I’ve written about the Apple TV before. A few times, actually. It’s probably to the point where people may start being annoyed. But that’s ok-because I know that it’s a technology that works, especially in the presentation department. I was FINALLY able to use it during a recent technology meeting and even an integration session with 4th grade, and it really just allowed me to feel a bit more free.
You see, in my technology lab, the teacher computer is opposite of all of the other students. For me to keep turning around to navigate the computer and to turn back around to my students or audience is just cumbersome and not good for the classroom management model. After weeks of finally working with our tech department to get our Apple TV hooked up to the network, I was finally able to use it, and to display what it can do in front of our technology engagement committee. I was able to face the group, while having my outline for the meeting on the board, and I was able to demonstrate different apps free from my tether. It was glorious! I could take my computer with me as I moved (which is fantastic, because I have such a hard time standing still anyway).
Later that day, I was able to work with the 4th grade to demonstrate Socrative and Educreations. Socrative is a fantastic student feedback program that allows teachers to assess what students know and sends them a report as well. Very easy to set up and use. Educreations is an interactive whiteboard that allows students to record their presentations and play them back. We were working with figurative language. I assessed what kids know by running the Socrative app on my iPad from the back of the room. I could project the Live Results right there on the board from the back of the room, but held back. Once finished, the students explored the Kidioms and Animal Metaphors apps on their iPads. Once I demonstrated how to use Educreations, again, from the back of the room, making sure I could see everyone, and moving around, the students “Educreated” a demonstration of either a simile, metaphor, hyperbole, idiom, or personification. I could then go to each student’s iPad and share their creation with the class via the Apple TV. It just seems to pull everything together and makes the classroom a truly connected classroom with the power in your hands.
I would fight for every teacher who wishes to use this in their classroom. It gives you the freedom to move; it allows you to give the iPad to a student to answer the question; you’ll never have to turn your back to the class again.