Seeing the Big Picture with Apple TV

Author:     Paula Churchill, M. Ed.
                        Technology Integrator
                        North Country Education Services
                        Gorham  NH 03581
Author’s Contact

So you have an iPad and now want to use your projector so your students can see what's going on.  But how?  One choice might be putting it under a document camera.  You may be disappointed at the amount of glare, the poor quality of the image and the necessity of keeping it still under the camera.  Another choice  might be to purchase an Apple VGA 'dongle' that connects your VGA cable from your projector to a connector that plugs into to the Apple port.  This sounds great, but the you realize you are tethered to your iPad and when you move the iPad, the dongle keeps falling out. There is a solution that works for the classroom and can also be used more collaboratively than any other-it's the Apple TV,  Basically it is similar to other devices you can buy to connect your TV to get Netflix or other services wireless from the Internet.  It is different in that it allows the iPad or iPod to project it's screen as well.  Since we are sending the HDMI signal to a projector and not a TV, there is another piece to connect the Apple TV  HDMI output to the VGA input of the projector.
  • The setup:  Your Tech coordinator may set this up for you, but here is a quick tutorial on setting up the Apple TV and connecting it to your projector.  You will need:
    • Apple TV with remote
    • HDMI to VGA converter  like one shown here
    • Place for two electrical plugs (one for Apple TV and one for converter
  • Watch this video (made using Explain Everything) to learn how to set up an Apple TV.

    Appl tv.mp4

Hands on Activities:

Connect your Apple TV and test your connection.  If there are others in the room ask them to connect their iPad (take turns).  iPod touches will also project content from the photo album the same way--open the photo album and there is an icon for the Apple TV (the box with the upward pointing arrow).  If you are with other educators as each person to project their iPad screen and show something that was creating by students or their favorite app.

Classroom application:  Have students work on a math problem.  They can take an image of their work on an iPod touch or they can use a whiteboard app (like Educreations or Explain Everything) on the iPad to work out the problem.  Then students can project images of their work/solutions to the problem.  This can be anonymous or you can ask students to put their name on their work before taking and projecting the image.

Students who create digital stories on an iPad can project tham and share with the class easily.  Using dropbox  to store images makes it easy for other students to use a common image source for their digital stories.

Reflection Questions:

What other ways can you envision using Apple TV in your classroom?  Watch this:

YouTube Video

What activities do you already do with your students that would benefit from using an Apple TV?  What would need to be tweaked or changed in the activity?

Additional Readings/Resources.

Wired Magazine Article

Recommended tools for application (copyright free pictures, free tools, rubrics):

Date created | Relevant Institutes | NHEON Admin Email | NHEON Site