Recent advances in technology have benefitted nearly every aspect of American life — perhaps none more than education. Technology can enhance learning and academic achievement, both inside and outside the classroom, and allow educators to develop more meaningful, more engaging curricula than ever before. The most basic form of classroom technology is the projector, namely the tool by which teachers displays visual information to their students.

We’ve come a long way over the last half century, so let’s take a look back at how we got here:

Slide projector

black slide projector

First used in the 1950s, slide projectors allowed the teacher to display in formation one slide at a time with a focusing lens and condensing lens. For years, this was the most advanced way for educators to display visual information to their students. The technology is chronicled beautifully in an episode of Mad Men.

Overhead projector

gray overhead projector

Similar to a slide projector, overhead projectors use a focusing lens to project light from an illuminated slide onto a projection screen. Teachers could now display transparencies, which could be either printed on or written on by hand. Educators were still limited in what and how they could display information to their class, but the overhead projector represented an enormous advancement in classroom technology.

Digital projector

gray digital projector

See you later, transparencies! Teachers could now connect a digital projector to their laptop or desktop computer, VCR, or even one of those futuristic DVD players. For the first time, teachers had an easy and effective way to display moving, colorful images to their students. Classes could now watch videos, browse the Internet in real time, or manipulate data together.

Interactive projector

ceiling mounted projector screen

When coupled with a special projection screen, projectors now allow teachers to manipulate their computer or other devices with their hands. SMART Boards, for instance, came around in 2003 and revolutionized the way teachers developed interactive curricula. Math teachers could graph in real time; science teachers could easily log data during a class experiment; and football coaches could draw out plays for his team. The possibilities are endless, and every day teachers are exploring new and exciting ways to use this technology.

Wanna learn more? Whether you’re interested in classroom instruction gear, or campus-wide surveillance or stadium sound, we have an AV PhD. Give us a call or visit one of our locations today!