Canon's LV-X1 Projector & DZ-3600U Visualizer
Many people think of a calculator or computer when they hear the term "technology in the classroom." But, there is more to technology than just the calculator and computer as a math tool. Last year I piloted the use of the Canon DZ-3600U digital document camera connected with the Canon LV-X1 projector to take my class to the next level of learning.
One of the first adaptations was to take pictures of the written notes on the overhead projector with the digital camera, then download them to a public folder online for access by the students on a daily basis. Thus, it has freed the students from having to take their own comprehensive notes, which allows them to really listen to the lecture and be part of the discussion. Now, when I ask the students a question, they are looking up, not diligently copying what was said three steps ago. Instead of focusing on what is being written as the only medium for learning, the students are able to listen and process the material in a different way - knowing that the entire set of notes will be online within the hour.
Another major change in teaching style is the ability to place text (or another item) under the document camera. This lets teachers focus on a proof, the steps of a problem or a graph, as well as point out key words or phrases in the reading. This also speeds up the lecture, allowing more time for processing and questions since I no longer have to write out every step, but can now simply point out the key parts. The ease of setting a calculator on the screen makes it simpler to teach key strokes, show graphs or have the students come up to show their work. It also enables students to be more in control of their learning, because they can more easily share their thoughts and work with others.
A benefit of using the projector in the classroom is that it shines the information onto a whiteboard rather than a screen, which lets the teacher mark directly over the projection. The projector can also be connected to a wireless laptop computer and can easily change from one medium of projection to another. This allows for an easy demonstration of Internet tools or computer programs and software. It also allows for teaching with prewritten notes and computer-generated graphs.
The key to the use of all technology is not that it makes life easier for the teacher, but that it permits a different type of teaching. I believe it is what enables my students to learn, to think and to see a concept from a different perspective. It also improves the effectiveness of teaching because it allows for more experimentation. Instead of tediously graphing three different variations of the same graph, all three can be presented clearly to the students with great resolution on the board, making it easier to ask them questions.
- Sharon Cade, Oregon Episcopal School, Portland, Ore.
Canon U.S.A. Inc.
This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2003 issue of THE Journal.