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Educators see cool high-tech tools

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By Lisa King

There were plenty of oohs and aahhs heard all over the room this week at a technology fair in Shelbyville.

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The fair, put on Wednesday and Thursday by Creative Image Technologies at its facilities on Breighton Circle, was planned to allow educational leaders from across Kentucky see the cool new tools available to them.

This was his company's first such fair, and it was so successful that there are plans to try to make it an annual event, said Jim Porter, director of sales and marketing.

"We had about 125 people here today and expect about the same number tomorrow," he said Wednesday.

Creative Image Technologies, established in 1998, calls itself a global leader in the digital imaging-processing field, partnering with more than 60 international distribution partners in 30 countries.

CIT carries a line of equipment for use in classrooms, boardrooms, courtrooms, government conference areas and medical facilities. Its products include LCD projectors, document cameras, DLP display cubes, and HD scalers and switches.

For example, on Wednesday, company representative Matt Simons demonstrated a "Smart Board" to a group of educators at the fair.

Think of this as the blackboard of tomorrow. It is projected onto a screen where students can learn use a touch-screen technique to carry out assignments in many subjects, including math.

"The beauty of what we do is helping kids learn," Porter said.

Among those attending was a group of teachers from Southside Elementary in Shelbyville said they were amazed at the technology.

"I think it would really go a long way toward getting students more engaged in classroom participation and discussions," said Sarah Smith, as she watched Simons create a multitude of images as he manipulated the touch screen.

Fellow teacher Justin Athens agreed.

"There are really a lot of possibilities with this technology," he said. "I am just trying to take it all it. It's so exciting to think about where it could take us."

Teacher Mandy Dykes was impressed as well.

"It's a very innovative way of getting students involved," she said.

Visitors came from as far away as Laurel County to see a variety of such tools in both demonstration and video.

CIT markets products made by Lumens Integration Inc. Lumens, which in 2004 reported a revenue of $15 million, has invested heavily in what it feels is a key component of the future, advanced optoelectronic products, which use touch-screen functions on a projected screen.

"Our history and continued growth is based on our great knowledge of optoelectronic technology, as well as our development of strong management teams," the company said in a release. "At Lumens, we are committed to providing our customers with superior product technology, dependable customer service and fair competitive prices everyday."