Higher education is facing more challenges than ever with institutions having to stay well ahead of the curve to remain attractive to prospective students. With the ever-changing technologies available to students, much of the responsibility is falling to IT managers to keep classrooms engaging and immersive whilst also keeping costs down.
As a pioneer of lamp-free projection, Casio has a growing understanding of the academic environment; from ever-increasing student expectations when it comes to technology, differing classroom sizes and specifications, and the time and cost pressures associated with implementation and maintenance over the equipment’s lifetime.
Our recent research conducted with 100 UK Higher Education IT leaders, in 2017, points to some specific considerations to take into account before investing in new projection technology.
Keeping students engaged
Students are accustomed to interactive, visual experiences and with live lectures continuing to be so important to teaching, three-quarters of IT managers we asked felt that they needed to move with the times to keep students engaged. However, only 22% saw their current projectors contributing to delivering the richest learning experience possible. In order for students to interact with content and stay immersed in their education, IT managers are recognising 4K projection provides a richer learning experience, with 80% of them believing this Ultra HD resolution will become the projector standard for the foreseeable future.
More so than ever, time equals money.
One of the main complaints around projection in higher education is the start-up time taking so long, according to 43% of IT managers asked, meaning classes are delayed or that lecturers need to arrive early to set up. This all costs students valuable learning time during lectures and seminars. Total cost of ownership, including maintenance and repair costs, is an important factor to consider before investing in any new technology. Research showed that the three Rs were the most important factors for IT managers in terms of projection: resolution (54%) reliability (52%) and replacement (51%). Despite the expectation that higher education AV budgets may begin to increase over the next few years, getting more for your money has to be part of your digital learning strategy. Lamp-free technology like Casio’s full range means no bulb replacement and no waiting around for warm up. Projectors can be switched on and used immediately, ensuring prompt starts. Nearly half of IT managers (43%) say their faculty heads raise waiting time as a issue with their current projection technology, so this is an important consideration for those looking to upgrade on their existing projector range.
Choosing the right resolution
Seminar room sizes and needs differ quite considerably across campus and their projection needs are likely to take various forms. Larger rooms depend on higher lumen projectors to ensure that every student can see and interact with the content and 80% of IT managers now see 4K projection technology becoming the standard in higher education for the foreseeable future. For those smaller rooms where students are encouraged to present and engage, Casio’s Ultra Short Throw projectors help to eliminate shadows as well as offering extensive connectivity options and the capability of projecting a 60-inch screen image from a distance of just 13cm. For mid-sized rooms, Casio’s Core projector is an ideal consideration, due to its brightness of up to 3,000 lumens and flexibility in terms of how easily it can be refitted to existing installations.
Cutting out repair time
Traditional projectors tend to be unreliable and frequently break down, which our research found is one of the main problems for 52% of IT managers. Removing replaceable bulbs, first and foremost, is one of the biggest time savers for technicians. On top of that, projection technology now enables IT managers to identify problems without leaving their desks and automatically switches projectors off when no one is around, using room occupancy sensors; essential for a large fleet of projectors. All these savings mean a significantly lower total cost of ownership.
4K is rapidly becoming the future of display technology. Investing in new equipment isn’t just about choosing the technology; it’s about implementing it within your digital learning strategy. Over 30% of IT managers say they haven’t evaluated the projectors in use for four years, in which time, projection technology has changed dramatically. All of Casio’s lamp-free projectors come with a 20,000 hour lifetime, giving the user total peace of mind when upgrading from their existing projection technology. Seventy-seven per cent of IT managers recognise they need to keep ahead of the curve to resonate with students’ expectations and the implications of not investing in the correct technology are detrimental to the competitiveness of an institution: almost a third of IT managers believe fewer student applications would result.
The benefits of 4K technology
4K is expected to become the projector standard for the foreseeable future – with large venue projection expected to grow from the current level of under 10% to approximately 40% by 2020 – so it’s no wonder that IT managers are looking to invest more and more in this technology. 4K enables displays to have four times the level of detail and this higher quality of picture also means higher engagement with content and a much more immersive learning experience, for wherever students may be positioned in the lecture hall.
Casio’s Large Venue XJ-L8300HN is the latest addition to its lamp-free range and its 4K resolution makes it ideal for larger audiences. The built-in lens shift function also auto-corrects the visual positioning of the image without reducing the resolution, ensuring the highest possible image quality is projected at all times. Within a seminar room or lecture hall, students can become fully immersed in projected realities as content can be displayed on all four walls simultaneously. This is ideal for medical students who may be preparing to enter the theatre for the first time as they have greater insights into what to expect. Content can also be streamed directly and shared with students making for the ultimate collaborative high-resolution experience. This kind of application is highly useful for lecturers who want to make annotations on documents and display to students simultaneously, without the worry of image clarity.
Coleshill School Case Study
Headteacher Ian Smith-Childs from The Coleshill School recently had the Large Venue XJ-L8300HN installed by integration experts CDEC. He explains how it’s impacted the learning environment; “Casio projectors have totally transformed the way staff conduct their lessons now. The image resolution is so sharp and captures students’ attention from the moment the projector is turned on. Previously teachers had to wait quite a while for the projector to start up, but now there is no delay so lessons run much more efficiently.”
IT Manager Neil Bridson adds: “After reading about Casio’s industry-leading low TCO, it made financial sense to make a bulk purchase and the lamp-free element really appealed as we’d only had traditional lamp-based projectors previously. Now technicians no longer have to change lamps which not only means they have more time, but any additional spend on replacement bulbs is totally eliminated. Their five-year warranty has also given us total peace of mind for any servicing that might be required in the coming months and reliability that the projectors won’t encounter any technical issues during presentations.”