These are exciting times to be in the educational system, be it as a teacher or a student. Just a few years back, paper and pens were high tech and sounds of chalk hitting blackboards had in many places only begun to be replaced by the sounds of permanent markers on whiteboards. These days you bare have to touch paper as a student if you don’t want to, and teachers no longer have to rely on school funding to get equipment like digital whiteboards or document camera – because there are apps for that. I’ve talked about apps like AirSketch before and I’ve even showed you how a Wii game controller and an IR pen can do the job of expensive professional equipment using Smoothboard.
Splashtop’s new app is elegantly right in the middle of these two solutions, providing Smoothboard’s ability to annotate on top of a PC OS and Airsketch’s ability to freely roam around a room and control everything from an iPad. Another way to describe it is as a version of Splashtop that has a drawing program integrated into the iPad side of things, so you can draw/annotate on top of the image coming from the computer (and mirror it back to the computer screen). It’s probably the most powerful interactive whiteboard solution for the iPad out there, and being able to work on top of a PC environment means that having different documents open etc is a lot easier as well.
This also allows for some a bit more niche uses, e.g. imagine a lecturer at a game developer school (which my school has a department for) who launches a computer game and makes notes about e.g the interface placement and design on top of a running copy of World of Warcraft before saving a screen capture and making it available to students. One of my old lecturers in statistics could also certainly have used this when he tried to show us how to use SPSS, a statistics program that half the students never learned how to use properly.
The app is currently $9.99 for a limited time before going up to the regular price of $19.99. Even at full price that’s likely less than 1% of what a “proper” interactive whiteboard system costs, as long as you have an iPad of course.