Teaching the Teachers

November 24, 2012

This week I was asked by the head of our iPad trial group in school to run a session showing how I use my iPad in my lessons. As many teachers know, it’s one thing to stand up in front of a group of children and teach them, and quite another to standing front of a group of teachers and try and do the same. So to say I was nervous is putting it mildly!

I decided to run through the apps I use the most and give a short demonstration of each one.

The apps I decided to show are ones I have reviewed before, so I have included the links to the relevant blog post below.

Teacherkit – my main teacher planner
Keynote – an invaluable way of presenting (especially when teamed with Keynote remote) – although I think I need to do a proper review of this app (maybe next week!)
Doceri – another way of presenting, but more interactive.
Make my Own Puzzles – easy way to make crosswords and word searches.
Socrative – an easy to use interactive quiz maker.

I had lots of fun setting up my Socrative quiz, so that all the teachers could compete in teams whilst doing a general knowledge quiz. If you want to try out my quiz (and you have Socrative) then you can use this code to get a copy of the questions. Just click on ‘import quiz’ and type in ‘SOC-594748’

You can see the Keynote presentation I gave by watching this video (I am trying out Vimeo as a place the store my instructional videos, instead of my YouTube channel – so my pupil’s work can be on YouTube).

The slide change overs are quite fast(apologies), they were manual clicks but apparently Keynote makes them very quick when you export it to video!


VGA Connection (at last!)

October 13, 2012

You may remember my blog post about connecting my iPad to an HDMI whiteboard. I mentioned the difficulties I was having connecting to a similar board, but with a VGA connector.

Well this week I finally solved the problem (with the help from another teacher who is genius with all things technical – don't tell him I said this!)

So to connect your iPad through a VGA connector to a whiteboard you will need the following:

1. A VGA Manual Switching Box, I got mine from Amazon.

2. 2 VGA cables (I found some cheap on EBay)

3. A VGA to iPad adapter which you can get from the Apple store.

You then need to connect them together:

1 VGA cable goes from the VGA connector box to the projector (Beige Cable in the picture), the computer VGA cable goes in one of the ports (blue cable into port A), and your 2nd VGA cable goes out from the other port (white cable, port B).

You can then easily switch between the computer and your iPad by pressing either button A or B on the front of the box.

To connect your iPad you just need to connect your VGA adapter into the spare VGA cable (white in my case) and then into your iPad. Press button B and hey presto – iPad projected onto the screen!

I mentioned before that I have to be able to easily connect between 4 different boards (2 of which are HDMI and 2 are VGA). So once I have my adapters, I can easily connect into any of the boards that have the cables pre-set up.

I know it would be easier with an Apple TV, but I still have to connect the Apple TV into the various boards before I can project by AirPlay (and I am not buying 4 Apple TVs!).

One annoying thing with the cable set up, is that there is no sound. But I have (another) cable coming that should solve that problem, if it works then I will share it with you in another post.

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