Comparing Technology rich classrooms
After a colleague pointed me towards Fraser Speirs and I saw what he was doing in his school in Scotland I wanted to test the application of the technology in my own classroooms.
We have two classrooms set up to compare technology use:
The first has a smartboard, projector, Mac Mini, teacher laptop and various peripherals (monitor to mirror mac mini, speakers, hdmi cables, etc).
The second has a 55″ LCD television, iPad, AppleTV, teacher laptop and various peripherals (elmo, hdmi cables, etc).
The first thing that I noticed was that visual acuity was significantly better in the classroom with the LCD television. You could walk anywhere in the classroom and see the screen clearly. Once everything was set up, however, the first problem reared it’s head. The wireless connection. The teacher’s iPad used Airplay mirroring to connect to the AppleTV and then display on the television. The AppleTV also got it’s internet connection wirelessly from an Airport Extreme that was a few feet outside the classroom in the hallway. With two points of wireless connectivity her iPad frequently dropped it’s connection. The solution was to have the AppleTV connected via ethernet and not get it’s internet from a wireless access point. We tried again and there was a noticeable difference in both speed and stability. The