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Oct 11

Loving the Reflector App!

The majority of the lessons I teach involve the use of iOS devices.  At GES all 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders have their own iPads to use (click here to see information about our pilot).  At BES and RES have access to a class set of 30 iPads that travel on a cart.  All students have shared access to a class set of iPods as well.

With each lesson I teach I am more and more grateful for an app called Reflector.  If you are using iOS devices in your classroom and you haven’t checked out this app yet, I strongly suggest you do!

This is our first year using this app, and it is exactly the type of software I found myself longing for every time I used iOS devices with students in the past.

Reflector is sold on this site, and is worth every sent of the $12.99 that it costs.  With Reflector users can wirelessly mirror the activity on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to any Mac or PC, which then is projected to the class when the computer is connected to a projector (interactive white board or LCD projector).  So, a teacher can model directions on an iPad for an entire class without having to connect to a computer using a cord. I love the flexibility of this app.  As I give instruction on how to use a particular app, I can move about the classroom to assist students while still manipulating the image that is projected.  What’s even better, is that any student in the room can also mirror his/her device onto a computer for the class to see.  Multiple students can mirror their devices at one time.  Usually, I do not reflect from my device when giving directions, but I will have a student reflect.  That way the rest of the class can follow along with the “model” student as I give verbal directions and one-on-one assistance.

This is one of those apps that is beneficial to use, even though it has a few bugs.  Sometimes the app freezes on the computer while it is running.  We have found that we cannot keep the app open for very long.  Teachers must quit out of it a few times throughout the day to keep it running smoothly.  In one teacher’s classroom in particular, the Internet connection is wonky so depending on where you move in the classroom, Reflector my turn off.  Also, when the screen of a device goes black it loses connection with the app, and the user must reconnect after activating the device.

Even with these few bugs, I feel this technology has enhanced efficiency in my lessons.  If I were a classroom teacher, then this app would give me more confidence to use mobile devices on a regular basis because students would be able to follow directions on a device more easily and also able to share work with ease.  If you haven’t already, check out Reflector!