Hemet Unified School District Adopts LETRS for New Two-Year Professional Learning Program

BOSTON (April 21, 2022) – Hemet Unified School District in Riverside County, California, has adopted LETRS® (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) professional learning programs for its teachers and administrators. Offered by Lexia® Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, LETRS provides educators with the deep knowledge required to be literacy and language experts in the science of reading.

Developed by Dr. Louisa Moats and leaders in the field of literacy, the LETRS Suite provides practical support with tools that are available 24/7—online and in print. It also offers professional learning sessions led by national LETRS experts. These sessions provide classroom application examples of the learning and refine and extend participants’ understanding of the content. Hemet USD began rolling out LETRS in March 2022 as a two-year, cohort-based program. The district has implemented two professional learning programs:

·        LETRS for Educators…Read More

Extron Announces Audio DSPs, Amplifiers, and Speakers Certified for Microsoft Teams Rooms

Anaheim, California (February 28, 2022) – Extron is pleased to announce that several of its audio processors, amplifiers, and speakers are now certified for Microsoft Teams Rooms. The company has worked together with hardware solutions partners, such as Sennheiser, to develop solutions that deliver an unmatched user experience regardless of room type. The products that are certified for Teams Rooms have been designed and meticulously tested for performance and ease of use.

“We are confident that our high quality audio products will enable integrators to deliver a premium Microsoft Teams experience,” says Casey Hall, Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Extron. “We are very pleased to provide products certified for Microsoft Teams Rooms to our customers.”

Extron Products Certified for Microsoft Teams:…Read More

The Steam Foundation Teams Up with MakerBot to Expand Access to 3D Printing for Students

January 14, 2022 — The Steam Foundation and MakerBot have teamed up to bring 3D printing to more students across the U.S. Founded by Aadhav Prabu and Akshar Raikanti, The Steam Foundation is a California-based nonprofit with a mission to make STEAM education equally accessible to all students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The organization, which is also run by a team of students, offers free workshops that teach 3D printing, robotics, graphic design, and coding to students as well as programs to help bring 3D printing into schools.

Prabu and Raikanti are currently juniors at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, Calif., and have been teaching 3D printing for years. They were inspired to start the organization after seeing how engaged students were in their 3D printing club in middle school.

“When Akshar and I ran the 3D printing club, we saw how excited students were for the chance to use the Replicator+. For some of them, it was the first time they had ever seen a 3D printer. We started The Steam Foundation to give more students the chance to learn about 3D printing,” said Prabu. “We’re fortunate to work with MakerBot, a company which has the same commitment toward 3D printing in education as we do.” MakerBot donated 3D printing equipment and materials to support the Foundation’s mission and programs.…Read More

Extron NAV & Streaming Systems Serve the Chef for St. Helena High’s Culinary Program

Anaheim, California (December 22, 2021) – St. Helena High School is a top-ranked institute of learning in California’s Napa Valley wine region. The county is filled with luxury hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants, such as The French Laundry. Because of this wealth of fine dining and high-end accommodations, the high school’s culinary classroom received a new AV system that enhances instruction on-site as well as for students attending from home. The school administrators brought in E.R.I.C. Low Voltage Services to design and program and Consolidated Networks Corporation to integrate a NAV Pro AV over IP system, along with the SMP 111 streaming media processor and other products from Extron. “Integration of Extron’s NAV Pro AV over IP system and the SMP 111 streaming processor lets the students at home be on the same page as those in the classroom,” says Brian Baesler, Program Manager at Consolidated Networks Corporation. “This makes the AV system just what the chef ordered.” St. Helena High’s culinary classroom includes six full commercial kitchens, and the instructor is Chef Karl Turner III. Originally, the students gathered around the outside of one kitchen to watch the professional chef prepare and plate the gourmet dishes. Now, a NAV Pro AVoIP system ties three broadcast-quality 4K HDMI PTZ cameras to the existing 55” displays, as well as provides content to the streaming system. An Extron NAV E 101 encoder mounted with each camera shares video from the chef’s grill/range station and the two food preparation stations. A fourth camera and encoder are being installed for a heads-on view of the chef at work. The chef’s PC and a TLP Pro 1225TG 12″ Tabletop TouchLink Pro Touchpanel are installed on a shelf beneath one of the prep tables, protecting them from heat and splashes. The PC is connected to an Extron NAV E 201 D wallplate HDMI encoder. To support the PC’s USB signals, an Extron MediaPort 200 HDMI and Audio to USB Scaling Bridge converts USB to HDMI. The bridge enhances the computer-sourced content for the students attending class from home.  The SMP 111 streaming media processor captures and distributes the camera feeds and other resources for selectable live streaming. Five Extron transmitters stream AV signals over the 1 Gbps Ethernet network. An Extron NetPA U 1004 power amplifier with Dante and DSP 100 watts per channel drives the 70 V distributed audio system. From concept to commissioning, the entire project was completed in two weeks. CNC credits this in part to Extron’s well-designed products and the support engineers. The administration is quite pleased with the success of the AV system upgrade in the culinary classroom, and Chef Turner III is happy with how easy it is to use. To read the full St. Helena High School Culinary Classroom case study, click here. Extron – The AV Technology Leader Every day, millions of people around the world are having their experiences enhanced by Extron audiovisual signal processing, distribution, and control solutions. We design advanced technologies to create better looking images, higher quality sound, systems that are easier to control and work more reliably. Our powerful asset management tools are helping technology professionals efficiently manage large numbers of audiovisual systems deployed throughout their enterprises and institutions. Extron AV technology solutions serve the diverse needs of organizations around the world and are deployed in a wide variety of corporate, educational, government, healthcare, retail, and entertainment applications. To learn more about Extron, click here. Extron®, NAV®, MediaPort®, and TouchLink® are registered trademarks of Extron. Dante® is a registered trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd.

