This week, the International Society for Technology in Education conference is being held in Philadelphia. For people interested in instructional technology and integration, the ISTE conference is sort of like Woodstock. It gives educators the chance to attend sessions with Will Richardson, Hall Davidson, Alan November and many others. I spent the day at ISTE yesterday and dedicated a good deal of time walking around the exhibit floor checking out new websites, devices and services that I could use in my classes and feature on the 8 Blog. While I saw a lot of really innovative products on the exhibit floor, one of the more surprising realizations I had was that there are many companies getting into the interactive whiteboard business. For the better part of the last decade, the interactive whiteboard (IWB) market has been dominated by a handful of companies (Smart and Promethean, to name a few). Checking out the exhibits at ISTE, however, it seems that many companies are trying to jump into the market, even companies that have already established themselves with other products. By looking at the ISTE exhibit floor, it seems that the IWB business is hot.
But, it’s really not. Talking to educators from districts that are hampered by budgetary constraints, many are moving away from installing new interactive whiteboards because of their tremendous expense. While a traditional IWB can be expensive to purchase and install, Splashtop offers a really inexpensive alternative that educators need to check out. Splashtop Whiteboard is an app that allows educators to control their desktop or laptop computer remotely from an iPad. While there are several iPad apps that offer this ability, Splashtop Whiteboard stands out because it offers annotation features that many of the competitors lack. With Splashtop installed on an iPad, educators can remotely control their Mac or PC to show movies, demonstrate websites, and lead Powerpoint presentations. Of course, educators will still need a digital projector in their classroom to use Splashtop Whiteboard but, unlike a stationary IWB that is mounted on a wall, Splashtop Whiteboard leverages the mobility and ease-of-use of the iPad to bring the interactivity to students. The iPad can be handed to a student who can use Splashtop Whiteboard to show how to solve a problem, how to graph a relationship or outline an idea. Splashtop Whiteboard offers all of this functionality for around $10 on the app store.
To see how Slashtop Whiteboard works, be sure to check out the following tutorial: