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.

June 5 , 2017

Reflector 2.7.4 for Windows is now available

A new Reflector 2 update is available for Windows users. 

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 2.7.4 for Windows update notes:
  • Resolved an issue with the "Classic Renderer" setting not being persistent
  • Resolved an issue with the "Show Client Name" setting not being persistent
  • Reflector 2 now prevents the computer display from sleeping during YouTube video playback
June 5 , 2017

Squirrels Summer 2017 Reading List

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The school year is over, vacations are on the horizon and oh yeah, ISTE is this month! After the seemingly endless hours of grading papers and preparing lesson plans, summer is the perfect time for educators to relish in the successes of the school year and rejuvenate for the next. So we ask - what better way to do this than with a good book in hand?

To help you find the perfect summer book, members of the Squirrels team share their recommendations below.

 Becky Shiring
Director of Professional Development and Continued Learning

“The Curious Case of Sidd Finch” by George Plimpton
A hilarious book that stemmed from an April Fools’ Day joke article in Sports Illustrated about a baseball player that can throw 168 mph. What more do you need?

“Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World” by Bruce Schneier
This book is a totally shocking look into how governments and corporations collect data on us every day. Most people are apathetic about privacy issues, but this book will change your mind.

“Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell
This is an epic book that beautifully weaves through time. Mitchell has an amazing ability to write with a different voice through each period of time. 

“The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why” by Amanda Ripley
This book totally changed the way I look at the situations I'm in. It basically says that people survive because they practice what to do in emergencies. Also, always look for the exit when you enter a new room!

Jessica Chevalier
Director of Business Intelligence

“Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia” by Elizabeth Gilbert
It's a great reminder that we learn a lot about ourselves when we step out of our comfort zones. 

Joseph McCulty
Business Analyst 

“Sula” by Toni Morrison
"Sula" is close to "Sulu" and Toni Morrison kind of looks like Uhura. The book itself is decent, but sadly not about Star Trek. 

Connal Kelly
Account Executive 

“The Good Girl” by Mary Kubica
Thriller that keeps you turning the page!

Alissa McGill
Developer Relations Engineer

“Mistress of Dragons” by Margaret Weis
Unique and epic fantasy. Written by one of the authors of the Dragonlance books. It is like Eragon but with more grit and adult themes.

Aaron Rinier

Director of Customer Support

“Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot" by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
I really enjoyed reading about Kennedy's time in WW2 in the Navy, and how it influenced the rest of his life. There are a lot of interesting facts about him that I was never taught in school.  Very easy to read also.

Stephen Gerstacker
Senior Developer 

“Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert A. Heinlein
This book is an interesting reflection on the current political and cultural climate that we're experiencing today. 

Ashley Swinehart
Jr. Front End Web Developer

“Filters Against Folly: How To Survive Despite Economists, Ecologists, and the Merely Eloquent” by Garret Hardin
This book tells you how to think and make decisions through these 'filters' in judgment which must be considered. It's a timeless reference for problem solving.

Mike Bruin
Technical Support Rep

“The Reason I Jump: The Inner Voice of a Thirteen-Year-Old Boy with Autism” by Naoki Higashida
I like this book because it is a quick but vivid and fascinating look into the mind of a special needs child.

Keirsten Heckel
Communications Strategist

“The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins
I love any book with elements of suspense and emotion. The Girl on the Train leaves you questioning whether to empathize with the main character or feel sorry for her, while uncovering a mystery that leaves you on the edge of your seat.

Llaran Smiles
QA Analyst

“The Last of the Renshai” by Mickey Zucker Reichert
This is the first book of an often overlooked fantasy trilogy. It’s very well written with a compelling story.

Emily Carle Hafer
Alpha Squirrels Program Manager

“Along Came a Leader: A Guide to Personal and Professional Leadership” by Kelly Croy
Written by one of our Alpha Squirrels, Kelly Croy's “Along Came a Leader” transcends educational leadership. It's a must read for educators, but the lessons, humor, and insight can be applied in any situation.

