Use in classroom questions


I am a high school teacher and I’m considering getting a class set of 25 iPads. I’m looking around at VNC solutions and I came across the vine product here.

There are some flash-based sites I’d like to use despite the iPads lack of flash.

My question is - if I’m running a new core2duo mac mini at the front of the classroom - how many simultaneous connections/sessions could the mini support without being too slowed down?

From looking around the forum it seems like I couldn’t have the students view video or play sounds. Instead I’m thinking of say 25 max browser sessions using flash-based quiz/slideshow/interactive activities.

Would this be possible or would the mac mini be overwhelmed?

Also - on a side note - if anyone has any advice about a VNC SERVER for the iPad so students can view each other’s devices that would be great.

Thanks so much.


Very interesting question and a unique idea to overcome the no-flash on iPad.

On the first issue; could 25 student sessions connect to a MacMini? I have to say that I don’t think the mini could support that many GUI sessions, the VNC demand isn’t too bad, but running 25 WindowServers probably is. We have run that many sessions on a loaded out XServe with lots of memory, but probably not on a Mini. I also think you won’t be able to get enough WiFi bandwidth to make that an acceptable performance for the students. I personally find that my WiFi-G performance drops once I have more than 5 simultaneous active VNC connections (home-network), so I think 25 would be a real push.

On the second issue, I’m also sorry to say that VNC Servers won’t work on the current iPad/iPhone OS because of the inability to run background processes.

I would love to hear if you come up with any other solutions however, it sounds like a great project. There is a lot of hope that Flash providers will soon be creating iPhoneOS compatible versions of their sites, but that might be a little while out yet.

Thanks for your reply Jonathan.

Sounds like I’ll have to come up with another solution.

Unless of course there is a jailbreak version… I haven’t found one but perhaps that could work - at least for me being able to view their ipads from my laptop. Any leads out there on that?

Thanks, Sam

There are jailbreak VNC servers for iPhone OS, most notably Veency. I haven’t actually seen if it’s running on the iPad yet, but my guess is that it is.