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Fundraising with the VariQuest Learning Tools

The Creative Learning Team participated in the Career Technology Education shows in Georgia, Florida and Alabama last month.

Visitors saw how the VariQuest Poster Maker, Cutout Maker, and Awards Maker can be used to create revenue for their schools. The booth was set up as a school store with samples of items the students could sell to students, staff and even the community. Lenn Fraraccio and Alex Millender, a couple of our sales representatives, shared some of the ways these tools can be used.

One big school event is the awards banquet. Schools often have to have a list of students receiving awards weeks in advance to be able to order the awards. With the Awards Maker, the students could be in charge of fulfilling the plaque orders in house which saves both time and money.

High Schools have unique fundraising opportunities, thanks to seniors and sports teams. The Awards Maker can create car window decals for the “Class of 2009” High School and Middle School sports teams can sell posters with a photo of the team and the game schedule. Stickers that say “I support Girls’ Volleyball”, “Go Lancers!”, or a school letter are other ways to highlight school spirit.

footballSome high schools even have a Sports Marketing team in charge of creating signage to drum up attendance at sporting events. In addition to advertising for the actual game, they also create posters and stickers that serve as advertisements for local businesses who sponsor the school. For example, a local store may pay the sports marketing group to create advertising stickers to place on water bottles.

Schools can hold scrapbooking nights where students, parents and teachers have access to the Cutout Maker’s library of shapes to create scrapbook pages. It’s an easy and fun fundraising event for schools to hold.

Print Rich Back to School Ideas for Teachers

Back to School IdeasStart the year off with everyone on the same page. Have the classroom rules printed and posted in the same spot in each classroom to create a sense of uniformity for the students – they’ll know where to look for guidance!

Help the new students find their way around the building by posting maps of the campus. Nobody wants to feel lost and rushed for time between classes! Scan and print it a copy on your Poster Maker!
Create bulletin boards that highlight afterschool and extracurricular activities the students can join like Chess Club, Tutoring, Yearbook, and Sports clubs.

A great elementary school opportunity for poster fundraisers is to sell birthday posters. Send the students home with a flyer informing the parents “Happy Birthday” posters are available to purchase for their child. The poster could be posted in the home-room, media center or cafeteria, Post the personalized poster the week of the student’s birthday and give it to them to take home at the end of the week. If you have an Awards Maker, you can quickly make a sticker for the student to wear the day of his or her birthday!

Click here for samples ideas

What if They Made a Projector without a Lamp?

Phlat Light LEDDLP technology from Texas Instruments asked, and answered, the question of a lampless projector at this year’s Infocomm trade show. The new technology utilizes LED technology (version called PhlatLight Light Emitting Diode has been used in LCD TVs) in place of the DLP color wheel and mirror and light engine. Instead of a spinning red, blue, and green color wheel, there are RBG LEDs which plus rapidly to create the color.

The new product is the first of its kind with a regular sized chassis, but many new projectors using LED technology have been released for cell phones and so-called “pocket” projectors.

So what are the benefits? For starters, you could kiss the $200 – $500 cost of a replacement lamp goodbye along with any of the hassle of caring for it. That is good news for consumers who might have been hesitant to incur future costs after the purchase. It may also mean a dramatic increase in consumers choosing projectors as a primary display source, as the lamp life would be comparable to that of LCD and plasma TVs. Also, as we have seen with the pocket projectors, the lamp lack also allows for smaller footprints and even more portable opportunities. The fan will also not be required to cool that hot lamp, which means nearly silent operation and less energy consumption.

But wait, there’s more! With the new LED-based DLP technology, the color space possible for a projector is increased beyond that of traditional lamp’d projectors up to 50%. That’s a big benefit for the folks in the DLP camp, since color has been one area where they have been consistently challenged by 3LCD.

Are there any drawbacks to this new technology? Well for one, it’s new. So even though you won’t pay to replace the lamp, there will probably be a premium to pay initially. It’s not yet available to the general public yet, and won’t be for a while. And some reporting on the scene mention the color is not quite “lifelike” and has a bit of a red haze.

“But what about brightness?” you may ask. A good question, since previous LED projectors were in the 25 – 100 lumen range. The latest incarnation on the tradeshow floor is said to be very bright. TI claims a brightness from 500 – 1000 lumens, which was once considered a benchmark for home theater projectors. However, newer products are typically upwards of 1000 lumens. So, brightness is an issue that will probably need to improve.

But hey, nobody’s perfect on their first go. Texas Instruments says they will begin by focusing on Home Theater projection, since here is less brightness required and expects to have products released by manufacturer partners by the end of 2008. Watch us here for more updates on this potentially groundbreaking technology.

School Buildings Going Green

Alert! It has come to our attention that there is a computer virus named Green AV (“Green AntiVirus”) circulating on the internet. AVI-SPL in not affiliated with or affected by the Green AV hoax. All references to Green AV on any of AVI-SPL’s websites is relevant to the Green Audio Visual industry.

A Green Step Forward

By Linda Seid Frembes, Sound and Video Contractor
School Buildings Going Green

Building a new school building is a daunting task for any school district, especially when the plan is for a green building project. The Sidwell Friends Middle School in Washington, D.C., opened in 2007 as a testament to the possibilities of an environmentally friendly, healthy environment for school kids. The new middle school is the secondary school in the United States to have a LEED Platinum rating and the first LEED Platinum building in the District of Columbia.

To read the complete article, click here »