June 20, 2018

Martians, Pizzas and Squirrels, Oh My! What to Expect at ISTE 2018

 

Squirrels Presents ClassHub at ISTE 2018

Squirrels is back at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference & Expo (ISTE) for our sixth consecutive year! ISTE is one of our favorite expos and we can’t wait to sojourn in Chicago next week for all the EdTech goodness. We’re showing off our newest ways to make educators’ lives easier – and a whole lot more fun, too. Here’s what you can expect at ISTE 2018:

1. Learn how to effortlessly collaborate across the entire classroom with our newest product, ClassHub – and demo it in real time. 

Since so many of our friends and teachers love Squirrels education apps like Reflector Teacher, we developed new technology that takes classroom devices to the next level. Enter ClassHub, the solution for mobile device management (MDM) in schools. Stop by booth #2262 to learn how you can share screens, push web pages and monitor an entire classroom of student devices with ClassHub.

We kissed wires, cables and chaos goodbye a long time ago, and we built ClassHub so teachers can too.

Two students and a teacher using ClassHub in a classroom

2. Learn from the brightest and best education experts – Alpha Squirrels are here.

We’re pumped to meet up with our ISTE Alpha Squirrels. Aside from being our biggest fans, Alpha Squirrels are EdTech experts with a whole lot to say. Good news is you’ll find a lot of them sharing their expertise in technology and education resources all around ISTE 2018. Swing by booth #2262 to meet a few and discover why they love what we do.

Speaking of awesome resources for teachers …

3. Is your classroom culture stuffy and worn-out? Wish you could inject it with a healthy dose of creative energy? Try "Pizza, Projects, People."

Teachers, we’ve all been there. Sometimes it’s hard to inspire your students to learn when your classroom seems to do the exact opposite. Your school building may be stuck in the past, but your school culture doesn’t have to be … and Squirrels is here to help.

Join us on Wednesday, June 27, at 8 a.m. in the Skyline Ballroom for Pizza, Projects, People: Create a Startup Culture in Your Classroom to get all the details on how the startup culture used in tech companies can fuel classroom creativity. Amplify the learning process with:

  • Real-world research
  • Practical examples from startup culture award-winners
  • Useful ways to design and reinforce a winning atmosphere for both students and teachers

Presentation: “Pizza, Projects, People: Create a Startup Culture in Your Classroom”

Date: Wednesday, June 27, 8-10 a.m.

Location: Posters; Level 3, Skyline Ballroom Pre-function, Table 13

Presenters: Emily Carle Hafer and Becky Shiring, Squirrels education experts

4. Andy Weir is here to propel leaders in STEM.

You’ve seen “The Martian,” right? The highly praised film starring Matt Damon is based on a novel by Andy Weir – one of the ISTE 2018 keynote presenters! Before writing bestselling novels and source material for Hollywood films, Weir was a software programmer. He’ll talk us through how to successfully fuel and launch students’ curiosity in STEM.

Weir is joined by a slew of fellow keynote speakers who bring connectivity, inclusiveness and creative methodologies to education. Find the full list here.

Catch all the #EdTech awesomeness June 24-27 at #ISTE18 by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

And if you’ll be there in person, remember to stop by and say hello at booth #2262. It’s going to be a great conference – we’re excited to meet you!

April 23, 2018

Should you attend EduTech Asia 2018?

Should You Attend EduTech Asia 2018?

I was inspired. I was motivated.

Everything I want in a conference was everything that EduTech Asia 2017 in Singapore gave me.

The question is: will it inspire you?

I’ve recounted my experience below for anyone who may be uncertain about attending EduTech Asia 2018 this October. I hope my thoughts give you a general idea of what to expect and help you decide if it’s worth the investment. 

Looking back at EduTech Asia 2017

EduTech Asia 2017 was the first conference I attended as a member of the Alpha Squirrels program created by Squirrels. The company helped send me there so I could speak to attendees about student voice and digital citizenship, but my time at the conference became so much more than a speaking opportunity.

What’s EduTech Asia?

EduTech Asia is a three-day conference and exhibition of innovation and technology in education. It gathers educators, EdTech specialists, education leaders and startup leaders from all around the globe to share and explore how technology impacts learning and creates positive changes in education.

That’s standard boilerplate language, but the conference lived up to its billing. I witnessed education enthusiasts sharing and learning from each other to achieve a common goal: bettering education for the world’s youth.

More than a speaking opportunity

Like I said, this was more than a speaking opportunity. I achieved my goal of sharing knowledge with others, but I also acquired knowledge that will benefit me on a professional level for years to come.

EduTech Asia 2017 showcased all that is great in education technology innovation. It was amazing to experience the keynote presentations, panel discussions, roundtables, collaborative EduSlams and innovative on-floor activities.

