iPads in a classroom

Jumping on the bandwagon!

Now days, everyone’s talking about the tablets, from personal use to business use, and the Education fields are not any different.
In our school, we just start testing the use of the AirPlay between iOS devices (in our case iPads), and Apple TV
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We had some faculty requesting solutions for them to use iPads in the classroom so that they can walk around, passing around the iPads, while everyone is looking at what shows up there on a big screen. My very first solution was to use some remote control apps (like Mobile Mouse by R.P.A Tech) on iOS devices as if they are wireless keyboard and mouse. Then moved on to the remote desktop apps, such as Splashtop. Initially those remote desktop apps had their speed issue, but after a few updates, they optimized how data being transferred and got to the point where faculty can actually use the system in their classes.
However, the remote desktop solution has one big issue; the reason why Apple developed iOS in first place, instead of using MacOS on iPads. The desktop OS is not an optimal interface for touch operation. Though you can do majority of things okay, but not the best user experience.

Now, using the Apple TV, and AirPlay Mirroring, you can show exactly what you are seeing on your iPad on a big screen. It required some network tweaking (thanks to the network team), but now registered Apple TV and iPads can use the AirPlay in our building. Creating presentation using Keynote, then passing iPads along to the student for them to share their idea and solutions to the class on the big screen, without telling them to come to the front of the room. They can do the group project on the iPads, and then share them on the screen without movie around in the classroom.
This can be a big change in how teachers teach lessons. The lesson plans need to be changed to accommodate this new style, but components being so affordable, it can spread rather easily.

Today… I came across a software called “Reflection“. It is, well, let’s say… virtual Apple TV.
This Mac application enable air play on MacOS. You can connect iPads or iPhone to the Mac Laptop wirelessly (thru Wifi; or you can create your own network from your laptop), and connect the Mac to a projector. Using the fullscreen feature of this application, you can do the same thing as using Apple TV, sharing what you are seeing on iPad on a big screen.

It’ll be interesting how these new technology will change the classroom…

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