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Archive for August, 2012

Graduating with Technology in Education

 

So, I found another cool infographic that I just have to share.  This one is called “Graduating with Technology” and when you see how far educational technology has come in the last few decades, it’s a little mind-blowing.  Take a look!

This infographic was found at http://langtechnews.hivefire.com/articles/share/201226/.

 

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Great Teachers Go The Distance With Technology

I had to share the following article because I really found it inspiring.  It tells the story of an elementary teacher, Robert Pronovost, who started teaching in 2007 with 3 aging desktop computers as the only technology in his classroom.  He was determined to provide technology to his students, so when he was told that his district did not have the funds to assist him, he funded his own efforts through a combination of donations and grants (of course, Luidia was there to help with an eBeam interactive whiteboard).  We need more teachers like Mr. Pronovost.  Please take a look!

EPA teacher wins award for using tech in classroom-
Robert Pronovost named emerging leader by International Society for Technology in Education

by Helen Carefoot

When Robert Pronovost started teaching at Belle Haven Elementary in 2007, the only tech in his classroom was three aging desktop computers.

Now, his classroom collection includes a class set of MacBooks, four iPads, a class set of iPod touches, an eBeam interactive whiteboard, a Mac Mini, a projector, an Apple TV, and numerous other small pieces such as speakers and a Bamboo tablet.

The East Palo Alto teacher was named an emerging leader by the International Society for Technology in Education. The national award recognizes educators under the age of 35 who use technology to improve teaching and learning in his or her classroom.

Pronovost is a second grade teacher at Belle Haven Elementary School in the Ravenswood City School District, where 95 percent of students are English-language learners and 90 percent of students qualify for the free and reduced-price lunch program. He said he has helped bring advanced technology to his students to engage them and support their learning.

His efforts are rooted in his belief that it is important to integrate technology into the classroom to engage and support students.

“Students are connected with technology in much of their day outside of the classroom,” Pronovost said. “It’s important to help them see school as an extension of the rest of their day, not as completely separate.”

Additionally, he said technology can support students while the teacher is assisting others who need extra help.

He has faced plenty of challenges in his quest to tech-ify his classroom. The school district had no resources to help Pronovost, so he funded his efforts to support his teaching through a combination of donations and grants.

Starting by searching Craigslist for cheap or free laptops and asking friends for donations, Pronovost began to utilize Donorschoose.org, an online charity dedicated to donating funds and materials to students in need.

Pronovost wrote grants and contacted local businesses like Tyco Electronics, Facebook, Luidia and the Apple education department to secure free or cheap tools for his classroom, as well as other classrooms at Belle Haven. Within a year, he received five new laptops from Apple’s education department. Over the next five years, Pronovost developed an array of classroom tools including class sets of laptops, interactive whiteboards and wireless Internet access.

Throughout the school day, Pronovost implements a variety of technologies. Using an
iPad and an AppleTV connected to a projector, Pronovost leads the students in lessons while roaming around the room freely to answer questions and provide clarification.

“If a student is confused or needs support, I can open any of hundreds of other apps that can give them the specialized support he or she needs,” he said.

He also uses iPad applications like Doceri and Class Dojo to annotate the whiteboard and keep track of student behavior.

Surrounded by technology from an early age, Pronovost has had an interest in technology since his childhood.

“My dad chose to invest in keeping up with the latest technology, so I was able to play with and learn from all the tools around me,” Pronovost said. “While I definitely had a lot of time reading with my mom as a child, I also distinctly remember using a predecessor to the LeapPad (portable learning device).”

Pronovost chose to become a teacher to give all students equal opportunities. After attending two different high schools during his youth, he began to notice some of the inequality. However, his desire was sparked by his work with St. HOPE Public Schools in Sacramento, where he was struck by the inequity he saw at the school.

“I witnessed parents and children fighting for an education that so many others were already receiving,” Pronovost said. “I don’t think anyone should have to fight for the education they desire.”

A graduate of Stanford University and the Stanford Teacher Education Program, Pronovost was looking to teach in a place where he could have a great impact in supporting students in an underserved community.

He was deciding between East Palo Alto and Oakland, but ultimately chose East Palo Alto because his wife grew up on the Peninsula. Pronovost chose to teach at Belle Haven after meeting some students.

“I met several students who really desired a strong education, but in many ways were not receiving this education. I hoped that by teaching at Belle Haven I could help more students achieve their potential,” Pronovost said. “I chose to teach at Belle Haven because it felt like the perfect place to make an impact.”

Though getting technology to the students took a mammoth effort, he said it’s easy for them to adjust to using the new technologies.

“While most of the students have entered my classroom with very little use of technology in an educational setting, they quickly adapt to use the tools successfully in our classroom,” Pronovost said.

His efforts have been met with fanfare from both his students and colleagues.

“My students love it. They jump at the chance to work at their own instructional level. The students become experts at using the tools as well, supporting their peers whenever they need help,” he said.

For the past couple of years, Pronovost has helped his colleagues integrate new technology in their instruction by assisting them in their classrooms after school.

“I have heard much more interest in integrating technology in their own classrooms, which I have tried to support with one-on-one mentoring and securing technology,” Pronovost said of his colleagues.

Also serving as the Ravenswood City School District’s STEM Coordinator, he is focused on mentoring teachers in technology integration in both one-on-one and small groups settings, while conducting some district-wide professional development as well.

“My hope is to build a team of teachers who are champions for accelerating student achievement using technology, a team that would eventually help move our entire district to utilize technology to support our students in the best ways possible,” he said.

Pronovost said he already has big plans for this coming school year. His goal is to spread technology use amongst the entire Ravenswood school district. He hopes to create a database of tools and videos that work in the classroom, as well as test out some free applications.

“There are already other amazing teachers utilizing technology in their own classrooms in our district, so I plan to capture those teachers in action and create a database of tools that work in the classroom, teachers who are experts at it, and videos to support implementation in other classrooms around the district,” he said.
This article was found at http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/show_story.php?id=26425.

For Every eBeam Edge Product Purchased, Receive an eBeam Wireless Keyboard Free!

From August 15 through October 31, 2012 every eBeam Edge product purchased
from an authorized eBeam Reseller, comes with an eBeam Wireless Keyboard ($99 value)!

The eBeam Wireless Keyboard, combined with your eBeam Edge, allows you to work with your Windows or Mac computer to:

  • Interact with content at the board and from up to 33 feet away
  • Enter text in any open application using a standard QWERTY keyboard
  • Navigate, scroll and select using the provided touch pad
  • Use the laser pointer to draw attention to items in the interactive workspace

Here’s how North American customers can take advantage of this offer:

  1. Locate an authorized US Reseller or Canadian ResellerWe are Interior Dimension, Inc. in Ballwin, Missouri.  You can visit our website www.ebeamrocks.com or call us at #314-629-3000.
  2. Contact a reseller and, when placing your order for eBeam Edge products, indicate you would like to take advantage of the eBeam Wireless Keyboard Back to School Offer.
  3. Include the following code in your order – RFWK.
 

How to Integrate Interactive Whiteboards into Classroom Learning

 

I think most of us are a little intimidated when we’re presented with new technology, but once we can force ourselves to learn how to use that new technology, the benefits can be amazing.  Not only do we feel a little extra sense of accomplishment once we have control over this new technological object, but then it can begin to make our lives easier.  I can say this about all kinds of things that I’ve purchased for myself (my digital camera, my e-reader, my photo printer, my phone…), knowing in the long run that I would love them, but starting out just feeling overwhelmed and wondering how I’m ever going to learn this new technology.  I had the same feeling when my boss presented me with the eBeam interactive whiteboard products.  At first, I had no idea where to start, but I have to admit learning the eBeam products was actually fairly easy and incredibly enjoyable.  No kidding!  I was amazed at the educational capabilities that eBeam has incorporated into their products, and I felt that I could totally share my new love for eBeam with this blog.  That being said, please, if you’re interested in learning more about eBeam, check out our website at http://www.ebeamrocks.com/, and if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us.  We believe eBeam rocks, and we think we can make you believe that too!

Today, I’ve included an article giving 5 tips on how to integrate interactive whiteboards into your classroom lessons.  I thought maybe it could help someone get through those early feelings of intimidation when learning to use new technology.  Take a look!

5 Ways to Integrate Interactive Whiteboards into Classroom Lessons

Want your students to experience the magic of learning? Then take advantage of virtual manipulatives.

When students work with virtual manipulatives, there’s a sense of heightened anticipation, engagement and even a little bit of magic in the room.

Many of today’s classrooms are filled with technology, but one piece that can help teachers and students bring new life to a lesson is the interactive whiteboard and the teaching manipulatives that it makes possible.

There are numerous whiteboard manufacturers — Epson and PolyVision among them. Each whiteboard solution has advantages and disadvantages, but all have the ability to enhance curriculum, increase student achievement and allow learning activities not imaginable in a traditional classroom environment.

Do you wish your interactive whiteboards felt “magical” in the classroom? Here are five practices to help get the most out of these devices.

Get Moving

Some technology coordinators don’t consider interactive whiteboards as part of their overall technology plan, arguing that these are teacher-centric devices and only serve to help a teacher lecture in the front of a classroom as students watch. Used properly, students — not teachers — should be working at interactive whiteboards throughout the school day.

In his book Brain Rules, neuroscientist Dr. John Medina reports that physically active students absorb more information than students sitting at their desks all day. One of the best things that teachers can do to help students grasp new information is to get them out of their chairs, working at whiteboards and using the boards’ virtual manipulatives.

Many interactive whiteboards allow multiple users or input devices to interact with the board simultaneously, so develop lessons and projects to take advantage of this capability. Here are a few possibilities:

  • Divide students into two groups and have them race to solve a puzzle.
  • Let multiple students work together to construct an object.
  • Solve math problems in a relay fashion, with students handing off the pen to one another.

Make It a Teacher’s Tool Too

Although interactive whiteboards should be used to involve students in lessons, there also are times when it makes sense to gather a class and focus on a central point for a short lecture or demonstration.

Teachers who lecture frequently might be hesitant to build interactive lessons into their curricula because they worry that they will lose control of the classroom. But that needn’t be the case.

Interactive whiteboards can enhance lectures when teachers use them to check students’ understanding. For instance, after a five-minute lecture, a teacher can easily create three slides to check for basic comprehension, asking random students to step up to the board to re-create the object just explained, match countries to their proper flags or put the correct science lab safety equipment on a human dummy.

If teachers conduct such checks often during a lesson, students become more attentive, lessons become more meaningful, and the instructor retains full control of the classroom environment.

Multitask

One of the advantages of using interactive whiteboard software is the ability to work on multiple tasks.

For example, a teacher can play a video clip on the left side of the board and ask students to check off vocabulary words on the right side while the video plays. During the video, teachers can easily take snapshots of the screen to capture critical moments, and students can take turns at the board writing notes about what they’re viewing.

Interactive whiteboards make something as simple as showing a video much more interactive than traditional lessons in which videos are used to supplement classroom instruction.

Take Small Steps

“I don’t have the time to move all of my PowerPoint slides to a new format that I am still uncomfortable with.” That’s a common lament from teachers who have created lesson materials in Microsoft PowerPoint and wonder about the value of converting them for use on a whiteboard.

The good news? It’s not necessary to toss all those PowerPoint lessons and lectures. If those lessons worked well in the past, they can still be used without the need to convert them into interactive whiteboard files. In fact, some tasks in PowerPoint are easier to accomplish than through use of whiteboard software because PowerPoint is a mature, refined product.

Even better news: Some teachers have materials in PowerPoint because textbook publishers provided an “instructor resource CD” to accompany the text being used in the classroom. Today, publishers provide additional material to be used with interactive whiteboards — and that’s a first step toward using whiteboard-authoring software on a daily basis.

The critical question to ask when designing lessons is, “What can your whiteboard software do that PowerPoint cannot?” Once a teacher has that answer, he or she can begin to identify and create meaningful, interactive lessons.

Expect This to Take Time

Remember sending out that first e-mail or adding your first friend on Facebook? It took time to figure out how to write on a Facebook wall, to figure out what that “cc” field in an e-mail window meant, to figure out how to attach a file. Today, most teachers perform these tasks easily. Why? They’ve been practicing a little bit every day.

Interactive whiteboards and the accompanying software are no different. To effectively use these tools, teachers need to use their interactive whiteboards every day — even if for only a few minutes or as part of a larger lesson. In time, working with the devices and the software will become a routine part of lesson planning.

If interactive whiteboard technology is in your classroom, your students are waiting for — and expecting — the magic.

 

How to Reach Today’s Digitally Wired Students

The following article is by Jody Forehand, the vice president of product planning for Luidia.  I thoroughly respect her opinions regarding education today, and always feel the need to share any articles that I find that she has written.  Take a look!

This article was found at http://www.howtolearn.com/2012/08/the-connected-classroom-reaching-todays-digitally-wired-students

The Connected Classroom: Reaching Today’s Digitally Wired Students

By Jody Forehand on August 6, 2012

Many of today’s students are used to having access to the latest gadgets at home. It seems like most kids today have been streaming media and playing video games for a few years by the time they enter elementary school. A recent study  found that 20% of third-graders and 83% of middle schoolers have cell phones. Now compare their experiences in the digital world in their personal lives with the static nature of most traditional classrooms today, dominated by analog tools like flashcards, text books, and whiteboards – classroom tools that haven’t substantively changed for decades.

The stark contrasts between the analog classroom and the digital world in which students are immersed outside of school illustrate the significant barriers to reaching and motivating today’s students. So, how do we create a “Connected Classroom” where technology is used to engage “digital natives” and to improve learning outcomes, both inside and outside the classroom?

Creating Classroom Engagement

Technology tools, such as iPads, interactive whiteboards (IWB’s), and even mobile phones, are paving the way to enabling a more stimulating learning environment. A 2011 study by National Academies Press showed that interactive tools, like game-based applications, had the potential to promote higher-order thinking skills, collaboration, communication, and problem solving.

Teachers need technology tools that can reach students in their digital comfort zone. Many are finding that integrated multimedia and other supporting content – such as images, websites and videos – delivered via IWBs or tablet computers enhance interaction during the lesson and increase engagement among students.

Fostering After and Out of School Reinforcement

In addition to in-classroom needs, teachers need tools that can reinforce curricula outside of class, creating a classroom that connects outside of school walls and hours. Arming instructors with the technology to capture and disseminate content before, during and after the lesson, can drive better overall engagement and performance. Teachers also can leverage technology to share the lesson or notes with remote or absent students, so that these kids don’t miss a beat.

Something as simple as a teacher or school-created website where classroom materials are uploaded allows students and parents to engage with the curriculum anytime, anywhere. Think about a student who misses class due to an illness or medical procedure and the set-backs he or she suffers. With recorded and uploaded lectures, homework posted online and the portal to keep up with daily lessons from home, the student doesn’t have to fall behind. At home, online portals, class blogs and other web-based tools keep parents connected so they can reinforce the lesson, review materials with the student and access worksheets, homework assignments, and teacher notes.

Navigating Tightening Budgets

It’s no secret that many schools are struggling to make ends meet and purchase the materials and textbooks they need, let alone additional technology, and those making purchasing decisions are forced to prioritize. A recent study conducted by Luidia Inc. showed that 91 percent of educators cited budget and cost as a significant challenge to technology adoption.

But without technology as a priority, we lose or reduce our access to the educational efficiency and effectiveness gains that are critical to reaching this generation of digital natives and those who will follow them.  The Federal and state governments need to find ways to fund experimentation by teachers and administrators to explore newer, more effective ways of teaching. In the interim, districts can make smaller, incremental purchases, or apply for the grants that do exist today.

District IT decision-makers are getting creative in the face of these challenges. Danielle Kozoroski from Florida works with her peers to re-evaluate their purchasing strategies, holding school and community fundraising events to raise money for technology purchasing, and investing in portable, shareable and flexible tools that can adapt with her district, rather than bulky, proprietary systems. As a result, the district has been able to incorporate cutting edge technology into the curriculum and deliver a 21st century experience to the students despite shrinking budgets.

Prioritizing Technology

In the face of budget restrictions, many districts are struggling to revamp both how they teach and what they teach in light of new technologies.  Doing both together may seem unaffordable, yet many of the tools and techniques described above (accessing materials for review before and after class, interacting with instructors and classmates via email and websites, etc.) are used even more extensively in college. Thus, investing in connected classroom technologies and approaches for K-12 classrooms not only engages students in their digital comfort zones now, but teaches both the independent and the collaborative learning skills they’ll need later in life.

Jody Forehand – VP of Product Planning, Luidia 

Jody Forehand is the vice president of product planning for Luidia, bringing 15+ years of experience in product strategy and marketing to the Luidia team.  In 1995, EFI recruited Jody from her position as a semiconductor analyst for Frost & Sullivan to provide market research and analysis for a number of development efforts, including eBeam technology.  During her career at EFI, she worked on several other EFI product lines and coordinated international development efforts with major customers in Japan. In 2003, Ms. Forehand was part of the team that managed EFI’s spin-off of the eBeam business unit into an independent company, Luidia, Inc., and has continued to serve in a variety of roles at Luidia.

The Evolution of Educational Technology

So, I’ve just discovered this cool website with these awesome infographics.  It’s http://visual.ly/.  Anyway, I thought the one below was pretty cool, so I decided it needed to be shared.  It describes the evolution of educational technology, starting in 1635 with the first public school being founded in the U.S., and ends in 2011 with NYC public schools ordering over 2000 iPads for teachers and students.  Take a look!

This infographic was found at http://visual.ly/evolution-educational-technology.

education

Global Interactive Whiteboard Market to Reach $1.85 Billion by 2018

 

It doesn’t look like interactive whiteboards are going anywhere, and that just makes me happy.  Especially because this $1.85 billion that’s projected is at least partially driven by the rising demand for technology in the classroom.  Interactive whiteboards have proven themselves to be amazingly beneficial for both educators and students, so let’s expand their use!  Of course, I believe that eBeam provides the best (and most affordable) interactive whiteboard solution, so check out this article, and then please check out our website at http://www.ebeamrocks.com/ for more eBeam information and great prices!

Global Interactive Whiteboard Market to Reach US$1.85 Billion by 2018, According to New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

GIA announces the release of a comprehensive global report on Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) markets. The global market for Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) is projected to reach US$1.85 billion by the year 2018, primarily driven by rising demand for technology-based education, Government education initiatives, and technological advancements in the sector. Further, increased adoption of Interactive Whiteboards in emerging economies including China and India is expected to fuel market growth.

San Jose, California (PRWEB) July 25, 2012

The interactive whiteboards (IWBs) market is poised to remain resilient, despite continued budgetary constraints across the world pressured by macroeconomic factors. Today, IWBs are being regarded as a pivotal tool of investment in the new generation education. IWBs continue to be a high-spending priority area for Governments and school districts on account of proven impact of the product on students as well as educators, in terms of efficiency and effectiveness in imparting advanced education. Generally, education sector attracts investment to the tune of about 4%-7% of GDP that predominantly remains resilient and insulated from Governmental spending cuts.

Education is steadily evolving from conventional chalk and board approach to a highly dynamic interactive learning model through integration of technology into classroom teaching and other classroom activities. The new generation student is increasingly considering classroom as an extension of technology that they use at their homes such as personal computers, emails, and Internet. Students are seeking various new approaches for education such as interactive whiteboards, Internet-driven teaching modules, panel displays and monitors, voting systems, handheld devices including tablets, and laptops and desktop computers for learning purposes. The dynamic interactive learning model is increasingly being introduced for younger children besides adult students for teaching purposes. As these children grow and move through the education system, the demand for interactive technology is expected to significantly increase in higher education institutions.

Interactive Whiteboard technology extends a highly potential means for teachers to connect and communicate with students, by bringing the outer world to the classrooms and enriching the teaching process into an exciting learning experience. In recent years, classrooms at various levels of educational institutions are beginning to adopt interactive whiteboards at a significant pace, drawing the attention of Governments globally. The scenario accelerates the adoption of the IWB technology through Government funding for enhancing the country’s education system. In countries such as the US, South Africa, Australia, and the UK, a significant amount of state funding has been given to education sector for procuring IWBs, especially in the K-12 school system.

Despite a relatively low usage rate, the corporate sector represents a potentially lucrative market segment for IWB manufacturers. IWB vendors are expected to focus on the development and delivery of whiteboard solutions in sync with the business models of individual organizations. Moreover, IWB products must feature simple operational procedures, for use by non-technical employees. With companies increasingly viewing IWB systems as an economical mode of fostering interaction and collaboration between colleagues, suppliers and customers, demand for IWBs from the corporate sector is set to rise.

As stated by the new market research report on Interactive Whiteboard, the US represents the largest individual market for IWBs in volume sales. Middle East & Africa represents the fastest growing market for IWBs. Education represents the largest as well as fastest growing end-use sector for IWBs in the world.

Worldwide interactive whiteboards market is highly concentrated with the top two players accounting for a lion’s share of worldwide sales. Smart Technologies Inc., a Canadian pioneer in interactive whiteboards, and Promethean World Plc, the UK-based second major interactive whiteboards producer, maintain their unreachable supremacy in the market.

IWB and IWB systems manufacturers profiled in the report include Egan TeamBoard Inc., eInstruction Corporation, Fuzhou Returnstar Technology Co. Ltd., Hitachi Solutions America Ltd., Luidia Inc., Panasonic Corporation, PolyVision Corporation, Promethean World Plc, QOMO HiteVision LLC, Samsung Electronics, Sharp Corp., Smart Technologies Inc., and TouchIT Technologies Inc. In addition, the report includes profiles of component providers such as Epson Singapore Pte. Ltd., InFocus® Corporation, and ViewSonic Corporation; and software and resource providers such as DYMO/Mimio, Hatch Inc., Lerner Publishing Group, and RM Educational Software, Inc.

The research report titled “Interactive Whiteboard (IWB): A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive review of trends, issues, strategic industry activities, and profiles of major companies worldwide. The report provides market estimates and projections (in Thousand Units and US$ Million) for regional markets including the US, Canada, Europe (France, Germany, Italy, UK, Spain, Russia, and Rest of Europe), Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. In addition, the report provides market estimates and projections (in Thousand Units and US$ Million) for Education and Others end-use sectors for the global market.

For more details about this comprehensive market research report, please visit –
http://www.strategyr.com/Interactive_Whiteboard_IWB_Market_Report.asp

This article was found at http://www.prweb.com/releases/interactive_whiteboard/IWB_electronic_whiteboard/prweb9733058.htm.