When I was at school during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s the pinnacle of classroom technology was the overhead projector. Over the years the technology has moved on but the way it is used hasn’t, the visualiser, and in turn the Teacher, is still tethered to the front of the classroom. Now there is an alternative.
With the focus shifting to the teacher roaming around the classroom rather than being tethered in front of a whiteboard, technology needed to adapt – then along came the iPad.
Using an iPad and an Apple TV in conjunction with an existing interactive white board, projector or large TV, you can have all the functionality of a traditional visualiser setup with the bonus of its totally portable, interactive and easy to use. All you need is the right App..
Enter Belkin Stage..
Belkin Stage is one of the best free visualiser apps we have come across recently.
The iPad is a powerful teaching tool — its easy to carry, so you can plan and prepare lessons at your convenience, and a remarkable multimedia resource for one-on-one interactions with students.
Belkin created the Stage app to extend the iPad’s remarkable teaching potential to an entire classroom by combining the presentation functions of a document camera and interactive whiteboard. Simply connect your iPad to a projector, TV, or monitor to share images, objects, and ideas with the class.
Stage lets you draw and make notes over live video and images to create engaging, interactive tutorials. Display pictures and objects using the iPad camera and sketch, write, label, or laser-point in real-time. You can even save videos of your presentations to use again later, or share them online.
What can you do with Stage?
- Sketch, take notes, and add labels over live video
- Record video and audio (feature available as an in-app purchase for iPad version only)
- Annotate, mark-up and save existing photos, images and documents
- Easily switch backgrounds from video to picture to whiteboard/blackboard canvas
- Dynamically present student work wirelessly using Airplay, or via a wired projector connection
- And many more!
Belkin have produced a rather handy tutorial video to get you up and running with the minimum of fuss.
And the best bit about Stage is that unless you need to record video and audio from your presentations its totally free!
If you would like to use stage but in a more traditional setup, then Belkin manufacture a 2 different “Tablet Stages”. These are desktop and mobile tablet holders that allow you to replicate a traditional visualiser setup but using the iPad and the Stage app at its heart.
Belkin Tablet Stage
The desktop stage replicates a traditional visualiser setup in class, its fully adjustable and provides a hands free approach to using a tablet in class.
- Stable, adjustable platform turns your tablet into an interactive presentation tool.
- Document camera mode makes it easy to capture images and live video for display
- Podium mode enables efficient, effective lectures and collaboration.
- Adjustable LED light with two brightness settings illuminates the workspace.
- Integrated cable management keeps USB and power cords out of the way.
- Case-compatible design works with tablets from 7″ to 11″ (diagonal).
Belkin Portable Tablet Stage
The portable version of the Belkin Stage replicates all the features of the desktop version but in a much smaller, more mobile package.
And the best bit..
Undoubtably the best bit about Stage is its cost. For the basic version that has nearly all the functionality you’ll ever need in the classroom – its totally free, and you can’t get better than that!
If you already have a teachers iPad in class then you can get the pro version of the app plus either the desktop or portable versions of the Tablet Stage for far less then the cost of a traditional visualiser. Even purchasing a dedicated iPad for your classroom along with one of the Tablet Stages works out around the same cost as a visualiser, but with far greater mobility and functionality.
If you would like to discuss replacing your existing visualisers with iPads, or any other ICT requirements then please contact Kyle or Gary via firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 0161 850 1117 or message us via Facebook or Twitter