I have been a long time advocate of using handheld computers as a reference resource during nursing clinical all the way back to the days of the Palm computer. Ever since then one of the most difficult tasks has been how to teach using the software with students. The difficulty is that it is hard to display to a group what is appearing on a small screen such as an Apple iPod Touch.
The original iPad released in 2010 had some video out capability but it was limited by the software. Developers needed to add code to software to let it be displayed, and very few did. The iPad 2 eliminated this restriction by providing a mirror display capability. In a mirror display whatever you see on the iPad will also be displayed on the external monitor. Unfortunately, there are still some considerations for nursing faculty hoping to show their students software in operation.
The iPad 2 mirror display requires a HDMI-capable monitor, an iPod-to-HDMI adapter (called the Apple Digital AV Adapter), and a HDMI cable. The adapter is available in the Apple Store and HDMI cables are easy to find, but many nursing programs do not yet have HDMI-capable displays.
|Apple Digital AV Adapter|
Most computer monitors and LCD projectors that are now ubiquitous in classrooms do not have HDMI capability. HDMI creates a digital "handshake" between the monitor and the device to limit copying. It is on every flat screen screen television sold in the last few years.
For nursing faculty this means we must push for the acquisition of HDMI-capable displays. They are a good investment as we migrate to high-definition instructional videos using Blu-Ray players it will be useful more than just handheld computer teaching.
When hooking up the iPad 2 to the adapter be sure to also plug in the power connector as you will run out of battery power very quickly without it. I also recommend you get a very long HDMI cable. They are available in many lengths but I suggest at least 12-foot. The most common 6-foot cords will not leave you much room to get into an area appropriate for pointing out what students will see on the monitor.
Some other tips:
• Software designed for the iPhone will display as an iPhone shaped rectangular screen. Use the 2X button to enlarge the display.
• Use the Orientation Lock next to the volume button to keep the screen from shifting from vertical to horizontal as you move the iPad.
• Have students follow along as you demonstrate a capability of the software. Then ask them to call out something they would like to do and then demonstrate that. Give students other tasks to do, such a look up a med or procedure, then see who is having difficulty. Ask a student who is able to do the task come up and demonstrate to the class.
• This advice will also work with the Apple iPhone 4S released in the summer of 2011.
Do you have any other tips or advice?