iPad Preaching with a Virtual Whiteboard, what I Learned

In my teaching on Sunday mornings in my church I occasional use a tool that turns my iPad into a virtual whiteboard. I use an app called Airsketch which allows me to connect my iPad to our church’s local wi-fi network which in turn allows the computer which drives our projector to put the image of my iPad on the screen. It’s a nifty technique and I’ve learned a few insights from its use.

As an example, some time back I taught on spiritual warfare. I was able to underline, draw, and write words on my iPad just as if I had used an actual whiteboard. 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.

When I first used this tool, I used it 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. In later uses I evan pared down what I put on-screen to help me remember what went next and to lessen busy-ness on screen.

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

  • This tool definitely kept the listeners’ attention better.
  • It added a ‘cool’ factor to my message.
  • It helped me visually emphasize words or phrases in the text which in turn left a stronger impression in the listener’s mind.
  • I was able to face the congregation at all times. Using an actual whiteboard prohibits that as I have to turn to write on the board.
  • I was easily able to switch back and forth to different iPad screens to review and further emphasize points.
  • Less text on the screen is better. Too much becomes too busy.
  • Using a stylus is better than using your finger. A few months ago I bought an iPad pro and the Apple pencil. It works fantastic.
  • I had to experiment to get the text size large enough for the projection on the screen to be readable by the congregation.

I definitely 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.

A final note: Pro-presenter also has an iPad app but it’s very sluggish. Airsketch, however, has very little lag time.

If you’ve used Airsketch, how has it worked for you?

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