Guest author Lucy Fidler explains why Apple AirPlay is a simple yet powerful classroom tool.

Why Airplay?

I have been extremely fortunate to have started my teaching career in an Apple Distinguished School. This has moulded my professional practice in a way that I could not have imagined during my teacher training.

I am a year 5 teacher in a three form entry school. We are in a very privileged position to have one-to-one iPads throughout school. Therefore, technology often plays an important role in my daily teaching. However, it does so in a way that is underpinned by pedagogy and enhances the learning in the classroom. We steer away from using tech as a gimmick.

As with everything we start with the “why”. Why do we want to use tech in this way for this lesson and how will enhance the learning?

If I were to discuss all the ways I use technology I could well have you all here for days. It has been extremely difficult to narrow it down but on reflection, the way in which I utilise technology the most frequently (and arguably most effectively) is through Airplay (or you could use a visualiser and it would have the same effect).

Using AirPlay in the classroom

As you are supporting the learners, if you notice something that is a) a misconception or b) a perfect example of what you are learning being put into practice, you can take a picture (on your own or child’s device) and AirPlay to the screen. Or, alternatively, place the example under the visualiser and it will project to the screen.

From there you can have a discussion about what has gone wrong for the learner, or what they have done successfully.

In turn, there are a number of ways that learning can be enhanced through a very simple form of tech.


1. Builds resilience

I have found that when used frequently, AirPlay can be effective in building children’s resilience. It is a way of celebrating mistakes as we can use one child’s mistake as a learning point. Therefore we are having a positive impact on the rest of the class.

After a while, learners actually ask if they can Airplay. For example: “Miss Fidler, I am really struggling to improve this sentence. Please can I Airplay?”

2. Class-led discussions

The above point leads quite nicely on to class-led discussions. AirPlay enables the children to lead their own learning. If they need help, they can AirPlay and their peers can assist them – my role then just becomes a facilitator.

Conversely, if the children believe they have been particularly successful they can share their achievements. Using Airplay (or visualisers) in this way gives the children the opportunity to be lead their own learning and to develop independence.

3. One child can reach many

We have all been there. If one child has a misconception it is highly likely that they are not the only one.

By AirPlaying, you can help one child’s work to reach many. I cannot count how many times we have AirPlayed a misconception in our classroom and several other children have had a lightbulb moment. They made the same error and could see where they had gone wrong. Unpicking where something has gone wrong, leads to deeper understanding.

There are countless ways that technology can enhance learning, but I would be lost without Airplay.

Teacher Lucy Fidler


Lucy Fidler

Lucy is a Year 5 teacher in a three form entry school in one the most deprived areas of the UK. Having taught for three years, her passions include writing, reading and utilising technology to enhance teaching and learning. She shares her teaching experiences and tips over on her blog.

Follow Lucy on Twitter – @MissLKFidler13