In a BYOD classroom, network access is everything.
From accessing instructional materials, to students submitting work from these tablets, teaching and learning is highly limited without robust connectivity. However, policy and security can inhibit access and by proxy inhibit the ability to fully use the features of tablets in the classroom. One of the most simplest issues that can be a huge problem for educators, is the implementation of “slinging” content from a mobile device to a projector or TV in the classroom.
For iOS, this is usually done with an AppleTV to wirelessly ‘AirPlay’ content to a projector. For some school districts or university campus’ this may not be an issue when the network is either open or password protected. However, for others it can be a daunting task, as the AppleTV cannot pass through any user-account login credentials that many school networks require. If this is the case for your classroom, there may be a way around this.
AirPlay The AppleTV 1080p version has a surprising amount of connectivity, and for this workaround you will be using all of it. For starters, the Apple TV needs to be connected to your wired network through its ethernet connection. Second, that network and your WAP must share the same network. From here, your iOS device that you are going to be teaching on, which can pass on any network login credentials required for a user account to access the network, must be on that wifi network. Next, under Settings>AirPlay make sure the AirPlay option is turned on and the “Conference Room Display” is enabled. Lastly, exit to the AppleTV menu and wait for the conference room display to come up, then turn on BlueTooth on your iOS device.
The AppleTV will get its network connection from the ethernet cable itself and gain an IP on the network. Since the AppleTV is set to Conference Screen Mode, it enables the BlueTooth LE connection (accessible within 15-30ft) to relay this IP to the iOS device. Your iOS device, connected to the same network via Wifi, can find the AppleTV when it receives the IP by way of Bluetooth LE. When it does, you will see you gain access to AirPlay. Your content from your iOS device is sent to the AppleTV through its ethernet, but from your iOS device’s wifi. The BlueTooth LE is only used to ascertain the IP, or location, of the AppleTV on your institution’s network.
QuickTime your iOS screen With the introduction of iOS 8 and OS X Mavericks, there is a new option on the drop down menu. For the first time, QuickTime’s Movie Capture option will now allow for native display, or recording, of an iOS screen attached to a Mac running Yosemite with a thunderbolt wired connection. This is a great alternative for capturing lecture content used in class from an iOS device without the need of an AppleTV or workaround; as well as an opportunity for educators to incorporate iOS into their teaching. Simply connect a Yosemite Mac into your projector’s input, plug in your iOS 8 device through its Lightning to USB cable, and run QuickTime’s Movie Capture.