How to use a single iPad to benefit your entire class

May 3, 2012

This is a cross-post from the EasyBib blog -


The iPad has been on the scene just a little over two years now, and already it is starting to dominate many classrooms across the country. It is amazing to see such incredible adoption in education – a market that has been notoriously cautious when warming up to brand new technology. While there is no doubt that the iPad is an extraordinary personal learning device, many had doubts on how this tool could be leveraged to be used in the classroom effectively. Like all electronics in the mobile space, the device is key, but even more important is the eco-system of applications that are available for it. And even more important still is the way in which teachers can effectively leverage its abilities for their students to have a valid learning experience.

Apps for education started to trickle in. Slow at first, with the first crop of them focused on simple interactions with content. For example, the app Elements allowed users to spin virtual elements around and read about their properties in depth. It looked slick and was useful as a reference, but didn’t seem to go beyond that. It is when developers started to really think creatively about how the 10 inches of glass could serve as a creation canvas that things started to get interesting.

There is no short supply of apps today that help users create interactive stories, work on math problems with one another in a digitally synchronous environment, and even more amazing are the apps like ShowMe that allow users to create a lesson to teach a concept with the world as well as browse a huge library of these user generated videos to learn from as well.

Many schools are looking to get iPads into the hands of teachers and/or students. There are many that are piloting a small number of the devices and even a handful of schools that are making a 1-1 investment in the devices for their students.

In spite of many schools starting to implement the iPad in the classroom, there are many more that haven’t yet due to funding issues as well as the fact that many schools are still unsure of how to really use these devices in the classroom.

Having a single iPad in the classroom can actually still be a valuable tool for both the instructor and students alike. Mainly because the screen can now be shared with the class so easily.

There are several ways to project an iPad’s screen in the classroom. There is one given – You will need to have a projector. If you have a projector that has HDMI (which many new projectors do indeed have) then you have several options on how to project with your iPad.

You can buy an adaptor from Apple for $30 that allows you to plug in directly from the iPad to the HDMI port of the projector and the screen will be shown on both devices. Apple calls this “mirroring”.

If you purchase an AppleTV ($99) and plug that into the projector (also via HDMI connection) then you can use the iPad to “Mirror” its display through the AppleTV. The catch here is that you will need a reliable WiFi signal in addition to the hardware that both the AppleTV and the iPad can be synced to. This cuts the cord so-to-speak, which is a great step in the right direction. But again, the school’s WiFi should be strong.

To actually mirror the image so that it can be seen though the projector you can follow these steps.

  1. Make sure AppleTV is on and configured on the same WiFi network as the iPad.
  2. Double click the home button on the iPad, which will bring up the system tray. (Icons of the apps that are currently opened and running in the background)
  3. Swipe your finger on the bottom system tray to the right. You will see the options for volume and brightness as well as a display icon. When you press the display icon you can now select the AppleTV choice and within a few seconds the screen will mirror.

Another option, which I happen to really like, is a piece of software that works on any Apple computer. It is called Reflection and it is a $15 app (multiple licenses can be purchased for a reduced rate). Reflection allows you to mirror your iPad screen on your Apple desktop and that can be projected the same way you would project any computer screen.

What I especially like about the Reflection and AppleTV options are the fact that the iPad, even if it is only one of them, can be shared amongst multiple students and the entire class can see the screen at one time. While the same is true for the HDMI dongle version, the fact that the wire must be connected to the device and projector at all times limits mobility.

While having one device shared between many students might not be ideal, this is a good way to expose students to the wonderful world of content available only on the iPad platform as well as offer some interactivity in their learning. Students can easily pass the device around the room and interact with the app (depending on the apps being used).

The whole idea of using technology as part of the classroom is great – but when used appropriately and made accessible to all the students is when we really realize and harness the full potential of what the technology can do for the students.

To learn about some wonderful iOS apps that are out there you have to follow the site  and  These are two of the best resources dedicated to reviewing iOS apps out there. If Android apps are more your thing, Richard Byrne runs a blog called which is also quite helpful in locating the apps that are useful in the classroom.

Changing the World

November 16, 2011

Last year I came up with the idea for the Change the World campaign.  It really caught on and we had over 28,000 people click on the penny on the Change the World page.  That was incredible to me.  In addition to the clicks, there were 100s of bloggers and Twitter-folk sharing the link, posting the Change the World badge on their site, and hanging the QR codes in the schools. 

So far, since October 1st, we have had over 46,000 clicks on the penny! It is so amazing to see that kind of support from educators and students from 107 different countries.

This year I wanted to do more and so I invited educational technology companies and educators to join me and match us penny-for-penny to get more deeply involved in the work.  Google, YouTube, and Dell have all been tremendously supportive and helpful by helping to publicize the Change the World charity campaign.

A special Thank You to my good friend Richard Byrne. Richard is the force behind and he is matching us penny-for-penny to help us Make a Difference and Change the World. Richard is also a dedicated Social Studies teacher from Maine.

Andrew Schwab is another friend and fellow Google Teacher Academy Seattle alum that is helping the Change the World campaign. Andrew is an IT director living in California and is a dedicated educator as well.

