In2edu I.C.T. Resources Enhancing Education & Learning

Interactive White Boards verses LED/AppleTV and iPads

This is a review I wrote three years ago as we started to take out IWB's and replace them with LED/Apple TV's and iPads - pricing not necessarily current.

This document explores the concept of interactive whiteboards, their cost and looking at the alternative of an iPad, Apple TV, LED TV/Projector combo.

Existing Situation

A range of IWB boards in the school. Most of these are being used occasionally as IWB’s and are instead used to display screens. The biggest exception is in the Learning Support area.
5G has been trialling a different type of “interactive” system, that of iPads (the interactive hands on component) with Apple TV+ LED Screen ( the display component)

The three proposed systems

  1. IWB $7000-$9000 per system with projector, ongoing maintenance costs higher due to cost of replacing bulbs. Boards date over time but will run for years. Could also purchase touch-screen LEDS for a higher price.
  2. LED+ Apple TV for displaying of digital devices AND iPads for interactive hands on surfaces. The iPads are crucial part of the package if these are to be seen as a replacement for an IWB. Combination of 65 LED+Apple TV+8 x mini iPads = $6000
  3. Interactive projector + Apple TV for displaying of digital devices AND iPads for interactive hands on surfaces. The iPads are crucial part of the package if these are to be seen as a replacement for a full IWB. The interactive projector has dropped in price incredibly. Will work with a laptop - not iPads. Software in interactive projectors at last test Nov 2012 is not really useable and reliable, although the concept is worth revisiting in the future (best of all worlds scenario possibly)


  • Which system best fits differentiated group based learning, preparing pupils for the 1:1 laptop programme.
  • What system is better value to achieve the above?
  • What systems will require less PD (pupils and teachers)?
  • What systems have better ease of use?

Points of Difference

LED have brighter and crisper displays. Last longer and do not dim so rapidly. Bulbs in projectors are $250 - $450 to replace every two years. They are not as big as an interactive whiteboard and can be mounted on tilting technology to point to different parts of the room. Less size means smaller display for distance although with the brighter/crisper screen it possibly evens things up. LED’s have more glare from their semi-reflective surface.
iPads in teachers hands will rapidly become input devices for mobile assessment in the class (pupil and teacher), directly interfaced into SMS/LMS. iPads are not the same as laptops in their interactive use. They provide are marked ease of use in touch interactivity. They are more efficient in carrying out a variety of important portfolio tasks and interacting with LMS/SMS.
Two pupils can interact with learning packages and or show them on the projector full screen to class for same price as an IWB i.e. 3 ipads and apple TV = 2700 approx.
If we put in the newest solution from Promethean at 9395 we could purchase for a class: 5 iPads, one interactive projector (i.e has interaction without having to use a board, screen, one LED's and 2 apple TVs. This means multiple groups (ten kids at two an ipad) interaction, three points at which we can demonstrate learning (projector and two LED's) all for approx $9000.
A teacher can wirelessly connect to a projector/LED from iPads OR laptop to show materials full screen. Have a larger number of pupil interactions, keep their laptop more free (i.e. can't use laptop for other tasks while being used for IWB)

The reality of interaction of the existing IWB is that they are fairly minimal, this is because as Anna suggested at the most you can only have two kids up at the board anyway and I still think the other solutions will provide better group based, pupil based interactions. This is also because out of the box the IWB software is more difficult to use.

Ryan mentioned about multiple voting systems also with the IWB. I agree with him that this is a great idea. However, I have found that either google Forms or for quicker polling Socrative are better full class solutions that are more easily deployed, especially with 1:1 coming through. I have had experience with both systems and would say that the simplicity of Socrative makes implementation much easier in terms of feedback systems.
  • Easier to relocate the "board" to another wall. Just move the projector/LED. Any hard surface and can get large sizes easily. 
  • Easier to tilt or direct the LED display to a different part of the room.
  • Interactive projectors can run interactively without requiring a computer.
  • In some classes the boards are too high on wall to easily interact with for some pupils. Hard to adjust for all the different heights. Stools needed in most cases.
  • iPad allows you to stand/sit anywhere in the room and have the display show what you are working on. You can attach one device and then another to the Apple TV. Be great to easily work.
  • Total cost of ownership on IWB can be higher... bulbs in projectors need replacement every 2-3 years, harder to relocate these if focus of room changes.
iPads are not the same as laptops in their interactive use. They provide are marked ease of use in touch interactivity. They are more efficient in displaying and using some digital learning tools.

