Displaying tablet content on a whiteboard from an iPad.
Teachers and pupils love the chance to work with iPads and other tablets. No waiting around to log on to a network, easy and intuitive to use and create beautiful books, films, animations and music. One problem has always been how to use the whiteboard in class to model tasks and to share work produced by children. Here are the options for schools with iPads.
Choice 1. Buy a cable
At the time of writing these cables cost around £30 from Amazon. They plug straight into the whiteboard VGA lead just as your laptop or class computer does. The down side is you are limted by the length of the lead, so you can't walk around the room with your iPad. The only way to share work with a student is to unplug your iPad and plug in the one being used by a pupil.
Choice 2 Use Airserver
Airserver is a program you install on a PC or a Mac. It costs roughly £10 for a personal licence but you can buy 20 educational licences for approximately £60, see details here. Once Airserver is running you double tap on your home button on the iPad and swipe left to right until you see the mirroring option below.
Turn on the option and your iPad appears on your PC screen. You need to make sure the iPad and PC are on the same wifi network. For me this is a winner. There are no wires so you can wander around the room. You can mirror more than one iPad on the board at once. The most we've tried is twelve! It means you can switch iPads on the board quickly, you can compare work side by side too. Airserver also broadcasts the audio from and iPad or iPhone.
Choice 3 Reflector
Reflector is a Mac and PC program that is similar to Airserver. It also allows you to record a video of your actions on the iPad and save it as a video file on your PC. There are free ways of doing this already. You can use the Smart Recorder in Smartboard software or you can use the fantastic free Screencastomatic.
Choice 4 Apple TV
I really don't see the point of buying Apple TV any more. They cost £90 each and you could kit all your classrooms out with Air Server of Reflector for about the same price as one. They offer you the chance to connect multiple iPads to the Apple TV wirelessly. I suppose one advantage is that you don't have to go through a computer.