Apple TV Thoughts: The Wireless Content System

Apple TV Thoughts: The Wireless Content System

I’ve been using my Apple TV for close to two weeks now and I am really enjoying it. After some initial setup issues (with my old receiver, not the Apple TV) I have had nothing but good things to say about it. It has worked perfectly with my iMac in the other room — wirelessly grabbing content any time something new flows in. All I have to say is that it just works. Not a surprise, but for a new space for Apple, this thing works like a second or third generation product.

Seeing that I am not into the hacks that so many people seem to be psyched about, I would like to share a thought about the Apple TV … I think it could be a killer school-based content platform. What strikes me is how easily it all works — plug it in and let it grab content wirelessly from anywhere. Imagine a school with one in every classroom all connected to not only a central iTunes library, but to any other iTunes enabled machine in the vicinity. Schools could subscribe to any of the thousands of available audio or video podcasts and be constantly playing fantastic educational content in their classrooms.

If you used it in combination with a school-based iTunes U implementation, individual teachers could easily subscribe and share their own content as well as student work. What an affordable way to create a high end “streaming” solution. I don’t know yet if there is a limit to the number of Apple TV systems you can setup and connect to one machine (I know there are limitations in the other direction), but it all seems like an outstanding option for moving audio and video around in an educational context.

Here at PSU, our public broadcasting network is establishing a nice presence in the Penn State on iTunes U space we’ve been creating. Imagine schools simply connecting to that and the other Universities’ spaces to grab resources that are now easily and affordably moved around a building. I think it makes the case for Apple to include an educational discount for this device. Talk about a new age wireless cart for content distribution! Am I missing something or is this a great way to leverage the emerging public iTunes U spaces as well as the podcast directory and the Apple TV?

apple_tv_synch.png

With the Apple TV it seems like you could (un)wire access really well.

6 thoughts on “Apple TV Thoughts: The Wireless Content System

  1. I wrote the proposal in my head based on your comments. Let’s run a pilot in a local school and see what happens. I know a few people who would be very interested — at PSU and SCASD.

  2. Carla, let’s go for it. Clearly we could pack some serious content into an educational deployment of these things. I wonder what kind of displays they are putting in K12 classrooms these days.

    Looks like Apple is obviously thinking the same thing. Thanks for the link Jason. I wonder if they’d be interested in seeing it in action? Are there schools already doing this?

  3. I am concerned that results of studies like the one that was recently released by the Department of Education will be overextended to make a case for not integrating technology into K-12 schools. While I completely agree that in and of themselves the tools (in this case, educational software) don’t “raise test scores” (I have a problem with this paradigm, too, but that’s another rant…), high quality technology tools in the hands of well educated teachers who know how to use them to support learning is something that warrants further consideration and investigation. In some ways, there is nothing new about this study. We know that teachers who understand students, learning, subject matter, and the tools make all the difference in the world. However, it is motivating for me to consider further how to make the best use of technology to support learning and teaching, provide effective professional development for teachers, AND conduct carefully designed research that examines more than test score results. Sorry it’s such a long story just to say to say that we need to play with your idea, Cole, and pay close attention not only to what we do, but what we learn from it.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17956093/

  4. I am concerned that results of studies like the one that was recently released by the Department of Education will be overextended to make a case for not integrating technology into K-12 schools. While I completely agree that in and of themselves the tools (in this case, educational software) don’t “raise test scores” (I have a problem with this paradigm, too, but that’s another rant…), high quality technology tools in the hands of well educated teachers who know how to use them to support learning is something that warrants further consideration and investigation. In some ways, there is nothing new about this study. Teachers who understand students, learning, subject matter, and the tools make all the difference in the world. However, it is motivating for me to consider further how to make the best use of technology to support learning and teaching, provide effective professional development for teachers, AND conduct carefully designed research that examines more than test score results. Sorry it’s such a long story just to say that we need to play with your idea, Cole, and pay close attention not only to what we do, but what we learn from it.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17956093/

  5. A progressive, technology enthusiast here…former public school teacher/administrator now working in a smaller private school with opportunity to create and shape technology-integrated instruction as budget will allow. Anyway, I am excited by the possibilities of Apple TV, but I am missing something, I think. What is the advantage of Apple TV over simply hooking up a Macbook to a projector and projecting onto a large screen within the classroom? If I have a wireless connection, I have access to internet content and can play it via Quicktime or iTunes. Why should I make the leap to Apple TV as an educational tool? What are the advantages? Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this site!

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