Keirsten Heckel

Recent Posts

December 6 , 2016

AirParrot 2 Pro Tip: Mirror Apps, Not Screens

An easy-to-use AirParrot 2 feature keeps your audience focused on the most important content during a presentation or lecture.

The “Specific-App Mirroring” feature allows you to mirror an application running on your computer instead of everything on the screen at once. Regardless of how many applications you have open on your computer (i.e.  Microsoft Word, Safari, QuickTime Player, etc.), AirParrot gives you the option to choose the one that is most relevant and display only that content.

What does this mean for you? No more dragging and minimizing all of your open windows and apps to find the right application or showcase the most important data. Easily accomplish both tasks right from the AirParrot menu.

Just follow the steps listed below:

  1. Click on the AirParrot icon in your menu bar.
  2. Hover over the “Application” option under the “From” menu
  3. Choose which application you would like to share with the group

AP App StepsPro tip: If you are not seeing the application you would like to mirror in the Application section under the “From” menu, you most likely have the app minimized. The app must be on the screen for AirParrot to mirror the application.

 

December 1 , 2016

We hope you found a friend – 2016 Edcamp Roundup

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Our 2016 Edcamp season is officially over, and we think this was our most successful year to date. We sponsored 34 events in 19 states!

In February, we revamped our Edcamp efforts and committed ourselves to empowering educators with resources to take charge of their professional development. We created a new system of submitting Edcamp sponsorship requests, updated our swag and offered higher monetary donations and special Reflector 2 deals for attendees. Most importantly, we built long-lasting relationships with educators. We appreciate all of the hard work that went into making each of these events a success!

We are honored to be a part of the experiences that help educators gain confidence, ignite their passion for education and share ideas with one another in a comfortable environment. These motivated educators inspire us to continue making products that help them accomplish their professional goals.

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If you’ve been to a Squirrels-sponsored Edcamp before, you know that we provide fun goodies for you to take home, including Squirrels lanyards, prize packs with various swag items and free copies of Reflector 2. We also provide monetary donations to organizers for breakfast, lunch, refreshments or any other expenses. Speaking of lunch and breakfast, we’ve seen some tasty-looking lunches come out of our donations! Whether you attended one or many Squirrels-sponsored Edcamps this year, we hope our contributions helped make these professional development experiences the best ones yet.

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Check out the Edcamps we sponsored in 2016:

We would love your feedback on how we can improve our sponsorship efforts as we gear up for 2017. Feel free to leave a comment telling us how we can make your experience better as an attendee or organizer.

If you are hosting your own Edcamp and are interested in a Squirrels sponsorship for 2017, fill out our Edcamp Sign Up Form. Sponsorship may include monetary or swag donations, discounts on our products and more!

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November 23 , 2016

Where's the Beef?

Squirrels Chili Cook-off

If there is one thing you should know about us, it’s that we take chili very seriously.

Squirrels celebrated its fourth annual chili cook-off last Friday. Seven unique employee-made chilis were entered into the contest. We’re just now coming out of the food coma, and we have absolutely no regrets about the amount of food we consumed. We’ve learned that it’s best to view the chili cook-off as Thanksgiving preparation. Although it was 70 degrees and sunny outside, that didn’t stop us from enjoying the chili utopia and copious amounts of deserts that employees graciously made for the day.

Also, we are forever thankful to whoever provided the cornbread.

After sampling all of the goodness and tallying up votes, the “Jons” continued their Squirrels chili cook-off dominance.  Reigning champion Jon Bishop was crowned the winner once again with his “Cornquistador” chili. Cornquistador is a thick, spicy pork and corn chili with a cheesy base and a lasting–but bearable–heat. It contains three types of meat (bacon, chorizo and ground pork), six different spices and six kinds of veggies, all sliced to perfection.

Here’s the complete recipe:

VEGGIES:
1 yellow onion, diced small
1 bag of small sweet peppers (yellow and red), deseeded, diced small
1 shallot, minced as finely as possible (it’ll basically dissolve overnight)
4 jalapeños, chopped, seeds in
2 serrano chili peppers, thinly sliced

Veggies go into the crockpot first.

MEAT:
1lb. of ground pork, browned in Sriracha, salt and pepper
1lb. of chorizo, crumbled, browned in the same skillet
9 strips of thick-cut bacon, cut into bits, drizzled in honey and seared in the same skillet

Throw all of that into a bowl, drain the fat. Add to chili after the veggies and before the sauce and spice.

SAUCE:
1 can of Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese sauce
1 6oz can of tomato paste
1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes with lime and cilantro

SPICE:
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
Spread the sauces over the meat, add spice and stir. Cook on low for 6 hours.

AFTER 6 HOURS ADD THIS:
2 cans of corn, drained
2 extra jalapeños, chopped
1 extra Serrano chili, thinly sliced
1.5 packages of tex mex shredded cheese
The juice of 1 lime
Season to taste (I added a little extra salt, paprika and chili powder)

This is Jon’s second consecutive win, following two-time champ Jon Zelasko. Will anyone ever dethrone the “Jons?”

Sam Coffman came in second with her “Give Thanks” chili, which was an all turkey, Thanksgiving-inspired recipe. This sure gave us all the warm, cozy feels with Thanksgiving just days away.

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Although only one chili was crowned champion, we couldn’t have made this day happen without the rest of the amazing chilis that are all winners in our hearts: Coco B. Crisp (Ashley Swinehart), Wine Chili (Andrea Sommers), Chili – by name only (Mike Bruin), Burnt Nose (Aaron Rinier) and Membabeans N’ Meat (Jessica Chevalier and Kyle Gritzan).

Squirrels Chili Cook-off Winner

 

November 22 , 2016

From the Classroom to the Real World: How EdTech Increases Student Success

Every student going through school is taught concepts that can be applied to real-world experiences. For example, learning the Pythagorean Theorem in math class may cause students to question when they would ever need to know it as an adult. Although the student may not understand it at the time, this theorem can be applied to a number of real-life experiences, including taking a road trip, determining what size TV to purchase or calculating how far it is to throw a baseball from first base to third base.

Can this same logic be used to determine if technology used in the classroom prepares students for future careers and experiences?

About 20 years ago, students learned basic computer skills in a specially designated computer classroom. Now it’s hard to find a classroom that isn’t using computers and technology. Some educators argue that schools have a responsibility to give students the confidence and skills to use technology. Colleges and employers expect students to be digitally literate when they graduate. Digital literacy helps students navigate the workforce, college and use creative thinking to solve problems.

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Students develop essential skills and knowledge when they are exposed to technology at a young age. They need to be taught to think and understand what technology is and how to use it in the right way to prepare themselves for a tech-infused post-grad world. They can use educational games to learn how to read, use classroom devices to develop research skills and participate in Makerspaces to creatively explore their ideas.

Education technology decreases learning gaps that appear most often in early childhood. A student who struggles to learn early may find it difficult to prepare for college or the workforce because learning is cumulative. Identifying these gaps is important because early learning facilitates later learning. If you notice a student is struggling with reading or math skills, try using one of the many learning applications, such as Math Shake, DoodleMath, Photomath and BrainPOP to get the student back on track.

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Have any comments or feedback about how education technology increases student success? Feel free to share in the comments below!

November 15 , 2016

Welcome, Home

Google Cast to Google Home-Update

You may notice something different the next time you try to open your Google Cast application on your Android phone.

Google Cast has a new name

Google renamed and redesigned its Google Cast application for the third time (second this year). What you previously recognized as Google Cast is now called Google Home to coincide with the new Google Home device.

New layout

Although Google Home still has the same capabilities of the old Google Cast, there are a few cosmetic changes to notice. Instead of the user interface showing three tabs (What’s On, Devices and Get Apps), Google Home now has two – Watch and Discover. Consumers will be able to use the app to discover new content and manage their Google Home assistant and Cast devices, according to Google. These added tabs will make it easier to find new suggested content to watch on your Chromecast, along with a library of applications that support the device.

The icon in the upper right-hand corner is used for managing devices, and there is now a FAB (floating action button) in the lower right to use for searching. Users can still Cast their Android device screen from the navigation drawer – a panel that displays the app’s navigation options, usually on the left edge of the screen. This is where you will go to connect to Reflector 2.

New logo

The application logo got an upgrade, too. Instead of the notable round blue Cast symbol, you’ll find a colorful house icon.

Although Google Cast is no longer the name of the application, it’s still the name of the core screen-sending technology. It’s how users send content or media from the device to a receiver.

There you have it, folks! Google Home is now available to download for free from the App Store and Google Play Store. Happy mirroring, Android users!

Let us know if you have any questions about connecting to Reflector 2 using the new Google Home app in the comments section below!

 

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!