“The hardest thing about getting started, is getting started.” Wise words from Guy Kawasaki! For many educators, getting started with education technology can be the trickiest step. When it comes to setting up BoardShare, there are many tips and tricks we can offer. Here are some of our most helpful suggestions.
Ceiling mounted projectors
A vast majority of our customers have ceiling mounted projectors. While setting up BoardShare with a ceiling mounted projector may seem tricky, these tips and tricks will make it a breeze.
If you have a standard BoardShare unit:
A cost-effective solution is to simply Velcro the unit directly to the bottom of projector – the BoardShare camera will work upside down. Our software is also equipped to account for the fact that your camera and projector are ceiling mounted, ensuring greater precision during calibration. To ensure that the USB cable will reach your computer, we suggest purchasing a USB extender. We typically recommend the Monproice 32-foot extender – at $7.99, it’s a bargain. The extender can be run through the ceiling to hook the camera up to the laptop.
For those of you with short throw projectors, the camera is typically going to be too close to your screen to directly mount it to the underside of your projector. For this scenario, our ceiling mounts are an ideal solution. The ceiling mount is fixed to your ceiling, and the camera is placed in a secure sleeve. It also comes with the 32-foot USB extender discussed above. More information about the ceiling mount can be found in the accessories section of our How It Works page.
If you have a Bluetooth unit:
Unlike the USB unit, our Bluetooth unit is not tethered to the computer. Instead, it can be powered by any power source in your room, making it ideal for rooms that have tricky layouts. If you have ceiling mounted projectors, the Bluetooth unit can be secured with Velcro the same way as a standard unit, and will be powered by the same power strip that your projector is plugged into. More information about the Bluetooth unit can be found in the Bluetooth section of our How It Works page.
For those who truly want to take BoardShare on the go, a rolling cart is a good way to go. A standard unit will be the best option for this type of setup. What's nice about a rolling cart is that there is no issue with needing extended USB cables or Velcro – you can keep the laptop, BoardShare unit and projector in one confined space. A helpful tip for using BoardShare on a cart is to keep your BoardShare unit on top of your projector. That way, if the cart gets bumped or moved slightly, you won’t have to recalibrate.
If you put your cart away after your class, or move it from room to room, tape may become your new best friend. Because the camera needs to be at a far enough distance to calibrate, placing pieces of tape on the floor can be a great guide for where to place your cart the next time you want to use BoardShare. This will help ensure that your camera is far enough away, and will help save time during calibration.
Flat screen television
With no projector to mount your BoardShare unit to, many people wonder how to set up BoardShare with a flat screen television. Our trusty ceiling mount is an ideal solution for flat screen televisions as well. Simply connect your television to your laptop via HDMI, and use the included USB extender to connect your BoardShare unit to your laptop.
Many people worry about using a pen stylus on the surface of their television. The BoardShare pen stylus comes with 5 replacement tips; if your pen stylus begins to get worn down or scratched, you can replace the tip to ensure the stylus will not scratch your television. Another option is to put a thin projector over your screen. If you are still worried about using the pen stylus with your television, you can always try our extendable wand. Unlike the pen stylus, the wand does not need to touch the surface in order to work; instead, you can hover over the area and hold down a gray button to enable the wand. This also makes the wand ideal for pulldown projector screens or rough surfaces, like brick or popcorn walls.