Using tracking sites to bring current events to students

There is a lot of conversation about supply chains and logistics in the news these days. As a picture is often worth a thousand words, maps and tracking sites that allow students to visualize the traffic making up these supply chains can be helpful.

It is possible to track much of the shipping traffic through websites like Marine Traffic. The site is an interactive map showing the movement of many types of commercial ship traffic throughout the world. It is possible to see the general build-up around southern California ports and the normally heavy traffic around the Panama Canal. VesselFinder is a similar tool but seems to include at least some river traffic as well. It allows one to track a specific cruise ship, for instance.

Marine Vessel Traffic allows for tracking through the Great Lakes and appears to allow one to track naval ships. AdsbExchange provides similar information for air traffic. It allows one to filter by type of aircraft–Boeing 777s, for instance–by airline, or only to show military aircraft. FlightAware is a similar interactive map showing flights. It allows filtering by destination or departure location as well as by airline or aircraft type. FlightRadar24 is a third option that provides some additional features with a paid subscription.…Read More

Lexia Nationwide Report Finds 80% of Students Using Lexia Core5 Reading Did Not Experience Literacy Learning Loss During Remote and Hybrid Learning in the 2020-21 Academic Year

BOSTON (Sept. 23, 2021) – Lexia® Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, today released new research titled “Using Lexia Core5 Reading to Address Learning Loss and Accelerate Learning: Insights from a 2020-21 Nationwide Study.” The study examines the literacy impact of elementary students using Lexia® Core5® Reading (Core5) in fully remote and hybrid instructional environments during the 2020-21 school year.

Lexia researchers tracked the progress of approximately 13,000 students in grades 1-5 across 35 schools in California, Michigan, and North Carolina. To gauge students’ progress, the schools administered the Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP) Growth Reading assessment, which measures grade-level reading achievement and growth, during the 2020-21 academic year.

Key findings from the report showed that most students who used Core5 demonstrated steady learning progress, with the majority meeting their projected growth targets in Reading:…Read More

ParentSquare Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Unifying School-Home Communications and Strengthening Family Engagement

SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. SEPTEMBER 10, 2021—For decades, districts, schools, and teachers used different tools to communicate with families, making it confusing and difficult for parents and guardians to keep up. In 2011, parent and computer engineer Anupama Vaid set out to build a solution to engage every family with school communications—and all in one place. That solution, ParentSquare, now celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Since the company’s founding by Vaid and her husband Sohit Wadhwa a decade ago, ParentSquare has become the premier unified school-home engagement platform for K-12 education. The Santa Barbara-based company now serves almost half of all schools in California and has expanded to 44 states.

“When I was working, I was getting so much information from so many different sources at my child’s school, it was nearly impossible to stay on top of it all. When I transitioned to be a stay-at-home mom and volunteered as a room parent, I realized that being involved with school is like a full-time job, and I experienced a big difference in how connected I felt with our school community,” said Vaid, ParentSquare Co-Founder & President.…Read More

Extron Now Shipping Enhanced GlobalViewer Campus Communication Suite to Further Unify Communications

Anaheim, California (August 25, 2021) – Extron is pleased to announce the immediate availability of enhanced functionality and powerful new capabilities for GlobalViewer® Campus Communication Suite, which combines bells, public address announcements, intercom, and network monitoring and control of classroom AV into one software package. Users will experience a more intuitive interface with an improved visual icon library, plus a broader range of configured preset buttons to provide quicker access to frequently performed tasks. New District Operations features allow administrators to broadcast live announcements or use new configurable preset buttons to play recorded announcements to any or all campuses within a district. A dedicated lockdown button, plus presets, enable campus staff to play selected content at specified locations for fast targeted messaging. New self-diagnostic capabilities easily resolve configuration issues.

