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K-3rd Grade Education Specialist Installs Hitachi Interactive Projector to Help Increase Student Engagement

Trabuco Canyon, California April 20, 2017- Robinson Elementary School, located in Trabuco Canyon, uses an integrated technology solution to increase motivation and engagement in one of its Special Education classrooms. Cynthia Schaffer applied for a grant and was selected to receive a Cox Corporate “Innovation in Education” grant allowing her to add a Hitachi Interactive Projector and a special portable easel to her K-3rd Special Education classroom.

Mrs. Schaffer’s students use the new Hitachi Interactive Projector connected to an adjustable interactive easel to learn about science, math, spelling and social skills by playing engaging games and doing activities that get them moving out of their chairs. The Hitachi Interactive Projector helps students feel they are a part of the lesson instead of simply watching a teacher write on a board.

“I’ve been wanting an interactive projector for a long time,” said Schaffer. “This is an item that is not funded by the state or district unless you’re in a title-1 school. I am incredibly grateful we were able to receive a grant to purchase the interactive easel and projector. It’s going to make a huge and positive difference for the kids.”

Mrs. Schaffer appreciates that the projector can be used upright in an easel orientation, converted into a tabletop position or repositioned to project onto the floor. Many of the easel-oriented activities replace the plain, black-and-white worksheets that can be difficult for her students to learn from. By providing the students with options for mixing up their learning styles, they can get out of their chairs, interact with what they are learning and stay engaged. Mrs. Schaffer has been using tablets for years in the classroom, but she found there were too many restrictions.

“The smart boards are great, but they still had a lot of limitations for my students in the wall position. We have children in wheelchairs who had trouble with the boards on the wall and can’t reach; with the interactive easel and Hitachi Interactive Projector it is easily accessible and perfect for every student in the classroom. The Hitachi Interactive Projector has limitless potential for how my students can learn.”

The Hitachi Interactive Projector, coupled with an adjustable interactive easel, have helped Schaffer’s classroom in every facet, including celebrating important elementary school holidays. “March 2nd was Dr. Seuss’ birthday and we did rhyming words from Cat in the Hat,” she explained. “My students were able to come up to the front of the room and interact with the story. We’ve always had fun celebrating events, and holidays, but this brings it to a whole new level.”

Of all the successes Schaffer’s students have experienced using these interactive technologies; she noted that one story in particular stood out.

“One little girl in my class has vision impairment which limits how much she can interact visually,” said Schaffer. “Drawing on a white board or a piece of paper can be difficult for her, but because I am able to move the interactive projector from easel mode into tabletop mode or cast it onto the floor, I can bring the image to her and help her see it better. We were working on a project one day, I was able to give her a pen and have her draw along with the class. She immediately looked at the pen in amazement, then looked at me and said, ‘I can make blue!’ As a teacher, getting that look from one of your students is the best feeling.”

“I’m no longer restricted to only using tablets to captivate my students and maintain their focus. This interactive projector has increased the amount of engagement immensely, which is crucial for my students. It’s how they learn best.”

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