A classroom projector delivering crisp and clear images can be your strongest assistant this school year.
A good classroom projector should be able to handle video, have good HDMI hookups and handle some HD.
You also want it to be compatible with a variety of computers, tablets and smaller devices as well as with various software programs.
Here’s what to look for to find the perfect classroom projector:
Consider the room
Think about your room. You need space for a six wide foot screen unless you invest in the more expensive short throw projectors. Is the room big enough so that everyone see the entire screen?
How close are your students going to be to the projector? This will determine what type of screen you need and the placement. Pull down mounted screens are usually the most functional for classrooms.
The height of the screen should be 1/6 the distance of the farthest student. For example if the farthest student is 30 feet away, then the screen height should be 5 feet. The screen should be 4 feet off the floor if the seating is level.
Consider the light
The type of projector you need depends on the light in your classroom. The ideal location for your screen is at the front of the classroom but only it’s not flooded by sunlight. White walls can reflect back a tremendous amount of light. To find the darkest area on a room trying dimming the lights and closing the curtains.
You may find the blackboard at the back of the classroom the best location. If there is too much light you’ll need brighter projector. To prevent a loss in contrast and shadow detail you’ll need to invest in more expensive DLP model. A business projector is probably the best option.
Consider the distance
You also want to position the projector where students can`t block the light by standing up or raising their hands. You also don`t want anyone looking directly into the projection lens as this can hurt their eyes. Avoid blockages like light fixtures, podiums, air conditioner vents, desks, blackboards or other objects that may interfere with the installation of the projector or the light path from the projector to the screen. The placement of the projector will determine the throw distance needed. This “throw distance” you need may narrow the number of projectors that can meet your requirements.
If the room is tiny on solution is to mount the projector alongside the same wall as the projection screen.
If you choose this solution you`ll need a short-throw wall mount projector or a short-throw projector. These tend to be slightly more expensive than standard projectors.
More traditional projectors can be mounted on the ceiling or on a platform. You can set the projector onto the table and use the automatic gain control on the projector to correct any problems with distorted images.
Popular projector brands
There’s good reason BenQ and Epson are the most popular brands with teachers. The Epson Powerlite series gives you all the HDMI connectivity you so you can hook up to four different devices.
The fast and responsive BenQ educational projectors have a short-throw PointDraw projector allowing teachers to project an interactive image anyhere in the room no matter the the size.
Other good options
Some projectors have Blackboard Mode that allows you to project onto a wall, white board, or chalkboard. Another important feature is the zoom lens that lets you change the size of the projected image without having to move the projector.
What role do projectors play in your classroom?