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The myth of interactivity

Why projection technology remains the preferred display solution for educators

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | September 13, 2016 | Product news

Since the mass uptake of interactive whiteboard technology in primary schools more than a decade ago, interactivity seems to be the word on everyone’s lips when it comes to classroom technology. Projectors, whiteboards and flat panel displays have all been developing to incorporate interactivity in response to this demand. 

But new research from Wildfire Communications and Casio Projectors shows that while the educational and edtech industries are discussing the future of projection in the wake of interactive technology, a majority of educators still lean on projectors as their preferred technology resource.

An impressive 70% of all institutions surveyed – which ranged from primary schools through to higher education institutions – used projection in their schools, which was the highest use of any other educational technology. 

Thanks to government initiatives in the early 2000’s many primary and secondary schools were equipped with interactive whiteboard (IWB) technology, which explains why it follows projection closely, with 62% of schools having IWBs installed. Only 36% of schools use large format displays and less than a third use interactive projectors. 

Natasha Kerrigan, NQT in Nottingham explains: “While we use both projection and interactive solutions in our classrooms, I tend to gravitate towards projection in my lessons, as it’s straightforward for both planning and execution of the lessons.”

Kerrigan noted that her lessons often combine screen content and lectures with active discussions and group activities. Projection allows her to quickly turn on and off digital lessons, based on her own lesson plans. Laser & LED projectors from Casio offer the instant power without any need for warm up or cool down, which means that she is able to quickly tailor her lesson  content to the needs of the students.

Technology in the classroom is certainly changing, but our research clearly shows that these changes don’t mean the death of projection by any means

“Modern classroom technology can enable fantastic levels of classroom engagement, hence why projection is so popular in schools,” notes Phil Clark, head of projection at Casio UK, “The real benefits of projection shine through however when you consider its flexibility and ease of use for teachers and ICT staff – a real advantage when serving the diverse needs of a school community.”

Projectors also offer schools a cost-effective replacement option, easy to install and fit in any space.  The wide range of models that Casio has means that the ideal solution can be found for any classroom or budget. The Core Series, with new models boasting 1.5x optical zoom fit easily and affordably into existing school mounting systems, while UST models provide teachers in even the smallest of spaces a projection option with a throw distance of just 27cm for an 80” image.

Casio’s completely Laser & LED range has no lamps or filters, virtually eliminating the cost of replacement parts. Maintenance is also reduced, and with an expected 20,000 hour lifetime, projection remains one of the most affordable and effective technologies for schools. It also provides schools with essential time-saving possibilities, as its high reliability means virtually no downtime for a hassle-free educational technology experience. Cost remains the major influencing factor in choosing projection technology with 64% of educators citing overall cost as their biggest consideration, with a further 45% influenced by maintenance. 

The wide range of projectors on the market right now, mean that a school can create a tailored AV solution for their unique classroom needs. Casio’s fully lamp-free range of projectors for example has an industry-leading low total cost of ownership, boasting no lamps or filters to change, minimal required maintenance and low power consumption offering schools a 35% power cost savings on average.

Interactivity works best in setups where a small number of students can truly engage in the display technology, taking advantage of the enabled touch and gesture control to allow students to proactively learn in a hands-on way. But in situations where you are working with larger groups of students, or when you have a lesson activity presentation to run through, projectors provide a simple solution for teachers, looking for consistency in delivery and total peace of mind.

Phil Clark concludes: “Technology in the classroom is certainly changing, but our research clearly shows that these changes don’t mean the death of projection by any means. Instead, we are seeing educators and schools proactively choose a range of technologies to support the flexible needs of their students, subjects and teachers. It really underlines that there is a place for all technology which encourages learning within the school environment. The current generation has some great learning resources to draw from!”

*Research of 426 educational professionals conducted by Wildfire Communications, 2016


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