Another special person who has been supportive of the Change the World program and helped to spread the word is Mario Armstrong, the Emmy-Award Winning Technology Guru.

Thank you all for the support!!!

There is still one week left to get involved - so if you have not yet, go and click on  Next week we will ask for suggestions of charities (educational or childrens health) that should get the donations, so please let us know which organizations matter most to you and they will be in the running to receive the money.

Thank you all for helping to Change the World!


The Tech Commandments - Featured on Mind/Shift

July 8, 2011

I was very excited that (an awesome blog dedicated to the future of learning) ran a re-cap of some of my "Tech Commandments".  The article got picked up by SmartBrief ASCD and SmartBrief EdTech.  Thanks everyone for sharing the article and keeping the conversation going as we work towards a system that fosters true learning in the classroom. 

The article can be found here...

ISTE Member Profile

June 8, 2011

eduTecher featured in ISTE's Learning & Leading Magazine

February 22, 2011

Super Book of Web Tools for Educators

December 12, 2010


The Life and Death of Web 2.0

May 21, 2010

Writing 2.0

April 20, 2010

I will be presenting as part of the Discovery Education Network's Shining Star Event on April 27th at 7:00 pm EST.

The presentation I have put together focuses on web tools that help teachers motivate and teach students about writing in the Elementary School classroom. 

Please feel free to watch the presentation. 

eduTecher App 1.1

March 23, 2010

An update for the eduTecher app is at Apple for approval now and should be available the first week of April 2010.  The update addresses a few important issues...

1 - Faster load time

2 - Supports older iPhones and iPods

3 - Auto-Refresh is working

4 - New categories and Search terms - The same as the new website search

5 - Updated graphics

These imporvements make a big difference!

Now we turn the focus to working on an iPad app.

The app has been downloaded on over 2000 devices across 46 countries.

Be sure to check it out in the App Store.

Social Media Counts...

March 3, 2010

Welcome to the NEW eduTecher

February 21, 2010

We are proud to announce that the eduTecher site has been redesigned and completely renovated to make it easier to use.

In addition to the new look, we have a much improved search feature that allows you to narrow or expand your search with a click of the mouse. 

We now have more than 900 webtools reviewed on the site and each one lets the user rate them and have their say by adding their experiences, thoughts, ideas, and opinions to our social commenting tool.

The eduTecher iPhone app is proving to be a big hit with educators all over the world.  People in over 45 countries have downloaded it and are using the FREE app to find resources for their classrooms.  And yes... there is an iPad app in the works as well.

This is the biggest overhaul we have done to the site and we feel it is a great improvement and hope that you will love it as much as we do.

As always, we are open to suggestions and feedback. 


A day in the Internet

January 22, 2010

While in my hunt for resources, I came across the following facts that were published by Online Education. It is always astounding how fast we as a culture are connecting and moving. I also think about how these numbers grow astronomically on a daily basis.

Created by

eduTecher - There's an app for that!

December 25, 2009


Here is a look at the eduTecher iPhone app that is currently up for review over at Apple.  I am hoping to have it "shipped" the first week or two of January.

eduTecher 2.0

December 5, 2009

eduTecher is a site that only exists to help the community it serves, teachers and students.  We are looking at ways to improve the look, feel, and overall experience you have when coming to eduTecher and want your feedback.  Here you will see what we were toying with as a way of redesigning the homepage.  It is very different, yet hopefully easier to use.  There are a lot of other exciting changes in the works including a desktop application and a mobile site as well.  We aim to make life a littler better and a little easier for teachers using technology successfully in the classroom and hope to have your input as to what you think as well as what you want....

Thank you!

Adam Bellow

The Tech Commandments

September 10, 2009

    The Tech Commandments are a reaction to what I have seen and experienced in
schools over the past several years. I am a firm believer that successful implementation
of educational technology is one of the corner stones that can help bring our educational
system back from the brink of collapse that I feel it teeters on now. Our students need
real-world experiences, they need to understand and be taught with the tools that they
have access to in our world today.
    I hear veteran teachers say all the time that children and education have changed.
I think only one of those is really true. Children have changed – because the world has
changed. Education as a system and process has very much remained stagnant. It is time
to explore our educational system a little closer and keep what works, fix what doesn’t,
and create a learning environment that fills our students with not only knowledge, but
passion and the desire to learn.
    We aim to prepare students of today for the life they will lead tomorrow and the
following “ten commandments” are ideas that aim to help educators make the right
choices when it comes to incorporating educational technology tools in the school setting.

NECC Unplugged - Education 2.0

June 23, 2009

  I will be attending NECC this year which is going to be held in Washington DC.   It is sure to be an amazing conference with thousands of eduTechers in attendance.  On Monday, June 29th at 10:30 I will have the honor and privilege to be making a presentation entitled “Education 2.0”.  The goal is to examine practical ways to engage students and inspire teachers to utilize the great resources that technology has to offer in the classroom setting.  I will be demonstrating six or more Web 2.0 apps and having a real dialogue about how to make the Read-Write-Web a reality in the modern day public school classroom and overcome resistance to such a worthy and incredibly useful resource.

Help eduTecher Change the World!

January 1, 1970

January 1, 1970

January 1, 1970

January 1, 1970