If you have an opportunity to share a presentation with a group of people equipped with their own iPads, consider using the application “Idea Flight” instead of a projector and screen. Idea Flight is a free app for your audience members (up to 14 “passengers”) to view slides YOU share and control as the “pilot.” An in-app upgrade ($7.99) is required only for the “pilot” of the presentation. Use a free, online tool like DropBox to transfer a PDF version of your presentation to your iPad, then share it over wifi with your audience members. You can invite them to the press and share the download link to “Idea Flight” via email. If you want to share a presentation with a group of students using iPads from a shared “cart,” this could work well assuming your wifi network is configured to permit the required port access the app uses. The following 90 second video shows how it works.
Since Idea Flight just supports presentations from PDF files currently, embedded videos can’t be used. Still, it’s a great step forward for synchronous presentations. I like how you can “lock” passenger iPad screens during the presentation if desired, but then “unlock” them afterwards so they can freely browse your slide deck. I also like how “passengers” can login with their existing LinkedIn accounts and then share contact info / network with each other during and following the presentation. Obviously that feature was designed more with business folks in mind than students in the classroom. Perhaps they’ll add other collaboration login options (like Twitter or Facebook) down the road.
It will be interesting to see if the number of supported simultaneous connections for this app (or others like it) increases to make it practical for conference presos. I’ve been using a free account on SlideShare.net for several years now, and love how the site provides “swipeable” slide support for iPads and iPhones. Two of my presentations from last week in Montana, “Filtering the Information Flood: Strategies for Effectively Teaching Online” and “Smart Networks” already have 1000 views each on SlideShare. “Supporting STEM Skills with Scratch” from a month ago at our Oklahoma state superintendent‘s “Innovations” conference has over 2300 views. I think most teachers and students today continue to “underestimate the value and power of asynchronous sharing.” Live presentation sharing can be great, but asynchronous sharing is generally far more powerful.
Have you used Idea Flight yet for a “live” presentation shared with other iPad users? If so, how did it go and what do you think of the app? It does support sharing over Bluetooth also, but audience size is limited to just three folks. Wifi supports 14 audience members so it’s likely the best option for the classroom.
Hat tip to Conference Basics for sharing Idea Flight.
Many more educational apps for the iPad are available on my curriculum page, “iOS Apps for Productivity and Fun (iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch)” and my Appolicious account lists page. If you’re interested in having me present a workshop about using iPad apps either in person or via videoconference, please contact me!
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