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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

First Day at Southside, and an AirPlay tip

I hope everyone in Shelby County (and any of our surrounding district friends on the same calendar) had a great first day with students!  Today was not just one, but two "firsts" for me.  Not only have I never "opened" a new school, but except for my own personal trip taking my oldest daughter to kindergarten five years ago, I've never had an objective opportunity to see young students actually approaching a classroom for their very first official day of school.

Let's begin by talking about the brand new Southside Elementary (SSE) building.  Yes, there is still some finishing touches to be completed, such as the gym, playground and landscaping, but inside the building it is beautiful and already humming like a well-oiled engine.  And this staff has such passion and grace.  As you can tell from open house on Monday night. . .

 And speaking of the teachers, that's a nice segue into my other "first."  What a wonderful privilege it was to see the kindergarten teachers compassionately soothe the tears (of a few children, but also more than a few parents!) of the people approaching their doors.  Imagine the awe-inspiring moment!  The next crucial twelve years of their lives began today.  With a simple stuffed animal or gentle encouragement, I saw time and again a Southside teacher coax the uncoaxable from a hallway of doubt into a classroom of confidence.  I'm not ashamed to say I got a bit misty watching it myself.  And yes, I think about my youngest daughter making the same first day trip a few years from now.  Time doth fly.

Moving on to some edtech.  At SSE, we are working through some new building jitters of the MacBook Airs playing nice with our state network.  The good news is, we are not alone in the state, and Apple reps are aware and working behind the scenes with our own wonderful IT staff to help fix things.  (If anyone else in Kentucky or elsewhere is having issues, please comment below or tweet me!)  In some cases, the issues are related to having the correct settings in the device.  So let me end this blog post with a tip on putting out one of these fires:  getting AirPlay to correctly display in real time what is on your MacBook Air.

If the projector screen you are AirPlaying to looks "off" or doesn't display what your MacBook Air device screen looks like, check the following:

1. After turning on AirPlay, go to System Preferences (the grey gears icon, usually in the bottom dock).
2.  Click Display.
3.  Check the middle "tab," Arrangements.  Make sure "Mirror Displays" is checkmarked.  If that fixes things, great! If not...
4.  Under the tab Display, see if "Built In Display" is chosen.  If not, do so and see if that fixes the issue.
5.  Sometimes, when all else fails, restart the MacBook Air and restart the AppleTV (if you must, unplug the power cord of the AppleTV, wait 5-10 seconds, and plug it back in to force a reboot).  When everything loads back up and you see the AppleTV default screen on the projector, try AirPlaying again and see if it works correctly.

And with Day Two tomorrow, our edtech journey of 2014-2015 continues!

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