Tag Archives: technology tip

Tuesday’s Technology Tip – “All-In-One PCs”

Power, good looks, and cool touch screens — we’re talking the next step in PC management here with more versatile kiosks!  And it’s not just for the lab environment anymore.

Many colleges and universities use all-in-one PC units in their lab, others are experimenting with them as kiosk replacements.  The technology in all-in-one PCs began with Apple’s iMac — but PCs have matured to the point where they offer the same types of features as standard PCs in a smaller form.  All-in-one PCs eliminate all the wires hanging everywhere, and have fewer parts.  Fewer parts mean there is less that can go wrong and they’re easier to troubleshoot.    Most units feature touch displays, built-in wireless connectivity,  integrated webcams, and built-in microphones.

All-in-one PCs lend themselves to a student union where people can access information, find out what’s happening around campus, and get information related to college (admissions, enrollment, etc…)  in an open area kiosk set-up.  However, unlike traditional kiosk solutions that cost thousands of dollars, you can get all-in-one PCs for under $1,000.

Another potential use for All-in-one PCs is the library.  Here, students can find books, access pay-per-use Internet research sources, use units as a job-search tool, online testing during proctored exams, and access campus-related links to events and resources.

All-in-one PCs are more efficient, easier-to-manage devices.  They’re more compact and have fewer moving parts — making for easier maintenance and troubleshooting.  Although most have standard features, there are some differences among products.  Over time, standardization (components and features) is expected to drive prices down even further.

There are limitations, though.  All-in-one PCs place more of an emphasis on looks and lifestyle than they do on raw processor power which doesn’t lend itself to record-breaking score on the latest 3D games–they’re just not powerful enough.  (see Pionneau, 2011 at http://www.digitalversus.com/computer/reviews-all-in-one-computers-a475.html)

For more reviews on all-in-one PCs, see some of the following links:

Pamela Louderback

Tuesday’s Technology Tip – Short-throw Projectors, or, “Large Images in Tight Spaces”

Today’s technology tip focuses on short-throw projectors.   You may be asking yourself what exactly short-throw projection is?  Well, projectors with ‘short throw’ lenses are designed to produce larger projected images at a shorter throw distance.  In other words, it combines close-up projection with a compact size allowing for edge-of-table projection; freeing up table space, and minimizing ambient noise.  They’re lightweight, compact, and powerful!

Short throw projectors are also referred to as wall mount projectors.  They are typically used in applications where the projector is wall mounted within a few inches of the projection screen. Fixed installation projectors come in both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios.  As well, these projectors may include support for networking.  You may be thinking, so what?  What does all this mean to me as an educator?  Well, what this means is that unlike the standard (or ‘long throw’ projectors), you can project the big picture even when you only have access to a tight space environment with much less space required between the projector and the screen.   This takes care of the problems brought about when using a standard long throw projection system such as landing a tiny projected image or blocking out the projections with your shadows when you find yourself in a small,  constrained room with little space.

No more worrying about shadow puppet shows by bored students!  And you can actually see your audience.  These projection systems are great for small and medium-sized classrooms, and eliminate many of the issues of having a traditional projector at the rear of the room.  By using a wall-mount kit and front/rear view projection, you can apply your projectors in virtually any presentation environment.  Not to mention that short throw projection also gets rid of that annoying fan noise and heat exhaust, helps keep the room clutter-free from long running cables, and frees you from squinting your eyes against the bright glare of the projector lamp.

Now that you know some of the benefits of short-throw projectors, the next question is, ‘which one should I purchase for my classroom?’  There are many models available — so the key is to find one that suits your needs best. Below are just a few models you may want to consider:

1.  ViewSonic PJD7383i Interactive 3D-ready Short-throw Projector – has a resolution of XGA (1,024 X 768), a brightness of 3,000 lumens, and is priced at around $1,050

2.  InFocus IN3914 Interactive 3D-ready Short-throw Projector – has a resolution of XGA (1,024 X 768), a brightness of 2,700 lumens, and is priced at around $1,225

3.  ViewSonic PJD7583wi Interactive 3D-ready Short-throw Projector – has a resolution of WXGA (1,280 X 800), a brightness of 3,000 lumens, and is priced at around $1,250

Several places to research short-throw projectors and learn about projection distance and how short throw projectors can make presenting easier, go to:

Happy Shopping!

Pamela Louderback