Internet Down? No Problem! One quick fix using Keynote’s microphone that improved student discourse.
Type of Technology: Apple TV, Keynote, iPad
SAMR Model Rating: Augmentation
Grade Level: k-12
Subject Area: all subjects
Cost: free – price of app (Keynote $9.99)
Using technology at the beginning of a school year can be risky. Some years, the network is up and moving at lightening speed, and some years, well, we have all experienced difficulties.
On the 3rd day of school, I had a difficulty of my own. Our internet was glitching, it was cutting in and out. How will I complete the activity I had planned which I thought needed internet? I was relying on mirroring with my Apple TV and was unsure if I could with iffy internet. Quickly I Googled to find out if I can mirror without using an apple tv. Click here to view “No WiFi?” No Problem!” I found out that I could as long as Bluetooth is enabled and my iPad ran iOS8 or later. Check and check! I decided to try my lesson, using my new district provided iPad, keeping in mind that I could always return to the whiteboard as a last resort.
I was using Keynote, and wanted to be sure it would also work without the internet. Click here to view Apple’s support forum. It does! We were recording student responses to a team building activity-Good Group Work-from Jo Boaler’s Inspiration Week of Maths. Essentially, what makes a good team member and what doesn’t. I thought I was being high tech, typing in team responses and mirroring them so that the students could see. But, right away, the students started getting restless. (7th graders are naturally restless, but this was turning into distraction).
On a whim, I handed my iPad to a team and asked them to speak their response. Suddenly, everyone was interested. The room got silent as the first speaker said “when someone takes the time to politely explain how to do a problem” in a clear voice. Keynote interpreted the response as “when snowman takes the time…” laughter, engagement, and an easy fix. We were hearing their words, seeing them, and as a class we cared that Keynote got it right. Ok, partially because we wanted to see if the text to speech function would mess up. Typically it didn’t, and when it did it was funny. (no bad words, phew).
I will admit, that this post is not about rocket science, and it isn’t an astounding use of tech. But it is useful for a classroom teacher because it adds three critical components to any lesson. First, it creates student buy in. Using the microphone created student ownership of their statements, and class ownership of the “dos and don’ts” of teamwork. Second, It creates discourse at a level all students can engage in because spelling and penmanship don’t matter. Each student was recorded in the same way, keeping their words and ideas intact. Low floors, high ceilings. Third, it was engaging, motivating, and funny. The students wanted to be the speaker, to see what might happen to their words, and to have others witness it as well.
To summarize my findings. First, Apple TV can mirror apps from bluetooth enabled devices without the internet. Internet based apps like youtube wont work, but many others will. Second, the microphone feature of common apps leads to improved student discourse, engagement, and reinforces equitable participation within the classroom.