I Have an Interactive Projector: What Does This Mean?

I have a projectorP5TC31

Many of you already have, will soon have or perhaps you are just simply curious about the interactive projectors making their appearance in our district. Some of you are wondering what exactly is so great about an interactive projector. Can it still be used like the old one? What features does it have?  I have answers!

Let’s start with our purpose. As we strive to meet our district’s mission to “. . . Prepare each student with the necessary skills to achieve lifelong success and contribute to a global society”, it is imperative that we equip students and teachers with the latest innovative technology. The skills acquired from this type of learning will not only prepare them, but will allow them the opportunity to excel as valuable contributors of society.

Now, let’s take a look at the common definition of an interactive projector. An interactive projector is simply a projection device that makes a smooth, hard surface interactive by allowing the user to click, point, draw, annotate or manipulate the content displaying on the user’s computer.  This type of technology is not new. The form of technology has progressed since the days of the interactive whiteboards such as Smart Boards or Promethean Boards. Interactive projectors allow for a more streamlined approach.

So the BIG question is. . .“Can I still use my interactive projector as a “regular” projector?” The answer is YES. All of the functions that you had before can still be accessed. So that leads us to the question, why buy an interactive projector? Let’s look at some answers.

Control Your Laptop Like a Mouse from the Board

By simply touching your existing whiteboard with your finger or provided pen, you can control your presentations, notes, videos, websites or whatever content you have on your laptop from the board. This ability allows you the freedom to step away from your laptop and move about the room.

Control and annotate (write over) you existing software or the Internet

Many have wondered what will happen to the programs that you use every day for teaching. Absolutely nothing, you can still use them! The system comes with a basic software called Oktopus that can be used to “annotate” over your content. Our district is also purchasing Promethean’s ActiveInspire as another option. This software is much more in-depth and allows for a wealth of features. You will have the opportunity to be trained on both. It is up to you decide which will best fit your teaching style.

Check out this video to get a better understanding of what it can do:

Improved Learning

It has been proven that students learn when better when they can see, hear, say and manipulate the content in which they are learning. Providing students with multiple ways to access content improves learning (Hattie, 2011).The interactive portion of this projector allows for this type of learning. Content can be made by the teacher or can be downloaded from free interactive content communities and repositories which will be set up at the time of training. This content allows for the placement of multi-sensory tools that challenge your students such audio, video, 3-D virtual objects and much more.

Take a look at some ways ActivInspire can be used.

Increased Participation

It is a proven fact that student engagement leads to increased student participation. Students often struggle with behavior and participation when they are not engaged. Providing your students with a more hands-on teaching method will revolutionize the way you teach.

Increased Collaboration

Imagine teaching a lesson using interactive capabilities. Students can come up and use the pen or their fingers to manipulate the content on the board. There are thousands of existing interactive and simulation websites readily available to be used. For those who would like to, you can also create your own content using the ActiveInspire software. Training to begin soon for DHS after all installs are complete.

interactive website
Sample Interactive Simulation Website

 Additional Questions

As the district continues to progress through the projector install process, we are starting to receive questions regarding the placement and location of your projectors. For FAQs from our department, please visit our technology website: Technology Website

Stay tuned for more!



Boxlight. (2013). ProjectorWrite5. [JPEG]. Retrieved from http://www.boxlight.com.mx/proyector-interactivo-p5wx31nst-hdmi-lcd-wxga/.

Hattie, J. (2011). Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning. New York, NY: Routledge.


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