Category Archives: Headsets for School Testing

Education Recovery With the CARES Act and Title 1 Funding

The year 2020 will likely be remembered for one significant event- the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting fallout that caused the world to change completely almost overnight. Some of the creative workarounds and pivots we were forced to devise in order to continue the various systems and processes that make up our society turned out to be even more beneficial to us than the way we did things before and are likely to become part of our everyday lives even after the pandemic has officially ended. Food and grocery delivery services, online shopping, and mobile banking, for example- all things that previously existed but soared in popularity amid the pandemic- are now the preferred method for tackling ordinary household chores.

In person learning, however, does not seem to be in danger of being replaced by its online counterpart. While remote learning was a necessary pivot for K-12 schools across America for nearly all of 2020 into 2021, the educational model was less than successful for numerous students, who experienced what experts are referring to as a “learning loss gap”- a backslide that could potentially set their educational goals back for an entire school year or more. Because of this, teachers and school administrators are hard at work planning various interventions, including, in some cases, mandatory summer school, to help students most at risk of retention catch up to their pre-pandemic learning levels. 

Among the most at-risk groups for experiencing this learning loss are students from Title 1 schools. “Title 1,” which refers to Title 1, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, better known today as ESSA, is a program that provides financial assistance to local schools and educational agencies with high percentages of children from low-income families through allocation of various types of grants. Title 1 exists to help schools in underserved communities receive the necessary funding to provide educational intervention services to students who are at risk of failing to meet state academic standards for their grade level. 

Title 1 Schools and the CARES Act

More than ever, Title 1 schools are in need of funding to help bridge the technology and resource gap in the wake of COVID-19. The pandemic shined a spotlight on the disparity between schools in affluent areas and Title 1 schools in terms of technology and equipment necessary for remote learning. Students from wealthy school districts had far less trouble obtaining laptops or tablets in order to attend school from home, not to mention a reliable internet connection to attend class sessions and complete online homework and projects. Low-income students from Title 1 schools, on the other hand, found it much more difficult to attend school remotely due to lack of the basic technological requirements.

However, thanks to funding from the $30.75 billion Education Stabilization Fund included in the $2.3 trillion CARES Act passed in April 2020, Title 1 schools received one-time funding to help facilitate remote learning and keep at-risk students learning amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Intended to provide initial relief to the states and districts facing the toughest education challenges due to the coronavirus, the Education Stabilization Fund was divided into three parts:

  • The $13.5 billion Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, which is allocated to states based on the number of students in poverty. States are required to allocate 90 percent of this funding to districts, including charter schools, based on Title 1, Part A of ESSA. Districts have flexibility over how and which Title 1 schools are funded, while states have the flexibility to decide how and where to target the remaining 10 percent of funding not allocated to Title 1 schools. This one-time funding equates to approximately 80 percent of annual funding for the most recent year of Title 1, Part A.
  • The $3 billion Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund, which was allocated to states based on a combination of school-age population and poverty rates. Governors of these states were granted broad discretion over how these funds are used to best support K-12 schools.
  • The $14.25 billion Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which was granted directly to higher-learning institutions for support with emergency financial aid for students. Approximately $1 billion of this fund is earmarked for historically Black colleges and universities, as well as minority-serving institutions.

In addition to the CARES Act, congressional COVID funding passed in April 2021 has reserved an additional $123 billion for K-12 schools to be distributed through Title 1, with the focus on helping schools in underserved communities reopen safely, as well as helping students catch up on the learning they may have missed during the pandemic.

What the CARES Act Means for Title 1 Schools

Because such a large percentage of education funding from the CARES Act is targeted toward helping Title 1 schools, it is expected to make a significant impact on these schools’ ability to bridge the learning loss gap for at-risk students. A large portion of this funding is anticipated to be used toward technology and equipment to support students’ learning process.

This raises the question: what is the most effective and impactful use of funds for each Title 1 school, and how can these schools get the most out of their allocation? Many schools are looking into low-cost, high-impact technology solutions that benefit the highest possible number of students. 

