Replace laser pointers with mobile devices in your next classroom presentation!

 By |Oct16, 2012 mLearning Add comments

Recently, we came across a situation where a facilitator wanted to control a Flash based presentation in a classroom remotely.  The facilitator found it hard to navigate the Flash presentation using a laser pointer. This was a serious issue since the facilitator kept moving around the room and it was practically impossible for him to come back to the laptop to move to the next slide nor did he have anybody in the room who could have helped him navigate through the presentation.

There were a few alternatives possible such as a wireless mouse or a wireless keyboard. But considering the fact that we live in an era of tablets, touch screens and smart phones, we explored the option of using mobile devices to control the presentation.

We identified three different ways to use mobile devices in such situations: 

1)   Remotely access your laptop using your mobile

2)   Use the remote control apps on mobile devices

3)    Use laser pointer apps

1) Remotely control your laptop using your mobile

This is the simplest and most effective way. There are many free apps available, which allow you to connect and control your laptop using your mobile device. PocketCloud, a free app is a good option.

With remote access:

  •  You don’t need to ‘load’ your files on your mobile device
  •  You don’t have to pay for cloud storage
  • Even the applications (like flash presentations) which would not work on iphones/ipads can be controlled using your iphone
  • Secure
  • Easy to navigate because you can see the entire application and your laptop screen on your phone. So, even if you are far away from your projected screen, you know what’s getting covered on screen.
  • Has a wider range than a wireless mouse or keyboard

There are many free apps available, like Wyse PocketCloud, logmein, remoteDroid, FlashRemote etc. Most of them are:

  •   Very easy to set up and use.
  • Most of them support both wifi and cellular data (3g & 4g)
  • Can connect into both windows and Mac operating systems

* PocketCloud works with Android and connects with both MAC and WIN platforms.

* There are some paid apps like RDM+(, which would work in all mobile platforms like blackberry or windows phone, though the app for blackberry is 10 times costlier than Android apps.

* FlashRemote works with blackberry, iOS and Android

* More Android options are described here. 

PocketCloud remote access

iphone remotely connected with laptop using PocketCloud

2) Install ‘remote control’ mouse in your mobile

There are a few ‘remote mice’ available which allow you to use your mobile phone as a touchpad and keyboard. Some examples are:

Mobile Air Mouse

Supports iphone, ipad and Android

Connects with WIN, Linux, MAC platforms.

Works over wifi

 mobile mouse

 Screen grab of mobile keyboard while using remote mouse app

mobile mouse touchpad

Screen grab when remote touch pad is in use

 - Remote Mouse app

Supports iphone, ipad and Android devices. Connects to both win and MAC machines over wifi.

 - Logitech Touch Mouse app for iphone/ipad only

mobile mouse customization

Gesture customization on a remote mouse app

3) Install Laser pointer app
For android, you may try Laser Pointer Lite/Pro, which works over Bluetooth  technology. Be wary, the iphone laser pointer apps have their share of negative feedback.

Get set to take control of your Flash-based classroom presentations from anywhere in the room!


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