August 19, 2015

Reflector 2 Adds Live YouTube Streaming

YouTube is the online pinnacle of the video world. Tutorials, pranks, Vine compilations, music videos, talk show segments, lectures, GoPro footage, cat clips, documentaries and the list goes on and on and on. Today, we’re adding mobile device live streaming to that list.

Reflector 2 is the world’s first wireless screen-mirroring technology to enable live YouTube streaming. Anything that is displayed on your iPhone, iPad, Android device, Chromebook or Surface tablet can be instantly streamed to YouTube when connected to Reflector 2.

We know what you’re thinking. “That’s cool, but what does it mean for me?”

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Education

Teachers can instantly stream a classroom presentation from their mobile device to a live YouTube audience. The YouTube audience can hear what the teacher is saying and see the same content the classroom is viewing from the teacher’s mobile device. Sorry, kids. Being sick is no longer an excuse to miss the lesson.

Gaming

Uploading gameplay footage to YouTube is one of the latest gaming trends. Now gamers can do it live. The Reflector 2 YouTube live stream feature allows gamers to interact with their audience and put their skills on display to mobile gaming enthusiasts in real time. Yeah, we’re looking at you, Clash of Clans and Game of War fanatics.

Business/Tech/Cat Lady

Business pros can now use Reflector 2 to live stream presentations from their mobile devices to partners across the world. Tech enthusiasts and app reviewers can provide immediate demonstrations and feedback to their audiences. And yes, if absolutely necessary, that crazy cat lady in everyone’s life can instantly stream a video of Mittens the kitten trying to climb the stairs. Ah, the possibilities are endless.

Extras

Additional Reflector 2 updates include:

  • Webcam streaming to YouTube – Reflector 2 now supports webcam display alongside mirrored devices! This allows audiences to see a physical object or the presenter’s face during a presentation or YouTube Live broadcast. Users can even record instructional videos that include the webcam and mirrored devices.
  • Recording bar – We moved voice-over controls, recording, broadcasting and webcam controls to an easy-to-find, centralized bar in the Reflector 2 menu. Now everything you need is in one, consistent place.
  • Voice-over volume support – You can now adjust the voice-over volume via a slider in “recordings.” Additionally, our recording engine (which is majorly improved) will respect whatever the device volume level is set to when saving recordings.

We’ve had a busy summer here at Squirrels. Reflector Director, ScreenToss, Reflector 2.1 and AirParrot updates have hit the market. We hope you love them as much as we do. Stay tuned for more to come.

August 18, 2015

Squirrels Joins Forces with Habitat for Humanity (Year 2)

Last Saturday, Squirrels teamed up with Habitat for Humanity, a world-wide organization that helps provide safe and affordable housing for families in need.Squirrels - August 8, 2015 - 2

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Jonnie speaking to the group.

This particular house belonged to Jonnie, a father of two looking to make a new start for his family in a better area. We took the time to help Jonnie build his new home and to hear about his journey. He told us his background, his involvement with Habitat for Humanity and about the home owner program he is completing. Not only does Habitat for Humanity build and restore homes, it teaches potential owners how to be financially responsible and how to care for new homes.

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Andrew working on siding.

We were tasked with siding one side of the house and finishing the front porch area: complete with soffit, facia and a railing. We think we did a pretty good job, and we can’t wait to hear all about Jonnie having a glass of sweet tea on the front porch we helped him build!

For more information on how you can volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in your area, visit their website to learn more about how to get involved. We’ll be doing more with habitat later this year!

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Jess was the saw operator for the day.
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Extension ladders were a commodity. Sid is seen here stealing one for his own use.

 

August 7, 2015

How Technology Yields Higher Student Engagement

The addition of technology in the modern classroom has opened up an incredible amount of opportunities to increase student engagement… although there are a few skeptics. In fact, some teachers might argue that technology and its many distractions are resulting in less student engagement. But don’t count tech out just yet! By appropriately utilizing technology throughout the learning process, students can become more involved in their education than ever before.

Technology gives students more opportunities to work with their peers.

While group work and partner projects are a staple in most classrooms, that’s where the collaboration stops. However, with technology, students don’t have to be in the same room to work together, let alone the same building. Tools like Google Docs/Sheets/Slides, forums and wikis let students work together, comment on each other’s work and share ideas from anywhere they have internet access.

Technology provides (seemingly) unlimited visuals.

Visuals help clarify and solidify information. Instead of trying to paint a picture through imagery, technology allows students to see and experience ideas firsthand. Technology offers unlimited opportunities for students to put an image to content through image searching, PowerPoint, idea mapping and more.

Technology makes it easier to connect to the real world.

Students are no longer interested in only reading from textbooks, memorizing slides and remembering tedious tidbits of information. They want to be involved in the lesson and shown how the content they’re learning makes real life connections in their world. With technology, students have videos, webcams and news resources to connect with the world around them. This makes it easier to apply class material to what is relevant in their lives.

Technology offers a variety of opportunities.

Giving students different ways to show understanding gives them more creativity, freedom and usually yields better results. Technology unleashes their potential by giving them a multitude of platforms to show off their skills. Whether they are blogging, making a video, creating a PowerPoint or designing virtual field trips, pairing technology with projects just makes sense.

The bottom line

Give your students something to remember! Think back to when you were in school; do you remember the information from the hundreds (maybe thousands) of notecards you flipped through, or do you remember the information from the labs and activities you were involved in? Utilize the technology in your environment to enhance student learning, get them moving and create meaningful memories!

Have any stories about technology increasing student engagement in your classroom? Share in the comments below!