September 19, 2017

How to Save on ClassHub: PledgeCents Edition

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

Squirrels LLC partnered with PledgeCents, an education fundraising organization, to help educational entities raise money to bring technology to classrooms nationwide. This technology includes our ClassHub student device management solution and much more.

Teachers and education professionals can also raise money to purchase our student device screen-mirroring solutions: ReflectorAirParrot and AirParrot for Chrome OS.

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What is PledgeCents?

PledgeCents is a fundraising organization that helps streamline the process of getting technology into classrooms. PledgeCents makes classroom funding simple and eliminates teachers’ out-of-pocket expenses. So far, PledgeCents has served more than 650,000 students and has raised more than $1.2 million toward educational opportunities for students and teachers.

Teachers that are looking for new classroom collaboration tools or other screen-mirroring solutions can use PledgeCents to crowd source instead of relying on minimal school budgets or out-of-pocket funds. 

The more proactively teachers share their personalized fundraising page on Facebook, Twitter, etc., the more people can learn about their education need and invest in the campaign. When fundraising is over, PledgeCents sends the check directly to their school or organization so they can proceed with the purchasing process of the selected vendor. 

 

 

Here's a look at some of the benefits for creating a fundraising page with PledgeCents. PledgeCents:

  • Is PreK-12 focused
  • Connects you with philanthropists and businesses that offer matching opportunities to gain more support for fundraising pages
  • Allows members to keep what they’ve raised even if the goal wasn’t met
  • Allows educators decide what tools and solutions best fit their needs and which vendor to purchase them from

Want to bring Reflector 2, AirParrot 2, AirParrot for Chrome OS or ClassHub to your classroom? Here’s how to start fundraising for Squirrels products with PledgeCents:

First, read more about Squirrels, our products and our pricing plan in the PledgeCents Marketplace. (Note: Please contact us if you’re interested in ClassHub and mention that you’d like to start fundraising).

Then, simply create a fundraising page, share your story and start raising money toward your classroom technology needs!

Want to learn more about the PledgeCents process? Discover how educators already use PledgeCents for fundraising efforts.

Click here to begin sharing your story and raising money toward our classroom solutions, or contact the Squirrels sales team for more information about purchasing ClassHub or other Squirrels education technology.

September 15, 2017

Classroom Collaboration Tools You Should Know About for the 2017-2018 School Year


Collaboration is an essential ingredient to education. We're here to tell you about a couple education technology tools you should definitely know about (with reasons why) if you want to boost collaboration in your classroom in the 2017-2018 school year.

Must have collaboration tools for the 2017 - 2018 school year

(Psst...Short on time? Jump to the bottom of this post to access a free webinar about guiding instruction and promoting collaboration with tech. Watch it now or later.

Imagine two classroom scenarios:

Scenario one
You want students to complete work on their iPads or Chromebooks and show the rest of the class how they came to their solution. But instead of the whole class being able to easily see their work, you all have to huddle around tiny iPad and Chromebook screens.

Everyone squints and strains to see the screen. Or, students have to shuttle their devices to the front of the room to manually plug in. Time is wasted. Students are distracted. 

Either way, the group collaboration effort falls flat.

Sound familiar?

Scenario two
While your students are working on classroom devices, a few of them venture onto Facebook, YouTube or any other distracting website or app.

Attention and focus is lost, and the most valuable finite resource in education -- learning time -- has been wasted. 

Does this one sound familiar, too?

Education tools for the 2017-2018 school year

Two must-have EdTech tools will turn these problems into nothing more than bad memories.

Reflector 2
Instead of straining your eyes toward the 9.7-inch iPad screen to see how students solved a problem, use the Reflector classroom screen-mirroring app to wirelessly share their work on the big screen with the entire class. Better yet, share (or record) any number of student devices with the class simultaneously, regardless of the device they are using.

How it works
Reflector is downloaded on a teacher’s Mac or Windows computer. iOS, Chromebook and Android devices can wirelessly display on the Reflector-enabled computer. Most teachers connect their computer to a projector or interactive whiteboard while running Reflector so the entire class can see what is happening on any wirelessly connected mobile device. Better yet, students don’t need any additional software downloaded onto their devices. They connect using native Cast or AirPlay technology that’s already built into the devices. Connecting is simple!

