Recently two of Queensland’s top schools, Saint Stephen’s College and Northgate State School, chose to upgrade their projectors to the latest Epson EB-595Wi finger touch-enabled interactive projectors.
For Saint Stephen’s College in Coomera the new purchases came when it completed an overhaul of its learning support and science facilities as part of this overhaul included a review and assessment of existing projectors used at the college.
Saint Stephen’s College IT manager David Craft explained, “We have been using interactive technology in the classroom for quite a few years, first with interactive white boards (IWB) and then standard throw projectors. Short throw and ultra short throw projectors replaced the standard throw over time as we used to have the problem of shadowing from standard throw projectors and using ultra short throw means the teacher can now position themselves wherever they want. The biggest issue that our teaching staff had however was the fact that we had to have the physical IWB front and centre in the classroom. You could not use a normal white board marker if you wanted to jot something down for the students. Everything had to be done via the technology.”
The technology issue facing the teaching staff at Saint Stephen’s was an all too common one and one which Craft and his team were tasked with solving.
Craft continued, “When we were first introduced to Epson interactive projectors they ticked all the boxes. We could use a standard whiteboard, we could use normal whiteboard pens. If we wanted to use their interactive features it was just the case of using the supplied pen. It was all very simple.”
With projectors in general but in particular with the new EB-595Wi above all Saint Stephen’s were looking for consistency and quality.
Craft added, “The initial reaction to the performance of the EB-595Wi has been very positive. The EB-595Wi goes further than the other models with its finger touch capability, the accuracy of the finger touch is very good and the control is intuitive. It is very easy to go from whiteboard mode to mouse mode and a teacher can do this without breaking stride in their lesson. Critically, any teacher can walk into any one of our new learning spaces and use the technology like they can in the rest of the college.”
Before the EB-595Wi projectors were installed the college staff were able to watch a full demo video and go through the specifications with Epson dealer AV Inspirations to see what the projectors had to offer and how they met the college’s new requirements.
Craft continued, “From that point we were able to plan our science facilities to make the most of the equipment. Things like the PC-less annotation for our science rooms and the multi-user interactivity for our learning support students are a big bonus.”
Saint Stephen’s EB-595Wi projectors have been installed into the college’s new science centre and learning support section. In learning support the projectors are used with small groups of students using interactive educational programs to enhance their learning, helping educate them in a more hands-on and engaging way.
Within the science centre the projectors are used in each of the six learning spaces as well as the lecture theatre. All rooms have ceiling mounted cameras to project scientific experiments and lectures and all rooms are linked so that a presentation taking place in one room can be broadcast to all of the other rooms something David Craft particularly made mention of as, “The PC-less annotation really comes into its own here with the teacher being able to annotate on the live footage from the camera or their laptop, or they can pause the display to annotate on the still image. The EB-595Wi also gives our school flexibility. With our first interactive solution, we had to use a specific pen on a specific whiteboard. Now we don’t even need a pen unless we want to use one, and if we want to use the whiteboard with a normal whiteboard marker we can do that too.We don’t even need to have a computer hooked up to get going. Putting the projector into whiteboard mode means that the teacher only has to hook up their laptop if there is a resource that they need to show.”
Northgate State School was the first school in Queensland to have all teachers complete their Information and Communications Technology (ICT) certification. As a result the smartboards housed in all the school’s classrooms were no longer considered as a dependable resource for learning and a better alternative was sought. The alternative that was found was the new Epson EB-595Wi finger touch-enabled interactive projector.
Northgate State School Principal Carol Scriven explained, “We needed projectors that were affordable and reliable and that the students and staff could use with relative ease. Clarity of images was also very important as was the dual capacity of touchscreen and pen usage. Finally a multi-user capability was paramount. So we did our research and the EB-595Wi was assessed to be the ideal projector for our needs.”
Scriven and her team researched all the options available to them studying each as to how closely they matched the school’s unique requirements.
She added, “The EB-595Wi ticks a lot of boxes. It has dual capacity of usage for students and staff, a very high quality of the imagery, can be used with any whiteboard and has excellent interactive functions. In addition the size of images can be large without distorting, we can easily and wirelessly connect students’ work to multiple screens and the price of replacement bulbs is very low.
Northgate State School conducted six months of research into the benefits of projectors over smartboards. Prior to the launch of the EB-595Wi Carol Scriven saw pros and cons in both.
She continued, “We’d had good experiences with previous Epson projectors and with smartboards although neither fully met all of our requirements. The new EB-595Wi however exceeded our expectations both in terms of capability and affordability.”
All Northgate State School teaching staff use the new EB-595Wi projectors to implement the Australian curriculum. As is regular practice in many schools part of the education process also involves research using the Internet and access to external websites and social media such as You Tube.
Carol Scriven added, “We use the EB-595Wi projectors and their wireless connectivity with iPads and Android tablets as they give us the ability to view and compare at least four pieces of student work simultaneously. We can also easily annotate and save each piece of work in order to continue from where the class left off in future lessons. Thus the EB-595Wi presents us with great review opportunities and clearly demonstrates the distance travelled in learning. This will be further enhanced in the near future as our school is one of the first to be connected to the NBN in Queensland.”
Northgate State School’s projectors have been installed in all classrooms giving the school a common platform for use in all teaching spaces and the opportunity for the staff to learn and share resources and practices as a team
Carol Scriven concluded, “It’s early days with our new EB-595Wi projectors but so far we are really enjoying the capacity to go from finger touch to pen touch to whiteboard and to the Internet in such easy steps. Students from prep through to Year 7 are very engaged and motivated by their opportunity to be more interactive than they ever were able to be previously.”
Visit our website for more information on the new Epson EB-595Wi finger touch-enabled interactive projector.