3 Solutions to getting your iPad on Interactive Whiteboard

It confounds me how many schools I see that promote themselves as heavy and intelligent users of iPads in the classroom yet totally overlook the process of using their iPad on their interactive white board effectively. 

Having your iPad on on the IWB opens up a multitude of learning opportunities when you can share a 9 inch screen on a 60 inch board to students.

Hopefully, this guide will explain the options available to schools in simple terms to teachers that will suit a range of budgets and existing technologies.

Option 1 - iPad to VGA Adapter:  Cheap, Easy, Reliable but forget your mobility.

A Simple iPad to VGA converter will connect to any existing VGA projector where you currently plug in your smart board computer.  It is extremely reliable, cheap but the real downside is that you have to use your iPad with a clumsy VGA cable plugged into it which essentially kills the portability of the iPad.

The sound is still left to come out of your iPad which is generally not a big deal.

This is agreat starting point, and below are some iPad to VGA converters to choose from if this is the solution for you. 


Option 2:  Apple TV and Airplay Mirroing: 

This is by far the best solution for reliability, ease of use and practicality in the classroom but it does come at a bit of an expense.

Before we go any further we need to know what Airplay mirroring is and how it works

To put it very simply Airplay Mirroring does two things.  Firstly  it either Mirrors your iPad screen (or audio for that matter) perfectly to your TV or PC.  It does this minimal lag or delay, and actually works really well, and I have one.

Airplay also has a secondary cool feature in which it generates a picture from your iPad on a TV or projector that is related to what you are doing on your screen but not a mirror of your screen.  A totally separate image.

For Example if you are doing a presentation and reading notes directly from your iPad, it will generate the images for the presentation and send them to the projector or TV without the need for another program to run it.  Pretty cool stuff eh?

So now that we know this and how brilliant Airplay is you probably want to rush out and buy an Apple TV unit to do all this great stuff but stop....

Nearly 90 percent of all interactive white boards are configured to work with a VGA input only and an Apple TV unit is HDMI only.  So if you are fortunate and have easy access to your TV or  projectors HDMI input then you are good to proceed with just the Apple TV unit.

if you have a standard VGA connector you will need to buy an adapter and an Apple TV unit which can add up.  All of products are available below.


Option 3 - Windows Media Center Airplay Mirroring:  Free, Wireless and works most of the time

Can I just say straight off the bat that Windows Media Center Airplay Mirroring is not for those that want complete simplicity or reliability.  Get yourself one of the previous options if that is you.

WMC Airplay is a Mirroring device for your iPad that involves installing a program on your windows 7 based PC.  It works well but is not quite a complete Apple TV solution.

It is definitely worth a shot though and better than the old VGA connector if you are prepared to tinker a little.

Below is a video explaining how it works and you can access the download of the tool here.

So, there are three tride and tested options.  And yes I am well aware there are others whcih I have not used personally, so if you have I'd love to hear about them.

3 Great IWB Resources for Teachers

SMART Exchange – This SMART Exchange site provides several lesson plans and activities for teachers to use in the classroom. SMART lessons are available for a variety of ages and subjects.

Topmarks – An awesome collection of free educational materials for IWBs, Topmarks is a great resource for finding IWB lesson plans and activities. This educational site also features teacher resources, educational sites for classroom, and homework help.

TeacherLED – This site is dedicated to making the use of Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) easier and more productive. This comprehensive site features resources to use with IWBs in math, English, and geometry.

Is this the replacement for the Interactive Whiteboard?

Yesterday, Microsoft released the development kit for Kinect on Windows.  For the uninitiated Kinect is a bodily controlled gaming platform that has been around on the X-box for around a year now.  As a gaming tool Kinect is innovative but not entirely brilliant attempt to revolutionize gaming.

If you look at the video below you will see Kinect running on Windows and get an idea of the possibilities that lay ahead of us.  Surely this would supersede the potential of what current IWB's offer us.


I'd Love to hear what you think after you have had a look.

Free Interactive Whiteboard Resources

Thanks to Scott @ mytopten.com.au

Here's another great interactive whiteboard site that everyone should have bookmarked in their favourites. Topmarks has basically everything you need in all areas.

Hope you enjoy.


Hundred's of free SMARTboard lessons

Smarttechthe worlds biggest supplier of interactive white boards have really dragged the chain on supplying quality educational support and resources for teachers to accompany their  boards and excellentnotebooksoftware suite.  Thankfully they have made some massive inroads to fixing this over the last 12 months offering free live online tutorials and updating their educational website with hundreds of free tools, lesson plans and video tutorials on how to use the board and accompanying software.

How can I use this in the calssrom?  You can search for lesson plans by subject area, grade levels and smarttech have ensured that these lesson plans fit within a number of national curriculum frameworks.  t caters for all levels of teacher expertise and I have found a number of excellent lesson ideas to use with my kids.  It is availablehereand it is definitely worth a look.

Huge collection of Interactive Whiteboard Activities

Phillip Crammond has compiled an extensive bank of interactive resources across all the major curriculum areas.  The site is easy to navigate and full of content that is applicable to all year levels.  I don't have much more to add to this except that is brilliant and definitely worth a look.  Check it out here.

Get ready for the next Generation of IWB's

I won't rave on about this for too long as I accept that that SMART, Promethean and a few other players totally dominate the IWB market at the moment and are the products to have in your classroom.  However last week 2 new products hit the market adopting technology that I have banging on about for a while now that could potentially remove the need for expensive interactive boards in classrooms.

Epson's Brightlink (Looks to be the more refined of the 2) and the Boxlight Projectowrite are 2 products that completely remove the need for a board.  Obviously they need a surface to be projected upon but both work fine on a wall or best of all on a traditional white board at a fraction of the expense.

This cuts out the 2 biggest costs of an IWB being the Board itself and the installation expense.  Both systems utilise infra red technology that was uncovered by the invention of the Wiimote.  Essentially you require an infra red pen or pointer and the receptor is built in to the projector.  Both units are multi touch which instantly puts them miles ahead of their competitors at less than half the price at under $2000 for both units.

Be warned however there is little to no software to support these units and they basically interact with your OS as a mouse and pen.  I am a SMART board user and clearly the best thing about them is their interface and software to support learning.

Surely there are software companies in the wings creating multi platform IWB software that will turn this technology from a glorified mouse into a powerful teaching tool.  Microsoft, Apple & Adobe are you onto this???

Anyhow here is more information on this topic and I have included a couple of videos below that highlight the POTENTIAL of these projectors.  Remembering that POTENTIAL is a very big word.

Boxlight ProjectoWRITE Video - Gotta say it looks a little clunky thus far

Epson Brightlink Video - Great image but does'nt really show us it being used - no software yet??

Would love to hear your thoughts

Amazing Interactive Wiimote IWB - For anyone that missed it the first time

This will probably be nothing new to the majority of edgalaxy readers out there.  But it amazes me how many tech freaks totally missed this the first time and were amazed them self by what little known researcher Johnny Lee nutted out about Nintendo's Wiimote and it's capacity to do far more than play video games.

As is outlined by the videos below he produced a product that supassed a $5000 Interactive whiteboard for around $50.  I made one last year and it worked an absolute treat and I thought to myself at the time "this is end for Smartboards, Promethean and allthese other big plyers inthe IWB market".  We are heading towards 2010 and I still have not seen a mass produced wiimote IWB package that takes advantage of this technology and I am not entirely sure why this is so, whether it's Nintendo, the Big IWB companies or just plain laziness on the part of a nerdy entrepreneur to bring this product to our classrooms.

Anyhow, words cannot explain this below are a couple of movies that do.  Check out Johnny's site to see what else he has been up to late at night.  And I would love to hear you feedback, experiences and thought on the Wii IWB.