Purchasing Decision Notes

  • IWB’s allow physically 2-3 to interact, the Apple TV+LED+iPad combinations allow for 7 interactions for the same dollar value and more importantly I think better fit where we are trying to go with learning and teaching.
  • The combination of iPads+Apple TV + LED is less expensive to purchase and less expensive to maintain bar accidents or theft of gear.Questions
  • If you have more than one Apple TV in the room how do they handle multiple attachments? (Very well)

Is the Interactive Projector a better choice? - I found these when I tested as next to useles.. maybe in 2-3 years

Apple Maps Replacement for iOS6

Pasted Graphic
I installed iOS 6 on a 3GS iPhone and immediately on startup was struck by increased speed… unexpected. My use of iOS 6 has been enjoyable apart from the one problem faced by many, the replacement of Google Maps with Apple Maps. While I understand the reasons behind the move, less reliance on Google for mapping which is a core feature of a cellphone these days, but I really can't use Maps here in little old N.Z., Christchurch as it is just not accurate enough. I use the NavFree GPS (different versions for different countries) for turn by turn which does a great job at an amazing price - it uses Google search and open map data. However, sometimes the Maps app with quick search, birds eye and location is what I am after, so I hunted for replacement map Apps.
I looked for accuracy and clarity of maps included, ease of use of GPS pulse on a map, calculating rout
Pasted Graphic 1
es and general ease of use of the App. I tested maps with place names within city and outside, including one with a recent change. Essentially data for most comes from Google Maps.
Searching for maps gives thousands of entries but here are some selected options:
  1. Add a Google Maps link by visiting Google Maps which will take you to the mobile version. Bookmark it and add to your home screen etc.
  2. Wait for the Google Map App to be released.. apparently not far away.
OR look for another App - tried searching under maps in the App store, installed a number and here are my picks.
  1. Bing App if it can be installed… not available in NZ, apparently is good. I was not able to test this.
  2. Fine Maps (version 3.1) Quick, easy to search.. quick reference to other information on your destination. (Pencil notes crashes the App each time). You can draw your own ruler on screen for distance. Uses Google Maps but can change to Bing. Route planning not that easy to use.
  3. Maps+ (version 1.3.2) (my choice) The lite version has enough to keep you happy in the main. Ability to turn GPS locator on and off in the maps and customise where your own screen buttons are. Leaves more screen available for maps, no ads or ongoing annoying reminders. Reliable.
Apps I wrote off for obtrusive ads, lack of features or poor user interface (ui): My Places, MapsWithMe, Road Tripper, MapPocket

Welcome to your new MacBook

Welcome to your new laptop. Please remember to treat it with care and respect at all times and use it in a way that reflects our Medbury values. Take it home in the sleeve, within your bag... do not leave it unattended (out in open view) inside your house, at school or in cars.

There are three important to-do's and a number of tips below as you start to use your new MacBookPro.

