A plethora of innovations was revealed at this year’s BETT and ISE conferences and it is clear from the products unveiled that education technology is continuing to flourish.
In fact, this year’s ISE event saw ‘edtech’ (yup that’s the lingo) gain a category of its own, allowing manufacturers to host dedicated stands. As the sector expands, we’ve taken a closer look at some of the trends that emerged from BETT and ISE to highlight what to look out for in 2017.
One of the most notable trends that spanned both the BETT and ISE events was an increased emphasis on whole-class learning. Although not a brand new concept, whole-class learning has begun to develop into a more collaborative and engaging experience, as teachers move away from traditional, front-of-class teaching methods. This desire for a collective learning experience has not been missed by the team at NEC, who recently introduced their brand new InfinityBoard.
Aimed at transforming productivity and encouraging the opportunity for collaboration, the InfinityBoard is a wireless device that can be quickly linked to mobile input devices to enable a shared learning experience.
For the teacher, the board provides easy annotation capabilities, as well as finger touch and palm erasing options for faster use. For the students, a 120-degree viewing angle and top of the range speakers make the learning experience more engaging, with the aim of boosting productivity and creativity for all involved.
Looking to Light Sources
This year’s ISE also saw the launch of a number of brand new education projectors, which highlighted the edtech sector’s definite preference towards laser light source and solid-state light source projectors.
Digital Projection was one manufacturer that appeared to be embracing the trend, offering a wide range of laser and solid-state projectors specifically designed for long-term use in education and professional environments.
In fact, the brand’s new 7,500 lumen E-Vision Laser 4K-UHD has been developed to require minimal maintenance, making it an ideal choice for permanent displays in lecture theatre settings.
Focusing on delivering a compact laser device for smaller classroom settings, Sony has also introduced new devices that move away from traditional lamp technology. The 5,000-lumen WUXGA VPL-PHZ10 and WXGA VPL-PWZ10 projectors are designed to be cost-effective and compact, while providing quality images and high resolution only possible via laser phosphor technology.
Embracing 4K Technology
Previously considered a luxury, 4K technology is fast establishing itself as the new standard in the education projector market this year. This rapid development is due in part to reduced costs, as well as innovation in collaborative classroom techniques that require multiple screens to employ the same content simultaneously.
The winner of this year’s InAVate award for Technology for Large Group Presentation was the Digital Projection INSIGHT LASER 4K, which has been designed to limit maintenance and costs while providing superior and immersive 4K images.
Although also used in large venues and professional environments, the device’s presence in the education sector highlights edtech’s progression from simply a classroom aid to a tool that can elevate education to a new level.
Along with innovative new light source projectors and whole class learning, 4K is set to dominate education technologies in the coming 12 months, as companies seek to thrive in this increasingly significant field.