Category Archives: Education Technology Recovery Plan

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.

Back-To-School Roundup

With new students, lesson plans, &, of course, school supplies, back-to-school means a fresh start to your classroom. Making your classroom checklist can feel overwhelming at first but with the right plan, you can get everything ready to go for your 1st day of school. From making sure your classroom décor is ready to go, to having extra pencils on hand we have you covered with all the best back to school planning. Check out our list of top Back-To-School supplies.

Personalized Pencils: From funny quotes to motivational words of wisdom, there are pencils for everyone. If your students are always taking your pencils, maybe you can have them personalized with your name? That is one way to make sure you always have pencils for you, students!

Bento Boxes: If you’re looking for a way to plan healthy meals that are never boring, look into bento boxes. You can find tons of fun ideas for snack options on Pinterest as well. These are great for kids who have food allergies or are picky eaters. With lots of storage spaces and little dip spots, your kids will feel like they are getting lots of extra snacks.

Fun Bookmarks: Student rewards can be more than candy. Consider fun bookmarks as a reward. These Nessie bookmarks are a unique alternative to turning down a page to mark your spot. They are under $10 so they won’t break the bank.

Pastel Highlighters: Sometimes highlighters in those bright neon colors can give students a headache. These pastel highlighters do the same as regular highlighters without eye distraction.

Stationery Set: Whatever your students are into, there’s probably a notebook or pencil set for that. This Harry Potter stationery set has tons of school essentials. It’s packed with sticky notes, pens, notebooks, and sticky bookmarks.

Cute Pens: If your students like superheroes or dinosaurs, there are fun pen sets for everyone. We recommend these cat ones. Maybe you’re a crazy cat mom or you want pens right meow for your students. Check out these and many more on Amazon.

Encore Data Products: Our educational headphones, headsets, & earbuds are all perfect for your students. Whether you’re working with STEM students or students who have trouble concentrating, we have headphones for them. Our many options are both durable & affordable. They are always more budget-friendly when you buy in bulk.

Be sure to enter our giveaway and you could win a set of educational headphones for your entire classroom!

LEARN BY MAKING: REIMAGINING YOUR CLASSROOM LEARNING EXPERIENCE

Looking for curriculum content, training and support needed to deliver hands-on computer science in a STEAM environment?

Introducing the the pi-top Learning System : 

FROM SCREEN-TIME TO CREATIVITY TIME !

The pi-top Learning System includes all the products, curriculum content, training and support, to provide a transformative maker-centered learning experience, empowering students to become collaborative, critical and creative thinkers.

LEARN BY MAKING!

Social constructionism – powered by pi‑top. 

pi‑top’s unique ecosystem of physical computing, coding, and project-based learning, provides the ultimate learning by making a platform to support teachers and learners in the development of critical, creative and computational thinking -within an environment designed to encourage collaboration.

 

Various bundles available – more being added on an ongoing basis.

AVAILABLE ONLINE OR CALL TOLL FREE: 866-926-1669

PI-TOP LEARNING SYSTEM – 15 UNIT BUNDLE (YEAR 1)

The pi-top Learning System is a learning solution including all the products, curriculum content, training and support needed to deliver hands-on computer science in a STEAM environment.

INTERACTIVE HARDWARE FOR STUDENTS
Truly understand  the relationship between computers,  code and the real world – powered by a suite  of 30  pi-top laptops and peripherals.

TEACHING & LEARNING PLATFORM
Personalized  lessons with optimized student-teacher interaction,  progress monitoring  and student self- evaluation.

CURRICULUM CONTENT
Meet your objectives  with award-winning, tried-and-tested lesson plans created by educators  for educators.

TEACHER TRAINING
With 20  teacher  training sessions, you’ll have all  the training and support  you need –  and your school won’t need to invest in extra professional development.

THE pi-top INNOVATION CHALLENGE
An exciting project-based  learning program and competition.  Find out more on the other side of this brochure.

LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY
No missing out on learning  time –  if you have any issues with your product, we’ll fix or replace it.  Right away. No extra costs. No hassle.

BUNDLE INCLUDES:

HARDWARE
15 Units
Charging cart
All accessories
(inventor’s kit, proto, speakers)

SOFTWARE
pi-topOS – Polaris
pi-topCODER CEEDuniverse
pi-topCLASSROOM
pi-top Innovation Challenge

SUPPORT
Unlimited hardware & software support & replacement – 1 year
15 Units
Charging cart
All accessories
(inventor’s kit, proto, speakers)


pi‑top is a modular laptop that gives you the tools to complete amazing DIY projects and bring your inventions to life. It’s the perfect tool to help you learn to code, create awesome devices, and take your knowledge to the next level.

Sliding Keyboard Design
Slide out the keyboard to reveal the built in Modular Rail. It’s a workspace for you to build your creations, using pi-top accessories and electronic components.

Includes Inventor’s Kit
pi-top teaches you to create your own inventions on your journey as an inventor. We’ll help you get started with this awesome inventor’s kit click the icons to see what you can make.

pi-topOS: Polaris
At the heart of everything is our shining star – pi-topOS: Polaris – included with pi-top.

TECH SPECS

DISPLAY
14” full HD LCD screen
1920 x 1080 resolution
180° screen angle range

RASPBERRY PI 3
1.4GHz quad-core arm cortex A53P
4 USB ports
40 GPIO pins
HDMI port
Gigabit Ethernet port
802.11 B/G/N dual-band wireless LAN
Bluetooth 4.2
3.5mm audio jack
Camera interface
Display interface
Micro SD card slot
Videocore IV 3D graphics core

CHASSIS
6-8 hour battery life
105mm sliding keyboard for internal access (US layout)
104x75mm trackpad with Gesture Control
Modular Rail for pi-top accessories

INCLUDED HARDWARE
18V, 2.5A charger with AU, EU, UK and US adapters
8GB class 10 SD CARD with pi-topOS
SD Card Removal Tool

PI-TOP LEARNING SYSTEM – 15 UNIT BUNDLE (UPFRONT YEAR 1, 2 AND 3)

The pi-top Learning System is a learning solution including all the products, curriculum content, training and support needed to deliver hands-on computer science in a STEAM environment.

INTERACTIVE HARDWARE FOR STUDENTS
Truly understand  the relationship between computers,  code and the real world – powered by a suite of 15 pi-top laptops and peripherals.

TEACHING & LEARNING PLATFORM
Personalized  lessons with optimized student-teacher interaction,  progress monitoring  and student self- evaluation.

CURRICULUM CONTENT
Meet your objectives  with award-winning, tried-and-tested lesson plans created by educators  for educators.

TEACHER TRAINING
With 20  teacher  training sessions, you’ll have all  the training and support  you need –  and your school won’t need to invest in extra professional development.

THE pi-top INNOVATION CHALLENGE
An exciting project-based  learning program and competition.  Find out more on the other side of this brochure.

LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY
No missing out on learning  time –  if you have any issues with your product, we’ll fix or replace it.  Right away. No extra costs. No hassle.

BUNDLE INCLUDES:

HARDWARE
15 Units
Charging cart
All accessories
(inventor’s kit, proto, speakers)

SOFTWARE
pi-topOS – Polaris
pi-topCODER CEEDuniverse
pi-topCLASSROOM
pi-top Innovation Challenge

SUPPORT
Unlimited hardware & software support & replacement – 3yrs
15 Units
Charging cart
All accessories
(inventor’s kit, proto, speakers)

pi‑top is a modular laptop that gives you the tools to complete amazing DIY projects and bring your inventions to life. It’s the perfect tool to help you learn to code, create awesome devices, and take your knowledge to the next level.

Sliding Keyboard Design
Slide out the keyboard to reveal the built in Modular Rail. It’s a workspace for you to build your creations, using pi-top accessories and electronic components.

