How to start using Apple TV in the classroom

The big push for education technology is coming from a handful of sources. There’s the teachers, the administrators, the students, and the technology producers. Technology is not the final solution to improving education, though. Far from it.

Education technology is a powerful tool in a teacher’s toolkit to create effective learning opportunities. It’s just a tool – not the entire toolkit. This seems to be the general consensus now that edtech is becoming more ubiquitous and attainable for many schools in developed countries. Sadly, it’s still far out of reach for many developing countries.

See Also: IT? Teachers? Who Should Decide Your EdTech Strategy?

Before You Deploy

Whether you or your school can afford education technology or not, there are a few things you should know about when considering an edtech strategy:

  • Some edtech products are truly better than others. Just because a product is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for your classroom. Think Snapchat or Periscope are going to be perfect for your classroom? Probably not. They’re incredibly popular right now but that doesn’t mean they’ll effectively help students learn.
  • Most edtech products are free but some are really worth paying for. An example of this is Apple and Google devices. You get a lot of support, ease of use, and there are really no other options if you’re looking for a high quality tablet that’s got a global community of educators behind it.
  • Try before you buy. Try before you implement. Try try try. That’s the story about all edtech products. Whether it’s an Apple, Google, Microsoft, or a product from a startup, try it out as much as possible before you begin using it in any way.

Those are just some very basic best practices and food for thought. Use them as just a handful of ideas to get your mind thinking about all the potential issues before you deploy.

ipads in classroom

Which Streaming Device Should You Choose?

There are a lot of options and you don’t need to choose the Apple TV. That being said, if you’re using an iPad then it’s likely your best bet in terms of streaming and ease of use. Since this article is iPad-centric, the guides are geared toward you. But I wanted to make sure you knew of the other options before you start down the Apple path. Check out this video for more information on Roku 3, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, and more.

So You’ve Decided To Use iPads In The Classroom…

So what happens when you finally decide to implement some technology and decide to use the most popular and desired product available? What happens when you realize you can only afford one of these products because they’re about $349 or more?

That’s the problem with Apple iPads in the classroom. They’re popular and well-supported but most school districts can only afford to give a single unit to teachers and hope they make the best of it. In fact, many schools don’t have wi-fi so making the most of the iPad is downright impossible. Scroll down to the last video on this post for more information on using Apple TV without any wireless connectivity.

Why Use Apple TV In Education

Daily Genius author and teacher Nikolaos Chatzopoulos put together a fantastic presentation that walks you through the ways to use Apple TV in your classroom complete with pictures. What’s better than visual learning, right? Check this out:

Nevertheless, you’re going to deploy at least one iPad and make the most of it. The best way to do that is to get an Apple TV and get familiar with this fantastic cheap device. It’s now just $69 since Apple is trying to aggressively move further into the world of online streaming media. Expect a new Apple TV this year but the current one does great things for classrooms. Here’s a few ideas on how to use the Apple TV in your classroom:

  • Mirror your iPad’s screen onto a television, monitor, projector, and / or interactive whiteboard (IWB)
  • Watch specific YouTube or Vimeo videos without having to use a seperate device.
  • Watch National Geographic media with no need for a subscription to cable or even a television.
  • Watch live events or news from around the world with Sky News or the new CNN Go app.
  • Hold a Skype Classroom chat with another classroom using your iPad but mirror the screen onto your projection screen so everyone can get involved.

There are a ton of ways and reasons to get the Apple TV, to be sure. As long as you have classroom wi-fi, you’re good to go. So how do you actually get started with deploying Apple TV and iPads in the classroom? Great question!

How To Set Up Apple TV In The Classroom

You’ll likely want a step-by-step guide to setting up your Apple TV. You can find the official documentation from Apple here (PDF).

The next thing you’ll want is to watch this fantastic video with a great walk-through made just for education:

Don’t have a wi-fi connection at your school? There is actually a workaround you can do to bring the magic into the classroom anyway. Check out this useful video that might provide you with a few tips and ideas on how to make it happen.

That was obviously a bit more technical than your typical Apple setup. However, it’s worth knowing.

Whatever route you choose, just be sure to try out your own setup as many times as possible and experiment, tinker, and ensure you know every possible way to fix a potential problem. Good luck on your journey of implementing amazing edtech into your school, district, or classroom!

I love helping out teachers and school leaders with edtech integration – feel free to get in touch anytime through @DailyGenius on Twitter. Thanks!

Written by Jeff Dunn

Jeff is an education and technology lover who has worked in far too many industries to count. Okay, like maybe 5 or 6. Jeff can indeed count that high but it's not recommended. Jeff also likes to write bios in the third-person.

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