  1. Register the Applecare warranty for your laptop under your parents name here. You can check that it is registered properly using this tip.
  2. Check that insurance for the laptop is all setup with your parents.
  3. Discuss with your parents Internet and game use at home so that you are great Digital Citizen who is Cyber-Safe and also balanced in your lifestyle. (We will be holding a session for parents this term on the use of K9 so that they can have Internet filtering on your laptop at home).
Other To-Dos
  1. Label the STIM cover with a stitched label or a tag on the Zip
  2. Decide if you would like a skin for your laptop (they can be purchased here, and on other sites) BUT you must have any with significant design/pattern or your own design on them approved first (i.e. these need approval) by your teacher or the ICT Director. Note that some types have cutouts for the Apple logo to shine through and others don't.
Becoming an Advanced User
  1. How to videos are found here.
  2. A manual for your MacBook Pro 13" is here
  3. More Tips here
  4. More Tips to become an advanced user are found here
  5. Our  homepage for the 1:1 Blog is here
    Other Thoughts
    • You cannot create any other accounts on this computer as your account does not have administration rights. If you wish to do so take your laptop to ICT Support, knowing the names of the accounts you wish to create. DO NOT let anyone else know your password other than your parents.
    • You can become an administrator of your own computer by passing the I.C.T. Pupils Drivers Licence (see it here), but this will take a bit of time. Passing this can hep you achieve your Bronze ICT Achievement badge AND in joining the ICT Crew.


    Top Educational Freeware for Your Mac


    Here is a quick overview of the Applications - Programs installed on the Apple MacOSX laptops in the school. They focus on learning and productivity. Of course, using Web2.0 documents are not covered in this entry, such as online mindmapping, GoogleApps, GoogleDocs, and delicious etc. So we will update you on our best web 2.0 picks very soon.

    Have a look at the list and check out how you could use them. Also check out our top educational freeware/open source here.

    Checking Applecare and Warranty Status

    Click for larger view
    Visit this site with the serial of your machine. It gives you instructions on finding the serial and how to type it in to check the AppleCare and other status points of your laptop. Register your laptop first and this system becomes active. All the AppleCare have been processed and checked at our end for you, but if you would like to check please do so and get back to us if there seems to be any problems.

    Traffic Lights for Online Responsibility

    This is our new online responsibility visual. Developed within the school we are promoting this as a quick overview of the responsibilities we all have in using social media and posting online information. It summarises some aspects of the ICT Code of Conduct which outlines further details.

    Backing up your Laptop

    Apple laptops have a automatic backup system built in. If you connect a usb or firewire portable drive (external drive), the operating system will recognise it and ask if you want to use the drive as a TimeMachine backup drive. This video overviews the process. Tip: When you name your backup drive it is wise not to use spaces in the name i.e. "MyBackup" not "My Backup"
    If your drive is not recognised try formatting the drive (see picture below). Feel free to talk to school technicians first, if things like this make you nervous- we love to help.

    Only implement the following steps if you are feeling confident about what you are doing.


    Creating Bookmarks and Folders in Safari

    A few visual tips on being organised with bookmarks/favourites/favorites. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

    All Internet browsers (Firefox, Chrome etc.) allow you to do something similar.... so if you are using a different browser then use these ideas to figure out how your browser works with bookmarks.

    Pupil and Parent ICT Licences

    To provide a benchmark and a positive start to your 1:1 experience, these will guide you to the basic skills that are important for success with your new device. They only focus on important skills and habit not on the learning and learning competencies that will also be part of the 1:1 implementation. Click on the files below to download.

    You will be presented with a certificate when you have achieved these Expert or Ultra-Expert levels. There are Skills ladders for most of the programs we use. They help us learn to use the programs better, to pass bronze, silver or gold for the I.C.T. Crew and to set learning goals. Look at the full set of I.C.T. Rubrics here or below .
    • Pupils ICT Skills Ladder (Licence to drive a laptop) [View]
    • Parents ICT Skills Ladder (Licence to be "with it")  [View ]
    • ICT Skills Ladder (Skills you can learn in all programs) [View]

    Maintaining Your OS X Computer with Onyx

    Keep your computer running lickerty split and smooth.

    'This requires administrator access to your computer. We will be using ONYX, freeware available from here, with the latest version also usually in our freeware network share at school, so you do not need to download it. Generally, you should optimise your computer every month or so, and especially before and after a large MacOSX system upgrade (always use the combo updaters for these System updates). Locate Onyx in Applications... Onyx and run it. As it starts up you get asked for an administrators password.... Open up the attachment below for a quick tipsheet (use the 'Help' in the program for more details. [View : Download]

    Hot Keys for Experts - MacOS X


    Download this file [View] for our take on the best hot keys to learn to get you going on using software and the OS X operating system (OS) at speeds that will make your friends envious... when you've learned some.. why not share the goodness with someone else.

