It seems I read or hear all the time, "Good teachers display their students' work around the room." Well, the majority of my students' work is digital. You know, Glogsters, blogs, Voicethreads, prezis, powerpoints, videos, etc. So, I've been bouncing ideas around in my head as to ways to display this work for others to see.
At the end of each school year, my principal asks us for some "wish list" items. These are things they we'd like to have, but can't get them through traditional channels for one reason or another. Then, he takes our lists and tries to find some extra money in the budget to fund as many of these as he can for the pet projects.
So, this year, I'm researching options to do multiple video displays around the classroom (and maybe even one in the hallway) to put on my "wish list". Obviously, the cheaper the solution, the more likely I am to get it.
The IT guy told me he could give me an older desktop computer to use solely to drive the system. He might be able to come up with 2 or 3 old flat screen monitors that work fine, but are being replaced by laptops. That is still yet to be seen.
I've been doing a lot of research on different vga splitters, usb-to-wireless adapters, etc. and haven't quite found the system that would work for me at an inexpensive price.
I'm looking for suggestions. I'd prefer to go wireless if possible as I don't want to run extensive cabling around the classroom, but if that is my best option, I can go that way. I would want a minimum of 2 monitors or TVs to be displayed, but more desirable would be 3 or 4. I would set the computer up to either rotate through images or play videos of student work. I would like one monitor to be outside the classroom door in the hallway so that would almost have to be wireless.
Anybody have any suggestions of products I should look at that might accomplish this?
I've been wanting to do this too. One thing that has kept me from doing it is the power it takes to run even a single computer with multiple monitors. Unless you will get or already have a low wattage computer it seems a bit wasteful. If you want to have one computer that hooks up to multiple monitors and each acts like a separate computer you could look into NComputing devices. What is does is to take one computer and turns it into 3 or more computers with their own monitor KB and mouse.
A more elegant and not too expensive solution would be to use digital picture frames. I would get larger ones with decent resolution but these would allow you to display them in various locations with minimal wires. You could just get an SD card for each one, load the students' work on as jpegs and load them into each photo frame. I know there are some frames you can update wirelessly too.
I bought a 8" photo frame for $50 that I mounted in my window. I had to make a mount to get it where I wanted.
Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents. We're looking at a similar set up (actually have the 3 monitors now) at our site and have been through many of the same problems. Know that anything wireless is extremely expensive (and often requires line of sight) if you want it to show a direct feed from a pc.
If you're going the frame route though I highly recommend the Sungale 15 in frame. They are under $50 on ebay right now (http://compare.ebay.com/like/250811110357?var=lv<yp=AllFixedP...). I bought one last year through woot.com for $50 and I've been very, very impressed.
Not as big, but you can't beat this price. Don't know about quality, but at least ViewSonic is a brand that I've heard of before. It appears to be photo only, no video.
Here is a 12 inch ViewSonic at ecost:
For those of you doing/considering frames out in the hallway, any ideas on how fix them to the wall so that they don't walk away? Something a little more permanent or deterring that just hanging on the wall?
Are any of these battery powered?
I found this list of mounting options while looking into my ideal set-up (now I'm thinking 60inch LCD mounted next to an iPad 2 so people can navigate through student work, or view the photo slide show).
They are iPad specific, but some of the companies make generic sized wall mounts to accomodate picture frames.
Dockalot iPad Wall Mount - Looks like a nice wall mount option, but the power cord does not look to be hidden. Currently for sale and very affordable.
iPort CM Series Mounts - Very clean mounts with multiple options. Charges iPad when mounted. Fully hidden charging using remotely mounted power. Expensive.
iBracket - A bit large, but charges the iPad while docked. Expensive.
iPad Frame Dock - Pretty attractive, expensive, charges while in frame (does not seem like it would be sturdy while on wall). Also, can't tell how the power works (in wall vs. exposed cord)
iPad Capsual - odd looking, charges ipad. Pretty affordable.
Lab Shield Kiosk Mount - Made for more of a commercial application, although I am told that they will be offering a home-friendly version. Expensive.
modulR iPad swing arm - attractive with tons of mounting options. A bit pricy for a non-charging mount, but very versatile.
The Wallee - Non charging, very well priced, and very unobtrusive
Pad Holder - Nice mount, inexpensive, does not charge
Premier iPad Mount - Uses an articulating arm...would work well for table-top mounting. Product not available on the manufacturer's website yet.
Fridge Pad - Refridgerator magnet iPad holder. Does not charge while mounted. Easy to remove and clip back in.
The iMount - Articulating arm which comes in different lengths.
Ram Mount - In-car mount