Category Archives: CMAS

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!

Colorado Schools Evaluate the Effects of Common Core Standards

Many schools across the nation have adopted Common Core State Standards, but not all schools in Colorado have yet to change to the new curriculum. Although some schools continue to maintain their more flexible and more personalized curriculum, nationwide testing is now build to measure the success of Common Core—meaning that education has changed, whether it has been adopted or not.

Electronic Class Room Assignments

Each and every year teachers are required to reevaluate their curriculums, to ensure that they are relevant and competitive. In order to stay competitive in today’s electronically savvy world, students find themselves completing more electronic classroom assignments. The vast majority of these assignments utilize audio, meaning that educational headphones are required.

Electronic Homework

Along with more electronic classroom assignments, comes more electronic homework. Even if some homework is performed by hand, much of the research required for homework is performed online. For this reason, many students also invest in a secondary set of educational headphones for home use.

Electronic Testing

Electronic testing is now being used in most schools for both general classroom testing. Even if your child’s school has not adopted Common Core, they must learn how to navigate electronic testing.

The changes above affect all schools within the state of Colorado, and will help to ensure students are electronically savvy.

Headphones for School Testing

The industry of educating our country’s youth is constantly changing in order to keep up with new inventions and the advances of modern technology. Subsequently, there’s no question that school testing is extremely different these days than it was just a few decades ago. Children now need to have skills to fit the world around them and school officials are encouraged to take this into consideration when preparing testing materials. Modern technology allows teachers and staff to implement the use of devices like computers and tablet when testing children for proficiency. Many state’s standardized tests are now even incorporating a digital section into the test to ensure each child is well prepared. For the most accurate results when it comes to these type of tests, it’s only understandable that students will require some type of headphone gear for audio portions. If you’re a school administrator looking to purchase new headphones for your school, here are a few things you should keep in mind.

Purchase the Right Type – Knowing exactly what type of headphones you need before ordering is key to supplying classrooms with the appropriate items required to assist with audio testing. Earbud style headphones are the most popular choice for adults, but aren’t always the best choice for children. These small buds usually don’t fit a child’s ears properly and can be difficult for small hands to put in and take out. Earbuds are lightweight and easily breakable, which is why most schools purchase disposable buds or opt for more durable styles that fit over the entire ear. If you will be ordering the traditional over the ear type of headphones, consider whether you will need wireless ones or the standard type with cable attachments. Computer labs will be fine housing attached headphones, while classrooms that use wireless technology like tablets and laptops might benefit more from wireless ones.

Buy in Bulk – The best way to save money on headphones for the students at your school is by purchasing in bulk. It’s recommended you know exactly how many pairs of headphones you will need to adequately supply your entire school or specific department without spending too much. You might want to coordinate with other departments or other schools in the district to consolidate your order to save more money by buying wholesale. Most retailers also offer discounts to schools and educational institutions, so be sure to ask. Also, don’t forget to keep and file the purchase records for tax purposes.

Don’t Forget Accessories – Some sets of headphones require the accompaniment of accessories, so be sure to order all that you need for your new audio devices to work accordingly. When placing your order, don’t forget items such as headphone cushions, cables, speakers and chargers. Also, keep in mind that school headphones can often times get extremely dirty after multiple uses, so it’s recommended you purchase a quality cleaner to keep in the classroom in order to wipe them down between uses.

If the audio equipment at your school need replacing, use these valuable tips to guide you through the process of purchasing the best headphones for today’s students.

The Common Core Effect on Colorado

Many schools across the nation have adopted Common Core State Standards, but not all schools in Colorado have yet to change to the new curriculum. Although some schools continue to maintain their more flexible and more personalized curriculum, nationwide testing is now build to measure the success of Common Core—meaning that education has changed, whether it has been adopted or not.

Electronic Class Room Assignments
Each and every year teachers are required to reevaluate their curriculums, to ensure that they are relevant and competitive. In order to stay competitive in today’s electronically savvy world, students find themselves completing more electronic classroom assignments. The vast majority of these assignments utilize audio, meaning that educational headphones are required.

Electronic Homework
Along with more electronic classroom assignments, comes more electronic homework. Even if some homework is performed by hand, much of the research required for homework is performed online. For this reason, many students also invest in a secondary set of educational headphones for home use.

Electronic Testing
Electronic testing is now being used in most schools for both general classroom testing. Even if your child’s school has not adopted Common Core, they must learn how to navigate electronic testing.

The changes above affect all schools within the state of Colorado, and will help to ensure students are electronically savvy.

