Top 5 Teacher Tech Tricks
Type of technology: iPad, AppleTV
SAMR Model Rating: Modification
Grade level: All
Subject area: All
Description of the lesson taught:
The iLearn blog is focused on student learning, but sometimes we need a little teacher learning! If we are more efficient while teaching, then more student learning will take place! I’m here to save the you time, by teaching you 5 super easy tech tricks that are going to make you look and feel like a pro.
- Hide apps on your AppleTV
I know you’ve all had that moment where you have your class completely engaged in your lesson while being totally 21st century on your your iPad, and suddenly your connection drops. What happens next? Your class erupts as the latest gory, raunchy movies pop up on the movie selections from iTunes on the AppleTV menu. You want to scream as you fumble for your remote to change the screen to something PG-rated. Meanwhile your students are now totally engaged in what they have or haven’t seen, and are planning their next trip to the movies. Unfortunately we can’t hide the Apple apps on the top row, but we can hide the rest, and set our menu to land on something that isn’t movies. Using your AppleTV remote, navigate to the Settings icon. From here, choose Main Menu. You’ll see a list of every app that appears on the home menu. Each app either says “show” or “hide.” All you have to do is select which ones you want to appear on the menu by scrolling to that app and clicking the center button. To solve the problem of movies showing up, just scroll to something not offensive, like the settings menu. Now, every time that your connection drops, it will default to that icon.
- Freeze the TV
Scenario two finds you using your iPad, but you have the sudden need to multitask. I can think of many times that I’ve needed this. Let’s say you are asking the students to solve a math problem, and then you want them to check their process and answer against yours. Say you are using Educreations and you write the problem. Next, use your TV remote and press the “Freeze” button. This freezes the image on your screen at that moment. Then you can proceed in solving the problem. When the students are done solving the problem, unfreeze the screen by pressing “Freeze” once again and suddenly all of the work you did appears. This also comes in handy if you or a student need to log into a website while mirroring and you don’t want the whole class to view your password one letter at a time.
- Split screen your iPad
In iOS 9.2 you have the ability to split screen your iPad. I have used this so many times lately when my students are engaged in a Do Now on the TV and I realize that I have forgotten to take attendance. By using the split screen feature, I don’t disrupt their progress, and I can get attendance taken. To do this, all you have to do is swipe from the far right screen to the left, similar to the motion you use to bring up your Airplay menu. You’ll see a menu of apps to choose from that is a single column of all of your apps. You can swipe until you find the one you want, and then press it to launch. Once your app is loaded, you can use it just like normal. Now let’s say you want to see a bigger picture, evening out the size of the screens. Grab the line that splits the two windows and drag it left. To remove the split, just reverse your motion, pick up the line and move it right.
- Laser Pointer and drawing tools in Keynote
I’m sure there have been countless times when you stretched to your tippy-toes to point out something on your presentation. Or maybe you were lucky enough to have a laser pointer in your desk drawer, but it didn’t quite have the juice to make it to the screen. You’re in luck, as there is a laser pointer imbedded in Keynote. While in presentation mode, click the screen to make the menu of tools appear at the top of your iPad. Select the tool that looks like a pen with a circle drawn around it. You will see the magical tools appear at the bottom of your screen! The one to the far left is the laser pointer. When it is selected, you can move your finger across the screen to point out various features on your class. If you prefer to draw on your slide, select a color and draw. Your markings will stay until you close out your Keynote, so in case you made some markings that you’d like to last forever, make sure you take a screenshot.
- YouTube Playlist …and Ted
It’s likely that you have collected a nice selection of YouTube videos saved in playlists for certain topics of study. If you haven’t, look into that, as it is a HUGE time saver. Once you have playlists set up, you can easily access them directly from your AppleTV menu, preventing an Airplay disaster mid-video. By selecting the YouTube app from the main menu, you can see your playlists and choose your video. You can even set this up for a substitute to use so you don’t have to leave your iPad when you’re absent. The TED app also works this way, so it is worth setting up in advance to save time in the future.
Hopefully these quick tips make your presentations easier and streamline things a bit for you. If you have other tips that you feel others would like to hear about, please add them in the comments section.