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Pico Projectors in Education

It was a few years ago when I first heard the term Pico Projector, referring to pocket sized projectors that can run off of batteries, use LED/LAZER technology as light sources, and can project descent sized pictures up to 60″ or even 100″ diagonal.

At first they were a bit gimmicky (they still are somewhat), but the technology is coming around. A descent pico project can be had for a few hundred dollars. You wouldn’t want to use one of these to project for an entire class (but likely in a few years they will be bright enough), but these pico projects open up a serious opportunity for small group collaboration and sharing.

Feasibly, you could use one as a portable 30″-40″ computer monitor by shooting on the wall, allowing small groups of students to gather around and consume content.  It doesn’t require outrageous amounts of money to purchase these little items. Best of all, they are durable, and the LED bulbs last from 20 000 – 50 000 hours.

These may also be useful to those of us working as PD professionals and consultants.  In late 2010/early 2011, it is expected that these projectors will be bright enough to shine a 60″ image in a semi-lit room. This means I could give presentations to ~20 teachers gathered around a reasonably large screen, and just throw the projector in the side pocket of my laptop bag.

We’ll have to wait and see how far the technology comes, but I have a good feeling about them.  In the right teachers hands these pocketable computer screens will be an important tool.

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