So this mobile learning thing (you know, getting learners out of the classroom/computer lab and learning in the *real world*) is all very well… but when it comes to mobile teaching, sometimes it’s a bit inconvenient not having a board to scribble on or to quickly share information.
So for those of you who haven’t heard, I thought I’d share with you this nifty gadget, an LED-based, battery operated SVGA (800×600) light projector, from Toshiba. It fits in the palm of your hand and can operate for two hours without a power source, casting an image from 11″ to 68″ (measured diagonally).
Couple that mobility with the TV-out capability in many current mobile phones (such as my previous Samsung SGH-D600 (shown below, left), or my replacement Samsung SGH-D900), or add a video-out Compact Flash card to your PDA (shown below, right) and you have yourself a portable, multi-user, information-and-data-sharing tool.
Not only can a portable screen like this be used for presentations, or for recreating an electronic “whiteboard” for brainstorming ideas in electronic form… but it could be used to provide a mass-information-sharing platform through the use of QR Codes. Imagine if the image on the projected screen was a QR Code, containing a URL link to a page of learning resources. A whole group of learners could then use the QR Code to capture the URL instantaneously, without waiting for each other, and bookmark it for later reference.
Alternatively, a portable presentation screen like this could be used to display an Elluminate (interactive online classroom) session to a group of learners participating mobile-ly or wirelessly. It could act as a central reference copy of a collaborative resource, continuously updating to display the evolution of that resource as learners contribute to it in real time.
Quite apart from group situations, a projector like this could also liberate an individual user from the frustrations of the tiny PDA or mobile-phone screen to something as large and viewable as a desktop screen – for example, how about a folding Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, interfacing with a PDA, throwing up a nice, big, desktop-screen sized image?
Finally… did I mention that it’s quite cheap compared with other video projectors? Whereas most video projectors cost thousands, this one is advertised on the Toshiba site with an RRP of US$699 – expect to find this price further discounted elsewhere – and its LED lasts much longer than conventional, expensive projector lightbulbs (an astonishing 10,000 hours).
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