    Blazing fast web searching

    Monocole is a small freeware utility that we have found that can significantly help in webs searching. Monocle is found here and we suggest you add other search engines to it as we have listed below to take your information exploring to the ultra expert level. Check out our "how to Use" tips sheet below.
    4. (free subscription for NZ schools to Britannica online) Setup if needed via TKI EPIC Databases
    6. Oxford English Dictionary Online Setup if needed via TKI EPIC Databases

    Do you have any search engines you think should be added to this list? Make a comment below.

    For the Databases Via EPIC you will need to get the password allocated to Medbury for this year.

    Manuals and How to Videos.

    In this posting we point you towards manuals and how to videos for a range of software and other tools. Don't forget that the online help, and "googling" a problem are also a god way to learn on the spot. Generally, if you find yourself doing the same thing over and over, and you think there must be a quicker way, then there probably is. Find and learn, save time and become an expert.

    Apple Software and Mac OS X.

    Other I.C.T. Gear
    • Taking Great Digital Camera photos tip [View ]
    • Shooting Video Tips (Storyboards, Shooting, Editing and more) [View PDF]
    Third Party Software
    Comments (1)

    iPad 12 Education Apps. iPad Post 2

    A quick look at the state of play of Keynote indicates some varying opinions. In this post (VGA Presenting), Steven indicates some good success with Keynote. Alternatively, in this post (iPad Misses the Mark), Chris points out the frustrations of moving Keynote files between his desktop and iPad and some missing features he laments. In a 1:1 implementation Keynote will be very important to synthesise and present information. It is one of the key apps our pupils use at school for their learning. I wonder if the problems faced are version based? Here is a list of our most commonly used apps with a note as to whether there is a good alternative.

    Comments (1)

    iPad Game Changer? iPad Post 1

    We are looking at one to one computing devices for our school programme for 2011. In this post we have outlined some of the decision making to be carried out in a mindmap. Over the next few months we will be trialling the iPad as one of the possible devices our pupils could use. Of course in N.Z. the iPad has not yet been released. Up until the keynote of iPhone Os4 and the release of new features on it (especially multitasking) I was thinking that it would be a no show. We also have a few flash enabled websites such as Mathletics that we use as well so the jury is still out. The main factor it boils down to is providing the best tool that matches the learning to take place. Could an iPad in combination with a few pods of laptops for higher end use (video editing, music recording etc.) do the job? Other devices include netbooks and laptops.
    Being an Apple based school we enjoy the great software and hardware we use, but still need to be open to alternatives.
    So, follow this blog as we make our decisions and explore the options.

    Another Post From My iPhone

    Location:Plunket St,Christchurch,New Zealand

    Comments (1)

    Planning for 1 to 1 Devices

    We are looking to do a 1 to 1 computing program in our school. Currently, we are intending to start with our Year 5 classes and each year roll out the 1 to 1 to a new set of pupils and teachers. This will allow us to gradually build up expertise, systems and infrastructure. Here is the one to one planning mindmap that I have put together so far.... any thoughts? I am also trying to put together a best list of links for research... here is what I have so far....
    Comments (1)

    Portraits and Prints Review

    Just recently posted from the authors of Chronosync (backups for Macs) is a range of programs that they have just updated for Snow Leopard. They ( have decided to release Portraits and Prints, Imagecaster (webcam solution) and Daychaser (calendar tool) applications as freeware, deciding to instead focus on their backup business. I will be reviewing Chronosync and the other freeware in upcoming blog entries, in the meantime here is a quick look at Portraits and Prints.
    This program allows you to take images from folders or directly from iPhoto and manipulate them further by simple graphical adjustments, putting them into templates (catalogues) and printing them.
    Templates Art ICT iPhoto

