10 Game-Changing Ways to Use an Interactive Classroom Projector

The future is here.

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 My teaching partner and I were beyond excited when an interactive projector showed up in our classroom after the holiday break last year. We knew it was going to change our teaching. A year later, many of our classroom routines have shifted thanks to the projector—and we’ve learned a lot along the way. Below are some of our favorite ideas for using one.

1.Turn ANY flat surface into an interactive whiteboard.

Kids around table with interactive projector in a classroom

Always wanted a touch-screen whiteboard? With the right projector (like this one), you can have one at a fraction of the cost. You can touch the wall or table with your finger or a special pen, and it responds just like a finger on a phone, tablet or other touch-screen device. How cool is that? We are dying to teach our next social studies lesson with an interactive map projected onto a table.

2. Share picture books on the projector.

Yep. You can throw out that towering stack of big books from the ’90s that are taking up valuable space in your classroom. Never again worry that you’re going to hear, “I can’t see the pictures!” from one of your students. There’s nothing like gigantic images of favorite stories to keep kids engaged. If you’ve got an interactive projector, you can invite kids to the board to interact with the book while you’re reading. We’ve asked kids to “Circle all the pictures that start with /k/” or “Count the animals you see on this page.”

3. Take calendar time to a whole new level.

Use an interactive calendar, like this free one from Starfall.com, to totally change the way you do circle time. It’s got many of the same features your traditional calendar has. Kids can come up to the screen (or your computer if you don’t have an interactive projector) and help fill out the daily calendar.

Starfall Interactive Calendar


4. Play online games and quizzes.

Hook up your computer to your projector and play your favorite learning games. Teachers especially love playing Quizlet, Socratic and Kahoot! with their projectors. You can make your own Jeopardy! games with SuperTeacherTools. It’s even more fun when your projector is interactive because you can invite students to do the clicking and dragging. With our kids, adding in a game for learning is always a plus. A game on an interactive projector that lets them move around while they’re learning is icing on the cake.

online game examples

5. Teach your lessons with interactive PowerPoint.

Many teachers build PowerPoint units to do with their students, which make it possible to create games like Bingo and Jeopardy! and even track classroom behavior. Some teachers have designed PowerPoint units that invite children to collaborate on the big screen. Really, the possibilities are endless. We’ve been blown away by some of the PowerPoint lessons we’ve seen for interactive projectors.

Does designing your own PowerPoint lessons sound like a lot of work? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there too. You can actually buy pre-made PowerPoint lessons for interactive projectors on Teachers Pay Teachers and other lesson-plan sites. Some kindergarten teachers we know were raving about this sight-word packet. Watch how this teacher uses it with her kids:

Kids exercising to sight words.
[VIDEO] <– Click to Watch.

6. Take attendance.

This can be particularly fun with an interactive projector. Check out this website with lots of free PowerPoint slide sets that you can use to take attendance. In this one, the kids walk up to the white board and slide their fish from one side of the board to the other to indicate that they are at school.

Screen shot of Interactive Power Point for taking attendance with fish graphics

7. Connect your iPad and use apps.

Whether you’re teaching kids how to use a new app or want to play a familiar game with the whole class, either is possible when you have a projector. All you need is a digital AV adapter (they’re not that expensive and your tech department probably has a few on hand) to connect your iPad. You can also use an adapter like this one to connect to your projector to present wirelessly from your tablet or smartphone. We love to play learning apps as a class. One of our favorites is Kodable.

8. Use a Daily-5 check-in chart.

Angela from Just Love Teaching created this fantastic interactive chart to manage her morning Daily 5 time. Kids move their picture to the station at which they’re working. Read more about how she uses her chart for Daily 5 here, and grab a free version of her chart here.


Daily 5 Check in Powerpoint

9. Stream videos.

I teach little kids, so we stream dance-along learning videos like HeidiSongs. My friends in the older grades stream virtual field trips and other instructional videos. Using an interactive projector takes showing educational videos to a whole new level. Can you imagine pausing a video on an interactive projector and then using your finger or digital pen to draw directly onto the screen to highlight a point or concept? Your kids will flip! (And the concept will probably stick too!) We loved being able to get rid of the giant 80-pound beast of a television that had been hanging unused in the corner of our classroom.

10. Make your morning message interactive.

How many pads of paper do you go through each year when you do a daily morning message? Can you imagine how many trees you could save if you converted that message to a projected version? Since an interactive projector lets you write directly on your projecting surface, you could have your kids writing their numbers and words in digital ink.

Want to try out this technology with your students? Visit BenQ to find which projector is the best fit for your classroom!

10 Game Changing Ways to Use an Interactive Projector in the Classroom