August 23 , 2017

Personalize student device management with new ClassHub update

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If no two teachers are the same, why is it so hard to customize classroom management settings?

That’s the question we asked when we were thinking of ways to make student device management more user friendly for teachers and administrators.

Consider these two cases:

Mrs. Smith never uses YouTube for instruction and doesn’t want her students to have access to it.

Mr. Lindon frequently uses YouTube to complement instruction and encourages his students to use it for research.

Now imagine there are tens or even hundreds of applications that need to be enabled or disabled for certain teachers at certain times on certain devices.

How do you easily coordinate that in a device management solution? In many cases, you can’t.

Sure, workarounds exist. But they are difficult to scale and become useless in certain circumstances, like when schedules change during testing periods.

Device management customization has been an IT professional’s nightmare…until now.  

Introducing Configurations
Our latest ClassHub update solves this problem with the introduction of Configurations for iOS and macOS devices. ClassHub enables hyper-focused mobile device management (MDM) not offered by other MDM solutions.

The Configurations feature makes it easy for administrators to implement teacher requests for restrictions or permissions on specific classes or devices.

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Under the new Configurations tab in the ClassHub admin portal, administrators can easily save any number of configurations, then apply those configurations to the appropriate classes.

Configurations include restrictions and permissions in addition to a suite of other functionality, like class-specific bookmarks, custom app-notification settings and room-specific printers and Wi-Fi settings.

Administrators can even apply Configurations at the school level. Imagine Wi-Fi settings that auto-apply when a middle school student comes to the high school for an accelerated class.

Using the examples above, an administrator could create one configuration for Mrs. Smith’s class that addresses her wish to have YouTube blocked along with any other apps she wanted enabled or disabled during her classes.

Similarly, the administrator could then quickly create another unique configuration for Mr. Lindon’s class allowing his students access to YouTube during his classes.

No other work needs to be done. The configurations automatically apply when a teacher begins a class using the ClassHub Class Manager. 

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Customizing student settings
What if one of the Mr. Lindon’s third-period biology students, we’ll call him Johnny, consistently used YouTube in a way that was distracting, disruptive or off task?

ClassHub offers educators multiple ways to handle this. Mr. Lindon could simply lock Johnny’s device using the ClassHub Class Manager.

Or, with the new Configurations tool, the school’s administrator could edit Mr. Lindon’s third-period biology class Configuration to disable YouTube on Johnny’s device.

This amendment could last indefinitely or for a certain time period. Problem solved. 

Bottom line: The Configurations tool presents the easiest way for teachers and administrators to coordinate and apply personalized device management settings.

We’re excited to give ClassHub users more great ways to manage student devices.

Request a ClassHub demo today
Want to see how our device management and classroom operations solution, ClassHub, can help teachers and administrators in your school or district do more with mobile devices?

We have a lot to show you, so we better schedule a demo. Oh, and don’t worry about high-pressure sales tactics. That’s not our style. Just details and a demo.

 Schedule a demo      Discover more

August 22 , 2017

How Schools Save on ClassHub: OSC Edition

We've partnered with many organizations to bring discounts to schools and other educational entities. This blog is part of a series of posts that contain information about saving when purchasing ClassHub. 

Squirrels LLC partnered with the Ohio Schools Council (OSC) to offer members a discount on the ClassHub device monitoring and management solution. Members also get discounts on our classroom screen-mirroring solutions: Reflector, AirParrot and AirParrot for Chrome OSAll Squirrels products are 10% off for OSC members.

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What is OSC?

OSC is a government agency that was created in 1986 by 53 school districts to save money on educational products and services through volume purchases. Today, OSC membership has grown to 210 school districts, joint vocational schools, educational service centers and developmental disabilities boards, located in 33 counties and serving over 500,000 students.

OSC offers discounts on insurance, consumables, technology, consulting and more.

We look forward to working with OSC to give members access to classroom solutions that help improve classroom collaboration, save time and eliminate common inefficiencies caused by classroom devices.

Save on ClassHub and other Squirrels products

Follow the steps listed below to become an OSC member and start saving on Squirrels products, including ClassHub.