    System Requirements
    A Macintosh computer running Mac OS 10.3 ("Panther") or later, a minimum 400 MHz G3, and a color printer. It is a universal application.
    First Look
    If you have a general familiarity to Macs it is fairly easy to get started when you open the program. Within a few minutes you can have a page of identical or different photos entered into a template ready to print, pdf or publish to disc.
    Similar Programs
    Comic Life - amazing comic layouts, commercial software with significantly more options.
    iPhoto- Supplied with iLife package on new Macs. More graphical manipulations, less catalogue templates.
    Education Suggestions
    Create simple photo captioned sequences.
    Publish a visual report.
    Create invitations or simple photocards.
    Create a photoboard of a class activity or trip.
    Create visual poetry.
    Best Tips
    You can add multiple photos using command+click in the finder dialogue.
    Drag n drop a template to change photos in an existing template to a new or updated template.
    Add plain text to photos by dragging in (the hard to see) blue dot handles on the speech bubble.
    Simple and Free.
    Red Eye - works quickly on a basic "turn my eyeball black" scheme.
    Good range of basic templates.
    Not So Hot
    Can't paste other titles or images (layer) from other programs to enhance presentation, unless you do this on the template itself.
    Can only crop in oblong/rectangular/square shapes, otherwise you use the built in bitmap masks or create your own extra masks available in template mode only.

    Final Word
    Taking in the balance this softwares status of "freeware" verses our Not So Hot comments we award this software three stars. Worth placing in your collection for specific photo printing purposes! 3stars award software mac apple

    iCal, To-Dos and iPhone Syncing

    ical iphone sync to do 2ical iphone sync to do
    I have just spent half a day, a number of dollars and found the solution was already on my iPhone. The desire I had was to sync my iCal to-dos that are scattered over a number of different calendars with my iPhone. At this stage the iPhone calendar or mail will not sync your to-do's. A number of solutions proposed the use of google docs to sync to-dos, but the problem with these is that the tasks in in Google are just one list, not categorised like I need. I searched Googled, bought a new To-Do app (Toodledo - which has a nicer interface than my final choice).
    After virtually giving up having a solution that really suited me I was trolling through the 13th page of a Google term search and then followed a link to the Appigo site... hmmmm I thought to myself ... this software looks familiar and realised I already had it (but had not got into using it as lack of synchronisation with my laptop iCal put me off).The winning combination came from ToDo 3.2 ( combined with a free utility Appigo Sync / To Do is a list manager and does a pretty good job of this as you can see from the screen shots. But the winner for me, was the two minute install of the sync utility (easy to follow videos or screenshots) and I was away. The sync utility basically runs a server program that pulls the data from iCal and pushes it to "ToDo". Done and dusted. You have to run the sync from within ToDo itself on the iPhone (it doesn't happen when you connect the iPhone) and need a wireless connection to do it over.

