Having unplugged and uninstalled ourselves from the SMART ecosystem, embracing instead mirrored iPads and Explain Everything, one problem still remained: having a surface to write on! Using a stylus (or finger) on an iPad is ok as far as it goes, but for properly modelling good handwriting to a class you need to be able to write on a large surface.
In many ways, the ideal scenario is . This gives you a crisp digital surface and a really good physical writing surface. However, at my school there just isn’t the space for both in our classrooms. In a new building, we experimented with putting dry-wipe paint on one of the walls and then pointing an HD projector at it too. Writing anywhere on a wall is cool, but having the ability to include digital content is handy too.
So, in order to roll this out across the school, we decided to install special where the SMARTboard surface was before. These boards are designed to be projected onto so you don’t get as much glare as a normal shiny whiteboard, but you can still write on them. We kept using the existing 4:3 VGA projectors, but the boards could also fit a 16:9 HD projected image for when we upgrade in the future.
The installation went down very well with teachers. One of the consequences has been seeing less use of the projector for when it’s not really necessary. Having a decent writing surface to teach with is actually really rather lovely.