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

Stream Your Screen to Win Big with Squirrels

Reflector 2 now includes live YouTube streaming for mobile devices. To celebrate, we’re giving away a $150 Amazon gift card and a basket full of Squirrels swag.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on,” you say.

It’s true. The latest free Reflector 2 update allows users to wirelessly stream content from smart phones and mobile devices to YouTube in real time. Presentations, meetings, videos, photo streams, webcam sessions, mobile gameplay and more can instantly be live streamed to YouTube. You can now use Reflector 2 to reach a global audience at the push of a button.

“Yeah, that’s cool, but how do I win the prize?”

Ah, right.

To enter the Stream Your Screen Facebook contest, simply live stream a video from your smart phone or tablet to YouTube using Reflector 2. Remember, you can stream anything you want – a slideshow, video from your mobile device camera, gameplay, a lecture – anything. Then, submit the YouTube video link with a short description on our Stream Your Screen contest page.

Stream-Your-Screen-Header

We’ll be awarding the prize to the video with the most votes, so don’t forget to tell all your friends and family to vote for you.

To start streaming with Reflector 2, simply connect your mobile device or devices to Reflector 2 and click the “Broadcast” button in the app. This will create a live feed of all of your connected devices to a global or private audience on YouTube.

To see your Live Events and find your video link in YouTube, go to "Creator Studio" and click "Video Manager" on the left side of the screen. Then select "Live Events." Post your video link onto our Facebook contest page to enter.

We’re always trying to expand our services to bring our fans the best possible screen-mirroring solutions. We hope you enjoy our latest version of Reflector 2. Have fun, and happy streaming!

To enter the contest, visit the Stream Your Screen Facebook contest page.

Learn more about YouTube live streaming with Reflector 2.

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.

August 7, 2015

How Technology Yields Higher Student Engagement

The addition of technology in the modern classroom has opened up an incredible amount of opportunities to increase student engagement... although there are a few skeptics. In fact, some teachers might argue that technology and its many distractions are resulting in less student engagement. But don't count tech out just yet! By appropriately utilizing technology throughout the learning process, students can become more involved in their education than ever before.

Technology gives students more opportunities to work with their peers.

While group work and partner projects are a staple in most classrooms, that's where the collaboration stops. However, with technology, students don’t have to be in the same room to work together, let alone the same building. Tools like Google Docs/Sheets/Slides, forums and wikis let students work together, comment on each other's work and share ideas from anywhere they have internet access.

Technology provides (seemingly) unlimited visuals.

Visuals help clarify and solidify information. Instead of trying to paint a picture through imagery, technology allows students to see and experience ideas firsthand. Technology offers unlimited opportunities for students to put an image to content through image searching, PowerPoint, idea mapping and more.

Technology makes it easier to connect to the real world.

Students are no longer interested in only reading from textbooks, memorizing slides and remembering tedious tidbits of information. They want to be involved in the lesson and shown how the content they're learning makes real life connections in their world. With technology, students have videos, webcams and news resources to connect with the world around them. This makes it easier to apply class material to what is relevant in their lives.

Technology offers a variety of opportunities.

Giving students different ways to show understanding gives them more creativity, freedom and usually yields better results. Technology unleashes their potential by giving them a multitude of platforms to show off their skills. Whether they are blogging, making a video, creating a PowerPoint or designing virtual field trips, pairing technology with projects just makes sense.

The bottom line

Give your students something to remember! Think back to when you were in school; do you remember the information from the hundreds (maybe thousands) of notecards you flipped through, or do you remember the information from the labs and activities you were involved in? Utilize the technology in your environment to enhance student learning, get them moving and create meaningful memories!

Have any stories about technology increasing student engagement in your classroom? Share in the comments below!

June 23, 2015

5 Things You Need to Know at ISTE 2015

More than 17,000 education professionals and edtech thought leaders are set to visit the City of Brotherly Love next week. That can only mean one thing: ISTE 2015 is finally upon us.

The largest edtech conference and expo of the year has something for every attendee. Educators will discover how to infuse their classroom with the latest, trendiest learning technologies from the most revered names in education. But where do you begin? 

A conference this large can be a little daunting, so we’ve compiled the following tips to help make your experience as valuable as possible:

  1. ISTE is a marathon – don’t sprint!
    The first morning of ISTE is like opening day for the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Everyone is eager to become immersed in the most comprehensive edtech conference on the planet. So many vendor displays to visit. So many old friends to catch up with. So many great presentations to attend. It can be dizzying and, eventually, exhausting. Much like Phillies fans after the big game, you’ll be ready to pass out after day one at ISTE if you don’t pace yourself. 

    Make a schedule or game plan before you arrive. This will help you manage all of your to-do items. Remember that you don’t have to accomplish everything in one day. That would be like trying to see all of Disney World in a day. It’s just not possible. You will have plenty of time to visit the vendors, socialize and see quality presentations to get the most out of your ISTE experience.

  2. The tool must always be secondary to the goal
    You will come across a lot of cool new tools during your time at ISTE, but not all of them will be a good fit for your classroom. Incorporating new technology without a corresponding plan for its use in the classroom can negatively impact the student learning environment. It’s important to know exactly how you’re going to implement a new piece of technology, how it will interact with other classroom technologies and how it will yield value to your students. Doing a little research and planning before you purchase new classroom tech will ensure that you are effectively managing your class time and school budget.
  3. Stay hydrated
    This sounds like a no brainer, but it really is a big deal. Do you live life by the coffee-in-the-morning, beer-in-the-evening philosophy? That could be problematic at ISTE. We recommend bringing a refillable water bottle to keep yourself feeing awake, refreshed and healthy during the day. 
  4. Think socially
    Utilize the social media outlets at your disposal to get the most out of your ISTE experience. Industry professionals in attendance will flood the social sphere with ISTE dialogue on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can’t be everywhere at once, but your fellow ISTE attendees will be in all of the other great sessions and presentations you can’t attend.

    Curate a list of hashtags (#ISTE2015 and #edtech) to follow all of the action. Social media is a great way to pick up speaker quotes, tech innovations, best practices and event details that you would otherwise miss.

  5. Meet new people
    This one is simple, but it might be the most important. ISTE gives you the opportunity to become absorbed in an education culture with thousands of like-minded professionals. Take the time to get to know some of them. If you are going to ISTE with colleagues, make a conscious effort to split up from time to time. You can learn a lot from interacting with peers. Their experiences become your experiences, and you just might make a lifelong connection.

Good luck at #ISTE2015! Check out what Squirrels is giving away at the conference this year (hint: it’s iPads).

Let us know about some of your memorable ISTE experiences in the comments section! What do you enjoy most about ISTE?

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!