Reflector 2 by Squirrels

Reflector2

*I have only used the software with Apple devices*

SOFTWARE TITLE: Reflector 2

COST: $14.99

OS: OS X 10.7.5 or Later, Windows 7, Windows 8 (Windows 8 RT is not supported) or Windows 10, Android 4.1 & compatible device.

POSITIVE: Reflector 2 is a great alternative to having an AppleTV in the classroom, many would actually consider it to be better.  When Reflector is on, the computer is then available as an option for AirPlay.  I was able to use it from an iPad, iPhone, and a MacBook.  This gives teachers an option to display student works, quickly and easily, at a fraction of the cost.  When purchasing for a school, be sure to contact the company for bulk pricing options.

Another piece that makes Reflector 2 stand out over the AppleTV is that you can have multiple devices connected at once.  This allows the teacher to display multiple students work at one time.  Teachers can also mute screens and have them set up for next in line.

The final feature that sets Reflector 2 out as a great match for the classroom is the option to record.  If a student is giving a presentation, or you are creating a tutorial video, simply connect the device and click the record button.

My understanding is that it also works when using Windows or Android based devices, but I have not tried it out myself.

NEGATIVE: The only issue I have run into is a little bit of lag when I was streaming Apple Music from my iPhone to my MacBook Pro.  This issue could have been due to network traffic, but I have not had the opportunity to troubleshoot it yet.

SIDE NOTE: Squirrels is based out of Ohio and is a sponsor of the EdCamp movement.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day!

Thank you to all the teachers out there! Please do no think that it goes unnoticed when you spend your own money on supplies, give up weekends for PD, or stay late to plan lessons and grade papers. There are many of you out there across the globe, and you are each special, especially to that classroom full of students you greet each morning.

You are greatly loved and respected.

Share My Lesson: Online Platform Share Lessons With Other Teachers

WHO: K-12 Teachers looking to share their lessons and resources with others, as well as teachers that are looking for lessons to use in their classroom.

HOW: Teachers need to create an account in order to use ShareMyLesson.  After logging in, users can upload lessons, including tagging standards, adding attachments and links, and descriptions.

Teachers looking for lesson ideas, can search by state standards, grade level, topic area and more.

WHEN: During the summer months, teachers can use ShareMyLesson to either upload their lessons to have in one area, or start looking at what other teachers are doing to enhance their own.

ShareMyLesson is great as it allows teachers from anywhere to share ideas with others.

FlipQuiz: Online Review Gameshow

WHO: Teachers looking for an easier way to make gameshow style review games in the classroom.

HOW: Sign up for an account at http://flipquiz.me/, then either start creating your own board, or search for the topic you are covering.  After creating an account, the user can choose between the free version or the paid version.  Upgrading allows the user to copy other boards, have the game keep score (must do this manually with free account), upload images, create flashcards for students, and more.

WHEN: FlipQuiz is a great option for weekly/semesterly review.  Students enjoy playing gameshows, working in teams, and competing with each other. FlipQuiz makes this process much easier, and is saved online for future use.

Wiggio: Online Group Task and Communication Tool

WHO: Administrators, team leaders, and teachers looking for an easy way to communicate with a group, set up to-do lists, and centralized storage for shared documents.

HOW: Sign up for a free account at https://wiggio.com, create a group, and start building!  Wiggio is simple and straightforward to use.  Users can create task/to-do lists that group members can easily check off, as well as set up meetings, upload documents, poll members, share links, and send direct messages.  Group members can set up e-mail notifications of updates, and also have SMS notifications.

WHEN: Wiggio is a great tool for event planning and collaborative work. Teachers/coaches could also use this tool to communicate with groups like Student Council and sports teams.  Administrators would find it beneficial for school committees. Students could use this Wiggio to effectively work on small group projects.

Mission US: Immersive Games for U.S.A. History

WHO: Teachers and students looking for a way to bring US History to life.

HOW: Students need a computer (I haven’t tried it out on an iPad at the time of writing this post), an internet connection, and register for an account.

WHEN: Mission US is a great option to use in class or to have students play at home.  Currently there are four options to choose from.

Mission 1: For Crown or Colony, set in 1770 as a 14-year-old in Boston.

Mission 2: Flight to Freedom, set in 1848 as a 14-year-old enslaved in Kentucky

Mission 3: A Cheyenne Odyssey, set in 1866 as a Northern Cheyenne boy.

Mission 4: City of Immigrants, set in 1907 as a Jewish 14-year-old from Russia.

TeachingHistory.org – Lesson Plans and Materials for K-12 Classrooms

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WHO: Social Studies teachers looking for digital resources, lesson plans and more!

HOW: Visit http://teachinghistory.org/, click on your choice of “Teaching Materials”, “History Content”, or “Best Practices”.  You can also browse the site based off of grade level (Elementary, Middle, or High School).  The teaching materials section features lesson plans, teaching guides, and instructional strategies and resources for ELL. History Content has website reviews, quizzes, National Resources, and “Beyond the textbook”.  In the best practices area, teachers can find examples of historical thinking, teaching in action, teaching with textbooks, and using primary sources.

Teachers can also search for a topic and find a wide variety of digital materials to use in their class.

WHEN: Teaching History is great for lesson planning and also for students to do research for projects in class.

TelePromptor – Free Teleprompter Tool for Web Connected Devices

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WHO: Digital Media teachers and students that would benefit from using a teleprompter when creating videos. Users can create a script and run the teleprompter for free, but a paid version allows the user to save and edit later.

HOW: Visit https://telepromptor.com/, click on start script, follow the on-screen instructions to create your prompt, then push start at the bottom of the screen.

WHEN: TelePromptor is great for digital media courses creating videos.  Instead of students reading off of a piece of paper, or memorizing their lines, use TelePromptor on a computer or tablet to help get that video clip on the first try!

Teach Engineering – K-12 Engineering Curriculum

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WHO: Teachers looking for lesson plans and units for STEM classrooms.

HOW: Visit https://www.teachengineering.org/, click through the various sections, or use the search bar to go through 1,400+ lessons currently available. These lessons at aligned to a variety of standards including Common Core Math and Next Generation Science Standards. While a user does not have to sign up for an account, creating one gives the ability to save lessons into a curriculum, write reviews, and set up a profile.

WHEN: Teach Engineering is not only great for upcoming lessons in your class, but also to create course maps for the upcoming school year.  If your school is looking to start a STEM course, or specifically an engineering course, Teach Engineering is well worth your time to look through.  The best part about Teach Engineering is that it is completely FREE.