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Posted on Feb 12, 2015

Donation buys QSD high-tech projectors

Microsoft recently donated $17,000 to the Quincy Booster Club to purchase 10 interactive projectors and mounts for Quincy Middle School, Quincy High School and High Tech High.

“Microsoft has been a great donor,” said David Thomsen, booster club president. “The Quincy Boosters Club is absolutely delighted.”

The non-profit facilitated the donation, coordinating with the Quincy School District to order the projectors.

“The district will purchase five more projectors, so there will be five per building,” said Chris Molitor, the district’s technology coordinator.

“They are very hands on and interactive,” Molitor said. “It doesn’t need a separate SMART Board. You can just shoot it up on the wall.”

Users can interact directly with the projected image via interactive pens. The new projectors can be operated wirelessly via a PC, a tablet or smartphone. They can also be operated independently, without a computer. In that mode, the projector will store notes in its memory until they are transferred later onto a USB. Other features of the new projectors include improved brightness, resolution and contrast, which make it easier to see images in difficult lighting.

QHS principal David Talley said that in his building the projectors will go to the “early adopters,” those staff that are interested in putting in the time to learn all the bells and whistles. Many of those teachers were the first to test out and use interactive white boards several years ago. He said they plan on repurposing those older interactive white boards in the building, trickling down the technology.

“I am excited to see the potential of these new projectors,” he said. “Anytime you can bring in more visuals, it helps students grasp concepts better.”

Molitor said the school district hopes to replace aging projectors throughout the district with new technology gradually over the next five to 10 years.

The school district started meeting a few months ago with Microsoft, Intuit, Yahoo, Vantage and McKinstry to see out how they could collaborate. While it is still a young collaboration, Molitor said they have started exploring some exciting things, such as the possibility of job shadows. The tech companies also have been able to communicate some job skills they would like future graduates and potential employees to have. Microsoft’s donation came out of discussions at that meeting.

“We are thankful to Microsoft,” Molitor said. “They’ve been a front-runner. It is a huge start and will be extremely beneficial to our students.”

 

— By Rebecca Young, QVPR contributor

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