Engage Your Students with a Digital Projector

Engage Your Students with a Digital Projector

A professor recently shared this case study about how he used a digital projector in the classroom, along with Power Point and MS Word. The aim, he said, was to stimulate his pupils and enhance their learning experience. Here’s how he used his digital projector to meet his goals:

When teaching about historic events, the professor used a digital projector and Power Point presentation showing famous people from various historical periods. He then asked the students to try and put the famous people into the correct date order. Although the approach was a simple one, the presentation was an effective way to teach his students about “what happened when.”

Studying Famous Writers
The class was given an assignment to study three different writers of lasting literary works. All writers were chosen from a list of 20, with photos of each shown via the projector. When students completed their biographical sketches of each writer, the assignments were then projected as Word documents, along with photos. As the project came to an end, all of the assignments were compiled in a single Power Point presentation.

“I love using maps to show how the boundary lines of a country change over time,” said the professor. “However, just showing maps and asking students to make conclusions about what might have happened made for a boring class. The students became engaged when I scanned the maps so we could all see them and talk about them–and I could point to large versions. Now, when we talk about a specific country, I always project a series of maps as a background to my lecture.”

A fun focus for digital projectors in the classroom is the ability to go online and find images of the geographic area being studied. For example, Jack Lanier, an Arizona-based teacher, projects images of prehistoric sites in his own geographic area, as a way of bringing the ancient peoples to life. Lanier also uses Internet search engines to find interesting sites on each culture being studied, and later puts these into a presentation slideshow.

As digital photography becomes more popular, many teachers rely on slides as teaching tools. In fact, there’s nothing like sitting in a dark classroom and projecting pictures of faraway cultures, from countries many students will never see in person. “When I show my work in a classroom,” says middle school teacher Fran Edwards, “my kids travel to places beyond their imaginations, and for awhile, experience the thrill of living somewhere totally alien.”

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