I was treated to an exciting array of technology products and services on display on the exhibition show floor. I found technology that helps me prepare my students for the future globally competitive and technologically equipped workforce. 

Designed to fit your goals

The conference is constructed in a way that makes it easy to find topics that align with your needs. Attendees can choose between eight tracks designed to provide an in-depth understanding about how technology shapes the following education sectors: 

  • K-12 leaders
  • Tertiary leaders
  • IT leaders
  • Special needs
  • Early years
  • Educational policy
  • Vocational
  • Business leaders

Events and exhibitions included sessions for educators by educators, live demos of the latest innovations and technologies, a tech showcase and startup theatre featuring the latest EdTech deployments in schools, institutions and classrooms, and an AR/VR Zone that demonstrated how this emerging technology is used in the classroom.

Robotics

Want to explore robotics? You're in luck!

The EduTech Asia robotic pavilion hosted mini robotics and coding workshops, as well as the 5th Singapore National CoSpace and RoboMaker Challenges 2017.

Additionally, the IMDA Digital Makerspace provided a series of workshops to nurture a new generation of digital natives with a passion to create with technology.

Looking forward to EduTech Asia 2018

EduTech Asia 2018 returns to Singapore Oct. 8-11 where a ton of talented educators and EdTech coaches will be on hand to share stories and expertise with attendees.

Connect with me on Twitter, and be sure to look me up if you decide to go. I look forward to meeting you and swapping education adventures.

Raymond Mitchel Africa is a Middle Years Programme (MYP) science teacher at an international school in Xiamen, China, and a member of the Alpha Squirrel program

February 13, 2018

Squirrels Team Connects with Local Educators at OETC

Squirrels has covered a lot of ground in the last month.  

FETC: ✔

TCEA: ✔

Up next…the Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC) in Columbus, Ohio. 

We're making the quick two-hour drive from our North Canton offices for our fifth OETC experience. OETC is one of our favorite conferences of the year because it gives us a chance to catch up with our local Alpha Squirrels, share our latest technology and meet tons of hard-working Ohio educators.

What to see at OETC

Our Reflector software will be on display as usual, but you may notice a few differences – like the ability to screen peek and screenshot connected devices. That’s because we recently launched an education-streamlined version of Reflector called Reflector Teacher.  

Reflector Teacher is specially optimized for teachers and students for fast and reliable screen-mirroring in the classroom. Teachers can wirelessly display student devices on the big screen for the whole class to see. 

ClassHub is a device management and monitoring solution that allows teachers to maximize every moment their students spend with technology. With a suite of easy-to-use tools that keep class on track and engaged, educators can accomplish their number one objective: prepare students for future success.

Attending OETC with your district admins? Bring them by our booth -- we're happy to show you how to put ClassHub to work in your school. Contact us for more information.

Who to see at OETC

No conference is complete without sessions from members of our team and from our certified Alpha Squirrels. Be sure to check out these OETC sessions:

Tuesday, February 13

Keven Rinaman
3D Printing in the classroom
3 – 4 p.m.
B240-241

Wednesday, February 14

Becky Shiring
Emily Carle Hafer
Pizza, Projects, People: Create a Startup Culture in Your School
8 – 9 a.m.
A215

You know the drill, educators. Visit booth 235 for all your student device mirroring, monitoring and managing needs! OH – IO!

November 8, 2017

Squirrels Team Attends Georgia Educational Technology Conference

The temperatures are dropping, and that means one thing –  the Squirrels team is headed south for the winter.

Okay, not really. But members of our team are traveling south this week to exhibit at the 30th annual Georgia Educational Technology Conference (GaETC) in Atlanta.

Technology coordinators, media specialists, district administrators, superintendents and more will have the opportunity to learn about the latest in education technology and understand how technology plays a key role in education. And most of all, the more than 4,200 education professionals in attendance can join Squirrels to learn how to easily monitor and manage the wide range of student devices used in their schools (booth 733). Sounds enticing, right?

GaETC is dedicated to professional development of educators and gives attendees access to more than 250 concurrent sessions, nationally-known speakers, workshops focusing on the latest in technology innovations and over 200 exhibitors. 

What are some sessions that should be on your radar?
We’ve got a few in mind from our director of professional development, Becky Shiring, and certified Alpha Squirrels. Check out the session details below. Plus, our friend Leslie Fisher presents 12 times. View her session details here.

Wednesday, November 10
David Lockhart
What if We Ran Our Schools Like Google?
11 – 11:55 a.m.
Italian 1-2

The Best Setup…Googlifying Your Apple Device
1:30 – 2:25 p.m.
Kenyan 1-2

Super Spark: Tools To Start the Fire
4:30 – 5:25 p.m.
Gulfstream I

Thursday, November 9
Katrina Keene
BYODigital Leadership: Building a Grade A Culture
8 – 8:55 a.m.
Swiss 1-2

Leadership Discussion Panel – Interoperability
11- 11:55 a.m.
Salon 6

David Lockhart
Become Future Ready! Start Coding Today!
11 – 11:55 a.m.
Salon 7

The Wallet Killer Gadget Extravaganza
3:15 – 4:10 p.m.
Salon 7

The 5 Steps to Blend that Classroom Up
4:30 – 5:25 p.m.
Salon 7

Becky Shiring
Rethinking Assessment: Digital Tools to Engage, Assess and Differentiate
3:15 – 4:10 p.m.
Room Swiss 3-4

Friday, November 10
David Lockhart
Become Future Ready! Start Coding Today!
9:45 – 10:40 a.m.
Australian 3-4

Ready to talk EdTech with the Squirrels team? Stop by booth 733!

GaETC 2017
November 8 – 10
Georgia International Convention Center
Atlanta, Georgia
Booth #733

July 11, 2017

That’s a Wrap! Our ISTE 2017 and EdTech Karaoke Roundup

We spend plenty of time planning and prepping for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference and Expo, and for good reason! ISTE is the largest education technology conference in the United States, providing 21,000 attendees with access to workshops, sessions, keynotes and nearly 500 exhibitors. It’s hard to believe this was our fifth time exhibiting.

Our fifth experience as an exhibitor was unforgettable. We wanted to thank you all for the memories and share our key takeaways. 

Here are six points to note about ISTE 2017:

  1. ISTE continues to grow every year! The number of educators from ISTE 2016 to ISTE 2017 grew from 16,000 educators to 21,000 educators – and it showed! The expo hall was packed with educators ready to learn, connect and discover everything and everyone in the EdTech world. This enthusiasm is what makes ISTE a can’t-miss event for exhibitors like Squirrels.
  2. The expo hall had a variety of products – there wasn’t just one that ruled the floor. ISTE had it all - from device-management solutions and interactive whiteboards, to cases for student devices and flexible seating.
  3. EdTech Karaoke is VERY important to us. So much so that we were one of the main sponsors this year. More on that in a minute.

DDXrPFJUMAAi0XZ.jpg

  1. Putting together and taking down our tree booth will always be taxing, but it’s a great team-building exercise….literally! How could moving 800 pounds of wooden walls for 10 hours not bring our team closer together?

image_uploaded_from_ios_720.jpg

  1. Our Alpha Squirrel EdTech experts ROCK! We were lucky enough to connect and meet with more than 30 Alpha Squirrel educators who use and love our classroom products. If any of you stopped by our booth, you may have seen one or two of them presenting with our COO, Andrew Gould, or our Director of Professional Development, Becky Shiring.

IMG_6121.jpg

  1. The Squirrels team loves Mexican food, and Texas has some of the best. We hosted our second annual Alpha Squirrel Social at the Iron Cactus, located along the San Antonio River Walk. The margaritas were cold, the queso was hot and the company was delightful.

EdTech Karaoke 2017

Remember when we said that we were a sponsor for EdTech Karaoke? It was certainly a night to remember as our team serenaded the theater with “Sweet Caroline,” did an EdTech Karaoke Twitter takeover and threw stress-ball microphones into the crowd. Our singing may be out of tune and our aim might be off, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time!

DC8rEe2V0AAq41j.jpg-large.jpg

EdTech Karaoke Winner Interview

EdTech Karaoke isn’t just for fun. A champion is crowned. We were lucky enough to speak with the winner from the night, Susan Grigsby. Grigsby is the District Media Specialist from Forsyth County Schools in Atlanta.

DDYWDsoUIAADWA2.jpg

We actually knew her before she was karaoke-famous because earlier that day, she stopped by to check out an in-booth presentation on our awesome new device-management solution. Talk about a brush with greatness.

Grigsby started out the competition with her rendition of “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi and won with the crowd favorite, “Proud Mary,” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Good move, Susan. Good move.

Turns out this wasn’t her first time at ISTE, and it wasn’t her first time singing at EdTech Karaoke either.

“I’ve been coming to ISTE since 2014,” Grigsby said.

When asked if she has been singing at EdTech Karaoke since 2014, Grigsby responded modestly and with a smile, “I sang in 2014, yes.”

But, she didn’t just sing in 2014, she also won that year. Clearly Susan is no rookie when it comes to EdTech Karaoke. So how does this new accomplishment make her feel?

“It feels amazing! I’m going to Disney World,” Grigsby said.

Grigsby may be going to Disney World, but her EdTech Karaoke title also won her a trip to ISTE 2018 in Chicago. All the best, Susan, and we’ll see you there!

Stay tuned for our next big conference (or EdTech Karaoke) adventure. Until then, enjoy all the songs performed at EdTech Karaoke – ISTE 2017 edition -- with this Spotify playlist.

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!