Making The Most Of Classroom Projection

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May 3, 2017 - Draper Inc. (Terry Coffey) - Making the most of classroom projection in 2017 means using their interactive capabilities, and not just treating them as new versions of overhead projectors.

That’s the opinion of Brian Nadel, a contributor to In a post entitled “Making the Most of the Classroom Projector,” he said, “The old adage ‘show not tell’ is key.” He goes on to provide a few examples, including the University of Colorado, where science simulations show the movement of glaciers.

Taking full advantage of an interactive projector’s features requires a screen built for the purpose. Classrooms used for interactive projection often have regular whiteboards, but they aren’t a good solution. Their high gloss level creates problems with glare, hotspotting, and possible interference with interactive functions of the projector.

Even if you aren’t using interactive projection, screen choice is important. Since the lights often need to stay on in most classrooms to allow note-taking, an ambient light rejection screen should be considered. The best of these screens are typically darker grey, which helps with image contrast, but they are more angular reflective than diffusive. Reflective components in the vinyl surface reflect off-axis ambient light away at the same angle as it is hitting the surface, essentially bouncing it away from the audience.

There is a caveat here. Materials that are the most ambient light rejecting are so reflective that you can sometimes see hot spotting. They also typically have narrow viewing cones. The best choice is an ambient light rejecting material with a good balance of angular reflectance and diffusion.

Choose a large enough display that everyone can read the content—and understand. A recent study commissioned by projector manufacturer Epson shows just how true that is—and finds the bar is higher than many might have thought. The study found that nearly 60% of students couldn’t see content on a 70-inch diagonal display in a standard classroom.

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