Friday, March 30, 2012

iPad and Apple TV

ISP is hosting the Czech Teacher's IT Summit this weekend, which will focus mainly on using iPads in the classroom.  Our network manager connected an Apple TV to the projector in our theater so that the speakers can present using AirPlay on their iPads.  This required a little bit of troubleshooting since the projector did not match the outputs of the Apple TV.

Here is what our setup eventually looked like:

  • Apple TV connected via ethernet cable to a wireless router.

  • HDMI output through a HDMI to DVI cable connected to projector.

  • Optical output connected to digital/analogue converter connected to theater sound system.

  • iPad2 connected through AirPlay to Apple TV


  • Wow.  This set up has some serious potential.  The various adapters are a bit of a pain, but the outcome is worth it - being able to view the iPad on the big theater screen.

  • Keynote on the iPad is quite nice.  The presentation screens are customizable and can allow you to view next slide as well as notes.

  • While we are using this in the theater, I can envision this setup being used in classrooms, offices and conference rooms of various sizes.

  • I've never been a fan of Interactive White Boards, and I really can't see how they will survive against the tandem of iPad/Apple TV.




Friday, March 23, 2012

Google Search Stories in HS English Creative Writing

Earlier this year, a fellow Google Certified Teacher, Wendy Gorton introduced me to Google Search Stories.  Since then, I've been waiting to find the perfect opportunity to use them with students.  This week, I've been invited to guest-teach in our Creative Writing course where I plan to lead students through the process of creating their own.  My plan is to show a few videos created by Google, then one created using the Search Story Generator (hat tip - Jim Sill) and then have students analyse what elements make them "work" before letting them loose to create their own.  I'm hoping it will be a good brain-stretching, creative, one-class-period exercise that gives them experience with working with a new and unique genre.



A popular Google Search Story - Parisian Love

An excellent student example created using Google Search Story Video Creator

Google Search Story Video Creator

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Flipping Guitar

We've got pockets around the school where teachers are experimenting with flipping the classroom.  Tony Ackerman, our amazing guitar teacher, is using the power of video to differentiate during class.  While he is working with one group of students, he sends another group out into the hallway with their laptops and a pre-recorded lesson tailored to their skill level.  In this way he is able to meet the needs of each of his diverse learners.

The videos are so good, that even someone as tone-deaf as me could learn from them. You'll have to excuse me - I'm off to buy a guitar.