Projectors are popular on campus for good reason. People are visual creatures and nothing is more visual than a 6×6 foot screen of visual goodness from your laptop to the wall via projector.
The “Next Best Thing”(tm)? Network Projectors. As a Network Administrator I can accurately say that if anything is good then it is better networked.
You install a piece of software on your laptop, connect it to the network, indicate your desired projector and voila! You’re projecting.
Drawbacks? Well, all your students have notebooks. And are on the network. You probably don’t want them readily projecting during class. Nevermind that, we’ll just put passwords on it and you can log on to your projector!
Ease of use? Regular, VGA-based, projecting is easy. If you have trouble with this, I apologize. But it is. There are special buttons on your keyboard dedicated to this function and a fair support base of around it since it is a pretty standard method of piping video from one place to another.
Networking is hard. If we have trouble with regular VGA projecting, how much harder have we just made things on ourselves by adding a layer of networking to that process? But wait, some are still non-networked. This means everytime you call saying “I can’t get the projector to work” we first have to work out what sort of projector you’re using. Over the phone. It’s not your job to know the makes, models and capabilities of a given projector. You’re supposed to teach. “Does it have a network cable coming out of it?” “A what?”… I digress.
Everything really is better with networking.