Blog Post by Kevin Sait, Head of IT Strategy at Wymondham High Academy Trust
I have been asked frequently to demonstrate how Miracast works on the Microsoft Surface, in the classroom, so I thought I would take the opportunity to show how easy it is to connect a device which supports Miracast to a classroom projector.
Like most IT decision makers recently, we have been looking at life beyond the IWB (Interactive White Board), IWB’s made a big appearance in the 90′s with a plan to turn teaching and learning on its head. Unfortunately this has never happened with the majority of users not maximising its potential in the classroom. However now we find ourselves looking to replace old whiteboards, with a price tag £800 + and potentially 40 units in our school suddenly equals a big chunk of budget over a period of time.
So with our recent adoption of Surface and Surface Pro in the classroom we have investigate the use of Miracast to bring the interactive element into the classroom instead of leaving it bolted to the wall.
Miracast is the method to connect to a ‘display box’ like the NetGear Push TV box which in turn plugs into your digital classroom projector via HDMI. This simply means the teacher now has a wireless connection to the projector allowing them to be anywhere in the classroom and mirror the display on the projector.
Sounds good? well it is and is easy to setup. First off please remember that this does not work on the 1st gen Surface RT even running Windows 8.1, so here is how it works on the Surface Pro instead.
Step 1 Connect the Push TV box to the projector using HDMI and also connect to the USB port on the projector for power. This means every time you select the HDMI input from the projector the PushTV box will power on.
Step 2 Power on the Surface Pro (2, 2 Pro) and then swipe right and tap change PC settings. Next choose PC and Devices, then Devices, then choose Add Device. The Push TV box should be showing , tap on the device to connect.
Step 3 You should now see on the screen a PIN number from the Push TV box, enter that on the connection screen on your Surface. The wireless connection will now be created and you will mirror your desktop on your projector.
Connecting to the PUSH TV box
Surface Pro using Miracast in the classroom
So if you are investing in a mobile device platform especially Windows 8.1, my advice is to make sure you purchase devices that support either Miracast or WideEye, this will then give the scope of looking how mobile devices can affect life in the classroom rather than the traditional IWB which has become not so interactive.