How To Connect An iPad To A Smartboard

It’s really simple–so simple that you’re going to feel silly for not having already known this–and if you tweet this out to a colleague without checking out the stunning simplicity of it all, you’re going to feel crunchy (remember that term?) later when you realize it wasn’t quite the revelation you’d thought it might be.


If you’ve only got one iPad, or are trying to guide the entire class through an activity, the classroom projector can act as a modeling tool for students to follow along.

By displaying the iPad on the projector, you’ve got an easy way to broadcast your screen–or a student’s screen during a presentation–to the entire class.

What You Need

  • iPad 2 or “new iPad” (thank goodness Apple didn’t call the new iPad iPad 3–that’d just be confusing!)
  • Apple VGA Adapter

To use the Smartboard as a projection display, you only need an Apple VGA adapter, the same style you’d use for other gadgets including monitors. By joining the iPad and Smartboard cable with the adapter, the iPad should display on when the projector and iPad are on.

Sorry it wasn’t more intricate or secretive than that. Plug it in and turn it on. Same will work with HDMI cables and HDTVs as well with the right adapters.

If you’re more of a visual learner, check out the video below, which brings up the interesting suggestion of whole-class reads via the projector, which would not be great for novels, but for poems or picture books would work swimmingly, we’d think.


  • Sorry, but there are way better solutions. It really sucks having a thick VGA cable hanging from your iPad. It screws up the socket in your iPad and you can’t move around anymore. Get Apple tv and a converter hdmi-VGA and you are connected, wireless and free. Of course you do need wifi, but if you have an iPad and a smartboard it would be pretty sad if your school can’t get you wifi.

  • Just to be clear: you are not connecting it to the Smartboard. You don’t even need the smartboard. You can use the wall, an old-fashioned roll-up screen, a piece of plexiglas roughed with sandpaper…
    Too often is the Sm*rtboard becoming a generic term for the mysterious combination of screen + projector + pointing device. This post is misleading because there is no secondary touch interface between the board and the iPad.
    Ryan Barrett

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