EduTech is a new 9to5Mac weekly series that will focus on technology’s application in education, lower and higher level, both for productivity and enjoyment. If you have suggestions for topics or specific questions you’d like to see answered, feel free to let me know. Catch up on past installments here

This special mid-week installment highlights a new app from Squirrels, the company behind AirParrot: 

The developers behind the popular screen sharing software AirParrot have today launched a new app built specifically for use in education. The new app from Squirrels is simply called ClassHub and is a classroom operations platform that “combines collaboration, device management and device monitoring into a single dashboard for teachers.”

Essentially, what ClassHub does is give teachers a central platform to control and view the devices of their students, no matter what platform the student is using. Upon opening ClassHub, teachers will me able to see student device screens, push content and messages to those devices, and more:

  • See student device screens
  • Push content and messages to student devices
  • Lock student devices into a specific app
  • Initiate screen sharing between teacher and student devices
  • Install and remove apps across all devices

There are three components to ClassHub: the teacher dashboard, the IT administrator web portal, and the student device application. The student application is what allows ClassHub to manage student devices and provide a collaborative learning experience for students.

Furthermore, IT administrators use the web portal to manage and view status details for every device in a school or district.

The obvious question here is how it differs from Apple’s own Classroom service. Here’s how Squirrels explained the differences to me:

Apple Classroom is only compatible when students are using certain iPads. ClassHub is compatible with 97% of currently deployed student devices in the U.S.: iPad, iPhone, Chromebook, Surface Pro, Mac and Windows computers.

This is huge because many schools allow students to bring their own devices (BYOD) or use a mix of device types for different classes and grade levels. It’s very common for schools to deploy both iPads and Chromebooks. This would generally force a school to purchase two different device management and monitoring systems. With ClassHub, they only need one.

Additionally, ClassHub is FERPA and SOPIPA compliant, meaning that student data and grades are managed in a secure fashion. Squirrels will also work with each district to ensure compliance with state and local policies.

More details and information about implementation can be found on the ClassHub website.

Check out previous installments of EduTech: