OK, so you have some shiny new iPads at school. One of the first things that many teachers want to do is to be able to hook them up to their Interactive Whiteboards to show whatever is on the screen to a class. It’s a question I get asked a lot on my IWB training courses these days.

There are different ways to do this, and I’ve written about some of these in the past. But here they all are in one handy blog post.

1. Use a VGA Cable

The simplest way to display the contents of your iPad screen to a class is to buy a VGA adaptor and connect the iPad directly to a projector in exactly the same way you’d connect a laptop.

This does work pretty well, although you are tethered by the cable and sometimes the connector can work loose. Not every app will work in landscape mode, so you do get some flickering as the mode shifts.

What this won’t do is give you any control of the iPad from the IWB. You are simply hooking up the iPad to the projector.

2. Use Apple TV

Another way to connect your iPad to a display is to buy an Apple TV device and connect that to your projector. You can then connect your iPad to the Apple TV over a wireless network. The Apple TV connects to your projector via an HDMI cable. If your projector does not support HDMI then you’ll need a converter cable to provide a VGA socket.

The beauty of the Apple TV is that it works wirelessly. This gives you the advantage of being able to be anywhere in the classroom, and to share your screen with the class. Many apps support “Air-Play” and you can also turn on “mirroring” which does the same thing as the VGA cable and display your iPad screen.

For this set up to work you must have the iPad and the Apple TV connected to the same wireless network to allow them to talk to each other. This can cause some problems in schools depending on how your wireless network is set up. I’d suggest you try this out with one Apple TV and one iPad before you rush out and kit out your entire school!

3. Connect your iPad to your Computer via Air Server

AirServer is a Mac/PC application that enables you to stream or mirror your iPad, to your Mac/PC. If your computer is then connected to a secondary or alternative display, such as an interactive whiteboard plus projector, your device will be shown on that display. Switch on Mirroring on your iPad and then anything you see on that device can be displayed on the big screen.

Both your iPad and the computer you are connecting to need to be on the same network.

The AirPlay app is free on a 7 day trial and you can buy a 5 machine licence for $15. You can Download Air Server here

Also check out this post on the iPad Educators Ning group for more information.

4. Connect your iPad to your Computer via Reflector

Reflector works in the same way as AirServer. It installs a client on your PC which allows the iPad to connect.

Once installed, double tap on the home button on your iPad and slide to the left. Click on the AirPlay icon, select your Computer name and turn mirroring on and your iPad screen will appear on your computer (and so also your interactive whiteboard if you have one connected). Both devices need to be connected to the same network for this to work.

Download reflector from here : www.reflectorapp.com You can get a limited trial version for free, and a single user version is $15/£10.

 

5. Control your PC with Splashtop Remote Desktop

I’ve written about Splashtop Remote in the past. By using it, you can’t control the IWB directly – but you can control the computer that’s connected to the IWB. The app requires 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 way the Splashtop app works 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 fingers and so has small icons. You might want to pre-open something like Smart Notebook before you take control on the iPad.

The Splashtop app is only £1.49 on the UK app store, and the PC client software is free to download.

Ipad and Splashtop

Alternatives to Splashtop include LogMeIn and TeamViewer

Summary

As you can see there are several options open to you. None of these really link the IWB to the iPad – but they do allow you do display your iPad screen to the whole class. The VGA cable is the easiest method, but you lose the freedom of the iPad and are tied to the projector by a cable. Reflector and AirServer are cheap options if your WiFi enables it. AppleTV is probably the best solution, but again you need to be very sure you’ll be able to connect it all up on your school network.

If you have other solutions that work – please add them in the comments!