Tech for Teach

Splashtop: Turn your Mobile into a Desktop PC

Splashtop logoWhile there are many solutions which offer access to a device’s hard drive, remotely, there are also apps which specialize in giving you full control of your desktop, and, displaying your desktop screen on your mobile device. For this feature, the Splashtop 2 Remote Desktop app is at the top of my list. This app, allows you to use one device you control to take over another device you control, as long as you can connect them over a network.

You need two bits of software to do this.  The controller app (remote desktop)
and the app which gives control over (streamer).  The streamer currently runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, while the controller runs on even more systems.

Sometimes I use this app to access my windows 8 tablet, from my Android phone.  This allows me access my tablet which is hard-wired to the classroom’s projector and control my tablet from my mobile as I walk around the room.  This may seem a bit unnecessary, but I like that it gives me the freedom to wander the class while giving a presentation, or to start and stop audio or video files as needed while moving about the classroom monitoring group activities.  I use it to just make things a bit more mobile for me, rather than having to be chained to the AV station at the front of the room.  While there are other devices dedicated to things like flipping through slides in a presentation, this app allows files to be located and presented without first putting the files into a presentation format. So, it is useful on the fly.

You can also install the remote desktop on a tablet device and (in a pinch) access files from home over an internet connection. You can even try streaming audio or video from your home PC to your tablet, which you have connected to your classroom’s projector. I would take this one for a test drive though first, as you may find the streaming to be a bit slow and unreliable.

However, where this app becomes really useful, is when you want to access a program on your mobile, which your mobile cannot possibly run.  Examples would be high memory and high processor power eating programs like 3D image rendering software, or file formats which your mobile cannot possibly open. In fact, you could even turn an iPad into a virtual Windows 8 tablet (if you have Windows 8 on a desktop).  Perhaps this is not something we teachers need to do all that often, but it certainly presents some unique possibilities.

So, there you have it.  A nifty little app to add to your collection, hopefully giving you some more versatility in your mobile teaching.

Available in both the Google Play and iTunes stores.
Google Play      iTunes

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