For some time, I've been talking about my want to get a class set of tablets to try some fun things with my class. Well, after some nudging, begging and soul selling, I will have a class set of iPad2s for my students ready to roll in the next couple of weeks. I will have them in the morning and some very awesome friends in the Science Department using them in the afternoon. I'm very excited about the possibilities for my students as I move forward with this project. I will be documenting this adventure for the rest of the school year, but I wanted to share one exciting part of the project that has me very excited.
I read on a blog somewhere (Sad I can't remember.) that it is easy to connect an Apple TV to your projector with a simple converter. With Apple TV set, the iPad2 (With OS5) can mirror what is on the screen. Well, $160 later and I have an Apple TV setup in my classroom.
I did a simple Amazon search for HDMI/VGA converter and found one for $40. Apple TV cost $99 and the rest was for the cords I needed (VGA and HDMI). For that total, I am completely able to move about my room and project whatever I want on the screen. I used it on Friday and the kids were very excited. I was able to move about and discuss the day's topic and write notes on the iPad and have them projected onto the board.
What is even better, is the fact that any student can jump onto the board if I want them to. When students are working on their iPads in groups or on their own, I can direct any of them to show their work on the board without getting up from their desk.
I see students working on presentations at their desk and showing their work to the class. Students can annotate a page from a book and share their thoughts with their peers in a seamless transition. No longer will time be wasted as kids access their files on the school computer and talk about their project. Sharing is now a quick and painless process.
There are some people out there (even in my own school) that think that tablets are just fancy tools that will not really help students learn. I strive to make my classroom a collaborative environment where students can share and learn from each other, not just with me. The iPads will allow for more collaborative projects and sharing in ways students have never experienced.
I'm excited to share more of what we will be doing in the future. Keep an eye out for some fun projects and crazy commentary.