For Effective Learning, Interactive Screens Make the Grade

EpsonSeptember 24, 2018

Rush University has long been a leader in providing innovative technology for its students. Its Center for Clinical Skills and Simulation, part of the university’s Medical Center, boasts a state-of-the-art simulation lab equipped with mannequins that emulate the anatomy and physiology of actual patients. The Center’s final phase included an award-winning smart classroom with an interactive finger-touch projector and interactive whiteboard, where trainers teach students medical skills such as inserting IVs and laparoscopic surgery procedures.

With this combination of projection and collaboration technology, Rush University is a definitive industry leader. By choosing interactive projector technology capable of projecting extremely large images, even students in the back of the classroom are front-and-center, able to participate in the learning experience at deeper levels.

As colleges and universities incorporate more projector technology into classrooms and lecture halls, they are seeing that bigger is better. That’s especially true in large lecture halls, where students typically have been able to hide in the back and withdraw from the experience. It’s also a matter of practicality, because students can’t learn what they can’t see. Radius Research found that 58 percent of viewers couldn’t read content on a 70 inch display in an average-sized room, for example.

While it’s true that bigger can be better, it’s important to find the right size for the room. Experts recommend using the 4/6/8 rule, which says that viewing distance, in correlation with room size, should be four time the height of the screen for analytical viewing, six times for basic viewing and eight times for passive viewing. Typically, lecture halls would follow the “six times display height” standard, since viewing distances can be up to 30 feet or more from the screen. Classrooms also should use the “six times display height” room as a guide.

Interactive displays up the ante

Large displays go a long way toward improving the learning experience, but adding interactivity to large screens creates the gold standard in educational technology today. Rush University’s choice of the Epson BrightLink 595Wi, a touch-enabled interactive projector that can display images up to 100 inches from just 12 inches away, is a good example. It allows both students and instructors to interact with the display using stylus pens or fingers to annotate or manipulate the displayed material.

Interactive display technology has come a long way in the past few years. Today, these digital projectors can create large modern-day whiteboards by displaying on walls, dry erase boards or tables. From there, students and instructors can manipulate images and documents using digital pens, fingers, or on-screen keyboards. With this technology, instructors can combine presentation material, interactive quizzes, video content and group activities. It’s also more efficient; instead of spending time erasing and rewriting content during lessons, which can cause minds to wander, instructors can plan presentations in advance and change course midstream quickly, without losing students’ attention.

Using large, bright, interactive projectors are an effective way to improve classroom participation, engagement, concentration, productivity and collaboration. Together, these technologies allow teachers and students to develop creative presentations, demonstrate multiple complicated steps in complex procedures and share rich media content.

And it’s only going become even more important as campuses are re-imagined to encourage greater flexibility and collaboration. The campus of the future is likely to be more mission-centered, flexible enough to adapt to different teaching styles and uses, and technologically integrated. That means more touch-enabled video walls, augmented and virtual reality capabilities, centralized and integrated learning spaces, portable technical resources, ubiquitous wireless access and expanded A/V capabilities. Campuses that invest in flexible, interactive projector technology capable of displaying large images are well on their way toward meeting those goals.

Download Epson’s guide to selecting projection display size for classrooms.

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