For those of you who are completely reliant on Smartboards or the likes, here is a tip: stock up on bulbs!
My Smartboard quit on me this week, because as it eloquently put it, the bulb in my projector had reached its ‘maximum life expectancy’. In retrospect, one would expect at least a week’s notice, given the ‘Smart’ factor.
While I’m so lucky to have such great tools at my disposal, I have become highly reliant on them, and so have my students. Tools breaking down is a manufacturer’s dream, but a teacher’s nightmare. Now I have to cross my fingers that we will be able to locate some bulbs for a DLP Texas Instrument projector… AND SOON! But things are not so simple: there is a possibility that the manufacturer no longer makes this type of bulb. Meanwhile, I will have to re-configure the entire classroom set-up… We use the Smartboard every for all sorts of things so we’ll have to improvise…
This means: changing the seating plan (to allow for a stand-alone projector in the middle of our small room), reconnecting all peripheral tools to accommodate for the new projector, and my personal favourite, having to go back and forth to the PC which is located on a desk in the corner of the room, each time I want to scroll, move from one Web page to the next, open and close documents… Seems harmless right? But taking turning your back on 30 grade 10s in midway of a thought can be devastating for the learning process…
So, if you are using and relying on a Smartboard, stock up on bulbs. It looks like they have a life of approximately 2 years… I wonder if they have actual hours specified on the box… This would be helpful.
If we can’t get this precious bulb, then my school will have to spend money on a new projector…. There is something really wrong with having to replace expensive equipment that is barely 3 years old because of a light bulb, wouldn’t you agree?
If you are putting together a technology plan for your school, beware of the great deals offered by certain manufacturers. There is probably a reason as to why they want to give you a good deal on so many machines… Do your research before buying!