How to bundle education device management

Technology has opened up endless possibilities in classrooms around the world. For one, access to education has been significantly broadened, facilitating a wide range of teaching strategies and learning styles. The pandemic accelerated the adoption rates of educational technology solutions. In some cases, demand far outstripped supply, leading to backlogs of requests for laptops, tablets, Chromebooks, and other school-issued devices. With the flood of school-issued devices, the need for education device management is fast becoming the norm rather than the exception.

Schools are always looking for ways to keep their students engaged and learning–and implementing technology can do that. Technology is changing the way we teach and learn. In today’s world, where children are already familiar with tablets and smartphones from watching videos on YouTube or playing games at home, learning through technology will likely become more exciting than daunting (and this goes for teachers too).

One of the most important aspects of using technology in schools is responsible and secure management: ensuring devices are protected from viruses, malware, and other threats that can cause significant disruption to critical school operations.…Read More

Students Learn with Fewer Interruptions Thanks to New Library Check-Out Charging Solutions

Power access issues in schools solved by a new portable charging solution. 

Bradenton, FL.—May 25th, 2021—JAR Systems has launched a new Library Check-Out Charging Solution, enabling students to check out power banks from central areas for portable charging at their desks or anywhere on campus. By extending device battery run-times, the solution ensures that every student has a working device throughout the day and maintains the focus on learning. Compatible with Chromebooks, tablets, and notebooks, it provides long-term value and affordability.

The bundle comes with everything required to start charging and is easy to deploy, featuring a pre-wired Flex-Share Charging Station and 16 USB-C Active Charge Power Banks. School administrators can place one or multiple stations in central areas enabling students to check out power banks as they are needed. Simple yet powerful, the power banks come barcoded for inventory and are a vibrant “school bus yellow” for clear visibility.…Read More

4 lessons the edtech industry should take from the pandemic

It happened slowly, then all at once. Vague news from Wuhan, stories from Seattle, then a run on hand sanitizer and paper towels. Within a few weeks, districts nationwide had canceled in-person classes, Chromebooks had sold out, and edtech companies were inundated as educators were forced to reinvent school in the digital space.

It has been a year since we started shutting our schools and transitioning to remote learning. Tragically, this has led to many students falling behind—especially low-income students and English language learners. The pandemic has compounded many of the systemic inequities that plague our schools. 

Edtech had the opportunity to help address these inequities. In some ways, edtech has risen to this challenge, but the field has also learned some things the hard way. Here are four major lessons our industry should take from the pandemic.…Read More

A tech leader’s tips for making remote learning safe

When COVID forced school districts nationwide to quickly pivot to remote learning, we not only had to configure mobile devices for students to take home, but also implement safeguards to shield them from inappropriate content while outside school walls. We took both responsibilities very seriously, knowing that families were relying on us to maintain both a continuity of learning and safety for their children.

With 45 school sites and about 22,000 students to manage, we knew this would be a major undertaking. To tackle the challenges, we first upgraded our system to accommodate the 20,000-plus Chromebooks that our students would need to learn from home. Then, we acquired additional licenses for ContentKeeper, a school web filter we’d been using since 2017. Using this combined approach, we’ve been able to maintain control of content within social media websites; allow students access to educational content; and block or unblock sites as needed.

Getting everyone online and on board…Read More

Tobii Dynavox launches Boardmaker 7 – the new platform for special education

Tobii Dynavox, the global leader in assistive technology for communication, today announced the new generation of its special education platform Boardmaker. Boardmaker provides a fully inclusive education environment for parents, special education teachers and schools to millions of students around the world.

Boardmaker has been the world’s leading software for special education for the past 30 years and currently supports education, communication, and access needs for more than six million students in 51 countries. Hundreds of thousands of teachers rely on Boardmaker’s learning resources and have used it to develop more than a million education activities which all can be shared and accessed through the platform and its associated online user community.

In Boardmaker 7, features from previous generations have been combined in a new software that runs on Windows, Mac and Chromebooks in 14 languages. The software interacts seamlessly with Boardmaker’s online features, student management platform and the large online sharing community. It can be used by students via traditional computer interfaces, via touch screens, eye gaze and several other access options, making Boardmaker the most accessible platform on the market. Boardmaker 7 includes a modern and streamlined user interface allowing users to easily create and deliver print or interactive curriculum and communication support.…Read More

Trox Launches New SHIELD Protection Program for Chromebooks and Other Mobile Devices

Trox, a leading North American provider of education technology and collaboration solutions, today announced the launch of its new proprietary Trox SHIELDSM Protection Program for Chromebooks and other mobile devices.

Trox SHIELD helps educators protect their technology investment by ensuring that mobile devices and remain in circulation. Offering a zero cost of ownership guarantee for devices, Trox SHIELD extends the original manufacturer’s warranty and covers accidental damage. Trox certified technicians repair damaged devices, which allows IT teams to focus on supporting students and teachers.

“Demand for Chromebooks and laptops is at an all-time high for schools. Devices that are damaged in transit puts significant strain on limited budgets and IT resources,” said Sarah Kydd, Chief Operating Officer, Trox. “With many schools offering remote or blended learning, ensuring that students have working devices is more important than ever. That’s why we added Trox SHIELD to our robust lifecycle management services.”…Read More

Whatever it takes: How this district pivoted with the pandemic

When speaking with Andrew Wallace, Director of Technology, South Portland Maine Schools, two classic marketing slogans come to mind: “Think Different” and “Just Do It.”

Whether it is getting Chromebooks and hotspots to students in need, supporting faculty in the move to remote learning, or just giving students a sense of comfort, he and his district, which includes a pre-k center, five elementary schools, two middle schools, and South Portland High School, are making up new rules as they go along in this pandemic era. Below are some highlights.

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8 ways to reduce device damage in 1:1 programs

As a technology user, I have over the years:

  • Dropped and broken my phone’s screen
  • Spilled liquid on my laptop’s keyboard, frying the motherboard
  • Pulled the cord out a device, breaking off the connection
  • Pushed a monitor off my desk onto the floor
  • Left my computer bag on top of my car’s roof, and driven off

These acts were, believe me, unintentional. The costs of these mistakes wound up coming out of my own pocket.

So I have a degree of sympathy when our students bring their Chromebooks in for repair. Stuff happens to even the most careful technology user.…Read More

Here’s my secret for better classroom management

At Flagstaff Academy in Colorado, I am lucky to head up the SmartLab facility and offer guided lessons to all K-5 classrooms. Couple this with 15 years of teaching technology, and you could say I’ve learned a thing or two about bringing technology into the classroom successfully.

Over the past few years, advancements in technology have greatly improved the classroom experience for both students and teachers alike. Tools like Chromebooks, SMART Boards, and even virtual reality headsets have allowed teachers to bring instruction to life and make learning more engaging.

But these tools are only as good as the classroom environment in which they exist. Truly successful education depends on teachers’ ability to create and maintain organized instructional environments that keep kids engaged and on task while encouraging the sharing of ideas and questions.…Read More

Getting started with blended learning

“I don’t think I’ll teach any differently this year. We just won’t use the Chromebooks in math class.”
—Me (at the beginning of the school year)

Last school year, our school started a one-to-one Chromebook initiative for the sixth grade. That meant our incoming seventh-graders would not only have Chromebooks, they would know how to use them!

What I thought would happen (aka delusions of grandeur):…Read More