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Emerging Tech Team presents: wireless display with Apple TV

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by Ronnie Fields | Monday, March 18, 2013
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Technology has transformed the way teachers teach and engage students. The days of the teacher sitting behind the desk or standing at the blackboard are numbered because of technological advances that have detached the instructor from the desk. One device that is leading the charge in untethering teachers is the Apple TV.

What is Apple TV?
Apple TV is turning out to be more than a digital entertainment device for watching movies and shows at home. It can connect to a wide variety of educational streaming content, too. And there is much more to the hockey-puck-sized device. One of the most compelling classroom uses is that it can wirelessly display content from iOS devices (iPads and iPhones) and Mac computers with OS 10.8 (Mountain Lion).

Airplay is the name of the built-in functionality that wirelessly streams audio and video from an iPad or iPhone to the Apple TV. Videos, music, and any audio/video content stored on an iPad or iPhone device can play on a television connected to an Apple TV.

Airplay also has screen mirroring capabilities. Anything on an iOS device can be presented on a television or monitor connected to an Apple TV. An audience can watch in real time as a presenter interacts with apps, edits text documents, changes settings, etc. This is a REALLY cool Airplay feature! The Apple TV can turn a large screen television into a giant iPad!

Uses for Apple TV
Untether the instructor—- Wirelessly transmitting content from an iPad to a projector or television untethers the instructor from their instructor station. This allows the instructor to roam the classroom to better engage the students.

Interactive whiteboards—- Using an iPad with screen mirroring, an instructor can do just about anything from any place in the classroom: electronic white boarding, web browsing, annotating, programming, etc. There are a number of iPad applications that can be used for instruction.

Smart Board alternative?—- Smart Boards have become very popular in both grade school and higher education, however, they can be very costly (~$7000). An iPad and Apple TV may be a cheaper option.

Collaboration—- Group study rooms outfitted with a large screen monitor and an Apple TV device may become popular places for students to study. Students may find that wirelessly sharing work from their iOS devices enhances group collaboration.

Videoconferencing and Apple TV—- Airplay can display your FaceTime, Skype, or Cisco Jabber videoconferencing sessions. Do you want to include a remote guest speaker? Is there a sick student who would like to “attend” class from home today? Videoconferencing is a great way to virtually connect others to your classroom. Airplay and FaceTime is an inexpensive videoconferencing solution that can enhance your classroom training.

Airplay on Android?
For the non-Apple users, Airplay does not work on Android devices. Miracast <http://www.extremetech.com/computing/136457-wi-fi-alliance-debuts-miracast-to-standardize-wireless-multimedia-streaming > and WiDi (wireless display) are wireless streaming standards that are slowly becoming more widely available.

(The Emerging Tech Team will be posting more information about Miracast and WiDI technology soon. Stay tuned for future SUL News posts.)

Emerging Technology Team recommendation
The Emerging Technologies Team will continue to research the effectiveness of wireless display in higher education. The use cases mentioned above are just a few things Apple TV and Airplay can do, but we believe there is quite a bit more that Apple TV can bring to the classroom that will enhance the education experience.

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