August 30, 2017

How Reflector 2 and ClassHub Work Together

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Reflector and ClassHub are two very different classroom technologies. One is a simple device screen-mirroring application. The other is an advanced device management and monitoring solution. However, there are certain Reflector settings educators can adjust to optimize screen mirroring in ClassHub.

The ClassHub Classroom Manager is built in our Reflector software. Teachers access the Classroom Manager by first opening Reflector and then clicking on the ClassHub icon. Since Reflector is already used in more than 100,000 classrooms around the world, it made sense to build the teacher-facing part of ClassHub in a program that many educators are familiar with.

Teachers use the Classroom Manager to perform a wide range of student device monitoring and management actions such as Screen Peek, Screen Push, Screen Mirror, Lock Device, Send Message and more. By tweaking the following Reflector settings, educators can make sure student devices connect and display the way they want them to while using ClassHub to instruct, monitor or engage students.

 

Connection preferences

Adjust device connection preferences in the Reflector settings to change how student devices are displayed upon connection. Educators can:

  • Allow a student device to connect to ClassHub and display on-screen immediately
  • Allow a student device to connect to ClassHub but leave the device hidden from the screen
  • Require approval from the teacher before a device can connect

Teachers should select the connection option that works best for their classroom, students and instructional strategy. Allowing a student device to display upon connection is the fastest way to share content with the class, but there may be times when a teacher wants to spot-check the content on a student’s device before sharing it with the class. Alternatively, a teacher may not want a student to have the ability to connect at all. The connection preferences accommodate all of the above scenarios.

Go to Preferences > Connection > On Connection

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Show client name

This setting allows teachers to show or hide device names when a student connects a device. The student’s device name appears on the screen along with the connected device. Depending on the nature of the activity, a teacher may want to show device names to increase accountability or turn names off to maintain anonymity.

There are three options for showing a device name:

  • Always—when a device connects, the device name will appear and stay on the screen
  • On Hover—the device name will appear when the mouse hovers over the device
  • Off—the device name does not appear

 Go to Preferences> General > Show Client Name

Which is better for your students?

 

Always on top

Selecting this setting will automatically place mirrored devices on top of all other open windows and applications on the teacher’s computer. For example, if a student using an iPad connects his or her device to the teacher’s computer, the mirrored image of that device will display on top of the Classroom Manager, a Safari browser, a Microsoft Office application and anything else on the teacher’s screen.

A teacher may want this capability to quickly place an emphasis on the device that just connected. If the teacher’s computer is connected to a projector, or if the teacher is using Screen Push, then everyone in the room will see the recently mirrored device immediately.

Go to Preferences > General > Click “Always on top”  RF General Preferences.png

Get ClassHub

If you are interested in bringing ClassHub to your school or district, contact us today. A representative from our team will be in touch to answer any questions you have about ClassHub, schedule a demo or walk you through the process.

August 29, 2017

How Schools Save on ClassHub: Educational Service Center (ESC) of Central Ohio Edition

We’ve partnered with many organizations to bring education technology discounts to schools and other educational entities. This blog is part of a series of posts that contain information about cost savings when purchasing ClassHub and other Squirrels LLC products.

Squirrels LLC partnered with the Educational Service Center (ESC) of Central Ohio to offer members a discount on the ClassHub device monitoring and management solution. Members also get discounts on our classroom screen-mirroring solutions: ReflectorAirParrot and AirParrot for Chrome OSAll Squirrels products are 10 percent off for ESC members.

 

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What is the ESC of Central Ohio?

The ESC of Central Ohio is an educational solutions agency that responds to the needs of member school districts. It partners with programs (including instructional coaching, administrative counseling, technical services, etc.) or EdTech solutions (ahem…ClassHub) that are designed to help districts reach their goals. The ESC provides members with top solutions at discounted prices to help improve school technology capabilities and education for students.

In achieving its mission of supporting educators and students, the ESC offers direct instruction and professional development for all client school districts, partner schools, agency partners and state/regional/county agencies.

How to save on ClassHub and become an ESC member

ESC serves more than 2,000 teachers and 28,000 students and is committed to districts within Delaware, Franklin, Union, Madison, Ross and Licking counties in Ohio.

Districts that wish to become a member of the ESC of Central Ohio have to be located within the counties served or make a formal request with the state to leave their current ESC. Contact the ESC of Central Ohio for more information.

If ClassHub, Reflector, AirParrot or AirParrot for ChromeOS fit the needs of your educational entity, the ESC of Central Ohio will direct you to our account executive who will happily guide you through our purchasing process.

For more information on the ESC of Central Ohio visit http://www.escco.org/ or contact the Squirrels sales team for more information on purchasing ClassHub or other Squirrels solutions. 

August 28, 2017

Reflector for Android 2.7.2 is Available

Reflector for Android version 2.7.2 is now available on the Google Play Store.

