Tag Archives: education

Clevertouch demos available at Paragon

Here at Paragon, we’re aware that not everyone can get out to see the latest products at exhibitions at training days. With this in mind we are offering a free demonstration day at our offices for local schools and business to check out the latest Clevertouch. The interactive LCD touch screen features a multi-touch of over 30 points and can be adjusted from board to table form.

We are offering local establishments a free of charge in-house demonstration with one of our expert consultants to give you a one on one feel for the board and see the advantages it could bring to an educational or corporate environment.

We currently have these times available so feel free to call us to book an appointment. One of our team can come and collect you if necessary.

Monday 20th May – 3.30pm onwards

Tuesday 21st May – All day

Wednesday 22nd May – 12.30pm onwards

Contact us by phone on 0845 2261675 or email via marketing@paragonmultimedia.com

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BenQ join the interactive flat panel hype

With interactive LCDs continuing to prove popular among both educational environments and offices, manufacturers BenQ have jumped at the opportunity to join the likes of Clevertouch and C-Touch models on the market. Their interactive displays, which are available in 42, 55 or 65 inches are simply connected to your PC via USB thanks to Optical Sensing Touch technology and are ready to go. Turning into a dual touch LCD flat panel with a thin frame has proved to be a more engaging tool for learning and has also been researched to show extra efficiency in offices.

An ambient light senor built into the TL range helps the user and viewers to achieve an optimal picture quality, regardless of the lighting in the room, whilst an integrated speaker means that the screen can be the home to all sorts of multimedia, including video with sound.

If you would like more information about this project, or any other interactive classroom equipment, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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True Colours display video wall expertise

IMG_0322Midwich’s technical division True Colours joined forces with many of their manufacturers on Friday to cover all aspects of a technology that continues to get bigger and bolder – the video wall. With multi-display systems continuing to spread throughout sectors other than corporate and education, the distributors bought together Dexon, NEC, Exterity, Peerless AV and AMX to discuss all elements of the technology at the Runnymede Hotel in Egham, UK.

Iain Campbell, Sales Director at True Colours, opened the morning explaining that video walls can be used for more than just digital signage, as they have personally dealt with the army and banks, proving its use in centralising monitoring. With this array of opportunities, video wall sales are expected to reach 12,800 this year, with that increasing further to 16,700 in 2014. There are certain factors which are imperative to creating a successful display system and many clients may not realise this. Dexon were on hand to explain their latest wall controller technology which offers an easy input. NEC had a wide range of screens on display with very narrow bezels and advanced fan technology to avoid overheating and prolong life usage, including the 3×3 display being used for the presentation.

With IPTV becoming a popular part of digital signage and therefore video walls as well, leading networkers Exterity provided a lesson in how internet television can be streamed across a building without using up all your bandwidth. AMX’s Jeremy Slater provided a success story to demonstrate how key personalised control systems can be for large displays, while more recent recruit Peerless AV brought mounting to the foreground, as many clients forget the importance of a secure and adjustable bracket.IMG_0330

After LG’s 3D video wall grabbing so much attention at ISE this year, it’s apparent that 2013 could be the year for the video wall, so if you would like more information on how it could benefit your company, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Bett 2013 – Action from the show

If you were unfortunate enough to miss this year’s bustling BETT show, do not fear, for our team were able to catch some of the stand-out products live in action! From interactive whiteboards to ultra short throw projectors, there was something for every educational establishment at the new ExCel venue in London. Click the video below to find out more and for more information on products at BETT, check out our Tech Zone section for features on some of the key factors for future education.

BETT focus: The importance of audio in classrooms

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Despite taking up half of the term “audio-visual”, the impact of audio on offer at BETT seemed to be lacking. Although many of the latest interactive screens had integrated speakers, there was only a small cross-section of companies offering speakers or microphones to enhance both the classroom and a presentation theatre within an education establishment.

Studies have been carried out to prove the impact that classroom noise can have on students and Lightspeed’s latest Exciter technology takes this research into account. According to a study from 1994, a professor of Audiology proved that ELL (English Language Learning) children were affected by ambient noise in a classroom. Word recognition by these pupils was affected by volume, distance from the speaker and how the audio was distributed, but all of the children; both native and non-native had better understanding when little or no additional noise was created, through issues like feedback, or buzzing electronics. In a current situation where classrooms are full to the brim, distance cannot often be altered, so teachers need to be as audible as possible, regardless of the room size.

