Teacher Lee Briggs on technology in today's classroom. Brought to you by Weekly Reader.

News from HP

I gush a lot about whiteboards, but it’s a broken record I never get tired of, since it is the most-used item in my own classroom and I would give up coffee to keep it (and I love coffee).

hp-digital-sketch

HP's Digital Sketch wirelessly connects to a teacher’s notebook or desktop. The teacher can work with the lesson from anywhere in the classroom.

I said a little while back that we would see more options in the interactive whiteboard scene, and that motion-capture technology—the kind found in the Wii and Xbox Kinect—will make them more affordable. HP’s latest press release mentions their new educational initiative and a whiteboard product that is the most portable I have seen yet. It looks to be a small sensor that you attach to an existing whiteboard and provides wireless interactivity. It’s similar to the MimioTeach device, but smaller. That a player like HP is getting into this already crowded market should make it interesting; and that this device will hopefully work seamlessly with their other educational products should make it a good sell for districts that are looking to buy things from the smallest amount of vendors.

The release also mentions a “thin client,” a single computer that connects up to 10 workstations, letting them “share” the same computer. With more schools embracing cloud computing, the demand for these small, cheap solutions to computer labs may grow. I also found their idea of a netbook-charging cart slick; they claim that it will charge up to 30 machines regardless of brand. I personally would like to see how they do this, since every cart I have used has turned into a rat’s nest of cables.

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