Projecting focus in the classroom
How smart projectors are benefiting student concentration
Projecting focus in the classroom
Technology can be a distraction
Many parents no longer allow phones at family mealtimes (unless they want a private conversation), and in a similar vein many business professionals have all experienced, and maybe also been responsible for, that twinge of frustration when phones are repeatedly checked in meetings.
But it’s not always the case, as some may fear, that technology is inexorably turning generation Y and Z into monosyllabic, restless and distracted half-people. In some cases it’s highly likely the naiveté of youth is also to blame, and in fact, as pointed out above, certain types of technology have the potential to distract us all, regardless of age.
The distracting impact of smartphones however is particularly felt in traditional communal activities like mealtimes or meetings, but perhaps most-of-all in the classroom.
Keeping discipline in the classroom
Learning requires a particular level of focus and engagement on behalf of the student that has perhaps always been more willingly leant to football or fashion or friendships or drama. All the smartphone has done is to provide a portal for all of these interests and more to enter the hallowed ground of the classroom.
But teachers throughout the ages have developed strategies for maintaining classroom discipline and focus. Banning smartphones from the classroom today, is no more draconian than banning comic books, computer games or rubber balls would have been in the past. Establishing classroom routines and that give students responsibility for preparing the learning environment before a lesson starts also reduces the risk of distraction.
Technology is now being designed to help
Despite some awareness about technology rewiring our brains, many wise commentators have also emphasised the enormous potential benefits to teachers of the internet and smart devices, if appropriately harnessed for education.
Like teachers, technology companies are working hard to adapt to the new possibilities the internet offers schools, and the new habits of their students. Now technology exists that can offer new tools for learning and classroom engagement to teachers, including the smart projector.
Projectors are now purpose-built to engage students and enable teachers with the tools to help keep minds focussed on learning.
Smart projectors provide teachers with access to an ever-growing online library of teaching and learning resources that are designed specifically to be engaging, entertaining and most importantly of all educational for the current generation of school children.
Just as social media, games and infotainment developers invest heavily in making sure their smartphone apps are instantaneous, interactive and personalised, so too do the brilliantly creative developers of educational resources for smart projectors.
As such they are helping teachers to break away from the traditional lecture-style lesson and bring children out from behind their desks to participate in a more collaborative, entertaining and colourful learning experience.
Enhanced product design
Beyond wireless connectivity, educational projector design today offers a range of other benefits to teachers and students.
In fact, 3LCD projectors are specifically designed to maximise focus in the classroom. These projectors offer teachers a triumvirate of benefits.
They project with enough brightness that it is no longer necessary to dim the lights in order to use them, helping teachers keep discipline and attention. The colour brightness is on average three times brighter1 than other technologies could offer, giving students the type of HD-quality visual experience that they are conditioned to expect and will be engaged by. Also, 3LCD projectors significantly reduce the risk of student eye fatigue by projecting colour consistently, rather than by rotating different colours at high velocity on a colour wheel and thereby an image on the screen that could experience flicker or a rainbow effect, like some DLP technologies.
3LCD projectors are also available as wall or ceiling mounted ‘ultra-short-throw’ projectors, removing the risk of shadow on the screen or glare for the presenter, by projecting from an acute angle above the teacher’s head. This gives the teacher freedom to move around the room when using the projector without disrupting the view of others in the class.
With the potential to develop tools such as these for teachers, it’s worthwhile remembering that technology itself is not distracting, but has the ability to give instantaneous access to a world of information and entertainment. Epson’s goal is to work with teachers to harness that power to project focus in the classroom, not distraction.
Find out more about Epson’s education solutions here.
1 – Colour Brightness (Color Light Output) measured in accordance with IDMS 15.4. Colour Brightness will vary depending on usage conditions. Leading Epson 3LCD business and education projectors compared to leading one-chip DLP projectors, based on NPD data for June 2013 through May 2014 and PMA Research data for Q1 through Q3 2013. For more information please visit www.epson.eu/CLO