iPads as Visualisers?

There are many different ways in which iPads can be utilised in blended learning/flipped classrooms or simply as part of a tutor toolkit. Though, as any iPad wielding user will know, the general use depends on the app. You can use it as a presentation tool as the tutor, with and without student devices, or use it as a teaching tool and let the students run with their own devices.

For the purposes of this post we’re interested in only one thing………iPads as visualisers.

The main use of iPads as visualisers has not been looked into as much as we’d have liked, there aren’t that many examples out there or methods of ‘how to’ ( we can’t recall a blog, research paper or other resource specifically going over visualisation in depth)

So here’s two original ways we’ve theoretically, and practically, implemented the use of the iPad based around the idea of visualisation:


1. Overhead Projector/ Visualiser

As a reboot of the old fashioned, overhead projectors of yester year – anyone else remember acetate paper, brightly coloured markers and the awkward 5 minute set up where the teacher dances back and forth to get the projector in the right place on the screen? ( No, just us?) Well the reboot is a bit more advanced than that. You just need an iPad and an Apple TV.

What you need:

iPad or iPhone, BoardCam App (or simply the inbuilt camera app),  Apple TV and Screen/projector.


Mirroring the iPad to the Apple TV you can show whatever you want on a larger screen.

For example:

Here in Motorsport having an engine model in the classroom, they can use the iPad to view specific parts of the engine that the tutor is educating students about, without having to crowd around. Using the BoardCam app means that live annotation can also occur in real time, to allow for more information to be presented.  Visualisation tools have previously been used for enlarging smaller, intricate parts of machinery and taking photos only. Whereas with the versatility and portability of the iPad, it can be used as a visualiser for larger, intricate objects, such as an engine, and then used straight away as a presentation or quiz tech tool.

General examples:

View smaller/intricate objects

Mathematical formulaic working out

Practical demonstrations in real time

Review physical work of students to encourage peer-to-peer review


2. Live Streaming

iPads can be used as temporary CCTV footage to record a room, observation or live stream events . A simple idea, yet effective, without the high costs associated with setting up actual CCTV footage.

What you need:

2x iPads, Periscope app and account, Apple TV and large screen (though depending on the use may not need an Apple TV or large screen)


Use the Periscope app to connect the 2 iPads via a private broadcast. One app in the room you wish to record, and the other kept with the tutor. You can then have a look at the live streaming whenever you need to,

For example:

Animal Studies use this method to show students what true animal behaviour is like without the interference of humans in educational sessions. They use the iPad to go onto Periscope and connect to the Apple TV, showcasing the live feed while being able to switch back to tasks and presentations making it an easy, multiuse tool. The app also allows for the live stream to be kept as a recording, so can be used as a reference resource later on or to be put on the college VLE/LMS for online learners.


General examples:

Useful to use as live streaming on a budget.

Useful to stream live events that are taking place around the world, think educational talks/distance learning.





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