HoverCam brings full next-gen learning platform to ISTE 2019

HoverCam, a provider of innovative, interactive, and engaging education solutions, will demonstrate its full hardware and software learning platform for digital classrooms in Booth 2144 at the International Society for Technology in Education Conference (ISTE), June 23-26 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The company will feature its Pilot Series of award-winning digital teaching stations; next-gen document cameras; and the debut of ClassFusion, a presentation and learning management software platform for today’s digital classrooms.

“When it comes to technology in the classroom, there’s still a lot of chaos and complexity restricting success,” said Ji Shen, CEO of HoverCam. “HoverCam strives to break this cycle by building reliable solutions that make operation not only intuitive and simple but also impactful for students. At ISTE 2019, attendees will have the first chance to experience ClassFusion, our next-generation software platform. It builds on our philosophy by offering an all-in-one solution that puts resources, lesson plans, lecture capture, and so much more right at teachers’ fingertips to create a learning environment for students that’s simple, mobile, and collaborative. On the hardware side, our industry-leading document cameras and award-winning Pilot digital teaching station series give educators more freedom to engage face-to-face with their pupils.”

At ISTE 2019, attendees will have the opportunity to see a live demonstration of ClassFusion, HoverCam’s new, comprehensive software platform for 21st-century, fully digital classrooms. ClassFusion is one of the first software solutions that integrates a classroom presentation system with a learning management system. Designed for wireless and interactive collaboration in a multidevice ecosystem classroom, ClassFusion features dynamic lesson and notes capture; a lesson plan builder with access to a database of over 4 million resources matched to the curriculum; teachers’ calendars; space-saving, vector-based lesson recording to the cloud; enhanced whiteboarding with smart tools including handwriting and object recognition; online homework submission and student messaging; Hopscotch multisplit; and more.

The Pilot X, the mobile addition to HoverCam’s Pilot series, is a tablet-based, battery-operated, wireless digital teaching station that’s designed for ultra-mobility. The tablet can be charged while docked in the station or be removed to grant teachers more flexibility around the classroom. At the end of day, users simply remove the tablet and store it in the base for security. Pilot X offers connectivity options similar to the award-winning Pilot 3, the world’s first fully integrated wireless digital teaching station, which will also be on display at ISTE 2019. Both models feature a Windows® PC and 13-megapixel document camera, with Pilot 3 boasting a 21-inch multi-touchscreen with wireless HD mirroring functionality in a mobile podium. The Pilot series eliminates outdated AV carts, combining the most important elements used in today’s digital classrooms. Teachers are unchained from stationary desks or lecterns and are free to move about the classroom. The Pilot series’ wireless transceivers instantly beam the teaching station’s screen and touch annotations to any interactive flat panel, projector, or TV in uncompressed 1080p HD resolution, eliminating the hazard of dangling cords and cables.

Also on display will be the latest models from the company’s industry-leading line of document cameras. Redefining document cameras for the classroom, HoverCam’s Ultra 10 is a powerhouse loaded with options to fit every teacher’s needs. Featuring a 7.1-inch capacitive touchscreen, true 4K HDMI output, and a 16-megapixel sensor, and driven by a powerful Android computer, the Ultra 10 is the ultimate document camera and is ideal for remote learning. The built-in multitouch viewing monitor allows educators to see exactly what their students see without having to turn their backs. Users can connect a display, IFP, or projector — via wired HDMI or a wireless 4K transmitter without a PC — to easily record lessons, capture vibrant images, and show live video in 4K clarity. The Solo 8 Plus is a lightweight and compact document camera with a 13-megapixel lens that captures vibrant images and live video with clarity up to 4K; supports 1080p full HD video recording; and provides connectivity with iPads®, all powered through one USB 3.0 cable.

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5 ways augmented reality apps are changing the game

Augmented reality has been one of higher ed’s big buzzwords for a number of years, but it’s not until just fairly recently that institutions have used the technology in practical ways. Now, higher-ed augmented reality apps are having a moment that extends past the novelty of Pokemon Go–and K-12 could take some of those lessons into its own classrooms.

Most augmented reality apps address a variety of things, such as bringing science concepts to life, improving student retention, and offering campus tours or glimpses of historical moments on campus.

Read more: 5 ways to use AR and VR in the classroom

Here’s how five institutions have harnessed augmented reality apps to address campus needs and take learning to the next level–these methods could inspire early K-12 adopters to look into ways they can use augmented reality apps in similar ways.

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Ensuring accessible content for all students

This summer, many faculty will work on developing or revising curricular content for their courses. One of the keys in developing new digital materials is verifying that those materials offer accessible content for all students.

Today, most learning management systems (LMS) and software programs offer some level of accessibility compliance checking. However, they are not always thorough or error-free.

Related Content: 5 steps to ensure accessibility

For instance, some PowerPoint templates show less-than-ideal contrast between text and background colors. Many YouTube videos include closed captioning, but the automatic captioning often leaves something to be desired. Taking the time to review accessibility of materials makes sense to ensure all students can experience success instead of frustration.

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How VR and AR take CTE programs to the next level

Studies consistently reveal the importance of career and technical education (CTE) programs as a method to reduce dropout rates and to keep students focused on high school graduation. Across Pasco County Schools, where we educate 75,000 students, the vision for our CTE program is to provide broad exposure to CTE experiential learning opportunities while equipping students to be life-long learners.

To accomplish that goal, it is critical that we enable our CTE students to embrace advanced technologies that will be commonplace in the jobs and careers of the future. As the workforce demands that even entry-level employees have the skills and training needed to take on new challenges, our perspective is that by creating opportunities for students to engage with and learn from advanced technologies in the classroom, it will put students on an immediate career path following graduation.

Related: 5 ways to use VR and AR in the classroom

Interactive CTE programs with VR and AR

This year, our CTE department integrated augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) laptops from zSpace into our Health Sciences career cluster and Agriculture / Veterinary Assisting Program curriculum.

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Fun facts from Britannica: How are hurricanes and typhoons named?

For 250 years, Encyclopaedia Britannica has provided the world with researched, verified information. A global leader in education whose flagship products serve the needs of students and consumers on multiple platforms and devices, Britannica has been a pioneer in digital learning since the 1980s.

eSchool News has partnered with Britannica to bring you a fun fact each month, along with advice on how to teach today’s students how to cut through the misinformation on the internet.

How are hurricanes and typhoons named?

The names of tropical cyclones can often seem strange and even random. So where do these names come from, and who creates them? Storms used to be named after the places they victimized and the time that they struck, like the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900, but now the first names of people are used for them instead–when did that start? Here are the answers.

How to differentiate fact from fake

At a time when fake news spreads faster than the truth, checking your facts is essential. As a gatherer of information for 250 years, this month we have provided you with another tip for your students to help them learn how to navigate the truth.

Fact-checking tip:

Ask your students to look at a website’s key features and its the URL. Look at the website’s footnotes to see if it has referenced other sources of content. Does it use hyper-links and if so look at these websites?

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5 components of educational innovation

The industrial education model was massively successful at first, with high school graduation rates and student achievement increasing decade after decade. However, by the end of the 20th century, it was evident that the industrial education model had hit its limit, with graduation rates plateauing at 80 percent and student achievement and engagement plummeting the longer students were in school.

According to Dr. Devin Vodicka, chief impact officer at AltSchool, in a recent edWebinar, reform after reform and many well-intended efforts have tried—and failed–to make all students successful. Vodicka, along with Erik Burmeister, superintendent, and Theresa Fox, coordinator of technology and innovation, both from Menlo Park City School District (CA), noted that if 80 percent of students are graduating, then 20 percent of students are not graduating–educational professionals can’t remain satisfied with these statistics.

Related: 9 innovation tips from pioneering schools

The Zone of Innovation

Menlo Park City School District (MPCSD) took a deep dive into the challenge of improving graduation rates and student engagement. The district’s approach to this challenge began with the development of an all-encompassing method called the Zone of Innovation. This Zone of Innovation focused on the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are critical for learners to develop, thrive, and transform in the 21st century.

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4 fundamentals for engaging pre-K students

Preparing students for kindergarten and engaging pre-K students is a huge undertaking. Introducing children to early reading and math concepts, beginning their social-emotional learning, and working with them on physical abilities such as motor skills is the basic foundation for this age.

