Interactive Projecting: Ongena & Manning
Positions: Instructional Technology Coordinator/Teacher
District/School: Beach Park School District #3
Number of Students: 2,300
My goal as Instructional Technology Coordinator is to provide digital learning tools that engage visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners. I look for products that are user friendly and cost effective for our district.
Ultimately, we aim to increase test scores through the implementation of interactive digital instruction that engages and motivates learned concepts, or skill sets, as opposed to rote memorization.
We have pioneered the Epson Brightlink Interactive projector in two Special Ed Classrooms this year.
My students and I have really enjoyed piloting the Epson interactive projector. It has made learning fun for us. I have to say that this technology has really improved their writing, reading, and math skills.
1. Mount the short throw projector above projection surface.
2. Connect the document camera to projector,
3. Connect netbook to projector,
The projection surface can be any flat surface whether a current marker board, or just an empty wall. The interactive pen requires two AA batteries.
The two teachers using these products this year are very comfortable with technology and students, regardless of age, are almost always equal if not superior in this field. Both classrooms had an easy transition with Epson’s products. Teachers have access to me for instructional assistance, as well as our 3 district computer specialists for technical help.
How We Use It
We were practicing “Ch” diagraphs with reading A-Z. I logged in and, using our classroom’s Epson BrightLink 455Wi, projected the book we are reading onto my white board. My students used the "magic" interactive pen to highlight the “ch” diagraphs in the story. Using the pen they are also able to manipulate the pages, write notes, type in text, frame words, and cover words.
Recently, our class has also been enjoying a website that shows a live webcam of eagles. Every day, instead of journals, we have begun writing eagle observations. We watch the eagles nest on my whiteboard, where I am then able to project an interactive keyboard. The students can come up to the board and type in their observations.
My goal for next year is to outfit kindergarten classrooms throughout the district with this same combination of digital devices. I believe this digitally enhanced classroom setup is adaptable enough to withstand the changing tide of technology for quite some time.
Epson’s BrightLink interactive projector connects to any digital device capable of screen sharing and the relatively inexpensive netbook is the replaceable part in this recipe. The netbook replacement will most likely be a tablet PC.
Technology is reflecting the changes in society; it is scary for many educators to dramatically change their teaching practices and it is important for technology staff to provide face-to-face support during implementations like these.
As we implement these in 12 more classrooms, I will be providing a lot of initial face time with the teachers before they have to use them with their classes and am always a phone call away. We have a wide variety of technology comfort levels in the district and I can't stress how important having a training and support system is to effective implementation. Once you get the teachers comfortable with technology, the students easily adapt and will thrive!
The user interface of the Epson interactive projector is streamlined because you no longer need a separate "whiteboard" and the short-throw projector leaves plenty of floor and ceiling space and minimizes shadowing. This solution also undercuts our previous digital classroom setup by over $500 in savings, making it even more attractive.