Desperation breeds innovation: Show Content from iPads


Something funny happened to me and my student teacher today.

All the iPad minis had iMovies on them. We had planned on having some students perform live today. Some students had long iMovies on them to show on the district iPad minis I had in my charge. I thought that I could connect to the LCD projector with a dongle and the adapter I purchased for the lightning connector to the 30 pin with a VGA cable.

As class started and students filtered in, I helped my student teacher set up the projector. I soon realized that things would not work. When I selected “source”, nothing was picking up. I was thinking hard. Thinking quick. What could I do to show these iMovies from these tiny iPad minis? I fiddled with cords, cables, dongles and adapters fruitlessly; tapping, sweating, worrying.

NO WAY! nothing worked. No configuration worked with cables, dongles, whatever. Teacher’s worst nightmare. Learning Technologies Mentor’s typical scenario of looking like a fool; not knowing what you’re doing in front of a whole bunch of people who think you should know what you’re doing.

The presentations were to start in minutes and I was trying to figure out how to project the presentations from the iPads. We started with live performances. Many students brought their own devices: Macs, iPads, PC’s. Many of the movies were too long to upload to Youtube or Showbie and we just wanted to show them quickly. Like right now. It was the last day for the Student teacher and the last day for the presentations.

I have No Apple TV, No HDMI cable, no other cables other than a VGA cable…I said bye-bye to the lovely District iPad cart a while ago..but I DO have a document camera and 15 district iPad Minis.


When I looked around and spotted my new document camera, I had an epiphany of sorts. A couple minutes later: look at the setup in the pic on my tweet. I used my document camera to show the iPad like a document. Hook up speakers directly to the iPad. Unorthodox…but Desperation breeds Innovation.

This actually went very well. Now the surprising thing. It felt low-tech. It was easy to set up.

As I was patting myself on my back at this awesome innovative idea THAT I CAME UP WITH ALL BY MYSELF!(yes, I’m taking all the credit…and I haven’t read it somewhere else prior to this! lol!) for mirroring an iPad, a group set up their Macbook to my projector to show their skit. They had issues with their movie’s smoothness…it was jerky, the sound was all mangled and now it was doing all sorts of weird stuff once it was connected to my projector. They said they had just watched it on their laptop and it was smooth and worked okay before the connection. Solution? We used the document camera to project the image coming straight off the student’s laptop too!

YES! a solution to BYOD; agnostic mirroring across devices. Now I can show projects from all my students’ devices straight from my document camera. It works. It’s economical. It’s the way I’m going to go until someone taps me on the shoulder and gives me something better. And cheaper.




About Cakebrain

A Vancouver English teacher preoccupied with cake... Reflecting about my learning as an educator. I am currently teaching English part time and also working part time at the Vancouver Board of Education as a Learning Technologies Mentor. This blog also contains an archive of my Concept Papers and Inquiry and Coaching Reflections (ICR) from my grad studies program at VIU (CIEL) You can follow my food and edu-tweets @Cakebrain My Class Wiki: My food blog is
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