Thursday, 14 September 2017

3 Tools to Untether Teachers

I have worked in many schools that rely heavily on the use of interactive whiteboard displays to promote engagement and student involvement in lessons. These boards serve a great purpose, but I often find high school teachers use it far less than their primary counterparts. Older students seem to quickly get over the novelty of being able or allowed to write on the board usually reserved for the teacher...

These days a lot of teachers are asking for something that would allow them to share their mobile device screens with the class. This would allow them the freedom to be more mobile and also break down the traditional barrier of the teacher's space being the front of the classroom. Below are a few options for you to try out.

Apple TV is a dedicated box that connects to your display and can catch streams from iOS devices. It allows you to watch movies or TV shows, but also works well with screen mirroring. It is expensive though, and exclusive to Apple Devices so make sure you are in the right environment before you dive into this one.

Google Cast for Education is a chrome extension that allows teachers to mirror their screens to any chrome browser. It was designed so that students could easily share their work from their Chromebooks to the front of the class, but it could very well be used by teachers to allow them to be more mobile around the room. It carries both video and audio (as do all these solutions) and best of all, it's free!

Airserver is a piece of screen mirroring software that is installed on the machine connected to the display (usually a projector) and acts as the receiver. It works seamlessly with both iOS (Airplay) and Android or Chrome OS (Google Cast). I have tried it across many devices and it works well. There have been times where a quick restart of the device was necessary, but the overall impression is good. Well worth considering if you are in a device agnostic environment.

So there you have it. Three ways to free teachers from their shackles! There are more options out there, but these are my favourites. Please let me know in the comments if you disagree!

'till next time.


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