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Five Classrooms Offer Wireless Projection with Apple TV

By Gabrielle Gosset

Published August 21, 2014

Starting the Fall 2014 semester, faculty and students in certain UB classrooms will notice the additions of Apple TV media streaming devices. But this doesn’t mean it’s time to catch up on your NetFlix: they’re part of a teaching technology pilot project which allows some instructors to live stream course materials to classroom video displays over Wi-Fi.

Gabrielle Gosset (UB Student, Class of 2016) is studying Electrical Engineering and dreams of inventing something someday. In her free time, she enjoys writing, playing video games and watching cooking shows.

A Trial Run

Five classrooms (Clemens 120, Knox 4, 14, and 20, and Kapoor 190) will now be equipped with Apple TV, which allows for wireless sharing of video and audio from Apple iOS device screens to the projector and sound system using AirPlay. AirPlay is available on MacBooks, iPads and iPhones and is simple to use.

“These classrooms were chosen because they were redesigned using a completely digital infrastructure. They have stronger Wi-Fi coverage to better support intense wireless use," according to John Pfeffer, Technical Program Manager of Learning Spaces with Network and Classroom Services (NCS). However, faculty in these rooms are not limited to using the Apple TV exclusively and will still have the option to use VGA or HDMI connections if desired.

Just a Swipe Away

No special applications are needed to use Apple TV and AirPlay. John explains, “To use AirPlay, a professor simply needs to select Apple TV from the teaching station, launch what they would like projected onto their screen and swipe upwards on their device.” After choosing the correct Apple TV for the room and turning on mirroring, anything that is seen or heard from the instructor's device will then be played on the projector and audio system.

The professor can annotate and make edits on their device using certain apps (Flow Draw and Jot are free to download from iTunes, while others like Notability or Evernote Penultimate are available for a fee) while they move around the classroom and project in real time, including sound.  

Students also could have the opportunity to project from their iOS devices during class, if the instructor chooses. This feature is key to instructional technology because, as John states, “It could allow for more interactive and collaborative learning in a lecture setting.”

Faculty who are teaching in these five classrooms can contact the CIT Help Desk to schedule training for the Apple TV.

Tell Us

"Feedback on the new technology is welcome and encouraged," John added. "With enough positive feedback, we hope to roll out this functionality as a part of regular classroom technology in the future."

Feedback should be sent to cit-helpdesk@buffalo.edu. If you're a faculty member with Apple TV in your classroom and you need help, please contact the CIT Help Desk (ubithelp@buffalo.edu, 716-645-3542).