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Try This!

Trying hands-on STEM activities made quicker and easier with Pitsco kits

(August 12, 2014) — Sometimes teachers want a short and easy activity to demonstrate STEM concepts. That’s the whole idea behind Pitsco Education’s Try This kits. 

These kits were designed as simple activities that show the basic concepts of some of Pitsco’s larger projects, such as bridge building, parachutes, and straw structures.Retailing at $1.50 each, these small kits were originally created as sample activities to give away at conferences. However, they were so popular with conference attendees, it was evident that they were valid products.


“At shows, we were having people inquiring about getting them for events,” said Pitsco Marketing Events Coordinator Ashlee Ricks. “And others wanted them for summer camps or school festivals. Teachers really like them for their own kids as well.”


The line features four different activities. The Straw Structures and Parachute activities are straightforward with instructions that lead students from start to finish. The Toothpick Bridge and Engineering activities are more open ended, requiring some engineering design choices by the students.

The kits should take 20 minutes or less to construct, though the Toothpick Bridge Kit will take about 10 minutes longer. Some require glue, scissors, or waxed paper, which are not included. To learn more about the Pitsco Try This activities, visitwww.pitsco.com or call 800-835-0686.


Pitsco Education is the leading provider of age-appropriate, student-centered K-12 STEM learning solutions. Our standards-based curriculum, products, equipment, and materials promote student success through positive and challenging learning experiences, and our hands-on solutions teach core concepts and career skills in science, technology, engineering, and math.


iNACOL is pleased to announce the Wednesday, November 5th luncheon keynote presentation for the iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium will be Sal Khan, Founder & Executive Director of Khan Academy and author of “The One World Schoolhouse”. This year’s iNACOL Symposium theme is Powering Personalized Learning.

Sal will share insights from his journey to deliver personalized learning to millions around the globe through online learning and to reimagine “school” for a new generation of educators and learners. His message will highlight the importance of a shift to opening access to a world-class education built on mastery and competency-based learning. He will share his vision for how online learning can transform education systems toward realizing this ultimate goal of a high-quality education for every student, every day and power personalized learning.

Go to the Symposium  for this all-star keynote, more than 200 thought-provoking sessions and unparalleled networking opportunities November 4-7, 2014 in Palm Springs, CA.

Register online at http://www.inacol.org/events/symposium/registration/ to take advantage of early bird discounts for the Symposium before August 29th.

About the iNACOL Symposium

The 2014 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium will bring together more than 2,500 experts and educational leaders exploring the leading edge of next generation learning in K-12 education from across the United States and around the world. iNACOL’s annual conference is the industry’s leading event for K-12 online, blended and competency-based learning and gathers experts, leading practitioners and educators, policymakers, researchers and innovators from throughout the field.
To attend, please register online at http://www.inacol.org/events/symposium/registration/.

For questions, please contact Tracy Breithaupt, iNACOL Events Manager, attbreithaupt@inacol.org.
About iNACOL
The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality blended and online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using online, blended, and competency-based education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of classroom, school, and district leaders for new learning models. To learn more about iNACOL, please visit http://inacol.org.



The Education Center Provides Curriculum and Educational Materials to Prepare Teachers for the Upcoming School Year Through Partnership With Office Depot, Inc.

Teachers Can Win Classroom Supplies With ‘Gotta Get It!’ Teacher Awards Sweepstakes

Getting these free resources from a company I trust gives me a great head start.

Boca Raton, FL (PRWEB) August 12, 2014

Teachers can get free tools – and a chance to win a $500 gift card for classroom supplies – to help prepare for the start of the school season. Through a partnership forged with The Education Center, LLC, publisher of The Mailbox® books and magazines, Office Depot and OfficeMax are preparing teachers for the new school year by providing quick access to back-to-school curriculum and educational materials such as teacher-tested ideas on organizing the classroom and school-related paperwork. Educators can also participate in the ‘Gotta Get It!’ Teacher Awards Sweepstakes* for the chance to win gift cards to help stock up on school supplies, which runs through September 30.

“Getting these resources from a company I trust gives me a great head start,” said Amy Payne, a third-grade teacher in Greensboro, NC. “The website helped me with everything, from creating a positive learning environment to communicating with parents to simplifying my classroom technology.”

‘Gotta Get It!’ simplifies the back-to-school transition with timesaving resources, downloads, and teacher tips videos. While on the website, teachers who enter the sweepstakes at themailbox.com/teacherrewardshave a chance to win a $500 Office Depot or OfficeMax gift card, or one of six $100 gift cards.

“I begin my classroom planning—and spending—well before school starts,” Payne said. “What teacher couldn’t use a $500 gift card from Office Depot or OfficeMax? That would sure take the pressure off my own wallet!”

