What is a classroom visualiser?
Visualisers are pieces of equipment that can display text, images, and other documents onto a large scale via a classroom display. Many will know a classroom visualiser by a different name – over-head projectors or OHP for short.
Original OHP’s have large lightbox bases. To use them you would need to focus a head containing a series of mirrors over transparent sheets that were printed or written on to use with the projector. However, the setup was sometimes cumbersome and lengthy. Also, the projections were often not easily readable.
Fortunately, things have moved on a lot. In their place are flat, unobtrusive, wipe clean writing surfaces, digital cameras. These allow you to project anything in their field of vision. You can also connect external devices capable of outputting video. This means you can display your capture on monitors, large format displays and projectors.
How is technology used in education?
Capturing and out-putting video to any form of display is a visualiser’s primary function. But it doesn’t just end there. Live digital capture allows interactions that are simply not possible using traditional OHPs. For example, a digital signal can be used at the same time on multiple displays. This allows teachers to project at the front of lectures or present to groups on smaller screens. They can also stream over the internet to students in remote locations. Many visualisers offer recording abilities through various software or hardware. By keeping visual recordings you can easily review what was covered in a lesson. Additionally, you can distribute it digitally alongside documents. In fact, you can even re-use the video for other classes or lectures. In practical terms, you might use your classroom visualiser to:
- Share student’s work and then peer edit with the rest of the class.
- Introduce presentations and develop key communication skills amongst students.
- Showcase objects close-up.
- Review your footage to aid in your own professional development.
- Deliver close-up demonstrations of techniques/skills/experiments.
Keeping technology safe?
Visualisers come in a range of price points reflective of the features found in them. With this in mind, they are pricier than a traditional OHP. Prices range from £200 entry level models to £3,000+ for professional, feature-packed models. If you’re going to be spending that sort of money you want to be sure that your equipment is secure.
TOP-TEC design and manufacture secure solutions for housing visualisers. So you can protect your expensive classroom visualiser by fitting a bespoke housing system customised to suit your requirements.
If you have found this blog helpful, you may wish to read our previous blog on Collaboration Tables.