Homeschooling because of coronavirus? AirPlay is your friend.

White HomePod sitting on a television stand
White HomePod sitting on a television stand (Image credit: iMore)

With the schools of the world closed thanks to coronavirus, many of us are trying our best to teach our kids at home. I'm trying to teach kids of five and seven about things that I can barely remember, let along speak about authoritatively. That, of course, is where the internet comes to the rescue. And by extension, AirPlay.

Picture the scene, if you will. Three of us are huddled around a 13-inch MacBook Pro as we try to watch a video clip. That sort of works, but when it becomes time to follow a guided exercise in an attempt to prevent us all from vegetating, watching on a small screen from a few feet away is less than ideal.

No problem, I thought. That's why we have YouTube installed on the television. Not to mention everything that's connected to it. But just like everything else I've come across during this homeschooling adventure, it wasn't that easy. We're watching on a website with a proprietary player. There's no YouTube video to stream. I'm stuck.

And that's when I remembered AirPlay. More specifically, AirPlay screen mirroring. You can see where this is going, can't you?

Works With Apple Airplay

Works With Apple Airplay (Image credit: Apple)

In as long as it took me to open System Preferences on my MacBook Pro we were watching a full-screen video on the TV. It looked surprisingly good, too. And nothing lagged even for a moment. Everyone was happy, I got a chance to remind the kids how clever I am, and we got on with our day.

And then they asked me something about space and I looked silly all over again.

AirPlay. It's great. But it can't work miracles.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.