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What can I do with Annotate?
Annotate is a web-app that allows completely untethered instruction by transforming virtually any tablet into a mobile interactive whiteboard. It supports an integrated real-time student response system, screen mirroring and recording from iOS and Android tablets, student collaboration, and remote desktop control. Instructors can freely walk around as they teach, assess and encourage student participation.
Which tablets does Annotate run on?
Annotate runs on any tablet with an HTML5 compliant web browser, including the most popular tablets such as iPad, Kindle Fire HD/ HDX, Windows Surface, Google Nexus 7/ 10, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, or any generic Android tablet. It works well on Safari and Chrome for iPad, Internet Explorer on Microsoft Surface, and Google Chrome for all Android based tablets like the Kindle Fire HD/HDX, Google Nexus, or Samsung Galaxy Tabs.
Can I access Annotate from my cell phone?
For the best experience, we recommend that you access Annotate from a tablet. However, if your phone has an effective resolution (actual screen pixels divided by the device pixel ratio) of 568 x 320 or higher, you may be able to access Annotate from your phone. Users have successfully accessed annotate from cellphones with full HD or near full HD screens like the iPhone 5/5s/5c, Google Nexus 4/5, Samsung Galaxy S3/S4/S5, etc. Using a cellphone is only recommended for occasional use. Some features may be disabled or may not work as designed.
How do I use Annotate to turn my tablet into a mobile interactive whiteboard?
Annotate uses a small mirror client on your computer or laptop (Windows or Mac) to mimic your tablet's screen over an internet connection. All you need is an internet enabled tablet with an HTML5 browser and a projector connected to your internet enabled computer with the Annotate mirror client installed. You can then control your presentations and annotate over them directly from your tablet.
I am using a Kindle Fire HD/HDX. Can I use the default Silk browser to use Annotate?
The default browser on the Kindle Fire HD/HDX does not support some of the features and transforms required by Annotate. You may experience degraded performance when using the Silk Browser. We recommend you install and use Google Chrome for the best experience.
Can I view and control my computer's screen from my tablet?
Yes, using the remote desktop feature you can get a real time feed of your computer's screen on your tablet. You can send mouse clicks to your computer to open applications and switch windows, bring up the on-screen keyboard to type text, use the drawing tools to annotate over your computer's screen, and even take a screen shot and embed it in your notebook.
I have most of my content in PowerPoint and PDF files. Can I import them into Annotate?
You can also import content from PowerPoint, Adobe PDF and SMART Notebook files directly into Annotate. If you are using Keynote, you could first export your presentation as a PowerPoint or PDF file and then import it into Annotate.
What content creation tools does Annotate support?
Annotate supports all standard whiteboard annotation tools like pen, highlighter, shapes, lines and text. You can import images using web image search and add videos from YouTube or Khan Academy. Annotate supports Cartesian, Polar and Isometric graphs with object snapping too.
How do I share content with my students?
The best way to share your notebooks is to create a course and enroll your students. You can then publish your notebooks for that course and they will be available in all your student accounts immediately. When you publish content, it remains private to you and the courses to which you publish it.
I am a presenter and I don't have regular students. I would like to share my presentations with my audience. How can I do that?
Annotate also allows you to share your presentation on the web like popular slide sharing sites like SlideShare. Use the info feature on the settings panel of your notebook to set the Share flag to on. You can then share the public URL with your audience. The notebook can now be viewed on the web.
How can I schedule homework questions for my students?
Simply add quick assessments to your notebook. Do not schedule them yet. Open the publish dialog and then under Preferences, select the option "Include Quick Assessments" and then set the option "Treat unscheduled assessments as homework". Tap Publish to complete. Any unscheduled questions can now be attempted by your students when they access your notebook from their accounts.
I have some apps on my iPhone and some on my Android tablet that I would like to show my class. Can I do that with Annotate?
Annotate is unique in that it supports screen mirroring from both iOS and Android devices. If you have subscribed to a Pro account, you will be able to seamlessly mirror screens from your iOS and Android devices. Be sure to cross check the System Requirements page to ensure that your phone or tablet supports screen mirroring.
Does the Annotate Mirror Client work on both Windows and Mac computers?
Yes, we support both Windows and Mac OS X computers and have separate installers for them. Please check our system requirements page to confirm that your computer meets the minimum requirements for the Annotate Mirror Client.
On how many computers am I allowed to install the Annotate Mirror Client?
There are no restrictions on the number of installations of the Annotate Mirror Client per user. You may install it on as many computers as you would like. Please note however, that you can be logged into only one instance of the Annotate Mirror Client. If you try to log in to your account from another instance of the Annotate Mirror Client, the new login will terminate your session on the previous instance of the Mirror Client.
How does the screen mirroring time restriction apply for Free and Starter accounts?
The screen mirroring time limit applies per account. For Free (Regular License) and Starter (Educational License) accounts, this time limit includes all your iOS and Android mirroring sessions across different Annotate Mirror Client instances. You will not be able to use the mirroring feature once you have exceeded this limit. If you have a Starter account with a regular license (iOS or Android), there are no time limitations for the mirroring (iOS or Android) feature supported by that account. The time limit shall only apply the mirroring feature (Android or iOS) not supported in that account. Note that you may also be subject to Mirror Client instance time limit which may limit screen mirroring from Free and Starter accounts.
How does the screen mirroring time restrictions apply for Annotate Mirror Client instances?
Every Mirror Client instance allows up to 10 minutes of iOS or Android mirroring from Free accounts. Mirroring time used by Starter (Regular License) accounts using a time limited mirroring feature (iOS or Android) for that account is also included in this limit. Once this limit has been exceeded, the Annotate Mirror Client will not allow any more mirroring sessions from Free or Starter accounts (for time restricted mirroring) irrespective of the balance time remaining for time restricted screen mirroring for that account. Starter (Educational License) accounts are excluded from the time restrictions for Annotate Mirror Client instances.
What are the inbuilt question types in Annotate?
Annotate supports 8 of the most popular question types used for formative assessments including Yes/ No, True/ False, Multiple Choice, Multiple Response, Open Ended/ Short Answer, Fill in the Blanks/ Cloze, Hot Spot, and Draw/ Paint.
Does the instructor have to grade student responses manually?
Annotate automatically grades several question formats including Yes/ No, True/ False, Multiple Choice, Multiple Response, Hotspot, and Fill in the Blanks/ Cloze question types. Instructors will need to grade Open Ended/ Short Answer and Draw/Paint question types only. Also, instructors have the freedom to over ride a system graded score.
How long after a student submission does it reflect in the system?
The response system is a real time student response system which automatically grades student responses and presents it to the instructor as soon as they are available. Responses submitted using a web browser typically reflect on the instructors dashboard almost instantaneously and typically always under 2-3 seconds. Submissions using text messaging can take longer to reach due to network delays and latencies but should still show up on the instructor's screen in under 10 seconds.
Can one switch between responding from a browser and using text messaging?
Yes, it is up to a student to respond from a browser or text messaging. However, responding from a browser is the preferred method and cellphones are only recommended where the Wi-Fi network in the institution is congested, there is poor Wi-Fi reception in the class or lecture hall, the student has forgotten his laptop or tablet, or his device has run out of battery.
The Remote Desktop icon lights up on my tablet but when I tap it to access my desktop, I get an error message.
For the Remote Desktop feature to work, your computer and tablet must be on the same Wi-Fi connection or LAN and share the same subnet. In addition, the antivirus or firewall on your computer or network should not block access to incoming connections to the Annotate Mirror Client on ports 11000 and 11100 on your computer. Please confirm these settings before accessing the Remote Desktop feature.
When trying to mirror my screen, I can see the Annotate Mirror Client on my tablet but when I initiate mirroring it fails.
The screen mirroring feature requires that your computer and tablet must be on the same Wi-Fi connection or LAN and share the same subnet. In addition, the antivirus or firewall on your computer or network should not block access to incoming connections to the Annotate Mirror Client on ports 5353, 7100 and 8009 on your computer. Please confirm these settings before trying out screen mirroring.
Screen Mirroring sometimes appears to be jerky on my computer.
Poor network bandwidth and slower/ older generation CPUs are the two most imporant factors contributing to choppy mirroring. Ensure that you are at a place where you get a strong wi-fi signal on your tablet (and your computer). See if you can upgrade the computer or use another computer with a better configuration. Screen mirroring on Annotate has been optimized for latency so that your computer's screen is in sync with your tablet as much as possible even on older generation computers. Ensuring that your computer's screen remains in sync with your tablet during periods of network congestion or CPU intensive frames is what causes the occasional jerkiness in the video.
I can't hear any audio in the videos that I have recorded using the Annotate Mirror Client.
Please ensure that "Record Stream Audio" flag is set in the Annotate Mirror Client mirroring settings and your tablet is not muted. Also, the default Windows Media Player only supports a limited set of audio formats and may not be able to play audio in the recorded videos. We recommend using an open source media player like VLC Media Player.
I am an instructor who is using the flipped classroom model. Can I record my own voice in the videos?
Yes, you can. Ensure that the "Record computer mic audio" flag is set in the Annotate Mirror Client mirroring settings. If you would like to record your tablet's audio as well, ensure that the "Record Stream Audio" flag is also set. This will superimpose your voice over the audio stream received from the tablet.
When should I use the "Project" feature and when should I use screen mirroring? Doesn't screen mirroring accomplish the same thing as projection?
Screen Mirroring is an extremely network intensive activity. We recommend that you only use screen mirroring when you would like to use an app with your class or show something to your students. When you are inside the Annotate web app, we strongly recommend using the "Project" feature to present to your class. Besides being extremely light on network resources, projection will also render much crisper images on your screen or projector. Also, screen mirroring requires that your computer and tablet be on the same Wi-Fi network or LAN. This is not a requirement for projection and so long your tablet and computer can access the internet (say one using a cellular 3G/LTE connection and another through a LAN), you should be able to project from your tablet to your computer.
My classroom devices include Chromebooks, Windows laptops/PCs, and Windows Surface Pro/Pro 2/Pro 3 tablets. Can I still use Screen Mirroring?
Yes, you can use any of the above devices and mirror your screen to the Annotate Mirror Client. To use screen mirroring, first install the latest version of Google Chrome on the device whose screen you would like to mirror (source device). Then enable the Google Cast extension on Chrome. Instructions on how to do this can be found here https://support.google.com/chromecast/answer/3212008?hl=en.

Important! Windows 8/8.1, Surface Pro/ Pro 2/ Pro 3 users please note: You must launch Chrome in Desktop mode to mirror your entire screen, otherwise you will only be able to mirror individual tabs from Google Chrome.
To launch Chrome in Desktop mode, please follow these steps.
  1. Click the Chrome menu (the three short horizontal lines on the extreme right of the address bar).
  2. Select "Relaunch Chrome on the desktop" and wait for Chrome to shut and start over in desktop mode. If you see the option "Relaunch Chrome in Windows 8 mode" instead, Chrome is already in desktop mode.
Ensure that you are logged into the Annotate Mirror Client on your mirroring receiver. Then click the Google Cast icon on Chrome on your source device to bring up the Cast menu. Click on the small dropdown on the right of the Google Cast menu and select "Cast entire screen(experimental)". Then select the Annotate Mirror Client corresponding to your login name from the list of cast devices.

The Annotate Mirror Client should now begin mirroring your device's screen.