Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Simple Way to Project Images and Movies in the Classroom

I have always enjoyed bringing technology into my classroom. Unfortunately schools find it hard to enable teachers to use the newest and most interesting technology because of the expense. That has left me trying to figure out how I can get a projector into my classroom and I really couldn't find an inexpensive way to do so. This week, I finally did find something extremely cool and useful that I think teachers could put to good use in their class and it does more than just a standard projector.

Th 3M Micro Professional Projector is a wallet sized projector that can be connected to computers, iPods, digital cameras, and other pieces of technology to project images on a wall or screen. It uses LED lights so it doesn't get hot and you can carry it around and project wherever you are because it can be powered by its own battery. It projects an image large and clear enough to fill up the screen in my classroom (although it looks better with the lights out). I took photos and movies on my digital camera and was able to show them immediately to my class. I see it as being very useful to show all the short movie clips I use in my classroom. Of course now I will have to get a video iPod to store all those movies! I think it would be very easy to keep my videos (such as the animoto videos of my student's poetry)on an iPod and project them on a wall or board when I am meeting with a small group or if I am teaching a whole class lesson. I see so many practical uses for the projector that I think it is a great use and addition of technology to my class.

I was worried that it would be hard to focus or the images would not be clear. I was surprised when I tried it that the focus remained true even if I was holding the projector in my hand. The images and movies were clear and focused and certainly grabbed my student's attention.

Here are some newer low-cost more advanced alternatives:

AAXA LED Pico Projector with 80 Minute Battery Life, Pocket Size, Mini-HDMI, 15,000 hour LED Life, and Media Player

Taotaole Multi-media 150 Lumens Portable LED Projection Micro Projector


PNaugle said...

Hi Jim,
I just emailed my principal asking her to invest in one of these projectors. If she decides against it, I think I'll buy one for myself. I have an LCD projector and interactive whiteboard, but love the idea of using this projector anywhere. I can image small groups viewing the videos I record with my flip camera anywhere in my classroom and writing scripts for the videos. Also it would be great to share ideas with other teachers in my building who do not yet have projectors.

Jim Hansen said...

Hi Paula,
I do like the projector. I wish I had an LCD projector and whiteboard. Not much money gets spent on technology in my district!

I have found it works great with my digital camera. Everyone can see the pictures and movies that I take. I got an Ipod Touch to store my movies from Animoto and Youtube on in order to share (plus I just wanted one). It takes a lot of wires to get everything working. I need wires to the speakers and wires to the Touch. When it is set up, it works for me! If the Flip camera has loud enough speakers it should work great.

I am currently looking into getting a document camera. I would have to use the mini projector as a display for my class. I am not sure how that will work out.