In addition to the resources and sweepstakes, teachers can also learn more about Office Depot Rewards® and OfficeMax MaxPerks® Teacher Rewards. These programs are free to join and provide teachers with savings on essential items, including ink, toner, paper, and copy and print products and services. To join, visitofficedepot.com/rewards or maxperks.com.

  • NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Starts 6/16/14 and ends 11:59 p.m. EDT on 9/30/2014. Open to current legal residents of the US/DC who, at time of entry, are age 21+, employed full-time or part-time as classroom teachers in preschool through grade 12, and are located in the United States. Residents of Rhode Island are not eligible. Void where prohibited. Visit http://www.themailbox.com/teacherrewards for rules. Administrator: The Education Center LLC, 3515 West Market Street, Greensboro, NC 27403.

About The Education Center, LLC
The Education Center was founded in 1973 by Marge and Jake Michel who, like many other educators, were frustrated by the lack of practical, ready-to-use materials for the classroom, so they created several products in their spare time, and the company grew from there.

Today, hundreds of thousands of teachers across the country depend on The Education Center’s products to enrich their lesson plans, to speed up their planning time, and to leave them more time to do what they love best—teach. Learn more about The Education Center at TheMailbox.com.


Insight Publishes Back to School Guidelines As Classrooms Brace for Tech Influx


As more devices and applications enter the classroom this fall, school leaders must address network readiness


TEMPE, Ariz. (August 12, 2014) – Insight Public Sector, a division of Insight Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: NSIT), a leading worldwide technology provider of hardware, software and service solutions for districts and schools across the U.S., has identified network readiness as one of the most critical issues facing school districts this back to school season. Insight has compiled five key issues to consider as technology places heavier demands on network infrastructure, based on Insight’s conversations with superintendents and technology leaders in school districts nationwide:


  1. Brace for Bandwidth Pressure.

Many schools are beginning to realize that implementing technology in the classroom can take its toll on broadband Internet speeds. School districts are facing the reality of slow connections disrupting the classroom. Students may have difficulty logging on or get kicked off during their lessons because a school’s Internet connection does not have the capability to support the additional devices in the classroom.


  1. Stress Test Your Wireless Network.

Find out how many students will use wireless devices for assessments and other classroom activities. School IT departments need to understand how many wireless devices can be active at one time in the classroom without overloading their wireless network. It is important for schools to look at the wireless standards, performance and capabilities of the devices that will be used in the classroom and then perform a wireless survey to ensure their existing wireless infrastructure can handle these demands.


  1. To BYOD or Not to BYOD.

Letting students bring their own devices to the classroom for learning can save money, but can also create greater potential for security issues. School IT departments must learn how to deploy and manage applications on student-supplied devices, and develop plans around BYOD if devices will be involved in testing activities.


  1. Manage Firewalls Carefully.

Firewalls are critical security devices, blocking hackers as well as harmful viruses and worms before they reach a computer. However, firewall configurations can interfere with activity between student devices and the network. It is important for IT departments to look at how the firewall is configured and make sure that it can be set up to meet specifications that make learning the primary goal in the classroom.


  1. Be Proxy Smart.

Web proxies can interfere with activity between student devices and the network, especially in an assessment environment; school districts need to ensure that web proxies do not “time out” after test-taking connections that may last more than one hour.


“More devices and applications are entering classrooms every year, and schools must seriously consider their system bandwidth as the demands on their networks increase,” said Dave Cristal, vice president and general manager of Insight Public Sector.  “As the back to school season nears, it’s important for school leaders, superintendents and IT departments to focus on network readiness so they can take the right steps to keep their schools up and running – and their students learning.”


Insight works hand-in-hand with school leaders to help them meet the demands of the evolving classroom IT ecosystem. As part of that effort, the company recently launched Insight ON: Education, a news and digital information resource to help the education community use technology to improve teaching and learning.


For more information on Insight, please visit http://www.insight.com or call 800-INSIGHT.



About Insight

Insight Enterprises, Inc. is a leading technology provider of hardware, software and service solutions to business and government clients in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Insight is focused on helping organizations move technology goals forward in the areas of Office Productivity, Unified Communications and Collaboration, Mobility, Network and Security, Data Center and Virtualization, Data Protection and Cloud. Insight has sold over seven million business and public sector client cloud seats across the globe. With approximately 5,200 teammates worldwide, Insight is ranked No. 483 on the 2014 Fortune 500 and generated sales of $5.1 billion for the year ended December 31, 2013. For more information, please call 1.800.INSIGHT (1.800.467.4448) in the United States or visitwww.insight.com. NSIT-M