Today, students are introduced to technology much earlier than in previous generations, and are often quite savvy users of computers, the Internet, and mobile phones by the time they reach school. Technology is interwoven into learning activities from a very early age, encouraging even very young children to interact with games, toys, and books in new and exciting ways. This interactivity excites children about learning, and has naturally extended into the classroom in a number of ways.
One key tool teachers are utilizing is an LCD standard projector (find tons of projectors as well as tips and advice on eTroxell.com) which adds interest and interactivity to lessons. Here are some ways to make the best use of projectors in your own classroom.
Top Ways To Add Interactivity To Lessons Using A Projector
- Post the day’s agenda. Welcome your students with a projected image of the day’s plan, and invite a child to come to the front and “play teacher,” walking the class through activities such as storytime, snack, and math centers. Have students take turns tallying up lunch orders every day. Younger kids can take turns identifying the month, day, and date.
- Diagram or deconstruct sentences. Help students learn the different parts of a sentence by taking them apart on the projection screen, or let students do the diagramming themselves.
- Teach geography. Project an unlabeled map and have students label it or identify features. Take a world tour via Google Earth, watch streaming educational videos, or check out local web cams such as the live stream of the Decorah Eagles. Students will be thrilled if they happen to see a baby eagle hatching!
- Tackle math problems as a class. Put the math problem up for everyone to see, and then work on it together. Students can help each other pick apart story problems, perform long division, work on geometry, and more.
- Watch online demonstrations. Are you about to embark on a tricky project, such as exploding a classroom volcano without dousing everyone in Diet Coke? Watch a few demos together as a class beforehand and discuss what you observe and what tools you’ll need, and then make a plan for how you’ll do your own project.
- Create slideshows. Turn photos from your computer into a slideshow. Make it even more fun by using photos taken by the class, such as a timeline of a recent field trip or a showcase of the steps you took together to produce the class play.
- Give up-close views of demonstrations. Use the projector along with a video camera or webcam to share a demonstration with the class. This is especially useful for large classes and small demonstrations, such as chemistry experiments, but it works well for any size demonstration.
- Post quiz questions directly from your computer and have students write down the answers. Save time and paper over making a copy of each quiz for every student.
- Improve grammar. Project sentences on the whiteboard or wall that contain errors. Have students take turns circling and identifying misplaced punctuation, spelling errors, and so on.
- Project classroom data collected in a science class in real time using graphs. Enter the data, averages, minimums, etc. into Excel, then create a graph and project it. Students can see immediate results of their work as a class and discuss the outcome.
Getting Standard Projectors Into The Classroom
If you want to add interactivity to your lessons, LCD projectors are a great choice for a number of reasons. These compact projectors easily project anything that is already on your computer via a simple USB connection. The projectors don’t require a special screen or board for their projection, saving schools money on interactive whiteboard costs. Use a standard classroom whiteboard to project lessons and add interactivity yourself by letting students mark up the lesson on the whiteboard.
Many models even work with USB memory sticks, eliminating the need for a computer. Just plug the USB stick into the slot on the projector itself and navigate through a thumbnail display. The projectors work with other media devices too, such as DVD players and cameras.
If your school is short on funding, grants for technology in schools are widespread and available in every state. Falling costs and the rise of interactive projectors have made standard projectors more affordable than ever. Take advantage of low prices and use educational grants for technology to outfit your classrooms this year.