The DisplayNote software, which we got to see at the 2013 Mobile World Congress, helps teachers share their computer screens with their students, regardless of each students’ device or location. Using the presenter version of the application, a teacher can share their screen, open a PDF or slideshow and send these images directly to connected phones, tablets or laptops. Students can take notes and draw pictures to interact with the shared content. There’s also a collaboration mode where students can all work together on a problem or question posed by the teacher by writing on a single shared screen.
When the teacher made a change on the presenter device, the change on each of the connected notebooks was nearly instantaneous. We could easily take notes and write on the screen by opening the slide-in menu and pressing the appropriate button to enter the desired mode. A yes-or-no question was posed on the presenter’s device, and we were able to view the question and select the correct answer and the presenter was alerted to our success.
All screen sharing goes through DisplayNote’s servers, so students don’t have to be in the same room as the presenter to share the screen. A teacher in one country can video chat with a student, or students, elsewhere, screen sharing with each on their device of choice.
There are even more features in the works for DisplayNote, but nothing that we were actually able to demo. We were told that two-way screen sharing, which would allow teachers to peek at an individual student’s device, regardless of the app theyre using, is in the works and may be available as soon as April.
The DisplayNote app is free for students, but teachers will need to pay for a license, which is fairly expensive. One presenter with 20 students runs 225 pounds per year, while one teacher and up to 40 students costs 345 pounds per year (pricing information on DisplayNote’s official site did not reflect these updated prices at the time of this writing). There are also licenses available for schools, which can run in the high thousands depending on school size.