Computer Projectors in the Preschool Classroom

Teaching in the Digital Age, by Brian Puerling
Chapter 3: Rethinking Projectors

This chapter was hosted by Matt Halpern of Look at My Happy Rainbow.

Wasn’t it great seeing those old overhead projectors in the book? It made me wonder what my elementary school teachers thought when overhead projectors first came along. Were they excited? Or, “afraid” of using new technology?

It was a great chapter and a couple of things in particular made my mental wheels turn as I was reading:

  • Using photos on a computer projector
  • Document cameras

This isn’t a summary of the chapter, but just some ideas I thought up with while reading.

Using Photos on a Computer Projector

First, the author suggested using photos on computer projectors in various ways. I loved the idea of showing a photo of a shuttle launchpad to help the children in creating their own plans for a dramatic play launchpad. He suggested using Google or Yahoo to find photos, and I wanted to add that Flickr is a fantastic source of photos. (Just remember, any images you find online are copyrighted, so be careful how you use them. You’re okay showing them on a computer projector to your class.)

Flickr has a search bar in the top right corner of the site, so all you need to do is type in a subject, such as “boats” or “insects” and you will find hundreds of images. Many Flickr members are either professional photographers or photography hobbyists, so the images are often exceptional. Many of them use macro lenses to get close-up shots of insects or other things that you don’t see with the eye. For example, a macro shot of an insect could show children that insects can have tiny hairs.

Browse the images and choose the ones you will show children before class, so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises. You can curate a gallery on Flickr if you have a Flickr account. Above each picture, just click “Actions” and “Add to a gallery”. (Side note:¬†Only 18 pictures are allowed in each Flickr gallery, but you can create more than one gallery.)

Document Cameras

I have never had a document camera to use in the classroom, but I’d love to have one. Ever since I found out the iPad 2 and iPad 3 have the ability to mirror what’s on the screen on a computer projector, I’ve thought there must be some way to use an iPad as a document camera. I just didn’t know how to set it up where the iPad would be stationed above a table and books or objects could be placed under it. Well, fortunately someone has figured it out. After doing a Google search, I found this great video that shows you how to set up your iPad as a document camera. Personally, I think I’d use a clipboard rather than a notebook as he did, though.

Do you have a great way to use a computer projector in the classroom? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

Get info about the Summer Book Study at this link. Buy the book from Redleaf Press using the code STUDY for 35% off.

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