This update improves network discovery and includes a number of stability improvements. 
Full release notes:

  • Resolved discovery issues on some Android and Fire devices
  • Added improved messaging when another app is using ports Reflector 2 needs to function
  • Resolved issue when AirPlay streaming videos
  • Lots of miscellaneous stability improvements

This update also applies to Amazon Fire TV. Fire TV users should expect the update to be available soon.

August 24, 2017

Cord Cutter’s Guide: How to watch the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards

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Cue the fireworks because Katy Perry hosts the 34th annual MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) this Sunday, Aug. 27, starting at 8 p.m. ET. Is anyone going to be “Wide Awake” watching this awards ceremony?

The VMAs are honoring music videos from June 26, 2016, to June 23, 2017. Kendrick Lamar is leading the way in nominations, as his song “Humble” is listed in eight categories. Perry The Weeknd come in second with five nominations each.

So how can you watch the acceptance speeches, performances and music videos if you don’t have cable? We have a few solutions for you…

MTV plans to live stream the awards ceremony on its website for free, but full coverage may not be available online. For full broadcast viewing, use the solutions listed below.

 

 

 

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Sling TV is one of the top ways cord cutters can stream live TV without a cable subscription. Subscribers who choose the Comedy Extra package ($5/mo.) along with their Sling Orange package ($20/mo.) or Sling Blue ($25/mo.) subscription have access to MTV, which is the exclusive broadcast and airing provider of the VMAs. Only want to use this service for the awards ceremony? You can try it free for seven days.

directv_now_logo_white.jpegOne of the newest solutions for cord cutters is DirecTV NOW by AT&T. This online streaming service offers more than 60 TV channels, including MTV, for $35/mo. without a contract, or you can try it free for seven days.

Pro tip:

Nobody wants to watch P!nk accept the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard 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.

Try AirParrot 2

Enter http://www.mtv.com/vma in your Chrome or Firefox browser to watch on the MTV website, or log in to your Sling TV or DirecTV 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.

Be sure to tell us about your experience with these cord-cutting solutions and the AirParrot 2 desktop mirroring/streaming app in the comments below!   

Try AirParrot 2    Discover AirParrot 2

August 23, 2017

Personalize student device management with new ClassHub update

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If no two teachers are the same, why is it so hard to customize classroom management settings?

That’s the question we asked when we were thinking of ways to make student device management more user friendly for teachers and administrators.

Consider these two cases:

Mrs. Smith never uses YouTube for instruction and doesn’t want her students to have access to it.

Mr. Lindon frequently uses YouTube to complement instruction and encourages his students to use it for research.

Now imagine there are tens or even hundreds of applications that need to be enabled or disabled for certain teachers at certain times on certain devices.

How do you easily coordinate that in a device management solution? In many cases, you can’t.

Sure, workarounds exist. But they are difficult to scale and become useless in certain circumstances, like when schedules change during testing periods.

Device management customization has been an IT professional’s nightmare…until now.  

Introducing Configurations
Our latest ClassHub update solves this problem with the introduction of Configurations for iOS and macOS devices. ClassHub enables hyper-focused mobile device management (MDM) not offered by other MDM solutions.

The Configurations feature makes it easy for administrators to implement teacher requests for restrictions or permissions on specific classes or devices.

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Under the new Configurations tab in the ClassHub admin portal, administrators can easily save any number of configurations, then apply those configurations to the appropriate classes.

Configurations include restrictions and permissions in addition to a suite of other functionality, like class-specific bookmarks, custom app-notification settings and room-specific printers and Wi-Fi settings.

Administrators can even apply Configurations at the school level. Imagine Wi-Fi settings that auto-apply when a middle school student comes to the high school for an accelerated class.

Using the examples above, an administrator could create one configuration for Mrs. Smith’s class that addresses her wish to have YouTube blocked along with any other apps she wanted enabled or disabled during her classes.

Similarly, the administrator could then quickly create another unique configuration for Mr. Lindon’s class allowing his students access to YouTube during his classes.

No other work needs to be done. The configurations automatically apply when a teacher begins a class using the ClassHub Class Manager. 

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Customizing student settings
What if one of the Mr. Lindon’s third-period biology students, we’ll call him Johnny, consistently used YouTube in a way that was distracting, disruptive or off task?

ClassHub offers educators multiple ways to handle this. Mr. Lindon could simply lock Johnny’s device using the ClassHub Class Manager.

Or, with the new Configurations tool, the school’s administrator could edit Mr. Lindon’s third-period biology class Configuration to disable YouTube on Johnny’s device.

This amendment could last indefinitely or for a certain time period. Problem solved. 

Bottom line: The Configurations tool presents the easiest way for teachers and administrators to coordinate and apply personalized device management settings.

We’re excited to give ClassHub users more great ways to manage student devices.

Request a ClassHub demo today
Want to see how our device management and classroom operations solution, ClassHub, can help teachers and administrators in your school or district do more with mobile devices?

We have a lot to show you, so we better schedule a demo. Oh, and don’t worry about high-pressure sales tactics. That’s not our style. Just details and a demo.

 Schedule a demo      Discover more

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!