When I first got my own iPad and began to play around with it and think of how I would use it in my teaching, I knew I would want to be able to show the iPad screen on a “big screen” so that the students could see how to operate an app or for following along as we searched or worked with an online site or app. I went out and got an iPad Dock Connector to VGA Adapter from our local Apple store (this is what they told me I would need) and took it to school the next day to try it out using my iPad, Macbook and LCD projector. No luck. After some investigation online, I found out that there are actually only a few things that work with the adapter, including Keynote and Youtube. I found that very frustrating and soon found out that Apple had not really anticipated all the ways educators would want to use iPads in classrooms. During a meeting with two reps from Apple Canada yesterday, I learned that the second generation iPad will have this feature built in so that the screen and apps will be able to be projected.
With some help from a colleague, we got the software downloaded on my Macbook and got it running today to use with a class in the library. It was great for showing students how to use a new application on the iPad – in this case, showing the students how to change the font type and size on the Writer’s Studio app. We also used it to share some of the student work on the big screen so everyone could see what others had done. It’s super easy to take the camera out of the stand and move it around using the longish USB cable to focus on different student’s work around the room.