A year ago, I had no idea what I was even asking but I knew what I wanted: Collaboration Screens so my newly 1:1 classroom would see an increase in discussion and creativity. I wanted students to be able to connect to a screen with their group and I wanted to cast my one device to every screen.
It didn't cost the exaggerated "at least $1500" (or "impossible"); it was a fraction of the estimate. After discussing my tech-classroom dream with IT, Audio/Visual-inclined parents of students, and whoever seemed to be tinkering with screens at conferences and trainings, I am finally set up.
Here's an infographic to explain what I did, followed by links to my purchases (click here for the free resouce):
Keep in mind, I already had a chromecast and the screens: donated, Craigslist, surplus. After those, the cost to make my plan work was approximately $150 for the Distribution Amplifier and some HDMI cables, 10% of the estimate.
What good are TVs in a classroom?
Fair question. Here's how we use them:
Photo, Painting, and Cartoon Analysis
Group Writing Exercises
Display Reference Materials (especially useful for students who need as few distractions as possible)
Monitoring Progress from Anywhere in the Room
Visual Time Capsule Videos during Student-led Conferences, one class per TV
Want to hear more? For the Communications by Design podcast discussion about our Collaboration Screens, click here.
Having the technology to take our 1:1 classroom to the next level of creativity, collaboration, and professionalism, has improved our class community and pushed me to rethink and revamp even the smallest assignments and tasks.
If you have any questions, please get in touch or leave a comment!
Special thanks to Dr. Joshua Porter for the initial idea and everyone who took time to answer questions: Robert Allen, Joe Hartman, Aaron Nelson, Aaron Sottile, Tom McMahon, Bryan Clark, Clayton, and the AV expert at the North County San Diego Office of Education.