Dear educator, I wonder if you happen to be one of the approximately 1 in 3 adults in the United States that have a Samsung Galaxy device in your pocket or book bag? If so, I have something cool to share with you.

Pretty much all of Samsung’s flagship smartphones introduced since 2017, starting with Galaxy S8 right up through this year’s S22 Series, will work for this trick, as will the new Galaxy Z Fold4 flagship foldable, and even selected Galaxy tablets, including Tab S7Tab S8 and the rugged Tab Active4 Pro.

Our smartphones are often referred to as mini-computers in our pockets, but if you happen to have a Samsung Galaxy device, you literally have an alternate computer operating system in your pocket. Simply connect it to an external display, and you have a full-fledged desktop-like experience for personal productivity and classroom interactivity. It’s called Samsung DeX — and here’s why it’s awesome.

Samsung DeX for schools

Now that you have your Samsung Galaxy device, it’s time to unlock its superpowers.

The next piece of equipment you will need is either a computer docking station (external monitor, keyboard and mouse connected to a hub that you would traditionally connect to a laptop for a desktop workstation). Alternatively, you can connect wirelessly to any device that supports Miracast, including most smart TVs, and our very own Samsung Interactive Display.

Whether connecting wirelessly or via wires, you will notice that DeX looks extremely familiar. It will look like a desktop setup, with a home screen, apps or home button, and a notification tray along the bottom. You’ll also notice all of your apps that are on your Samsung device are now able to run in this desktop experience. Pretty cool, right?

Now, while you are still mesmerized by the sheer awesomeness of it all, take a look at something else. Notice that your phone or tablet still has independent functionality. Meaning you can still check and write messages, open other apps and even take phone calls without interrupting your workflow on DeX. It’s like you have two different devices — but you’re really just using one.

How to use Samsung DeX on an Interactive Display

If you also have a Samsung Interactive Display in your building, I’m about to share five reasons why you will love using DeX in your classroom.

You can connect wirelessly or via USB-C in the front port of the WMB model, or with USB touch, HDMI and an adapter with the WMA model. If possible, you’ll want to connect wirelessly to give yourself the freedom to roam the class and not be tethered to the front of the room.

Make learning more fun with interactive technology

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To get started on your Interactive Display, click on Import > PC > Wireless. Now, to launch DeX wirelessly from your Galaxy device, swipe down from the top to access Quick Settings. On a Galaxy phone, press the DeX icon to launch it wirelessly. On a Galaxy Tab, press and hold the DeX icon for two seconds to open the wireless connection menu. Then, select your Samsung Interactive Display to connect.

5 ways Samsung DeX and Interactive Displays transform teaching

Now, for the top five reasons why this is something you should consider incorporating in your classroom:

1. Quick access to Play Store apps

Yes, the thousands of educational apps available in the Google Play Store can now all be accessed and used on your Samsung Interactive Display. Put the phone or tablet down, and notice that you have full touch capability on a giant screen. Open an app, drag objects, pinch to zoom. It’s almost like these apps were made for touchscreens.

Now pick up your Galaxy phone or tablet and notice that you have full independent control of that device for taking attendance in your student management system, looking at work or making comments in your learning management system. Or, turn off your screen and simply use your apps on the Interactive Display. You have options!

2. Account access and security

Unlike if you sign into an account via the internal browser of your Interactive Display, all of those apps or websites you access on your Galaxy device are protected by biometrics or password. This means easy account switching between your multiple profiles on certain cloud-based applications. It also means that if multiple teachers share a classroom, each teacher can easily share their content on the same Interactive Display using DeX and maintain their account security by disconnecting from the board.

3. Multi-window and multitasking functionality

Need to have a visible timer, slideshow, classroom management tool and background instrumentals playing from your preferred music streaming app? Not a problem.

When using DeX wirelessly on your Samsung Interactive Display, a teacher can have up to five apps visible at the same time. On top of that (literally), a teacher can still use the Note-on feature of the Interactive Display to annotate on top of whatever apps they have open. Additionally, the teacher can resize the DeX window using the Restore feature and write on the Interactive Display board beside the DeX window.

4. Full-browser viewing

Using a browser on a mobile device typically works well enough when on the go, but when in the classroom, oftentimes a full desktop browser is not only preferred but necessary. Think: full document or slideshow editing features or utilizing third-party application add-ons.

Though most mobile browsers have a “view as desktop” mode, this setting typically has to be toggled each time you open the browser. Because your browser still recognizes that you are using a mobile application, it will open any hyperlinks to any documents, slides or spreadsheets in the corresponding mobile app instead of the full web version in another tab.

Well, that’s the case unless you use the pre-installed Samsung Internet application. When you toggle Desktop mode it will remain in that mode each time you open it. Using the internet browser in DeX on a Samsung Interactive Display allows the teacher to open the full web version of whatever applications or sites they like, which opens up many more features and even add-on functionality not typically available on a mobile browser. This also allows the teacher to model the applications as the students see them if they use laptops.

5. Device substitute or replacement

Just taking into account all of the reasons above, you may have been able to deduce that pairing a Samsung Interactive Display with a Galaxy mobile device could eliminate the need to connect to your desktop computer or plug an overhead projector system into the back. But if those reasons haven’t been compelling enough, consider just a few more devices that you will not need to purchase, plug in or replace.

Need a webcam for videoconferencing with a guest speaker or another class? Open whatever app you would normally use and utilize the high-resolution, built-in, front-facing camera and stereo mics in the Galaxy device (both of which are likely much higher quality than whatever costly peripheral you would normally plug in). Also, try opening the rear camera to unlock a mobile document camera to display your work or student work.

So, there you have it. If you have a Galaxy device, you have a secondary computer just waiting to be connected to your Samsung Interactive Display. Enjoy those technical teaching superpowers.

See how a Samsung Interactive Display can help bring inspired learning to life, whether students are in class or at home. And learn how to create engaging and inclusive learning environments with interactive technology.

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Dee Lanier

Dee is a passionate and energetic educator and learner with over a decade of instructional experience on the K-12 and collegiate levels. Dee is an award-winning presenter, TEDx Speaker, Google Certified Trainer, Google Innovator and Google Certified Coach who specializes in creative applications for mobile devices and Chromebooks, low-cost makerspaces and gamified learning experiences.

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