DUCHESNE ACADEMY

This private Catholic college preparatory school is one of Houston's most progressive independent schools, especially after installing NEC projectors in all of its classrooms.
 
 
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Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart is a private Catholic college preparatory school for girls pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Duchesne has built a reputation as one of Houston’s most progressive independent schools, largely through its innovative laptop computer program and well-articulated educational goals. A strong proponent of technology as a key enabler of education, Duchesne was the first school in Houston and the second in Texas to install a campus-wide 802.11 wireless network, and the school wanted to install projectors in all Duchesne classrooms.

The Challenge

“As a wireless school since 1998, we have struggled with two things: finding affordable projection devices to increase image size so that text can be read from across the room with the lights on, and enabling students to share work on their laptops for activities such as peer editing and presentations,” explained Janet Thorson, Duchesne’s Director of Technology.

Duchesne had 32” monitors in the classrooms and five shared projectors on A/V carts. The monitors were too small and teachers found the handful of rolling projectors too cumbersome and inconvenient for making the technology an integral part of the education process. Duchesne needed a projection solution that was bright, affordable, easy to use and maintain, and compatible with the school’s 802.11b wireless network.

The Solution

Duchesne evaluated a number of solutions before deciding on NEC’s LT260 projectors, which were installed in 35 classrooms. The affordable, portable and bright projector is designed specifically for use with high-resolution computers and for displaying detailed, graphics-rich information. Duchesne also installed a high performance NEC MT1060 projector in a small theater, which features a rotating wall for seating flexibility: spun one way, the wall moves to add more seating to the main theater; spun back, it creates classroom space!

NEC’s projectors are compliant with the 802.11 wireless standard, and were chosen due to its Dynamic Image Utility which allows the helpdesk to monitor the status and troubleshoot all of the projectors on the system from one single location.

Duchesne evaluated a number of solutions before deciding on NEC’s LT260 projectors, which were installed in 35 classrooms. The affordable, portable and bright projectors are designed specifically for use with high-resolution computers and for displaying detailed, graphics-rich information. Duchesne also installed a high performance NEC MT1060 projector in a small theater, which features a rotating wall for seating flexibility: spun one way, the wall moves to add more seating to the main theater; spun back, it creates classroom space!

NEC’s projectors are compliant with the 802.11 wireless standard, and were chosen due to its Dynamic Image Utility which allows the helpdesk to monitor the status and troubleshoot all of the projectors on the system from one single location.

The Benefits

“The excitement on the first day of school was incredible,” said Thorson. “Teachers were turning the projectors on and getting right to work with minimal training. Students were so pleased that now they could see what was on the screen.” Duchesne’s teachers agreed. “The projection system was the easiest new technology that I’ve ever integrated into my classroom,” said Kelly Ward, an eighth grade algebra teacher. “I was able to use it the day it was installed. The projectors allow Internet use, class videos, student-generated computer projects, and lecture material to be presented quickly and flawlessly. Now I can’t imagine my classroom without it!” Barbara Weathers, librarian, said, “with the wireless projector, we have the benefit of immediacy, speed, and specific content — something that today’s students respond to and respect.” As for meeting Duchesne’s goal of reduced maintenance, during an entire year of operation, the NEC projectors have not experienced a minute of downtime for service — and Duchesne’s staff received only six support calls on the projectors in the first 180 days. Even NEC’s 3-D Reform technology and the projectors’ high brightness have had an impact on Duchesne’s budget: because the 3-D Reform technology creates a square image no matter where the projector is placed, Duchesne had much more flexibility in installing projectors, preventing the need for costly classroom renovations. Similarly, the projectors help overcome classroom lighting challenges without requiring any expense in altering the environment. The modern technology is now an integral part of the learning process at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart — and a powerful way to instill in its students a passion for learning and discovery that they will carry with them the rest of their lives.

 

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