Wednesday, September 7, 2016

4th Generation Apple TV provides additional options for clinically useful content

Many school settings have incorporated Apple TV as an option for visual displays in classrooms, and the same possibilities can be applied in clinical settings. Apple TV is not a TV set, per se, but a internet-enabled "set-top" box that can be connected to an HDTV or a classroom projector/interactive whiteboard. The previous generations of Apple TV, as I have written about, offer the opportunity to use content within the software (e.g. YouTube) and to wirelessly display ("mirror") an iPad, iPhone, or Mac screen to the TV. This can be very handy in instruction or therapy using apps as all students in the group can see the visual, while interacting with the iPad as usual.

The fourth generation Apple TV*, released last fall, retains these possibilities and the accessible price of previous releases, while adding an App Store. Note: this is not available unless you upgrade to the newer Apple TV device; it is not just a software update. The App Store, along with the upgraded multitouch remote which serves as a controller for interaction within apps, unlocks a new world of content and interaction. A few examples:

My constantly recommended EPIC! Books for Kids is also available as a free app on Apple TV, and you can of course sign in with your free educator account. This offers the ability to display a huge variety of books (some with audio) on a TV screen (email subscribers, be sure to click through to full post to see videos below).


A video posted by Sean Sweeney (@speechtechie) on


Also, look for @speechtechie on Instagram!

Though the interactive potential of Apple TV is just being tapped, apps such as those from Sago Mini (I wrote about the language and play potential of its iPad apps for Mindwing Concepts) provide great interaction through the remote control.


A video posted by Sean Sweeney (@speechtechie) on

The App Store for Apple TV has nice finds in the Education, Kids and Family, and Health and Fitness categories (particularly if you are using any mindfulness training for self-regulation or fluency).

In short, if you are in a private clinical setting or have the potential to influence purchases at school, the 4th Generation Apple TV allows you to facilitate engagement among a group by displaying all your iPad apps on the big screen, plus the opportunity to shortcut the mirroring process and engage in a different way through its developing library of apps.

*Note: you can buy an HDMI cable for $5 on Amazon.

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