One of the positive features of the IWB in my eyes is that it puts the speaker next to the content – the pupils aren’t looking at a screen while the teacher is 6 foot away, with their back to them talking into their laptop screen. But there are times when you want to control what’s happening, or let the pupils control what’s happening, from somewhere else in the classroom. Wireless mice, slates and keyboards are good for this. But quite often now I get asked if it’s possible to control their IWB using an iPad.
And the answer is yes, you can.
You can’t control the IWB directly – but you can control the computer thats connected to the IWB.
An app for the iPad called Splashtop Remote Desktop (£1.19) will do the job, as will apps such as Air Mouse (£1.19). Both require you to also download and install some client software on the PC that you want to control. Both device also need to be connected to the same network for this to work. You can set up a password to prevent anyone just connecting to your PC.
The beauty of the Splashtop software is that when you connect to the PC, the PC’s screen is mirrored on your iPad’s screen. Simply touch and click on the icons as if you now had a touchscreen PC. This can be a problem with software that wasn’t designed for fat figners and so has small icons. You might want to pre-open something like Smart Notebook before you take control on the iPad.
So here’s a shot of me trying this at home – writing something in Smart Notebook on my laptop from my iPad using Splashtop Remote:
Control of the computer isn’t perfect. And I do find the system can run a little slow sometimes, which can be frustrating. But if you do have an iPad it does open up a new way of using your computer/IWB setup. The Splashtop app is only just over a pound on the UK app store, and the client software is free, so it’s not an expensive gamble. Check it out.