interactive projectors
Interactive projectors are a cost-effective alternative to smartboards. Source: Shutterstock

Classrooms today, particularly in developed countries and private/international schools, don’t look much like they did a decade ago.

Instead of sitting in rows of tables and chairs while a teacher lectures from the front of the classroom, scribbling down notes from a blackboard, today’s children are learning in more flexible classroom designs while utilising educational technology.

Technology is an integral part of many classrooms, where collaborative work and student-centered learning is made easier.

Today’s children are “digital natives” – meaning they are born in the digital age, becoming naturally familiar with technology and digital devices rather than learning how to use them as adults (known as “digital immigrants”).

However, while schools around the world are urged to adopt educational technology, budget constraints and lack of funds – especially in government schools – can hinder their ability to install devices like smartboards (or interactive whiteboards) – in the classroom.

Interactive projectors can be the solution: a cheaper way to adopt technology that also allows for a collaborative classroom environment where both teacher and students can interact and contribute to the lesson, making learning a more active, and productive experience.

According to a statement by Epson, known for making interactive projectors for schools, “The versatility and connectivity of Epson’s interactive projector have helped to broaden the possibilities for a teacher’s classroom methods.

“It has enabled teachers to utilise a wide variety of content from multiple sources with a touch of a button. It also has the ability to enable annotation directly onto any projected content, including slides, education software, images from document cameras and even pause scenes of videos, making lessons with multimedia contents more interesting.”

Here are the benefits of using interactive projectors in the classroom:

Fosters collaboration

Using an interactive projector allows a lesson to be more engaging and collaborative.

According to Epson, “Teachers can also collaborate with students’ mobile devices, with the ability to connect up to 50 laptops, tablets or smartphones to the interactive projector via the network.

“Collaboration is enhanced as the projector supports key lesson processes such as sending questions to student devices and receiving their answers for preview before projecting selected answers for comparison and discussion.”

Reduces eyestrain and enhances visibility

Screen eye strain is a real problem and can cause headaches, dry eyes, blurry vision and more. According to research by the Vision Council, “With an increase in digital technology, many individuals suffer from physical discomfort after screen use for longer than two hours at a time. ”

Kids today have enough exposure to screens, both at home and at school. Plus, when light bounces off the screen, it can cause an uncomfortable glare on interactive screens, which can force students to squint.

Interactive projectors are easier on their eyes as there’s no direct glare, plus they don’t reflect glare from sunlight or overhead lighting.

Epson stated, “The projector displays at Full HD resolution, projecting videos and images with vivid clarity.

“Another consideration to take note is that many flat panel or other displays suffer from glare caused by the reflection from classroom lighting or daylight from the windows. This sort of reflection is not found on projector screens.”

The display size also matters when it comes to education technology in the classroom. Depending on the screen size and classroom size, not all students can see or read from a smartscreen.

A study by Radius Research conducted in the US, UK and Singapore found that over 50 percent of students are not able to read certain content displayed on a 70-inch flat panel display.

According to Epson, “The touch-enabled projected images are not restricted to a specific size and can go up to 100 inches or double the size of a 50-inch touchscreen flat panel.

“With the large interactive screen size offered by interactive projectors to the budget-conscious education buyers, delivering interactive content to every student in the classroom is no longer a problem.”

Saving cost and space

Epson states that an 80-inch size interactive projector or bigger costs about a fraction of an interactive flat panel of the same size.

A projector also saves space in small classrooms, and is flexible enough to be used in different rooms instead of a permanent fixture like a smartboard.

“Interactive projectors project images very well onto just about any solid surface – whether a dry erase board, plain wall or even a tabletop, they can be turned into multi-touch interactive surfaces. In contrast, other interactive displays such as the interactive flat panel will always take up wall space, occupying the space permanently even when it is not in use.”

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