Overhead Projectors vs Visualisers

I received the following comment about an article written about visualisers and thought I’d address it:

I am a primary music teacher used to using an OHP and acetates for songs. This works very well as I can stand behind the machine and children can see my mouth shapes and hear my voice as I sing. Now I am told I have to use a visualiser and doubt it will be as effective a tool as the OHP. Not sure if this is progress!
 
The teacher above, to me, demonstrates exactly why technology sometimes does not enhance learning in the classroom. Many teachers will say that technology is simply a resource. In the above instance, this teacher is correct. Using a visualiser instead of an OHP (Overhead projector for all you tech-generation kids!) to project a piece of text or musical accompaniments is indeed not progress. It is simply doing the same thing with a new piece of kit. The teacher above will not see any real benefit from using a visualiser and her acetates will look exactly the same whether she uses an OHP r visualiser.
The real power happens when one considers a piece of technology as a methodology not simply a resource. What can a visualiser do that an OHP can’t?
Apart from giving the user a full palette of colour to work with, the visualiser gives any teacher the power to project very small things live onto a big screen. For example, it terms of music, in a very crowded classroom, the visualiser could be pointed at some chime bars, which the teacher could demonstrate and everyone can see on the big screen. While this is pretty rudimentary, one can take this a step further and the teacher can record what she is doing under the visualiser camera and post it up on a classroom portal for children to be able to practice in their own time or better yet, the camera could be pointed to a child or group of children working with these chime bars creating their own composition and sharing this with the world on the Internet. Could there then be a nice project where children in different schools could record their own compositions and share them with each other? What about a Pentatonic Scale Composition Competition?
An overhead projector allows a teacher to show pre-prepared mono-coloured static information on a big screen. A visualiser can do the same. However, when the teacher uses their fantastic array of creativity, the added benefit of the visualiser can open doors that didn’t exist before.

Last Update: Mar 28, 2018  

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