Monday, April 15, 2013

Bobbing for Apple TV

Well, it has been a while.  Okay, almost two years since the last post is more than a while, but as you all know life gets in the way sometimes.  However, I have been inspired to write another post.

Recently (like last week) I was able to get an Apple TV in my classroom.

And let me tell you, WOW!  I absolutely love it.  What a great and relatively inexpensive tool for technology minded teachers. Throw out your wireless mouse, slate and Mobi pad.  With Apple TV you don't need any of those outdated tools. With the AirPlay feature and mirroring turned on your iPad becomes a very powerful tool.  Basically, students can see whatever is on your iPad (or iPhone) screen.

My classes learned the DBQ (Document Based Question) process last week while also learning about the Reconstruction Era.  Of course this meant we had to look at primary sources out the wazoo!  Enter Apple TV in all its glory.  I was able to import primary sources into the GoodNotes App and voila I can annotate and analyze all the documents.  I also have the ability to move around the room as I'm doing this.

In a DBQ students will often see political cartoons or other visual documents as well.  Here, I was able to combine Apple TV mirroring with the Skitch app.  What an amazing difference it made when I (or even better the students) could use the iPad to write all over those cartoons and maps.

I can see so many possibilities with Apple TV.  Here are a few:

1) You can stream videos from YouTube using your iPad and Apple TV.  It is nice to walk around while the students are watching and taking notes and not have to run back to my computer to pause when there is a point to be made.

2) One of the best uses might be to get a class set of iPads.  The mirroring feature allows for a smooth transition from one device to another.  For example, the students could be working on different documents that were previously loaded.  They could switch the mirroring (as long as they have the password) to their iPad, and the entire class could watch them annotate.

3) Students could create videos on iMovie and then share those out with the mirroring feature.  This is so much easier than having to click on each video from the teacher computer, or even worse having each student log into their YouTube account to share out their videos.

The possibilities are many!  I would love to hear how you've used Apple TV in the classroom (mostly so I could steal your idea).

I hope this helps shake things up a bit in your classroom.  Please consider joining my PLN on Twitter.  I'm at @HistoryandTech.

Take Care,