A Mac or Apple TV
Projector or SMART board
For the Mac:
VGA out dongle: 29.99
The program Reflector or Air server: 12.99 or 14.99
For the Apple TV:
Apple TV: $99
HDMI to VGA dongle: 52.99
Notes Plus: 9.99
How many times have you been standing in front of your SMART board wishing that you could have your students interact with the material on the board in way that was more meaningful. Bringing students to the board can be disruptive and waste valuable instructional time. How do you overcome the limitations of the Smart Board? Just use your iPad and Mac and or iPad and Apple TV. If you have a stand alone projector or SMART board you can begin moving out into your classroom and let your students use the board from their seats. I will be discussing several different options and will list links to the products needed at the end of this post
The most cost effective and easiest way to create an interactive, and portable black board replacement in your classroom is through the iPad’s Air Play feature. This feature allows your iPad screen to be projected onto a SMART board, whiteboard, or existing classroom screen in real time. To engage this feature take your iPad and swipe up from the bottom of the screen to the top. A small control panel will slide up from the bottom of the screen. From here you have access to various settings, but right now we are only concerned with the Air Play controls. This is clearly marked with an icon that looks like a rectangle balancing on a triangle and labeled Air Play. Once you have a device that can receive an Air Play signal on the same network you can use this icon to connect to the Air Play receiver you will be able to create your black board replacement.
My favorite option:
The Apple TV is currently the cheapest stand alone AirPlay receiver. This small black box connects to your projector via an HDMI cable. If you using an older projector that only has a VGA input there are several HDMI to VGA converters that are reasonably priced. Such as the Kanex ATV Pro . This is the converter I use, but check Amazon and you will find a number of options. These adaptors will allow you to bring new life to your old projector or SMART board by allowing you to attach your HDMI device to the older VGA standard. Total cost with adaptor is about one hundred and fifty dollars: Apple TV ($99) and HDMI converter (49.99). I will provide links to both products at the end of this post. Please note both the iPad and the Apple TV need access to the same wifi network for Air Play to work. Once your iPad and Apple TV are connected to the same wireless network you can mirror your iPad using the following steps:
1) Take your iPad and slide on finger from the bottom of the screen toward the top of the screen.
2) Now tap the Air Play icon.
3) A list of eligible Air Play receivers will then pop up.
4) Select the desired receiver.
5) Once you have selected your receiver the word mirroring will appear under the name of the receiver along with a toggle switch.
6) Slide the toggle from left to right (The switch will turn green).
7) Use your iPad as your classroom black board or SMART board replacement.
At this point you can walk around your classroom using the iPad in any way you want. This moves you away from the board and toward your students.
For those of us with a Mac Book (Pro or Air) there is an even cheaper way of creating an interactive black board replacement for your classroom. Using the Apple VGA dongle (29.99) and one of two programs: either AirServer or Reflector your iPad can be wirelessly mirrored from anywhere in your classroom. If you have a school wide network you can mirror your iPad from anywhere there is network coverage. This includes classroom to classroom, or even building to building. (Think class interactivity between a primary, middle, and high school on the same network within the same district.) Once your Mac and your iPad are on the same network launch either Air Server ($14.99) or Reflector ($12.99).
1) Wait about thirty seconds and complete the following steps:
2) Swipe up from the bottom on your iPad and you will see available Airplay devices.
3) Touch the name of the device you have connected to your projector.
4) Follow the same sequence of steps.
What you can use this for:
Now that you are mirroring your iPad any application that you can see on your iPad screen will be visible to your class. Using an App like Notes Plus or Notability will allow you to move around the room while writing on your board. You can also pass the iPad to the students in the class. Allowing them to share ideas and answer questions on the board in real time. Without the wasted time of the students coming to the front of the room. As an added bonus Notes plus also allows you to keep a running class notebook. From the first day of school to the last day of school. You can also incorporate picture, video, and audio into the notebook. Finally, the entire notebook is exportable as PDF. This is especially useful if you have students that need a copy of class notes. The notebook can be email directly to the student or posted on iTunes U or Edmodo.
Once you have successfully mirrored your iPad you're only limited by Apps you choose to incorporate into your classroom. A mirrored iPad is really a smart solution for every classroom. Now give it a try, and look into the mirror.
Apple TV: http://www.apple.com/appletv
Apple VGA dongle: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC552ZM/B/apple-vga-adapter
Kanex VGA to HDMI converter: http://www.amazon.com/Kanex-ATVPRO-AirPlay-Mirroring-Projector/dp/B0082AFROO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1396222475&sr=8-2&keywords=kanex