When I first thought of putting an Apple TV in my classroom, it had been after falling in love with it in my own living room when it first hit the market. From watching my videos to renting movies, I was hooked. The integration of Youtube and Vimeo were nice also. But it was the added feature of viewing pictures and sideshows from my ios device that got me thinking. I had to have the Airplay option in my classroom on myPromethean board.
It seemed so simple, so elegant, so Apple. After getting the go-ahead from my principal, I enlisted the help of my husband for the installation. It is worth mentioning that in all of my years of teaching, students become accustomed from day one to using high-tech devices such as iPods, iPads, interactive white boards and SRS (clickers) as tools with a purpose the same way that pens or pencils are.
So when it came time to debut the AppleTV in a lesson on the Holocaust, my students’ reactions were predictable. Yes, of course it was cool, but they peppered me with questions. What were they expected to do with it? What was the end product?
I explained to them that they were the product.
What they would learn by using and researching and creating would help them become better 21st century learners. I wanted them to realize that today’s digital environment has changed the face of education so drastically that they had to dive in and grab as much of it as they could. Knowing how to use these tools to work for them would be essential.
To teachers, administrators reading this blog, I offer this: always remember that no matter what tool you are asking students to use, be it a pencil or an iPad, for our students, it is all about the journey of learning and the people they become as a result.