  1. Fill out this form if you are a/an:
    • Ohio public school district
    • Joint vocational school/career center
    • Educational service center
    • Developmental disability board
  2. Fill out this form if you are a:
    • University
    • Library
    • Municipality
    • Private School
  3. Once you fill out the membership form, download the files at the bottom of this page to send to your board of education for approval.
  4. Return a copy of the board-approved resolution and membership form to your OSC representative.
  5. Once you are officially an OSC member, you can purchase from an extensive catalog of approved vendors through the OSC e-Buy Cooperative Purchasing Portal. Need more info? Here’s the complete list of instructions on how to get started with purchasing with OSC e-Buy. If you want to get started right away, you can simply register here.
    1. Reflector, AirParrot and AirParrot for Chrome OS can be purchased directly through the OSC e-Buy marketplace. 
    2. Contact OSC directly or our account executive, Sean Courtney, at scourtney@airsquirrels.com for any ClassHub purchases.

For more information on OSC visit http://www.osconline.org/ or contact the Squirrels sales team for more information on purchasing ClassHub. 

August 17 , 2017

How to stream and mirror to Android, Mac and Windows devices using AirPlay and Cast

Some consumer media devices are equipped to receive screen mirroring and media streaming connections right out of the box, but what about the devices that don’t? That’s where Reflector 2, a software screen-mirroring and streaming-media receiver, comes in. Add Reflector 2 to your devices to mirror and stream to them from iOS, Android, Mac and AirParrot.

Android TV: Nvidia Shield TV, Sony BRAVIA, Razer Forge TV, Sharp AQUOS and more

Android TV is everywhere, including inside TVs people buy every day. While most of those devices include the ability to act as a Google Cast receiver, they don’t have the ability to receive AirPlay from iOS and Mac.

Reflector 2 is available on the Google Play store. Most devices that have access to the Play Store (including phones and tablets) can install and use Reflector. Once installed, iPads, iPhones and Macs can use built-in AirPlay to mirror and stream to the Android device. Software is not required for the sending device (iPad, iPhone, Mac).

Grab Reflector 2 for Android for $6.99 on Google Play.

Get it on Google Play

Amazon Fire TV

Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are inexpensive, popular and easy-to-use media devices that provide many movie-watching and game-playing options. One thing the devices can’t do natively is receive AirPlay mirroring or streaming.

Reflector 2 gives Fire TV users the ability to wirelessly stream or mirror from their iPad, iPhone or Mac. Once Reflector 2 is installed on the Fire TV, users can mirror or stream directly from their iOS or macOS device to Fire TV. No software is required on the sending device.

 Grab Reflector 2 from Amazon for $6.99.

Media computers

In addition to smaller, less robust media devices, Reflector 2 is available for Windows and Mac computers, too. Add the software to your computer to receive screen-mirroring and media-streaming connections from a variety of different senders, including:

- iPhone
- iPad
- iPod
- Android tablets and phones
- Mac OS
- AirParrot for Windows
- AirParrot for Mac
- AirParrot for Chrome OS

Reflector 2 for your computer is available from the Squirrels online store for $14.99. A seven-day trial is also available. 

August 15 , 2017

How Schools Save on ClassHub: OETC Edition

We've partnered with many organizations to bring discounts to schools and other educational entities. This blog is part of a series of posts that contain information about saving when purchasing ClassHub. 

Squirrels LLC partnered with the Organization for Educational Technology and Curriculum (OETC) to offer members a discount on our device monitoring and management solution, ClassHub. Members also get discounts on our classroom screen-mirroring solutions: Reflector, AirParrot and AirParrot for Chrome OSAll Squirrels products are 10% off for OETC members.

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What is OETC?

OETC is a nonprofit consortium consisting of more than 1,000 educational institutions around the United States. OETC negotiates RFP-backed contracts that make purchasing technology easy and affordable for school districts, libraries and other institutions. All products and solutions are available for purchase on their online store. 

OETC has a team dedicated to helping schools find the solution or product that fits their needs. OETC reps received product training from the Squirrels director of professional development to help them offer ongoing professional development and support.

We're looking forward to working with all 1,000 OETC members and bringing them solutions that make student devices a more integral part of the learning process. 

Save on ClassHub and other Squirrels products

So what steps do you need to take to receive discounts on ClassHub and more through OETC?

