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Teaching with an iPad

Page history last edited by pbworks 8 years, 1 month ago

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There's a ton of cool and useful things you can use an iPad for.  This tutorial describes just a few of the things that are the most common needs of teachers who have an iPad and want to use it in the classroom:


Sending your iPad display to a projector:

  • Via cables

  The most straightforward way to display your iPad content on a projector is to buy a video out cable for your iPad.  

the $29 iPad VGA cable will work for almost all projectors.  If you want to display onto a flat screen TV or you know the projector you will be using is relatively new and supports HDMI cables, you can instead use the iPad to HDMI cable which provides a sharper image and also carries sound to the projector.  In either case, you will also need to make sure there is the appropriate (VGA or HDMI) cable hanging off of your projector for you to plug the adapter into.  If you have the original iPad then only certain apps that have been designed to output to the second screen will be projected (Keynote is such an app) otherwise on iPad 2 or newer when you plug in the connector the entire screen will be "mirrored" onto the projector so your class will see what you see.


The benefit of using a cable to project your iPad is that very little equipment or setup is necessary.  The disadvantage is that you become tethered to the projector and the cables have a tendency to disconnect when stressed.


  • Wirelessly with appleTV


If you will be projecting regularly in the same room and have WiFi access in that room, you might consider purchasing a $99 Apple TV to connect to the projector (it can only connect to a projector with HDMI input or DVI input via an HDMI to DVI adapter - VGA connections are not possible).  This allows you to project wirelessly from your iPad - just double-click the Home button, swipe all the way to the right, and select AirPlay Mirroring.  If the room does not have WiFi or the network firewalls prevent you from connecting you could bring along your own wireless router, such as the airport express, or configure your laptop to operate as a WiFi access point to set up a temporary WiFi network to facilitate the connection to Google Search and hospedagem de sites.


  • Wirelessly via your computer 


This isn't an officially supported method from Apple, but a few developers have produced software such as airPlayer (instructions here) and air server that runs on your laptop and allows the iPad to display content to it as if it were an Apple TV.  If you then connect your laptop to the video projector you can stream your iPad screen onto the projector. Definitely try this out before going live, because my results have been hit or miss using this method.


Using your iPad as a virtual whiteboard:


An application called Doceri allows you to use your iPad to annotate what is being projected via  your laptop.  After installing the $50 Doceri Desktop on your laptop and the free companion app Doceri Remote on your iPad your laptop screen will be mirrored onto your iPad.  Drawing with your finger on the iPad produces doodles that show up over the top of your laptop display on the projector.  This allows you to use the iPad as a mobile interactive whiteboard.  It's helpful to understand how this works in order to understand its limitations.  When you start to draw on the iPad the application running on your laptop takes a screen capture and displays that in the foreground with your doodling on top of it.  Thus you can easily annotate powerpoint slides or other still images, but not video.


Splashtop whiteboard is another app that provides the same functionality, but costing $19.99 for the app with a free companion program to run on your laptop.


Using your iPad as a document camera:


Once you are projecting on the screen using any of the above methods you might find the built-in camera on the iPad useful as a document camera.  Position your iPad a foot or two above a writing surface with the camera positioned towards the surface.  Go into the Camera app and you have an instant document camera that can project your handwriting, images from a textbook, or anything else you can put in front of the camera for the whole class to see.  If you want to annotate the images you might use the app BoardCam which lets you place drawings and annotations on top of the video feed.  


Recording and distributing video tutorials


The app Screen Chomp makes it ridiculously easy to record and narrate video tutorials of your handwriting.  Just hit record, speak and draw on the iPad.  When you are done your can submit the recording to the cloud and get back a URL that you use to share your recording.


Presenting slideshows with an iPad


There are a number of ways to present slideshows via iPad.  An excellent option is Keynote which allows you to create presentations in the app, or import Keynote or Powerpoint slides from your computer (see the section on transferring files to your iPad).  Keynote can use your iPad display for presenter notes, next slide preview, a timer, etc while it outputs the current slide to the projector.  Swipe left or right to go forward or back through your presentation.  Tap and hold to bring up a "laser pointer" on screen.


Transferring file to the iPad


One of the challenges of presenting on the iPad is getting files form your computer to the device.  There are several ways to do this.  A quick and dirty way is to email the file to yourself from your computer, and then tap on the attachment when viewing the eMail on your iPad and select the app you wish to use to view the file.  An easier way (it requires a bit more setup but takes less effort once it is set up) is to use Dropbox to store your files on your computer.  You can access the files on you iPad using the Dropbox app.  Most common file formats can be viewed from within the dropbox app, or you can tap and hold on a file name to send the file to the app of your choice.  

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