Presentation apps for the iPad

This is one of the biggies – finding apps that, when coupled with the soon-to-launch wireless mirroring through iOS 5 and Airplay, enable us to ditch the interactive whiteboard (and not before time) and create online presentations that are more than death by powerpoint.

There are a few online presentation applications out there –

  • Sliderocket is easy to use but doesn’t work on the iPad as it’s flash based (and inexplicably they have not produced a viewer app);
  • Prezi is fun, but most of us are already tired of presentations that leave us feeling a little sea-sick
  • Keynote remote enables you to control a Keynote presentation on your iPad via your iPhone (turning the iPhone into a rather expensive remote mouse, with the advantage of being able to see the slide without looking back at the screen)

I have, however, just discovered Slidejockey, which looks like it might have some mileage. It is not a creator, but an interesting way of presenting slideshows from Keynote or Powerpoint. You create an account by going to slidejockey.org, upload your presentation, then download the slidejockey app for your Mac/PC and the app for the iPad (at £3.99 it isn’t the cheapest, and might put some off). The two apps are then connected together, which enables you to ‘flick’ pages of your presentation onto the screen from your iPad. Anyone else who has connected to the presentation can view it on their iPad, but can also fire questions which can be displayed at any point. In addition, slides can be drawn on before being flicked to the screen.

These last two features may well have some mileage in the classroom. Imagine instant feedback linked to the presentation, with student questions displayed on screen as they are asked. Imagine being able to annotate the screen, flicking back and forth between slides whenever needed. This could be powerful indeed.

I’ll be trying it this term with my 6th form class, as part of our iPad pilot with our new IB 6th form.

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