In the school district I work in, we have ITRTs (Itinerant Technology Resource Teachers). These teachers do not have a homeroom classroom. They travel throughout the county and help teachers integrate technology into their classrooms. They're a HUGE help and a great source of information.
I recently got an iPad to start to explore what apps are available to compliment what we do in my classroom. I have found that there are so many awesome apps out there!
Last week I was using the iPad to read a story about winter I found in an app. My students were crowding in trying to see as we read it together and I thought, "Man, there's got to be a way to connect this so it will project onto my SmartBoard." I did a google search and sure enough, I found many ways that I could accomplish this. A couple emails back and forth with one of our ITRTs and I found out there is a program our district already uses; Reflector 2--Even better!
An ITRT was able to come out yesterday and install this onto the desktop that is connected to our SmartBoard projector and with a couple of easy steps my iPad is mirrored wirelessly onto my computer screen, so when my SmartBoard is turned on, it is also mirrored on the SmartBoard. (Note: In order to use Reflector 2 your computer and your iPad need to be able to use the same wireless network)
We have had a LOT of fun with this yesterday afternoon and today. It has been great! It allows me to do whole group activities using the iPad and everyone can easily see what is on the screen. I have students in my classroom who have mobility challenges. It allows them to more easily participate in group activities in the same exact way their peers are participating in the activity. Today we were playing a letter tracing game on the iPad that was projected up on the SmartBoard screen. We took turns tracing the letters on the iPad by passing it around the circle (with adult help...remember, 2-5 year olds here). While students were waiting for their turn to trace they could answer questions about what letter was displayed and what sound each letter makes. As I went around the group with the iPad I had the ability/flexibility to work with each student one on one to trace their letter.
I can't wait to explore more ways for me to use this in my classroom!
Pictures of the SmartBoard while using Reflector 2 to mirror my iPad to explore interactive images of Antarctica from the Google Expeditions app.