Reflector App: Mirror Your iPad in the Classroom

Are you looking for a wireless way to display your iPad through your overhead projector? I have been searching for a way to project my iPad for instructional purposes without having to use my dongle. The dongle kept me tied down to my overhead table. I wanted to be able to freely move around the classroom and pass my iPad off to a student to solve a problem, while at the same time projecting onto my overhead screen. The Reflector app has this capability and is a great way to assist you to becoming a paperless teacher while allowing you to move around the classroom as you teach!
The Reflector App does full mirroring; meaning it will also send the audio and there is orientation support (you can lock orientation).I simply purchased and downloaded the Reflector app onto the desktop of my classroom laptop. Now when I hook up my laptop to my overhead projector, I can open the Reflector app on my iPad and project my iPad through the overhead projector. This is a great way to model how to use a specific app, you can turn any of your “old school paper overheads” into PDFs and use Notability and a stylus for instruction, and now have a mobile Docucam!
Here is what you will need:
Mac computer running OS X Lion (OS X 10.7.3 or later to use recording feature) or PC with Windows XP or greater
iPhone 4s
iPad 2 or 3
Digital projector
Reflector license ($12.99)
Purchase/download through their website
If you wish, you can download a free limited time trial before you purchase.

Ways I use this app:

When my students finish an iPod project, they email their project to me and we are able to easily see their project. We have watched slideshows my students made using SonicPics and my students loved how they could easily share their work with the class.

The Reflector App allows me to have a mobile Docucam! If I want to display student work, I can simply turn on the camera mode and hover the iPad over a student’s work at their desk. Or if I am trying to highlight something on my bulletin board, I can display it from where ever it is in the room.

My class and I have created class SimpleMind+ mind maps. I can walk around the room and allow students to add an idea to our mind map.

I have turned my old overheads into PDFs and now use Notability for instructional purposes. I can now use my iPad and a stylus and move freely around my room as I teach.

I use Evernote for writing, we can easily collaborate about student writing and easily share student work.

You can use your favorite screen capturing application to record your lessons and flip your classroom!
Here is how:
1. Once you have purchased and downloadedReflector from their website onto your teacher laptop (and it is running), double click the home key on your iPad. Then swipe right to access your music. A square will now display. Click on the square and your computer’s name will display. Tap on your computer’s name and turn mirroring to “on.”
3. Now your iPad will display onto your laptop. I have my laptop projected through the digital projector so the entire class can see this. This is what it will look like.
4. Now open any app you want to use for instruction. Here I opened up SimpleMind+ to create a mind map with my class. While we were creating this mind map, I was keeping a record of the class conversation while sitting right next to two struggling students at their desk. Each student in my class was accessing SimpleMind+ on their iPods and creating their own mind map (borrowing ideas from the class mind map). This was a pre-writing activity for preparation for writing in their journal. I was able to walk around the room and assist students while not even skipping a beat with the classroom discussion.
5. If the background of your desktop is distracting as in this picture, while in Reflector on your desktop go into the menu bar and select >device>Enter full screen and this is how it will display:
6. If you wish, when on the menu bar for Reflector select >device>force landscape or force portrait.
I hope you find this application as effective as I do in the classroom! Please leave a comment with an idea of how else to utilize this app in your classroom.
Jo-Ann Fox


  1. Sarah says

    Thanks! This is awesome! I’ve ordered the converter so that I can hook my iPad to the computer, but it would have tied me down to my desk. I love this idea. I’m curious if it has a Windows version, as my school is Windows based. I do have a Mac I can hook to the Smartboard so maybe, I’ll just have to connect it when I want to model with the iPad. LOVE this. Thanks for posting. Have you tried the Splashtop app? It does the opposite of this. It allows you to manipulate your computer via your iPad. I use it quite a bit so that I can manipulate the Smartboard from anywhere in the room.

    • Madison says

      I have that cord, but when I use it, the image is reflected and the student work shows up backwards. Have you figured out how to resolve that problem?
      I want to purchase the reflector app, but I’m worried I will still have the same problem with the image being reflected. Is this a problem with this app? Thanks!

      • Mike says

        Late to reply – but your image is likely reflected because you may have a ceiling mounted projector which is flipping the image. This works great for most laptops but sometimes the projector will incorrectly flip the output. Check your projector settings and you can likely resolve this quickly by flipping the image display.

  2. Sonya says

    Awesome Jo-Ann. This is what I have been looking for to use with my iPad. There was so much out there I just got overwhelmed. I was waiting for someone to show me a simple way and I just received my wish. Thank you so much!!

  3. Melanie says

    Thanks for this post. I have the opportunity to get this app for my classroom and have been searching for some classroom examples of using Reflection. The step-by-step process will be perfect for when I get it all rolling here in the next couple weeks.

