Saturday, July 27, 2013

ChromeCast - the reverse Second Screen Experience: Perfect for small learning groups?

The buzz created by Chromecast has been so "loud" that is appears to have caught Google by surprise; the device having been sold out at multiple sites (BestBuy, Amazon) and the 3 month NetFlix offer taken down within the first few hours.

A lot has been written about Chromecast, highlighting its features and comparing it to AppleTV and Roku.

The key point about Chromecast is that it is an affordable platform agnostic "Reverse Second Screen" device. What is a reverse second screen device?
Lets see what a second screen device is first.

Mashable defines second screen as
"Second Screen is the use of an additional monitor (e.g. tablet, smartphone) while watching television. It allows the audience to interact with what they’re consuming whether it’s a TV show, video game or movie."  
Thus a TV channel wanting the audience to interact with a TV show would get them to go to a web site with a smartphone or tablet and respond to polls during the show.  The key fact is that the process is initiated from the TV screen and the challenge is to get the watcher to go through the required steps on their second screen (phone/tablet/laptop).  This can be achieved by a audio or visual announcement or a QR code.

Chromecast enables the reverse process and makes it seamless.
The user starts at the smart mobile device and then extends the experience from a small to a large (TV) screen.  Make that from multiple small screens to a large TV screen.
The trend in education is to use small collaborative learning groups and not large group lectures.
Chromecast can be the prefect way to share each learner and faculty's screen on large TV screens on the wall.  As more and more content is stored in the cloud and is accessed via smart mobile devices, this would be a perfect accessory for education institutions.


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