Monday, November 12, 2012

No Apple TV in Your Classroom?

I have Apple TV at home and I love it for sharing what is on my iOS devices.  Pictures, videos, songs...just beam them to the box and up they go on the big screen tv.

I thought this would be cool to have at school, but it has problems with our locked down network.  Something to do with multicasting needing to be enabled or sunspot activity, something like that... I'm not sure.

We have a new network manager and he has  PLENTY to do with getting his feet on the ground, so I am not eager to pester him right now.

You know me, I like to find work-arounds for all kinds of problems so I took a look at what I had and what was available and I ran across AirServer.  This $15 program runs on your computer and with a little tweaking to my Macbook's network settings and I was good to go.  I set my Mac to create a network with its AirPort, turned on internet sharing in system preferences so the computer and iPad could both use my ethernet connection.

Upsides?  It is available for Mac or PC.  It is waaaay cheaper than a dedicated box like a Wii, Playstation or Apple TV.  It didn't need me to shuffle around a box and computer every time I wanted to use the iPad on screen.  It didn't need an adapter to work with my current projector set-up.

Dr. Russell in his blog Technology in Music Ed points out that a big screen TV monitor is a better purchase than a projector as far as cost goes and I think he has a different approach to what apps/software to use to get this done.

In class this works great.  I run my presentations on Google Apps.  I then bring them up on my iPad and run them from there to my computer via AirServer, which then puts them on screen via the projector in my IWB.  I still have access to my computer for running SmartMusic in class and other programs that the iPad won't run, but for my presentations I no longer have to run back to my IWB to move to the next slide.

Another big plus is I don't have to take my eyes off the more talkative students in my room to get the next slide up.  For some reason, I have a couple of students who think slide transitions are a good time to visit.  This took away that time.

I am really enjoying this combination of tools and as Red Green would say, "No professionals!" were involved.

1 comment:

pshimmons said...

What? You have talkative kids in your band?

I'm running ReflectionApp at school with a bit more success then AirServr App.... Mostly having slight issues when trying to show videos and pictures with AirSrver app