School headsets and earbuds, for example, help block out unwanted noise and distractions, allowing students to focus on the lessons at hand. Affordable headsets such as the award-winning AVID AE-55 TRRS headset are highly beneficial to students in

ELL/ESL programs, since they provide the quality mic sensitivity necessary for language-learning software at an affordable price. The AE-55 also carries the benefit of meeting state testing requirements to leverage usability.

AVID’s AE-1M earbuds with inline mic serve as another affordable school headphone option that facilitates quality microphone sensitivity when student response is required.

For younger learners, the disposable AE-215 earbuds are an ideal low-cost solution, featuring rubber tips to provide greater comfort and fit for small ears. Each of these headset and earbud options can make a large impact on learning and information retention, for a relatively low price.

As schools continue to navigate education in a post-COVID society, it is imperative that they have the technology and equipment necessary to reach the most at-risk students and intervene before any further learning is lost. Only then can we have the essential tools we need to help all our children succeed. 

 

What Makes an Award-Winning Headset?

If you’ve had any previous experience with headsets, you already know that they’re not all created equal in terms of quality, durability,  and affordability. But what does it take for a headset to transcend “good” to become “multi-award winning?” Just ask AVID, the makers of the AE-55 headset model that just took top honors at the Tech & Learning ISTE Best Of Show 2020 awards and Tech & Learning’s 2021 Best Remote Learning Tools.

Meet the AE-55 Headset: Available in a variety of colors and with a choice between a TRRS or USB 2.0 plug, the AVID AE-55 checks all the boxes for quality, performance, and price. Starting from $17.99 for a USB headset and just $10.95 for the TRRS plug model the AE-55 headsets are designed expressly for student use, keeping comfort and durability in mind. 

Equipped with a bi-directional microphone that rotates 270 degrees, the AE-55 allows for an ambidextrous noise-reducing experience. A chew-resistant 6-foot cord with a Velcro tie emphasizes safety, durability, and convenient storage. Easy-to-clean removable leatherette earpads optimize comfort while also allowing for essential sanitation and protection against germs and viruses needed in today’s school environment. 

Best of all, the AE-55 is an affordable solution for educators looking for bulk TRRS or USB headsets for use in classrooms, libraries, computer labs, and more. School administrators can provide their students with award-winning performance and durability without breaking the bank and staying well within the school’s budget

About the Tech & Learning ISTE Best of Show Awards

Since 1980, Tech & Learning magazine has been a leading resource for educational professionals looking for ways to innovate in teaching and learning through the use of technology. 

Tech & Learning delivers the highest quality content and essential resources to manage, train, and teach technology, and its extensive marketing services division provides partners with unique, targeted, and highly valued products. An expert team of editors and an advisory board of top industry experts give subscribers an inside look at timely issues, hot trends, new products, and innovative strategies that support the work of K-12 educators and administrators. 

The Tech & Learning Best of Show awards are presented each year by ISTE (International Society for Technology Education), a global organization of educators who are passionate about the use of technology to transform teaching and learning. Billed as “the world’s most dynamic edtech community,” ISTE inspires the practice of teachers and school administrators across the globe, offering evidence-based professional learning, virtual coaching, and year-round academies to help educators learn and apply effective strategies for the transformational use of technology.

Each year, ISTE members are invited to attend a conference featuring keynote speakers, vendor demonstrations, and of course, the Tech & Learning Best of Show awards. Due to the pandemic, this year’s ISTE convention was held virtually in November 2020, and the AE-55 was one of only two models of headset that grabbed the prestigious Best of Show honors.  

How did the AE-55 Win Best of Show?

According to Tech & Learning’s Best of Show judges, “The AVID AE-55 Headset has been reimagined and reengineered for the needs of 2020. They come with a headphone jack model or a USB model for different uses according to the device they are connected to.” In other words, the AE-55’s versatility, affordable price point, and design features made it the most attractive option for both in-person and remote learning needs for students. Their compatibility with virtually any electronic device allows them to nimbly shift from laptop to tablet to desktop computer with ease. In a world where “pivot” has become the buzzword of the year, the ability to shift gears is just as valuable for headsets as it is for businesses!

About the Tech & Learning 2021 Best Remote Learning Tools

As schools pivoted from in-person to remote and blended learning this past year, technology solutions were key to delivering quality, continuous learning. To celebrate the work of technology providers who stepped up to support this effort, Tech & Learning launched “The Best Tools for Remote & Blended Learning,” a new offering in its legacy Awards of Excellence program. 

Judges deemed these products as standouts for helping students, parents, and teachers succeed in these new learning environments. Eligible products included hardware, software, curriculum, security/safety solutions, PD, student information systems, and more. Categories included: Best Remote/Blended Learning Tools for Primary Grades; Best Remote/Blended Learning Tools for Secondary Grades; Best Remote/Blended Learning Tools for Higher Education.

“Despite the many challenges schools have had to face this past year, technology continues to be one of the key drivers for innovation,” says Tech & Learning Group Publisher Christine Weiser. “The winning products recognized here have supported continuous instruction throughout the pandemic, and we expect this momentum to continue into next year and beyond. Congratulations to all of our winners.”

As schools across the nation transition back to in-person learning, educators need to make sure their classrooms are equipped with cutting-edge technology that makes a bigger impact on the learning process. Now that students of all ages are more comfortable with various computer programs and video conferencing platforms, it’s possible that we will continue to see some elements of remote learning in the future of education, whether it’s in person or at a distance! By equipping students with the right headsets for the job, teachers can ensure that each child is getting the most out of a lesson, in a distraction-free environment.

If you are only able to make one purchase for your students this school year, let the AVID AE-55 be your choice! Purchasing AVID AE-55 TRRS or USB headsets for every classroom in your school is one way to ensure that students have access to multi-award-winning technology every day of the school year!

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!

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.

Post Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are always a busy time. With family visiting, kids off from school, and lots of events, it can be overwhelming. We’re here to help! We’re going to share the top gifts your students and family will love. These gifts are great for the technology lover in your life. You might even find something you can’t live without. In case you didn’t get everything on your Christmas list, we have you covered. From the hard-to-shop-for to the techie, we have something for everyone.

Cyber Acoustics AC-204 Stereo Headset:

If you’re looking for a gift for the person who is hard to shop for, look no further! This single plug and y-adapter headset is compatible with any hardware you could want to use. The adjustable over the head design fits comfortably on anyone. This is a true universal gift!

Soundnetic Deluxe Tri-Plug Multimedia Headset:

This headset is a great gift for the gamer in your life! With dual PC plugs that work with Chromebook and tablets, it also works with PC, MAC, smartphones, and media players. An inline plug control switch activates the headphone jack to be used, making it easy to swap between devices. On top of all these integrations, this headset provides excellent noise-isolation.

AVID Disposable Earbuds AE-215 Stereo Rubber Tipped Bulk Earbuds:

These earbuds are perfect for the active person on your list. An ideal choice for the gym, the silicon tips reduce ambient noise and can stay in during a workout. A 3-foot 10-inch cord provides extra length. These are a wonderfully affordable option when your gift list is long!

Edison Educational Robot Kit:

Kids from grades K-12 will love this robot kit! An educational gift that kids will actually want to play with, it instantly engages them. Designed to inspire an inventive spirit and get kids interested in STEM, each Edison robot features a host of sensors and can be programmed using a growing number of free software applications.

Thinkwrite Ultra Durable Headphones:

These sturdy headphones are perfect for the clumsy or destructive kid in your life. They are made of a special ABS plastic for maximum durability. Featuring a chew-resistant fabric cable to help prevent damage from even the most determined chewers, these headphones make a great gift for kids who put their tech through the worst.

