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How to Use the iPad in Teaching [Part 2]

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A while back educator Steve Lai shared Part 1 of how to use your iPad in teaching. Today, Part 2 looks at how you can setup your iPad for projection in your classroom. 

How to set up your iPad for projection in the classroom

So you have your new iPad and would like to project it for your class. AirPlay Mirroring (projecting it on a large screen) is a great feature for your teaching, especially if you already have access to a projector. There are limitless teaching possibilities with mirroring your iPad.

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Two Ways to Achieve This

You will need either a projector with a VGA (older) or HDMI (more recent) connections. Also, corresponding 30-pin or Lightning cables as well for both of the following choices.

1. If your classroom does not have strong Wi-Fi, or if you teach in multiple classrooms:

Get yourself an Apple connection kit, either VGA or HDMI (both $49), depending on your projector. These adaptors will completely mirror what’s on your iPad, including Safari, Photos, Camera, Videos, and all apps.


A disadvantage of this method is that you are bound by the length of your cable. However, if you tend to teach from one spot in the room, this will be sufficient.

Note: Both lightning and 30 pin adaptors are available for VGA and HDMI connections.

2. If you have a classroom with strong wifi:

I would highly recommend getting an Apple TV for your classroom. This costs $109 CDN, but offers your best option for projecting your iPad. Also, if you have multiple iPads/iPods or iPhones (perhaps a class set of iDevices), they can take turns showing their screens to the class (all devices must be on the same wifi network). This is a great way to share student work on iPads. Also, as a teacher, you are free to roam around your entire class with your device.

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Kanex ATV Pro HDMI video converter connected to Apple TV

Apple TV will offer additional features such as PhotoStream, YouTube, Vimeo, Netflix and iTunes music and movies, not as readily available with the wired option.

If you only have a VGA projector, you will need the Kanex adapter ($57 on in order for mirroring to work.

Pro Tip: Make sure to turn off any notifications on your iPad that you wouldn’t want your students to see. They have keen eyes and will notice anything. Also, apps such as YouTube will have “uncensored” comments which will contain inappropriate words. Use an app such as Instatube to save YouTube videos directly to your device instead.

Next week, I will discuss a couple more indispensable teaching apps that I use.

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The following was a guest post by Steve Lai (@sly111), a French Specialist entering his 13th year of teaching, and teaches almost 400 students in Grades 1 through 5 at an independent school in Richmond, B.C. He is an advocate of technology education and is always looking for ways to enrich his lessons with technology. Visit his iPad blog at


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