Tech Tools in the Classroom
Apple TV in the Classroom
Posted on 03/23/2017
Slater Apple TVNot long ago the purchase of interactive presentation equipment for teachers in the classroom would cost thousands of dollars. The interactive whiteboard was a great teaching tool, bringing a computer screen up to a large image and allowing the teacher to touch the screen to change the picture or bring up a new page. But what happened when the whiteboard no longer worked? The school had a huge expensive piece of equipment to recycle! What if the teacher wanted to be able to move around in the classroom during the presentation?

Enter Apple TV in the classroom! This device streams content wirelessly from the Internet to the television. When an Apple TV is paired with the AirPlay feature of iOS devices, it can display whatever the mobile device is playing. It allows teachers to demonstrate lessons and apps from the iPad from anywhere in the room. The cost for the equipment is much less than the cost of purchasing an interactive whiteboard.

Many Harney County schools have been adding this device to help teachers work with their students. At Slater School, all K-5 classes now have an Apple TV and a projector. The teachers have been receiving training on how to use the tools, and further instruction is planned for effective implementation.

Fourth grade teacher Karen Klus loves the technology! She was currently in the middle of student led conferences when we asked her for input. She was having students do a 'technology showcase’ for their parents. Students were accessing AirPlay on their iPads to wirelessly lead the parents and teacher through the conferences.  First they were using the newly acquired app “Explain Everything.” They had just obtained this app two days before and were already sharing with it! They took a picture of their self evaluation, imported it to that app, and projected it using the Apple TV. The kids could use the tools on the app (using a pointer or drawing lines to circle and emphasize) to explain how they were doing with their goals. The class created graphs (website) and grabbed screenshots of them to project; they were sharing documents and presentations from Google Docs. The students were using Google Classroom to show their parents how the teacher sends them assignments, announcements, pictures and more. They were also sharing iMovies they'd created. The sound comes through the projector so anything recorded is heard loud and clear.

Karen also used the Apple TV to hook up with iTunes and show a Friday movie to her Walk to Read students on a book they’d read in class. She says it is so easy to project a movie clip from YouTube as well. Another app Karen has used is called AirSketch Free. It's like a dry erase board and eliminates the problem of trying to find and keep dry erase markers. Students can share how they worked a math problem, for example, by quickly accessing AirPlay to show the class how they did it.

Karen absolutely LOVES teaching with these tools! She has only had Apple TV since December so is still researching and finding new ways to integrate it into her teaching. All of the teachers we have contacted are embracing this technology with great enthusiasm.