  1. Become an OETC member. Members can be:

    - Any accredited educational institution
    - Pre-K, K-12 and Higher Education
    - Public and private institutions
    - Education Service Districts
    - Libraries
    - State Departments of Education

    OETC primarily features districts in the Pacific Northwest, however, schools from every region in the United States (that means you!) are welcome. Here’s how to become an OETC member.

  1. Next, create an OETC store account with your school or institution email to begin purchasing EdTech solutions at consortium pricing.
  1. Contact OETC directly to purchase ClassHub. Reflector, AirParrot and AirParrot for Chrome OS purchases can be made by searching the products in the OETC online store. Simply add them to your cart, and go through the purchasing process.

Why we partnered with OETC

We believe that schools should have access to device monitoring, management and mirroring solutions to help improve classroom collaboration, save time and eliminate common inefficiencies caused by classroom devices. By partnering with OETC, we’re able to do just that.

OETC is committed to providing the best EdTech solutions at the best prices. We’re committed to making EdTech solutions that transform the classroom and streamline the ways teachers teach and students learn. It’s a win-win situation.

For more information about OETC visit www.oetc.org or contact the Squirrels sales team for more information on purchasing ClassHub.

August 7 , 2017

Cord Cutter’s Guide: How to Stream and Mirror the 2017 PGA Championship

The PGA Championship is the fourth and final major golf tournament of 2017. The championship, which features golfers like Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and more, is set to take place this weekend at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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If you can’t catch every shot on TV (because let’s be honest, our lives are busy), or if you don't have cable to begin with, here’s how you can stream the tournament.

PGAChampionship.com

The PGA website offers viewers live streaming coverage from 8 a.m. EST until end of play Thursday and Friday. You can also catch video highlights throughout the tournament. 

Note: Streaming from this website may not give you full TV coverage. For full coverage of the tournament, use the options listed below.

 

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Sling TV is one of the top ways cord cutters can stream live TV without a cable subscription. Subscribers who choose the Sling Orange package ($20/mo.) or Sling Blue ($25/mo.) have access to TNT, which is the exclusive broadcast and airing provider of the PGA Championship. Only want to use this service for the tournament? You can try it free for seven days. This service will only give you coverage of the TNT broadcast.

directv_now_logo_white.jpegOne of the newest solutions for cord cutters is DirecTV NOW by AT&T. This online streaming service offers more than 60 TV channels, including TNT, for $35/mo. without a contract (or you can try it free for seven days). This service will only give you coverage of the TNT broadcast. 

 

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PlayStation Vue brings another streaming option to cord cutters trying to watch their favorite shows without cable. You can watch the PGA Championship with this solution starting at $40/mo. This service will only give you coverage of the TNT broadcast.

 

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Aside from TNT, the PGA Championship is also notably broadcasted on CBS. CBS All Access will give you live coverage online for only $5.99/mo. This service will only give you coverage of the CBS broadcast.

Note: To use this streaming service, you will need to check market availability here. To ensure full CBS coverage, consider a digital antenna. Here’s how to choose the best antenna for you.

 

Below is the full PGA Championship TV coverage schedule.

Thursday, August 10

1 – 7 p.m. on TNT

Friday, August 11

1 – 7 p.m. on TNT

Saturday, August 12

11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on TNT

2 – 7 p.m. on CBS

Sunday, August 13

11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on TNT

2 – 7 p.m. on CBS

 

Pro tip:

Nobody wants to watch the final putt of the 18th hole around a tiny computer screen. Download AirParrot 2 on your Mac or PC to wirelessly mirror that live broadcast from your computer directly to an Apple TV or Chromecast.

Enter this link in your Chrome or Firefox browser for PGAChampionship.com, or log in to your Sling TV, DirecTV NOW, PlayStation Vue or CBS All Access account to stream the event. Then open AirParrot and select your browser as the “From” option. Select your Apple TV or Chromecast as the “To” option. This will allow you to experience all the action on the big screen.

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

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About Us

Squirrels is a software development company based in North Canton, Ohio. We create high-quality, budget-friendly screen mirroring and device management software that’s compatible with today’s most popular devices. To date, our software can be found in hundreds of thousands of classrooms, businesses and homes. Follow our blog for all the latest product updates, Squirrels news and technology insight!