    • says

      Hi Linda, I am not sure exactly what you mean by your question. The Reflection app should mirror anything you have on your iPad screen. Be sure you have both computer and iPad on the same wifi for the mirroring to work. Hope this helps!

  4. rebecca says

    I purchased reflection and followed the instruction but cannot get the airplay box. How do I get airplay box to connect?

  5. Dipu says

    A great post, which I have been exploring for. Now I can use this approach to present my apps to the business users and have people in the room play around the apps and have it projected to the wider audience for Demo of new apps and POC.

    Excellent one!!…

  6. Susan says

    I’ve downloaded Reflection & get to the airplay box – my computer shows up & I can click on the box next to it, but there is no “on” button…A check mark shows up next to the computer line, but nothing happens to bring up the iPad onto computer. I’m on the same wifi. Any ideas? I’m so excited to use this in my class!!! Thanks so much!

  7. says

    To answer Rebecca- I had the same problem. I had to disable my firewall before I installed Reflector to my laptop. Everything worked perfectly after that.
    I’m looking forward to using Class Dojo with Reflector.

  8. says

    Dear Jo-Ann,
    This is just what i need , but I have failed at the first stage. I am on the Music screen on my iPad, but i cannot get a square to display.
    I installed Reflector, but may have used my free turn when it did not work the first time. I don’t want to buy it unless I know it will work.
    I would really like it to work – Chrissie (professional trainer and lecturer).

    • says

      Perhaps you didn’t turn it on on your desktop? Also, a common mistake is to not be on the same wifi signal. I haven’t had any problems using Reflector and it should be a great addition to your training sessions/lectures. I love being able to use it to show student work from their desk and to allow students to reflect their work.

      • Jill Gilgus says

        Hi Joann,
        I am applying for a job and they have asked us to submit a teacher training video that highlights our teacher training skills while we are demonstrating Explain Everything. I have been racking my brain to figure out how to do this. Is it through the reflector app. I get that it shows up on the computer but how do you get it to record the video? Is there a way to include a portion of the video showing my face and the rest showing the app in use? Thank you so much for your help.

  9. Brad Story says

    I was able to download the trial version of the Reflectory App. Now I want to purchase the app but when I add it to my cart, the cart disappears. I was wondering if anyone else has run into this problem?

  10. Felim Clarke says

    I work in a school and a staff member bought a licence to test this software. I works extremely well on an iMac but when we tested it on a Windows computer we found that there was a 15 second lag between opening/tapping something on the iPad and it showing it on the screen. Is there anything we can try to fix this as it will be mainly Windows computers we will need to use it on.

    Thank you.

  11. Lisa says

    Thank you so much! This was very easy to install and setup. I am going to use it in conjunction with the ipad STAGE app so I can make annotations, take pics, and record! I cannot wait.

  12. Erin says

    Is there anyway of transferring the license from one computer to another? I purchased it on my laptop but want to use it for my smart board computer. Am I able to do this or do I have to purchase another license?

  13. Susan says

    I am just starting as an iPad support person in an elementary school. I visualize using this app in the following way but can’t quite figure out from all of the info above and the comments if this will be the solution. We use Notability and I would like to take the things I usually write on the board for each class (but have to erase between repeating sections) and project them from my iPad to the overhead projector to the screen. And while I am talking about what is on the screen, I could actually write on the iPad (or board for that matter) to emphasize or actively modify what I have already written. My question is can I not only project a “static image” from my iPad, but can I actively modify it within the app (Notability) that I am using. Also, is there a way to bypass the computer all together? Most of us don’t have laptops in the classroom any more. THanks.

    • Susan says

      please edit my previous comment leaving off my last name before posting. Had auto fill on and didn’t notice. Thanks.

  14. Ginger says

    At school, i have the Sharp Tv Touchscreen hooked up to my computer at school. Kind of works like a Smartboard. Do you think this reflector app would work on that?

    • Bob says

      Yes but you can’t control the ipad with the board. You will have to use the ipad to control. It will still display your ipad

  15. erin says

    How do I just show the powerpoint or content that is on my iPad so my participants do not have to see frame of the iPad and they only see the content of the presentation not the actual device with the content on it?

  16. Michael SChroeder says

    I used reflector in September of 2012, it worked flawlessly. However, I tried to run it today, and it will not function. I have my Windows 7 PC running with the Reflector app running, but Air-Play does not show up on my updated iPad 2 running OS 7.1. My PC is on the network, as it was back in 2012, and my iPad is on our wireless network here at school. But no Air-play. Any ideas?

    Thank you!

    • says

      My students all have iPad minis and it works fantastic. There are some new features with the newest iOS. The new way to begin airplay is slide your finger up from the bottom part of the screen. Then tap on the airplay button. Should work.

  17. says

    Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?
    There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content.

    Please let me know. Thank you

  18. Tannye says

    Hi! I’m wanting to do this, but is there a way where the iPad takes up the entire SmartBoard screen? Because that still seems rather small for my first graders.


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