From the moment I got my iPad I’ve been wanting to use it more and more in the classroom with our overhead projector technology. I bought the VGA adapter dongle but it’s limiting in a few ways. First it doesn’t show the home screen and second it doesn’t work with all apps. It’s not a true way to mirror what’s on your iOS device and sometimes students need to see that step-by-step to follow along and learn.
For what I teach, this is a big problem. I want to show apps without resorting to videos, for example. I want to walk through the process of editing video and photos. And sometimes I just want to use this as a presenter, to flip through slides without a clicker.
Surprisingly, Apple hasn’t given us an easy way to interface an iOS device such as an iPad or iPhone with a Mac computer for screen projection. I thought Apple TV might be the solution, because it uses AirPlay technology to mirror an iOS screen to a television through the small black box. In fact, I was convinced I could do it with a few extra cables after reading IEARs post last November. But then I hit a problem that is a big barrier in many education environments: our ethernet and wifi systems use static IP addresses and Apple TV (and indeed AirPlay itself) can’t interface with those. AirPlay is built for much simpler networks, the kind you see in homes.
The only solution was to set up a rogue wifi signal and that was too much trouble. I needed a simple solution. (more…)