One tech tool that most schools all have is a projector and screen in each classroom. This technology dates back to the 1960s with overhead projectors and can go back even further with filmstrip projectors.
Today schools are using multimedia projectors to display from Computers, DVD Players (and yes some still use VCRs), along with other equipment such as document cameras. Projectors and screens are often quite costly and require bulb maintenance and replacements. Here are a few suggestions on how to curb the cost of presentation solutions in the classroom.
#1) LED ProjectorsIn my district, we have started to phase out projectors that use bulbs with projectors that are lamp-less and use LED technology. There are many advantages to these projectors such as:
- 20,000+ hour life (compared to an average of 3,000 hour bulb life)
- Instant on (no waiting for the bulb to warm up)
- Bright vibrant colors (no need to dim the room)
- Similar price point to other projectors
The specific model I have experience with is the Casio XJ-V2. I have not yet tried to find a short-throw solution for an LED projector. I feel that the SMART board may be phased out of classrooms soon. I explain more in my third suggestion below.
#2) Big Screen Smart TVsIn other areas, instead of using a projector, we have actually started to use big screen TVs (over 40 inches) with Roku built in. These TVs with Roku allow our teachers (and students) to wireless present via "Chromecast." as well as use HDMI or analog inputs. The price-point on these TVs have come down to a point where they are very competitive with classroom projectors and often times cheaper. The last TV I purchased as a 50 inch 4K TV with Roku for just under $400. Whereas the projectors I was ordering have a suggested retail price of $599.99.
#3) Are you 1:1? Why do you need a projector or TV?This last tip is a big obstacle for many teachers to overcome. Many teachers are accustom to drawing all students' attention to a focal point for some activities. It may be hard for some to adjust to not having a presentation screen at all.
When you have a screen in front of each student, why do you need to the large screen in front of all students?
There are many tools that allow teachers to present items directly to the students' device(s). Here is one example below.
- Nearpod - present and control content on all students screens.
One of the problems that makes the presentation screen increasingly obsolete is that it is a tool that was widely used with a now outdated teaching style. Rather than the teacher being the sole deliverer of knowledge, teachers are delivering student-led lessons. These student-led and individualized learning experiences often cannot be achieved with the use of a presentation device.
This leads me to believe that the projector, TV, or even the chalkboard / marker board, may be phased out of classrooms before too much longer.
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