Planning for AppleTV in the Lab

Ever since I heard that the next version of the Mac OS will feature support for AirPlay, I’ve been working on plans to use it in my teaching lab. Here’s what I have in process in terms of nuts and bolts:

  • a large flat panel monitor mounted in the front corner of the lab
  • an AppleTV connected to the monitor via HDMI cable
  • several Macs and iPads to serve as interfaces to drive the monitor

As of today I’m just waiting on our building support staff to mount the monitor and I’ll be off and experimenting. With four students in the lab for the summer, I’m sure it will get a proper break-in. I hope to convince them to try using it for research and not just streaming shows on Netflix, but we’ll see how that goes.

My plans for it include shooting and editing several short videos on common techniques we use in my lab. I could have these available for streaming on the monitor at the drop of a hat, so if a student asks how to make media or sterilize seeds or run a gel, they can refer to a video clip to refresh their memory. I also plan to have a collection of graphics that I can use for reference during pre-lab discussions. I expect to experiment with how best to store, organize, and stream these reference materials, as I’m not sure yet what will be easiest to use in the moment as well as for students to use on their own. I’m also eager to experiment with using apps live and projected on the big screen, but I’ll wait to discuss those until I’ve had a chance to play with my setup.

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