June 20, 2018

Martians, Pizzas and Squirrels, Oh My! What to Expect at ISTE 2018

 

Squirrels Presents ClassHub at ISTE 2018

Squirrels is back at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference & Expo (ISTE) for our sixth consecutive year! ISTE is one of our favorite expos and we can’t wait to sojourn in Chicago next week for all the EdTech goodness. We’re showing off our newest ways to make educators’ lives easier – and a whole lot more fun, too. Here’s what you can expect at ISTE 2018:

1. Learn how to effortlessly collaborate across the entire classroom with our newest product, ClassHub – and demo it in real time. 

Since so many of our friends and teachers love Squirrels education apps like Reflector Teacher, we developed new technology that takes classroom devices to the next level. Enter ClassHub, the solution for mobile device management (MDM) in schools. Stop by booth #2262 to learn how you can share screens, push web pages and monitor an entire classroom of student devices with ClassHub.

We kissed wires, cables and chaos goodbye a long time ago, and we built ClassHub so teachers can too.

Two students and a teacher using ClassHub in a classroom

2. Learn from the brightest and best education experts – Alpha Squirrels are here.

We’re pumped to meet up with our ISTE Alpha Squirrels. Aside from being our biggest fans, Alpha Squirrels are EdTech experts with a whole lot to say. Good news is you’ll find a lot of them sharing their expertise in technology and education resources all around ISTE 2018. Swing by booth #2262 to meet a few and discover why they love what we do.

Speaking of awesome resources for teachers …

3. Is your classroom culture stuffy and worn-out? Wish you could inject it with a healthy dose of creative energy? Try "Pizza, Projects, People."

Teachers, we’ve all been there. Sometimes it’s hard to inspire your students to learn when your classroom seems to do the exact opposite. Your school building may be stuck in the past, but your school culture doesn’t have to be … and Squirrels is here to help.

Join us on Wednesday, June 27, at 8 a.m. in the Skyline Ballroom for Pizza, Projects, People: Create a Startup Culture in Your Classroom to get all the details on how the startup culture used in tech companies can fuel classroom creativity. Amplify the learning process with:

  • Real-world research
  • Practical examples from startup culture award-winners
  • Useful ways to design and reinforce a winning atmosphere for both students and teachers

Presentation: “Pizza, Projects, People: Create a Startup Culture in Your Classroom”

Date: Wednesday, June 27, 8-10 a.m.

Location: Posters; Level 3, Skyline Ballroom Pre-function, Table 13

Presenters: Emily Carle Hafer and Becky Shiring, Squirrels education experts

4. Andy Weir is here to propel leaders in STEM.

You’ve seen “The Martian,” right? The highly praised film starring Matt Damon is based on a novel by Andy Weir – one of the ISTE 2018 keynote presenters! Before writing bestselling novels and source material for Hollywood films, Weir was a software programmer. He’ll talk us through how to successfully fuel and launch students’ curiosity in STEM.

Weir is joined by a slew of fellow keynote speakers who bring connectivity, inclusiveness and creative methodologies to education. Find the full list here.

Catch all the #EdTech awesomeness June 24-27 at #ISTE18 by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

And if you’ll be there in person, remember to stop by and say hello at booth #2262. It’s going to be a great conference – we’re excited to meet you!

May 30, 2018

Reflector Shines at Pennsylvania Capitol

What do you get when your class develops a unique video production and presentation method? 

An invitation to the Pennsylvania State Capitol if everything goes well.

Alpha Squirrel Zee Ann Poerio and her students had the opportunity to present how they use Reflector with video production technology in front of legislators in the Capitol.

Students at PAECT

The Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications and Technology (PAECT) asks students to apply to participate in an annual student technology showcase. Poerio’s Student Technology Team at St. Louise de Marillac Catholic School was one of the groups selected to represent their school at the Capitol.   

The team’s video production and wireless presentation project includes three components. The best part? You can bring it to your class with a minimal amount of equipment. 

  1. An iOS application
    The St. Louise de Marillac Student Technology Team uses TouchCast for education which enables students to create content using green screen effects, filters, transitions, annotations, lower thirds and video apps that are interactive with social media feeds, polls, websites and more. 
  1. Hardware
    The students also shared the equipment they use: the Padcaster Ultimate Studio for an iPad and the Padcaster Verse for use with a smartphone. 
  1. Software
    Poerio uses additional apps to create visuals and wirelessly present iPads to a bigger screen.

    Apps like Canva allow students to create design elements for their videos. Poerio uses Reflector Teacher on a computer connected to the primary classroom display to screen mirror projects from iPads to the big screen.

    “Reflector makes it easier for presenters to share what's on their screen for a demonstration,” Poerio said. “It's great for students to share projects they create on their devices with the entire class. Everyone loves to see their work on the big screen at school.” 

    Poerio’s students also practice good digital citizenship using what they learned from
     CommonSense Media, and they use copyright-free images from sites like Creative Commons to create morning announcements and classroom projects. 


    Reflector Teacher screen mirror edtech

PAECT Student Showcase
Poerio’s team was assigned a space to present how the students use technology in creative ways. Each school presents their project for a livestream from the Capitol. 

While at the event, students had the opportunity to interview legislators, educators and other students participating in the showcase.

Poerio said the Student Technology Showcase provides an opportunity to connect with teachers and students who share the same enthusiasm for using technology in the classroom.

“It’s amazing to see the innovative ways that students use technology to create content, tell stories, use problem-solving skills, code, design and manufacture.” she said. “I encourage anyone to search for similar experiences that allow your students to share their voice, knowledge and use of technology.”

