Working with Multiple iPads in the Elementary Music Classroom
Recently, I blogged about using the bookcreator app with my third graders so that they could create recorder books for next year’s third graders. The project went very well with the students taking photos of their music, creating sound bites of their songs and inserting them into the book, creating video excerpts of their performances, and writing recorder tips for next year’s students such as “no puffy cheeks” and “don’t interrupt the teacher while she is talking” (I loved that one!).
Projecting All of the iPads onto my Laptop and/or SMART Board Screen:
As they worked through this project and as my second graders used the iPad apps note squish and flashnote derby to prepare themselves for reading notes that they will use to compose a small melody in an upcoming project, I felt that it would be nice to be able to observe what the students were doing on one screen. Currently, I was walking around the room watching each group working together with their iPads. I was not sure about how to make all of the iPads project onto one screen until I stumbled upon it one day during class. Using the reflector app, it took the following steps:
- The reflector app is one that is downloaded onto your computer for $12.99 (there is also a free trial) from http://www.airsquirrels.com/reflector/.
- There is a great four-step tutorial on their website about how to set the reflector app up with your computer and your current iOS devices. You can view the tutorial here: http://www.airsquirrels.com/reflector/get-started/?download=started
- I followed the instructions above for all of the four iPads in my classroom and voila:
Benefits of Reflector App with Multiple iOS Devices:
The benefit of this was that I could observe what the students were doing on the iPads from just one screen (either my laptop or from the SMART board). In addition, I could assess what they were doing and I could make sure that they stayed on task (meaning, they did not try to open other apps). Finally, if I did not want to display all of the iPads on the SMART board where everyone could see them, then I could turn the SMART board off and observe everything from my laptop screen.
When using the reflector app this way, you will experience some latency issues with streaming. However, though they did occur, I did not feel that they were severe enough to distract the students from their goals.
I hope that this post gives you some ideas to how this might benefit your music classroom.
Amy M. Burns is an elementary music educator, clinician, author, and musician. She currently works at Far Hills Country Day School in Far Hills, NJ teaching PreK through Grade 3 general music, grade 5 instrumental music, and grades 4-8 instrumental band. She is the author of Technology Integration in the Elementary Music Classroom, Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with a SMART Board, and Help! I am an Elementary Music Teacher with One or more iPads! She is also an author for Online Learning Exchange™ Interactive Music powered by Silver Burdett. She has given numerous presentations on integrating technology into the elementary music classroom as well as being a keynote speaker for music technology conferences in Texas, Indiana, St. Maarten, and Australia. She is the recipient of the 2005 TI:ME Teacher of the Year Award, the 2016 NJ Master Music Teacher Award, the 2016 NJ Governor’s Leader in Arts Education Award, and the 2017 Non-Public School Teacher of the Year Award. You can find out more about Amy at her website: amymburns.com