Adding to this is the fact that pre-K teachers also need to help students who’ve likely never been in an academic setting understand the mechanics and expectations of a classroom.

Related: 3 great ways to supercharge student engagement

To accomplish everything we need to with pre-K students, we must provide a highly engaging classroom experience every day.

4 ways of engaging pre-K students

1) Identify students who are (and aren’t) engaged.

When I think about student engagement, the first thing that comes to mind is a child who actively responds, both visibly and audibly, to what’s going on in the classroom—and whose body language is consistent with active involvement in the lesson.

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Are you tracking wasted spending in K-12?

Educational software is one of the biggest sources of wasted spending in K-12, according to a new study evaluating spending in U.S. K-12 schools.

The study from Glimpse K12 tracked 200,000 curriculum software licenses purchased by 275 schools during the 2017-2018 school year. The company used its eROI platform to measure how many of the software licenses were actually being used by teachers and students.

On average, 67 percent of software licenses went unused, though in some cases the number was as high as 90 percent. This translates to approximately $2 million in wasted spending across all 275 schools during the academic year.

Following educational software (67 percent), professional development (48 percent) and printed materials (28 percent) are the biggest sources of wasted spending in K-12.

Looking at education expenditures through an ROI lens in the context of student outcomes, Glimpse K12’s analysis highlights how technology is by far the most under-used resource. Because the education technology software space alone totals $8.4 billion dollars, this means that over $5.6 billion dollars may be wasted each year.

How can leaders curb wasted spending in K-12 schools?

“To hone in on the root cause of unused and wasted resources, school districts need to ask two important foundational questions,” says Adam Pearson, Glimpse K12’s co-founder.

“Do our teachers really want these digital tools, and are we ready to implement the technology? If the answer to both is yes, administrators must ask themselves, ‘Are we prepared to set clear expectations for usage and implementation fidelity?’ If the answer is no, districts have no assurance students will receive the benefits of these resources, which leads to ineffective and wasted spending.”

There are steps school and district administrators can take to avoid under-used resources and wasted spending in K-12. Measuring ROI is a critical first step, because ROI platforms help district and school administrators capture all of the money allocated to purchasing software licenses, align these expenditures with goals and objectives, and evaluate these activities in the context of student outcomes.

When school leaders measure ROI, they are better able to track and manage data, clearly communicate their goals and expectations for technology use, and evaluate what works and what does not. All of these help improve student outcomes.

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5 effective ways to help students reduce stress and anxiety

Have you had a student act out when you try to redirect her misbehavior? Ever had a kid freeze on a test and then give up in frustration as he forgets everything he studied for? Or have you had students who simply, seemingly randomly, shut down out of nowhere and refuse to participate? If so, it might be time to examine how to help students reduce stress and anxiety.

Whether you’ve taught for one year or 10, you’ve undoubtedly experienced one of these scenarios (but most likely all…and maybe even on the same day because that’s how teaching goes). In my seven years of teaching, I’ve often asked myself, “Why are these situations happening more and more frequently?”

Related: 7 resources to help educators better understand anxiety

The National Education Association (NEA) and the Pew Research Center highlighted a few answers for me, and finally, after some research, what I saw from my students made sense. According to Pew’s studies, 70 percent of teens reported anxiety and depression as a “major problem.” An additional 26 percent reported it as a “minor problem.” NEA went as far as labeling the rates of anxiety amongst adolescents as an “epidemic.”

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6 STEAM education resources for any classroom

STEAM education has become monumentally important in classrooms, and for good reason–the skills students learn in STEAM classes and programs can help prepare them for advanced education classes, training programs, and the workforce.

A focus on STEAM education doesn’t mean students have to pursue careers in the field–those STEAM experiences are important regardless of students’ eventual career paths. Even if students don’t pursue jobs in tech fields like computer programming or engineering, the skills they learn are easily applied in other fields.

1. One junior high school in Texas has made it a mission to engage all students in different aspects of STEAM, because, as the educators say, students are propelled further into STEM education and exploration when they use their creative drive. At Celeste Junior High School in the Celeste Independent School District in Texas, students are engaged in a variety of STEAM experiences in an effort to help build those critical skills. Students use a variety of apps and tools for coding, programming and robotics, and multimedia projects that cross curricular areas.

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