The inclusion of projectors in the classroom makes for a much more interactive learning environment with teaching time maximised and student engagement heightened. Rather than wasting time have to write out information on a board, prepared documents can be projected for students to use and the same documents re-used for the following class.
However, to ensure a projector is used effectively in the classroom, it’s important to first assess the types of projectors on offer, as well as the various features.
Below we discuss key features and elements to consider when choosing a projector for a classroom.
Classroom Projector Features
Blackboard Mode – these projectors allow you to project onto a wall, white board, or chalkboard which is particularly useful for classrooms without an electronic whiteboard as the image can be annotated. The only downside is that the image quality and brightness is not as crisp as with a projection screen.
Zoom Lens – this is a very useful feature as it allows you to adjust the size of the projected image without disrupting the entire classroom setting by moving the projector physically. This also means the installation of the projector can be somewhat more flexible.
Wired or Wireless Networking – this feature allows for the sharing of information from various resources via the internet, making for a much more enhanced teaching and learning experience. It is also a handy security feature as it alerts the user to the removal of a projector and can also inform the user of any maintenance requirements.
Lamp-Free or Lamp-Based – the introduction of lamp-free projectors has revolutionised the projector industry, cutting down costs substantially. Lamp-based projectors – which are an older model – operated using a lamp which was replaced every 5 000 hours. These brought about extra costs related to the lamp, as well as the labour involved in lamp replacement. The modern lamp-free projector consumes less energy – up to 50% less in some cases – and has minimal maintenance with increased quality.
Read More: Benefits of Lamp Free Projectors
Multimedia Teaching - Some brands of projectors offer applications that allows you to connect a tablet, smartphone or laptop to the projector to display all types of content int he classroom. Read more about the Casio Projector App
Other factors to consider
Distance from Screen – consider how far the farthest student is from the screen before buying as this will determine the type of projector needed, as well as the screen size. You can use this throw ratio calculator to determine what projector will be the best fit for your boardroom.
Projector Position – the projector may have to be mounted to avoid students blocking the light or interfering with the projector in any way. There is the option of short throw wall mount projectors but these might be more expensive. Otherwise, traditional projectors can be mounted but consider the distance from screen when buying.
Projector Brightness – the lighter the viewing environment, the brighter the projector needed. Many classrooms are well lit for discussions and note taking so check whether this light can be minimised with curtains before deciding on a projector. A projector with a light output of up to 5000 lumens means that it is unnecessary to darken teaching spaces.
Projector Resolution – the higher the projector resolution, the better the image quality. If you need to display content and images in particular detail, then this will determine the resolution you select.
Once you’ve performed a full analysis of your projector setting and requirements, research reliable suppliers to ensure you’re getting the best available projector for your budgetary restrictions and particular projector needs.