The SDP-760 provides full HD (1080P) resolution at true 30 fps output. Equipped with Samsung’s proprietary dual noise reduction technology, plus a 16x digital zoom lens, the SDP-760 provides crystal-clear, noise-free results even in low-light environments. However, a built-in single LED lamp is available when additional lighting is desired. The SDP-760 also includes image freeze, an image mask mode and auto tracking white balance... all on an easy-to-use control wheel.
The weighted base is constructed of high quality materials to stand up to day-to-day use in the classroom environment. The extra weight allows easy positioning of the camera head with one hand. A Kensington port and threaded socket provide additional means to secure the unit.
The $499 Samsung SDP-760 is here: http://www.samsungpresenterusa.com Add a comment
Recently, the contract with Apple expired and a new RFP was issued. Our new governor, Paul LePage, and his administration made the choice of an HP ProBook 4440 as the preferred device. Governor LePage indicated this was his choice based on the fact that this was the lowest price solution and the equipment most students will see in the future workplace.
Educators around the state are rallying against this decision. They claim that this choice will require drastic new training of the teachers and the students, and cost more money in the long run. For example, all the IT departments, who have configured their networks (think print servers, etc.) to Apple computers, and have tools for troubleshooting and repairing Macs, now need to change those tools. They argue that the Governor and Department of Education have made a horrible decision that will effect the use of technology in schools.
Now, why am I writing about this in a publication dedicated to the AV Industry? Well, it’s because I think that much of what we see in Maine right now is due to the fact that our technology support in schools is understaffed, and the staff that does exist is intended to only be technicians and help desk support. Often, these staff are former school librarians or teachers.
I believe that these technical support people make decisions not based solely on the best interest of the users (students or teachers). I believe they are made to keep the machines running at an expected level, with an absolute minimum amount of work from the school technology people – i.e., the greatest good for the greatest number. This is why we see laptops with software that “locks” them down, or teachers being required to give back a laptop over the summer. That is not a slap at those people; it is simply because they are enormously under-staffed. Our local school district has about 1,400 students and about 300 employees. They have four technology support personnel (including the director) to take care of all needs across the district. That is about a 1:400 person support model.
What is drastically lacking in K-12 schools is long-range planning, opportunity to stay up to date with technologies, acceptance of experimentation and lack of monetary support for training of the technical support staff. What does all of this have to do with the MLTI project that I started this article writing about? It is my belief that it should not matter what type of device you give to students and faculty. It could be a Surface Tablet, iPad, MacBook Air or a HP laptop, the schools need to be in a place to easily adjust to these changes. Two years ago they needed to be in a place where they understood that this could happen. Even if the governor had stayed with an Apple product, but gone with the iPad, just as many changes would need to take place. Frankly, the schools got caught flat-footed.
If I were a consultant today, my mouth would be watering. There is such a huge market in the K-12 education sector for solid, thoughtful consultation. You could be the person who helps schools develop strategic technology plans for the future, with a real understanding that future. You could be the people who attend InfoComm, and then make a visit to the schools to share with them what you have seen. You could invite them to your shop to show them experiments with technology that you are working on. You could be the person who points them to information sources (like rAVe ED). In Maine today, you would be a hero if the school you had consulted with was ready to make the switch to HP easily.
What about money? Is there any money in consulting with K-12 schools, particularly in a small district in Maine? There can be, but you need to be smart and inclusive. The smart part is not walking into a central office and trying to sell the superintendent of schools. That is only going to make the technology people your enemy. How about you take the technology people out to a lunch and tell them what you can offer? At public school salaries, free lunch is a real treat. You also have to be smart with costs. Give a reasonable offer of service for a reasonable price. That means you cannot sell a school district with 1,400 students a technology plan for $10,000. They won't buy it!
