April 19, 2016

Optimize Reflector 2 for the Classroom

We’re proud to say that Reflector 2 is now in more than 100,000 classrooms across the world! Educators use it as an affordable way to quickly, conveniently and wirelessly display mobile devices to larger screens in the classroom.

What often gets overlooked is that there are certain Reflector 2 settings educators can take advantage of to make it ideal for the classroom. The following is a list of settings that will optimize our Reflector 2 screen-mirroring technology for use in any classroom environment.

Broadcast Name
Since Reflector 2 runs on the teacher’s Mac or Windows computer, the teacher should change the Reflector 2 Broadcast Name to his or her name. This will allow the students to easily identify the appropriate computer to connect their mobile devices.

Example: Instead of naming the computer “Computer 1314" or using the teacher’s first name, use something more specific like “Mrs. Smith’s Computer."

Click the Reflector 2 icon near your computer’s clock and then click on the gear wheel in the bottom right corner to access Reflector 2 preferences. After that, click “General.” From there, you can edit your computer’s Broadcast Name.

Reflector 2 Classroom Optimization

Show Client Name
We recommend you set the “Show Client Name” option to “Always.” When a student or teacher connects a mobile device (such as an iPad, iPhone, Android device, Chromebook or Surface Pro) to Reflector 2, the device name will appear and stay on the computer screen. This will show the teacher which students are connected and displaying content to Reflector 2.

Go to Preferences> General > Show Client Name > Always

Connection preferences
We recommend that teachers change the connection preference to “Connect and Hide.” When this preference is turned on, a device will not be automatically shown on the screen when it connects to Reflector 2. The teacher can choose to show or hide each device from the Reflector 2 control panel. Turning “Connect and Hide” on prevents students and other teachers from interrupting class by displaying their device on the big screen when it isn't meant to be displayed.

Go to Preferences > Connection > On Connection > Connect and Hide Device

Enable AirPlay and Cast Connections
We recommended that teachers enable both AirPlay and Google Cast device connections in Reflector 2. Enabling AirPlay connections allows students with iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch devices to connect to Reflector 2. Enabling Google Cast connections allows students using Chromebooks and most Android devices to connect.

Students using Surface Pros must download AirParrot 2 onto their Surface tablet since Surface Pros do not have AirPlay or Cast technology built in. AirParrot 2 adds AirPlay and Cast technology to Surface Pros to enable wireless streaming and mirroring to Reflector 2, Apple TV or Chromecast.

Go to Preferences > Advanced > AirPlay/Google Cast > Enabled

Set Reflector to “Always on top”
This setting will automatically place your mirrored devices on top of all other open windows and applications.

Go to Preferences > General > Click “Always on top”

Director and Student - “Allow to discover this device” 
Reflector Director ($6.99) and Reflector Student (free) are our Reflector 2 companion apps.

  • Reflector Director is an app that turns a teacher’s iPad or iPhone into a remote for Reflector 2. Teachers can access the Reflector 2 controls from their mobile device. This allows them to walk around the room while remaining in control of Reflector 2 rather than being anchored at the computer.
  • Reflector Student is an app for student iPads and iPhones. It shows students the same Reflector 2 display that the teacher sees on the computer. It also provides connectivity alternatives for schools with restrictive networks.

There are two steps for this one:

  1. Go to Preferences > Director > “Allow to discover”
  2. Go to Preferences > Student > “Allow to discover”
August 27, 2015

Teach Like an Alpha Squirrel

Become an Alpha Squirrel at alpha.airsquirrels.com!

It’s no secret. Educators are some of our most devoted and passionate customers. We hear from teachers every day about how they use our screen-mirroring technology to connect classroom devices and enhance the student learning experience. That's why we're excited to announce our new Alpha Squirrels leadership program for educators.

The Alpha Squirrels program will allow educators who love our products to spread the word as certified Squirrels product experts. This advocacy program gives Alpha Squirrels members exclusive access to:

  • Squirrels-sponsored conference attendance
  • Squirrels-sponsored conference speaking engagements
  • Unreleased Squirrels products
  • Squirrels welcome package – T-Shirt, coffee mug/tumbler, sticky notes, water bottle, headphones, pens, pencils, etc.
  • Opportunities to appear in video interviews
  • Free AirParrot 2 and Reflector 2 licenses
  • Alpha Squirrels member certificate
  • “Alpha Squirrel” signature badges for Twitter, Facebook and email
  • Product training, press kits and talking points
  • Chance to visit Squirrels Headquarters
  • Alpha Squirrels features on the Squirrels blog, Instagram and Twitter
  • On-demand interaction with Squirrels product designers and managers

Become an Alpha Squirrel at alpha.airsquirrels.com!Our Alpha Squirrels will become product experts on the Squirrels suite of products – Reflector 2, Reflector Director, Reflector Student and AirParrot 2 – to help fellow educators improve their classroom technology solutions. It is our goal to empower Alpha Squirrels to elevate their status as EdTech experts, share knowledge within their professional network and support the Squirrels community.

We’re ready to find our Alpha Squirrels. If you’re an educator committed to EdTech or Squirrels products, you just might be one of them. For more information, visit alpha.airsquirrels.com or give us a call at 1-855-207-0927. Or, fill out the nomination form to become one of the world’s first Alpha Squirrels!

August 24, 2015

Introducing Reflector Student

Our latest advancement in screen-mirroring technology allows students to use their iPads and iPhones to see their teacher’s computer screen in real time. It also provides new connection methods in schools with restrictive networks. Oh yes, teacher friends. We’re excited about it, too.

Reflector Student is a free Reflector 2 companion app that runs on each student’s
iOS device. The app wirelessly communicates with the Reflector 2 software running on the teacher’s computer to display a live look at the teacher’s screen on every connected student device.

