The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

New projectors, smart boards introduced to some classes

By Dylan Bradley/ne news editor

Dylan Bradley/The Collegian  Various classrooms, including music classrooms on NE Campus, now provide whiteboards where students and teachers can use a special pen to interact with the projected image directly on the whiteboard.
Dylan Bradley/The Collegian Various classrooms, including music classrooms on NE Campus, now provide whiteboards where students and teachers can use a special pen to interact with the projected image directly on the whiteboard.

A video of an orchestra is paused and projected on the whiteboard of a music classroom. Students take turns circling the various instruments they are identifying on the projection, but the marks disappear as soon as the lights come on.

Classrooms across the district have been outfitted with the short-throw projectors to replace overhead projectors.

NE music associate professor Jerry Ringe uses the projector to teach his music appreciation class. The technology allows him to project an array of materials, from video to sheet music, and allows students to interact with the board much like a touch-screen.

“It’s helpful because we can see what he’s talking about,” music student Hannah Fieseler said. “He can point out a section … instead of saying let’s look at measure 22, beat three and hope that everyone’s on the same page.”

The NE music building received renovations last spring, and the classrooms were fitted with the new technology.

Ringe said he leverages the classroom and technology that’s there to incorporate as many learning styles as possible at once.

“It took so much more work to try and get those other learning styles into the classroom,” he said.

Used mainly in math classes for now, the short-throw projector is the go-to technology being installed in classrooms as they are updated throughout the TCC district.

Media services coordinator Grant Benatar said the projectors use a special pen to interact with the projector directly on the whiteboard. Instead of the traditional felt-tip dry erase, the interactive pen acts more like a stylus on a touch screen.

Benatar said instructors can then save the whiteboard as a PDF image with any markings created throughout instruction.

Media services director David Mead said the district will renovate 40 classrooms every year.

“We did 10 on SE,” he said. “This summer, we’re going to do 10 on every campus but TR. Theirs are pretty new, so they don’t need to get renovated.”

Mead said the plan is to continue the trend of updating the technology and infrastructure, including the use of short-throw projectors.

Asbestos is the most frequent problem during remodels.

Benatar said the projectors cost about $1,600 per unit with potential costs of installing a matte whiteboard instead of chalkboards.

Audiovisual services director Sue Sanders said one downside to the short-throw projectors is their projection size, which wouldn’t be ideal for large lecture halls.

Ringe thinks the projectors are beneficial in his classes.

“No matter what resource you have … any of it can be broadcast up,”
he said. “It’s wonderful.”

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