Saint Stephen’s College in Coomera, Queensland has just completed an overhaul of its learning support and science facilities. Part of this overhaul included a review and assessment of existing projectors used at the college and a major purchase of new ultra short throw Epson EB-595Wi finger touch-enabled interactive projectors.
Saint Stephen’s College IT manager David Craft explained, “We have been using interactive technology in the classroom for quite a few years, first with interactive white boards (IWB) and then standard throw projectors. Short throw and ultra short throw projectors replaced the standard throw over time as we used to have the problem of shadowing from standard throw projectors and using ultra short throw means the teacher can now position themselves wherever they want. The biggest issue that our teaching staff had however was the fact that we had to have the physical IWB front and centre in the classroom. You could not use a normal white board marker if you wanted to jot something down for the students. Everything had to be done via the technology.”
The technology issue facing the teaching staff at Saint Stephen’s was an all too common one and one which Craft and his team were tasked with solving.
Craft continued, “When we were first introduced to Epson interactive projectors they ticked all the boxes. We could use a standard whiteboard, we could use normal whiteboard pens. If we wanted to use their interactive features it was just the case of using the supplied pen. It was all very simple. We started using the EB-450Wi and over the last few years have added to that with the EB-455Wi, the EB-475Wi and the EB-485Wi. Now we have added the very clever, new finger touch-enabled EB-595Wi.”
With projectors in general but in particular with the new EB-595Wi above all Saint Stephen’s were looking for consistency and quality. In the college’s senior school teaching staff are timetabled in more than one learning space, thus it is very important that they be able to move from space to space with a good understanding of how the equipment works.
Craft added, “The initial reaction to the performance of the EB-595Wi has been very positive. The EB-595Wi goes further than the other models with its finger touch capability, the accuracy of the finger touch is very good and the control is intuitive. It is very easy to go from whiteboard mode to mouse mode and a teacher can do this without breaking stride in their lesson. Critically, any teacher can walk into any one of our new learning spaces and use the technology like they can in the rest of the college. The fact that the college is already using other Epson interactive projectors, meant that we could implement the EB-595Wis with the confidence that the quality of the hardware would be of the highest standard and ultimately meet our needs.”
Before the EB-595Wi projectors were installed the college staff were able to watch a full demo video and go through the specifications with Epson dealer AV Inspirations to see what the projectors had to offer and how they met the college’s new requirements.
Craft continued, “From that point we were able to plan our science facilities to make the most of the equipment. Things like the PC-less annotation for our science rooms and the multi-user interactivity for our learning support students are a big bonus.”
Saint Stephen’s EB-595Wi projectors have been installed into the college’s new science centre and learning support section. In learning support the projectors are used with small groups of students using interactive educational programs to enhance their learning, helping educate them in a more hands-on and engaging way.
Within the science centre the projectors are used in each of the six learning spaces as well as the lecture theatre. All rooms have ceiling mounted cameras to project scientific experiments and lectures and all rooms are linked so that a presentation taking place in one room can be broadcast to all of the other rooms something David Craft particularly made mention of as, “The PC-less annotation really comes into its own here with the teacher being able to annotate on the live footage from the camera or their laptop, or they can pause the display to annotate on the still image. The EB-595Wi also gives our school flexibility. With our first interactive solution, we had to use a specific pen on a specific whiteboard. Now we don’t even need a pen unless we want to use one, and if we want to use the whiteboard with a normal whiteboard marker we can do that too. We don’t even need to have a computer hooked up to get going. Putting the projector into whiteboard mode means that the teacher only has to hook up their laptop if there is a resource that they need to show.”
Saint Stephen’s College has had a long relationship with one of Epson’s top dealers, AV Inspirations and David Craft was quick to compliment the company for its service and support concluding, “In the years that the college has used the services of AV Inspirations, we have been continually impressed not only by the quality of their work and professionalism, but also by their commitment to ensuring that we are completely happy with the work done. The after sales service is second to none and all support requests are dealt with in a speedy and professional manner.”
For more information on the new Epson EB-595Wi finger touch-enabled interactive projector go to: http://www.epson.com.au/products/projector/EB-595Wi.asp
For more information on AV Inspirations go to: http://www.avinspirations.com.au
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