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Tablet to replace IWB

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by School Boy Error, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    Hi,
    I was wondering if anyone had gone down this route? Our SmartBoards will be on the way out soon I'm sure and I was thinking if we had a tablet that "took control" of our class PC easily it would perhaps be cheaper and work better than an IWB. Anyone have any recommendations for hardware or software?
     
  2. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    Or rather something that will mirror my classroom PC.
     
  3. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    You're probably thinking of a full fledged tablet pc, but a simple bluetooth graphics table (waacom, genie etc) will do what you want for little money.
    We've got a few in school (some non-mainstream brand; v.basic; v.v. cheap models we bought a fair few years ago) which seem to work well.
    So I would suspect that some of the nice new waacom models would be very good.


     
  4. Hi
    There's an app from logitech that allows a tablet to be used instead of the mouse or touch with a beamer or WB. I'm bit intrigued to follow and expand on this, as the tablet could become the modern version of the old chalk and slate perhaps. Advantage being that nothing would be wiped away and lost but saved on a server.
    Anyone else thinking along these lines.
     
  5. A wireless mouse would be an even cheaper option - £10 or so at the cheapest, although maybe nearer £30 for a decent bluetooth mouse and keyboard set, or splash out and get Gyration kit that lets you use the mouse in mid-air.

    If you want a tablet PC, the iPad is still probably the best bit of hardware around. You can use it with VNC to mirror what's on your PC's screen or as a giant track-pad to simply control the cursor on the front-of-class display.
     
  6. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    We have a gyration kit in the hall. I was thinking more for the teacher to use rather than an IWB so s/he could stand at the front of the class and, while facing the class, make annotations on the board, manipulate etc.
    Also, it could be passed to children to demonstrate something on the board. I am thinking about when our IWB's go up it. If there was a decent solution this might remove the need for £1000+ IWB's in place of £300-£400 tablets.
    So really I'd like it to mirror whats on my computer but so I can manipulate flash games, open other files, navigate the internet and through PowerPoints and annotate things where necessary. Also means it needs a decent battery life because as soon as it needs to be plugged in again I might as well just have hte IWB.
     
  7. I like the whiteboard/screen and http://cdn.coolest-gadgets.com/wp-content/uploads/keysonic-400.jpg solution personally! An Android tablet, wifi network in the room and VNC might be the perfect solution for you though....
     
  8. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    Can I access the internet on an Android tablet via a proxy though?
     
  9. Shouldn't be a problem - just set your DNS as the proxy box and authenticate with your username/password?
     
  10. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    Thanks, the reason I asked was because I knew it didn't work on Android on mobile devices but wasn't sure about tablets.
     
  11. Really? It works on all my (4) Android phones through our proxy. You can use Wifi >> Settings >> menu key >> Advanced to set static information if needed.
     
  12. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    Really? I'll have to try it again. When I first got the phone just before the summer I did some reading and everyone was moaning that some a fundamental issue was missed out. Maybe they have sorted it now....
     
  13. We do use http://www.ruckuswirelessuk.co.uk/ as our solution if it helps, but yes, android connects to the wifi great, asks you for your LDAP login on the first web browser page and you're connected and working!
     
  14. I've bought an Ipad for one of our teachers instead of a whiteboard. It uses Splashtop whiteboard, and seems really good. We've only had it for a week though so it's too early to make an informed judgement. She's off on maternity leave at the end of the week and I'll be looking after it till September, so I'll let you know how I get on.
     
  15. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    Problem with the iPad's is lack of connectivity to shared network drives. Although if it's mirroring a desktop PC it shouldn't be a problem....
     
  16. I have a setup in one of my classrooms where I have an AppleTV connected to a projector. This allows me to mirror an iPad onto the wall with far greater functionality than your average IWB. With the iPad and AppleTV having a combined cost of £500 it's also cheaper than an IWB.

    Unfortunately the AppleTV won't connect through the proxy, so it's initial setup had to be done at home, and it's only function when in school is to mirror the iPad as it won't connect to iTunes.

    I also teach in several different classrooms and it's not convenient to carry the AppleTV around, as despite it's small size, I'd need to also carry the numerous attachments as not all our projectors have HDMI ports.

    Other than that, I find the setup to be great. I prepare resources using Keynote and "draw" on the board using any one of numerous whiteboard apps. Showing videos is a breeze, as is accessing the file server to show shared resources. If my department had the money, I'd put an AppleTV in every classroom we use, as we all carry iPads around anyway.
     
  17. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    I'm firmly against iPad's to be honest having gone on one of their courses I shared my concerns (lack of home drive support, printing, network drives, usb etc etc) with the course leader he said he'd get back to me with some solutions and he didn't. I'm not prepared to replace our entire infrastructure to accomdate an iPad so it's kind of a no no. That's why I was going down the route of Android hoping it would fit in to our existing network.
     
  18. To be honest the iPad vs Android debate is down to personal preference. I had a Dell Streak and a Galaxy Tab, and although the Tab could get through the school Proxy it was a pain to switch on and off each time I switched from the school to home WiFi. I also find the range of iPad apps to be far superior and for that I am willing to give up a little control of my device (although the moment an untethered jailbreak is released I'll be there).

    As for printing, I use Print Central, which works pretty well. FileBrowser let's me access shared network drives and my home folder. DropBox has allowed me to abandon USB Flash Memory altogether.
     
  19. School Boy Error

    School Boy Error Occasional commenter

    Have you done the recent OS (OS5?!) upgrade on your iPad? That stopped our deputy printing with File n Share. If Print Central still works I'll recommend it to him.
     
  20. Yes. Not all printers are supported and it takes a little setting up though.
     

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