A Yen for Tech
Information and Communication Tech is being promoted in schools throughout Japan in accordance with the Japanese government's Basic Plan for the Promotion of Education, but costs have slowed the process. Fukuroi Asaba Higashi Elementary School installed Casio Ultra Short Throw lamp-free projectors and interactive whiteboards in all 210 regular classrooms in its 12 public elementary schools, a choice made after measuring long term savings due to extended light source life and reduced installation costs.
First-grade teacher Takuya Sato says he has seen both the children's understanding and motivation improve since he began using projectors in his lessons. “In our history classes, we search the Internet for materials and show them in video format, because visual images have higher impact than words written in a textbook. In physical education classes, too, we can communicate proper body movements visually.”
Toshie Suzuki, a 3rd-grade teacher, projects contents such as digital textbooks, the children's notebooks and textbooks, and original teaching materials. “The ability to project the stroke order for writing Chinese characters on the screen with an animated display makes it is easier to teach the kids the proper way of writing new characters when we introduce them in Japanese language classes. This also helps me as a teacher by freeing me to circulate among the desks and monitor the children's efforts to imitate the stroke order they are viewing on the screen.”
Promethean World, global education technology company founded in Blackburn, UK serves 50,000+ Schools in 154 Countries. It recently gained notice at ISTE 2018 with its Best in Show-winning professional development program, the Promethean Escape Room. this one-of-a-kind escape room training experience immerses educators in a STEM environment with tools that support VR, robotics, gamification, mathematics, and collaboration. They learn the tech and its capabilities for their own classroom while working together to solve clues to “escape”.
However, escaping from a classroom filled with Promethean ActivPanel tech is the last thing students at Whalley Church of England Primary school in Lancashire would choose. Students use the instant white boarding feature in Maths, where multiple children use the panel together to present as many ways as possible as they can think of recording a half, in both numerical and diagrammatical form, competing against each other to answer questions correctly as quickly as possible. For reading, they cast books from the Kindle app so the whole class can see the pages of the book and read along with the teacher, or enjoy the illustrations of picture books.
At Hesketh with Becconsall All Saints CE Primary School in the village of Hesketh Bank, tech-loving students in a Year 4 class were frustrated by the struggle to see lessons on their fading, glitchy whiteboard. With teacher Rory Dixon, they created a black and white movie to demonstrate how outdated their AV situation was and won a grant for an ActivPanel. They use the connectivity of the panel to mirror and interact with all class devices for whole class polling, both for lesson responses and to offer instant lesson feedback.
The Colorful World of OZ
Sunny Australia often means a struggle against ambient light for clear viewing in a classroom, as well as accurate color representation. BenQ’s monitor sensor detects ambient light levels in the viewing environment, automatically adjusting on-screen brightness and color temperature. Curved monitor offerings help focus students, using a 1800R curvature to encompass their field of vision. The color accuracy has long been appreciated in photography and videography classrooms for precision work and editing, even drawing in renowned Australian Animal Photographer Alex Cearns as a brand ambassador.
Drummoyne Public School in Sydney’s inner west installed a BenQ Interactive Projector into one of its kindergarten classrooms, to encourage engagement and differentiate learning. Teacher Ms Goodman notes that the flexibility of being able to use both the projector’s interactive pen — a device that may be used like an ordinary pen by writing directly on the board from a distance of up to 24ft– as well as a traditional whiteboard marker on the whiteboard surface was one of the system’s best characteristics. Using the PointDraw pen not only created excitement at its wand-like ability to track writings or doodles, but allowed students to answer questions and problems without leaving their chairs — an advantage when trying to keep young children focused, in addition to engaging their minds.