Monday, January 25, 2016

Educational iOS Apps that Support Chromecast

Our district has been using the Reflector app for mirroring our iPads to the projectors. While that has been working OK in most situations, we are beginning to explore whether or not the Chromecast would be an option as we introduce more iPads to staff. Why the Chromecast over the Apple TV? Mainly cost. While you can still purchase older versions of the Apple TV at half of what a new one costs, they are still twice as much as the new Chromecasts
The problem, and why many schools go with the Apple TV, is that the Chromecast doesn't mirror the iPad like an Apple TV or an adapter does. It's designed to stream video and audio. Which is why I'm compiling a list of iOS apps that support Chromecast that our teachers could use in the classroom. Admittedly, there isn't a lot. That's where a conversation with a teacher comes into play. What are they planning on projecting from the iPad? If it will routinely be something that can't be shared by one of the apps below, then maybe a Chromecast isn't the right option for their classroom. But if they plan on sharing websites and their Google Slides notes, then why pay twice as much for what they need? Because we are focusing on iPads, Android apps that could be used for educational purposes are not included below. And yes, there are 1000s of apps that support Chromecast, but most are for entertainment purposes. The apps below I can at least make an argument for educational purposes!

All teachers need the Chromecast app to connect and set up their device. 

Google Chrome - this web browser shows students what you are looking out, although, because it doesn't fully mirror, you can't see web URLs. Utilize Google Classroom to get URLs to students.

Google Slides - we encourage staff to put all of their presentations and notes online anyway, so Cast them with the Google Slides app.

YouTube - we encourage staff to use YouTube for sharing video content, either their own or someone else's. 

Also YouTube Kids for teachers sharing brain breaks via their iPad. 

Since it is cold out right now and indoor recesses occur frequently, I'll mention Connect4 Quads which brings the popular Connect 4 game online. Hasbro has a couple game apps available.

Some other resources:
Possibilities for Chromecast in the Classroom - Synergyse

Have other apps that should be included? Mention them in the comments below!

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