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1.12: Instructional Hardware

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    Educational (instructional) technology hardware can vary from innovative machines like 3D printers to school staples such as monitors, laptops, and desktop computers.

    Instructional Hardware

    • Data Projectors
    • Doc Cams
    • Interactive Whiteboard
    • Smart TV
    • Bluetooth projection
    • Wireless

    Data Projectors

    BenQ Data Projector
    The BenQ TH685

    A data projector is a device that projects computer output onto a white or silver fabric screen that is on a wall, ceiling or tripod mounted.

    Projectors have many uses in the classroom. They allow you to show videos, slides and PowerPoints on a large screen. Paired with the right software, projectors can make any board a smartboard. Data projectors can vary from inexpensive and simple to high-tech multimedia projectors.

    Doc Cams

    Doc Cam
    Doc Cam

    A document camera is essentially a modern version of the old overhead projector systems. Today’s models work alongside your laptop and projector to make sharing with your students simple. Many doc cams can operate remotely, which means the teacher is available to move around the classroom while teaching. Other options include the doc cam operating as a document scanner and a webcam.

    • Reading: this article from Scholastic to see how teachers are falling in love with doc cams! Scholastic gives ideas to use doc cams to teach math, science, language arts, and more from grades PreK – 12.

    Interactive Whiteboard

    Interactive whiteboards allow you to control your computer from the front of the room and annotate directly on the board. They require three components: a computer, an interactive whiteboard, and a data projector. The following link directs you to a video developed by Smarttech.

    Smarttech also has a variety of videos posted on their YouTube channel.

    There are a variety of companies that sell interactive whiteboards. Below are a few other types of popular interactive whiteboards:

    Smart TV

    Basically, a Smart TV functions the same as a tablet. The main difference between the two is that a smart tv is perfect for teaching a group of students in the class. The interaction will be present all the time.


    Chromecast is another option to duplicate your screen to the class. You can Chromecast from an Android Phone, PC, or an iPhone. An iPhone will not allow you to mirror the screen while casting.

    Bluetooth Projection

    While many instructors run classroom presentations through a laptop, many more have a teaching tool available and do not even know it. Smartphones and tablets are increasingly being used in the classroom as a way to conveniently project and run presentations. Some modern Projectors are equipped with bidirectional Bluetooth technology, which allows the projector to connect to any Bluetooth device and function as a speaker.


    WiFi Projectors are also available on the market today. This is a great option for student presentations. Instead of needing to connect their computers manually, they can simply connect to the WiFi network. Epson wireless projectors can quickly and easily share content wirelessly from your laptop and mobile device. The video shows how easy it is to connect!


    Interactive remotes (i.e., “clickers”) have become an instructional technology tool used around the country from the Kindergarten to the College level. The CPU (Classroom Performance System) was the first interactive remote system developed and worked by using software installed on a computer with interactive remotes, students can engage in questions and activities that the teacher intitiates. Today, most companies also offer response software that can be used on laptop computers and mobile devices, including smartphones. Clickers are sometimes referred to as instant response systems (IRS). Below are links to popular clickers used in the classroom today:

    iClicker: Student Response Systems & Classroom Engagement Tools iClicker is the market-leader in student and audience response systems for Higher Education, recognized for ease-of-use, reliability, and focus on pedagogy. iClicker


    Go shopping for your classroom!

    • Using a retail budget of $1500, select the best projector, or other classroom hardware of your choice within the budget. Use the links and information from the chapter to search the vendor products or do your own web search on instructional hardware (data projectors, doc cams, etc.).
    • In your LMS, post the make, model, price, and picture of the hardware that you chose. Give a short description of why you made your choice.

    This page titled 1.12: Instructional Hardware is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Susan Dumler via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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