A recent series of blog posts by #physed legend and my #peplc pal Nathan Horne entitled, “What’s in your PhysEd Bag?” have captured my attention and I was delighted when Nathan asked me to feature in this week’s edition. See it here
Not only is this a great concept and fun, but it provides some insight into the daily tools, resources and handy gadgets utilized by the teachers featured.
In addition to the actual items themselves the posts so far have given me food for thought relating to things that are NOT in my bag but perhaps should be, especially when it comes to improving efficiency and workflow.
Since my feature I have received a few requests for info about some of the items in my bag, specifically my mini projector, “Pico”.
Generally, I don’t blog a great deal about specific tech items or specific apps. This is simply because I think we often can be fixated on the tool and not the outcome, or the why behind its use. In this case I’m happy to make an exception. 1. Because it’s such a simple, practical item with a myriad of uses all related to enhancing learning. 2. Because of the amount of requests I had for more info about it, I figured a blog post would provide the info that everyone wants!
So what is it?
It’s an AIPTEK MobileCinema i50D. In simple terms it’s a mini sized data projector that is half the size of an iPhone. It looks like this…
- Brightness: 35 ANSI Lumens
- Resolution: VGA (640 x 480 pixel)
- Battery: Embedded 1850 mAh Li-Polymer (if you’re like me and this means nothing it equates to about 120 mins which I have not tested yet. Only been using in shorter bursts. It has a simple connection to USB for charging)
- Weight: 125g
- Size: 67 x 63 x 19.9mm
- Compatible: iPad. iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S
So where can I get one? I hear you ask
I’m not entirely sure if they’re available directly from the manufacturer AIPTEK (probably) but I got mine from the friendly team at www.miniprojector.com.au which is an Australian based company from Sydney. I’d like to say I’m not being paid to plug this company or product! I called them re an invoicing query after purchasing and had a terrific chat to the team there, they were very helpful and I was even able to follow up via email with a few questions, which they answered promptly. I said I was keen to get it and try it ASAP and they agreed to express post it to me, it arrived the next day! So the service was great. But I’m not sure what their policy is on international shipping for all you international Team #PhysEd-ers.
Like all technology it has its pros and cons (I should also say I’m still learning as I use it and working a few things out as I go)
It is so mobile. Previously I would set up a data projector on a trolley which would take up some space in the gym, also the risk of something or someone hitting it, not to mention the cables which could be a concern during some practical activities, with some year levels. With the ‘Pico’ there is no table required (although sometimes a table or some platform will help keep it still, or your hands free). At times, it goes straight in my pocket after showing a small group something. It also could be used outside in certain scenarios, light would be an issue no doubt though. But I’m figuring in changing rooms for a coach at half time for example they would be able to show evidence of footage to get a point across.
At home it works a dream in the dark against a wall or against drop blinds to watch a movie or sport.
As with all technology there are a few things to note before declaring it the best gadget in history!
The lumens (the power of light projection) are not terrific as you would expect from something so small, compact and not backlighted. I think there is a mini on the market which is one up from this version which may give some stronger light. It works perfectly from about 2m out from the screen/ wall but any further and it begins to fade.
Sometimes I have wanted to pull it out to get a bigger projection and I’ve had to use the old one.
That’s the price you pay I guess for the remote, wireless ‘handy-ness’ of the device.
It has a required function called ‘TV Out’ which provides the capability to play what is on the iPhone/ iPad out onto the projector surface. Some apps have it built in, some apps don’t. Apparently you can get apps which allow this capability across the board (GO Universal being one) but I haven’t tried yet.
An example, I realised early that youtube wasn’t projecting from the app but it works from safari or google chrome via the internet. I’m still playing around with this to get a consistent solution.
Overall, this new tool, has given me a wonderful new set of options for providing ‘screens’. Its quick, easy, wireless and really, really compact. For presenting to other staff or workshops it’s absolutely perfect. But considering the above cons are also worthwhile. It’s not the perfect answer to all problems.
Decide for yourself and be sure to let me know how things go in your lesson if you’re using the ‘Pico!’