Friday, January 21, 2011
Cool Technology of the Week
Harvard Medical School is piloting digital whiteboards from Smart Technologies.
It's not a giant iPad, it's more like a giant Wacom tablet paired with a computer and video projector. The design works surprising well.
Here's the idea:
Mount a wall sized tablet with a reflective surface in the classroom.
Mount a special digital projector above the whiteboard
Connect the digital projector to a computer with HDMI audio/video
Provide digital pens - red/green/blue/black in special holders so that when a pen is removed from a holder, the whiteboard software knows that the red holder holds a red pen and all motions on the table should be in red.
Provide software that includes a pen/erase/capture selections
The end result is that web pages, applications and powerpoint are projected and teachers can annotate them with pens or their fingers. They can capture and save their work for later display.
Early response of our evaluators has been very positive. By combining a wall size tablet, screen, and projector with full audio/video interface into one package, we empower faculty to use all these educational technologies.
One great aspect of this is that the screen is separate from the projector, so it can be replaced if it is worn or damaged. Creating a wall sized iPad would require replacing the display and the digitizer simultaneously.
Digital whiteboards for teaching. That's cool!
Posted by John Halamka at 3:00 AM