out OverDrive to capture NYC e-book contract

Amazon.com has won a $30 million contract to sell digital textbooks to New York City’s public schools over the next three years, in a deal that could extend an additional three years and be worth a total $65 million.

Under the terms, Amazon would have the right to sell e-books and other content but not devices like Kindles through an internal marketplace site. The e-books will be readable on e-readers, tablets, smartphones, laptops and other devices.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Panel for Educational Policy approved the three-year contract on Wednesday for the Department of Education, who could spend as much as $4.3 million in the first year of the contract. The deal has the option to be extended an additional two years.…Read More