I’m a math teacher in a local community college and for a while now I’ve been using my Wacom tablet connected to my MacBook Pro 2015 in concert with Microsoft OneNote.
I then project my Mac screen onto a classroom large screen so students can follow along with my handwritten notes as I go.
However, I plan on getting the new iPad Air and an Apple Pencil (1st version) and would like to use that as my writing instrument on my Mac. Below are some options I’ve thought of, but I need the MPU users to help me decide what might be best.
Use OneNote on my iPad Air and Reflector 3 on my Mac to airplay my notes onto the Mac which gets in turn projected onto the classroom projector via the Mac.
Use Luna Display on the Mac. Run OneNote on the Mac but move that app window to the iPad Air via Luna Display capabilities. I may not get pressure sensitivity doing it this way.
Use Duet to do the same as option 2 above. However, with Duet you plug the iPad directly into the Mac.
Which of these do you think will be the best and smoothest to operate with the least latency? I already own Reflector 3 and also own Duet.
Thanks for all your help!
I use an 11in iPad Pro not an iPad Air and have the Apple Pencil 2. This is absolutely the best for classroom work. I would not go to the bigger iPad because I would find it as unwieldy to hold as I move around the classroom. I cannot vouch for the iPad Air performance for what you want to do. I would avoid the original Apple Pencil unless you have a well-tuned drawing app that allows you to have a suitable wrist protection. You will only frustrate yourself and annoy the students in class by the constant glitches as the iPad believes your wrist is should take priority over the pencil.
I use ZoomNotes to draw my lecture notes. I have a workspace that provides a minimal set of tools that are ideally suited to create notes.
I mirror my iPad using AirPlay and AirServer. You will need to assure that your IT service has set the router protocols properly to allow the protocols to pass through.
I capture my hand-drawn notes back to Curio. I past them on a template and add additional comments as needed.
Below is an example of one page of lecture notes.
The hand-written parts are imported from ZoomNotes. They had been projected in real time during the lecture (via AirPlay through AirServer). The Idea Space template is from Curio. The left side are notes that I add before I post this page back to the class.
Summary: Invest in the iPad Pro and the Apple Pencil 2. You will do yourself a great service in the long run.
ps … Should you use LaTeX, I would imagine that TeXpad on the iPad + macOS will be of use. Curio also supports LaTeX math equations now, although I prefer LaTeXiT for my work.
pps … I imagine that Reflector will do the same as AirServer.
Wow! This is great information! Thank you so much! Can’t tell you what a huge help this input is.
I was thinking of purchasing the iPad Air because of the price and it seems to be the sweet spot in price and performance. It only works with the first generation Apple Pencil. Does the 1st Generation Apple Pencil not do palm rejection? Or is that aspect more app specific?
It looks to my from this article (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2015/02/19/handwriting-drawing-image-search-onenote-ipad/) that OneNote for iPad handles palm rejection. The article was written in 2015 so note sure if that is still the case.
Just as another option: could you potentially plug an Apple TV into the projector and AirPlay directly to that from the iPad? Possibly one less place for things to break but might depend on how things are set up.
I originally had the iPad Air 2 with a stylus. This was before the Apple Pencil. I used the palm rejection in ZoomNotes. I gave up on this combination for dynamic lectures. The stylus was too thick and the palm rejection was good but still cumbersome. This combination is best when you have the iPad sitting flat and your wrist is staying in one place. This combination is not good when you have any plans to move around the room while you lecture (and I do this frequently now with my combination).
So, IMHO, after a month or so of carrying around the iPad and trying to keep your wrist from tricking out the palm rejection, I suspect that you will wish you had purchased the iPad Pro + Apple Pencil 2. If not that soon, then next year you certainly will wish that you had.
One other advantage to mention is this. In ZoomNotes with the Apple Pencil 2, I can double tap on the pencil to switch to the eraser when I make a mistake. The eraser size is also pressure sensitive. After I erase something, in a short delay, the pencil switches back to the previous pen selection. You will not have this with the Apple Pencil 1.
I use an original 12.9 iPad Pro and Airserver with OneNote and love the set-up. Facing the class gives such good eye contact and teacherly control.
OneNote has trouble syncing at times but overall the set-up is very solid.
The Pencil is just so good for Maths. Before it came along my tech use was relatively limited in the classroom. Now I really wouldn’t want to teach without it.
With Airserver, did your IT department have to tweak any settings on your classroom / campus wifi to allow the communication via Airplay to the Airserver? Thank you for your response!
Hello! Can you tell me what protocols your IT dept had to allow through the network so the Airserver would work properly?
I’ve never had an issue with palm rejection using a Pencil 1.
There’s a world of difference between a stylus and a Pencil 1.
My undergrad diffeq professor used a monitor and pen and projected on the whiteboard. I absolutely hated it. The graphics were chunky, and he would delete huge swaths with no warning. Thus we lost context. I wished he would just get his ass up and write on the whiteboard that was right behind him.
I am glad to hear about this having a better benchmark for performance. I did trash the Pencil 1 perhaps more harshly than needed, and I’ll take note of this for future comments.
I’d still recommend the OP make an investment now in a system that uses the Pencil 2, especially looking ahead for longer-term comfort.
Ha! You must be related to that one student who reported similar things about my use of the iPad drawings on my student evaluations this last semester.
Seriously though, there is always a right way and a wrong way to use any technology. I have recognized the absolute need for my “iPad Whiteboard” notes to be clean and crisp and for them to be presented with minimal corrections. This means, they cannot be a free-form dump of my thoughts. They must instead be an already-developed outline to the content, and they must be paired with rather than substitute for already-well-developed traditional slides.
Come visit my lecture some time when you’re in the area and tell me what you think by comparison.
My only issue with Pencil 1 is mine seems always to be run down.
I agree Pencil 2 (thus iPad Pro) would be better, budget allowing.
It seems you could eliminate the laptop, and just connect the iPad to the projector…unless I missed something in your original post @gburlile.
I am a history instructor at Community college. I have NEVER had an issue with palm rejection using 1st gen pencil and iPad Pro 2nd gen. It has never been a problem.
I use Explain EDU for “whiteboard.” I write all my inclass notes with this software. It allows the presenter a variety of tools, including dropping in videos, presentations and an in-app browser — All of which can be written over and annotated.
I normally keep graphics and other files in my slide over window for quick drag-in-drop (particularly because the students cannot are your actions in the slide over). The software has great sharing features and can share the board in a variety of formats and upload to Cloud services. It can also screen record for you, similar to notability’s record and playback feature.
(ADD: it also has an infinite canvas. So I never delete anything as I go)
I normally connect via lightening to VGA (HDMI seems to not give the appropriate aspect ratio to utilize the projector real estate). But when I plan on walking around I just use my Apple TV and Airplay.
+1 Definitely avoid the laptop to ease setup and tear down.
Thank you! I may end up doing this. This does prevent me from walking around with it though.
I really appreciate you telling me how and what you use. Looks like there are a fair amount of teachers in these forums!