Reflector Student decreases classroom reliance on SMART boards and projectors and enables schools to get more out of their Reflector Student Pairing Optionsmobile devices. Students can now view the same websites, videos, peer work and presentations displayed on the big screen in the palm of their hands. This reduces the strain on students with visibility issues. It also allows teachers to show students what’s happening on their classmates’ screens.

The Reflector Student app acts as a workaround for schools that experience Reflector 2 connectivity problems. It should resolve issues for schools that host their student and teacher devices on separate networks. New Reflector 2 connection methods include:

  • Bluetooth discovery
  • Quick Connect Codes™
  • iOS camera linking

We know educators are always looking for the latest and greatest technology to keep their classrooms ahead of the curve. That’s why we’re constantly working on new screen-mirroring solutions to bring to your students.

Stay tuned for more updates. As always, feel free to offer suggestions or feedback in the comment section below. We love to hear from our friends and fans!

Click here for more information about Reflector Student.

Reflector Student

August 19, 2015

Reflector 2 Adds Live YouTube Streaming

YouTube is the online pinnacle of the video world. Tutorials, pranks, Vine compilations, music videos, talk show segments, lectures, GoPro footage, cat clips, documentaries and the list goes on and on and on. Today, we’re adding mobile device live streaming to that list.

Reflector 2 is the world’s first wireless screen-mirroring technology to enable live YouTube streaming. Anything that is displayed on your iPhone, iPad, Android device, Chromebook or Surface tablet can be instantly streamed to YouTube when connected to Reflector 2.

We know what you’re thinking. “That’s cool, but what does it mean for me?”

Stream-Your-Screen-Image

Education

Teachers can instantly stream a classroom presentation from their mobile device to a live YouTube audience. The YouTube audience can hear what the teacher is saying and see the same content the classroom is viewing from the teacher’s mobile device. Sorry, kids. Being sick is no longer an excuse to miss the lesson.

Gaming

Uploading gameplay footage to YouTube is one of the latest gaming trends. Now gamers can do it live. The Reflector 2 YouTube live stream feature allows gamers to interact with their audience and put their skills on display to mobile gaming enthusiasts in real time. Yeah, we’re looking at you, Clash of Clans and Game of War fanatics.

Business/Tech/Cat Lady

Business pros can now use Reflector 2 to live stream presentations from their mobile devices to partners across the world. Tech enthusiasts and app reviewers can provide immediate demonstrations and feedback to their audiences. And yes, if absolutely necessary, that crazy cat lady in everyone’s life can instantly stream a video of Mittens the kitten trying to climb the stairs. Ah, the possibilities are endless.

Extras

Additional Reflector 2 updates include:

  • Webcam streaming to YouTube - Reflector 2 now supports webcam display alongside mirrored devices! This allows audiences to see a physical object or the presenter’s face during a presentation or YouTube Live broadcast. Users can even record instructional videos that include the webcam and mirrored devices.
  • Recording bar - We moved voice-over controls, recording, broadcasting and webcam controls to an easy-to-find, centralized bar in the Reflector 2 menu. Now everything you need is in one, consistent place.
  • Voice-over volume support - You can now adjust the voice-over volume via a slider in "recordings." Additionally, our recording engine (which is majorly improved) will respect whatever the device volume level is set to when saving recordings.

We’ve had a busy summer here at Squirrels. Reflector Director, ScreenToss, Reflector 2.1 and AirParrot updates have hit the market. We hope you love them as much as we do. Stay tuned for more to come.

July 16, 2015

5 Big Security Features in Reflector 2

We developed Reflector 2 to bring the most robust screen-mirroring technology on the market to a diverse global audience. Reflector is now compatible with Android and Chromebook devices in addition to its original iOS support. But, as Peter Parker’s uncle once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

We knew it was time to step up our security game as we advanced our screen-mirroring capabilities. Any tech company, no matter its size, is responsible for ensuring the security of the people who enjoy its products.

Reflector 2 provides the following security options to bring privacy to your screen-mirroring experience and prevent unwanted connections.

    1. On-screen password protection – Reflector 2 can populate a unique, on-screen code that’s required for other devices to connect to it. Since the code appears on-screen, only those in the same area as the Reflector 2 user will be able to see it.

      Security Preferences for Reflector Reflector 2 has a number of security features to prevent unwanted connections.

    2. Set password – Have you ever wanted to use your grandma’s birthday as a password? How about your first pet’s name, or the street you grew up on? Go for it. Reflector 2 users can create their own passwords. Every mobile device that tries to connect to Reflector 2 must enter the user-generated password.
    3. Connection prompts – Users have the ability to set connection preferences before devices are shown. Reflector 2 can automatically “Connect and Hide,” “Connect and Show,” or ‘Disconnect” devices upon connection. These preferences can be saved for future use.

Tech Tip: “Connect and Show” doubles as a time-saving benefit in classroom and business settings because it allows students or colleagues to connect without interruption.

  1. Accessibility presets – Reflector 2 can turn off Google Cast or iOS connections entirely. For instance, users can eliminate the Google Cast connection option if they know only iOS devices will be connecting and vice versa.
  2. Reflector Director screen previews – The Reflector 2 companion app allows users to see screen previews of each connected device before broadcasting the screen to a larger audience. The screen preview feature works as a content filter to ensure that nothing inappropriate or unsavory will be shown. Previews can be viewed and selected directly from the iOS device Reflector Director is installed on.

Security has always been a moving target. As privacy demands evolve, so will we. We are confident that the steps we have taken will provide you with a private, worry-free Reflector 2 experience.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.


* On-screen password protection and user-generated password options are not available for connected Android devices because Google Cast does not support password functionality.

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!