Keirsten Heckel

Recent Posts

May 9 , 2017

Why We Appreciate Teachers on National Teachers’ Day

"The dream begins, most of the time, with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you on to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth." - Dan Rather

Teachers are introduced in our lives at an early age to help guide us as we grow and mature. The countless teachers we are exposed to in our lifetime shapes our minds and helps us discover our passions, strengths and weaknesses. Their professional efforts change the world by creating the presidents, doctors, lawyers, policemen and engineers of tomorrow. They teach us not only about important subjects, but about life lessons that help us understand the world. Most of all, they inspire us to follow our dreams and to never give up. 

From the bottom of our hearts, we say thank you to the teachers that have helped us, to the teachers that are helping the future and to the teachers that we are lucky enough to work with every day.

This National Teachers’ Day, members of the Squirrels team reflect on the teachers that have had a positive impact on their lives. 

Emily Carle Hafer, Alpha Squirrels Program Manager: 

“I have a love of reading today because of the positive learning environment provided for me in elementary school. I remember my teacher, Miss Ruth, reading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” out loud to the class, which turned me into a Harry Potter fan for life and a fervent reader. Outside of our read-aloud time, I was picking up every book I could, which I still do today!”

Becky Shiring, Director of Professional Development and Continued Learning: 

“Hands down, the teacher that had the largest impact on my life was Rick Tubman, my high school field hockey coach. He wasn’t my teacher in the traditional sense, but he was also an elementary educator. When I expressed an interest in becoming a teacher, he let me volunteer in his 5th grade class. He knew how to find the strength in every player and every student and then use that strength to help them excel. He helped even the most timid students and players believe in themselves. He inspired teamwork and empowered others to become leaders themselves, which is what true leadership is. I learned about the type of leader and teacher I wanted to be from Mr. Tubman. It’s no surprise that he’s a school principal now.” 

Alissa McGill, Developer Relations Engineer:

“To Ms. Filliez for teaching me to pay attention to detail by mercilessly taking off points for misspelling French words and missing accent marks in her class. To Ms. Filliez for teaching me creativity with projects that required us to put on fashion shows, present mock weather forecasts and write and illustrate our own storybooks. To Ms. Filliez for rewarding good grades on exams with free homework passes and challenging us not to use them even after we had worked so hard to earn them. To you Ms. Filliez, a teacher whom I will remember long after I have forgotten how to speak French.”

Joe McCulty, Business Analyst:

“The teacher who has most positively impacted my life was Sue Bugansky, my Spanish teacher of three years. In addition to teaching me Spanish, I also learned more about the English language from her than any other teacher. Beyond that, she gave me my first real glimpse of the world beyond the familiar bubble of my rural high school. Part of that comes with the territory - it is a foreign language - but Señora B was particularly suited for this task. She has seen so much and experienced so much of the world. Hearing stories, seeing pictures and holding souvenirs from the person teaching you makes a huge impression.

I’m not the only one who has been impacted by her. All her students were automatically members of Spanish Club. She would have the senior students organize events at one of the nearby Mexican restaurants every couple of weeks. Spanish Club was a great boon to students who didn’t normally sign up for extracurricular activities. Señora B has since retired, but the Spanish Club tradition lives on. A good group of her former students still calls her up to plan new events, including paella days! She’s pretty much the coolest.”

Happy National Teachers' Day to all the teachers of the world! You make learning fun and that’s a reason to celebrate you every day. 

April 6 , 2017

How to Live Stream Android, iPad and iPhone Games to Twitch Using Reflector

Social video platform services such as YouTube Gaming, Hitbox.tv and Twitch offer gamers an opportunity to turn their recreational hobby into an interactive gaming experience that others can enjoy. Streaming services are about more than just technology – they’re about cultivating and empowering a community of fans and gamers.

Live streaming is a popular way for enthusiasts to stream gameplay through a social network that connects friends and fans over a shared love of games. It’s more than just a spectator experience. Users can use audio and chat to enable streamers and their audiences to interact in real time. 

Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, has arguably become the dominate live-game streaming platform. It last reported 100 million active users. Users can stream gameplay from iOS, Android, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Chromecast, Fire TV and Nvidia Shield devices. The best part? It’s free to participate on either side of the stream.

So how do you stream Android, iPad and iPhone games to Twitch? What software do you need? And how can our Reflector software help?

  1. Create a Twitch Account

To start streaming, you need to sign up for the streaming service, Twitch. On the top right of the Twitch website, select “Sign Up” to create your account. Don’t worry, it’s free!Step 1B.png

After creating your Twitch account, visit your Twitch dashboard page and click on the “Stream Key” tab. Click the “Show Key” button. Save the key, as you will need it later.

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Note: DO NOT share this key with anyone. Access to this key will allow anyone to stream on your channel.

  1. Download and Install Open Broadcasting Software (OBS)

Now that you have a Twitch account, you will need to download and install OBS (also free) to share your gaming with the world. This software is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux. Below is a quick reference to a few of the interface elements we will touch on:

Scenes – This is where you can manage all the different scenes you want to stream or record. A scene is what gets transmitted in your video feed.

Source – A source is where you choose where your stream comes from. For example, a “Game Capture” source will take a direct feed from a game window.

Status – At the bottom of the window, there is a status bar that shows you how long your stream has been running, how many frames have been dropped, the stream’s frame rate and the upload rate.

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  1. Stream Mobile Games to Twitch
  1. To start, open Reflector 2 to wirelessly mirror your device screen to your computer instead of using a cable. Connect your mobile device to Reflector using its native AirPlay or Cast technology. We recommend mirroring your device screen to Reflector first.
  2. Open OBS and sign in to your Twitch account.
  3. Right click the “Scenes” box in the lower left hand corner of OBS and click “Add.” You can name the scene whatever you like.Step 3BC.png
  4. Right click on the Source box and select “Add” just like you did with the scene.
  5. Select “Window Capture” from the list of choices and name it whatever you like.
  6. Select “[Reflector 2]” with the corresponding name of your device in the properties box.
  7. Click “Ok” and your device screen will appear in the OBS stream window.

Remember your stream key from Twitch? You will use that to link your Twitch account to your OBS software.

  1. Click on the “Settings” in bottom right of the OBS.
  2. Select the “Stream” tab.Step 3K.png
  3. Copy and paste your key into the “Stream Key” box.
  4. Make sure Twitch is selected in the “Service” box and “Streaming Services” is selected in “Stream Type.”
  5. Close the settings and click “Start Streaming” in the bottom right hand corner of your OBS software.Step 3L.png
  6. What you see in the OBS window should be the same image that appears in your “Video Preview” on your Twitch dashboard page and on your channel homepage.

Note: It may take a few minutes to connect depending on your network conditions.

  1. Record and Upload Mobile Gameplay to Twitch

Live streaming not for you? You can record and upload your mobile gameplay videos, too.

  1. Follow the same instructions listed above and click “Start Recording” instead of “Start Streaming” in OBS.
  2. To change the recording path, or where your recording saves, go to “Settings” in OBS and select the “Output” tab.Step 4B.png
  3. Under “Recording” you can browse your computer to select a destination to save your videos.
  4. Head back to your Twitch account.
  5. Under “Video Manager,” select the “Upload” tab across the top. From there you can either:
    1. Drag and drop your file, or
    2. click the “Upload” button in the top right hand corner.'Step 4D.png

Now you’re ready to share your gaming skills with your Twitch audience! Get the Reflector screen-mirroring software to begin live streaming your iOS or Android devices to Twitch. 

April 6 , 2017

Cord Cutter’s Guide: How to Stream and Mirror the 2017 Masters For Easy Viewing

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Early April signals one thing for golf fans around the world – the Masters. It’s the Super Bowl of golf.  

This tournament is one of four major championships in professional golf and is played annually at the Augusta National Golf Club. Only the best of the best get to play on this historical course, including Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler.

How to watch the Masters without cable 

Let’s be honest, our lives are busy and you won’t be able to catch every Masters shot on TV, or maybe you don't have cable to begin with. Here’s how you can stream the tournament for free online and feel like you’re on the green at Augusta National.

Masters.com

Masters.com will allow viewers to see live feeds in 4K from the range, practice facilities, Amen Corner (holes 11, 12 and 13), the 15th and 16th hole and several featured groups. It’s completely free and no account is required. Coverage will start on Monday, April 3, and conclude on Sunday, April 9.

Below is the full live streaming schedule on Masters.com.

Thursday, April 6

Honorary starters: 7:45 –  8:30 a.m.
On the range: 8:30 – 11 a.m.
Featured groups: 9:15 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Amen Corner: 10:45 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Holes 15 and 16: 11:45 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Broadcast: 3 – 7:30 p.m.

Friday, April 7

On the range: 8:30 – 11 a.m.
Featured groups: 9:15 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Amen Corner: 10:45 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Holes 15 and 16: 11:45 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Broadcast: 3 – 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 8

Featured groups: 10:15 a.m. – 7 p.m.
On the range: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Amen Corner: 11:45 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Holes 15 and 16: 12:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Broadcast: 3 – 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 9

Featured groups: 10:15 a.m. – 7 p.m.
On the range: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Amen Corner: 11:45 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Holes 15 and 16: 12:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Broadcast: 3 – 7:30 p.m.
Green jacket ceremony: 7 p.m. 

Masters viewing 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 Masters.com in the Chrome or Firefox browser to stream the event. Then open AirParrot on your computer and select your browser as the “From” option. Select your Apple TV or Chromecast as the “To” option. This will wirelessly present the Masters from yoru computer to your TV and allow you to experience all the action on the big screen. 

The image below was taken from the AirParrot menu and shows you how to do this. You simply select your browser or application. Then select where to send it.

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

April 3 , 2017

Squirrels Attends 2017 OSC Vendor Fair

The Squirrels team is always looking for new opportunities to share our screen-mirroring and device management solutions with educators. The 2017 Ohio Schools Council Vendor Fair was just the new opportunity we were looking for.AND, it’s only an hour away from Squirrels Headquarters.

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The 2017 OSC Vendor Fair partners with the Greater Cleveland School Superintendents’ Association to bring attendees an event where they can test vendor products and earn credit vouchers towards OSC member fees. 

The OSC is a government that was created by 53 school districts to cooperatively purchase products and services at a reduced price since its start in 1986. Today OSC’s membership has grown to 201 school districts located in 33 countries and serving 500,000 students.

We can’t wait to meet and connect with our local educators! Stop by booth 31 to meet the Squirrels team and learn more about our EdTech solutions!    

2017 OSC Vendor Fair
Friday, April 7, 2017
10 – 2 p.m.
Holiday Inn
Independence, Ohio
March 28 , 2017

Squirrels LLC Receives 2017 Smart Culture Award

The Squirrels team was selected by Smart Business Magazine to receive the 2017 Smart Culture Award. Squirrels is part of the first class of 28 honorees to accept this award.

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The 2017 Smart Culture Awards spotlights leading companies in northeast Ohio where culture plays a crucial role in a company’s success. This award recognizes organizations that have developed a culture that bolsters productivity, enhances job satisfaction and provides a competitive advantage in the marketplace. A great culture can be a sustainable competitive advantage for an organization.

Culture is about more than just employee compensation and benefits, which is why this recognition is a great honor for us. It’s about an organization’s purpose, vision, mission, values, environment and most importantly, its people. We are committed to giving each of our 36 employees an unparalleled professional experience and a family-oriented atmosphere. Our employee-centric culture is something we will always strive to maintain no matter how large our company grows.

Recipients are based on the following criteria:

  1. How the company demonstrates a unique culture where people want to work
  2. Impact of the company’s culture
  3. Active efforts to expand, strengthen and/or foster company culture

Other honorees include:

 This isn’t the first time Squirrels has been recognized for our culture and camaraderie. In 2015, we were among the 50 Best Workplaces for Camaraderie by Fortune Magazine. We were also ranked third on Fortune’s list of Best Workplaces for Technology.

Squirrels is accepting this award on Thursday, April 6, at the Smart Culture Conference. Stay tuned for pictures of the award ceremony and a peek at our feature video shoot.

Check out our About Us page to learn more about Squirrels and our company culture.

About Us

Squirrels is a software development company based in North Canton, Ohio. Our excitement and passion lies in creating high-qualty, budget-friendly software that can be used to enhance the devices already found in today's home and work environments. Follow our blog for all the latest product releases, #TeamSquirrels news and industry insight!