Archive for Thursday, June 8, 2006

Grant helps school purchase digital projector for classes

June 8, 2006

Even in the waning days of school, Debbie Ryan's fifth-grade class was clamoring to see an educational video.

The class was eager to see a short film featuring Slim Goodbody, who explains various body systems. And Ryan was happy to oblige, using Lansing Intermediate School's new digital projector.

The school bought the projector in April using funds from a Lansing Educational Foundation Fund grant and money donated by the school's student council.

"It's a great tool," said Tina Silva, systems operator at the Intermediate School.

Silva and art teacher Cathy Smith collaborated to get the school its second projector. Smith often uses a projector in her class to show digital slides. With two projectors, more teachers have the opportunity to use the technology.

The projector is on a cart with a laptop computer and can be used in any classroom, even the gym and auditorium. So far, Silva said the most popular use is to show videos from unitedstreaming.com, an educational video library from the Discovery Channel.

That was what Ryan used to show her class a Goodbody video and another about American government. Ryan said she preferred using the projector and unitedstreaming.com to the past alternative, watching videos on a TV, because the projector's image is much larger than the TV, and individual videos are expensive, she said.

Ryan said she most often used the projector in her science classes; with subject matter such as body systems, she said, having a visual image helped students to grasp the information better.

"I think they remember a lot more," Ryan said.

Ryan said she planned to use the projector even more next year. Silva said her goal was for all teachers to do the same.

"It's a new tool; they're still learning," Silva said. "Once they start to see the benefits, they will use it more in the classroom."

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