Date Archives January 2010

Apple’s New Tablet, the iPad, for AV

iPad The technophiles, especially Apple groupies, have been eagerly waiting for (and speculating about) the official announcement about Apple’s new tablet computer. Today, Steve Jobs, along with a slew of Apple executives and developers, unveiled the iPad. With a starting price of $499, this sleek tablet could make a big impact on the AV industry.

A few uses:

  • In conference rooms instead of significantly-more-expensive touch panel displays (with the right software- perhaps with the newly released Crestron XPanel for Mac?)
  • In classrooms replacing textbooks, scientific calculators, pocket translators, calendars and desktop computers with one device
  • For presenters, iWork – Keynote allows users to present natively by connecting to a projector

What other uses can you think of?

For more information about the iPad, click here.


Sharp Adds to Growth in the 3D Projection Market

Are you ready to make the move to 3D? The 3D projection market continues to expand, as Sharp has entered the growing market. Sharp’s suite of six 3D-ready, DLP BrilliantColor professional projectors aim to stand above the competition with energy saving features such as low standby power consumption, in addition to an  expanded lamp life through eco mode operations.

Sharp’s six new models include the following:

  • PG-D45X3D (4,500 ANSI lumens, XGA native resolution)
  • PG-D40W3D (4,000 ANSI lumens, WXGA native resolution)
  • PG-D3510X (3,500 ANSI lumens, XGA native resolution)
  • PG-D3010X (3,000 ANSI lumens, XGA native resolution)
  • PG-D2710X (2,700 ANSI lumens, XGA native resolution)
  • PG-D2500X (2n500 ANSI lumens, XGA native resolution)

Key elements behind the new models also include a wireless remote with a built-in spotlight function and on-screen pointer to support presentations. As a safety feature, the projector automatically shuts off if the lens cover is closed more than 30 minutes.

All models are expected to be rolled out by April 2010.

Lessons in UC From the Classroom

Unified Communications (UC) tools are moving out of the board room and into the realm of higher education. In a great post on the UC Strategies blog, Blair Pleasant discusses a variety of areas that universities could use UC to streamline communications between faculty, staff, students, and others.

All UC vendors today are trying to find ways to differentiate themselves from one another and to stand out from the crowd. I generally recommend that they focus on professional services and/or applications, especially vertical applications. One vendor that has been successfully building UC applications and solutions based on its vertical expertise is NEC, which is working with its partners to understand the business challenges and business processes in the areas of health care, hospitality, higher education, and government.

For the full text of the blog post, click here.

For more information about UC products and services from AVI-SPL, click here.

Year-round Creative Ideas for Your Awards Maker by VariQuest™

The Awards Maker can be utilized for more than the Awards Ceremonies. Here are some ideas on how to utilize it year round! Use it to fundraise, create incentives, highlight specific programs, or educate.


Create stickers to sell during Valentine’s Day rather than sell carnations. There are several great templates in the Design Center software you could use to sell these unique valentines.

Awards Maker Ideas

Sell stickers to support different clubs in your school. Whether it is the chess club, drama club or even a sport, you can create small stickers that students can stick to mugs or notebooks. You could also use the bumper sticker templates for a bigger sticker with a larger profit.

For spirit week, sell graduation year stickers and use this as a way to see who has the most spirit – the more stickers sold equals a winner! High Schools students will enjoy the creations you make on the clear sticker because they can stick these onto the windshields of their cars.

If sporting events cause trouble with parking, why not make a few bucks off of it? Sell VIP parking passes that you can create using the Awards Maker. Let these folks park in the spots closest to the stadium.

Get your Marketing classes involved on the fundraising and ask them to contact local businesses. Sell water bottles, notebooks, or pencils with special labels during sporting events or during lunch periods. The sticker may even include a coupon, so student can take the water bottle or sticker to the business for a special discount.

Create Incentives

Highlight student achievements in the Accelerated Reader program by giving them a bookmark for each new level they reach in the program. Simply print one of the ribbon stickers and stick to manila card stock to create a sturdy, useful award to keep them reading!

p>Motivate students to hand in assignments in a timely manner by creating simple, quick stickers that say something like “way to go”. These stickers can be personalized with their name to make them special.

When a student consistently makes improvements in their grades, why wait to give them an award at the awards ceremony? Create a plaque or bumper sticker to show them you see their efforts and are proud of what they’ve accomplished.

Use the Awards Maker to create stickers that show a student their improvements. Maybe you’re working on learning a complicated concept. Give them an award for after mastering each portion of the concept. By the end of the unit, they will have all collected a complete set of these incentives.

Highlight Specific Programs

If you are working on character education year round, pass out stickers to students who embody the concept you are teaching. For example, you notice one of your students is willing to share supplies with another classmate. Showcase that student’s positive behavior with a small sticker with her name and what she embodies.

Awards Maker Ideas<

Start a “Random Acts of Kindness” program at your school and reward students with a sticker when you see them exhibit kindness to classmates. This small incentive will help them to understand how their behavior has made a positive impact within the school.

If your school has a Head Start program, create bumper stickers to help the program grow. The more exposure the program has in the community, the better your chances are of enrolling additional students.

Create plaques or window stickers for teachers who are working towards or earned their National Certification. This allows parents and visitors to see how many teachers you have that are dedicated to their own growth as educators.


The bumper sticker templates can help teachers create word walls in their classrooms. All the colored sticker media has a temporary adhesive making them easy to peel off of the wall after use. Because the stickers are not made of paper, they shouldn’t apply to the percentage of wall space covered by paper rule the Fire Department enforces.

Awards Maker Ideas

You can also create stickers the students can utilize while they are learning new concepts like math formulas or grammar rules. The more they see the rules and concepts, the more likely they are to remember them. If it’s posted on their notebook, they’ll see and use them every day!

Create puzzles by creating stickers with vocabulary words and definitions on separate stickers. Press the stickers to a card stock to make them sturdy and use them like flash cards. Have the students match the words to their definitions for a group project that is fun and educational.

As you can see, there are several great applications that you can utilize your Awards Maker for in addition to the twice yearly Awards ceremony. With the quick print times, you can get in and out of the workroom with great incentives that will wow your students with little effort on your part!

To view Varitronics® full-line of visual learning products, click here.

SMART Ideas™ Software Enhances Visual Learning

SMART Ideas softwareSMART Ideas software brings the power of visual learning to your classroom. Students can better analyze and understand complex ideas by building multilevel interactive maps in this fun, colorful software. These exciting presentations take students through concepts one level at a time for greater clarity, with the maps easily converting into multipage Web sites for everyone to share.

SMART Ideas software

With the software’s easy navigation features, you can easily view maps in various formats to help students learn from multiple perspectives. The convenience of the global view feature allows you to show all the map levels at once, while the presentation view option removes toolbars for a large, clear display.

You can also swiftly switch between the diagram view and the text outline view to demonstrate the connection between visual and written ideas. SMART Ideas also allows you to enhance maps with curriculum-specific and interactive clip art to aid learning and make lessons interesting, effortlessly adding multimedia content and links. Click here for product brochure »

Receive a complimentary SMART Ideas software license from SMART Technologies by registering your SMART Board Interactive Whiteboard on SMART’s Web site. Just include your email address with your product registration, and a SMART Ideas software license will be emailed to you.