Reflector gives students a sense of pride in their work by showing it on the “big screen.” Teachers can actively connect the class, engage students and promote idea sharing by showing work side-by-side, letting students compete in activities and even doing a student/teacher demo. It’s a win-win situation.

ClassHub
If students are on Facebook or a distracting app instead of working on an assigned task - no biggie! ClassHub allows teachers to monitor what students are doing on their devices, gauge progress, identify problem-solving techniques and limit distractions.

The best part about ClassHub? There is so much more to this device management solution than just monitoring student devices. You might be surprised to know that ClassHub lets you:

  • Push content from your computer to one or all student devices in the classroom
  • Share student screens with the entire class
  • Lock students into applications
  • Install and remove applications on student devices
  • Open web URLs on student devices
  • Send alerts

All these features combined create a powerful, robust solution for teachers and administrators to make the most out of classroom technology.

Oh, and remember when we said that Reflector works with a wide variety of classroom devices? So does ClassHub! In fact, ClassHub works with 97% of common classroom devices including iOS, macOS, Windows and Chrome OS. And that's good because schools use many different devices in today's classrooms. 

Want to improve classroom collaboration in the 2017-2018 school year? Click on the image below to watch our 5 Fresh Ways To Use Reflector In The Classroom webinar. You'll get tips and tricks from the most innovative educators using Reflector. 

Reflector collaboration technology for education


Interested in ClassHub?
Contact us today. We'll personally give you a guided tour of the ClassHub device management solution. 

September 12, 2017

How to Save on ClassHub: Greater Ozarks Cooperating School Districts Edition

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

Squirrels LLC partnered with the Greater Ozarks Cooperating School Districts (GOCSD) to offer members a discount on the ClassHub student device 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 GOCSD members.

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What is the GOCSD?

The GOCSD is an organization that’s made up of 47 districts in the Ozarks region of southwest Missouri and serves more than 100,000 students.

The GOCSD increases educational opportunities for students served at all levels within the Ozarks. The GOCSD promotes a variety of resources to member school districts that help education professionals improve learning for students.

The GOCSD is also committed to:

  • Connecting education professionals in the Ozarks
  • Researching and sharing best educational practices
  • Representing the needs of students and communities at a regional, state and national level
  • Celebrating the work of educators
  • Being agile, flexible and open to new ideas
  • Providing high-quality professional development
  • Advocating for academic excellence

How to save on ClassHub and become a GOCSD member
To become a member of the GOCSD, you must be a school district within the counties that are served under its jurisdiction. For more information on becoming a member contact the GOCSD professional learning coordinator.

If ClassHub, Reflector, AirParrot or AirParrot for Chrome OS fit the needs of your district, the GOCSD will put you in contact with a Squirrels account executive who will guide you through our purchasing process.

For more information on the GOCSD, visit https://greaterozarkscsd.org or contact the Squirrels sales team for more information on purchasing ClassHub or other Squirrels solutions. 

September 5, 2017

How Schools Save on ClassHub: Southwest Center for Educational Excellence 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 Southwest Center for Educational Excellence (SWC) to offer members a discount on the ClassHub student device 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 SWC members.

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What is SWC?

SWC is a service-oriented organization located in Webb City, Missouri that aims to improve educational outcomes and promote student success by providing resources and professional development to member districts.

The board of directors, member teachers and curriculum specialists are committed to finding the right solutions, services and professional development opportunities for the school districts part of the SWC.

Here are a few of the many services the SWC provides:

  • Programs to meet the needs of member school districts
  • On-going professional development through a variety of methods, including workshops, trainings and conferences
  • Funding options to support curriculum, instruction and assessment
  • Opportunities to attend and present at local, state and national conferences
  • Networking opportunities
  • Needs assessments of all member districts

All programs and services delivered through the consortium are based on local educational needs.

How to save on ClassHub and become an SWC member

The SWC works with 48 school districts and three higher education institutions and serves more than 48,000 students and 4,500 educators.

To become a member of the SWC, you must be in a school district served by the counties under its jurisdiction. Contact the SWC directly for any questions regarding membership.

If ClassHub, Reflector, AirParrot or AirParrot for Chrome OS fit the needs of your district, the SWC will put you in contact with an account executive who will guide you through the purchasing process.

For more information on the Southwest Center for Educational Excellence visit southwestcenter.org or contact the Squirrels sales team for more information on purchasing ClassHub or other Squirrels solutions. 

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.

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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.

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!