Laptop projectors make lessons interactive and fun

Improvements in color, resolution let teachers integrate projectors into classroom.

The lowly projector has finally come of age. It wasn’t all that long ago that the projector was wheeled into classrooms on a big cart, took 30 minutes to set-up, and was expensive and cumbersome. With advances in technology, the new projection systems are now lightweight, inexpensive and have excellent color and resolution. An article by The Journal reports that the current state-of –the-art projectors, such as InFocus can be hooked up to wireless laptops, go online and link to web pages.

"During my lessons, it’s not uncommon to hear me say ‘Let's see what it’s like at Red Square’ if the class is studying Russia." Images of Red Square are then projected for the entire class to see. "Having the ability to take my students around the world in one class period is just amazing," says Tony Crawford, a geography teacher at Ackerman Middle School in Canby, Ore.

What would otherwise be a straight paper-bound lesson in geograph becomes a supercool, immediate and interactive voyage through Google Earth, with the laptop projector displaying realtime fly-throughs of the planet.

“My students are also encouraged to learn and use technology that allows them to create slide shows, web pages, display digital photography and share information with the class through projection, which has allowed my students to become quite skilled at creating video projects and slide shows demonstrating what they have learned,” says Crawford.

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