Lightspeed have taken these ideas to create a speaker that enhances both audibility (the volume) and intelligibility (the clarity) in the classroom by using a panel style instead of a cone-shaped speaker. This helps distribute soft consonant sounds and creates a clear sound without having to use maximum volume. This simple yet effective technology creates a natural voice for the teacher and feedback is eliminated regardless of where the teacher is located in the room.

 

Lightspeed's TopCat speaker

Lightspeed’s TopCat speaker

If you’re interested in enhancing your audio in either the classrooms or would like to upgrade your school hall acoustics, our free health checks can offer you advice and support regarding your specific needs. We can carry out acoustic tests, as well as finding ways to minimize feedback and ambient noise, so contact us via our query forms and we can get back to you.

 

BETT Focus: Classroom Collaboration and BYOD

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Despite a few visitors complaining about the lack of public Wi-Fi on offer at an event that promotes technology, the BETT show was trending on Twitter for the second day in a row! The demand for Wi-Fi is proof that BYOD (Bring your own device) is a theme that will occur in all sectors now – including education – as we see tablet computers being tapped all around the hall. Many studies including Ofsted reports confirm that a more interactive lesson engages students and therefore many companies have created software that incorporates BYOD into teaching time.

Most of the software exhibited today offers flexible access to collaborating via Apple, Android and Microsoft devices, so you do not have to supply the hardware to the pupil. Many of the manufacturers including the likes of Vivitek, DisplayNote and Samsung have created features which include allowing annotation from presenter and pupil, content sharing and instant response to quizzes and more, which all help the teacher to assess the grades of the class whilst still in the lesson. Although this interactive learning may seem fun to pupils, there will always be some that take advantage of a new medium and use in for non-educational purposes. Luckily the teacher is able to view and display anyone’s screen, as well as all their annotations being saved for you.

Using a tablet PC as a way to control your main screen gives the teacher mobility around the class and allows all forms of content to be streamed across the platforms, whether it’s a video on YouTube or and extract from a book. With all this in mind, it seems apparent that this will soon be the norm in all areas of education so if you would like to future-proof your classroom, please feel free to contact us for more information on the range of software available.

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Day 1 at BETT 2013

IMAG0251Despite clashing with equally popular AV event ISE this year, the DLR line was still rammed with teachers and techies heading to the opening day of BETT at its new home in the ExCel. Plenty of children were also in tow to check out the new technologies and were likely to have plenty of fun as once again the interactivity was in an abundance.

A new piece of jargon to many will be BYOD (standing for Bring Your Own Device), which is playing a dominant role on many manufacturers’ stalls. Brands such as Vivitek and Genee are showcasing their own new software that assists collaboration between teacher and pupils through tablet PCs, along with DisplayNote who seem slightly ahead of the game due to additional features, including the teacher being able to personally message a pupil if they have an incorrect answer, saving embarrassment in the classroom.

The evolution of lamp free projection continues with more products becoming more energy efficient thanks to higher lumens and less power consumption and visualisers are getting smaller despite the definition getting higher.

Wherever you turn you will see an interactive whiteboard being scribbled on by visitors, which is surprising considering the recent jump many brands have taken into using interactive LED and LCD screens instead. Many of the screens being demoed today are dual touch, however a few are yet to reach a true multi-touch experience unlike Clevertouch or the new Smart table, however we shall go hunting for this, along with other innovations again tomorrow.

The DisplayNote software in action on a tablet.

The DisplayNote software in action on a tablet.

For more updates including video interviews and product reviews, please check out our Twitter and on our Tech Zone.

Paragon @ NEC Showcase 2012

This may be the third NEC Showcase; however it is also apparently the largest with almost 1,000 visitors and this year we were one of them. The O2 arena was crowded as suppliers, partners and techies passed through the darkened maze, augmenting the bright future of technology. The arena was conveniently separated into nine zones:  DOOH; Education; Professional Office; 3D and Leisure; Innovation; Colour; Healthcare; Transport and Retail, keeping the visitors on their toes with what there was to see.

NEC’s big name partners such as Intel, Smart and U-Touch amongst others were displaying throughout the zones, with eye catchers of the day including Wonderworks 3D ‘Pepper Ghost’ holographic display to welcome guests at the entrance. Another large display was a dome projection of the night sky, however not all products were lucky enough to have the space to show off, due to such popularity this year.

