If Only Every Classroom Had a Mondopad …
Ever heard of the Mondopad? Dictionary.com defines the adjective mondo as “large; big” and the adverb mondo as “very; cool”. Well I can certainly attest to the fact that the Mondopad is very big and very cool!
The Mondopad from InFocus is a touch-controlled, huge multi-function screen with a built in computer. And that brief description just scratches the surface. The possibilities for how this device can be used are tremendous.
Present, annotate, collaborate
A lot of the key functionality of the Mondopad comes from its ability to bring up content on the screen, annotate it with easy to use tools, and do this collaboratively with others if you wish.
You can open documents on the Mondopad numerous ways, such as popping a jump drive into one of the many USB ports the devices has, or emailing a file directly to the Mondopad (how unique is that!?). You can also load web pages, so you can open Google Drive or Gmail and grab files there, along with other methods. Then the fun begins!
You can annotate the content on the screen with drawing tools using your finger or a stylus right on the screen! You can also use a mouse or even use a separate computer or tablet (more on that below). What’s even cooler is that if you have other Mondopad users you can connect with, you can collaboratively edit with them, whether they are in the next room or across the country!
Annotate Web Pages
Just as you can annotate files, you can annotate web content that you bring up.
These annotation techniques make it a breeze to discuss content, highlight sections, draw attention to parts of images that you want to emphasize, and so on. And the crisp, high resolution provides for a highly visible display.
If you want to use the Mondopad as a “blank screen” to illustrate show to solve a problem, make a list, or draw or write anything at all, you can easily do so using the built in whiteboard.
Use the Whiteboard
The white board has the usual types of tools you would look for in a whiteboard, and then some. Tools include multicolored pens with a sliding control to vary thickness and a transparent highlighter with variable transparency, basic shapes, the ability to cut and paste sections of the content, type text, erase, draw a grid, add a background image, and more. These are the same tools you can use to annotate content. You can also save, print, or share the content you create.
The Mondopad comes with easy to use collaboration tools, but they are focused on connecting with other Mondopad users, in your organization or anywhere in the world. You can also connect and collaborate with devices that are not Mondopads, as long as they are on your network (more on that below).
Unfortunately, while it is possible to use the Mondopad to connect with other devices outside of network, it does not seem to be possible to integrate this functionality into the Mondopad interface to make it easy for users to leverage. I was able to use Zoom, for example, but only by exiting the Mondopad and using Windows only, which makes the Mondopad function as just a large video console. (I’ll have to double check with support on this to make sure I’m not missing something).
Control it from your computer or tablet OR control a computer from the Mondopad!
Another really cool feature of the Mondopad is that you can use a tablet or computer to access and control it (although the functionality from an iPad was a little kludgy). It’s pretty awesome that you can walk around the room and make annotations or add to those that the person working at the Mondopad is making.
One thing I found to be very cool is that you can cast a local computer’s screen to the Mondopad and control it from there. When you do this, the Mondopad becomes the device’s screen (you no longer have the proprietary functionality of the Mondopad available). One application of this that was pretty wild for me is being able to project my music recording software from a small monitor computer screen to this giant display, where I could then control the recording software using my fingers!
Mondopad Vs. Smartboard
It wouldn’t be unfair to refer to the Mondopad as a Smartboard on Steroids. This page from touchboards.com offers over a dozen reasons why the Mondopad is a superior alternative, including the elimination of the need to buy and replace bulbs, less wiring to deal with, and a built in computer. The Mondopad is not inexpensive by any means (they start around $6K), but then neither are many interactive whiteboards, and the Mondopad can be a less costly alternative than some IWBs when you take these differences into consideration.
Come visit next week when we post a video demonstration of this exciting system!
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