Are projectors still a viable instrument of modern education in the 21st century or have they had their day? Is it time for the humble classroom projector to make way for more up-to-date technologies? Can they ever hope to engage students in the same way that computer games and other digital platforms hold their attention?
The good thing is that there are many benefits of projectors in education that make them a worthwhile investment for schools and educators. Whether you are an educator working directly with students, or an administrator responsible for decision-making in an educational institution, you need to be sure that you are giving your students the very best experience they can have.
Today we look at projectors and discuss their role in the future of education as well as ways to dramatically improve the teaching experience without losing any of the advantages of using projector technology in the classroom.
Projectors in Education: A Game-Changer for Learning
Projector technology has been around for a very long time, and today, the benefits of projectors in education are more evident than ever. The first projectors used in education date back to the late 1800s with the candle and oil-powered ‘Magic Lanterns’. Since then, the use of projectors in classrooms and lecture halls around the world has gone from strength to strength.
In the early days, although appearing crude to us today, simple slide projection technology was a breathtakingly immersive experience that brought ideas to life. In the hushed atmosphere of a darkened classroom, a teacher could transport students to another place and time with images of Greek and Roman civilization, animal and plant specimens, microorganisms, and anything else that could be captured on film.
The overhead projectors of the 1960s added a new dimension of interactivity with on-the-fly note-making, working out of equations, and more as teachers could now add information to transparencies in real-time, making the projection teaching experience more vivid than ever.
With the explosion of the digital age in the 1980s, projectors ran the risk of being left behind as TV, computer screens, and video games caught the imagination of the general public, in particular, that of the younger generation.
Fast forward to today, and not only are projectors as prevalent in the classroom as they ever were, but they have fully adapted to the digital age and proven themselves invaluable in bringing this into classrooms. Without projectors, the internet could not be used as a fully interactive, engaging classroom activity in the way it is today. The benefits of projectors in education include making lessons more engaging and interactive, increasing student participation and understanding, and enhancing collaboration and communication among students.
The truth is that advances in projector technology show no signs of slowing down, and for the foreseeable future, our old friend from the 1800s isn’t going anywhere soon. With the arrival of interactive projectors and the evolution of the software tools it has brought, the leaps in teacher and student interactivity are bounding forward.
Visual learning made easy: The benefits of projectors in education
Here are just some of the reasons the humble projector won’t be going away any time soon.
- Simultaneous real-time group experience
- INTERACTIVE Projectors need a mention
- Full integration with technology is as simple as connecting your computer, tablet, or even your smartphone to your projector
- All digital content can be projected
- Notes, problems, and examples can all be prepared in advance to save time or eliminate writing anything down on a board
- Visually impactful, engaging, and immersive educational experience
- Full access to the internet and everything that connects to the internet
- Simple, easy-to-use technology
- Great value for money
Who would have thought that what began as a candle in a lamp with painted glass slides would have evolved into a technology that can show astronauts on the international space station in real-time, in-depth documentaries, or fully interactive lectures from the best minds in international education? The benefits of projectors in education are undeniable and will continue to shape the future of learning for years to come.
The disadvantages of classroom projectors
Despite all of the obvious benefits of projection technology in the classroom, there are still limitations shared by every brand and make of projector. This includes everything from the most inexpensive to the most sophisticated. No engineer or design team has ever been able to overcome what is an inherent limit to their use. One common issue is limited projected space, typically limited to only 100 – 120 inches (2.5m-3m) diagonal.
If using the projector on a whiteboard you run out of whiteboard space to work on and take notes quite quickly. Although solutions such as projectable whiteboard paint provide a solution; allowing the entire wall to be projectable and written on like a whiteboard.
A projector is only as good as the surface it projects onto
Despite the drawbacks of conventional projector screen surfaces, the benefits of projectors in education cannot be denied. Every projector requires a projection surface and thus, a projection device is only ever as good as the screen its images fall on. Some brands have attempted to solve this by providing screens that can be unrolled or drawn down when needed. We’ve all seen these and witnessed their limitations.
In other settings, teachers may attempt to use existing whiteboards or wall surfaces, but again, we are all aware of the less-than-stellar results these provide.
The main drawbacks of conventional projector screen surfaces include the following:
- Limited screen space
- Uneven projection surfaces
- Images falling outside boundary lines
- Glare, hotspots, reflectivity
- Suboptimal background coloring
- Static, non-interactive projection surface
- Damaged screens and surfaces
- Poorly located screen installation
- Costly and difficult screen replacement
- If moveable the can be difficult to handle and call fall over
Any one of these problems, or worse, a combination of many can cause even the most inspiring content to fall flat before a frustrated and disinterested audience.
The Smarter Surfaces classroom projector screen solution
When it comes to the benefits of projectors in education, our team of product engineers listened to the problems voiced by teachers about legacy projector screens. While design teams in the past had always focused on the screen itself, we chose to think beyond the borders of the traditional projection surface. We literally went outside the box to transform the entire teaching space into a presentation space.
Our team of product engineers came up with the innovative idea to turn the entire classroom or lecture hall into a projection and whiteboard surface by using the whole wall, even with the option to have the magnetic function added in. Teachers, lacking dedicated screens, have often been forced to do this in the past with poor results, so we developed a solution to turn any wall into the perfect screen.
Whiteboard Projector Screen Paint and Magnetic Whiteboard Projection Wallpaper are two innovations that solve a multitude of problems in a single stroke, including the limitations of traditional projector screens, and adding to the benefits of projectors in education.
Here are just some of the immediate advantages of turning an entire classroom wall into a pristine projection or whiteboard surface.
- Unlimited projection space
- Visually impactful for students
- Fully optimal use of the classroom space
- No uneven surfaces, borders, or poor background coloring
- Increased student attention
- Fully interactive multidimensional teaching space
- Clean, reusable, editable surface at the teachers’ disposal
- Your classroom projector screen never breaks down
- Never needs to be replaced
- Ready in as little as 24 hours
- Tested with all leading projector manufacturers
- Long lasting, and easily maintained
Options to suit your needs
Whiteboard Projector Screen Paint is our basic option to turn a classroom into a full-wall medium of projection. Here is a more complete list of available options to suit a wide variety of educational needs.
Smarter Surfaces Whiteboard Screen Options
|Product Option||Ideal For|
|Smart Matt Whiteboard Projector Screen Paint||Smart Interactive Projector Screen Paint|
|Low Sheen Smart Whiteboard Projection Wallpaper||Regular well-defined wall surface areas|
|Low Sheen Smart Self-Adhesive Whiteboard Film||Smaller and well-defined surface areas|
|Low Sheen Smart Self-Adhesive Magnetic Whiteboard Film||Magnetic accessories on defined spaces|
|Magnetic Whiteboard Projector paint||Magnetic accessories on unlimited areas|
|Smart White Projector Screen Paint Pro||Low light and bright rooms|
|Smart Short Throw Projector Screen Paint||Short throw projectors|
|Smart Interactive Projector Screen Paint||Touch projector screens|
All of these products double up as fully functional whiteboard backgrounds that can be used for teaching with or without the use of a projector. In addition to these specialized education and business solutions, we also have a wide variety of products suitable for gaming, cinema, and indoor, as well as outdoor functions. What is interesting is the ability to add magnetic function to most of these products which has proven to be a useful tool in the classroom.
Want to know more?
If you would like to learn more about any of our Smarter Surfaces products or need help deciding which solution is best for you, get in contact with us today. Our helpful staff will be more than happy to offer practical advice and make sure you get the best value for you, your staff, and your students. To know more book a consultation call here.
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