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

 

February 28 , 2017

Reflector 2.7 adds ClassHub Device Management and Monitoring Support

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Reflector 2.7 is now available for Mac and Windows. This release adds support for ClassHub, a new student device management and monitoring solution from Squirrels. 
 
Want to know more about ClassHub and how it can benefit your school or district? Let's Talk!
 
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 release notes: 
Mac:
  • Added support for our new classroom product, ClassHub, a student device management and monitoring system for teachers
  • Improved AirPlay audio streaming quality
  • Improved reliability of Google Cast connections
  • Resolved an issue that prevented a device name from updating after closing preferences
  • Numerous bug fixes and performance improvements
Windows
  • Added support for our new classroom product, ClassHub, a student device management and monitoring system for teachers
  • Improved AirPlay audio streaming quality
  • Improved reliability of Google Cast connections
  • Resolved an issue that could result in broken UI when snapping a Reflector device window
  • Resolved an issue that prevented a device name from updating after closing preferences
  • Numerous bug fixes and performance improvements
February 24 , 2017

Cord Cutter’s Guide: How to Stream the 89th Academy Awards

The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, is an awards ceremony that recognizes excellence in cinematic achievements in the United States film industry. Winners are voted on and chosen by more than 5,000 members of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 1,000 of which are actors.

The Oscars will be hosted by television host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel with performances by Justin Timberlake, Sting and John Legend. Nominations include Casey Affleck (Actor in a Leading Role), Emma Stone (Actress in a Leading Role) Hidden Figures (Best Picture), Moana (Best Animated Feature Film) and more.

Let the glitz and glam begin, but don’t forget that you don’t need a cable subscription to enjoy the ceremony. Here are three ways that you can stream the Oscars online.

oscars-logo.png

Sling TV

Sling TV is one of the top ways that cord cutters can stream live TV without a cable subscription. Subscribers who choose the Sling Orange package ($20/mo) have access to the Broadcast Extra bundle ($5/mo) to watch live local broadcast channels, including ABC. Only want to use this service to watch the Oscars? You can try it free for 7 days!

Note: You can only stream ABC Live through Sling TV in select markets around the country. These areas include Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham and San Francisco. If you live in one of these areas, the ABC live stream will be accessible.

DirecTV NOW

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

Basic Antenna Option

Don’t forget the old-fashioned way! Since ABC is over-the-air (OTA) network broadcasting, it’s free to watch with a digital antenna if you live in range of an affiliate. Here’s how to choose the best antenna for you.  

Pro tip:

Finding ways to stream live TV is only half the battle for cord cutters. After all, nobody wants to Natalie Portman receive an award on 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.

Use Sling TV app or DirecTV Now in the Chrome, Safari and Firefox browser 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.

The image below was taken from the AirParrot menu and shows you how to do this. You simply select your browser or application. Then select where to send it. 

Messages-Image591535406.png

89th Academy Awards
Sunday, February 26
8:30 p.m. ET
Host: Jimmy Kimmel
ABC

February 17 , 2017

Cord Cutter’s Guide: How To Legally Stream NBA All-Star Weekend Events

The best basketball players in the world share the court only once a year – during the NBA All-Star Weekend.

NBA All-Star Weekend showcases the spectacular talents of some of the league’s most skilled players in both the Western and Eastern Conference. From the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest to the Three-Point Contest and of course the 66th NBA All-Star Game, this weekend is sure to impress.

You shouldn't miss out on LeBron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant highlights just because you don’t have cable. Here are a few legal ways to stream all of the action online.

Sling TV

Sling TV is one of the top ways that cord cutters can stream live TV without a cable subscription. Subscribers who choose either the Sling Blue package ($25/mo) or the Sling Orange package ($20/mo) have access to a number of channels including TNT. However, if you only want to watch this weekend’s events, you can try Sling TV free for seven days!

DirecTV NOW

One of the newest solutions for cord cutters is DIRECTV NOW by AT&T. This online streaming service offers you more than 60 TV channels, including TNT, for $35/mo without a contract (or you can try it free for seven days). You can use this service on most streaming devices, including computers and mobile devices.

PlayStation Vue

Good news, PlayStation owners! You, too, can stream your favorite channels all from your gaming console. With plans starting at $29.99 a month, Vue offers viewers a large variety of channels, including TNT. This is a great value to cord cutters, and it's compatible with PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Try it free!

Pro tip:

Finding ways to stream live TV is only half the battle for cord cutters. After all, nobody wants to watch a slam dunk or an alley-oop on 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.

Use your Sling TV or DirecTV Now account in the Chrome or Firefox browser 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.

The image below was taken from the AirParrot menu and shows you how to do this. You simply select your browser or application. Then select where to send it.

Messages Image(591535406)

Sunday, February 19
NBA All-Star Game
8:00 p.m.
TNT

Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below!

February 14 , 2017

Squirrels Team Shares New Technology at OETC

The Squirrels team is in Columbus all week for our third conference of 2017: the Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC). OETC is one of our favorite conferences of the year because it gives us a chance to connect with local educators in our home state.

OETC has more than 300 vendors and more than 4,000 educational technology professionals and enthusiasts from all over the country. It’s a great place for educators and innovators to network with their peers and share their ideas. Did we mention OETC has EdTech Karaoke?

While our Reflector software will be on display as usual, OETC attendees should also get excited to see what’s next from Squirrels. We scheduled presentations at the Squirrels booth all week to give you a sneak peek at a new technology that will change the way educators use classroom devices. You’re going to love it!
Below is a complete list of all the OETC sessions that feature Alpha Squirrels presenters.


Tuesday, February 14

Leah Lacrosse (with Jon Smith)
Student Publishing with eBook Creator App
C171
2:00-5:00 p.m.

Leslie Fisher
Manage Devices
Short North Ballroom A
2:00-5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 15

Leah Lacrosse (with Jonathon Jarc)
3D Printing for a Purpose
C150
8:00-8:45 a.m.

Leslie Fisher
How to Make Student Devices Teacher Friendly
Union Station Ballroom B
11:00-11:45 a.m.

Leslie Fisher
Featured Speaker Session
Union Station Ballroom B
1:15-2:15 p.m.

Thursday, February 16

Marcia Kish
The Personalized Learning Playbook
Short North Ballroom A
8:00-8:45 a.m.

Laurie Green
Do You Compute? Online Assessment Skills
Short North Ballroom B-2
8:00-8:45 a.m.

Laurie Green
Make-ing it Happen
Short North Ballroom B-2
11:00-11:45 a.m.

Squirrels Booth Presentations (booth #801)

Wednesday, February 15

10:45 – 11:00 a.m.
11:45 – 12:00 p.m.
12:45 – 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, February 16

10:45 – 11:00 a.m.

Columbus is the place to be this week! We hope to see you at OETC in booth #801!

 

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!