Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Splashtop



Isn’t it amazing how creative teachers find totally different ways to use the same thing? Give a group of teachers the same item for their classrooms and they will all find a totally different way to implement its use. Recently, I was sharing iPad classroom ideas with teachers in Canada. This single device is making one of the greatest educational impacts I have seen since becoming a teacher. Even with all its potential, teachers and administrators are still a little skeptical that the iPad has more capability than browsing the Internet or watching videos. Until a teacher can see how the iPad can be used in multiple ways, it will only be a flashy device. Once teachers see that students can create presentations, videos, papers and even music, the iPad moves into a whole new dimension. The best reaction I have seen yet for the potential of the iPad is when I showed teachers how to turn their iPad into an interactive white board.  This “tuesdays” is dedicated to giving teachers the ability to get away from the front of the room and have mobile access to their computer.


A creative website

The first time I shared Splashtop with anyone was with the Director of Instructional Technology in Montreal and he was VERY excited. He encouraged me to show it to the teachers and it took the potential of the iPad to a new level.  Splashtop is an inexpensive app for the iPad that gives the teacher the ability to use their iPad to run their computer while walking around the room.  Do you realize how cool this is? I loved when I received my first Airliner because I had the freedom to get away from being the sage on the stage stuck with the pen for my whiteboard.  Now, I can connect my iPad to my laptop and touch, tap, click and move items on my iPads around as if I was using the mouse on my computer. It’s incredible. It was the perfect day to show the IT Director Splashtop because he downloaded it for only $4.99. Tonight I went in and found it for only $1.99.  I paid $20 just a month ago and it’s even worth it at that price. It was just about one year ago that I was so excited about Doceri (see my post from 5-24-11), but I find Splashtop just a little more friendly for teachers. Biggest difference was that I paid $50 for Doceri.  Hmmm……..



An image to share
Gestures for Splashtop




A proverb
“ Seeing is believing.”  American proverb


An encouragement

I would really encourage you to consider the freedom of Splashtop on the iPad. Walking around the classroom, visiting groups of students or handing the iPad to a student to interact with the lesson are just a few reasons to consider this cool tool. For teachers who already have an interactive white board in their classroom, this app works in conjunction with what you are already doing, but gives you the ability to remove yourself from the stage.  For teachers that do not have an interactive whiteboard in their classroom, Splashtop provides a collaborative and interactive experience that can be shared with the students at the fraction of the cost of a full size whiteboard. I love the idea of interactive whiteboards in the classroom, but as I travel around I see too many teachers using it only as a big screen or stuck in the front of the room.  Splashtop gives the true intention of engagement with a whiteboard back to the teacher. Once you see it in action, you’ll get it.  Seeing is believing.


How do you do that?

How do you connect your iPad to your computer so you can walk around your classroom? Once you download the app, you will also need to download the desktop version of the program.  The computer and iPad will “talk” to each other over the same wireless network.  When you are lucky, they connect seamless with the app open and the Splashtop Streaming program open.  If you are not so lucky, you can manually add a computer by finding the IP address.  (Now don’t think that’s some techy thing you need to know because the desktop version of the program will find the IP address automatically.) After you add the IP address you enter a password that you create on the desktop and then you will see your computer’s desktop as real as real can be on your iPad.  The best part is that you can go anywhere on your computer from anywhere in the room if it is projected onto a screen or interactive whiteboard.  The power of Splashtop will give students the ability to interact with the lesson without ever leaving their seat and for some of our more shy students that’s a deal.  Great job Splashtop.  They even have annotation and record capability. Splashtop is agnostic.  It does not care if you use Windows or Mac – just use it!


tuesdays with Karen” is a weekly newsletter/blog designed to encourage, equip and empower teachers to be creative with educational technology.


As always, I am
Ubiquitously yours,
K


2 comments:

Julie Sawyer said...

Karen, I have been thinking about whether to spend the money for this app -- thanks for writing about it. Sounds like money well spent.

Karen C. Seddon said...

It is definitely worth. Please let me know if you like it and how you are using it in your classroom. Thanks, Julie.