Lawn Manor Academy installed with the EB-1485FI to enhance learning
Epson Ambassador schools are a community of State, Independent and Academy schools who enjoy the benefits of Epson Technology and are at the forefront of technology use in education. They have been specially selected to be advocates of the Epson Brand and to share their passion for teaching and learning.
What motivated Lawn Manor Academy to apply to take part in the programme?
Our Head of Maths, Laura Conroy, is always searching for new and exciting ways to enhance the experience for pupils in her classroom.
We were alerted to new research from Epson that revealed that ‘cheap seats’ exist in the classroom. The research found that display technology used in many schools is restricting the viewing, and thus learning, experience of many pupils, and having a detrimental effect on their education. The survey revealed that 40% of teachers have noticed a correlation between pupils being unable to see a screen properly and lower test/exam scores.
Laura Conroy jumped at the opportunity to be a part of Epson’s programme with Ambassador schools. Schools use the equipment in the normal school classroom environment and give feedback that Epson uses to further refine and enhance their display technology.
Epson installed an EB-1485FI interactive, ultra-short throw projector in one of the classrooms at Lawn Manor along with a ELPDC21 document camera, all free of charge.
The equipment was installed at Lawn Manor Academy, Swindon, in February 2020 by Epson-approved business and education audio-visual specialists Hugh Symons.
Installation itself presented a few challenges. Our Lawn Manor Academy site team prepared the classroom wall for the equipment to be installed, including using MDF boarding to ensure the wall was flush.
How many people have learned how to use it?
Laura Conroy trained the dozen or so teachers who would be using the equipment once the Covid-19 restrictions were relaxed. So far, these teachers have had limited opportunities to use the equipment to its full potential, as at Lawn Manor Academy teachers have been moving from classroom to classroom while pupils remain in the same room all day. This means that Laura was not able to learn how to use the functionality of the equipment as efficiently as she would have if this was the sole classroom that she was teaching in.
Have you integrated it with any other learning tools? If so, which?
Laura currently uses the equipment to project her PowerPoint presentations and display pupil work through the visualiser.
How have you used the equipment to enhance students’ learning?
The equipment has been particularly useful when teaching graphs. The integrated square paper whiteboard allows axes to be drawn, and pupils can practice drawing graphs using the straight line tool. The additional space around the board has been useful; it allows for further extension or scaffolding to support the main activity.
How have the students reacted to it?
The pupils who have used it were mesmerised by its size! They appreciate the room around the main screen to add scaffolding or extension, as appropriate.
Has it enhanced lessons? If so, in what way?
Yes – it allows more information to be displayed at the same time and in different formats, which can be very useful for the range of abilities and learning styles that may be in the class.
How have staff reacted to it?
The reactions from the staff who were trained were positive, and they are keen to learn more about its functionality. The board’s size means that when pupils are sitting in rows, facing the front, they can indeed see the screen far more easily. Ensuring that display technology was visible from every seat in the classroom – and so eliminating what Epson described as “cheap seats” - was a key focus for Epson whilst implementing this project.
What do you think works well when you’re using it?
Calibration is good and accurate. The fact that the board is also a whiteboard means teachers can annotate both the whiteboard and the mini-whiteboard with the equipment pen. The visualiser is also incredibly clear, and is being used often.
Once classroom learning returns to “normal”, can you think of ways that you can further use the tools?
Our Assistant Headteacher for Achievement, Marek Koza, and our Head of Maths, Laura Conroy, attended a Zoom meeting with all the other Ambassador schools, and found it a real eye-opener in terms of what we can potentially do with the equipment, and how we can look at bringing in other software and equipment to really make the room a classroom of the future. We hope to be inspired even more by other Ambassador schools that are already further down the line in the programme.
We are also looking forward to the time when pupils can come right up to the board and use the equipment.
Would you recommend the Epson tools to other teachers, either within your school or beyond?
Yes, definitely. Even though we are not yet well-versed in its full functionality, the basics we are already able to do have a significant improvement on teaching and learning.