“GlobalViewer Campus Communication Suite unifies all campus audio systems with an enhanced easy-to-use web interface to manage campus bells and announcements, while providing advanced AV asset monitoring and control,” says Anthony Cortes, Director of Sales and Marketing, Education Classroom Systems for Extron. “We’ve listened to user feedback to expand and improve an already comprehensive list of features that make GlobalViewer Campus Communication Suite ideal for any campus and district. PA announcements and bell schedule management are faster and easier than ever before with the updated user interface.”

The GlobalViewer Campus Communication Suite allows administrators to create and manage recurring bell schedules locally or at the district level. For special events, such as rallies or holiday closures, bell schedules can easily be modified or disabled. Using the intuitive graphical user interface of the GlobalViewer web page or an Extron TouchLink Pro touchpanel, office personnel can make live public address announcements or play back pre-recorded messages with a simple push of a button. Zone capability allows the announcements to be routed to all locations on campus, or a specific room. The integrated intercom system supports two-way voice communication over the network and provides flexible setup options that enable users to quickly connect with the office, help desk, or other classrooms. GlobalViewer Campus Communication Suite enhancements are available today for customers in the United States and Canada.…Read More

After Successful Pilot, Schools Adopt EarlyBird Game-Based Screener to Identify Children at Risk for Dyslexia and Reading Difficulties

BOSTON — Aug. 12, 2021 — After participating in a pilot trial of the new EarlyBird game-based early literacy assessment, schools and districts across the United States have chosen to adopt EarlyBird for the 2021-22 school year. Developed and scientifically validated at Boston Children’s Hospital in partnership with faculty at the Florida Center for Reading Research, EarlyBird brings together all the relevant predictors of reading in one easy-to-administer assessment, and provides teachers with customized action plans and resources for each student.

During the 2020-21 school year, schools and districts from Maine to California tested EarlyBird with approximately 2,000 children. Maine School Administrative District No. 11 (MSAD #11), for example, began piloting EarlyBird in one elementary school in March, then expanded to a second school in May. This fall, it will implement EarlyBird in all kindergarten classrooms district-wide.

“As soon as we began using EarlyBird, we realized it had a lot of power in terms of the experience it offers students and the actionable data it provides to classroom teachers,” said Angela Hardy, director of curriculum and instruction for MSAD #11. “This data not only helps teachers respond to the needs of the students in front of them, it also helps them think about how they might change their practices or scope and sequence in years to come.”…Read More

Extron ShareLink Pro Now Mirrors Windows 10 Devices via Miracast

Anaheim, California (June 17, 2021) – Extron is pleased to announce that the ShareLink Pro WFA 100 is now shipping. The WFA 100 is a Wi-Fi Miracast adapter that enables anyone to share content from a Windows 10 device to a ShareLink Pro device without installing any software. It connects to the USB port on a ShareLink Pro 1100 or ShareLink Pro 500, making it discoverable to Windows 10 users. Users share content by selecting the desired ShareLink Pro device and mirroring their screen from within Windows. Content shared via Miracast can be presented on the ShareLink Pro display along with content shared via the ShareLink Pro App, Apple mirroring, WebShare browser sharing, or the HDMI input.

“At Extron, we are always looking for more ways to make interacting with AV systems easier, faster, and more intuitive,” says Casey Hall, Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Marketing at Extron. “We are pleased to introduce our new Wi-Fi Miracast adapter so that Windows 10 users can experience a quick and seamless way to share content to ShareLink Pro systems.”

ShareLink Pro devices enable anyone to present wired or wireless content from their computers, tablets, or smartphones onto a display for easy collaboration. They feature streaming technology that supports simultaneous display of up to four devices, including an HDMI-connected device, and dynamically update the display layout as new content is shared or removed. The HDMI input supports wired connections from any connected source in the room. To support a wide range of environments, ShareLink Pro has collaboration and moderator modes that facilitate both open and controlled environments. When used with Extron GVE – GlobalViewer Enterprise software, multiple units can be managed across an enterprise or campus. ShareLink Pro’s professional capabilities provide easy integration of AV and mobile devices into meeting, huddle, collaboration, and presentation spaces.…Read More