Google announced recently that they have fully integrated Google Cast (formerly known as Chromecast) into the Chrome web browser. Is this good news for teachers? If you have access to, or have a classroom set of Chromebooks, then the resounding answer is YES!
In the past, you needed a $40’ish piece of hardware that you could plug directly into a newer TV or projector which you could then send or “cast” any Chrome browser page to that device to show the video and audio. It was a great solution for the home, but it never really caught on with any teachers that I knew of – probably because the majority of teachers have, shall we say, “Vintage” projectors in their classrooms which didn’t have the proper HDMI connections.
On the iOS side, many schools have tried really hard to get Apple TV’s working. They work amazingly well in the home environment, but for some technical reasons that I’ll spare you today, they didn’t work very well in large scale school wireless networks. And, each Apple TV set you back $99.
Now, back to why this announcement is great news for teachers, especially those teachers integrating Chromebooks into their classrooms. Google has also released a new Chrome app called Google Cast for Education. Once you install this app for your Chrome browser, your computer will act as the Chromecast device. Since Google Cast is now integrated into Chrome, any of your students with a Chromebook can now request to share their screen with you, to show you the great work they are doing, or the amazing video or page that they found while researching online.
Since your classroom computer is probably already hooked up to your classroom projector &/or interactive whiteboard, students that ‘Cast’ their screens to you will also be sharing to the entire class! No extra things to buy, no extra configurations, it just works. If you are worried about students hijacking your screen, fear not! Google has built in some pretty clever settings for this reason. No one can see your screen to share unless you have shared this privilege with them. Also, when they attempt to share their screen, depending on the user you can set it so that you must approve it before it shows on your screen, or it will just show up. They have also integrated Google Classroom so that you can invite a whole class at a time to share to your screen. It’s pretty cool!
Learn more about Google Cast for Education here: