Learning.com Unveils New High School Digital Literacy Course for District Implementation
Now available for district use, Project NextTech helps students develop the 21st century skills needed for high school, college, and the workforce.
Portland, Ore. (Feb. 4, 2015) – Today’s graduates need formal technology skills to be successful, whether pursuing higher education or entering the workforce after high school. Now available for district purchase and implementation, Project NextTech is a two-semester course that provides project-based instruction to help students develop the technology proficiency, information literacy and media literacy skills needed to thrive in an increasingly digital world.
The content for Project NextTech is based on curriculum developed by the nonprofit Generation YES® through years of research and student and teacher feedback. Project NextTech addresses the 24 performance indicators in the ISTE Standards for Students and is aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TA-TEKS) for high school curriculum – addressing all strands of the Fundamentals of Computer Science TA-TEKS.
Project NextTech focuses on three core instruction topics:
- Technology Literacy: students develop technology skills and the ability to select the right tool for the context, task, and audience.
- Information Literacy: students locate and access information, evaluate information critically and competently, and use information effectively and ethically.
- Media Literacy: students access, analyze, evaluate, and create media in all its forms.
“The competitive global economy demands sound digital literacy and formal technology skills,” said Keith Oelrich, Learning.com CEO. “Project NextTech ensures graduates leave school with a solid foundation of skills to succeed in postsecondary education and the 21st century workplace.”
Spanning two semesters, Project NextTech is divided into four nine-week curriculum blocks consisting of eight weeks of instruction and a one-week project. Each unit includes a teacher preparation section, student overview and performance-based activities to help evaluate student understanding.
Visit Learning.com at booth #917 during the TCEA 2015 Convention to see Project NextTech in action. To learn more about Project NextTech, visitLearning.com/project-nexttech.
Learning.com helps students, teachers, and schools excel in a digital world. Districts equip their students with the technology and 21st century skills needed for success on online assessments, college, and the workforce using Learning.com’s digital literacy curriculum and assessments. Learning.com supports districts as they transition to digital content by providing a repository of OER and free digital resources with tools to build and share custom digital curriculum. Through implementation services and professional development, Learning.com serves educators as they integrate technology and digital content into instruction. Founded in 1999, Learning.com currently partners with more than 2,700 districts and serves 4.9 million students.
LocknCharge CEO Explains Why Mobile Device Rollouts at K-12 Schools Should Include Storage and Charging Products
International expert James Symons shares tips for successful device rollouts
AUSTIN, TX, Feb. 4, 2015 – At TCEA K-12 mobile device management specialist LocknCharge’s CEO, James Symons, shared answers to questions about how and why K-12 schools should roll out mobile devices together with storage and charging products. Symons, who will be in the LocknCharge booth #1935, explained the advantages of this strategy. His company is known for innovative carts that efficiently store and simultaneously charge mobile devices in schools. Symons said that many schools begin implementing mobile devices by opting to try a pilot of devices, and increasingly, they are also piloting LocknCharge Carts or Charging Stations as well. School IT staff and faculty like to get a real-life test on how things will work during their deployment to ultimately make them more prepared for it. Additionally, pilots give districts insight into the benefits their students and staff will realize in a mobile device deployment. Often, this insight is critical in securing and allocating any funding needed for mass deployments.
Overall, rolling out devices with the storage and charging solutions is critical for setting a consistent experience for faculty, staff and end users. It ensures that:
- Initial and ongoing support and training on device storage, syncing and charging can be streamlined and simplified – ultimately saving significant time for the already overloaded staff.
- Best practices can be shared from classroom to classroom or school to school – such as color coding Baskets to device covers to streamline the check in and check out of devices, or using Baskets to distribute devices in specific work pods or groups.
- A positive experience is realized from the beginning. When providing incomplete solutions to educators and students – just devices, with no way to secure, distribute, charge and store devices – they ultimately can become frustrated with the technology and see it as an added stressor.
- Cost savings are realized – by looking at a complete package for their deployment versus a piece by piece solution, districts can expect more significant cost savings and price breaks from their IT vendors.
“Something that should always be considered while planning a mobile device deployment is device deployment workflow. Without a doubt, one of the most frustrating points of a deployment is the realization that devices are underutilized or the deployment of the devices is slow and frustrating for users and teachers,” said James Symons, CEO of LocknCharge. “Think through how the devices will be deployed to users such as: Will classrooms share a Cart? Will each classroom have their own Cart? Will devices be distributed one-by-one with students carrying an armful of devices or will teachers distribute them? Will devices be assigned to work groups or whole classrooms? Answering these questions before a deployment can not only impact the storage and charging solution that is selected, it can greatly improve the usage and satisfaction people have with the devices.”
LocknCharge also works with some of the largest partners in the industry, such as CDW-G and Google, on developing packages for schools to try both devices and its Carts at the same time. When users experience the entire ecosystem of their deployment with LocknCharge Carts or Charging Stations they will see how the products make their lives, and deployments, easier. Once a solution has been solidified, it is increasingly a best practice to specifically identify on the bid the devices, Carts and Charging Stations that are sought in order to lock in the best pricing, assure that the desired products are available on the scheduled needed and to assure consistency of the mobile deployment solution within a given district.
Deployments of mobile devices can range from trials with 20 to 30 devices, to multi-school, district-wide deployments of 20,000 or more devices. Deployment types can range widely from one-to-one models, to a shared device model to a combination of the two models, depending on the age of students or preferences of the school districts. Deployments are as diverse as the districts throughout the USA and they can be enhanced by assuring the right partners are brought in early to provide insight and best practices for deployments.
Smooth Customer Deployment and What They Did Right
Coachella Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) has been extremely successful at deploying over 21,000 iPads® to every student from K-12 in one of the poorest districts in the country by having a clear vision, building a cross functional team with a strong leader, bringing in trusted vendors and partners to offer best practices and solutions, engaging their community on the deployment and by continuing to refine their processes as they learned through pilots and deployment.
Dr. Daryl Adams, superintendent of CVUSD, provided a clear vision for the deployment: to level the playing field with technology for their disadvantaged students. The district built a cross-functional team, led by Michelle Murphy, chief technology officer of CVUSD. The team continually tweaked processes and work flows through the pilot and mass deployment. Additionally, CVUSD brought in trusted partners and vendors, including LocknCharge, to offer best practices and provide technology insights from the beginning. By structuring their deployment with a pilot first, they were able to gain key data points on the benefits of having iPads in the classroom. Also, by educating the community on the benefits of the mobile device deployment, they were able to pass a $42 million technology bond to fund the mass deployment.
Problems Confronting Schools Without Device Storage and Charging
LocknCharge was born when founder Paul Symons saw schools struggle with the security of devices. As a school teacher, he knew how frustrating it was for teachers and students when devices weren’t available for use when needed and he set out to solve this problem by creating security solutions for laptops in his backyard shed. These security solutions would go on to assure that devices were available when the students and staff needed them, and built instant fans throughout Australia.
As devices and technology in Education have evolved, so has LocknCharge. The company has experienced and heard from IT staff, teachers, administrators and end users of devices on common complaints such as:
- Difficulty in wiring Carts – sometimes taking an entire hour for one Cart
- Lines in the classroom for students to get devices, delaying teaching time
- Flimsy storage solutions that fall apart and have to be replaced in two years
- Unsecure storage solutions that allowed devices to be stolen
- Distribution of devices involves bending down to pick up a stack of devices and often dropping and breaking devices
- A classroom can tie up an entire cart of devices, even if they aren’t all needed
- Inconsistent charging and syncing of devices
Every school going through deployment must find a solution to these concerns or they risk having inconsistent adoption and support of the mobile device deployment with faculty, staff and end users. Designed for Education, LocknCharge products solve each and every one of those concerns. These Carts save time on wiring and can be wired in as few as five minutes! Teachers gain teaching time by safely distributing devices in Baskets by LocknCharge – on average five minutes per distribution time is saved by distributing devices this way. For example, in a district with 125 Carts, being used twice per day, four days a week, 32 weeks a year, this can save 160,000 minutes per year or 32 hours per student each year.
Features that Maximize Value and Lifespan of Products
A universal design is key to support future changes in the schools’ mobile products. Administrators and IT staff should look for Carts and Charging Stations that are designed to support multiple device types, like LocknCharge’s Carrier 30 Cart™, Carrier 40 Cart™ and EVO 40 Carts™. Accommodating several devices of several different sizes – from Chromebooks to tablets to iPads – ensures that the Cart or charging station has a longer shelf life and can be easily used for deployments of mixed device types. In addition, because technology changes so quickly, assure that the solution is upgradeable and modular. This allows a single Cart to go from a Charge only to a sync and charge solution, without buying a whole new Cart.
A second key feature administrators should look for is security of the product. Deployments are very high profile within a community and, as such, assuring that these devices are secured from potential theft is critical. If a storage and charging solution can easily be broken into, the district stands to lose tens of thousands of dollars.
A third key feature to look for is a product which is extremely durable and can withstand the tough school environment so that schools don’t have to continually deal with purchasing new Carts or Charging Stations. Ideally, the solution will have a lifetime warranty to protect school investments.
LocknCharge designs and manufactures tablet/laptop carts, wall cages and lockers that secure, sync, and charge mobile devices. LocknCharge is a global company with headquarters in Perth, Western Australia, and our US headquarters is in Madison, WI. The company was founded in 1999, at the home of Paul Symons, now co-owner, director and product designer for LocknCharge. Since our beginnings in Perth, we’ve expanded globally to help make our customers lives easier by developing mobile device management products that take the workflow of a classroom into consideration.
‘Epson® BrightLink® Projector Teacher Contest’ Invites Educators to Share Creative Ways to Engage Students Using Interactive Projectors
Winning educators will be able to bring their ideas to fruition with Epson’s BrightLink 595Wi ultra-short-throw interactive projector
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Feb. 4, 2015 – Epson, the number-one selling projector brand worldwide1, is asking K-12 and post-secondary educators in the United States and Canada to share three creative ways to engage students in the classroom using an interactive projector for a chance to win the Epson BrightLink® 595Wifinger-touch interactive projector. Educators may enter the “Epson BrightLink Projector Teacher Contest” by submitting an entry online at www.epson.com/brightlinkcontest between February 5, 2015 and April 15, 2015.
In order to enter this contest, educators must submit three essays of no more than 250 words describing how they would creatively engage students using an interactive projector. Additionally, educators may submit a URL to a short video to supplement their written submission. Three winners will be awarded a BrightLink 595Wi interactive projector.
Submissions will be judged on the following criteria: creative use of an interactive projector in the classroom (50%), practicality of implementing the idea using real life examples/application (25%), and impact of using interactive projectors on student learning (25%). Three winners will be awarded a BrightLink 595Wi interactive projector. Epson will announce the recipients in May 2015 and the winning entries atwww.epson.com/brightlink. The Official Rules are found at BrightLink Contest Official Rules.
“The BrightLink interactive projector has endless capabilities for creating an innovative classroom environment,” said Jason Meyer, senior product manager, Projectors, Epson America, Inc. “We hope to receive lots of creative responses from educators and that our winners will be able to take their teaching to the next level with the Epson BrightLink interactive projector prize.”
More about the BrightLink 595Wi
The Epson BrightLink 595Wi is the world’s first touch-enabled 3LCD interactive projector. The ultra-short throw BrightLink 595Wi delivers 3,300 lumens of color brightness and 3,300 lumens of white brightness2 and features advanced connectivity options, PC-free interactivity capabilities, interactivity over the network, and more.
The BrightLink 595Wi is equipped with an external module that mounts directly to a wall or existing whiteboard enabling finger touch control and annotations. It supports gestures3, up to six fingers at the same time, and dual-pen support. The BrightLink 595Wi projector also gives teachers more control with the built-in Moderator device management software, allowing up to 50 computers, tablets and other handheld devices to be connected via the network for ultimate classroom collaboration.
More about Epson’s Projectors
Epson 3LCD projectors deliver three times brighter colors than leading competitive projectors4. Additional convenient and advanced features for educators include:
– BYOD Collaboration: Moderator device management software allows teachers to wirelessly share and compare students’ work from multiple devices, simultaneously5
– Epson iProjection™: Leveraging the Epson iProjection™ app, teachers can present from most iOS Apple devices running iOS 4.2 or later, including the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, and most Android devices running Android 2.3 or later; wireless module sold separately5
– Extended Lamp Life: Lamps have extended life in economy mode, helping to maximize presentation time; replacement lamps cost $79 through the Brighter Futures program, providing a lower overall total cost of ownership
– 3LCD Technology: Features the latest 3-chip 3LCD technology to deliver amazing, true-to-life color and detail for powerful presentations; 3LCD technology also provides an energy-efficient light engine using available lamp light to create stunning images, and in contrast to 1-chip DLP technology, 3LCD requires, on average, 25 percent less electricity per lumen of brightness6.
As a leader in innovation and partnership, Epson also offers the Brighter Futures® program, a unique sales and support initiative available specifically for schools. Designed to help educators select and implement the best products for their classrooms while making the most of their budgets, Brighter Futures offers special pricing, extended Epson limited warranty coverage for three years, dedicated education account managers, and toll-free technical support for all Epson projectors and associated accessories.
Color Brightness Specification and Projector Performance
The color brightness specification (measuring red, green and blue) published by the Society of Information Display (SID) allows consumers to compare projector color performance without conducting a side-by-side shootout. With today’s high definition content, teachers and students can display content with higher quality in brighter environments. For a truly impressive image, projectors need to offer both high color brightness and high white brightness. High color brightness is important for larger screen sizes and provides flexibility for a variety of screen materials. Without sufficient color brightness, images may be muddy, soft and lose detail, even in a dark room. For more information, visit http://www.colorlightoutput.com.
Epson is a global innovation leader dedicated to exceeding expectations with solutions for markets as diverse as the office, home, commerce, and industry. Epson’s lineup ranges from inkjet printers, printing systems and 3LCD projectors to industrial robots, smart glasses and sensing systems and is based on original compact, energy-saving, and high-precision technologies.
Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 72,000 employees in 94 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and the communities in which it operates. Epson America, Inc. based in Long Beach, Calif. is Epson’s regional headquarters for the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. To learn more about Epson, please visit: www.epson.com.
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1 Based upon Q3 2014 worldwide front projection market share estimates from PMA Research.
2 Color brightness (color light output) and white brightness (white light output) will vary depending on usage conditions. Color light
output measured in accordance with IDMS 15.4; white light output measured in accordance with ISO 21118.
3 With Windows 7/8 or Mac OS X only.
4 Color brightness (color light output) measured in accordance with IDMS 15.4. Color brightness will vary depending on usage conditions. Leading Epson 3LCD business and education projectors compared to leading one-chip DLP projectors, based on NPD data for June 2013 through May 2014 and PMA Research data for Q1 through Q3 2013.
5 Check your owner’s manual to determine if a wireless LAN module must be purchased separately to enable wireless connection on your Epson projector. Epson projectors can be networked either through the Ethernet port on the projector (check model specifications for availability) or via a wireless connection. Not all Epson projectors are able to be networked. Availability varies depending on model.
6 Data source: ProjectorCentral.com, Jan. 2014. Average of 1,243 shipping models for which the manufacturers provided lumens and total power data, all resolutions and brightness levels. Energy efficiency was measured as wattage per lumen. It was measured for both 3LCD and 1-chip projectors in each of six brightness segments. 3LCD projectors averaged less required electricity per lumen in each of the six segments.
Note: EPSON, PowerLite and BrightLink are registered trademarks, EPSON Exceed Your Vision is a registered logomark, Epson iProjection is a trademark of Seiko Epson Corporation. Brighter Futures and PrivateLine are registered trademarks of Epson America, Inc. All other product brand names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Epson disclaims any and all rights in these marks.