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New and innovative ways to better use the iPad in teaching!

REFLECTOR for MAC and PC: An iPad Teacher’s Most Versatile Teaching Tool

With Reflector, everything you do on your mobile device is wirelessly streamed to your computer in real time!

The following is an update to my original post, published last year.

Reflector is an Airplay receiver program for your computer that allows you to both mirror and record your iPad/iPhone screen. If the computer is connected to a projector, an entire class will be able to view on the screen exactly what is being done on the device in real time, with zero lag time. There are countless possibilities of what can be achieved with this program. With the enormous advance of iPads in the education sector, Reflector will be an incredible tool for all iPad educators.

Additional Benefits of Reflector

Recording the iPad screen: Multiple uses and purposes of recording what is shown on the iPad/iPhone screen. Go through your lessons and record them for distance education students, for example. Lessons would then be in video form and can be organized into iTunes U or other online formats.

Multiple device mirroring at the same time: This feature is excellent. Have more than one device be shared on the big screen. Projects can be compared and contrasted. Shy students do not have to stand in front of their peers, but instead Airplay their work from their seats.

Here is a short video showing multiple screens on PC:

Password protection: Easily set up a password for Reflector, give it out to only those that you want to have the ability to share on the projected screen. This way, not just anyone within the WiFi network can “hijack” your projector!

Full-screen mode: While the effect of having an iPad/iPhone frame is great for recording and showing off apps, use the feature of having the real estate of the entire projection screen so that everyone in the classroom can see. In settings, you can set mirroring to automatically launch in Full-screen once Airplay mirroring is enabled.

No-wires/no mess with your current projection set up: Even the Apple TV, which is in itself a great device, will require a couple more wires (power and hdmi cords). Reflector will do almost everything an Apple TV can, with NO additional wires/chords. Also, you will save money ($99USD vs. $12.99USD).

Do make sure you check out the official Reflector blog for more in-depth posts on features!

Original post:

Here is an affordable way to mirror your iPad/iPhone in your classroom if you do not wish to purchase the $99 Apple TV. Reflector ($12.99, formerly known as Reflection) is a great Mac/PC app that is extremely easy to set up and use.

First, what is mirroring?

Mirroring your iPad/iPhone and even the latest 5th generation iPod touch means showing on a second screen everything that is shown. Once set up, your device that you control will be displayed. It is a very useful way to display your iPad to a large group of students/colleagues. Show your presentations, videos, and even games without a hitch.

The easiest way to mirror is to attach your iPad directly to your computer. This is the “fastest” and most solid way, and does not present any lag whatsoever. A wired connection is actually what I currently rely on, since I teach in over seven different classrooms at any given time of year. (Read my post here if you wish to learn how to set up a wired projection of your iPad.)

However, if you teach in your own classroom, and have a strong WiFi connection, I would recommend trying a wireless connection. This will give you the freedom to walk around and use different areas of the room, all while still being able to project exactly what you want to project.

Mirroring your iDevice in the classroom gives many advantages. For instance, if your computer is hooked up to a projector, you are able to wirelessly roam around the classroom with your device and anything that appears on it will also appear on the screen.

Teachers should mirror iPads in the following cases:

  • Apps can be projected and used for teaching the entire class;

  • Completely replacing the need for a document camera, a (small) object can be zoomed in on with the camera and the whole class can see it on the screen;

  • Students can use the iPads like a whiteboard using apps such as Skitch and Penultimate to share with the class;

  • Videos can quickly be chosen and showed to the whole class;

  • If there is a class set of iPads, individuals can take turns mirroring their progress on a project;

The possibilities are limitless. In fact, a lot of the apps and articles that I share on this blog incorporate mirrored projection for the class.

Reflector will give you the rid of the need to connect your projector with any cables. If you have a strong WiFi signal, this solution is ideal.

How it works:

Once you purchase the program, make sure all your devices are connected to the same WiFi. Then, all you need to do is:

  • Run Reflector on your computer.

  • Find the Airplay icon on your device (Double-tap the Home button and swipe right until you find it). In Settings, you can choose to add a password.

  • Select your computer and choose “Mirror”.

That’s it! It is that simple. Now you can mirror your device without much lag at all (again, depending on your WiFi signal).

Recording

A great feature of Reflector is that you can record what you do on your iDevice. App developers would have an easy time showcasing their apps. Reviewers like myself can do the same, and use other additional software to audio-record/narrate what is being shown. If you would like to just record the audio output of the iPad, go to “Device”, then “Recording”.