    Why Mac? Apple Ramble

    “So, if you had 120 computers in your business, what tech support would you have?“ I asked. The sun was streaming down as I talked to a business acquaintance, while watching our boys playing tennis. It was nothing to do with sunstroke, but more like a thunderbolt (slightly poetic licence!), when I realised just how little work is involved in running 120 odd
    macs, that range in age from 1-6 years old, over two operating systems (OS 9 and OS X) and a mix of portables and desktops. His answer, “I would need 1-2 full time technicians“. Off course, other questions immediately arise, like; “Is he purchasing the Windows systems from the same supplier on the same day (checking that they are using all the same specifications in terms of parts)“, is he using ghosting/ drive imaging software to make installation and troubleshooting easier?“ etc. However, I teach 70% of my time which leaves 30% to:
    • help users (teachers and pupils in my school) who have invariably created some of their own problems or just need a helping hand to the next stage of their learning.
    • cover technical issues
    • administrate the network
    and it was only just recently that we decided to bring in a part-time technician for 2-4 hours total, a couple of part-mornings a week.
    When someone talks about Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) , I have realised over the last 5 years that this is very different in a Mac world compared to the windows world I had left to take up the ICT Facilitators position in the school. It still amazes me when after creating a disc image of the latest operating systems, I can then use one image apply it to all machines in the school, including some that are 6 years old and it just works. I use Carbon Copy Cloner and Netrestore (Apple) for these tasks and to restore a machine, or image a new machine, I hold down 'N' on powering a machine and away we go after choosing an image and popping in my password. Because of the smaller hard drives in some of the older machines I tend leave off the bigger applications like Garageband, but it is great to be able to get such a long life cycle out of this gear.
    I also use Apples Remote Desktop 3 to carry out any post installation checking, machine specific installing, minor updates and spying on pupils (lol), still is fun to take control of their machine when they don't know. Remote Desktop is also great for sharing out a screen on a projector to share work in progress or new ideas, or if you don't have a projector to share screens with other pupils, which I had to do recently when the bulb in my projector blew.
    So, with lower cost of maintenance TCO, but still able to carry out high level multimedia use (aka iMovie, Garageband) which is harder with a thin client system (lower again TCO), and a great range of software on board free with each machine, I reckon these Macs are great. Oh.. and less crashes, no virus problems (although we have had one incident of a Word macro virus, which can spread but not actually do anything else on a Mac), and no spyware problems on a operating system that just keeps working..

    AppZapper Review

    If you would like to make any comments on this feature or have suggestions or workarounds, feel free to leave a comment. A typical task: find a piece of graphics software that will suit a particular need for a boy with a physical disability. It needs to do X,Y, Z in a certain way and thinking about price would be good. This involves checking for the latest and greatest on the web, comparing them all and then after installing and having a look at them all, getting rid of the one's I don't want. Isn't it great to have a piece of software that will Zap all the extras installed?
    Similar Programs

    None located...
    System Requirements
    Required: Tiger
    Version Reviewed: 1.8
    Price: US $12.95
    First Look
    It may be simple to install on a Mac, often just a drag and drop into the Applications folder. However, it is a little more difficult to get rid of all the bits and bobs that may be left behind when you want to take the software off the computer. Appzapper is designed to track all system files that an application creates and enable you to delete them simply. It does not delete files that a program has created and you have saved and saved in your 'Documents' folder.
    Appzapper installs with a drag and drop from a downloaded disc image. You can have five free 'zaps' as you trial it. When you start the application the Appzapper window appears and you simply drag the application you wish to delete to this window. AppZapper processes the file and adds any other ones it can find related to it including preferences, library support files, caches, original disc images. I found use of this program simple and reliable.
    In the example screenshot you can see a typical scenario; when iShow is first started it creates three other folders or files in Library...Application Support, Library...Preferences and Library... caches. By dragging an application into the AppZapper window you can see all of these and choose to delete all the pesky little hidden critters. I have used AppZapper extensively over the last two months and found it to be reliable and able to locate most files deposited in preferences etc
    By default it will not delete standard installed Apple applications and you need to have administrator priviledges to remove some files. It has a log feature that tracks all the history of deletes.
    Education Application
    Keep images you have created for your network free of clutter and more efficient on space. Programs such as OnyX and Delocalizer should also help in this process.
    Best Tips
    Be prepared to do a hand check every now and then through your Preference folder, caches, and Application Support folders. on all the
    Easy to remove the clutter of preference and other files located in your 'Library' and System Library
    Not Hot (Feature Suggestions)
    • Support pages on website minimal
    • Not all files found in all cases, but will catch most of your clutter
    • Can't initiate the 'zap' through a drag and drop to the icon in the dock
    • Be prepared to wait if you scan a large Applications folder using the ZapGenie feature. I had 12 GB of Applications and it took a long time.
    Final Word
    Unique and helpful. I paid the dosh to get my registration.

    Renewing of Blog

    My ICT education blog is in the middle of renewal right now.. back up soon.
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