3 considerations to ensure a future-proof network

Key points:

In 2024, Wi-Fi and wired networks are critical infrastructure for educational organizations. Thanks to the continuous push for digitally literate students and interactive, immersive, and connected eLearning environments, chief technology officers (CTOs) are responsible for networks that must support greater demand than ever before.

There are three top technologies for school district CTOs to consider when planning for the health and longevity of their wired and Wi-Fi networks. Addressing these three key areas–video collaboration, the 6GHz migration, and network automation–will prepare networks to meet the needs of today’s and future students.…Read More

Building a Career in EdTech: SmarterServices Team Member Celebrates 15 Years

PITTSBURGH, PA –  The landscape of education has changed in the last decade, and even more so in the last 24 months. Technology has become integral to education, 71% of US students claim to use laptops in the classroom ( McKinsey). In 2016, the self-paced eLearning industry made up $46.67 billion of the global market share, and by 2022, that number is projected to exceed $243 billion ( Statista). It’s clear that education technology, also known as EdTech, has seen many changes and challenges but one thing stands out — the industry is expected to continue to grow with an even stronger focus on technology, which means there will be a high demand for individuals who can support it. 

SmarterServices has been at the forefront of EdTech for two decades, serving unmet market challenges facing learners, instructors, institutions, and organizations. They have provided continued support over the last two decades, as one employee, Rachel Sipper, celebrates her 15th anniversary at SmarterServices within her EdTech role as Tech Support Specialist. 

Sipper has a background in website design and was referred to SmarterServices based on her design work. She has been with SmarterServices since the company’s inception and has seen it from a company of fewer than 5 employees to over 50 employees nationwide. When Sipper first took on her role, she started providing support through an email-based ticket submission process, providing technology solutions to teachers and students alike. As the SmarterServices team grew and product offerings expanded, the support team’s workload increased from 1,000 tickets per month to 500 tickets per day. But that never deterred Sipper.…Read More

Why e-learning requires Wi-Fi optimization

Schools are officially in the age of technological learning. There are 1:1 programs, hybrid classrooms, free online learning platforms, eLearning applications and assessments, video collaborations, and the expectation of more to come with developments in augmented and virtual reality technologies.

While useful, these technologies can come with challenges. This includes:

  • A need for reliable internet connectivity,
  • Ongoing maintenance, and
  • Ongoing optimization

The good news is that schools have access to free funds that will address all of these challenges thanks to the E-rate program. Here’s how to use it to best support student and teacher success.…Read More

3 ways to get the most out of a digital classroom

Recent Food and Drug Administration approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds means that thousands of children who have continued to learn from home will dust off their lunch boxes and climb onto the school bus, destined for in-person instruction once again.

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for COVID-19 prevention in K-12 schools indicates, students benefit from in-person learning, and face-to-face should be the primary method of instruction. Still, eLearning has earned its place in education, and smart educators welcome the addition.

Two are better than one…Read More

Reading Eggs Reaches 20 Million Users Milestone

NEW YORK, NY – August 10, 2021– Reading Eggs, a Blake eLearning program that creates a unique online world where children learn to read, today announced that the platform now has over 20 million users worldwide. Over the past year, learners spent more than 43 million hours using the Reading Eggs and Mathseeds programs, which create a level playing field for learners with sequenced lessons that feature interactive animations, fun games, songs, and rewards that keep children engaged and motivated to learn.  

School closures related to the pandemic disrupted education for children worldwide. According to  UNICEF, more than 168 million children lost almost a full year of in-person instruction. Many parents who are working from home struggle to help their kids keep up with remote school sessions. And remote learning can be especially challenging for children engaged in formative instruction like learning to read. Millions of parents turned to Reading Eggs to set their children up for success.  

“Reading Eggs is a popular worldwide reading and math program,” said Katy Pike, Chief Product Officer at Reading Eggs. “Starting last year, demand spiked, and now we have more than 20 million users to date. Just in the past year, learners spent more than 43 million hours using our platforms to learn in a fun, interactive online environment. Kids love playing in the program, and parents are pleased when children are learning instead of playing video games or watching TV.”  …Read More

Are you protecting health data amid COVID-19 testing and tracking?

There’s no point mincing words: School districts and administrators have had a heck of a year. Not only have you been under immense pressure from parents and state officials to reopen schools safely, but your teachers are also understandably concerned about virus transmission. What’s more, your plans keep changing and you’re being forced to adapt.

Related content: How eLearning coaches can support teachers

It’s an uphill battle, and there’s no doubt you’re doing your best. In all the chaos, you’re now responsible for taking temperatures and doing daily COVID-19 screenings, but you may not have had enough time to research screening devices and do sufficient due diligence before welcoming students back through your doors. Unfortunately, making a purchase like this can open you up to risk. Here’s why, and how to mitigate these risks moving forward.…Read More

Leading eLearning: A Future Ready Library opportunity

One of my colleagues is known for regularly reminding us that a crisis is a terrible opportunity to waste. The COVID-19 crisis has forced districts to redefine the manner in which they are delivering education.

In the best-case scenario, district leaders had a week to develop and roll out an eLearning strategy to students. Most teachers had a weekend to prep, and sent their students home without a defined plan or resources to help parents who became teachers overnight.

Related content: 10 reasons school librarians are more important than ever…Read More

Free eLearning Academy to Support K-12 Students

Otus, a K-12 edtech company that provides the award winning Otus Student Performance Platform, today announced the launch of the Otus eLearning Academy, a free K-12 virtual school with a variety of courses led by highly experienced certified teachers employed by Otus.

With millions of students being forced to learn from home due to school closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, families are struggling with ways to ensure that their children continue learning while K-12 school systems shift to becoming remote learning organizations.

“While Otus, like many edtech companies, is offering our software to school districts for free during this pandemic, we knew we could do more.” said Andy Bluhm, CEO of Otus and a Chicago investor and philanthropist. “We not only have an amazing platform designed to accommodate eLearning, but we also employ highly qualified teachers who have created engaging eLearning lessons that will include teacher feedback and engagement allowing students to continue their education even when they are not at their school.”…Read More

Free At-Home Learning Content During Crisis

WESTCHESTER, IL, Mar 18, 2020 – Follett, a trusted partner to PreK-12 schools, public libraries, and college campuses for more than 145 years, is working with customers to ensure they can quickly and easily use the company’s wide range of eLearning solutions and access to content as more students shift to learning from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“As we all navigate through these unprecedented times, we want educators and parents to know they’re not alone,” said Patrick Connolly, President and CEO of Follett Corporation. “Follett offers a variety of eLearning products for both PreK-12 and Higher Ed that can be quickly and easily accessed. These are solutions customers already have access to, and our goal is to ensure they know about all their options to help with the continuity of education.”

Here is a closer look at Follett’s company-wide eLearning resources that are being made available at libraries, schools and universities in communities across North America affected by the COVID-19 virus:…Read More