iPad + Apple TV = Interactive White Board Alternative

With the start of the school year upon us, educators are returning to their classrooms, where Apple has made a strong foothold. This was well evidenced at the recent ISTE show, where nearly every teacher in attendance was actively using their iPad to scan QR codes in booths, take notes, and participate in live demos being given by a plethora of third-party Apple iOS app vendors of content, control and collaboration solutions.

During the ISTE show, The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) announced they had purchased 26,000 iPads to be used in classrooms by fifth graders through seniors in high school, replacing conventional books.

Apple TV is a device that wirelessly streams content from the Internet to your display. When paired with the AirPlay feature of iOS devices, Apple TV can wirelessly display, in real time, what the mobile device is displaying. In classrooms that have Apple Devices like iPods and iPads, teachers can display exactly what they are doing on those devices. This is perfect for adding variety to instruction—teachers can demonstrate apps, display images, play video from the Internet, and more. Given that Apple TV retails for about $100, and an HDMI-to VGA converter is about $60 (if the Projector doesn’t accept HDMI), this is a very economical solution which is sure to give traditional IWB solutions a run for their money. Coupled with the fact that an inexpensive normal-throw projector can now be used, this solution becomes even more attractive. Now, the teacher will not have to stand up in front of the class, but will have the mobility to move around the classroom and have control of the content and projector via their iPad. And students can show on the large display their answers and ideas.

A recent end-user survey by projector market research firm Pacific Media Associates found that interactivity is an important feature to educators. With education budget constraints still prevailing, this Apple TV solution is an interesting, inexpensive alternative to traditional Interactive White Board solutions.