Audio is “pushed” to your computer as well, meaning if you play any videos or mp3s, the sound will come out of the computer speakers instead of out the iPad speakers. This will come in handy if you have external speakers attached to your computer.

Here is a quick video I made showing the mirroring of my iPad to my MacBook Pro. Notice the smaller iPad frame in the MacBook (left). When you project it, it will become full-screen:

Conclusion:

If setting up an Apple TV is not a viable option for you in your classroom, Reflector will be a suitable replacement. At only $12.99 (They offer additional discounts for 5 or more licences, even more of a discount for 20+ licences), it is not only an affordable wireless solution for mirroring, but an obvious one, if you, as an educator, wish to wirelessly roam around the classroom and project what is on your iDevice.

Check out the official FAQs from the developers here.

Can you think of any creative uses for Reflector? Let us know in the comments!

*Note that only the more recent devices support Airplay. Check here for a list of compatible devices.

*Please note that REFLECTOR is NOT an iOS app, but rather a computer program. It is not available in the Mac App Store, but rather on the developer website.

 

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50 comments on “REFLECTOR for MAC and PC: An iPad Teacher’s Most Versatile Teaching Tool

  1. @Mathtechy
    February 7, 2014

    Steve,
    I would love to win a promo code for Reflector! I use it in my classroom and it has been a valuable tool to demonstrate procedures to my students or to share students’ work. I teach professional development classes using my MAC and I have been using AirServer. I Think Reflector is much better and would prefer to use it for my PD classes.
    Caryn Trautz @Mathtechy

    • teachingwithipad
      February 25, 2014

      Congrats Caryn, Please DM me your email address before February 27 6PM PST. I assume you would want a MAC version.

      • Caryn Trautz
        March 22, 2014

        Steve,

        Thanks again for choosing me for the free Reflector promo code! I have used it in my professional development class with my Mac and I love it. This past week, I showed the teachers how it works – they all connected their iPads to it, and we had 8 iPads up on the screen at once. We all have Reflector on our classroom computers, but I don’t think many of the teachers have actually used it. I’m hoping that now they have actually seen it in action and see how easy it is to use, they will gravitate towards using it.

      • teachingwithipad
        March 22, 2014

        Thanks for the comment. Keep up the great work!

  2. mitzi
    February 7, 2014

    Simply leave a comment below on how you could benefit from REFLECTOR and how you plan on using it. Make sure you leave your email address (it will NOT be shown publicly).
    I would love to have the mobility of using REFLECTOR to share apps, app mashups, and technology activities/lessons with teachers and students!!

  3. Marsha Mifflin
    February 7, 2014

    Other teachers in my building have been using the Reflector app with their Macs and are very happy. I would be using it to show the student’s work from their iPads to the entire class. Introduce new apps for the students to try, We’ve been writing books in our classroom and showing them to the entire classroom and allowing the author to read their book to the class would be great.
    thanks

  4. Andrew Wong
    February 7, 2014

    *Tweeted*
    It’s a great way to wirelessly show the screen of the iPad instead of having to leave it plugged in through the connector.

  5. bearpear95
    February 7, 2014

    Reflector is a great way to mirror the iPad portably instead of having to use a cable, which limits walking distance, and movement

    • bearpear95
      February 7, 2014

      *Sorry for the double post, didn’t show the first*

  6. Afatani
    February 8, 2014

    I tried this app and it’s amaizing.

  7. Kevin O'Donnell
    February 8, 2014

    I would love to win a free promo code for reflector. I use the ipad all of the time but have been wanting a quick and easy way to project it on my IWB. I think it would be great for our kindergarten teachers and upper grade math teachers too as they all prefer to work win their iPads when delivering lessons
    It would be great if I could model how wonderful and easy reflector is to use

  8. Pingback: REFLECTOR for MAC and PC: FREE PROMO CODES AVAILABLE! | Flexibility Enables Learning

  9. Kim Flintoff
    February 8, 2014

    A very useful tool especially when you’re on a PC – airplay iOS to Mac is always a workaround but getting from iOS to PC has always been more of an issue.

  10. bowdenmesd
    February 8, 2014

    Using REFLECTOR in my classroom will allow students to collaborate by sharing multiple device content simultaneously. What an amazing learning opportunity.

  11. TechTeacher
    February 9, 2014

    I would love to try reflector in my computer classes. I teach at two schools and have different set ups at each. It would be great to be able to circulate more among the classes rather than being tethered by cords. My students would benefit too by being brought into the lessons in a new way. Thanks for your consideration.

