by Jonathan Laxamana
Our consultant Mark Hansen presenting with Reflector
Some schools are lucky enough to have an iPad for each student. What if you have an iPad but your students don’t? It’s still a valuable classroom tool if you have an interactive whiteboard. There are two good, cost-friendly solutions I’ve found to use your iPad with your IWB, and they’re both wireless.
1. Doceri: Control Your IWB on Your iPad
Doceri allows you to control your computer from your iPad. (And when your computer is displayed on your IWB, this allows you remote control of your IWB.) This can be a game-changer just from the fact that it allows you to move around the classroom untethered to the board while still controlling it—and without having to turn your back to students every time you want to interact with the board. Besides allowing you to control your computer, Doceri includes annotation and screen-recording tools that you can use starting from a blank page or on top of existing documents, web pages, or videos.
Download Instructions and Pricing
To use Doceri, you need to download applications for both your computer and iPad.
Computer: Download a free 30-day evaluation copy (duration is managed by honor code) on Doceri’s website. Both Mac and PC versions are available. Paid versions cost $30.
iPad: Search Doceri in the App store for a free download.
• Once you have the apps installed on both your computer and iPad, open both.
• On your iPad, select “Create • Control • Present through a computer running Doceri Desktop.” Then select your computer, and you’re off and running. (The other option here is AirPlay, and, if you have an Apple TV, you can also use Doceri to display your iPad right on an external monitor or IWB—more on that later.)
2. Reflector: Displaying Your iPad on Your IWB
Think of Reflector as Doceri flipped—instead of giving you control of content on your computer through your iPad, Reflector displays your iPad on your computer. And not only can Reflector display an iPad on a computer, it can display multiple iPads on one computer screen. When you connect your computer running Reflector to your IWB, you have the ability to display iPad content—such as apps and iBooks—on the big screen. You can display your iPad, or you can use a split-screen view to toggle quickly between other documents, web pages, and apps (or even between multiple iPads—think gaming applications).
Download Instructions and Pricing
To use Reflector, download the application just for your computer (no iPad app required). Find it here. Both Mac and PC versions are available, it costs $12.99, and there is a trial version available (and they mean trial, it runs a matter of minutes before auto-closing—just long enough to demonstrate whether or not it works for you).
• Once you have the Reflector application installed on your computer, open it.
• Then go to your iPad Control Center. In iOS 6, this was the screen you accessed by double tapping the home button to bring up the App history trough and then swiping right. In current iOS 7, this is the screen you access by swiping up from below the dock (bottom row of apps). In both cases, this screen includes volume controls. When Reflector is running on your computer, it opens up an AirPlay signal and the AirPlay icon will appear next to the volume controls in your Control Center. Tap the AirPlay icon, select your computer in the screen that follows, and select Mirroring from the screen that follows. You’re up and running!
iPad Screen-recording: Reflector includes an iPad screen-recording tool—say if you want to run a demo or film a lesson. Unfortunately, it doesn’t record audio voice-over (just the sounds, if any, from the iPad content). If you want to record a demo or lesson that includes your voice, try using a screen-recording tool on your computer—for example, on a Mac, try the free and native application Quicktime. This is the best option for a flipped day of instruction or a PD or how-to session.
VGA cords: With iPad 2 and newer models, you can also plug your iPad directly into your board using a VGA or HDMI adapter (to 30 pin for iPads and to Lightning for iPad Minis). However, you lack mobility with this setup. And, this just allows you to display an iPad on the IWB—not to also use split-screen views or screen annotation tools on your computer.
AirPlay & Apple TV: When the iPad first came out, there wasn’t a ready option for mirroring an iPad on an external monitor or whiteboard. With iPad 2, Apple introduced AirPlay, allowing a wireless signal between iPad and external monitors and IWBs. To run an AirPlay signal through Apple equipment, you need an Apple TV (a $99 device) that connects to Macs—or external monitors or IWBs. The benefits of Reflector include cheaper price and compatibility with PCs. Beyond the IWB, Reflector has the functionality to display an iPad onto your students’ computers—and this could allow you to model an activity (on part of the screen) while students work along side you in their own document on their computers.
Jonathan Laxamana is Technology Manager of Green Light Professional Development. He has more than ten years of experience in producing educational software products, video, web-based content, and mobile apps. He writes about new hardware and software, troubleshooting tips, and everything iPad.