Over the past few months I have read via Facebook and email stories of teachers who were quite adept with their interactive whiteboard being moved through layoffs to schools where they no longer had this equipment. Mainily for financial reasons, these techers will likely not have a replacement board at least for the next few years. However, many of these teachers have begun using iPads as IWB substitutes…and they are not alone. Considering, their lower price point and flexibility as a wireless, multi-featured tool, iPads can make farily strong replacements for interactive lessons. Where do you begin?
iPad-based interactive whiteboard apps tend to fall into two categories:
- Computer-Based Apps that allow users to remotely control their computers including interactive whiteboard software
- iPad-Based Apps that turn your iPad into an interactive whiteboard. Many of the iPad-based apps also have tools for quickly recording and disseminating short videos of the multimedia lesson and often their free. When students use these apps they can make for great alternative assessments.
The apps below can be used to wirelessly control your computer. This will effectively turn your iPad into a wireless slate, but you will have an image displayed on your iPad that looks just like the one on your computer screen. Each of the apps requires a wirless connection in your classroom
Splashtop Remote Desktop ($4.99)
Splashtop Remote Desktop allows users to wirelessly stream their computer to their iPad. With this tool teachers and students can interact with a computer and any software installed on that computer through the iPad. Classrooms that have access to software such as ActivInspire, use Splashtop and an iPad as a wireless slate, allowing teachers and students to interact from the software from any location in the classroom.
Splashtop Whiteboard ($19.99)
Teachers who do not have a licence for interactive whiteboard software, such as ActivInspire, might consider checking out Splashtop Whiteboard. This app is similar to Splashtop Remote Desktop, but also provides traditional interactive whiteboard tools including pens, highlighters, and other annotation tools.
Doceri Remote (Free App+$50 Desktop Application)
Doceri is Splashtop’s major competitor. The iPad app, Doceri Remote, is free, but you will also need the Doceri Desktop for your teacher computer. This software is $50, but has a free 30-day trial so that you can test it out before buying. I know of one teacher who discovered Doceri this summer and absolutely loves it. Personally, I have used both Doceri and Splashtop and have not seen major differences. However, reading through the Doceri website and customer feedback in iTunes, it sounds like purchasing the $39 Doceri GoodPoint Stylus may be worth the investment because it helps users draw finer lines and have more precision in their control of objects. Additionally, you can rest your hand on the iPad. If there is one complaint I hear regularly about all of these applications its that teachers find it tough to have the same precise movements they did with an interactive whiteboard.
The apps below can be easily installed on any iPad, whether its used by teachers or students. Teachers can use these tools to create short video lessons, while students can use them to demonstrate their thinking and as an alternative assessment. Personally, these are my favorite type of iPad apps because due to their low price you can easily put them on every single student iPad.
When users launch the Educreations app, they are presented with a blank whiteboard where they can easily add images and annotations through a pen tool with a variety of colors. This particular app also allows users to record their presentation. The app will capture audio, along with what is happening on the iPad screen. A nice feature of this app over ShowMe and ScreenChomp is that users can add and delete images, as well as manipulate them during their recording. Once complete, the recordings can be shared via email, Facebook, or Twitter.
Show Me Interative Whiteboard (Free)
ShowMe is a great app for teachers or students to use when recording a presentation. For example, in a 5th grade math class a teacher might ask students to solve a problem and share their solution with her by recording a short video and sending it to her. As part of the demonstation students can use the annotation tools and insert images.
ScreenChomp is very similar to ShowMe, but has a monster interface that is attractive for elementary students. This particular app is produced by TechSmith, so if you are familar with Jing, then chances are you will also be comfortable with ScreenChomp.
Photo: Screenshot from the Educreations Website