These are my thoughts and reflections on Chapter 3 of our Teaching in the Digital Age book study blog party, the topic is using LCD projectors in the classroom. If you’re not familiar with the book study you can find the details and join in HERE.
There are many ways to use an LCD projector in the classroom to enhance instruction. It can be used with just a simple connection to your computer, a document camera, or an interactive whiteboard. I’m a technology junkie so I use all three. I made a short little video below demonstrating how you can use a document camera to introduce an app to the whole class.
My husband and I recently celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary and we were reminiscing about our move from Boston to Dallas 14 years ago. We found our way using (wait for it) an atlas! I was the navigator and I would try to decipher the little lines and squiggles on the map, often by the interior light. Did I mention I am directionally challenged? It was frustrating and gave me a huge headache but it worked and we made it to our final destination in one piece. Looking back on it, it’s a miracle our marriage survived! Now we have GPS which makes the job of getting from point A to point B a lot easier.
I feel the same way about overhead projectors, they were bulky and inconvenient but they got the job done. LCD projectors and document cameras are some tools that have been made available in recent years that can facilitate learning. We can now teach from point A to point B in a much more efficient and effective manner using these tools. When our instruction becomes more streamlined and efficient the end result is more learning.
I have been singing the praises of my IPEVO Point 2 View USB Camera (only $69) for a few years now- que the Hallelujah Chorus. I was thrilled to see that Brian also mentions it in this book. With every page I read the more I like Brian, we really are on the same wavelength. I’ve also used the Learning Resources Luna Interactive Projection Camera. The video below shows the camera in action if you are not familiar with the basics of how a document camera works.
When I first started using and LCD projector in my classroom I noticed a difference immediately. My students were more attentive and they were more interested in whatever we were learning using the projector. The children who sat the farthest away who used to be a little more wiggly or inattentive were suddenly captivated because they could see every detail of what was happening. Since the students were more engaged and eager to learn, behavior problems also decreased. The increase in motivation coupled with fewer behavior problems ultimately led to more learning.
I’ve received several questions about where to find affordable projectors. They don’t seem to have come down in price quite as much as other types of technology in recent years so my best advice is to look for refurbished models online, floor models at your local big box electronics store, or used projectors on Craig’s List. I sold my LCD projector on Craig’s List for a very low price recently- not because it didn’t work but I needed a smaller, lighter model for travel purposes. There were many other projectors listed for sale there as well. I also recommend Donors Choose if you would like to write a grant to fund the purchase of a projector. I have compiled some tips for writing Donors Choose grants here.
Chapter 3 of our book study blog party was hosted by Matt of Look at My Happy Rainbow so make sure to stop by his blog and comment or link up.
Next week, Karen from Prekinders will be discussing Chapter 5, Expanding the Classroom with Videoconferencing and Webcams.