What is it? The eBeam Engage interactive whiteboard device combines more than ten multimedia and navigation tools in one sleek console to make content delivery effective and fun. When used in conjunction with your existing computer and digital projector, the eBeam Engage allows educators to manipulate anything projected on the wall.
How does it work? The eBeam Engage works by using a combination of motion-capture software and specially-designed hardware to read an instructor’s movements and interpret them as computer commands. The use of the eBeam stylus and the mounted Engage unit allows for the manipulation of the projected image, so when a teacher “writes” a word on the wall in the projection field, the Engage reads it, relays it to the computer, which processes it and projects it back to the wall via the projector.
How hard is it to use? There is a slight learning curve, as the software is proprietary. Playing around with the unit a couple of times is sufficient to be able to conduct an extremely interactive lesson.
How well does it work? The product has only recently been launched, so the review market is thin. Those who have used it are raving, however. “I spend less time fumbling with technology and can incorporate additional content during class to better reach my students without losing a moment of instruction,” said Robert Pronovost, a second-grade teacher at Belle Haven Elementary School in Menlo Park, CA
How do I use it in the classroom? Regardless of the subject being taught, the eBeam Engage acts as a multimedia backdrop for the lesson. In addition to being able to write on the projection area as one would on a traditional whiteboard, teachers can add photographs, graphics, interactive maps and other features, all of which can be fully manipulated on-screen in real time.
Read about other products featured in the Tech in the Classroom series.
Tech in the Classroom is a recurring feature that examines widely available technology, software and gadgets and how they might be used in a school setting.