January 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
This has been a pet project of mine for some time now. I’m always looking for a way to make a teacher more mobile, and I think we’ve finally come across the answer. Of course, there are other ways to do this, like with Samsung’s AllShare software, or Apple TV, but I’ve really been interested in something that works cross-platform and doesn’t require anything really expensive to work.
The solution, for now, is this setup as noted in the video below: An Epson projector that supports Epson’s EasyMP software (we’re currently using a PowerLite 97), a PC or Mac to run that software, and AirServer to mirror an iPad to that Mac or PC. Our next test will be to install the software on a Windows 8 tablet (when we get one) to make for a fully mobile projecting experience for the teacher. I think this offers us the most versatility at this time, and is what we’re going to test going forward.
For this to work well in a classroom, ideally the teacher machine would be a laptop so that it could broadcast the video signal over ethernet and airserver over wifi, or have the teacher’s ethernet drop on the same vlan as the wifi (if this doesn’t make any sense to you, don’t worry about it…let your IT guys figure it out, and don’t take no for an answer).
The only thing I wasn’t able to try today was full screen mirroring of an Android device, but you can use the EasyMP app for Android to display photos, documents, and web pages on the projector (not shown in the video). You could also add a Chromecast into the mix and be able to cast tabs from a Chromebook or videos from an android device.
I’m not sure how much backend bandwidth all of this takes up, but we’re going to test it with a few classrooms and see how the performance is.
Assuming the computer and iPad are already in place, total cost for this setup is about $550. It drops by about $70 if you run ethernet to the projector instead of buying the wireless LAN module.