While I am a big fan of the Interactive Whiteboard, they can often to lead to situations where the teacher is firmly stuck at the front of the class to “deliver” content to the students. Some schools are looking to move away from this format, and use iPads as an IWB replacement, although I still think the best way forward should be an interactive screen at the front of the class, coupled with tablets.

Anyway, if you do want to move away from the front of the class, then there are several options available to you. The iPad can be displayed wirelessly via Apple TV or software such as AirServer. Check this post for more on how to display an iPad to your  class.

The newest version of Smart Notebook even allows for iPad connectivity to your classroom computer, giving proper two-way control. Apps such as Explain Everything and Doceri are essentially screencasting apps, but the drawing and annotation features make them very useful. Children can take photographs of their work, then annotate and highlight key features or important aspects.

Here’s 8 ways that you turn your iPad into an interactive presentation tool:

1. SMART Notebook for iPad (£4.99)

SMART Notebook for iPad is a light version of the SMART Notebook software you get with your SMARTboards. Using this app, you can both use and edit SMART Notebook lesson activities for individual and collaborative learning with an iPad. Files can be transferred to and from an iPad using cloud services such as Dropbox.

Even better, with the new Notebook Maestro as part of Notebook 14 you can even connect to the Notebook file that is being displayed on your classroom computer and annotate/control the presentation.


2. Explain Everything (£2.29)

Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design, screencasting, and interactive whiteboard tool that lets you annotate, animate, narrate, import, and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere.

Explain Everything allows you to create slides, draw in any color, add shapes, add text, and use a “laser pointer”. Rotate, move and arrange any object added to the stage. You can then record and playback your screencast. Read more about Explain Everything here.

3. Doceri (Free with in-app purchases)
Doceri is a free screencasting app for the iPad. Doceri lets you create presentations, add handwritten annotations, insert images from the camera roll and record screencast videos you can easily save or share.

Doceri for the iPad is a free download. Presentations display a watermark which can be removed with a £2.99 in-app purchase. Read more about Doceri here.

4. ScreenChomp (Free)

Like Explain Everything and Doceri, Screen Chomp is a simple screencasting app. The app provides a simple doodling board with different marker pens. Record It. Sketch It. Share It. – to create a sharable, replay-able video that tells your story clearly.

5. ProWise (Free + Paid versions)

ProWise is another piece of cloud-based software that allows the classroom interactive whiteboard to connect to the student tablets or laptops. Using it teachers can create presentations that allow student participation via the Proconnect app.

There’s a free version that allows a few flipchart files to be stored, a subscription unlocks all the features and more storage. You can read more about ProWise here.

6. Doodlecast Pro (£3.99)

Doodlecast lets you make short screencast videos with a mix of drawing and voiceover. But like Explain Everything etc you don’t need to use it in Screencast mode, just draw and write and display it to your class.

You can add images from your camera roll and choose from different page backgrounds. There are graph paper and even musical notation paper backgrounds. The videos it creates can be uploaded direct to YouTube or sent to your DropBox account. More on Doodlecast here.

7. WebWhiteboard (Subscription)

Not an app, but a website. Webwhiteboard is a new website that provides users with interactive whiteboard software that runs in a web browser. It will run on any brand of interactive whiteboard, all you need is a web connection. There’s nothing to install, and your whiteboard files live in the cloud so you can access them anywhere. More on WebWhiteboard here.

8. Microsoft PowerPoint (Free + in-app purchases)

After a long wait, Microsoft finally released a version of PowerPoint for the iPad. The core PowerPoint experience is free, including viewing, creating and editing presentations. You can unlock the full PowerPoint experience with a qualifying Office 365 subscription. Once in a presentation you can annotate on top of a presentation using the pen tools, just as you can in regular PowerPoint.

To use it, you’ll need is a Microsoft user account, which you can get for free. You just need to register for an account. You’ll still need an Office 365 subscription to unlock certain advanced editing tools, but the free tools should be adequate for everyday use. The app will allow you to open and save files to Dropbox, as well as to Microsoft OneDrive. (More on Office for the iPad here).



Update : Also check out Class Flow from Promethean. Offers whiteboard fuctionality plus assessment tools.

If you have any other favourites, please add them in the comments below.

A reminder, do check this post for more on how to display an iPad to your  class. Also check out 10 Online Alternatives to PowerPoint.