Apple TV Vs an Interactive whiteboard

John CowellClassroom Resources, Learning platforms, Teaching & Learning, Whole School

Apple TV Vs an Interactive whiteboard


My school has interactive whiteboards fitted in every classroom. This is a ubiquitous sight in most schools in the UK.  Now don’t get me wrong, I think that this is better than nothing, having an interactive whiteboard in your classroom is a great improvement. It helps teachers involve children, it improves your teaching delivery. It can make a massive impact on teaching and learning.

My argument here is that if the school is going to spend the money to install an interactive whiteboard, that money could instead be better spent on something else that does the job better.

AppleTV & an iPad. I am speaking as someone who has used both tools in his classroom. In fact, I brought my own devices into the school to convince them that the addition of the technology could revolutionise teaching.

Apple TV & an iPad benefits over an interactive board.

Let’s scrutinise the AppleTV/iPad solution. First, you need to know what it does the AppleTV is a small device that links via HDMI directly to your projector. It does not require a computer to be used. The AppleTV will allow you to mirror your iPad screen to the projector, whatever is on your iPad will come up on the projector screen.

Whatever I do on the iPad is shared with my entire class.

  • I can present lessons
  • I can handwrite notes
  • I can control my computer and find and open files from it.
  • I can search the web
  • I can draw and complete graphic organisers

All the things that an interactive whiteboard can be used for, the AppleTV/iPad solution can also do.

Now let’s look an interactive whiteboard

An interactive whiteboard needs a computer and projector to be used. It allows the teacher to operate the computer from the touchscreen whiteboard. Most interactive whiteboards also come with their own software for creating and sharing lesson and notes with your pupils. At the lowest end of innovation, the interactive whiteboard is simply just a remote-control system for your desktop computer.


Let’s look at the costs of the system

both setups do approximately the same thing in my classroom, then why not go with the solution that costs the least? Let’s look at the costs. I am not going to include the cost of the projector or desktop computer here because they are used with both installations.

  • AppleTV – £120
  • iPad – £ 300
  • HDMI to VGA converter – £40 (only needed if your projector does not have HDMI input)
  • Powered Speakers – £50h9139


  • Average interactive whiteboard – £1500-£3800
  • Computer to run whiteboard – £450


In conclusion

If you would like a simple but effective set up in your classroom and you are happy to work with Apple Tech, then the AppleTV solution is the way to go. The cheaper option at about £500. The judgement is an easy one for me. An interactive whiteboard is a great tool, but its functionality has now been surpassed by the AppleTV & iPad. Combined with the fact that the installations are considerably less costly.

I hope that we begin to see this technology creeping into our classrooms more and more as interactive whiteboards need to be replaced.