 

Common Core Standards in Colorado

Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of educational standards that ensure every students, beginning from K-12, are well prepared in mathematics and English language for college, and equipped with the right skills to meet with the high demands of the work place globally. With the adoption and implementation of these standards, graduates will be able to compete with their counterparts from other parts of the world. Common Core State Standards increase accuracy in schools and provide the students with all they need to know after graduating from high school. Currently, 45 out of the states in the US, the District of Colombia, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoan Islands, and the Anchorage, AK School District have adopted the Common Core State Standards. These Common Core initiative is led by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA), in partnership with teachers, higher learning experts, educational organizations, and researchers from several places within the country.

The Common Core standards are grouped into two categories which include the K-12 standards that address the different grade level expectation of every student in the learning process; and the college and career readiness standards that equip student with the basic skills needed for college or career. One of the benefits of these standards include ensuring all students become proficient when it comes to reading English language and mathematics, before the school calendar year runs out.

COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS IN COLORADO

In August 2010, the Colorado State Board of Education adopted the standards. When publishing the Colorado Academic Standards for Writing and Communicating, Mathematics and Reading in December 2010, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) also included the entire Common Core State Standards. Despite the inclusion of the CCSS, the CDE still maintain its Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) which include preschool expectations, 21st century skills, personal financial literacy and knowledgeable and highly skilled graduates.

BENEFITS OF COMMON CORE STANDARDS TO A CHILD IN COLORADO

  • Just like the Colorado Academic Standards, the CCSS is an internationally benchmarked standard that prepare every students to become successful and take on the challenges in our global economy and society. These standards are likened to those found in top performing countries around the world.
  • The CCSS is designed with principles and instructional shifts that is matched with the priorities and intent of Colorado Achievement Plan For Kids (CAP4K) to offer a coherent set of expectation, identify skills students’ need to meet with the challenges of college, while also ensuring that student will be workforce ready.
  • The Common Core standards provide consistent learning target in a mobile society for each grade level. It also help create stability across county and states, especially for students who relocate from one place to the other, due to economic and personal reasons

BENEFITS OF COMMON CORE STARE STANDARD TO SCHOOLS AND DISTRICTS IN COLORADO

  • These shared standard brings a solution to the increased demand for higher quality instructional resources. Through collaborative efforts among states, teachers and students in Colorado benefit immensely from the high-quality educational materials designed specifically to be in line with the shared standards, rather than having to utilize instructional materials designed for a bigger market.
  • With the use of the same standard across the country, collaboration will be enhanced. Teachers in Colorado can now collaborate with other states that shares the same standard in designing common resources that will further enhance learning. It will also improve the efficiency of teachers and the quality of learning tools
  • The CCSS is also designed to enhance the ability and improve the skills of teachers and students, as it requires them to use of a wealth of online tools and resources. Students in Colorado will be acquainted with a wide-range of online learning tools, making the learning process easy and fun. Some of the devices used in classrooms to facilitate the learning process include software, iPads, laptops and the internet. These tools are used in Common Core lessons to achieve educational objective of preparing the students for college life and workplace. The Common Core standards offers students the opportunity to have access to the same rigorous learning process and academic content, regardless of their location. With the use of technological advanced learning materials in Colorado classrooms, students’ academic performance will be improved and can also be measured across participating states.

These standards are evidence based and field tested to provide a solid foundation in preparing students in Colorado schools for the future. Designed using the highest international standards, the CCSS will take Colorado Academic Standards to the next level.

Education standards often vary from state to state. Many at times, teachers find it difficult to implement these standards in the classroom, and it can also be overwhelming for parents to support their child’s learning at home. Since the adoption of the new Common Core State Standards in Colorado, teachers and parents can assist a child achieve his or her goals in their classroom and at home. Before the introduction of the Common Core standards, the quality of education varies depending on the location, and this might be difficult for families who are highly mobile, especially military families. States with high-performing standards have students that pass all the basic test and graduating, yet unable to meet the requirements of college and workplace. For this reason, the college and career ready standards of the CCSS are very important factors that help students graduate with the basic skills and get them ready for college and the economy. Every student in Colorado need rigorous academics to become graduates that can compete with their colleagues not only in the next state, but also with those from the world all over. The new assessment tests in Colorado, including the Colorado Measures of Academic Success or CMAS and PARCC assessments, will begin in the Spring of 2015.

The goal of the Common Core State Standards is to ensure an excellent education for students across the country, regardless of where they reside. These standards help students improve their reading level to what they will experience in post-secondary and career. Specialized instructional staff and teachers are saddled with the responsibility to deliver high-quality, individualized instruction, and evidence-based services, using assistive technology devices.