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How Group Projection Enables Better Learning

A simple app can transform an overhead projector into a powerful, wireless tool for classroom collaboration and content sharing.


Those of us of a certain age share memories of the classroom overhead projector: the wet erase markers; the crank that provided a seemingly endless supply of fresh transparencies; the teacher moving the cart closer and farther away from the screen to bring the image into focus.

Projectors have come a long way in recent decades, giving teachers a tool to easily share digital content with their students. Some even offer touch capabilities, mimicking the performance of interactive whiteboards or large touch-screen displays. And recently tools have emerged that allow students to share content from their own devices for the entire class to see.

The free iProjection app from Epson, for example, wirelessly connects student devices to Epson classroom projectors, resulting in several potential benefits.

1. Student-Centered Instruction

In the past, an overhead projector was an inherently teacher-centered device, facilitating the “sage on the stage” instruction style that many schools now discourage. A teacher might occasionally ask a student to come to the front of the room and work out a math problem or correct a sentence in front of the class, but everyone who stayed seated knew they were “safe” from having to share their work.

When students can instantly share their screens with the rest of the class, teachers can empower them to take more ownership over their learning. Instead of interacting solely with their teachers’ viewpoints, they’re considering other’s ideas. That’s a powerful shift.

2. Time Savings

Plenty of projectors allow students to physically — rather than wirelessly — connect their devices, but this can be cumbersome and time-consuming. If teachers must wait for students to bring their laptops to the front of the class, establish connections and then share their screens, they may skip student sharing entirely. And even if they have the patience to incorporate this process, they’ll being wasting valuable instructional minutes each time students prepare to share their screens.

3. Support for One-to-One Initiatives

Many schools have poured hundreds of thousands — or even millions — of dollars into one-to-one device programs in recent years, in an attempt to provide students with tools that will expand their educational horizons and prepare them for college and careers. While online collaboration tools can help leverage these new assets, apps such as Epson iProjection incorporate student devices into the classroom in a new and dynamic way.

4. Flexibility

The iProjection app works across operating systems and device types, and is intuitive to use, making it more likely that teachers will adopt it. In my experience, most schools simply do not have time to provide educators with the professional development they need to become proficient users of all the different technology tools inside their schools and classrooms. A simple app such as iProjection can smooth out the learning curve, and features such as moderator control (which shows teachers thumbnail images of device screens before they allow students to share content) provide an added degree of comfort. It’s a way to let teachers use a tool they’re already familiar with in a whole new way.

Learn more about how CDW solutions and services can help educators use technology to expand their students’ potential.

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