Inclusive means you need to cover the entire range of technology -- from servers, to video, to web, to A/V to networking to security. Show them you are a full service option. You could make money by having creative contracts. For example, many school systems are still paying decent money for licenses to Microsoft or Apple for their word processing applications. Why? How about you develop a plan of support for them to move to Google Docs? Your fee, the cost of what they would have spent on licensing that software for two years. Likewise, MANY schools still use local email servers and calendaring apps. Again, switch them over to our friend Google and your fee is simply the money they save over the next two years on servers, software, etc.
I have various experiences in K-12 education over the years, from working in high school, to family members as educators to currently sitting on my local school board. There is no doubt in my mind that this area has ENORMOUS potential. It also has the potential to allow your business to do well, while doing good.
Have you had experiences in K-12 consulting that have been positive? Do you think this is an area of growth, or simply a black hole of support time? Let me know; I look forward to hearing from you.
To be sure I wasn't imagining that things were worse than they are, this past Friday before leaving work I did a quick search of Google News using the keyword "lockdown." What I learned is that more than eight reports of lockdowns had occurred around the country in less than 24 hours, including five schools, two colleges and one hospital:
- 16 minutes ago - WTSP 10 News/MyFox Tampa Bay - Manatee school on lockdown after man fires gun in the air
- 21 minutes ago - CBS News - Trenton hospital on lockdown after 2 found shot
- 1 hour ago - WDTN - Chase puts Preble school on lockdown
- 2 hours ago - WTNH - New Haven school put in lockdown after shots heard
- 3 hours ago - KOKH FOX25/KOCO Oklahoma City - 2 sought in OKC bank robbery; School lockdown ended
- 4 hours ago - CBS News - NC college lifts lockdown after report of armed man
- 11 hours ago - wtkr.com/The Virginian-Pilot -Lockdown lifted at Elizabeth City State University
- 18 hours ago - Ct Post - Greenwich High lockdown frighteningly familiar
The necessary response to this epidemic of mindlessness is, to use the familiar Scout motto, be prepared. Which leads me to the question: Is there any municipality, government agency, institution or business that can afford not to have an emergency alert system?
A new product announcement I posted last week from Omnilert LLC, a Leesburg, Va., company that specializes in emergency notification software, got me thinking about emergency alert systems, in particular multi-modal systems in which both audible and visual modes of messaging are used: alarms, bells, sirens, public address systems on the one hand, and static signage, computer displays, smartphones, tablets and digital signs on the other.
At the same time I received a copy of Sean Matthews' handout for his Industry Vertical Discussion Group session on "Campus Alerts: Incorporating Digital Signage in Your Crisis Communications Plan " at DSE 2013.
Matthews, the president of Atlanta-based Visix Inc., and his company have been actively involved in the implementation of emergency notification systems on college campuses for years, and he first taught a session on this topic at DSE East in 2008.
As the technology and urgency have changed over the years, Matthews has updated and expanded on the information he provides in his discussion groups and in the accompanying handout, which we've arranged for you to download here.
Keep in mind that each component of a comprehensive emergency alert system plays its own role, either complementing or supplementing the other. An audible alarm may tell you something is amiss, for example, but a digital sign using words and images can show you where to go or what to do. Digital signage isn't the end-all and be-all for emergency messaging, but as evident in Matthews' handout, any system without it is missing a key communication component.
This column was reprinted with permission from the Digital Signage Connection and originally appeared here. Add a comment
Before I go any further, I wanted to make clear that there are still a lot of unknowns. I don’t intend this article to point fingers or place blame. I do think there is an appropriate time and place for that, but I don’t have enough information. Rather, I hope we take a moment to reflect on this incident and recognize that sometimes what we do can be the difference between life and death.
On several of the mail lists that I participate, we get the occasional ridiculous picture of a horrible AV install. We all make jokes about it, which in many cases is appropriate. Have you seen the picture of a satellite dish attached to a shopping cart? That deserves a good laugh. Then, every now and again the picture will come across that will make you shiver. These are the images of projectors secured with duct tape or sitting in a milk crate hanging from rachet straps. Or this picture, of a LCD panel hanging on by, I don’t know what, clear tape?
