Kyle Pearce is a Math Teacher at Tecumseh Vista Academy and an instructional coach for the Greater Essex County District School Board in Ontario. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator and certified Alpha Squirrel EdTech Expert. Kyle’s classroom is equipped with a MacBook Pro and iPads.
When iPads gained large-scale acceptance in education, Kyle Pearce was trying to figure out how to effectively incorporate them into a math class.
“It was the only math class I had ever heard of that was going to be using iPads and trying to go completely paperless,” he said. “I was trying to think of creative ways I could show my students what was on my iPad screen.”
His classroom had an Apple TV meant for screen sharing, but Kyle quickly realized that using AirPlay to display his iPad to the Apple TV wasn’t a viable solution.
“When I wanted to mirror an iPad then go back to doing something on my computer, switching sources on the Apple TV from my iPad to my computer was a struggle,” Kyle said. “An inexperienced teacher could easily fumble around and hit the wrong button. I saw some teachers say, ‘Whoa, this isn’t for me.’”
Kyle needed a cost-effective Apple TV alternative that could wirelessly display his iPad and reduce or eliminate the time it took to switch sources.
Kyle discovered that the $15 Reflector software could replace the Apple TV in his classroom, resolve the issues he faced as a teacher and save his district nearly $10,000 per year on Apple TV upgrades.
With the Reflector software running on his MacBook, he can wirelessly display his iPad to his computer. His MacBook is connected to a projector, allowing the whole class to see what’s happening on the iPad.
“I use Reflector in my class daily,” he said. “We came to the conclusion that there are really no advantages to using an Apple TV. When I do a sample math problem or deconstruct a student solution in class, it’s much easier for me to write it on the iPad screen. I can mirror my iPad to the Reflector software on my computer, then project it to the class.”
Kyle estimates that the amount of class time saved using Reflector can range from 20 seconds to a couple minutes per use. Saving one minute per class results in 190 minutes, or two extra classes of learning time over the course of a Canadian school year.
“Students get distracted quickly,” he said. “Our classes vary from 50-100 minutes long, so you can imagine how easy it is to lose students’ attention. Reflector is a huge time and money saver.”
Kyle offered his district a way to save about $10,000 per year using Reflector rather than purchasing 50 new Apple TVs each year. As a teacher, he saves class time and displays information in a way that seamlessly allows him to switch between his computer and iPad. Reflector gives students the ability to display devices from their desks, and he can record every connected device.
“I remember a time when I was doing all the talking. If students were going to share a solution, they would have to go to the board and write it out for three to five minutes. You lose the class that way, and it’s harder for shy students. It’s better for them to share solutions from their desks with Reflector. Reflector has been a huge help.”