data projector

The data projector trolley – a useful tool for the mobile teacher

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 | Gadgets | 1 Comment

Even though it is advisable for data projectors to be permanently fixed in classrooms – preferably suspended from the ceiling – this is not always possible.  Schools may not be able to afford a data projector and a laptop for each classroom, or teachers may have a specific need to move the equipment from one location to another.

The mobile teacher’s best friend

Many teachers feel that lugging a data projector and laptop around is too much of a schlep; they need a vehicle to assist them to be truly mobile.

A data projector trolley is an easy solution to their problem.  This low cost device is simply a number of bags on wheels, but it is designed in such a way that it can transport a data projector, a laptop, connection and extension cables, books and other  accessories.  For the diligent teacher who wants to spend the night at school, it even has space for pyjamas and a toothbrush.

With this trolley – specially designed to move delicate technology equipment securely – a teacher will be sure that the required tools are always at hand.  This device is particularly useful for curriculum advisors who move from school to school and when they visit schools where no technology is available.

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If I have a data projector in my classroom, why do I need an interactive whiteboard?

Thursday, December 16th, 2010 | IWBs, technology | 4 Comments

Many of the things you want to do in you classroom with technology can be done without an interactive whiteboard – in many instances a computer and a data projector would suffice.  Unfortunately many interactive whiteboards are used merely as a display surface – these boards have no value unless they are used for their intended purpose.

Once you start using technology to encourage learner participation, you will be able to judge whether you need an interactive whiteboard in addition to your computer and data projector.

An interactive whiteboard allows you to do exactly what you did before on your old board – you can write on it and erase what you don’t require any longer.  Herein lies perhaps the greatest strength of the interactive whiteboard – in its basic use it does not differ from the board that you’re used to.

But then, it offers much more:

With your computer and data projector you can display prepared material to the class – when you’re using an interactive whiteboard you can use your finger or stylus to annotate and highlight main points, while you are presenting the lesson.  These annotations can even be saved for later use.

A data projector is one-directional – that means it can only display information on a surface and learners can’t interact with it physically by means of a keyboard, mouse or touch screen.  Learners can interact with learning material on a computer, but if you have one computer in the class it is hardly possible for all the learners to participate.  An interactive whiteboard solves this problem.  It becomes a surface on which information is displayed for the entire class to see – but every learner can come up to the board and interact with it, selecting, dragging, dropping, cutting and pasting just as they would do on a computer.

The greatest value of an interactive whiteboard is that it transforms a classroom into an interactive one.  Learners are able to interact with learning material in different ways.

An interactive whiteboard will be a good investment only if you are determined to use it for its unique interactive features, and not only as a display surface.

Click here for more information about interactive whiteboards.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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Of what value is a data projector in my classroom?

Thursday, December 16th, 2010 | technology | 3 Comments

A single computer or laptop has little teaching value to a teacher in the classroom.  The main difficulty is that it is hardly possible for large groups of learners to see what happens on the small screen – this problem is solved by a data projector.

How does it work?  A data projector takes whatever is on the screen of the computer, and throws the image on a suitable surface – a wall or a screen.  You can enlarge the picture to any size you like – the further you move the data projector from the wall or screen, the bigger the picture will be.

The data projector is a huge step up from the old overhead projector, which also allows you to enlarge images for the entire class to see.  Data projectors do far more than simply enlarging pictures.  Because it is linked to your computer, you can do many things you can’t do with an overhead projector.  Here are a few examples:

With the use of special programs – called presentation software – you can prepare lessons beforehand and with a click of the button you move from one “page” to another.  No more slides to make, sort and handle!

With your computer you can find pictures and diagrams and work them into your presentations – even video clips can become part of your lesson.

If you have internet access in your classroom you can link to it in real time with your computer and display images to the class.  This helps you to take advantage of unexpected “teaching moments” – a learner may ask a question, and instead of giving the answer, you have the opportunity to show the entire class how research on the internet is done to find answers to questions.

Lessons can be saved for successive classes.  While presenting the lesson, you may feel the need to change or add something for future use.  All you have to do is change the presentation on your computer – only a few clicks are required – and it will be ready for display through your data projector for the next lesson.

When you bring technology in the classroom, a data projector should be high on your list of priorities.

For more technology tips for teachers click here.

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