Though it seems like forever, it has really been 3 years in the making.
My eno bid specification was made available to vendors on 02-Feb-2010. The voters first approved the initiative at the end of 2007. Due to a variety of obstacles, including many personnel changes, it has taken far too long to get to this point. That said, I am once again very excited and optimistic about the project.
While the project is a multi-million dollar technology initiative, one of the largest parts is the addition of the eno boards and projectors. After much research and leg work, we are finally committing to outfitting 518 classrooms with eno interactive boards, wall mounted projectors and sound systems.
As part of unconnected project, at about the same time, we are also looking to provide every teacher with a Macbook Pro notebook computer to connect to the new boards and projectors.
If all goes well, my teachers will be very happy and their classrooms nicely outfitted by the end of April.
More to come.
Slow and steady seems to be the way things are moving on this project.
Slow because there are many changes that keep popping up. Steady, because I remain committed to getting this project underway soon.
The slowdown has nothing to do with any concerns about the eno boards. Just the opposite actually. There have been no concerns or questions about my decision to go with the less familiar, but stellar product from Polyvision. Once I explain the durability and ease of use, there remain no questions.
At this point, the delays center around the decision to switch from the planned ceiling mounted projectors in every room, to a wall mounted solution instead.
In thinking about it, the wall mounted option really does seem a better way to go for a variety of reasons. The short throw lens of a wall mounted projector will reduce the shadow given off by the user standing in front of the board. The mount of wiring for video and audio is also reduced.
If there are concerns about the strength of the drop ceilings or if the ceilings above the tiles is made of plaster, there could be a lot of problems during the installation.
We have settled in on a well-priced, high quality projector from Mitsubishi to compliment the eno board and sound solution in each of our 500+ rooms.
At this point, our planned “Intelligent Classroom” will consist of the following:
- Polyvision 78″ Eno NextGen Whiteboard
- Mitsubishi 500 U – STXGA 200 Lumens Short Throw Projector
- Mitsubishi Short Throw Projector Wall Mount
- The Audio Enhancements SA-16 Kit Sound Solution consisting f an amplifier (with inputs for external sources, wall mount speakers and the ability to include an add-on for a teacher microphone.The typical desktop computer speakers are just not adequate for a classroom of up to 30 students.
- Aten 2 port video splitter and booster
This will improve the signal to the projector from some of our older PC’s and allow for the image to be simultaneously displayed on the computer monitor and the projector. Laptop computers will not need this.
- Assorted audio and video and cables.
Attending the Long Island Tech Summit.
David Warlick, the second keynote speaker at today’s event just showed a great site he only became aware of in the last 24 hours. Check out Trendsmap, to keep up to date on what’s happening where on Twitter.
Later today, I am participating on a panel discussion on the use of Google Apps in schools. It was interesting to see David effortlessly and without fanfare or attention, integrate a Google docs worksheet into his presentation this morning. You can check out a very new (not yet fully developed) Google Site I created as a central point for the roll out of our Polyvision Eno, as an example of the free tools available to educators.
Both speakers were very informative, of course. More importantly they left all audience members questioning their beliefs, methodologies and practices concerning technology in their schools. Questioning what technology is made available to their staff and students, and how that technology is currently being used.
We have rolled out the first 15 of our potential 500+ eno interactive whiteboards from Polyvision. To date all is going extremely well. We now have boards in various classrooms throughout the district from 1st grade through high school. Though the boards were installed as recently as late August and early September, they were widely used on the very first day of school.
While acknowledging a learning curve that would be associated with any new product, all feedback from teachers using the boards has been extremely positive. In addition to the available board tools, many teachers are very excited by the use of the RM Easiteach software with the new boards.
The teachers who have them are very pleased. Those that do not are very curious and anxious to get one in their classroom soon.
If all goes well, all teachers in the district will have one before the end of this school year.
We have begun installing about a dozen of the new eno boards. So far things are going very well. We have installed both ceiling and wall mounted projectors. We anticipate starting our staff development soon.
Great news! Polyvision has finally released the new eno click, with magnetic mounts—no hardware or tools required. This should really speed up installation and reduce costs.