April 29, 2016

Introducing the newest class of Alpha Squirrels EdTech Experts

Become an Alpha Squirrel at alpha.airsquirrels.com!

We’re excited to announce that we have selected our second class of Alpha Squirrels EdTech Experts!

This class of thought leaders and Squirrels advocates is made up of 19 teachers, principals, EdTech specialists, instructional designers, digital learning specialists and tech resource coordinators. They come from all over the United States, including Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee. We also added our second Alpha Squirrel based in the United Kingdom!

Check out our full list of Alpha Squirrels team members!

These individuals are experts and advocates for the global EdTech community. Alpha Squirrels attend and speak at industry conferences around the world to introduce fellow educators to the Squirrels suite of classroom screen-mirroring solutions. You can catch some of them presenting at ISTE in Denver and many other edcamps and conferences around the world in 2016.

Don’t worry – they talk about much more than our products. Alpha Squirrels might use or mention our apps during a presentation, but sometimes they aren’t included in the presentations at all! We want our Alpha Squirrels to be well-rounded EdTech thought leaders. Our goal is to assist them in their professional development journey and provide them with resources to help other educators improve the student learning experience.

In addition to Squirrels-sponsored conference attendance and speaking engagements, Alpha Squirrels receive:

  • Access to unreleased Squirrels products
  • Squirrels welcome package – T-Shirt, coffee mug/tumbler, sticky notes, water bottle, headphones, pens, pencils, etc.
  • Video interview opportunities
  • Free AirParrot 2 and Reflector 2 licenses
  • An Alpha Squirrels member certificate
  • “Alpha Squirrel” signature badges for Twitter, Facebook and email
  • Product training, press kits and talking points
  • A chance to visit Squirrels Headquarters
  • On-demand interaction with Squirrels product designers and managers

Congrats to all of our new Alpha Squirrels! We’re proud to have you represent us in the EdTech community.

Are you a teacher or EdTech professional interested in becoming a certified Alpha Squirrel? Contact Emily Carle Hafer at alpha@airsquirrels.com for information about our next class of Alpha Squirrels.

April 20, 2016

How to stream the NBA playoffs to your TV if you don’t have cable

It’s that magical time of year. The two-month NBA postseason is underway with 16 teams hoping to raise the Larry O’Brien trophy in June. But how will you watch your team’s playoff journey if you don’t have a cable or satellite connection?

Recent numbers suggest as many as 15 percent of Americans are now cord cutters and an additional nine percent have never subscribed to cable. Luckily, TNT Overtime lets you watch some of the games online without a cable subscription.

Pro tip: Make sure you have AirParrot 2 on your Mac or PC as well. AirParrot 2 allows you to wirelessly stream that live broadcast from TNT Overtime directly to Apple TV or Chromecast so you can experience all the action on the big screen. Seriously. AirParrot is worth the $12.99. Watching sports on your TV is so much better than watching on a small computer screen, especially if you’re in a room full of people.

Upcoming games on TNT Overtime:

Wednesday, April 20
Detroit @ Cleveland
Portland @ LA Clippers

Thursday, April 21
Golden State @ Houston

Saturday, April 23
Miami @ Charlotte

Sunday, April 24
Cleveland @ Detroit

TNT will broadcast many of the games in the first two rounds of the playoffs on Overtime. In addition, it holds exclusive rights to the entire Western Conference Finals. It’s a great solution. Some might even argue that TNT Overtime provides a better NBA playoff viewing experience because of the unique camera angle selection it offers.

See? It’s going to be ok. The combination of TNT Overtime and AirParrot wireless laptop-to-TV streaming capabilities will let you experience LeBron James, Steph Curry, Dwyane Wade, James Harden and Chris Paul lighting up the hardwood as if you were there in person. Have fun!

Learn more about the AirParrot 2 desktop mirroring/streaming app.

April 19, 2016

Optimize Reflector 2 for the Classroom

We’re proud to say that Reflector 2 is now in more than 100,000 classrooms across the world! Educators use it as an affordable way to quickly, conveniently and wirelessly display mobile devices to larger screens in the classroom.

What often gets overlooked is that there are certain Reflector 2 settings educators can take advantage of to make it ideal for the classroom. The following is a list of settings that will optimize our Reflector 2 screen-mirroring technology for use in any classroom environment.