Student Tech Showcase PAECT


Reflector Teacher

Learn more about using Reflector Teacher ($15) in the classroom. 

Get Reflector Teacher

 

April 23, 2018

Should you attend EduTech Asia 2018?

Should You Attend EduTech Asia 2018?

I was inspired. I was motivated.

Everything I want in a conference was everything that EduTech Asia 2017 in Singapore gave me.

The question is: will it inspire you?

I’ve recounted my experience below for anyone who may be uncertain about attending EduTech Asia 2018 this October. I hope my thoughts give you a general idea of what to expect and help you decide if it’s worth the investment. 

Looking back at EduTech Asia 2017

EduTech Asia 2017 was the first conference I attended as a member of the Alpha Squirrels program created by Squirrels. The company helped send me there so I could speak to attendees about student voice and digital citizenship, but my time at the conference became so much more than a speaking opportunity.

What’s EduTech Asia?

EduTech Asia is a three-day conference and exhibition of innovation and technology in education. It gathers educators, EdTech specialists, education leaders and startup leaders from all around the globe to share and explore how technology impacts learning and creates positive changes in education.

That’s standard boilerplate language, but the conference lived up to its billing. I witnessed education enthusiasts sharing and learning from each other to achieve a common goal: bettering education for the world’s youth.

More than a speaking opportunity

Like I said, this was more than a speaking opportunity. I achieved my goal of sharing knowledge with others, but I also acquired knowledge that will benefit me on a professional level for years to come.

EduTech Asia 2017 showcased all that is great in education technology innovation. It was amazing to experience the keynote presentations, panel discussions, roundtables, collaborative EduSlams and innovative on-floor activities.

I was treated to an exciting array of technology products and services on display on the exhibition show floor. I found technology that helps me prepare my students for the future globally competitive and technologically equipped workforce. 

Designed to fit your goals

The conference is constructed in a way that makes it easy to find topics that align with your needs. Attendees can choose between eight tracks designed to provide an in-depth understanding about how technology shapes the following education sectors: 

  • K-12 leaders
  • Tertiary leaders
  • IT leaders
  • Special needs
  • Early years
  • Educational policy
  • Vocational
  • Business leaders

Events and exhibitions included sessions for educators by educators, live demos of the latest innovations and technologies, a tech showcase and startup theatre featuring the latest EdTech deployments in schools, institutions and classrooms, and an AR/VR Zone that demonstrated how this emerging technology is used in the classroom.

Robotics

Want to explore robotics? You're in luck!

The EduTech Asia robotic pavilion hosted mini robotics and coding workshops, as well as the 5th Singapore National CoSpace and RoboMaker Challenges 2017.

Additionally, the IMDA Digital Makerspace provided a series of workshops to nurture a new generation of digital natives with a passion to create with technology.

Looking forward to EduTech Asia 2018

EduTech Asia 2018 returns to Singapore Oct. 8-11 where a ton of talented educators and EdTech coaches will be on hand to share stories and expertise with attendees.

Connect with me on Twitter, and be sure to look me up if you decide to go. I look forward to meeting you and swapping education adventures.

Raymond Mitchel Africa is a Middle Years Programme (MYP) science teacher at an international school in Xiamen, China, and a member of the Alpha Squirrel program

March 29, 2018

Squirrels Visits Duke University

Squirrels visits Duke University to share Ditto screen mirroring

Squirrels met with the Duke Digital Media Community (DDMC) at Duke University this month to share how Windows device users can wirelessly connect to Apple TVs using Ditto

The DDMC is evaluating Ditto as it looks to deploy a simple and cost-effective solution that allows both Mac and Windows users to share content to campus Apple TVs. 

Read the DDMC's initial Ditto review after testing the service at Duke.  

 

March 27, 2018

#SquirrelsChat Recap: Designing for #FutureReady Learning

Classroom design has remained largely the same for centuries – heavy metal desks and chairs lined up in columns and rows, while a teacher lectures at the front of the room.

Despite the stagnant classroom design, lesson plans have evolved to include technology, collaboration, innovation, creativity and flexibility. This leaves a major disconnect between today’s innovative curriculum and outdated classroom furniture.  

This month’s #SquirrelsChat explored how teachers can transform their traditional classroom into a space where students feel welcome and want to learn. You’ll learn how the physical environment of a classroom impacts learning, what factors to consider when redesigning, how to involve students, design hacks and more! 

Related: #SquirrelsChat Recap: Student Engagement

Join #SquirrelsChat the third Thursday of every month for the best education tips, strategies and ideas at 8 p.m. ET. You can stay up to date on chat topics and moderators by following us on Twitter (@Squirrels). 

How physical environment impacts learning + collaboration

A physical classroom environment can either foster collaboration and promote learning, or it can limit it. Every space has its own vibe – make yours positive!

 

What factors to consider when designing a learning space

Start by looking at what your goals are for the class and students. Design your space around that. A learning space should be a combination of things that benefit students and make sense for you as the teacher.

How to involve students

Simply put – go straight to the source! Ask students to describe their favorite place to hang out. Sometimes the best ideas come out of the most creative answers!

Design hacks for making a future-ready classroom on a budget 

Dish racks, ironing boards, beach chairs and tennis balls are all options for redesigning on a budget. Take a look at how educators are using these easy-to-find items below.

Advice to overcome redesign obstacles

We can’t stress this enough…start small! Something as small as changing sound and lighting in a room can bring positivity and inspiration to a space.

Don’t miss the next #SquirrelsChat on April 19 at 8 p.m. ET!

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!