We are just entering Phase 2 of our iPad trial and whilst more staff are involved in using iPads we are still in the situation where there is only 1 iPad in the classroom. Nevertheless there are still many great opportunities for enhancing teaching and learning. One of the key things is being able to utilise the iPad in a way which shares resources as a group and facilitates interactivity in a way which can benefit everyone. Here are two key ways that you can put your iPad to maximum use in a 1 iPad classroom:
1. AIRSERVER – this allows you to project what is on your iPad through your projector / IWB
Airserver is an Airplay receiver which effectively allows you to stream content between devices. This allows you to ‘mirror’ your iPad onto your IWB so that you can share any content on your iPad with your students during lessons. As well as images, videos etc.. this will therefore enable you to use apps purchased through the apple store in a whole class lesson situation.
Details of how to download Airserver can be found here – it is very reasonably priced and for schools requiring more than 20 licences there is a very reasonably priced commercial licence.
Once Airserver has been purchased and installed and activated on a machine to airplay from your iPad simply click the home button and a bar of shortcuts will appear at the bottom – slide your finger to the right until the play, pause, volume etc. buttons appear. The Airplay symbol will show here.
To prevent potential ‘accidental’ mirroring of your iPad to colleagues boards in other rooms around school it is strongly recommended that you set up a password system. This will prompt you to enter a password to mirror your iPad to the board. Setting up a password is easy, once you have downloaded and activated AirServer on to your PC simply click on the airserver icon in the system tray (bottom right) (if can’t be seen click on the little white arrow head) – then select settings and enter password. We have found that due to some staff teaching in several different rooms it can help to have a standardise way of setting a password (for example including the room number with a keyword) so that it enables colleagues to use AirServer wherever they are teaching.
The following video summarises the functionality of AirServer
This enables you to operate your PC in your classroom using your iPad – i.e. the iPad mirrors your PC and in doing so basically turns the ipad into a ‘mini interactive whiteboard’. You can pass your iPad round and ask students to ‘drag and drop’ or complete an activity which will be mirrored to the board and shared with the group. This also frees you from the front of the classroom, enabling you to show, navigate and interact with presentations such as Powerpoints, SMART notebook files etc. wherever you are in the room.
Details of products and pricing can be found here and the app is currently £6.99 on the App store.
The following video summaries the functionality of Splashtop: