Teaching without wires eliminates trip hazards and helps you regain your mobility with students. The most pernicious wire is the cable from your mobile device to your digital projector. Learn to teach without wires as you mirror your device. In this blog entry, explore tools that maximize your mobility in the classroom.
Teach Without Wires
Stuck behind a desk? You are not alone. Many classrooms have installed ceiling-mounted projectors. The only way to connect to them has you running cables. It doesn’t matter if you have a Surface Go , Chromebook, or an iPad, you remain tethered to the digital projector.
Get out from behind your desk and leave that desktop computer behind. Work side-by-side with a student, wherever that student may be. Use new peripherals to control digital projections from where you are. Make it easy for students to present, too. Mirroring solutions, tools that share your device’s screen via a digital projector, abound. Here are a few of the best.
Solutions to Mirror Your Device
Mirroring solutions have evolved. Some use hardware or software. A few solutions have been explored in a previous blog entry, Tools for iOS Screen Sharing. Below, please find a few more:
This was one of the first solutions I started using in my district as the superintendent sought to equip multiple classrooms with iPads for every teacher and student. These solutions serve as an excellent alternative to Apple TVs, which may not work in school enterprise-level (captive) networks.
- Reflector Teacher ($14.99): Mirror your phone, tablet, or computer to the big screen without wires or complicated setups. Present, teach, or entertain from the palm of your hand. Use Reflector to wirelessly display and record iPhones, iPads, Chromebooks, Android devices and Windows tablets on a bigger screen. Additional features include:
- Connect any number and combination of devices to Reflector at the same time.
- Easily record one or all connected devices. Include audio, device frames and more.
Reflector has several products you may to consider in addition to Reflector Teacher, their core product.
- Reflector Director ($6.99): Control Reflector Teacher from a mobile device. Reflector Director enables you to remotely manage your Reflector Teacher program on your computer, making it easy for you to be away from your computer.
- Reflector Student (Free): Connects student mobile devices to Reflector Teacher on protected networks. This app on the students’ device works as a signal enhancer. It makes finding the teacher’s Reflector Teacher computer easier in a multiple wireless access point (WAP) environment.
This robust mirror solution offers many features. You can use Mirroring360 to accomplish the following:
- Wirelessly mirror and record your Chromebook, iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows, and Mac screens to your PC or Mac without the need for hardware or cables.
- Broadcast your computer screen to up to forty recipients’ devices via a shared web link.
- Broadcast your computer to student devices (e.g. Android, iOS via Airplay).
Mirroring360 comes with a signal enhancer, like Reflector Student, known as Mirroring Assist. Use it to lock in the signal on a protected network. For Android devices, install Mirroring360 Sender. From Chromebooks or PC, you would also install Chromebook app here.
Looking for other solutions? Check out these as well:
- X-Mirage ($16): This program only works on your computer. Watch this video overview.
- LonelyScreen ($15-$30): Watch this video to see a demo.
Wireless Display Receiver – ActionTec ScreenBeam
Have a Windows 10 device that you want to teach without HDMI or VGA cable attached? Try a wireless display receiver (WDRs). WDRs allow you to beam your laptop display, smartphone, or tablet direct to your HDTV. Or you can extend your screen to support multitasking. With an extended screen, instead of just mirrored, you can continue working while sharing a video broadcast with your class.
Note: Be aware that solutions like the wireless display receiver shown below require a transmitter for older Windows computers that lack support for Miracast. Transmitters cost about $36 and plug into the USB port of your computer. Newer computers do not require a transmitter and you need only buy a wireless display receiver ($44.95).
ScreenBeam wireless display solutions increase classroom agility. Teachers can move throughout the classroom and interact with students while still mirroring your device. Through this movement, teachers can easily observe, assess, and respond to the dynamics of the classroom, keeping students engaged. It works with Windows and Android. One key point to keep in mind: ScreenBeam does NOT require WiFi to work.
Want to learn more? Fill out this online form; please mention “TCEA.”
Another ScreenBeam solution that you may be interested to know about it includes the ScreenBeam Mini 2. It is a wireless display kit that mirrors all content from a Windows 7 or Windows 8 laptop, desktop computer, or tablet to a high-definition television. Like other ScreenBeam products, it does not rely on a WiFi network or wireless router.
Remote Control of Your Slide Deck
Who hasn’t wanted to walk around the room while remotely controlling their slide show presentation? You can do that now with various tools. Two that have not been mentioned yet include the following:
- Remote for Slides: “Remote for Slides is a Chrome Extension and a Progressive Web App that allows you to control Google Slides on any device, remotely. No extra hardware is needed.” Learn more about it in this TCEA TechNotes blog entry.
- Splashtop Remote Desktop: Control your laptop (which is connected to the projector) from your iPad or Android device. You can get a free trial to try it out. Splashtop Classroom starts at $29.99 a year per teacher. Additional features of Splashtop include:
- Use the toolbar to draw, highlight or write over any content (like a white board).
- Take snapshots of the screen, save, and then share with students.
- Use the spotlight and screen shade tools to keep students focused.
Looking for Additional Mirror Resources?
Here are some additional resources you may find helpful: