Tom Crilley

Recent Posts

April 10 , 2017

Meet The Spring 2017 Class Of Alpha Squirrel EdTech Experts

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We are excited to introduce the Spring 2017 class of Alpha Squirrel EdTech experts. This class adds eight EdTech experts to the Alpha Squirrels program, which now totals 100 educators located in 28 states and four countries.

The eight new members inducted as part of the spring 2017 class include:

  • Lorien Cafarella – Teacher, Lantana Middle School, Florida
  • Colin Cheng – Tech Ed Provincial Teacher, SETBC, British Columbia
  • Alicia Davis – Digital Learning Specialist, La Grange Elementary, North Carolina
  • Karie Frauenhoffer – Teacher/Makerspace Leader, Southeast Middle School, North Carolina
  • Hannah Jiménez – Digital Learning Specialist, Rochelle Middle School, North Carolina
  • Shaundel Krumheuer – Technology Integration Specialist/Teacher Librarian, Billings Senior High School, Montana
  • Bryan L. Miller – Founder, TopTechEDU, Florida
  • Keven Rinaman – Director of Technology, Calvert Catholic Schools, Ohio

Check out our full list of Alpha Squirrels team members!

These individuals are experts and advocates in the global EdTech community who attend and speak at industry conferences around the world. They share expertise and show fellow education professionals how to use Squirrels technology to create a more collaborative learning environment and make mobile devices more valuable in the classroom.

Alpha Squirrels program manager Emily Carle Hafer emphasized the importance of these educators in helping Squirrels connect with educators around the world.

“Alpha Squirrels bring extraordinary expertise to the table and are constantly teaching us about the world of EdTech,” she said. “In return, we provide support, connections and resources to Alpha Squirrels to aide in their growth and realize their potential.”

Alpha Squirrels use Squirrels classroom technology such as ClassHub, Reflector, Ditto and AirParrot in classrooms and during presentations. They are provided with Squirrels-sponsored conference attendance and speaking engagements. You can catch them presenting at ISTE 2017 in San Antonio, Texas, and many other Edcamps and conferences around the world in 2017.

Other Alpha Squirrel benefits include:

  • First access to unreleased Squirrels products
  • Squirrels welcome package – T-Shirt, coffee mug/tumbler, sticky notes, water bottle, pens, keychain, etc.
  • Access to after-hours Alpha Squirrels social events at conferences
  • Video interview opportunities
  • Free AirParrot 2, Reflector 2 and Reflector Director licenses
  • An Alpha Squirrels member certificate
  • Alpha Squirrel signature badges for Twitter, Facebook and email
  • Product training and talking points
  • 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.

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April 5 , 2017

Squirrels LLC Releases AirParrot 2 For Chrome OS: Users Can Mirror Chromebooks To Apple TV

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The new AirParrot 2 for Chrome OS software by Squirrels LLC is now available. AirParrot 2 for Chrome OS adds Apple AirPlay mirroring capabilities to Chrome OS devices. Chromebook users can wirelessly share and display their screen on second- through fourth-generation Apple TVs and Reflector-enabled devices.

AirParrot 2 for Chrome OS includes:

  • The ability to mirror Chrome OS screens to multiple Apple TVs at once
  • Apple TV 4 support
  • tvOS 10.3 support

AirParrot 2 for Chrome OS is available in the chrome web store for $4.99, and it's free for previous AirParrot for Chrome OS users. 

March 14 , 2017

How to Stream March Madness to Your Television

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The occasional downside to cord cutting is figuring out how to watch the shows you want to enjoy live on your TV. It’s just a matter of figuring out where to watch and making sure you use the right streaming service.

If you’re here in anticipation of the upcoming March Madness games, you’ll be thrilled to know that there are no shortages of ways for cord cutters to watch every March Madness game on TV. While many of these services will also offer mobile viewing, this article will focus specifically on TV streaming. 

The March Madness App
The March Madness app usually requires a cable login, but if you want to watch the CBS games without being a cable subscriber, you can. Without a login, you get three-hours free for the other games, too. It’s important to note that if you want to watch the CBS games without cable, you usually have to watch on mobile devices or on a computer. Watching on TV generally requires a cable login. However, there are some work-arounds to this.

Using your computer, just go to the March Madness Live site like you would to watch the game. From there, you can wirelessly send the games from yoru computer to your TV using AirParrot software on your computer. AirParrot allows you to wirelessly display your computer screen on a Reflector-enabled device like Amazon Fire TV. You could also use AirParrot to send your computer screen to Apple TV or Chromecast. Note, if you’re looking to try this on your Roku, it won’t work at this time. 

CBS All Access
CBS All Access is another option if you want to watch CBS games on your TV. All Access is $6 a month and 80% of the country receives live stream access. On-demand access is also available. Roku, Chromecast and other streaming devices will work to allow you to watch on your TV. You get a free week trial, too. Of course, you can watch all of these games free with the March Madness app, so this may not even be necessary for you.

PlayStation Vue
The one streaming service to offer all four channels in one place is PlayStation Vue. You can watch using your PS3 or PS4, Roku, Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV. The base package starts at $30/month and includes CBS (in 80 markets), TNT, truTV and TBS, among other channels. Vue includes mobile restrictions, but that won’t cause a problem with streaming on your home TV. You also have access to a cloud-based DVR to record any games you might miss and a free one-week trial if you’re a new member.

