Since its opening in 1925, Queenwood School for Girls has maintained a reputation for excellence in education. For the school's 315 Kindergarten to Year 6 students and a growing number of Year 7-12 students, the development and broad introduction of "smart classrooms" has added an entirely new dimension to learning; and Epson EMP-82 multimedia projectors are well and truly entrenched as valuable and effective learning tools.
Reduce projector maintenance overheads
Simplify management of the projectors without constant on-site attention
Improve projection quality to counter ambient lighting conditions
20 Epson EMP-82 3LCD Multimedia Projectors
Projector maintenance down from two days per annum to barely two hours
Improved reliability of Epson projectors supporting 100 per cent IT infrastructure uptime goal
Better image displays resulting from Epson's 3LCD projector technology
Challenge: Projectors for modern learning
Toward the end of 2003, Queenwood's IT Manager, Mr. Chris Walsh developed a prototype "smart classroom". Fitted with an interactive whiteboard, wireless networking, DVD playback unit, computers and multimedia projector, the classroom quickly became the model for the classrooms across the entire school.
"Beyond the school," Mr. Walsh says, "[at home] children have games consoles, computers, the Internet - an incredibly diverse and multimedia-rich environment. But in most cases, as soon as they enter the classroom they move suddenly from an exciting and stimulating digital world to one that relies on blackboards and chalk. With the smart classroom, our goal was to provide a richer, more interesting environment by utilising today's digital technologies."
With the rapid changeover from traditional to smart classrooms throughout Queenwood, performance and quality issues with another manufacturer's projectors became a cause for concern. Mr. Walsh explains: "Dust build-up, which caused overheating of the projectors, was one of the main problems, along with many of the projectors simply unable to deliver a great quality image if the lighting conditions in the classroom were too bright."
Solution: Epson EMP-82 3LCD Multimedia Projectors
Following extensive research and gaining recommendations from various suppliers and projector users, Mr. Walsh proposed that all future school projector purchases should be Epson. "Our research showed us that 3LCD technology can provide great reliability," Mr. Walsh says. "And, of the 3LCD projectors on the market, Epson is quite simply the most reliable."
With an initial purchase of 15 Epson EMP-82 multimedia projectors in 2005, Mr. Walsh immediately used them as the replacements for other projectors that were failing, some after less than one year of service.
Positive educational outcomes
For Queenwood Deputy Principal and Head of Junior School, Mrs Elizabeth Neil, the use of high performance projectors in the classroom environment is important to meet the needs of all students but especially the 80% of our girls who are visual learners.
As an integral component of each classroom's technology, the Epson projectors play a major role in the Queenwood learning environment. As Mrs Neil explained, "To provide the optimum learning environment utilizing all available tools, we have created dynamic classrooms where the Interactive White Board linked to the projector is one of the focal points. The use of these tools generates a great deal of excitement in, and a positive attitude to learning. All the teachers' have computers, which are connected to the ceiling-mounted projectors. If they need to refer back to an earlier lesson, they just click on the file and display it for the class, group or individual."
An important benefit arising from the use of the EMP-82 projectors is that the teachers at Queenwood no longer have to spend time in chalk and talk delivery. Lesson material, which is stored on either the school's network or the teacher's own USB flash drive, can be accessed and displayed within a matter of seconds. In addition, the wonderful resources available on the World Wide Web are instantly accessible for the teachers to integrate into each curriculum area.
The dust beaters
On the issue of the Epson projectors' reliability, Mr. Walsh is quick to come forward with real-world examples and figures that pay testament to the massive savings gained by implementing projectors designed to withstand harsh environments.
"Before we introduced the Epson projectors, it got to the point where each projector required a filter clean every month - which takes around 45 minutes for the entire operation - and an internal clean every term - that takes a few hours," Mr. Walsh explains. "So over the course of a year, just the requirement of protecting them from dust required about two days of labour. Given that we have 50 projectors, that's nearly 100 days a year; and that's totally ridiculous.
"With the Epson projectors, all that's needed is one filter clean every term, which takes less than half-an-hour. So from two days down to two hours a year, it's a substantial time saving. We have a goal within the school to strive for an IT infrastructure delivering 100 per cent availability," Mr. Walsh continues. "The EMP-82s have demonstrated that they're an ideal projector to help us reach that goal."
The educational "killer app"
In commenting on the image quality of the EMP-82 projectors, Mr. Walsh states the combination of technologies, such as auto keystone correction, sufficient brightness, and selectable colour modes, is essential in a smart classroom environment.
"My role is to assist the teaching staff in delivering a positive educational outcome for the students," Mr. Walsh says. "The Epson projectors, along with the other classroom and infrastructure technologies we have introduced at Queenwood deliver the 'killer app' in education."