Keirsten Heckel

Recent Posts

December 22, 2017

Squirrels LLC Introduces New Class of Alpha Squirrels EdTech Experts

The next Alpha Squirrels class adds 10 EdTech experts from three countries (U.S., Canada and the U.K.) and eight states (Michigan, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, South Carolina, Wisconsin and Ohio). Our Alpha Squirrels program now includes more than 125 education professionals from around the world.

Meet the newest members: 

Check out our full list of Alpha Squirrels team members!

What is the Alpha Squirrels program?

The Alpha Squirrels program brings together a community of like-minded individuals. Alpha Squirrels are experts and advocates in education who attend and speak at industry conferences around the world. They share expertise with fellow education professionals and have the opportunity to influence the direction of our technology advancements. 

Alpha Squirrels receive free licenses of Squirrels products such as Reflector Teacher and AirParrot 2 to use in classrooms or during presentations. They also receive first notice of new product releases.

Want to meet an Alpha Squirrel? Over the next few months, you can catch some of the Alpha Squirrels at FETC in Orlando, CUE in Palm Springs or ISTE 2018 in Chicago.

Alpha Squirrels benefits include:

  • Squirrels-sponsored conference attendance
  • Squirrels-sponsored speaking engagements
  • Opportunities to appear in video interviews
  • Feature on the Squirrels blog or social media accounts
  • Product training
  • #SquirrelsChat moderation
  • Welcome package including T-Shirt, coffee mug/tumbler, sticky notes, water bottle, headphones, pens, pencils
  • Chance to visit Squirrels headquarters

The entire Squirrels team congratulates all of our new Alpha Squirrels! We’re excited to do big things together in the education community. 

We will begin the selection process for the Spring 2018 Alpha Squirrels class in March 2018. Apply today at alpha.airsquirrels.com.

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.

December 20, 2017

#SquirrelsChat Recap: Computer Science + Coding in the Classroom

Students need certain skills to survive and thrive in our digital world.

Problem solving. Critical thinking. Designing. Creating. 

These are the skills that worksheets and busy work simply cannot provide.

But coding can.

The December #SquirrelsChat took a dive into the topic of coding as innovative educators shared strategy, real-world examples, advice, resources and more for teaching computer science. This chat focused on the first three practices of the K-12 Computer Science Framework.

Building an inclusive computing culture

Considering the needs of all students is essential to producing an inclusive computing culture. Start by involving all students and make coding part of everything they do. Build it into the curriculum, form computer science teams, create after-school clubs, etc. This allows all students to experience coding, incorporate it into what interests them and increase their enthusiasm about the topic.

Collaboration in the classroom

Effective collaboration can lead to better computing outcomes in the classroom. Give students opportunities to work together, talk, build and create. Encourage leadership and team building by allowing students that have more experience to help and teach others.

Applying computational skills

Being able to recognize opportunities to apply computational thinking is a skill that is central to coding. Let’s take a look at a few real life applications from educators using this approach in the classroom.

Hour of Code

This year, 153,941 events registered for the Hour of Code. This global movement is a way of bringing awareness to coding and an introduction to computer science. Anyone can participate in and organize an Hour of Code event. Here are some first-hand experiences.

Coding and computer science resources

There are many computer science resources, programs and applications that help educators jump into coding – Kodable, Minecraft and Code.org to name a few. Take some time to research the tools that make it easy to introduce concepts to students. Remember, start small!

Related reading: Are We Too Late for Computer Science?

How to bring computer science into the classroom

Implementing computer science into the classroom is daunting. Many educators don’t know where to start. A good place to begin is to connect with others, do research, don’t be afraid to ask students for help and jump in. Coding is fun, it’s everywhere and anyone can do it!

Want more great insight into the world of education?

Join #SquirrelsChat every first and third Thursday of the month starting in January 2018. You can stay up-to-date on topics, moderators and any time/date changes by following us on Twitter (@Squirrels). 

Coming up on January 4: Tasks Before Apps with host Monica Burns.

November 20, 2017

Squirrels Chili Cook-off 2017: The Dethroning of “The Jons”

It seemed impossible to do. Who possessed the chili-making skill that could FINALLY dethrone the “Jons,” and take on the Chili Champion title?

image_uploaded_from_ios_720.jpg

During our fifth annual Squirrels Chili Cook-off, it happened. Connal Kelly, a Squirrels account executive, came out victorious with her chili, Ezekiel Peppers Direct. This is Connal’s first win and her first chili cook-off appearance. Ezekiel Peppers Direct is a simple, yet highly delectable chili with a spicy kick that’s sure to satisfy your taste buds. The full recipe is below. 

When asked what the secret to her success was, she responded, “There were a lot of ingredients.”

Her chili rendition consisted of 27 total ingredients including Bell’s Amber Ale, ground beef, Anaheim chilies and Italian sausage.

Here’s the complete Ezekiel Peppers Direct recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 Anaheim chili peppers, roasted, peeled and diced
  • 4 Poblano chili peppers, roasted, peeled and diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced jalapeno chili peppers, minced
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 lb. bulk hot sausage
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoons hot paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 12 oz. Bell’s Amber Ale
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 16 oz. can kidney beans
  • 1 16oz can pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • ½ cup water

Directions:

  1. Add the olive oil and butter to a large stockpot over medium high heat.
  2. Add the Anaheim chilies, poblano chilies, red bell peppers, jalapeno chilies and onions, and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute longer. Remove vegetables and set aside.
  4. Add the ground beef and sausage to the stockpot and cook until the meat is browned and cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes.
  5. Add the chili powder, cayenne, coriander, cumin, granulated garlic, granulated onion, paprika, salt and black pepper, and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the beer and cook for another 3 minutes.
  7. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and stock; cook about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the kidney and pinto beans; lower the heat and simmer, about 2 hours.
  9. After 2 hours if you would like a thicker chili, mix together 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and ½ cup of water in a bowl, combine.
  10. Stir into chili and simmer for another 15 minutes.

 

Five other members of the Squirrels team also entered their chili into the contest with hopes to get their name engraved on our chili trophy. We couldn’t have made this day happen without the rest of the amazing chilies that are all winners in our hearts (in order from 2nd – 4th place): El Caribe (Nate Wendell), Coup De Grace (Jon Bishop) and Bourbon N’ Bacon (Becky Shiring). Rabbit Food (Mike Bruin) and #NotMyChili (Kyle Gritzan and Jessica Chevalier) tied for 5th.

In addition to the delicious chili, we also enjoyed Fireball Sangria, cornbread, pumpkin chocolate chip cookie dough cups, pumpkin trifle and apple crisp.

Note: The Fireball Sangria tied for third place with Coup De Grace. Yeah, it was that good!

If you try out the Ezekiel Peppers Direct recipe, tell us what you think in the comments below! Enjoy!

November 8, 2017

Squirrels Team Attends Georgia Educational Technology Conference

The temperatures are dropping, and that means one thing –  the Squirrels team is headed south for the winter.

Okay, not really. But members of our team are traveling south this week to exhibit at the 30th annual Georgia Educational Technology Conference (GaETC) in Atlanta.

Technology coordinators, media specialists, district administrators, superintendents and more will have the opportunity to learn about the latest in education technology and understand how technology plays a key role in education. And most of all, the more than 4,200 education professionals in attendance can join Squirrels to learn how to easily monitor and manage the wide range of student devices used in their schools (booth 733). Sounds enticing, right?

GaETC is dedicated to professional development of educators and gives attendees access to more than 250 concurrent sessions, nationally-known speakers, workshops focusing on the latest in technology innovations and over 200 exhibitors. 

What are some sessions that should be on your radar?
We’ve got a few in mind from our director of professional development, Becky Shiring, and certified Alpha Squirrels. Check out the session details below. Plus, our friend Leslie Fisher presents 12 times. View her session details here.

Wednesday, November 10
David Lockhart
What if We Ran Our Schools Like Google?
11 – 11:55 a.m.
Italian 1-2

The Best Setup…Googlifying Your Apple Device
1:30 – 2:25 p.m.
Kenyan 1-2

Super Spark: Tools To Start the Fire
4:30 – 5:25 p.m.
Gulfstream I

Thursday, November 9
Katrina Keene
BYODigital Leadership: Building a Grade A Culture
8 – 8:55 a.m.
Swiss 1-2

Leadership Discussion Panel – Interoperability
11- 11:55 a.m.
Salon 6

David Lockhart
Become Future Ready! Start Coding Today!
11 – 11:55 a.m.
Salon 7

The Wallet Killer Gadget Extravaganza
3:15 – 4:10 p.m.
Salon 7

The 5 Steps to Blend that Classroom Up
4:30 – 5:25 p.m.
Salon 7

Becky Shiring
Rethinking Assessment: Digital Tools to Engage, Assess and Differentiate
3:15 – 4:10 p.m.
Room Swiss 3-4

Friday, November 10
David Lockhart
Become Future Ready! Start Coding Today!
9:45 – 10:40 a.m.
Australian 3-4

Ready to talk EdTech with the Squirrels team? Stop by booth 733!

GaETC 2017
November 8 – 10
Georgia International Convention Center
Atlanta, Georgia
Booth #733

September 21, 2017

How to Screen Mirror iOS 11 iPads and iPhones to Mac and Windows Computers

Screen mirroring iPad and iPhone screens to your Mac or Windows computer is easy with iOS 11.

All you need to do is add one application to your Mac or Windows computer to turn it into an AirPlay-compatible receiver.

That application is called Reflector 2. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide use Reflector to mirror and record iOS devices.

Mirroring your iPhone or iPad screen to a computer running Reflector is still fundamentally the same with iOS 11. The only difference is that AirPlay Mirroring is now called Screen Mirroring in the iPad and iPhone Control Center. 

Here’s how to mirror your iPhone or iPad running iOS 11 to any Reflector-enabled Mac or Windows computer.

Step One

Check that your iOS 11 device and your computer running Reflector 2 are connected to the same network. 

Step Two

Open Reflector 2 on your Mac or Windows computer from your applications folder. 

Screen mirroring iOS 11 devices with Reflector 2

Step Three

Unlock your iOS 11 device, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the Control Center and select Screen Mirroring. Note: iPhone X users need to swipe down from the top of the screen to select Screen Mirroring. 

iOS 11 Control Center

Step Four

Select your computer from the list of AirPlay-enabled receivers. 

iOS 11 Control Center - Screen Mirroring

Step Five

Once you've selected your computer, your device will wirelessly appear on your computer screen. Anything you do on your mobile device will happen on your computer in real time, including audio. 

Pro tip: You can wirelessly mirror more than just iPads and iPhones to your Reflector-enabled computer. You can also connect Android and Chromebook devices, and you can connect all of these devices simultaneously. 

Bonus Pro tip: How to record iOS 11, Android and Chromebook devices. Once a device is connected to Reflector, you will see a “Record” button in the top left corner of the mirrored device screen on your computer. Simply click that button to begin recording your session.

Purchase Reflector today to begin mirroring iOS 11 devices

Related Reading
Have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch running iOS 10 or iOS 9? You might be interested in reading:

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!