Includes Inventor’s Kit
pi-top teaches you to create your own inventions on your journey as an inventor. We’ll help you get started with this awesome inventor’s kit click the icons to see what you can make.

pi-topOS: Polaris
At the heart of everything is our shining star – pi-topOS: Polaris – included with pi-top.

TECH SPECS

DISPLAY
14” full HD LCD screen
1920 x 1080 resolution
180° screen angle range

RASPBERRY PI 3
1.4GHz quad-core arm cortex A53P
4 USB ports
40 GPIO pins
HDMI port
Gigabit Ethernet port
802.11 B/G/N dual-band wireless LAN
Bluetooth 4.2
3.5mm audio jack
Camera interface
Display interface
Micro SD card slot
Videocore IV 3D graphics core

CHASSIS
6-8 hour battery life
105mm sliding keyboard for internal access (US layout)
104x75mm trackpad with Gesture Control
Modular Rail for pi-top accessories

INCLUDED HARDWARE
18V, 2.5A charger with AU, EU, UK and US adapters
8GB class 10 SD CARD with pi-topOS
SD Card Removal Tool

 

 

What To Incorporate in an Education Technology Recovery Plan

As more schools and districts evolve their classrooms with digital and wired technology–and as standards in education seek to incorporate technological tools and resources–it’s important to prepare your digital assets for the future. This would include any type of physical, internal, or security risk. A disaster recovery plan is a much-needed strategy for budding IT offices that will be in charge of multiple devices, networks, and systems. But with our 4-step guide to disaster recovery, we can help you make sure that all your devices and equipment are prepared for any dangers they might face.

encore data products technology recovery planStep 1: Identify the risks in order to take preventative measures.

It’s important to know what your technology will face, in order to prepare for them. For example, they could be physical, external risks: students carrying and bringing home their Chromebooks or iPads are prone to damaging them through drops and typical accidents. Or, they might be internal, such as viruses or compromises to data security. It’s helpful to start understanding your current risks, in order to address them with appropriate solutions, such as tablet cases, new virus blocking software, or security controls that require administrative permissions for downloading material. By developing a list of risks, you can begin to design a plan that will help protect your devices and data, and resolve problems more quickly.

There are some things you cannot predict, however, such as a new virus that could override your current blockers or a bug that critically damages saved files on a device. However, creating a list of risks will help you stay on top of security, data, or physical threats to your equipment, and help maintain your devices for longer.

Step 2: Inventory all assets, and monitor their software or hardware upgrade needs.

You need to know what devices you have, in order to know which ones are the most important to recover and maintain first. For example, you are more likely to afford the repair and downtime for an iPad that is infrequently used or can be replaced by a second iPad in stock, but there would be greater urgency and need for an entire set of classroom Chromebooks that have been damaged by an old syncing cart.

In addition, you will want to indicate which systems need security checks; software or hardware updates, or even predicted end-of-life timelines in order to phase out old models and bring in new ones when possible. This will help you keep your assets in-line and prepared for any type of disaster or emergency.

Step 3: Realize your recovery objectives.

In the event that your devices fail–maybe from a problem syncing data to the cloud, accidental data loss from a storm, or from upgrades that cause problems or malfunctions with your current software–you want to have recovery objectives in mind. The two most important recovery objectives to have is recovery time and recovery point. Recovery time objectives set your goal for how long your devices or services can be down before it becomes a costly issue, and what you need to have in advance to reduce downtime. Recovery point objectives, on the other hand, help you decide how much data you can lose, and what needs to be recovered first to maintain the most important programs, data, and more.

Step 4: Develop your disaster recovery guide and implement training.

With your objectives set, it is now time to develop your step-by-step guides for your disaster scenarios, how you divide tasks and responsibilities among your team and record any new changes to your assets list. You will also want to schedule tests of your plan to make sure that you can recover your devices within a certain time frame.

By developing a disaster recovery plan, you’ll be able to maintain your educational technology devices and prepare for their ever-changing field. To learn more about devices that can help you maintain all your devices, contact us.