Because I used the Smartboard daily, I also became too familiar with the popping sound an LCD projector bulb makes when it blows. This became another $100-$200 replacement bulb expense that we never seem to include in our budget. This led me to ask if there is something we can do that would be utilized more and cost less to operate?
This year will be the beginning of my grand experiment. We are outfitting each classroom with a 55" LED television, an iPad and an Apple TV (possibly Chromeshare in the future) to enable mirroring of the iPad. At a price of roughly $1,000 per room to be fully outfitted. At our high school, only a handful of rooms were equipped with an LCD projector and several others donned teacher's personal projectors. A couple of rooms have a moveable Smartboard. So this year, all rooms without a projector are receiving 55" LED televisions. These televisions are HDMI and VGA compatible and should last ten years or more. The cost, $580 per television, or roughly the same cost as an inexpensive LCD projector. Should this experiment work, we should see an immediate savings each year with replacement bulbs; more interaction between students and teachers and overall an increase in student achievement.
Why was this necessary? We are currently implementing a 1:1 Chromebook environment and utilizing Google Apps for Education (GAFE). Teachers have spent the last year going through training on GAFE. We offered online courses; have demonstrated ways to set up 1:1 classrooms; and have ongoing training throughout the year.
Now that teachers have the basic training, they now need the ability to move around their room and not be center stage, as is typically the case. Teachers can couple apps, like Doceri, with GAFE to annotate documents. Teachers can open up files and presentations anywhere in the room. Teachers can have students demonstrate their understanding from their desk, not in that "embarrassing" front part of the room.
Will this work? I hope so. We cannot afford $4000+ in replacement bulbs each year. I guess what needs to be said is, I cannot afford not to try this grand experiment. One thing is for certain, those teachers who have seen or heard about this are excited about the potential our new classrooms will bring to education.