iPad Preaching with a Virtual Whiteboard, what I Learned

ipad apps for pastorsI posted a blog entry a couple of weeks ago (see it here) about my plan to use my iPad as a virtual whiteboard.

I used an app called Airsketch which allowed me to create a virtual whiteboard. It connects to a local wi-fi network which lets a computer become the whiteboard. Then the signal can be sent to video projectors used during services.

As I taught on spiritual warfare, I was able to underline, draw, and write words just as if I had used a white board. Here’s a picture of one of the screen shots. Everything in red I added while I taught. The icons at the bottom don’t show up on screen, but are available to you as the presenter.

I used this tool two weeks in a row. The first week I included my prompts on screen. The second week, I pared down what appeared on screen and used printed notes to the side to prompt me.

Overall, I got lots of positive comments, with one negative one. Here’s what I learned.

  1. This tool definitely kept the listeners’ attention better.
  2. It added a ‘cool’ factor.
  3. It helped me visually emphasize words or phrases in the text which in turn left a stronger impression in the listener.
  4. I was able to face the congregation at all times. Using an actual whiteboard prohibits that.
  5. I was easily able to switch back and forth to different screens to review and further emphasize points.
  6. Less text on the screen is better. Too much becomes too busy.
  7. Using a stylus is better than using your finger.
  8. I had to experiment to get the text size large enough for the screen projection.

I won’t use this tool every week because because any technique loses it’s effectiveness with overuse. But, I’ve now put Airsketch into my presenter’s tool box. If you use an iPad, I encourage you to give it a try.

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