  12. Lazaros Simeon
    February 10, 2014

    I work as a faculty development facilitator, and I’m always thinking of great ways for faculty to engage their learners. Using an iPad in the classroom is a great way to incorporate technology into activities inside or outside the classroom. I think using REFLECTOR would really allow me to showcase some wonderful tools and ideas for our college teachers.

  13. Donna Spangler
    February 10, 2014

    It would be great to try Reflector in my world language classroom. The ability to hear audio through the speakers rather than the iPad would be very helpful in my classroom. Also, the option to allow students to show their work to the entire class from their iPad would also be ideal. Thank you for your consideration.

  14. speak2you3
    February 10, 2014

    I would love to try this in my world language classroom. I could hear audio from speakers rather than the iPad speakers and it would also allow my students to project their work from an individual iPad for the entire class to see. Thank you for your consideration.

  15. Michael Maney
    February 10, 2014

    I teach a Media class of 32 students and run the library. Currently we have nothing at our school to project iPads to the LCD projectors. I recently took a iPad class and was introduced to Reflector. I would use Reflector to show my students the different media apps (Logo quiz, forms of media, and Fact of Opinion). My students use the iPads to film two minute public service announcements. I would be able to use reflector to show how to edit their recording in imovie. Finally, I am a Library Media Specialist and many teachers would come down to the library to demonstrate apps in their respected disciplines.

    • teachingwithipad
      February 25, 2014

      Congrats Michael, Please send me your email address before February 27 6PM PST if you’re still interested. Let me know if you want a PC or MAC version.

  16. Jeremy Badiner
    February 10, 2014

    I LOVE Reflector app. I use it all the time. I am an Instructional Technology Coach (K-5) and I would love to be able to give it to another teacher I work with. Pick Me!

  17. Jeremy Badiner
    February 10, 2014

    I would LOVE a copy of Reflector app. I am an Instructional Technology Coach and would let another teacher use this awesome tool! I use it all the time!

    (This might be second post, first one was lost with swipe on Mac keyboard…sorry).

  18. Scott Renaud
    February 10, 2014

    I would love the opportunity to have a copy of Reflector for use in my classroom. I teach grade 7/8 at a special education school in Ontario, Canada. My class consists of 17 very active students and we have developed a program this year working heavily on integrating Ipads and technology as resources into their curriculum. Would be great to have the option of sharing the screens we are working on with each other through the projector.

  19. torresola (@torresola)
    February 10, 2014

    Reflector is an app that meets the standards of innovation. I am currently trying to use it in combination with AirParrot to display a prompting app that I have in my iPad, onto a teleprompter setup that I have attached via an Apple TV. This is truly an experiment that I would hope it would yield me great results. I want to teach educational videos and always be looking at the screen. In order to do that, I need the prompter and the iPad software and its great because I can control the speed of the prompting remotely. Reflector and AirParrot could truly bridge the gap of a “one-man-band” teacher that wants to record videos all by himself.

  20. Greg Odell
    February 11, 2014

    I would use Reflector to make screencasts of apps that run on iOS devices. We could also use Reflector to help with the deployment of our MDM and Apple Configurator.

  21. Greg Odell
    February 11, 2014

    I would use Reflector for screencasting apps that run on iOS devices as well as to help with our deployment of Apple Configurator and MDM. @ugaodawg

  22. Filomena Gomes
    February 13, 2014

    Would love to try Reflector for my French class. Schools are equipped with PCs.

  23. shanteschuler
    February 14, 2014

    I could use this in place of apple tv. My district has discontinued the use of Apple tv. It was such a great tool to keep children engaged. The students wanted to always share their screens. So I would use this tool to further engage students and help them complete work. I would also use this for helping me flip the classroom and for students to communicate as they instruct us on how they solved problems. Shanteschuler@gmail.com

  24. Susan Hopper
    February 15, 2014

    So many ways to use Reflector in my seventh grade ELA classroom! It could save time when introducing new apps. Since I currently don’t have a way to connect my iPad to the board, I meet with small groups to demo a new app. (I have over 100 students, so a new app demo can take lots of time.) Reflector would allow me to continue to work in small groups and provide individualized attention, but the focus would immediately shift to the students’ progress instead of repeated “Let me show you how this works. . .” discussions. Reflector could allow me to do 5 whole group demos instead of 25-30 small group demos. Another way I would use it would be for student presentations. I would love for students to show off their iPad creations during whole group discussions! (We actually tried to put an iPad under the document camera, but it didn’t work. :) I like the way Reflector creates more opportunities for student-centered whole group activities. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  25. Chris Mc
    February 16, 2014

    Reflector has been an excellent app for our school. It allows us to replace document cameras, and use our IOS devices to stream video, and app demos to our students quickly and easily. I would love a free copy to help get more teachers using it.

