Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Game Changer

It doesn't matter if you have one iPad in your classroom or your lucky enough to have a one to one  initiative in place in your school, you need to purchase the Reflection app! Reflection is not an app for your iPad it is a web app that you install on your computer. It runs on either Mac or PC. I personally run it on a PC that is connected to my Smart Board in my speech classroom. The cost is only $15.00 and can be purchased directly from the website using PayPals or a credit card. You download the app to your computer,install it, cut and paste the license code (that is emailed to you) into the appropriate spot and your ready to go.

So what's all the hype about the Reflection app is? The web app allows you to use Apple's Air Play feature to mirror your iPad. You can mirror it to your computer monitor or through a LCD projector onto an Interactive Whiteboard. If you are mirroring to an Interactive Whiteboard like I am, the board is not touch sensitive. Interaction must take place on the iPad.  Even though as an educator I would like to have interactive with the iPad on the Interactive Whiteboard Reflection, this has opened up unimaginable options for me as a 21st century educator.

Here are some ways that I have used the Reflection app in my classroom. My speech case load is large this year and I have a large number of groups. With articulation groups, I have used apps like Articulation Scenes by Smarty Ears and Speech With Milo Board Game: Articulation by Doonan Speech Therapy with the Reflection app and displayed it on the Interactive Whiteboard. The students were all able to stay engaged in the game because they could see. We passed the iPad among the students as turns developed. It was a huge hit "On the Big Screen" as my students would say. I also have used Articulation Station Pro and Articulate It displayed "on the big screen" while we worked on technology activities. Thus is a great way to make things quick and easy to see. One of my students favorite things to do through the Reflection app is to play "Capture the Word" activities created by Jenna Rayburn over at Speech Room News. It works fantastic with the Cam Draw app.

I also have seen nice success using the Reflection app with the students with autism. Apps like First Phrases by Hamaguchi Apps and Toby Playpad by Autism West have worked wonderful. This allows my students with autism a little physical space as I do not have to crowd them in an attempt to see what they are doing on the iPad.

Reflection is also a great tool for technology classes. While NWEA testing was taking place in the computer lab, I had my tech classes meet in my speech classroom so I could use Reflection. It was great to be able to quickly turn on and off Air Play on individual devices to display examples of student work for everyone to see. I also had my 6th grade class all turn on their Air Play at the same time. We had 23 iPad displayed at the same time doing 23 different things. What a great classroom management tool for educators! I can hardly wait to get this educational tool installed in the computer lab.

I recommend that everyone try the 10 minute trial version that is available. After that if you think it is a tool that your students would benefit from having in your classroom, visit with your building administrator. Reflection has a lot of "bang for your buck" so I cannot image an administrator not willing to fund it when there is money available. If your impatient and want in immediately, $15.00 is something that most educators can afford out of their own pocket.

Enjoy this wonderful tool!