Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Life with Apple TV in the Classroom

Middle School math teacher Valerie Davis pioneered the use of the Apple TV with her projector to make her classroom even more interactive:

When Apple upgraded their mobile devices, including the iPad, to iOS 5, one of the more intriguing features was a service called mirroring. The mirroring function allows the user to display the desktop and applications on an iPad when connected to an Apple TV.

As an educator, this allows the opportunity to no longer be confined to a certain spot in the classroom but rather the ability to circulate around the room. For the students, they are also able to connect to the Apple TV quickly and display their work for all the class to see. So what all does this mean for you? Here are a few of the pros and cons as I have seen in my use of the mirroring function.

  • I am no longer tethered by my dongle. Who ever thought I would use those words?! But the function allows me to move about the room with ease while still writing notes on my iPad. I can monitor the students participation and see their work. Of course this is great when you have students not doing what they are supposed to. I can stand behind them or next to them and make sure they are not being taught math by Fruit Ninja.

  • Any student can show me, as well as the class, what they have done on their iPad with a swish of the finger. Whether it is a project or their work on a math problem, it is quickly displayed on the screen. The students love to show off their work and can’t wait to be the next one called on.

  • Displaying iMovies or Powerpoint slides is quick and easy with very little wait time. I don’t have to worry about students taking their iPads out of their cases in order to attach them to my projector.

Now for a few of the cons:

  • Since it is so easy for the students to slide their finger and make their iPad display they of course try and do this when they shouldn’t be. I have finally allowed some time for the students to play around with the mirroring function so they could have their fun and get it out of their systems. Occasionally, I still have something show up on my screen when it shouldn’t but the novelty has worn off a bit.

  • It did take a bit of work to get the set up correct since my projector was not outfitted with an HDMI port. But thanks to a lot of hard work by others, success was finally achieved.

  • Buffering can sometimes be a pain. Because the information is being transmitted over wifi it occasionally gets slowed down and does not flow smoothly. If I am just writing notes on Noteshelf or iAnnotate, this is not a problem. But when showing iMovies it can cause problems with the images as well as the sound.

Overall, I love using the Apple TV mirroring function during class. The days of standing at the front of the class or sending students to the board have been replaced with technology. The 1-to-1 iPad program gets further enhanced by allowing the educator to use the iPad while still being able to focus on the students and their understanding of the subject material.


  1. Great post, Valerie! Thanks for updating us on how this has worked in your class. I hope we can all be using this soon!

  2. We get more facilities for the blessings of Apple. We come to view TV on iPad now! This really great. Here is tv on iPad