  26. James Pack
    February 17, 2014

    Would love to have this so I can read books to my students and have them follow along!

  27. Jess Y
    February 18, 2014

    I teach a graphics design class and it would definitely help for the iOS7 building aspect, especially because I offer video lessons. I don’t have access to an expensive camera so this would be a great way to boost the lessons.

  28. Cheryl Peterson
    February 20, 2014

    At my school I am the computer lab instructor for the one computer lab we have for 3rd and 4th grades. At present there are about 200 students. I am also the only employee who currently has a school iPad on my campus. Therefore, the students and I would greatly benefit from the Reflector app. There are so many amazing projects we could share together on the lab’s Promethean board due to the way this app works. I would love to receive it and show other teachers how it could be used in their regular classrooms as we slowly add more iPads to our campus. Thanks for sharing the free 10 minutes with me. Now I want more!!! :o)
    Cheryl P

    • Cheryl Peterson
      March 4, 2014

      Thank you! I have received your e-mail and am interested still in using Reflector in my computer lab. My reply was also sent to you via e-mail. I am very excited in sharing it with the students and teachers on my campus. Just in case you did not receive my e-mail…I have a PC. Again, many thanks! :)
      Cheryl

  29. Joseph Y
    February 20, 2014

    I think that reflector would be highly beneficial in my computer science classroom. I have an assignment where students are to program their own application and since we already have iPads, this would be a great addition that will be used to demonstrate everyone’s applications through a projector.

  30. Ann Marie Au Espinosa
    February 21, 2014

    I just attended a common core training and the trainer demonstrated this app. It was amazing! I would love to implement it in my classroom especially in math. It would allow my students to share how they solved a problem and allowfellow students and me to give immediate feedback and facilitate and discussion.

  31. whsmrsbrownell
    February 21, 2014

    The Reflector App is amazing! There are several products that allow you to see your computer on your iPad, but only REFLECTOR lets you see your iPad on your computer. This so helpful when you are in a 1:none classroom environment. Even if yours is the only iPad in the room…Ss can still leverage the the power the iPad can offer.

  32. Linda
    February 22, 2014

    Reflector would be wonderful for me to use in my role of instructional technology specialist. So many teachers and students would benefit more from my sharings with this app.

  33. teachingwithipad
    February 25, 2014

    Winners have been chosen and have two days to contact me. If they do not, new ones will be chosen! Thanks for the great comments!
    Steve

    • whsmrsbrownell
      February 25, 2014

      Does this email mean that I was chosen for a free Reflector license?

      Janet Brownell

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

  34. Sara O'Grady
    February 26, 2014

    I was recently shown reflector from a district PD and would love to use it with my diverse group of students. I am a literacy specialist and an English Language Specialist and can see many ways that reflector will help engage my students while incorporating the CCSS.

  35. kristian
    March 1, 2014

    i work in a school in oslo that uses ipad. but we need pc if we are gonna show something and that is bad. that is why i want a promo code. ps: sorry for my bad english

  36. Mary C. Gil Durand
    March 2, 2014

    Hi hello, I am Mary C. i would love to recipe a promo code to download reflector, it would be helpful for my mom and neighbors because its one more tool i can use to help others learn how to use ipas with out freaking out. Thanks any way for the information above.

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  42. nichole higdon
    June 20, 2014

    I just learned about this program in a training I went to this week and loved it. I am a new teacher at a very small school, less then 50 kids. But we are growing!!! I would be using this program in the library with making videos on books the kids have read, author study’s, and with cloud art. The other teachers will be using it in their classrooms also. I feel this is the way teaching will be from now on and am very excited about trying it out!! We as teachers need to find ways to keep kids interested in learning. If they are doing the same work to look up the information on the project then why not let them have some fun creating a book or video and sharing their work with everyone. With this software I feel the possibilities on what to use this for are endless.

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This entry was posted on February 7, 2014 by in how-to, promo, review and tagged , , , , , .
Steve Lai

Steve Lai

Father. Teacher. Blogger. iPad and iPhone aficionado. Musician.

French teacher by day, father and blogger by night. I love to blog and read tech blogs. I write an iPad blog as it relates to education. I teach young kids the French language and love my job. I play the guitar and piano. I have a beautiful wife and two awesome daughters and a maltese-poodle dog. I love playing roller hockey and taking walks at English Bay in Vancouver. I enjoy traveling and can't wait to bring my daughters to Paris. Canucks are my team, along with the Seahawks.

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