Broadcast Name
Since Reflector 2 runs on the teacher’s Mac or Windows computer, the teacher should change the Reflector 2 Broadcast Name to his or her name. This will allow the students to easily identify the appropriate computer to connect their mobile devices.

Example: Instead of naming the computer “Computer 1314″ or using the teacher’s first name, use something more specific like “Mrs. Smith’s Computer.”

Click the Reflector 2 icon near your computer’s clock and then click on the gear wheel in the bottom right corner to access Reflector 2 preferences. After that, click “General.” From there, you can edit your computer’s Broadcast Name.

Reflector 2 Classroom Optimization

Show Client Name
We recommend you set the “Show Client Name” option to “Always.” When a student or teacher connects a mobile device (such as an iPad, iPhone, Android device, Chromebook or Surface Pro) to Reflector 2, the device name will appear and stay on the computer screen. This will show the teacher which students are connected and displaying content to Reflector 2.

Go to Preferences> General > Show Client Name > Always

Connection preferences
We recommend that teachers change the connection preference to “Connect and Hide.” When this preference is turned on, a device will not be automatically shown on the screen when it connects to Reflector 2. The teacher can choose to show or hide each device from the Reflector 2 control panel. Turning “Connect and Hide” on prevents students and other teachers from interrupting class by displaying their device on the big screen when it isn’t meant to be displayed.

Go to Preferences > Connection > On Connection > Connect and Hide Device

Enable AirPlay and Cast Connections
We recommended that teachers enable both AirPlay and Google Cast device connections in Reflector 2. Enabling AirPlay connections allows students with iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch devices to connect to Reflector 2. Enabling Google Cast connections allows students using Chromebooks and most Android devices to connect.

Students using Surface Pros must download AirParrot 2 onto their Surface tablet since Surface Pros do not have AirPlay or Cast technology built in. AirParrot 2 adds AirPlay and Cast technology to Surface Pros to enable wireless streaming and mirroring to Reflector 2, Apple TV or Chromecast.

Go to Preferences > Advanced > AirPlay/Google Cast > Enabled

Set Reflector to “Always on top”
This setting will automatically place your mirrored devices on top of all other open windows and applications.

Go to Preferences > General > Click “Always on top”

Director and Student – “Allow to discover this device” 
Reflector Director ($6.99) and Reflector Student (free) are our Reflector 2 companion apps.

  • Reflector Director is an app that turns a teacher’s iPad or iPhone into a remote for Reflector 2. Teachers can access the Reflector 2 controls from their mobile device. This allows them to walk around the room while remaining in control of Reflector 2 rather than being anchored at the computer.
  • Reflector Student is an app for student iPads and iPhones. It shows students the same Reflector 2 display that the teacher sees on the computer. It also provides connectivity alternatives for schools with restrictive networks.

There are two steps for this one:

  1. Go to Preferences > Director > “Allow to discover”
  2. Go to Preferences > Student > “Allow to discover”
April 15, 2016

Reflector 2.5 for Mac and Windows Is Now Available

Reflector 2.5 for Mac and Windows is now available. The update brings 13 new languages to Reflector 2, including Spanish, French, Japanese, German, Dutch, Korean, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Hungarian, Czech, Polish, Italian and Danish.

Users that have their language set to one of these languages in OS X or Windows will see the user interface in that language.

This update also adds complete screen-mirroring support for the iPad Pro 9.7” screen and the iPhone SE (frames included) and fixes black screen issues when mirroring.

If you do not have the Reflector 2 desktop screen-mirroring app, you can download it in your preferred language at http://www.airsquirrels.com/reflector/select-language/.

AirParrot 2.5 for Mac and Windows Is Now Available

AirParrot 2.5 for Mac and Windows is now available! The update adds 13 languages to AirParrot 2, including Spanish, French, Japanese, German, Dutch, Korean, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Hungarian, Czech, Polish, Italian and Danish.

Users that have their language set to one of these languages in OS X or Windows will see the AirParrot user interface in that language!

This is a free update for all current AirParrot 2 users. To update, simply click the “Check for Updates” option from within the AirParrot 2 menu.

If you do not have our AirParrot 2 desktop screen-mirroring app, you can download it in your preferred language at http://www.airsquirrels.com/airparrot/select-language/.