Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Duplicate vs. Extended Mode

When you plug your laptop into a Promethean {or other} display, the laptop should automatically switch to Duplicate Mode, which allows you to see the exact same screen on your laptop as you do on the Promethean board.

Most teachers like to operate on Duplicate Mode. If that's you and you ever happen to plug your laptop into the Promethean and only see a blank screen or your laptop's background image, try pressing the FN + F8 keys on your laptop simultaneously and choosing the "Duplicate Mode" option. 

However, there are times when I think Extended Mode is pretty handy! 

What is Extended Mode?
Think of those fancy-pants technology gurus who have more than one computer monitor, like the one setup shown below:

The reason this display is so handy is because it gives you more screen space. For instance, I can work on this blog post on the monitor on the left and search for a suitable image for the post on the monitor on the right. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but I promise: it's borderline life-changing if you do a lot of computer work!  

Extended Mode basically turns your Promethean {or other display} into a second computer monitor. Yes, it's a tiny bit clunky to operate, since one of your screens is laptop-size and the other is ginormous...but it's still pretty rad. 

Times When Using Extended Mode is Handy
1. When a kid asks you a question during whole-group instruction that you need to Google. There's no shame in Googling -- I did it all the time as a classroom teacher! But I also know that whatever comes up in the search results may not necessarily be appropriate for my kids to view. I'd use Extended Mode to quickly switch the display so I could Google without showing the results on the Promethean. 

2. When you want to monitor student iPad work. When I was in the classroom, I used AirServer to allow students to display their iPad screen on the Promethean board to show peers their work. I also used that trick when students were working independently or with a partner on their iPads -- by asking students to display their device on the Promethean -- to help make sure everyone stayed on task. Switching to Extended Mode allowed me to display instructions on the Promethean board for everyone to see and then monitor iPad usage on my laptop screen. {Full disclosure: the more iPad screens you display at once, the smaller they become. I "only" had 12 iPads. So yes, the screens were small when all displayed on my laptop at once, but I could easily tell if someone was off-task by playing the "one of these things is not like the other..." game!}

3. When you need to use your laptop for another purpose while simultaneously displaying something for the entire class. I'd never advocate for, say, inputting grades or looking at student attendance in a place where students can see over your shoulder. However, during my last gig as classroom teacher, I had a little friend who preferred to work in his own spot and hated to write. Since I was in Science Lab, I had some leeway in being able to use technology to let him record Science Lab findings. If we ever encountered an issue where he needed to use an actual computer {as opposed to an iPad}, I just put my laptop on Extended Mode, opened a recording program for him, and let him type away. I really feel like this helped avoid several potential meltdowns while still keeping him engaged and learning. Obviously, you can also use this trick if you need to access other information, as well -- what about an online stopwatch on your laptop while directions are displayed on the Promethean?

4. When you need to get attention quickly. If your kids are too busy looking at what's on the screen to pay attention to your words, you can use Extended View to quickly eliminate the distraction, make your announcement, and then switch back over to whatever you were viewing before. 

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