I recently joined the revolution – I was the first in my school to bring in my iPad and integrate it in my teaching. What I found was that I was limited in what I could show or share with my students. This left me feeling slightly incomplete so I began my search for an app that would allow me to connect to my Smart board software or Smart board from my device. I delved deep into the app store but came out empty handed. I soon realised that it wasn’t an app that could connect to my Smart board that I wanted. My desire was to be able to access my whole PC from my device and that’s when I came across ‘Splashtop‘ and ‘Logmein Ignition‘.
And so the battle of remote desktop apps has begun!
The Dual Desire
Both apps allow me to connect my iPad to my PC through my school’s wireless network. Once I downloaded the apps to my device as well as the software for my computer, I felt like I had the world literally at my fingertips. I chose which computer I wanted to connect to (the computers with the software downloaded onto them came up automatically) and immediately saw that the programs mirrored my computer’s screen on my device. This gave me endless opportunities to engage my students even further. I began roaming around my room controlling my Smart board notebooks and presenting to my class from wherever I wanted in the classroom. My students were able to access any questions/thoughts that I had asked or that I’d displayed on my Smart board and they presented to the class from their desk. I have also had a group of students mind map their ideas on the iPad and other groups discussing their thoughts about the notes that original group annotated. It was truly incredible to watch!
Logmein allows you to manage your files on your PC or Mac from a single app from anywhere in the world! It’s brilliance is now you can leave your computer at home and access your information from wherever you are. What is perfect for business might not be so essential for schools yet, imagine you are at home and have left a document on your school computer that is in desperate need of editing before tomorrow’s presentation. You can simply go through Logmein to access that file from your iPad and edit it right then and there from your iPad. The resolution isn’t worth writing home about yet the interface is simple and exceptionally effective. One thing that really bugs me about this app is its poor widescreen functionality. Often I find myself cursing out loud because the app screen doesn’t fit the computer screen I’m mirroring. Other than that, for an amazing app that truly exemplifies the goal of a remote access app, Logmein is the way to go.
Splashtop isn’t as robust as the other available remote access apps but it still it still functions quicker and easier than many others. It’s simple, effective and user-friendly interface allows you to connect to your computer using the same wifi network. I wouldn’t take the ‘remote’ name too literally! It is perfect for accessing your home PC from other areas of your house, streaming TV or movies whilst in another area of your house or simply in the classroom accessing and controlling your PC (and in turn, your Smart board!). In this way it is limited. I have tried to access my school PC from home using Splashtop but have been unsuccessful. But as far as a remote access app for the classroom goes, it is super effective and does everything you need.