Broadcasting Smartphone Apps as a Teaching Tool
Personal electronic devices bring a multitude of opportunities to a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom. A recent challenge is trying to model desktop applications with a graphical user interface that looks very different from smartphone apps. The example below shows a visual screen capture of OneNote (desktop) compared to OneNote (smart phone app).
The majority of students in my school favour the lighter, more affordable smartphones versus laptops. My goal is to discover how Miracast can be used to bridge the visual gap between smartphone apps and traditional desktop software.
Projected image of OneNote Desktop
Image of OneNote via Smartphone App
OneNote Smartphone app projected via Miracast
What is Miracast?
Miracast is a standard that allows a mobile device to discover and connect to other common devices like data projectors and televisions. The technology acts like a wireless HDMI cable and is not limited to one brand’s proprietary technology. The advantage is that it creates its own WIFI direct network and does not rely on an existing data network.
Examples Used in My Classroom
Physical setup of the adapter using a data projector was straightforward using instructions provided by Microsoft. The less cluttered workspace is an added bonus of wireless technology.
Configuring Miracast on a Windows system requires users to download the available free app from the Windows App store.
Miracast technology is widely supported by the majority of smartphone manufacturers on the market today. I took an opportunity to explore this option by configuring Miracast using my Blackberry Passport.
I believe that Miracast can impact a significant number of BYOD users who can wirelessly share and compare active content. This is certainly an improvement over using proprietary mirroring technology that only supports a specific operating system and hardware platform.
I will be writing a future blog post on the possibility of using a high-speed LAN module that will convert a standard data projector into a “smart” data projector!