“#FormativeTech: Meaningful, Sustainable, and Scalable Formative Assessment With Technology” by Monica Burns
Written by one of our Alpha Squirrels, #FormativeTech tackles two major topics in education: assessment and technology. It can be daunting to connect the two, but Monica does so in a way that is easy to understand and practical. Plenty of "try on Monday" tips for all educators!

“A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle
“A Wrinkle in Time” is a classic YA novel for all ages that dives into the world of science and fantasy. Bonus: it will be released as a movie in 2018, so you can get a jump start on the story now!

“Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty
If you heard the hype around the HBO mini-series of the same name, you need to take the time to read this book. Moriarty knows how to add twists and turns that will keep the reader engaged until the very end.

Jon Bishop
Creative Director of Marketing

“The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger” by Stephen King
The movie is coming out this summer (ft. Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey), but it seems to just borrow from King's self-described magnum opus series "The Dark Tower." If you like westerns, horror and sci-fi, it's a great read. Even more, the series connects pillars of King's canon–like IT, The Stand, Salem's Lot and Hearts in Atlantis.

 

If you have any recommendations for us, feel free to leave them in the comments below. 

We want to wish all educators a happy, relaxing and safe summer! Happy reading!

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.

May 26 , 2017

Cord Cutter’s Guide: How to Stream and Mirror the Indianapolis 500

It’s Memorial Day weekend, which means it’s time for family, food and (hopefully) good weather, but for some, it’s time to watch cars go around a 2.5-mile track 200 times. Coverage of the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 begins Sunday, May 28th at 11 a.m. ET on ABC.

Billed as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” the Indianapolis 500 (also known as the Indy 500) is one of the most popular automobile races of all time. Millions of people tune in to watch the Indy 500 broadcast, while more than 250,000 people travel to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to experience it firsthand. 

Scott Dixon, Ed Carpenter, Alexander Rossi and more are ready to put the pedal to the metal and take on the 500 miles/200 laps/805km. So the question is, if they’re ready, are you?

Here are a few streaming (and mirroring) solutions to get you prepared for the big race.

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IndyCar Race Control is the best (and free!) option for cord cutters, and it gives viewers live scoring and updates throughout the day. No cable subscription required.

 

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Sling TV is one of the best ways for cord cutters to stream live TV without a cable subscription. Subscribers can choose the Broadcast Extra package ($5/mo.) on top of their Sling Orange package ($20/mo.) to have access to ABC. However, if you only want to use Sling TV for the Indy 500, you can try Sling TV free for seven days.

You can also use your Sling TV Orange account to watch the Indy 500 on WatchESPN. All you need to do is go to www.espn.com/watch and log in with your Sling TV credentials.

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One of the newest solutions for cord cutters is DirecTV NOW by AT&T. This online streaming service offers more than 60 TV channels, including ABC, for $35/mo. without a contract. You can also try it free for seven days. The service is available on most streaming devices including computers and mobile devices. 

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Good news, PlayStation owners! You can watch your favorite driver right from your gaming console. PlayStation Vue offers a large package of channels including ABC, which is what you need to watch the Indy 500. The package starts at $29.99/mo. and does not require a contract. This service is compatible with PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Try it free!

Note: Channel availability, pricing and supported devices are subject to change and may vary by location. 

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SN Now is a live streaming service that allows viewers to watch coverage of all Verizon IndyCar series races, including the Indy 500. You can purchase this service for $24.99/mo., however, if you already subscribe to Sportsnet, SN Now is available at no additional cost.

Indy 500 viewing pro tip:

Finding ways to stream live TV is only half the battle for cord cutters. After all, nobody wants to watch the last lap of the historic Indy 500 with a roomful of people crowded around a tiny computer screen. Download AirParrot 2 on your Mac or PC to wirelessly mirror that live broadcast from your computer directly to an Apple TV or Chromecast.

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Enter http://racecontrol.indycar.com in your Chrome or Firefox browser, or log in to your Sling TV, DirecTV NOW or SN Now account to stream the event. Then open AirParrot and select your browser as the “From” option. Select your Apple TV or Chromecast as the “To” option. This will allow you to experience all the action on the big screen.

Learn more about the AirParrot 2 desktop mirroring/streaming app.

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!