Friday, March 9, 2012

Apple TV and iPads or TI-Nspire Navigator for Network Computers. What would I choose?

As a teacher who loves to integrate technologies into my classroom, this year has been one of the best.

As a National Instructor with Texas Instruments I have been a heavy user of the TI-Nspire technologies and, despite being an online teacher, have even used TI-Nspire Navigator with workshop participants. Being able to screen capture what is on every participants handheld and make participants the live presenter in a workshop is a very powerful and effective tool. Being able to transfer files to and from the handheld with simplicity and ease made the flow of the workshop much easier. Not to mention that all of the interactivity that comes with TI-Nspire documents in addition to the Computer Algebra System (CAS) functionality takes math education another step further. Great tools in any math classroom, not just for workshops.

I am also helping my wife implement iPad technology into her classroom. She is using Apple TV to allow her students to mirror what is on their iPads to a TV or projector that allows hdmi input. Her students are the teachers... active participants in class. There are a numerous amount of apps that a teacher can use in teaching. In addition, the setup of the Apple TV, Airport Express router and the iPads has been one of the simplest network setups that I have ever helped to complete. It was as simple as setting up networking with TI-Nspire Navigator.

Just recently I had the opportunity to explore TI-Nspire Navigator for networked computers. It had all the functionality of TI-Nspire Navigator for handhelds but with some exceptions.

1) The teacher's computer works as a hub that student computers can log into, no access point like there is with TI-Nspire for Handhelds .

2) Any file... Not just TI-Nspire document files... can be sent to student computers and collected from the student computer. These files can include word documents, pdf's, etc... Furthermore the teacher, once collected, can grade these files and send them back to the student.

So... If I were a high school math teacher in a regular face to face classroom... What would I choose? The answer for me is simple... TI-Nspire Navigator for network computers. Given a system that allows me to send files, any files, to students and collect them just as easily is a great tool. This is not as easily done with iPads. In addition being able to see what is on every student's computer screen is a great supervision tool. Apple TV only allows the mirroring of a single device. In addition iPads do not have TI-Nspire software installed.

For further information on TI-Nspire Navigator NC just click here:

But my wife teaches French Immersion in Grade 1. The iPads will be an integral and successfully implemented technology in her classroom for years to come. Her preference would be to keep her iPads. I can't disagree with her. I'm just glad she let me get to learn another awesome classroom technology, one I would not have had exposure to otherwise. It's been a stellar year for this teacher tech geek :)

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