Clunes Primary School: with Epson projectors "in a class of their own"
Located approximately 30 kilometres north of the famous Victorian town of Ballarat, Clunes Primary School has 130 students ranging in classes from Prep to Year 6. While the school may be quite small in comparison to many others and operate in a low socio-economic area, these are by no means regarded as hindrances to the provision of a modern and interactive learning environment. Figuring prominently in that environment are Epson EMP-400W projectors and interactive whiteboards in each classroom.
The school of hard knocks
Having purchased seven interactive whiteboards and brand-named projectors for each of the school's classrooms in early 2006, Mr. Parry and his staff quickly discovered that 'cheap' projectors were, in the long run, expensive and even counter-productive. "Within 12 months," Mr. Parry says, "we were confronted by lamp failures, poor performance and teachers who simply weren't prepared to continually put their classrooms in total darkness every time they wanted to use the projectors."
This was all to change when Mr. Parry attended a technology expositon in late 2007 and saw the Epson EMP-400W in action. "In full light the projector was giving out brilliant images as crystal clear as a modern television set," he says. "After some additional research and discovering that, among many other things, the Epson projectors were capable of short-throw projection and were easy to install and maintain, I decided to phase out the DLP [Digital Light Processing] projectors in favour of the 3LCD-based EMP-400W."
A stated preference
Then, towards the middle of 2008, an injection of funds to the school gave Mr. Parry the ability to purchase additional EMP-400Ws to replace all the existing third-party DLP projectors even before they had reached their second full year of use.
Improved teaching and learning
In stark contrast, the EMP-400Ws can project a 60-inch 16:10 image from a distance of only 0.65 metres. Now, with the new projectors mounted on short booms connected to the top of the whiteboards, the school's teachers are at last able to stand directly in front of the whiteboards and conduct their lessons effectively and without having to constantly stand aside.
Projectors that pay for themselves
"Compare that to the Epson lamps, which have maintained their brightness and clarity of image, even in classrooms that have all their blinds up and have very bright lighting. From the financial side, it means that rather than continually paying for replacement lamps every year, we're able to utilise that money in other areas."
"By having the ability to install the projectors myself, without having to call on external resources, I've estimated that we have saved over $2,000 dollars, which is enough to buy another unit - and that's precisely what I'm planning to do in the next month or so.
"We have been through the difficulties resulting from buying second best," Mr. Parry continues, "and we've learnt from that. We now know that when it comes to a truly effective and cost-efficient projector and interactive whiteboard solution for the classroom, the EMP-400W is in a class of its own."