After attending the showcase, it’s just more proof that audio-visual is getting closer to world domination, especially seeing as the Transport and Retail zones were only debuting this year and are still full of innovation. There is so much to cover, so keep an eye out for particular products that caught our attention on the blog.

Digital signage training displays Paragon’s supportive role at Argyle School

Digital signage is everywhere you go these days, you just probably don’t notice it; while it sub-consciously promotes, informs and warns you through its large, high quality displays. Companies from various industries are starting to cotton on to the trend of easily editable, multimedia displays and reception areas in particular are starting to update with more information, rather than the same message being repeated all day every day.

Samsung’s latest software MagicInfo is simple to use, so that you can create a display full of images, text, RSS feeds and live clocks. With such a diverse range of uploads available, there is no excuse for your displays not to get people’s attention. By using the software at your desk, the small CPU at the back of the Samsung screen receives the information wirelessly. Schedules can also be set up so that certain layouts are shown at particular times, and one template can be used over several displays simultaneously.

At the Argyle Primary School in London, they opted for a simple, singular 46” display in the reception area for any visitors, parents or teachers passing by, as well as the pupils of course. After a short period of time, the three receptionists had got to grips with the basics and managed to create a co-ordinated background, with a school logo and both static and scrolling text. The speed was adjusted and feedback was given by exciting children watching on their lunch break. Cathy McGarry and the rest of her team were very pleased with our expert Stuart, and asked if they could have another training session to further expand their skills.

If you would like more information on digital signage, whatever the sector, please feel free to contact us.

Paragon’s Top 5 finds at BETT 2012



Despite being bombarded with button-less screens, enlightening projectors and general technology overload, the Paragon marketing team managed to pick out what they thought were the best new products in the education sector. Despite BETT exhibiting all kinds of technology, we have stuck to those products which feature in the audio-visual aspect and tried not to get too distracted by the games surrounding us. So here is Paragon’s top five picks from BETT 2012

1.Microsoft Surface – created by Samsung and Xface



Despite this innovative product circulating the trade shows for several years, it wasn’t until late last year that the multi-touch table was available to buy in the UK. Here at BETT, you can see how the oversized tablet means classes can work in groups, all having ago on the screen simultaneously and making learning fun. Teachers who have used Surface in their classrooms say that it is great for improving primary school ages to listen and work together, rather than just learning academic subjects. Other objects can interact with the screen, such as ID cards which can be swiped on the screen and open up a pupil’s work. Surface is looking to branch out into the retail sector soon.

2. Designmate 3D

Again, another business which has been around for over twenty years, developing 3D animated content for higher education. At BETT, a large crowd was pulled in due to their mini cinemas, showcasing their 3D simulations for sciences and maths, which used 3D glasses and were compatible with any large screen. Despite such engaging and educational graphics, this Indian company are yet to brand out into the UK, so make sure to watch out for this name in the future.

3. Insight 360 – created by eInstruction

Insight 360 is an intuitive and fully-integrated software programme that means teaching and learning comes easy. A portable interactive whiteboard can be held by the teacher and then connected to the main projected whiteboard on the screen, full of functions and capabilities to write and draw with a stylus. As well as being used on eInstruction’s Mobi 360, the Insight 360 software can also be downloaded onto an iPad. By using a Spark 360 (a small response pad), the children can be tested throughout the class and automatic results can be seen by the teacher on their device.  The whole concept makes for a calm and engaging classroom, where instant results can be found.

4. e-Station S/Z/T – created by B & S Media

Korea based B & S Media have managed to take all the concepts of audio visual and compact it all into one smart podium. From first glances, the podium is futuristic and powerful, bound to help any speaker’s confidence soar. The cabinet-style podium includes a control touch panel, an LCD tablet, high quality microphone and capabilities for external devices, meaning meetings can be completely at your fingertips. Adjustments can be made for your own comfort and there is even a locking system to make the product burglar-proof. Despite it looking like a more corporate piece of equipment, there is no saying this could not go down brilliantly in higher education.

5. Qumi HD pocket projector – created by Vivitek

One of the keys factors of technological evolution is size. Size affects, practicality, shipping prices and enhances the possibilities. With this in mind, Qumi is definitely a product to keep your eye on. Despite its compact size (being lighter than a paperback), this LED projector does not lack in HD crispness, high brightness and varying connectivity. With an integrated media player and document reader, Qumi can project a widescreen image of more than 2 metres diagonal, making it popular not only in the education sector but in home cinema and gaming as well. As they say, great things come in small packages!