Great Gadgets for Remote Teaching and Presenting

Congratulations, teachers- you’ve made it through an entire semester of remote instruction! This is a huge accomplishment, particularly if you teach an elementary school grade full of energetic little students who find it hard to sit still in front of a computer screen for any length of time. No matter who your students are, or what subjects you teach, there’s no doubt that you deserve a huge round of applause (or, honestly, a medal of honor) for the seriously daunting undertaking of remote teaching.

Think about it- in just a few short months, you and your fellow educators have been tasked with restructuring your entire class curriculum and lesson plans to fit a fully-remote school day, sometimes for students as young as 4 years old! If that’s not a major accomplishment, we don’t know what is. We hope you look back on 2020 as the year you rose to meet each challenge head-on, adapting to best suit the needs of your students and parents. As far as we’re concerned, you’re heroes!

Unfortunately, though, we’re not out of the woods just yet. While we can now see some definite light at the end of this tunnel, it could be months before school resembles anything like the “normal” we remember. Though many school districts have plans in the works to safely welcome their students back in person safely within the next couple of months, the odds are good that we’re still going to have to rely on remote learning, at least part-time, for the foreseeable future. With teachers across the country anticipating more of the same for the second semester of the school year, now’s a good time to take a look at some helpful devices that can make remote teaching and presenting go a lot more smoothly in 2021.

Here are some of our favorite gadgets geared toward making remote teaching more streamlined and efficient, not to mention cutting down on some of the most common headaches teachers are experiencing:

auto-tracking cameraJigabot Camera Bundle – $995
Wouldn’t it be great if you could hire a camera person to follow you around your classroom during a remote lesson? Imagine being able to efficiently utilize all of your teaching materials as if you were standing in front of a live class. Thanks to Jigabot, this dream can be a reality!

The Jigabot auto-tracking robot camera helps teachers take a futuristic approach to presenting remote lessons to their students by taking the camera operation work off their plates, leaving them free to conduct class as usual. This adaptive, versatile camera robot works with just about any mobile device, as well as every streaming service, to smoothly and seamlessly follow you around your classroom wherever you go. Your students will always see you in the frame as you conduct your remote lessons- no need to worry if you are presenting the wrong portion of your smartboard!

Thanks to its smooth, responsive motors, Jigabot works whether your preferred camera is mirrorless, a camcorder, or a cinema camera tethered with cables. Pros use Jigabot to get the perfect shot every time, and now you can too!

web camQOMO HD Webcam with Built-In Microphone and Mount – $79
Need a different point of view than the one your built-in laptop webcam will allow? Say hello to the QOMO HD webcam. This high-definition camera with built-in microphone enables you to stream and record clearly for lessons, grade-level meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and more. Equipped with a sharp 1080p camera and dual mic, this 4K webcam captures audio and video much better than a standard laptop webcam. A USB connection allows for high-quality, plug and play image and video capturing with no drivers required.

The QOMO HD webcam is also easy to clip on, adjust, and move around, making for a highly user-friendly experience. Despite its small size, the QOMO HD webcam is able to deliver high-quality real-time images and video, making it a remote teaching powerhouse!

QOMO QPC22 ScannerCam 22USB Document Camera and Webcam – $235
Being able to scan documents to send to your students via Canvas or Google Classroom is an essential part of remote teaching. However, most people don’t have access to a document scanner at their house. What if you are trying to send an assigned reading or quiz and you currently aren’t anywhere near a scanner? Don’t worry- it’s the QPC22 ScannerCam to the rescue!

Document scanning is just one of the QPC22 ScannerCam’s impressive features- this affordable and ultra-portable gadget doubles as a webcam, making it ideal for transporting and presenting from home or school. Portable and lightweight enough to carry in your computer bag, set up the QPC22 ScannerCam anywhere to easily zoom, rotate, and flip captured images using your connected computer. Not bad for a device that only takes up as much desk space as a coffee mug!

ThinkWrite TW220 Ultra Durable Pro USB Headset- $34.99
One of the worst parts of working remotely is having to deal with so much background noise that you find it hard to concentrate on the task at hand! With this noise-canceling USB headset in your corner, however, every place in your house is a distraction-free zone!

The ThinkWrite TW220 Ultra Durable Pro USB Headset was exclusively designed by ThinkWrite Technologies to provide sustained comfort, superior sound, and signature durability. Ergonomically-designed soft contour 100%-contact ear cushions, improved sonic quality, and ThinkWrite’s unique ear cup swivel technology allow ears to remain protected from the stress of compression, the distraction of background noise, and strain of damaging frequencies over longer listening periods, while 40mm drivers deliver exceptional sound quality.

For recording lessons, the optimally-positioned flip-down omni-directional microphone boom will provide unparalleled sound quality for all students following along at home.

Remote teaching may not be a thing of the past just yet, but with these devices in your classroom, you can greatly improve not only your experience but that of your students! In order to prepare yourself for whatever the second semester of the school year holds, invest in these gadgets now- you won’t be sorry!

Troubleshooting Tips for your USB Headset

As we head into winter, it’s beginning to look like we won’t be heading back to school or the office anytime soon. With COVID-19 cases skyrocketing as the weather turns cold, many companies and school districts have made the decision to remain online only, with no in-person contact for at least the next several months. If you’re feeling stir-crazy and missing your office space or classroom, trust us- you’re not alone!

However, working or attending classes remotely doesn’t have to mean discomfort or distraction. Even if you’re sharing cramped quarters with a spouse and kids all working and attending school from home, you can still get into the zone with your own work or school commitments thanks to a USB headset that is compatible with your computer. Purchasing a USB headset is a great way to optimize your remote working or learning environment as we continue to adapt to our ‘new normal.’

But what if your new USB headset is having a hard time connecting over Bluetooth, or if you can hear the participants in your online meeting but they can’t hear you (or vice versa)? Like any technology, USB headsets are prone to occasional issues that can cause frustration in an already frustrating situation. Here are some handy tips for you to keep nearby next time your USB headset is giving you a headache. See if these work for you!

Problem: Your Wireless USB Headset Won’t Connect Over Bluetooth
Solution: This is a pretty common problem among wireless USB headsets that use a USB dongle to connect via Bluetooth to your computer or mobile device. Fortunately, there’s a relatively simple fix to re-establish connectivity. Simply “forget” the USB headset and then re-pair it to your device.

You can do this by clicking the Bluetooth symbol, normally located in the top bar menu of your laptop, or going into your System Settings menu and selecting Bluetooth. This will present a menu of Bluetooth-connected devices, including your wireless USB headset, that can be disconnected by clicking on them. In some cases, simply disconnecting and reconnecting will work just fine, but other times it may be necessary to forget the device and pair it once again as a new Bluetooth headset to have your computer recognize it properly.

Problem: You Can Hear Your Fellow Meeting Participants, but They Can’t Hear You
Solution: Whether your USB headset is wired or wireless, occasionally there may be an issue with sound output. If you can hear everything with your USB headset but your fellow meeting or class attendees have indicated that they can’t hear you, try these three quick steps:

  • Check to make sure you are not on mute over Zoom, Google Meet, or whichever videoconferencing platform your organization uses. It may be as simple as a click of a button!
  • Make sure your microphone volume is turned up. Many USB headset models have separate volume controls for headphones and microphone, and it’s possible that one is turned up and the other is turned way down!
  • Check to ensure that either the USB cord for a wired headset or the USB dongle for a wireless headset is plugged into your computer’s USB port and that the fit is secure. It is possible that the USB headset is not connected all the way- or at all!- to your device.

Problem: You are unable to hear anything through your headphones but your mic seems to work just fine.
Solution: Like the troubleshooting tips for a malfunctioning microphone, the solution to this one may be easier than you think! Try these things first:

  • Make sure your headphones are connected securely to your USB port, either with the USB cord of your wired headset or with the wireless USB dongle.
  • Check the volume control for the headphones- is it turned all the way down? Adjust until you can hear sound coming out.
  • Look at the sound settings on your laptop- it’s possible that your USB headset is not selected as the preferred audio output device.

If you’ve gone through these troubleshooting tips and are still experiencing issues, there’s a possibility that you may be having a more serious problem with your hardware. Try using a spare set of headphones to make sure the problem isn’t stemming from the laptop itself, and contact the help desk at your computer’s manufacturer to correct any issues.

It’s also possible that your USB headset may simply be worn out from excessive use and normal wear and tear, or that it may have been exposed to water damage or other injuries. If this is the case, contact the manufacturer for warranty and repair information.

People who have tried a USB headset for remote work, online learning, gaming, and more enjoy the enhanced ability to concentrate in a distraction-free environment, no matter where they are! Once you have purchased a USB headset, it can be quite difficult if not impossible to imagine life without it, which is why any malfunction or issue can be especially disheartening. Because of this, it’s important to take good care of your USB headset to keep it looking and working like new. Here are some safety and storage tips to help you make the most of your USB headset purchase for years to come.

  • If you have a wired USB headset model, make sure to bundle your cord when it is not in use. This will prevent your USB headset from cord damage that can affect its performance. We recommend a loose, figure-8 cord bundle secured with a twist-tie or zip-tie when you are not using your USB headset.
  • For wireless Bluetooth USB headsets that you plan to use on several devices, be sure to disconnect a device before connecting to a new one. Too many devices connected via Bluetooth can cause connectivity issues, especially if all the devices are within a 500-foot range of one another.
  • Be sure not to clean your USB headset with anything other than cleaning products that have been optimized for use with electronics. Alternatively, we find that a damp hand towel or dishcloth with a very small amount of mild dish soap is effective and safe for the exterior of your USB headset. Never submerge the cord or dongle to your USB headset in the water!

By following these tips, we hope your USB headset will continue to make your remote working or online learning experience as pleasant and productive as possible.

Best Chromebook USB Headsets for Schools

The first semester of the school year is in full swing, despite the fact that many students are still participating in remote learning from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The almost even split between children and teens who have returned to in-person learning and those who are still attending classes through Zoom, Google Meet, or another video conferencing platform means that teachers are relying on technology more than ever to effectively teach their classes and help their students understand and engage in their lessons, either in school or remotely.

In both instances, school headphones have become an essential part of the learning experience for students in elementary, middle, or high school. Those who are learning from home need a set that is comfortable enough to be worn all day, with a quality microphone and earphones that will allow them to clearly hear the teacher and respond to questions and in group discussions in a clear, easy-to-understand way. Those who have returned to campus need a set that is durable and can easily be transported to the computer lab and other areas of school without being damaged. Students can enhance their educational experience with school headphones that offer the right blend of affordability and durability, and schools can benefit from these headsets to ensure that students are receiving the important knowledge information conveyed in their lessons regardless of where or how they are participating in classes. Here are our top 6 picks for school headphones that help make distance learning go more smoothly for everyone involved.

Avid AE-55 – Not only does this model offer noise reduction and a cord that is easy to store, but the microphone can also be worn on either ear, making it easier for left-handed people to take notes during class. The Avid AE-55 is designed with comfort in mind and contains ergonomic elements to keep students from straining so that they can pay attention to the class rather than become distracted by their personal comfort.

 

 

 

 

Hamilton Buhl Smart-Trek Deluxe Stereo ST2BKU – Schools that want headsets that are available for multiple uses will love this model. The headset adjusts to fit students of all ages. Its ear cups are soft and comfortable, but they are easy to clean in between uses, helping keep students safe and healthy. The cord is resistant to knots, which is a bonus for students who twist the cords.

 

 

 

 

Cyber Acoustics AC-6012 – With a padded headband and padded earphones, this headset is also a great model that can be worn all day. Yet, it is also durable enough to be used in a classroom setting with multiple students. The surface is easy to clean and sanitize, and the volume control is easy to find and adjust, which is great for a multitude of students.

 

 

 

 

Cyber Acoustics AC-5008 – A classic look meets modern function in this headset. Its traditional round earphones are reminiscent of older models, and also comfortable, durable, and easy to clean. This headset is adjustable with a microphone that can be used on either side. A USB plugin makes it easy to pair with many different computers and other devices, making it a good choice for use in and out of the classroom.

 

 

ThinkWrite TW120 Ultra Ergo – An ergonomic design helps students perform at their best without straining to see or hear. This headset is comfortable and durable. One of its best features is that it was designed specifically to limit exposure to damaging frequencies, which is a benefit for young ears. It is perfect for audio recording, testing and a plethora of other classroom uses.

 

 

 

 

ThinkWrite Ultra Durable 90119 – Made to withstand multiple uses from students of all types, this headset is a must-add to your child’s school supply list. Its microphone cancels out noise, making it perfect for teachers who like to record their lessons, or students who like using voice notes to study for tests. Another feature of this headset is that it was designed for iPads and Chromebooks.

 

 

 

 

One silver lining in this unprecedented and unusual situation that students and teachers face this school year is the availability of affordable, durable school headphones and other technology to help make the circumstances more adaptable. With so many available models, there is a pair of school headphones for every student in any situation. Whether they’re being used for test-taking, homework, distance learning, or other uses, these headsets will conform to sanitation guidelines while also being functional for everyday use. In order to help your student succeed this school year via remote or in-person learning, make sure that he or she is well-equipped with the right school headset to make his or her experience as comfortable as possible.

Chromebook Headsets for Distance Learning

Believe it or not, we are already halfway through the first semester of the 2020-2021 school year, and as expected, it looks nothing like the school years we have experienced in the past. Due to the unprecedented events of the COVID-19 pandemic, many students are still participating in remote learning from home, while others have returned to in-person learning, either full-time or on a hybrid, part-time schedule. The fact that so many students are still attending classes remotely at least on a part-time basis means that teachers are using technology more than ever to help their students understand and engage in their lessons.
In both in-person and remote learning scenarios, headsets have become an essential part of the learning experience for students in elementary, middle, or high school. Those who are learning from home need a set that is comfortable enough to be worn all day, with a quality microphone and earphones that will allow them to clearly hear the teacher and respond to questions and in group discussions in a clear, easy-to-understand way. Those who have returned to campus need a set that is durable and can easily be transported to the computer lab and other areas of school without being damaged. Headsets that offer the right blend of affordability and durability can help teachers ensure that their students’ educational experience is enhanced so that they can benefit from their lessons regardless of where or how they are participating in classes. Here are our top choices for headsets that help make distance learning or in-person learning go more smoothly for everyone involved.

ThinkWrite Ultra Durable 90119 – Made to withstand multiple uses from students of all types, this headset is a must-add to your child’s school supply list. Its microphone cancels out noise, making it perfect for teachers who like to record their lessons, or students who like using voice notes to study for tests. Another feature of this headset is that it was designed for iPads and Chromebooks.

 

 

ThinkWrite TW120 Ultra Ergo – An ergonomic design helps students perform at their best without straining to see or hear. This headset is comfortable and durable. One of its best features is that it was designed specifically to limit exposure to damaging frequencies, which is a benefit for young ears. It is perfect for audio recording, testing and a plethora of other classroom uses.

 

 

Soundnetic SN250M – A lightweight option, the Soundnetic Disposable headset is affordable and perfect for cleaning standards. This headset is designed for personal use, so students can get a pair for their own use. The stereo speakers make it easy to hear audio, and the headset is compatible with many different tablets, phones, and computers. Students don’t have to share them, making them great for Covid protocols.

 

 

Cyber Acoustics AC-5008 – A classic look meets modern function in this headset. Its traditional round earphones are reminiscent older models, and also comfortable, durable, and easy to clean. This headset is adjustable with a microphone that can be used on either side. A USB plugin makes it easy to pair with many different computers and other devices, making it a good choice for use in and out of the classroom.

 

Cyber Acoustics AC-6012 – With a padded headband and padded earphones, this headset is also a great model that can be worn all day. Yet, it is also durable enough to be used in a classroom setting with multiple students. The surface is easy to clean and sanitize, and the volume control is easy to find and adjust, which is great for a multitude of students.

 

Cyber Acoustics AC-204 – Made with VoIP and gamers in mind, this headset is great for distance learners who need to use the headset for most of the day. It features noise-canceling headphones, which makes it easier for kids in busy households to hear their teachers, and it can be used with a variety of computers, phones, and tablets.

 

Hamilton Buhl Smart-Trek Deluxe Stereo ST2BKU – Schools that want headsets that are available for multiple uses will love this model. The headset adjusts to fit students of all ages. Its ear cups are soft and comfortable, but they are easy to clean in between uses, helping keep students safe and healthy. The cord is resistant to knots, which is a bonus for students who twist the cords.

 

 

Hamilton Buhl Smart-Trek Deluxe Stereo ST2BK – Students who prefer a headset that envelops the ear and cancels noise will love this headset. It offers excellent sound quality with adjustable volume, which is perfect for at-home students with multiple teachers. This headset is adjustable, making it perfect for a classroom setting, as it can be used by students of all sizes. It is durable too, with the ability to withstand multiple uses.

 

 

Avid AE-42 – For students who don’t take the best care of their school supplies, a durable headset is a must. This school headset is made to withstand the abuse that is common in classrooms from being dropped to cord chewing. Although it is durable, it’s also stylish and functional, and it can be adjusted for each user. As a bonus, it’s easy to clean, which is perfect for enhanced sanitation requirements.

 

 

Avid AE-55 – Not only does this model offer noise reduction and a cord that is easy to store, but the microphone can also be worn on either ear, making it easier for left-handed people to take notes during class. The Avid AE-55 is designed with comfort in mind and contains ergonomic elements to keep students from straining so that they can pay attention to the class rather than become distracted by their personal comfort.

 

 

Avid AE-36 – Available in a variety of colors, this headset allows students to express their personalities as they learn! The headset and the speaker are controlled from one jack, making them less bulky and easier to carry. The Avid AE-36 school headsets work with a variety of computers and tablets, including Chromebooks, without the need for extra attachments, and the sound quality makes it easy for a student to hear the instructor.

 

 

 

Though we are all anxious for things to return to normal as quickly as possible, there is a silver lining in all of this: affordable, durable headsets and other technology are more available than ever, which helps make the circumstances more adaptable. With so many available models of headsets, there is sure to be a pair for every student in any situation. Whether they’re being used for test-taking, homework, distance learning, or other uses, the headsets on this list will conform to sanitation guidelines while also being functional for everyday use. Give your student the best chance to succeed this school year via remote or in-person learning by making sure that he or she has the right headset to make this unusual school year as comfortable and productive as possible.

The Best Headsets for Remote Work

Since mid-March, when stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic went into effect, our lives have undergone a significant change, and life as we know it no longer looks the same. Everything we do, from how we shop for groceries to how our children attend school, has been somewhat altered by the pandemic. We’re all doing our best to adapt to this seismic shift in our society so that we can safely get on with business as usual. 

One of the biggest changes we’ve had to cope with during these unprecedented times is how we work. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to telecommute to the office are now working from home in order to stay safe and socially-distanced from our co-workers. Even though we’re lucky to have the available technology that allows us to do this, working from home can still be quite frustrating, and not everybody has adapted easily to this new normal.

Take, for example, online meetings. Gone are the days of sitting around a conference room table, sharing ideas, and making plans with our colleagues. While not everyone misses this face-to-face approach (and, to be sure, there’s a lot to be said for attending meetings in cozy PJ pants), sitting on multiple video chats per day with co-workers and clients, interacting via Zoom or Google Meet where we once would have had face-to-face interactions, is not for everybody. 

For many employees, especially those living in cramped spaces with multiple distractions, working remotely has been among the most difficult aspects of COVID life they’ve had to adapt to in a relatively short period of time.

Those who have yet to embrace remote work and are struggling to concentrate can find an ideal and simple solution through the use of headsets. Using a headset helps create an instant distraction-free environment, no matter what’s going on in the background! Best of all, some headsets include special features such as muted microphones that can help minimize background noise coming from your end, providing a pleasant, focused call for all meeting participants. Here are our top choices for headsets to help make remote work go more smoothly for everyone involved.

Avid AE-36Available in a variety of colors, this headset allows you to make a statement while staying focused on a call. The headset and the speaker are controlled from one jack, making them less bulky and easier to carry. The Avid AE-36 headset works with a variety of computers and tablets, including Chromebooks, without the need for extra attachments, and the sound quality makes it easy for a student to hear the instructor.

 

 

 

Avid AE-42For those who don’t always take the best care of their office supplies, a durable headset is a must. This headset is made to withstand any abuse that may come to it, from being dropped by one of your kids to having the cord chewed on by a pet. Although it is durable, it’s also stylish and functional, and it can be adjusted for each user, in case you’re sharing with your partner or child.

 

 

Hamilton Buhl Smart-Trek Deluxe Stereo ST2BKRemote workers who prefer a headset that envelops the ear and cancels noise will love this headset. It offers excellent sound quality with adjustable volume, which is perfect for online meetings with multiple presenters. Its adjustable headset and durable construction give the Smart-Trek Deluxe the ability to withstand multiple uses.

 

 

Hamilton Buhl Smart-Trek Deluxe Stereo ST2BKUWork-from-home parents who want headsets that are available for multiple uses will love this model. The headset adjusts to fit people of all ages. Its ear cups are soft and comfortable, making it easier to sit through a long online meeting. The cord is resistant to knots, which is a bonus for those who tend to twist the cords.

 

 

Cyber Acoustics AC-204Made with VoIP and gamers in mind, this headset is great for remote workers who need to use the headset for most of the day. It features noise-canceling headphones, making it easier for people in busy households to hear their colleagues, and it can be used with a variety of computers, phones, and tablets.

 

Cyber Acoustics AC-6012With a padded headband and padded earphones, this headset is also a great model that can be worn all day. With its easy-to-clean surface and user-friendly volume control, the AC-6012 can help take your online meetings to the next level.

 

 

Cyber Acoustics AC-5008A classic look meets modern function in this headset. Its traditional round earphones are reminiscent of classic models, not to mention comfortable, durable, and easy to clean. This headset is adjustable with a microphone that can be used on either side. A USB plugin makes it easy to pair with many different computers and other devices, making it a good choice for a variety of uses in                                                                addition to remote meetings. 

 

Soundnetic SN250MA lightweight option, the Soundnetic Disposable headset is an ideal option for those of us on a budget. This headset is designed for personal use, with stereo speakers that make it easy to hear audio. Best of all, the SN250M is compatible with many different tablets, phones, and computers, giving you peace of mind that your equipment will work well with this headset.

 

 

ThinkWrite TW120 Ultra ErgoThis comfortable, durable headset features an ergonomic design that helps you perform at your best without straining to see or hear. One of the best features of the TW120 is that it was designed specifically to limit exposure to damaging frequencies, which is beneficial to your auditory health. In addition to being invaluable during online meetings, he TW120 is perfect for recording presentations, participating in conference calls over the phone, and listening to work-related video content without distractions.

 

 

ThinkWrite Ultra Durable 90119With its noise-canceling microphone, the ThinkWrite Ultra Durable 90119 may be the greatest thing to ever happen to your Zoom meetings! No more background noise from kids, pets, or neighborhood construction. The Ultra Durable 90119 is optimized for iPads and Chromebooks, making it a headset that your child can borrow for remote learning when it’s not in use by you. Perfect for the whole family!

 

 

Avid -55Not only does this model offer noise reduction and a cord that is easy to store, but the microphone can also be worn on either ear, making it easier for left-handed people to take notes during online meetings. The Avid AE-55 is designed with comfort in mind and contains ergonomic elements to keep users from straining so that they can pay attention to the topic at hand rather than become distracted by their personal comfort.

 

 

With so many durable and affordable headset models available, there’s a model out there to suit virtually every remote worker in any situation. Whether you plan to use a headset for meetings, note-taking, recording, or just creating an environment free from distraction, our top headset choices are practical and functional for everyday use. Before you struggle through one more day of inadequate remote work conditions, make sure you’re well-equipped with the right headset to make your work-from-home experience as comfortable as possible!

The Best Headsets for Online Meetings

Since the onset of the events of the COVID-19 pandemic, life as we know it has been significantly altered. Everything from how we shop for groceries to how our children attend school looks different now, and we are adapting to this seismic change with pivots, workarounds, and other shifts to help us safely get on with business as usual.
One of the biggest changes we’ve had to cope with during these unprecedented times is how we commute to the office. Many of us are now working remotely, doing our jobs from home offices in order to stay safe and socially-distanced from our co-workers. While we are certainly fortunate to have the available technology that allows us to do this, working from home can be quite frustrating, and not all workers have had an easy time adapting to it.

This is especially true when it comes to online meetings. It is now commonplace to have to sit on multiple video chats per day with colleagues and clients, interacting via Zoom or Google Meet where we once would have had face-to-face interactions. For many employees, especially those living in cramped spaces with multiple distractions, online meetings have been among the most difficult parts of COVID life they’ve had to adapt to in a relatively short period of time.
For those who have yet to embrace online meetings and are struggling to concentrate, headsets can be an ideal solution. Using a headset can help you create an instant distraction-free environment no matter what’s going on in the background! Best of all, some headsets include special features such as muted microphones that can help minimize background noise coming from your end, providing a pleasant, focused call for all members of the meeting. Here are our top picks for headsets that help make online meetings go more smoothly for everyone involved.

Avid AE-36 – Available in a variety of colors, this headset allows you to make a statement while staying focused on a call. The headset and the speaker are controlled from one jack, making them less bulky and easier to carry. The Avid AE-36 headset works with a variety of computers and tablets, including Chromebooks, without the need for extra attachments, and the sound quality makes it easy for a student to hear the instructor.

Avid AE-55 – Not only does this model offer noise reduction and a cord that is easy to store, but the microphone can also be worn on either ear, making it easier for left-handed people to take notes during online meetings. The Avid AE-55 is designed with comfort in mind and contains ergonomic elements to keep users from straining so that they can pay attention to the topic at hand rather than become distracted by their personal comfort.

Avid AE-42 – For those who don’t always take the best care of their office supplies, a durable headset is a must. This headset is made to withstand any abuse that may come to it, from being dropped by one of your kids to having the cord chewed on by a pet. Although it is durable, it’s also stylish and functional, and it can be adjusted for each user, in case you’re sharing with your partner or child.

Hamilton Buhl Smart-Trek Deluxe Stereo ST2BK – Remote workers who prefer a headset that envelops the ear and cancels noise will love this headset. It offers excellent sound quality with adjustable volume, which is perfect for online meetings with multiple presenters. Its adjustable headset and durable construction give the Smart-Trek Deluxe the ability to withstand multiple uses.

Hamilton Buhl Smart-Trek Deluxe Stereo ST2BKU – Work-from-home parents who want headsets that are available for multiple uses will love this model. The headset adjusts to fit people of all ages. Its ear cups are soft and comfortable, making it easier to sit through a long online meeting. The cord is resistant to knots, which is a bonus for those who tend to twist the cords.

Cyber Acoustics AC-204 – Made with VoIP and gamers in mind, this headset is great for remote workers who need to use the headset for most of the day. It features noise-canceling headphones, making it easier for people in busy households to hear their colleagues, and it can be used with a variety of computers, phones, and tablets.

Cyber Acoustics AC-6012 – With a padded headband and padded earphones, this headset is also a great model that can be worn all day. With its easy-to-clean surface and user-friendly volume control, the AC-6012 can help take your online meetings to the next level.

Cyber Acoustics AC-5008 – A classic look meets modern function in this headset. Its traditional round earphones are reminiscent of classic models, not to mention comfortable, durable, and easy to clean. This headset is adjustable with a microphone that can be used on either side. A USB plugin makes it easy to pair with many different computers and other devices, making it a good choice for a variety of uses in addition to remote meetings.

Soundnetic SN250M – A lightweight option, the Soundnetic Disposable headset is an ideal option for those of us on a budget. This headset is designed for personal use, with stereo speakers that make it easy to hear audio. Best of all, the SN250M is compatible with many different tablets, phones, and computers, giving you peace of mind that your equipment will work well with this headset.

ThinkWrite TW120 Ultra Ergo – This comfortable, durable headset features an ergonomic design that helps you perform at your best without straining to see or hear. One of the best features of the TW120 is that it was designed specifically to limit exposure to damaging frequencies, which is beneficial to your auditory health. In addition to being invaluable during online meetings, he TW120 is perfect for recording presentations, participating in conference calls over the phone, and listening to work-related video content without distractions.

ThinkWrite Ultra Durable 90119 – With its noise-canceling microphone, the ThinkWrite Ultra Durable 90119 may be the greatest thing to ever happen to your Zoom meetings! No more background noise from kids, pets, or neighborhood construction. The Ultra Durable 90119 is optimized for iPads and Chromebooks, making it a headset that your child can borrow for remote learning when it’s not in use by you. Perfect for the whole family!

With so many durable and affordable models, there is a headset for every remote worker in any situation. Whether they’re being used for meetings, note-taking, recording, or other uses, these headsets are functional and practical for everyday use. Don’t suffer another day with inadequate home office conditions- make sure you’re well-equipped with the right headset to make your work-from-home experience as comfortable as possible!

Mental Health Advantages of Learning Pods

One of the newest trends in education, learning pods have taken schools by storm this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The concept came from Maureen O’Shaughnessy, Ed.D., who published the book Creating Micro-Schools for Colorful Mismatched Kids in 2019. Her idea grew in popularity during the pandemic as a way to create a unique learning environment for students with a more personalized educational structure.
What are Learning Pods?

Learning pods, also known as micro-schools or pandemic pods, are an in-person option for K-12 students to learn in a small group with a teacher or tutor. These learning pods are designed to help students adjust to remote learning with their peers, giving parents the freedom to focus on work. It enhances independent learning while offering the support that students need in an academic environment, providing an effective solution for parents who are unable to help their children learn from home or don’t feel comfortable sending them back to school full-time.

Under the supervision of a parent or a teacher, students follow a curriculum and meet at someone’s home or outdoors for an agreed-upon number of hours per week. Parents can purchase online curriculum modules and order supplemental materials to support learning, such as headphones and wipes explicitly created for the classroom.

Learning Support vs. Self-Directed
There are two different types of learning pods: support and self-directed. Learning support pods are where students stay enrolled in a public, private, or charter school, but come together under parental supervision to learn and do their schoolwork online. It can take place at one person’s house or rotate between houses.

Self-directed pods are more in line with homeschools. A teacher or tutor is hired to meet with a small group of students and is responsible for creating the curriculum following district standards and state regulations. Parents can be the teacher or put together their resources to hire an instructor. Students no longer attend a traditional school, but their parents become fully responsible for their education.

Certain schools are also creating school-run learning pods where selected students can continue their education in a classroom environment with their grade-level. Each cohort is assigned a district staff member who stays with the same students for most of the day, while the school staff continues to work normally.

These learning pods require students to meet in person, which can have several mental health benefits.

Mental Health Benefits
One of the most significant effects of full remote distance-learning is depression from being physically isolated from other students. Social interactions are important for children and adolescents to build their self-esteem, mental health, and social development. Cooperative learning, where students work together, also increases important communication, teamwork, and empathic skills.

Though group projects are still assigned in distance-learning, working together in-person has a different effect on students and how they understand non-verbal language. Specifically, for young children, social play is vital for them to build foundational social skills. Learning pods allow students to be physically part of a community and mingle with other students in a safely controlled group.

Learning pods can also decrease students’ stress and anxiety when it comes to their education. With remote learning, everything is done over the computer, which causes technology fatigue and stress from looking at the screen all day. Technology is also not always reliable, and any technical issues can make students feel anxious about their grades or dynamic with their teacher. They may also feel like they don’t have anyone to turn to for help. When students meet in person, they can talk through academic or technical issues and solve problems together or with their in-person teacher or tutor. This can help lower their stress and anxiety because they know they can ask for help from someone who is physically present and invested in their learning.

With students who struggle academically, learning pods are incredibly beneficial because they can have a more self-directed learning experience. Though students are still expected to learn independently, tutors or teachers can pay more attention to the specific needs of the kids in a smaller group. For those kids who require more help or attention with a particular subject, teachers can meet their needs and keep track of their academic and mental health more closely. Having a structured routine in a physical environment will help students learn better as well. It helps separate their home and school time, allowing them to feel like they aren’t constantly in an academic environment.

The purpose of the learning pod can vary between communities, but the bottom line is supporting your child’s learning in the best possible way during this difficult situation. Connecting kids with other students in-person can have a tremendously positive effect on them as they meet academic goals set by parents and schools. Ultimately, learning pods are a great alternative way to help keep your child on track with their education, encourage their social life, and support their mental health.

Creating a Clean and Healthy Classroom

The effects of the COVID-19 crisis can still be deeply felt in virtually all aspects of our lives, and much has changed about how we do a number of things, like sending our children to school. Though we are anxious to return to the way things were before COVID-19 struck, it is critical that we take important steps to minimize the possibility of an outbreak so that kids, teachers, and school staff members can return safely to their normal routine.

When students are slated to come back to their school classrooms, there is still much concern over how to accomplish this seemingly simple goal as safely and responsibly as possible. One of the top concerns of all school administrators is providing effective equipment and supplies to help keep students, teachers, and other school staff protected.

While schools have already decided that they will be taking measures to promote clean and healthy classrooms, there are still a number of parents and teachers who are wary of in-person class attendance. In order to ensure maximum safety for all students and staff, it is essential that all schools that plan to open their doors and welcome children back to school have a large supply of essential products to help keep all common areas clean and sanitized.

Here are our recommendations for the top products each classroom needs on hand to ensure cleanliness and health in the classroom.

Classroom and Library Performance Disinfectant Wipes

Bulk disinfecting wipes

Not all disinfectant wipes are created equal when it comes to reducing the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses and bacteria that can make kids sick as they head back to school. The hospital-grade Classroom and Library Performance Disinfectant Wipes are effective for all-purpose cleaning and sanitization, killing 99.9% of all bacteria in just 15 seconds! This bulk container of 800 wipes is proven to kill flu and other coronavirus strains, H1N1, staph, MRSA, e. Coli, salmonella, HIV-1, and more. Packaged in a handy dispenser bucket, the Classroom and Library Performance Disinfectant Wipes are free from benzyl-alcohol, citrus, bleach, and phenol, making them safe on all surfaces. To ensure that your school is a safe environment for students and teachers returning to class amid COVID-19, make sure to stock a bucket of Classroom and Library Performance Disinfectant Wipes in every classroom.

Hygenx Hand Sanitizer

Available in 8 oz., 16 oz., and 1-gallon bottles, Hygenx Hand Sanitizer is effective at killing 99.99% of common germs on hands. Administered as an antiseptic spray, Hygenx Hand Sanitizer’s fragrance-free formula contains 80% ethyl alcohol and fully conforms to FDA guidelines. Teachers, students, and school staff can use this sanitizer throughout the day to optimize the level of classroom safety and help reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Supplies of Hygenx Hand Sanitizer are limited due to extraordinarily high demand, so make it a point to place your orders for the fall semester sooner rather than later. Make sure to include Hygenx Hand Sanitizer in your classroom arsenal of cleaning supplies!

Non-Contact Multimode Infrared Forehead Thermometer

Here’s a safe, contact-free way to administer mandatory temperature checks to students and staff. The Non-Contact Multimode Infrared Foreheard Thermometer accurately measures body temperature without having to touch the forehead at all! This FDA-approved thermometer delivers quick, accurate temperature readings from a safe distance using a high-accuracy infrared sensor probe and the latest in smart chip technology. A large LCD readout is backlit with a soft light for easy reading in any environment, and can be set to display results in either Fahrenheit or Celsius. Reliable one-second results allow your staff members to quickly spot a high temperature that can be a symptom of COVID-19 or another contagious illness like the flu, allowing fast action and prevention of an outbreak. The Non-Contact Multimode Infrared Forehead Thermometer helps maintain a safe learning environment for everyone!

Hygenx V-Ray Mobile UV Sterilizer

Go above and beyond with your school’s sanitation efforts by investing in a Hygenx V-Ray Portable UV Sterilizer. This portable UV wand effectively eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and sterilizes virtually all surfaces, including call center headsets, computer keyboards, and porous surfaces that can not be sanitized with disinfectant wipes. Lightweight and cordless, the V-Ray allows for easy portability between classrooms and other common areas. Thanks to a patented safety sensor that automatically turns off the powerful UV-C light when the unit is tilted 30 degrees in either direction, the V-Ray ensures maximum safety and prevention against ultraviolet exposure to the skin and eyes, making it safe for everyday use. This is an excellent choice in an ultraviolet sanitizer, and an outstanding way to keep your school free from viruses, bacteria, and other potentially harmful germs.

Reopening schools is a highly delicate situation that requires the utmost preparation and planning on the part of school faculties everywhere. While we agree that it’s important to get kids back to their classrooms and learning again, it is also crucial that we do it as safely and responsibly as possible. By taking preventative measures such as conducting mandatory temperature checks, cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces regularly, advocating frequent hand washing, and making sure that all students and staff have ample access to hand sanitizer, we can help make this transition back to a “normal” school schedule go more smoothly for everyone involved.

Safety is our number one priority as students return to school. Be sure to stay stocked up on all the essential equipment listed here and you will be able to ensure that your classrooms are able to welcome kids back for a year of safe in-person learning and fun!

Top 6 Call Center Headsets (That Won’t Break the Bank!)

Owning a business comes with a number of expenses, especially when you’re first getting started. Office equipment, particularly that which relates to technology or communication, is not only one of the most vital and integral parts of your organization, but often some of the most costly components as well. From computers and copiers to software and stationery, office equipment can eat up a pretty significant chunk of the company budget.

This is especially true if a call center is an important part of your organization. Representatives who field inbound sales or customer service calls, as well as make outbound calls to attract new business, are in need of top-quality call center headsets that they can use comfortably and efficiently, with as little feedback, interference, or distortion as possible. This can appear daunting for a new business owner on a budget; however, we’re here to let you know that having top-quality call center headsets doesn’t necessarily mean having to pay top dollar. Here’s a list of our favorite call center headsets that can boost your business without breaking the bank.

CYBER ACOUSTICS AC-204 STEREO HEADSET W/ SINGLE PLUG AND Y-ADAPTER ac-204-call-center-headset

With its sleek profile and comfortable fit, the AC-204 analog stereo headset is an ideal choice for VoIP call center use. Featuring 30mm dynamic drivers and a unique, adjustable over-the-head design that fits comfortably on any head size, and a flexible, noise-canceling boom mic with 180-degree rotation, the AC-204 is compatible with Android™, Apple®, Chromebook™, tablets, and most desktop computers.
The AC-204 utilizes a single 3.5mm plug and is backwards-compatible with all other hardware, thanks to the included Y-adapter. Starting at just $12.99, the AC-204 is a truly universal and affordable solution for call center headsets.

CYBER ACOUSTICS AC-6012 USB STEREO HEADSET ac-6012 call center headsets

Another great headset option from our friends at Cyber Acoustics, the AC-6012 utilizes a USB connector, compatible with any USB equipped device, and features in-line volume and mute control, unidirectional noise-canceling microphone, comfortable, easy-to-clean leatherette ear pads, a flexible boom arm, and adjustable headband.
Designed for durability, the AC-6012 is built to last! Its braided TuffCord™is engineered to withstand years of use without fraying. Starting at $21.99, the AC-6012 offers high quality at an affordable price!

HAMILTON BUHL SMART-TREK DELUXE STEREO HEADSET WITH IN-LINE VOLUME CONTROL AND USB PLUG st2bku-call center headsets

Versatile and compatible with a wide variety of technologies, the durable and sleek Smart-Trek USB deluxe headsets are built to last- something every budget-conscious business owner wants to hear when shopping for call center headsets!

Smart-Trek USB headsets feature a rugged and comfortable design, making it comfortable for prolonged daily wear by your call center representatives. Its adjustable headband snaps easily into place to accommodate virtually every head size and shape.

The ear cups are made with high-quality leatherette ear cushions that are easy to clean, durable, and provide excellent noise-isolation- an important feature in call centers with a number of cubicles or desks located in a small communal space.
Smart-Trek headsets feature a durable, flexible, steel-reinforced gooseneck microphone and trusted Dura-Cord™ – Hamilton Buhl’s patented chew, kink, and knot-resistant, PVC-jacketed, braided nylon cord. With a starting price point of $20.95, business owners can get a lot of bang for their buck when they opt for Smart-Trek USB call center headsets.

AVID EDUCATION AE-36 STEREO HEADSET ae-36-wh-call-center-headset

While the AE-36 is also used in classrooms across America, these headsets are optimal for call center use, as they feature a single 3.5mm plug that operates both headphones and microphone. For call centers utilizing laptop computers or VoIP call center equipment that only feature a single headphone jack, the simple, streamlined design of the AE-36 eliminates the need for complicated and costly workarounds. And with a low entry point of just $12.89 per headset, the AE-36 is an affordable option that doesn’t sacrifice quality to come within budget!

CYBER ACOUSTICS AC-840 USB MONO HEADSET ac-840-call-center-headsets
Thanks to its 30mm dynamic driver, noise-canceling boom mic with 180-degree rotation, and sleek, comfortable fit, it’s hard to find call center headsets that beat the AC-840! Featuring a convenient in-line volume control and mute switch, your call center representatives will be able to easily and efficiently put customers on hold while transferring calls or answering multiple lines. The adjustable, over-the-head band provides lasting comfort for full workdays, and the easy-to-clean leatherette ear pads prioritize cleanliness and sanitization within the office. At $27.99, the AC-840 delivers on high quality at a low price!

CYBER ACOUSTICS AC-8020 USB STEREO HEADSET ac-8020-call-canter-headsets
Looking for call center headsets that perform basic listening/speaking functions and nearly-universal compatibility with USB devices? Look no further than the AC-8020. Starting at $19.99, the AC-8020 features a unidirectional, noise-canceling ambidextrous boom mic to minimize background noise and enhance professionalism. Lightweight and comfortable, these call center headsets get the job done!

Choosing the right call center headsets for your staff comes down to two things: price and quality. Each of the headset models on this list fulfills both requirements, giving you the freedom to choose the model you think will work best for your employees. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that when your call center representative connects with a current or prospective customer over one of these headsets, the quality of the call can set the tone, either positive or negative, for all future interactions with that client. Ensuring that your call center headsets are premium-quality can go a long way toward setting up your business for success in both sales and customer service.

By selecting one of these headset options for your company’s call center, you are making a lasting investment in your business. Since each of these call center headsets is designed for durability as well as clarity and sound quality, you will be able to use them in your call center for years to come.

May the 4th Be With Your Classroom

In honor of May the 4th, we’re rounding up “Star Wars” inspired headphones and headsets! Cosplay as your favorite characters from the franchise while enjoying the quality of Encore Data Products. Our educational headphones can be used in your home classroom, office, or for everyday use with your electronic devices.
 
AVID AE-54 headphones for schools

AVID AE-54 headphones

BB-8:
Our orange and white headphones will give you BB-8 vibes for days! Color coordination isn’t the only similarity. These headphones are always there to lend a hand when you need them;

The AVID AE-54 Classroom Headphones are one option that’s easy to clean, made with dependable quality, and feature noise-reducing ear pieces.

AVID AE-55 headset for distance learning

AVID AE-55 Headset

The AVID AE-55 Black and Orange Headphones with Microphone, another BB-8 kindred, is well-suited for situations where multiple people must work in the same room. It features a unidirectional noise-canceling microphone that is also bi-directional and rotates 270 degrees.

AVID AE-36 headset for school testing

AVID AE-36 headset


Yoda & Baby Yoda:
With this green headset, strong the force is! The AVID AE-36 Headset is ideal for your home classroom, call center, or office. It features a single plug that operates both headphones and mic. A popular pick to use with Chromebook!
HamiltonBuhl Smart-Trek STM2BK Headset for Schools

HamiltonBuhl Smart-Trek STM2BK Headset


Darth Vader:
As a classic black headset with serious power, you will love the HamiltonBuhl Smart-Trek Headset! It’s versatile and compatible with a wide variety of technologies, as well as great for Zoom calls and virtual meetings! It has a durable and comfortable design that will hold up in your home classroom or office. These provide excellent noise-isolation.
HamiltonBuhl Flex-Phones For School Kids

HamiltonBuhl Flex-Phones

Kylo Ren:
If you crave even more of the dark side, we have Sith inspired headphones to fit your needs! Kylo Ren fans will love these HamiltonBuhl Flex-Phones in red. The best part is they’re nearly indestructible and perfect for your classroom or office, wherever it is. These headphones were also awarded the Scholastic Teacher’s Pick as “The Best of 2015.”

Happy Star Wars Day from everyone at Encore Data Products!