Tom Crilley

Recent Posts

June 12, 2017

Finally! Teachers Can Now Monitor Every Student Device During Class

Educators no longer need to peer over a student’s shoulder to monitor progress or gauge how the student is progressing through a task. In fact, they don’t even have to leave their desks.

While students are busy using their devices to work on an assignment, complete group work or take a test, teachers can use device management software called ClassHub to see what is happening on every student device in real time.

The ClassHub Screen Peek feature allows teachers to see student devices from their computer to ensure students are on task and using devices in the classroom as directed. 

How it works
Once a teacher starts a class in the ClassHub Classroom Manager, each student in the classroom is listed along with a student avatar. Selecting the Screen Peek View option in the Classroom Manager presents a live view of every student device in the classroom. The teacher can see what each student is working on (or not working on) and how each student is performing in a matter of seconds.  

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To access a larger view of a specific student’s device, teachers simply click on the device in the Classroom Manager. The enlarged view also presents several device management actions, including the ability to:

  • Send a message to the student’s device
  • Open a webpage on the device
  • Lock the device into a specific application
  • Lock the device entirely
  • Begin mirroring the device to an AirPlay or Cast receiver
  • Manage applications

Does ClassHub sound like something you’ve been wishing for since the day devices appeared in the classroom? We’re happy to help bring it to your school or district.

Contact us today to chat about ClassHub or schedule a demo.

May 30, 2017

Why we made ClassHub?

Let’s play a quick round of “JEOPARDY!” where you are the contestant and we are the gracefully aged Alex Trebek. 

You: “I’ll take Nobel Prize Winning Authors for $1000, Alex.”

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Us: “Answer: This 1954 recipient once stated, “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” 

You: [Clicks clicker] “Who is Ernest Hemingway?”

Great job. Now you’re 1000 fake dollars richer, and we just laid the groundwork for the point of this post.

Hemingway was a brilliant author who knew the value of listening. When people ask us why we created ClassHub, the answer is simple. We listened to you, our audience. Educators and district administrators give us feedback at education conferences, on social media and through our customer support team. We listen, read, observe and analyze. Then we act.

Our Reflector software catapulted us into education and introduced Squirrels to educators around the world. Teachers loved that it allows them to wirelessly display and record classroom devices. It’s simple and cost-effective.

Through the years, many educators requested additional features that were outside the scope of Reflector:

  • The ability to wirelessly push content to student devices and manage apps
  • The ability to view what was happening on every student device at once
  • The ability to send a mirror image of the teacher’s screen to every student device
  • The ability to lock student devices, or lock the devices into specific apps

While it wasn’t possible to add those features to Reflector without changing its identity, we heard you. We listened. You asked for ClassHub, and we made it for you. ClassHub ushers in a new era of mobile technology usage in the classroom.

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We’re ready to show you what student device management and monitoring looks like in your school or district.

Visit our website to learn more or contact us to talk about ClassHub.

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

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!