I've written here and there about all the random toys in my room. You may have noticed the TVs in my photos or heard about the small mountain of iPads I've assembled. In response to some questions, I decided to pop open Illustrator and fiddle around making a diagram. So here's an idea of how everything is wired up in my classroom. The cables involved occupy a tub of significant size when it's time to pack up every May.
Click for big. (13.1MB PDF)
This didn't happen overnight, obviously. Roughly:
- Septebmer 2010: bought my own printer
- March 2011: stop using school-issue laptop
- May 2011: experiment with the use of a Wacom tablet to teach
- August 2011: start teaching from my podium
- October 2011: webcam document camera
- November 2011: first TV
- December 2011: got an iPad 2, begin contemplating
- March 2012: second TV
- May 2012: bite the bullet and upgrade my Dropbox
- July 2012: bought an iPad 3, designated iPad 2 for classroom service, iCloud becomes viable service, put an SSD in the MacBook
- August 2012: new speaker system (well, old receiver and new bookshelf speakers), receive school-issue iPads
- September 2012: third TV, bought another iPad 2
- December 2012: iPad mini donated, bought second iPad mini
It's been a very long project, and I doubt I'm done. I've also become a pro at buying and running really long VGA cables. The next step would be finding a way to obsolete the 4:3 projector in the room and use a large (~60") TV in place of the ActivBoard. It would prevent the TVs from having to display a stretched picture and give me some more board space (1920x1080 vs 1280x1024). Of course my desk and podium monitors would have to go widescreen as well, sigh.
To answer "How can you afford these things!?": I coach high school and middle school soccer, drive a school bus, tutor kids from other schools on the side, hoard gift cards and birthday cash, keep an eye out for deals and view it as a long term project. A little here, a little there.