Hopefully, a tragedy like this can remind us that not only should we not laugh at these dangerous installs, but we should also condemn them. For the readership of this particular newsletter, think about who is sitting under that projector, screen or speaker -- probably a child, ranging in age from 6 to 21. That’s someone who implicitly trusts that that 10-pound projector will not fall from 15 feet onto them. We need to respect that trust.
We did a project a few years ago where we installed nine classrooms, each one with a suspended ceiling. We used a product we love, the Extron PCM 240. The mounts were handed off to the general contractor, who had a carpenter install them. Every system comes with turnbuckles and 60 feet of safety wire. The intention of this, of course, is to take the main weight off the suspended grid, and place it on firm support structures above. Obviously, it also ensures the system will not fall if some part of the ceiling fails. In walking through the rooms after, we found all the turnbuckles and wire in boxes on the floor. They had not used the safety equipment. Obviously, we made them go back and put in these safety features.
Today, I question what would have happened if the equipment had been thrown away, rather than left in the room? Would we have thought to look above the tile and ensure the wires were connected to solid structure? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I hope that going forward the memory of what happened here forces us to check on such things. Even if it is “someone else’s job,” when it comes to safety why not take a moment to do that double check?
Incidents like this give a clear logic for standards and accreditations. I spoke with a fellow technology manager, Greg Brown, who holds both the CTS-I and the CTS-D certifications. Greg told me that the CTS-I exam covers some of the safety issues an installer needs to know, like safe weight loads. Greg also pointed out that “we’ve lost an appreciation for the due diligence our work requires living in a world of 10-pound projectors. Back when we regularly hung 200-pound, three-gun CRT projectors above audiences, it was pretty obvious a careless install could kill someone.” Greg makes a terrific point, and I would go further to say that this does not just cover integrators and installers, but it also includes (maybe even more so) those of us in education who do our own installs.
Another example from my personal experience is with installing a projector lift in our field house. I knew that I did not have the engineering knowledge to properly spec out how the lift should be installed and secured. I turned to the engineers in our Facility Services group. They also felt unsure of their expertise in this matter. They turned to a local engineering firm, and a local sheet fabricator to come up with a system to secure the lift to the steel beams in the field house. The experience was slower and more expensive, but we know that the lift is secure and will not fall onto people. It also highlights Greg’s point: We knew that we needed to be sure with a 400-pound contraption that it was safe, so we took the extra steps. A small speaker or projector may not seem as dangerous, but I am not volunteering to stand under a falling one.
So, do you have any lingering safety concerns about installed equipment? Is there that one screen hanging from just sheetrock? Is there a projector secured only to a suspended ceiling? If so, take a moment now and make plans to fix it. You may save a life without even knowing.
Scott Tiner, CTS, has worked in the AV/IT field in public K-12, private K-12 and higher education institutions. With a BS in Secondary Education from the Boston University School of Education, he has a deep interest in the use of various types of technology in the classroom. Currently, as the assistant director of user services: digital media, classroom technology & event support at Bates College, Scott designs learning spaces, oversees event support and staging and manges all video streaming on campus. Scott also oversees the Digital Media Center. The Digital Media Center provides support and instruction on all video and audio editing on campus.??
The ProjectoWrite5 also features PC-less presentations through the addition of a USB input, allowing for 1.5GB of internal storage of items such as Office docs, video, audio and image files.
The initial release includes three versions:
- ProjectoWrite5 WX30N | WXGA, 3,000-lumen, standard throw
- ProjectoWrite5 WX31NST | WXGA, 3,100-lumen, short throw
- ProjectoWrite5 X32N | XGA, 3,200-lumen, standard throw
The EZ Display APP for mobile devices will allow you to send images, web pages or view live from your mobile device, and includes annotation features to allow for real-time interaction. With an optional Wi-Fi USB display adapter (dongle), connectivity increases to include projection of up to four devices at one time.
List on the ProjectoWrite5 ranges from $1,887 to $2,443 and here are the details: http://www.boxlight.com
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