This classroom full of 5th graders is learning all about Native American tribes for social studies. They’ve read books on tribes, drawn maps, taken notes and constructed model huts. But what’s really gotten them fired up is a trivia game that their teacher Mrs. Keadle set up on a whiteboard.
Only a computer, projector and this device are running it, rather than old-fashioned ink. That helps these kids, about to swirl and drop their pieces of the geography puzzle into place—learn in a much more comfortable way.
Maria Majka, Principal, “They’re used to it, it’s harder for us.”
The school has had these e-beam edge devices since last year, though teachers are using it much more this school year. It turns ordinary whiteboards into interactive spaces. Costs start at $800.The funding to buy them came from a bond for the San Mateo-Foster City School District, for more classrooms and updates. Highlands Elementary School’s principal knew the school wanted more interactive learning tools and had received several pitches from similar companies, but what made e-beam most attractive was its proximity to the school.
The devices are put together just six miles away from the kids—at Luidia headquarters in San Carlos. Its factory-like packing process for each screw, package and insert tells the story of a company that’s expanded enough that it has hired its own packers.
While good in a classroom, the e-beam was first intended to help engineers have working conference calls, across continents. Anything drawn with the pen for the e-beam classic complete model, can be viewed by all, manipulated, saved and sent out. The technology inside e-beam devices works like this:
Rafi Holtzman, CEO of Luidia, “When the ink touches the board, then two signals leave the pen. That goes here, then is fed to the receiver by speed of light. Then this receiver communicates in sound waves this way.”
However it works, schools seem to like them because it facilitates learning the way children learn best.
In San Francisco, Kerry Davis, IDG News Service.