Once I read “The iPad” section on one of Fawn Nguyen’s August blog posts I became curious about Air Sketch. I tried the Free version and 5 minutes later purchased the full version. The reason that the app caught my eye in the first place is that I’ve been thinking of  easy ways to use an iPad in a classroom. My definition of easy includes:

  • as soon as I download it, I can make it do some of what it’s advertised to do
  • when I try it the second time I can do even more things
  • because of all that I can do (without reading directions) I actually take time to read (scan, at least) the directions and I quickly learn even more features

The best part, however, is how I’m thinking Air Sketch can help make the most of an iPad. It reminds me of when I tried to make the most of one computer in a classroom. Air Sketch lets you display on your computer screen what you draw on your iPad – so if we take that one more step, it allows you to display whatever you project from your computer! Fun. Here are some photos I just took at my desk showing my iPad and my computer screen (imagine that my computer is connected to a video projector instead of my monitor):

Step 1: opened Air Sketch on my iPad and a web page in Safari

Step 2: touched the tiny icon in the lower left corner of my iPad screen to open the controls and typed that URL in Safari

Step 3: whatever I draw on my iPad is “mirrored” on my computer screen

Drawing with my finger is fun … but … I’m focused on how to use this in a mathematics classroom and I consider,

  • calculations — kinds of things that you might write on a whiteboard — instead you walk around with your iPad and students write on it
  • take photos of student work and display
  • display PDFs (or photos of papers)
  • annotate

With the full version I can access my “camera roll”

Another cool feature is that you can save pages.

So, you could save things from one class to use the next day or you could prepare some pages ahead of time and make them visible when ready.