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Technology in the Classroom: Using Apple TV

Janelle Cox

Educational technology in the classroom is a very powerful tool for educators. It’s also a great way to create effective learning opportunities in the classroom. In today’s education system, you may have seen a big push towards implementing technology in the classroom tools. So much so, that one of the main questions teachers are getting asked in job interviews is how they plan on utilizing and incorporating technology in the classroom.

Whether your school can afford educational technology or not, there is a push for it. Which means sooner or later you will get the funding, and you will see a lot of it in your school. So it’s important to keep up to date on the latest gadgets for the classroom.

One of the most popular tools teachers are using in the classroom is an Apple TV. Some educators are even referring to it as a “Smart board” because when used with an iPad, it can stream like a Smart TV or mirror like an interactive whiteboard.

Technology in the Classroom: Why Use an Apple TV?

What makes an Apple TV so appealing to educators is its ability to mirror your screen like an interactive whiteboard can. Apple’s technology is called “Airplay,” which is the ability to stream a live view of whatever is on your IOS devise to a larger screen. It can mirror the teacher’s iPad, the students’ iPads, and even a MacBook. Here are a few more reasons why educators love Apple TV in the classroom.

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  • You can purchase one for as low as $69.
  • The ability to Skype another classroom on an iPad, then mirror it on a large screen for all to see.
  • Watch the news with the CNN app or the Sky News app.
  • Use the iPad as a document camera.
  • Display student work.
  • The ability for each student with an iPad to share her own screen with the class.

How Can it Enhance Student Learning?

Educational technology like an Apple TV can enhance student learning by allowing educators to use a variety of different teaching methods. Not all students learn the same, and a TV in the classroom can allow students to interact with information in way that more suits their individual needs. Here are a few more ways Apple TV can enhance student learning.

Improving Flexibility

Videos or photos that are captured outside of the classroom can be brought into the classroom and shared. If a student or the teacher found a YouTube video that was relevant to the lesson they were learning, they can stream it on the Apple TV for the whole class to see.

Increases Teacher Engagement

Instead of having the teacher stand in front of the classroom in their stationary spot lecturing the students as they stare at the projector, an Apple TV has the ability to allow the teacher to move around the classroom and engage with the students as they teach. Teachers can now wander the classroom with their iPad in hand, and interact with their students.

Encourages Student Participation

Today’s technology makes learning fun. Decades ago, when classrooms first had a TV in their classroom, it provided students with a single way to communicate information. Now, Smart TVs like the Apple TV give students the ability to project their work onto a large screen to share with the class. For example, students can use an app to complete a project on their iPad, then stream it onto the Apple TV to share with their peers.

How Can I Mirror My iPad?

Mirroring is the number one way that teachers use the Apple TV in their classrooms at the moment. Mirroring is simply connecting your iPad to the Apple TV so that it can be projected onto a screen. It’s an easy way for all students to see, share, and interact. Follow these steps to get started.

  1. Turn on the television that is connected to the Apple TV.
  2. Go to settings to ensure that each device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
  3. Double-tap the home button on the iPad that you are connecting, then swipe right and you will see a button that is square with a triangle. Tap that button.
  4. Tap on the Apple TV’s name, then slide Mirroring to “On.”
  5. Your iPad screen should now also be displayed on the TV that you have connected to the Apple TV.

Apple TV Tips for Teachers

This tech tool is pretty simple. Connect your iPad if you want to stream a live view of your iOS device or just use Apple TV’s apps. Here are a few tips on you can get the most out of your educational tech tool.

  • Create an iCloud photo album filled with photos of educational posters, charts, or student work. You can also create a photo that shows due dates, important reminders, or even vocabulary words. Set this as your Apple TV’s default screensaver.
  • Download the free “Remote app” so that you will have a keyboard on your iPad and you can type instead of using the arrow to move from character to character.
  • Create a password! This will prevent you from being hacked.

Do you use Apple TV in your classroom? If not, what educational tech tool do find most effective? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below, we would love to hear what you have to say.

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.

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