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Goodbye Visualisers-Hello Apple TV

I’m excited again! After spending sometime at ESSA Academy, I have pestered and pestered…

Today, I got the nod to pilot Apple TV’s in 4 classrooms and the Hall. If you don’t know what an Apple TV is, click the link. In the classroom however, it has lots of uses – many of which I don’t know yet!

Basically, Apple TV is a little black box the size of 10 beer mats piled on top of each other, it connects to either a projector or a TV and once configured to your wifi, it will allow your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to mirror (share screen) or stream photo/video direct to the screen no matter where you are – so long as you are in wifi range.

What we are planning to do is purchase each class an iPod Touch (£150) along with Apple TV (£90). Once set up, the teacher or the pupils can take photos of their work and very simply with a slide and a tap on the idevice immediately share it with the rest of the class. This works for both pictures and videos. The fun doesn’t stop there…

Due to an upcoming update, the iPod Touch will have the mirroring function, as a result, you can share the screen enabling whole class to see the apps, participate and enjoy the range of tools the apps have to offer.

Goodbye visualisers – Welcome Apple TV, mobile visualisers!

May 3, 2012


Leave a comment
  1. Michael
    May 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    This is awesome. I’m not a teacher yet (training in September) but I do some part-time teaching and assisting and I can see every school i’ve worked with benefitting from this simple setup.

    At £99 it’s pretty darn cheap for what you can get out of it and the ability to ping a photo straight from an iPod is a great idea. Also it’s so small it could even be mounted with the projector tucked away and controlled entirely by remote.

    Mountain Lion will also allow full Mac OS X sharing too!

    Right… All I need now is some budget!

  2. Claire Lotriet
    May 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    I LOVE this idea. I want to love my visualiser, but I don’t. The quality just isn’t good enough to use it for all the things I know it could be used for, which is frustrating. Of course, I am sure there are better quality visualisers than mine, but still, whatever you wan to display has to be underneath it. I love the idea of the mobility of Apple TV. Looking forward to hear how this goes!

    • mitchell
      May 3, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

      It just seems so simple! I’ll give it to the pupils and see what happens Claire. Thanks for the interest – Will keep you updated for sure!

  3. Richard Blaize
    May 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    It’s taken me a while to see the benefits of having an iPad but since having an Apple TV put in my room during the Easter break I’m now convinced of them for education.

    The Apple TV is great, especially once you’ve got all the apps set up, I’m using it mainly to show pupils work off to others and to also annotate on work they are attempting.

    It’s also great to teach from as it means it frees me up from the front of the classroom, I can’t walk around anywhere and still display what I want the pupils to see.

    Got SLT coming to view how this is innovative teaching so hoping we can invest in a few more of them around the school.

    Enjoy them once they are in, you’ll begin to wonder how you ever lived without them.

    • mitchell
      May 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

      Sounds great! I’m excited about the potential. I know what this set up can do – I’m kind of excited about that, however, I’m really excited about the stuff I don’t know yet!

    • John Sutton (@HGJohn)
      May 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm #

      Get the Coach’s Eye app from Screencast (I think). You can take video then instantly replay it in slo mo and add annotations if you want. Perfect for apple TV playback.

      • mitchell
        May 3, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

        Thanks John! I will certainly do that. Keep the tips coming!

  4. Jeremy Guyler
    May 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    This is a brilliant idea, I thought it would be great in the Hall during gymnastics lessons for children to get instant visual feedback on balances and routines etc. I have copied your blog url to my HT to see what she thinks!

    • mitchell
      May 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

      Great work!! Let me know how you get on!

  5. Neil
    May 3, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    Wow, a really interesting innovation, I just visited a school that had no IWB, just interactive TV and macs and now this. Sadly, in my school technology doesn’t always function how it should and is so clunky it sometimes hinders learning. But I love developments like this, that integrate technology into the way teacher and children work. I just need to persuade my school to invest in such an approach.

    • mitchell
      May 3, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

      As I said to Claire, this is just so simple! i can’t wait to start pushing the boundaries with it.

  6. jamesradburn
    May 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    Sounds like an excellent idea, I have an iPad but haven’t used it in school yet, and thought an Apple TV would be good – but as I have a Mac, I have found two pieces of software (for a small cost) that can mirror an iPad to a Macintosh running OSX Lion.

    Reflection ( has a 10 min demo to allow you to see how useful it is and Air sever (Available at: is other software.

    But as I say you need to be running OS X Lion, which I can imagine very few teachers will have, so an Apple TV sounds like a cheap viable option.

    • mitchell
      May 3, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

      Thanks for that James! I have Lion so this is VERY useful for me! I’ll investigate.

    • Keith Brodie
      September 30, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

      James, this sounds very exciting. I am running OSX Lion and I’ve downloaded both pieces of software you suggest, but I can’t get my iphone 4s to ‘see’ my macbook. I’ve looked at the troubleshooting articles in apple support, but have made no progress. I realise you’re not a ‘helpline’ but am I missing something obvious? (quite possible!) I’d be really grateful for any hints

  7. Anita Gebarowicz
    May 4, 2012 at 6:59 am #

    Hi David, i will be really interested to hear about your experiences. I am working at the university with student teachers who are very enthusiatic about the potential of new technology. I am also working with primary schools and teachers are keen to find new ways to share pupil work. Sounds like a great alternative to expensive visualisers.

  8. AnnMarie Delaney
    May 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    How exciting! Can’t believe both yourselves and my other ‘placement’ heading down this road. Have to agree about the excited teacher bit – Komal and I planned iPad training for next week! Given the way your pupils have jumped straight in with my iPad, I can’t wait to see this rocket ahead! Fantastic!

  9. Craig Judd
    May 29, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    Hi, we’ve installed an Apple TV in our FITness Room and its hugely popular,but I’ve had to frig it to work via an alternate broadband connection. Assuming your on the SWGFL what requests for port opening and connection settings did you have to apply to make it sit nice on the internet via SWGFL?

  10. Craig Judd
    May 29, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    OOps apologies David I read your forename as Mitchell. 😉

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