Education can’t ignore the march of technology, on that we can all agree. Advances in devices used by teachers and students on a personal level make the old classroom projectors of the overhead variety, or ones you’ve had hanging from ceilings for decades look outdated. These “traditional” projectors are so out of step with modern personal devices, they’re not good for much more than passively viewing a very limited range of content.
It’s time to replace them with smart projectors that have the same features as do smartphones, tablets and laptops. By doing so you’ll align your school, classroom media and content sharing capabilities with expectations and demands from students and teachers. Furthermore, smart projectors offer lower maintenance costs as they sport online updates, power efficient designs and long-life projection.
Projectors by default bring to the fore screen size flexibility. Unlike TVs, projectors showcase onto a surface of your choosing, meaning you pick the screen size. There are no hard-set limits, so if you want to project onto a 100” screen or an entire class wall, that’s fine. TVs can’t do that, and in terms of cost per screen inch, projectors are more affordable by a long shot. Any TV larger than 75” becomes almost unbearably expensive, while for projectors even 85” is on the lower end of the screen size scale. Schools in search of good quality, big format viewing would be well advised to look into a smart projector.
Large screens make for pleasant experiences. Let’s say you splurged on a 75” TV. That’s still not that big for the average classroom. Students need to huddle closer to the display, because if they don’t then anyone sitting further back won’t be able to see much. A projector can easily give you a screen twice as big for clarity without the obligatory session of “re-arrange the chairs”.
Additional major advantages are device size and footprint. While smart projectors give you massive displays, they’re much smaller, lighter and simpler to set up than TVs. An average 75” TV can easily weigh between 32-36 kilogramme. A good projector comes in at about a tenth of that. That translates into far greater portability, as you can easily move the projector between classrooms, while a TV once set up is there to stay until retirement. New projectors feature simple setup, and unlike big screen TVs do not need an entire section of the class dedicated to them. They’re compact devices, free from the regular cleaning TVs demand. Power consumption is also lower with smart projectors, resulting in an overall better cost-performance ratio.
And as an added bonus, because projectors take up so little space, you can still have a board for writing and note taking in the classroom, something that may not be feasible if you dedicate tons of space to a large and costly TV.
Smart projectors are designed to be PC-less in that they have their own Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and operating system. You can access content from the internet directly via the projector, without the need of a laptop as an intermediary. Pre-installed Android™ with Chrome, and many of the apps students and teachers use every day, result in smart projectors offering a very intuitive and familiar environment.
This high degree of connectivity and digital integration makes smart projectors pillars of new modes of education. If you want to encourage “bring your own device” (BYOD) and are considering a greater focus on inquiry-based and blended learning methods, then smart projectors are definitely a must-have. As we’ve seen recently, flipped classrooms and hybrid learning models have considerable potential for enhancing education, but they require the right tools. Smart projectors, as a platform that combines fast cloud access and impressive display capabilities, are among those tools.
Finally, from an IT point of view, smart projectors are a blessing. They’re as easy to use as any of the devices that students and teachers already bring to school, so there’s no need to depend on IT support, nor wait around while a technician calls downtime. Good smart projectors feature live updates in standby and don’t require frequent lamp changes or any other kind of maintenance. A light dusting once a week is about all the IT support you’ll need.
It’s time to let go of classroom projectors that might as well be museum pieces and get with the programme. Every other device you use is smart, so your school definitely needs smart displays for education. And since in every metric projectors outclass TVs for educational applications, going with a smart projector is certainly a move that’ll allow you to graduate into a new level of knowledge presentation and sharing.
Learn more about smart features with this complete guide to smart projectors for business and education