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Epson BrightLink 710Ui Interactive Projector Review – Special Features

Posted on January 23, 2018 by Nikki Zelinger

Epson Brightlink Interactive Projector Review – Special Features: Interactivity, SMART Learning Suite Software, Wireless Sharing

BrightLink 710Ui Interactivity

I reviewed an interactive projector by Epson last year – the BrightLink 696Ui. I was impressed with its feature set and performance (it had some of the best color I’ve ever seen on an education projector at its price point), so naturally, I was excited to see how the BrightLink 710Ui measured up. It’s quite similar, with the main differences being lumen count and light engine (the 696Ui has a lamp life of only 5000 hours versus the 710Ui’s 20,000 hours), so it’s no surprise to me that I was impressed with the BrightLink 710Ui as well. That said, let’s discuss the 710Ui’s interactivity.

The Epson BrightLink 710Ui comes with an interactive module, two interactive pens (and batteries), all the cables needed for connectivity, and a wall mount for easy installation. It also comes with a year’s subscription to SMART Learning Suite, which I will discuss at length in the following section. It has 8-Point Touch, meaning multiple presenters can be up at the projection surface, working with the interactive features and annotating using two pens and six fingertips. That’s a lot of presenters up at the board at once, but this is a great feature for group presentations and projects. That there can be multiple users at a time is a definite plus for those lessons where the teacher calls students up to the board to answer questions and engage with the lesson in front of the class.

The interactive camera is embedded directly into the projector, so there is no installation necessary for that. The pens will need to be calibrated so that they interface with the interactive module and camera, but that is easy enough. If there’s one thing Epson’s good at (and there are a lot of things), it’s providing good instructions on how to set the projector up. There are online videos by Epson showing the steps visually, as well as the obligatory User Manual, and the installation should be well within the skill set of the IT department. That interactive module works with the camera by projecting a veil of infrared light over the projection surface, and the pens, when calibrated, interrupt the light, which signals to the infrared camera that an action is taking place. Pretty cool.

SMART Learning Suite Software

The Epson BrightLink 710Ui comes with a redemption code for a one year subscription to SMART Learning Suite, which is one of the leading systems in creating interactive content for classrooms. The Suite comes with a variety of tools, all aimed toward making things easier for teachers and more fun for the students. SMART Learning Suite includes four awesome software programs: SMART Notebook, SMART Lab, SMART response 2, and SMART amp. Let’s discuss what each program does and how it can benefit teachers and students alike.

SMART Notebook is a program for creating engaging content for hands-on learning. The program allows you to create lessons and transform what may have been a typical PowerPoint (let’s face it, we all hated those) into an interactive experience that facilitates deeper learning and integration of the course material. Some teachers prefer to lesson plan from the comfort of their own home – this is possible with SMART Notebook. They need only install on their home computer and send the lessons directly to the classroom.

SMART Lab is similar, but is more for creating activities for the students. This is game-based learning software that includes easy-to-use, customizable templates for lesson activities. This kind of learning aids in the integration of concepts because it is a fun, low-stress way of receiving the material. Students are always playing games, whether it be on their phones, tablets, computers, or game consoles like PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch, so bringing that aspect into the classroom is appealing to them and can help side-step the aversion to learning many students seem to have.

SMART Response 2 is an easy way to gauge how well students are absorbing the lessons by creating a set of questions in under five minutes. Students can answer on Chromebooks, desktop computers, laptops, phones or tablets, making it easy for both teachers and students to exchange questions and answers. This is a major tree-saver, too, and therefore a money-saver when that considering teachers will be making less copies by using this program. SMART amp is a workspace for collaboration between teachers and students, groups of students, or the whole class to create and work on projects with multimedia content. What a cool way to work!

There are tons of free resources and other key features of SMART Learning Suite, but the value is clear: the software makes teaching and learning more fun and successful for everyone. If you want to learn more, check out the product brochure. Many of my friends are teachers that use interactive whiteboards – I have a feeling they would truly appreciate this software and will be suggesting it to them for their classrooms. Some of them really struggle with the younger kids – middle schoolers – who are difficult to teach because they try to find the exception to everything. While you can’t make a teenager be anything other than a teenager, you sure can make school more enjoyable with the SMART Learning Suite software.

Wireless Sharing

The Epson BrightLink 710Ui has wireless sharing capabilities! That’s plural. The Wireless Module is an optional wireless dongle that allows the projector to communicate with a variety of devices over Wi-Fi. The Wireless LAN Module is available for $99 on Epson’s website. Once this is set up, there are easy-to-follow instructions in the User Manual on how to connect external devices, which allows for screen sharing in a variety of forms.

The 710Ui is iProjection compatible – Epson iProjection is an app that can be installed on phones, tablets, PCs and Macs, to wirelessly connect up to 50 devices simultaneously. That means students and teachers alike can project images, documents, videos, etc., for all to see. The BrightLink 710Ui also has two-way content sharing, which allows content to be shared from the projector to connected devices. The teacher can control which devices’ screens are displayed on the projector, and vice versa. When the content is shared to a student’s device, the student can then make changes and notes and send back to the projector. Talk about bringing learning into the future (or should I say, the Now).

Next up, we’ll discuss the rest of the special features of the Epson BrightLink 710Ui, which include PC Free Annotation, DuoLink, Epson’s Brighter Futures education program, and Epson’s famous warranty. Click the button below on the right to continue reading.

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