Tom Crilley

Recent Posts

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.

Want tips and tricks from the most innovative educators using Reflector in the classroom? Watch our free 5 Fresh Ways To Use Reflector In The Classroom webinar. 

Replicate these ideas at your school to boost collaboration and sharing in the classroom.....or to get kids moving in gym class!

Reflector collaboration technology for education

Don't forget: Use the comment section below to let us know what innovate ways you're using technology this school year! 

December 28 , 2016

2016 Squirrels Company Recap

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It’s hard to pinpoint the best place to begin our 2016 Squirrels year-end recap. No individual highlight or accomplishment would do this year justice. Only the culmination of many unique moments– from national recognition and globalization to new products, team members and more – can reveal the complete picture of our best year to date.

So we’ll start at the beginning.

January 2016

Squirrels Supercomputer Verifies Largest Prime Number Ever Discovered
The in-house supercomputer at Squirrels HQ is 2,400 times faster than today’s average consumer computer. It was built by Squirrels employees using their “10-percent time.” We used this computer in a coordinated global effort to find the largest prime number ever discovered (GIMPS). The efforts paid off in January 2016 with the discovery of a prime number that is 22,338,618 digits long.

Fortune Magazine Ranks Squirrels Among Top Three Best Workplaces For Technology
Fortune Magazine honored Squirrels in its Best Places To Work list after analyzing feedback from 48,000 employees at various companies around the country.

Squirrels Visits London
The Squirrels team made its first trip across the pond to attend a major education technology conference called Bett.

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February 2016

Squirrels Releases Reflector 2 For Android TV
Our AirPlay and Cast receiving software became available for Android TV, allowing people to wirelessly stream and mirror content from a wide range of devices directly to their TVs.

March 2016

Squirrels Named North Canton Business Of The Year
The North Canton Area Chamber of Commerce honored Squirrels as its business of the year. The company received recognition from several Ohio representatives. An annual awards dinner was held on March 2.

Squirrels Releases AirParrot Remote
The release of this new iOS app enables AirParrot users to control AirParrot from an iPhone or iPad. This was a significant release covered by publications such as 9to5Mac, LifeHacker, MacStories and iMore.

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April 2016

New Class Of Alpha Squirrel EdTech Experts
Squirrels selected its second class of Alpha Squirrel EdTech Experts. It included 19 teachers, principals, EdTech specialists, tech coordinators and more.

Reflector 2 And AirParrot 2 Add Support For 13 New Languages
We have a global customer base. It made sense to expand the language offering in Reflector and AirParrot to make our products easier to use for non-English speakers around the world.

June 2016

Squirrels Releases Cloud-Based Ditto Screen-Sharing Service
Squirrels released a significant new development in screen-mirroring technology. Ditto is a smart screen-mirroring solution that allows anyone with a Mac or Windows computer to walk into a Ditto-enabled meeting space and instantly (and wirelessly) present their computer to any screen connected to an Apple TV, Chromecast or Reflector-enabled device.

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Summer 2016 Alpha Squirrel Class Announced
Squirrels selected its third class of Alpha Squirrel EdTech Experts. It included 15 educators and EdTech specialists.

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Squirrels Attends ISTE 2016 In Denver
The Squirrels team took 15 employees to Denver for our largest and most ambitious conference exhibition to date. We also unveiled our DIY 20-by-20 island booth. It was a head turner.

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July 2016

Pokemon Go
…..because we were as addicted to it as everybody else.

Ditto Adds Audio Support
Squirrels added audio support after it was a highly requested feature in the first month of the Ditto release. Users can now share a screen and have accompanying audio come out of the TV or display that the user is connected to.

August 2016
Squirrels Adds iOS 10 Support To Reflector 2
Squirrels released the compatibility update to its flagship app, Reflector 2, before iOS 10 was publicly released.

Squirrels Sponsors North Canton Main Street Festival
It’s always good to give back to your local community, right?

September 2016

Squirrels Volunteers With Habitat For Humanity
Squirrels partnered with Habitat for Humanity for the fourth time to spend a day helping the organization build and restore homes for local families.

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Squirrels Company Retreat To Destin, Florida
The Squirrels team takes a weeklong trip each year to spend time collaborating, reenergizing and building camaraderie.

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October 2016

Fall 2016 Alpha Squirrel Class Introduced
The fall 2016 class included 26 EdTech experts from four different countries and 14 states.

November 2016

Cyber Monday 2016
Cyber Monday 2016 was the biggest sale in Squirrels history.

December 2016

Squirrels Holiday Party
Our annual holiday party took place at Chop and Swizzle in Uniontown, Ohio.

Whew! On top of all of that, we revamped our Edcamp sponsorship program and attended too many education conferences to name in one blog post. The Squirrels team had an incredible year, and we’re excited for an even better 2017. We would like to thank every customer, employee, educator and friend who helped make this year so special. We wouldn’t be here without you.

Stay tuned -- 2017 is going to be a big year.

November 28 , 2016

Cyber Monday 2016 is the Biggest Squirrels Sale Ever

Cyber Monday is finally here! We have great deals every Cyber Monday, but this year is different in all the right ways. Today is the biggest sale in the history of Squirrels!

We could talk about how excited we are, what you can do with our screen-mirroring solutions, or how cool we think all of you are, but we know you don’t care about any of that. It’s all about the deals!

Here are the Squirrels 2016 Cyber Monday deals. Simply click the picture to purchase!

Reflector 2: 40% off (20% off on Tuesday, Nov 29)

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Reflector Director: 50%(ish) off

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AirParrot 2: 40% off (20% off on Tuesday, Nov 29)

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AirParrot Remote: 50% off

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Reflector 2 for Amazon Fire TV: 50% off

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Reflector 2 for Android TV: 50% off

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ScreenToss: 80% off

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All merchandise: 40% off + free shipping

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November 17 , 2016

Reflector 2.6 is Now Available for Mac and Windows

Reflector 2.6 is now available for Mac and Windows. This release brings major performance and stability upgrades to mirroring and streaming with AirPlay and Cast technology.

You can update Reflector 2 by selecting “Check for Updates” from the Reflector 2 preferences menu. Additionally, you can download the new version from the Reflector 2 download page.

Reflector 2.6 release notes: 

Mac:
  • Reduced the amount of memory used when screen mirroring and recording
  • Improved reliability and performance of YouTube live video streaming
  • Improved reliability and stability of iOS 10 connections
  • Reduced CPU utilization when using Reflector Student
  • Numerous bug fixes and performance improvements
Windows
  • Reduced the amount of memory used when screen mirroring and recording
  • Added legacy renderer setting for users that experience a black screen when mirroring
  • Improved reliability and performance of YouTube live video streaming
  • Improved reliability and stability of iOS 10 connections
  • Reduced CPU utilization when using Reflector Student
  • Numerous bug fixes and performance improvements

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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!