Sling TV
Sling TV offers a couple of different options, but none of them include CBS. You can watch TNT, TBS and truTV with the service, though. You can choose the Sling TV Blue package with 40 channels including these three for $25/month or the Sling TV Orange package with the Comedy Plus Extra package, which also totals $25/month. Whichever you choose, if you’re an Amazon Fire TV user, you can pay $5 more to get access to a DVR. A seven-day trial will kick off your membership and you can watch on TV using all the popular streaming devices like Roku and Chromecast.

DIRECTV NOW
DIRECTV NOW provides access to TNT, TBS and truTV in its $35/month base package. This includes 60 channels and the ability to watch March Madness games on Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV. Roku access is not currently available. Like with the other streaming services, you get one free week at the beginning of your membership.  

If you’re a cord cutter planning to watch March Madness on your TV using streaming services, these are your best options. All of them will allow you to watch a mix of all the games at a price you can afford.

How To Stream March Madness To Your Television is a guest post from Chris Brantner of CutCableToday.com

February 28 , 2017

Introducing ClassHub: Advanced Student Device Management and Monitoring for K-12 Education

ClassHub-2.pngThe latest classroom technology from Squirrels LLC resolves a longstanding issue for educators, district administrators and EdTech professionals.

Technology such as Chromebooks, iPads, MacBooks and Windows devices are now commonplace in classrooms, but teachers are generally powerless when it comes to managing and monitoring those devices. 

Our global network of EdTech experts and countless conference attendees have expressed this frustration to us through the years. We listened to their feedback and created something that combines collaboration, device management and device monitoring capabilities into one tidy package. It’s called ClassHub. CH 1.png

What is ClassHub?

ClassHub aids instruction by giving educators a way to manage and monitor student devices from the ClassHub Classroom Manager that runs on a teacher’s Mac or Windows computer. Once teachers open ClassHub, they can:

  • See each and every student device screen in the classroom
  • Push content and messages to student devices
  • Lock student devices into a specific app… or lock devices entirely
  • Initiate teacher-to-student or student-to-teacher screen sharing
  • Install and remove apps across devices
  • Open webpages across devices
  • Send alert notifications to student devices

ClassHub is an important second step for any school or district that has acquired classroom devices. We made it easy to deploy, and we’re committed to providing the professional development needed to get districts started.

ClassHub for students

In addition to the ClassHub Classroom Manager for teacher computers, there is a companion application for student devices that connects each device to ClassHub. We understand the diverse technology environments in many schools today. That’s why we made the ClassHub companion application compatible with 97 percent of student devices, including:

  • iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
  • Chromebook
  • Surface Pro and other Windows devices
  • MacBook

ClassHub for school IT administrators

In most cases, ClassHub will be deployed by your school or district IT administrator. Our ClassHub web portal gives IT professionals an easy way to manage or view status details for every iPad, iPhone, Chromebook, Mac and Windows device in a school or district.

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Student security and privacy

We get it. Student information security is a hot-button issue. ClassHub is FERPA and SOPIPA compliant, and we are committed to working with each district to ensure compliance with student data and privacy policies.

How to bring ClassHub to your school or district

We’ve partnered with the Clever student information system (SIS) integration service to make ClassHub setup and deployment as easy as possible. You can expect to have it up and running in a few weeks. We know you will have additional questions about ClassHub, student privacy, implementation and professional development opportunities for educators and staff. We’re happy to answer all of them.

Let's Talk  Learn More

 

January 24 , 2017

Gym Class JitterBug: How To Play The Game Teachers Are Raving About

A video began circulating on Facebook about a week ago that showed elementary-aged kids frantically throwing dodgeballs at a wall trying to smash virtual bugs. That video now has over 30 million views, and it recently became the number one post on the front page of Reddit.

What is this game….and how can you bring it to your school’s gymnasium? Turns out it’s pretty simple.

The video was originally posted on the West Elementary School (Batesville, Arkansas) Facebook page. The teacher is using an app called JitterBug. The app was created by Friskies® (yes, the cat food brand) and was originally intended to allow cats to tap interactive bugs on their owners' iPad® or iPhone® (also available for Android™). If you’ve ever owned a cat, you know they have an irresistible urge to swat anything and everything.

Educators have found a new way to use Friskies’ JitterBug app in gym class. They simply wirelessly display their iPad or iPhone onto the wall using a projector. When a student hits a bug on the wall with a ball, the teacher taps the bug on his or her screen to make that bug disappear. To the students, it looks like they are making the bugs disappear when they hit one. In reality, the teacher simply monitors the wall to see which bugs the students hit and then taps the same bugs on the device. Pretty cool, right?

How to projector your iPad or iPhone on the wall

It sounds complicated, but this is very easy as well. In the video, the teacher has the iPad wirelessly mirrored to an Apple TV®, and the Apple TV is connected to a projector. However, PhysEd teacher Jared Carder did it by wirelessly mirroring his iPad to Reflector® software on his computer. His computer was connected to the projector, so he didn’t need an Apple TV at all. Reflector software ($15) is a more cost-effective alternative to Apple TV ($149).

Either way, what a cool use of technology to get kids engaged and moving. The ingenuity of teachers around the world amazes us every day.

Learn more about the Reflector screen-sharing software used in schools around the world.

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!