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How to use Apple's Remote Desktop For Presentation, Instruction, and Collaboration

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Yes, Apple Remote Desktop offers more than just observation and management tools. Ryan Faas gives the skinny on how non-IT Mac users and professionals can use Remote Desktop's least-known features for teaching, presentations, and collaboration.
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In my first two articles focusing on the lesser-known features of Apple Remote Desktop, I focused on areas of interest to Mac IT staff. This final piece takes a look at features of interest to a wider audience of users: how to use Remote Desktop as a presentation, instruction, and collaboration tool. These are, without a doubt, its most overlooked uses, yet they may be the most innovative (and they are certainly the ones that can have broad application for users in any number of professions).

Remote Desktop in the Classroom

One of the most common ways that instructors use Remote Desktop in a classroom or computer lab is to observe student work from their workstation. This can save them the trouble of needing to walk through the classroom, enable them to view works in progress (which can be particularly helpful for graphic, video, or other design work) or ensure that students are actually working rather than playing.

Remote Desktop includes features that allow users on administrator computers to interact with users of individual workstations. The ability for students to request attention using Remote Desktop and for teachers to send short text messages or initiate interactive chats with specific students lets teachers not only observe work but also offer advice or criticism to a single student privately without distracting an entire class from the current project.

For classrooms or computer labs that include a projector attached to the teacher’s workstation, teachers can get even more value out of the Observe function. If one student’s work is outstanding or innovative or provides an example of a concept, the teacher can see it by using the Observe feature and then project it so that the entire class can view it easily (without needing to crowd around one computer). With a laser pointer or similar tool (or even just using the mouse), a teacher can indicate specific features of the work being displayed.

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