Friday, June 6, 2014

Managing Your Apple TV in the Classroom

Many classrooms in my district have Apple TV's installed.  This tool allows teachers and students to wirelessly display content from the iPad on the existing projection system.  The ability to mirror the iPad while modeling an activity helps teachers integrate this tool into their teaching.  The real magic is when students create on the iPads and then share and explain their work with their peers via Airplay.

Using Airplay via Apple TV, 1st grade students display shapes they found
during a shape hunt with the iPads.

During a coding project, this student uses Apple TV's Airplay
to demonstrate the game he created.

Keeping your Apple TV working properly allows you to seamlessly maintain a creative and collaborative culture in the classroom.  Here are some tips for managing your Apple TV so it is always ready when the learning is happening.

This is Apple TV - small and just $99

Updating your Apple TV is essential to keep Airplay working correctly. If Airplay has stopped working recently it could be because your Apple TV is not updated.

To update your Apple TV use the remote and go to:




(note that if your Apple TV is still on some older versions the option to UPDATE AUTOMATICALLY will not show up until after you perform the update manually once).

Have you ever turned on your Apple TV and had the movie previews appear and totally derail your class? 

You can easily remove movie trailers and other channels so they don’t appear on the home screen in class and distract students. You may need to do this periodically and Apple introduces new channels.

To customize your Apple TV homescreen:  
  • Be sure you have updated the Apple TV first.
  • To remove movie previews select SETTINGS → iTUNES STORE → HD PREVIEWS → toggle to OFF
  • To remove channel previews select SETTINGS → MAIN MENU → now toggle off all of the channels you do not want to appear when the home screen is displayed.  
  • To toggle: scroll to a channel and then hit the center button on the remote. Select HIDE on the channels you do not want to appear.

Naming the Apple TV can help distinguish between multiple Apple TV's on campus. If multiple Apple TV's are using the same wifi network, naming can stop those little 'accidents' when the teacher next door takes over your screen.

Giving the Apple TV a name is easy. Simply go to SETTINGS --> GENERAL --> NAME and enter a name for the Apple TV. 

You could name it after the teacher, room number or 80's movies!
You can also add a passcode to your apple TV for added security and control over who can project in your classroom.
Newer Apple TV's updated with iOS6 or newer now have Conference Room Display which is useful in schools. When you turn on Conference Room Display, you can see onscreen instructions for using AirPlay. You can use this display with multiple Wi-Fi networks or Apple TVs, such as in businesses and schools.

To learn more about the power of Apple TV in the classroom take a look at this video from Max Interactive, featuring Apple Distinguished Educator +Mark Hammons. Apple TV in Education