New projectors make any wall an interactive whiteboard |

Could this development presage the end of the age of the IWB even before it has enveloped every classroom? Just as with the case of netbooks, education based satellite television, video recorders etc will schools be caught with redundant equipment and be left without the funds to maintain and update? Potentially yes. It makes one ponder on the efficiency or lack thereof with systems electing to back one size fits all solutions that are implemented in a staged manner over a long term time-frame when embracing technology. How often will such a process leave schools at the end of this process in a cul-de-sac? Perhaps it begs the bigger question of whether it is the technology or the teacher that makes the difference.

In a move that could shake up the interactive whiteboard (IWB) market, two projector manufacturers have just released new products that can turn virtually any surface into an IWB.

The development means schools no longer have to buy separate hardware to enjoy the benefits of IWBs, whose interactive surface and ability to engage students have made them quite popular in classrooms.

“We would certainly consider this projector a game-changer,” said Claudine Wolas, project manager for Epson Electronics’ BrightLink 450Wi. “It’s not just the newest and latest in projectors, but in whiteboards as well.”

The BrightLink projector, introduced Jan. 13, can be mounted to any type of classroom wall (of course, the smoother the better—and old-fashioned, non-electronic whiteboards work the best). Because it’s an ultra short-throw projector, it can project a whiteboard surface image from a very short distance, meaning that as a teacher or student interacts with the surface, no shadowing exists.

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