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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Splashtop 2 App for iPad

by
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

3.75 stars
Content Quality:
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 3.75 stars
Reviewed: Mar 31, 2013 by Teacher Education
Overview: Splashtop 2 is a remote desktop app that allows teachers to project and run their computer apps on their iPad. A teacher may be able to be more mobile in the classroom while still interacting with a laptop at the front of the classroom.
Learning Goals: Splashtop 2 is a remote desktop app so any learning goals would be determined by an individual instructor who is using it.
Target Student Population: All student populations could benefit from having a teacher who does not have to stand behind a computer podium in order to present.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: The computer and iPad must be on the same wireless network in order for this to work.
Type of Material: Splashtop 2 is a native iPad app. It also requires users to download Splashtop Streamer which runs on the mac or pc sharing with the iPad.
Recommended Uses: Splashtop can be used to untether an instructor during a lecture. The teacher could share the desktop of his or her laptop with Splashtop on the iPad. The teacher can then walk around while advancing slides or performing other computer-based procedures.
Technical Requirements: Use Splashtop to access your computer on the local network with best-in-class video streaming performance. View and edit Microsoft Office and PDF files. Browse the web using IE, Chrome, and Firefox with full Flash and Java support. Play 3D PC and Mac games. Access your entire media library and documents. To access your computer from across the Internet, subscribe to Anywhere Access Pack via In-App Purchase.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating:
Strengths: The content used during remote desktop sharing will be determined by individual instructors using this app.
Concerns: In-App purchases are required to connect to a computer at a different location.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Having the ability to walk around the classroom with an iPad rather than being tethered to the podium may help an instructor to better understand what challenges students face. This would allow an instructor to use software that may not be on an iPad.
Concerns: Sharing the screen is one step. What about being able to use an iPad to manipulate the content on the screen? Will the teacher need a stylus in order to use the iPad effectively. How will the teacher hold the iPad as he/she walks around? There are accessories that can solve these problems but they cost money.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: At a basic level the app is easy to use. Once configured, it is easy to share and control your desktop from the iPad.
Concerns: Some may want to use extra controls for activities like gaming. This requires a monthly purchase. It may be difficult to find users willing to pay for a monthly service. The App does not always work, even on the same network.

Other Issues and Comments: Splashtop has implemented monthly fees for features such remote access that requires an internet connection to connect computer and iPad. This may limit its use in education where teachers don't have funding to pay for these types of expenses.