HamiltonBuhl Primo Stereo Headphones:

Versatile enough to connect to almost any audio device, these are a great all in one gift! The headphones are rugged and feature a chew and kink-resistant cord. They also protect from unnecessary and distracting ambient noise. With washable leatherette ear cushions, these headphones will stay clean and ready to use anytime.

If these products have caught your attention, be sure to visit our website and see the rest of our gift options. You might even find something you need for yourself! We have tons of affordable and durable products. Shop our headphones, headsets, and earbud options for the special people on your gift list this holiday sea

Thankful Contest

During this time of year, we’re reminded of all the people we’re thankful for; friends, family, and favorite teachers! Educators do so much for children all year. They not only teach, they listen, support, and inspire kids every day. We want to give back to the people who dedicate their time to helping students, and celebrate everything they do!

We’re asking for your nominations of anyone in education who has had a positive impact on you or someone you know. This could be a teacher, administrator, librarian, etc., who has been especially helpful or inspiring. Just comment on our posts through Christmas, tagging your favorite educator, and tell us why you’re thankful for them. Maybe they provided extra tutoring, or helped with SAT prep. Share your story! We will be giving headphones away to three winners, and we may have a few surprises as well!

And if you’re a school administrator looking for a way to use some of your end-of-year budget on your teachers, we have lots of the top brands they’ll appreciate. Let’s break down the top headphones your staff will love!

Gumdrop DropTech B1 Headphones:

These are designed for student testing and assessments. They are tough enough for the everyday classroom environment. With a twistable, break-resistant headband, durable earpads, and a 3mm braided chew-proof cord, these are top of the line. Your teachers and students will love using these in the classroom.

ThinkWrite Ultra Durable Headset 3.5mm TRRS Plug:

ThinkWrite headsets are designed specifically for the demands of students in the classroom. These are great for speech to text, and recording voice-overs at schools on iPad and Chromebook. On top of everything mentioned, this headset has noise reduction and comes with a 2-year warranty.

Soundnetic Budget Classroom Headphones, case of 12:

When looking for an affordable option for your classroom, these are a step above most budget headphones. They are less expensive, but with all the features you need in the classroom; great sound quality for the price, volume control, Chromebook compatibility, and they come with a 90-day warranty. These are ideal for common core testing and more!

HamiltonBuhl MS-2LV Education Headphone Leatherette Ear Cushion & Volume:

If you’re looking for the perfect companion for classroom technology and testing, look no further! These robust headphones offer high-quality sound with lightweight, on-ear design. They have a 6-foot, chew-resistant, braided nylon cord, and come in a heavy-duty, reclosable bag.

AVID Education AE-35 Classroom pack of 12:

The AE-35 is derived from our most popular headset model and was designed with the school environment in mind. These headsets feature a 6-foot braided nylon cord for extra resistance to chewing damage. The longer cord length allows children to comfortably move about their desks.

Hamilton HA-2V Schoolmate Personal Stereo Headphone with Volume Control:

These robust headphones offer many great features including in-line volume control. They put out high-quality sound, are lightweight, and have a comfortable on-ear design with foam ear cushions that are replaceable. These are the perfect companion to today’s classroom technology.

We have something for every classroom need! If you’re looking to support a favorite teacher, and help them stock up their classroom, we have everything on their list. We’re also giving away 3 headphones for our Thankful Contest. If you have a favorite educator in your life, nominate them to win by tagging them on our social media posts and let them know why you’re thankful for them. We will have some surprises over the next few weeks for our loyal fans! Be sure to check us out here.

Google Chromebook Headphones

If your school or office uses Chromebooks, you’ll want to make sure you have products that work together. We have many headsets, headphones, and earbuds that will work with your favorite Chromebook. To make sure your equipment is compatible, choose headsets, headphones or earbuds with a 3.5mm plug, or USB compatibility. Specifically, compatible headsets and some earbuds will have a 3.5mm TRRS plug which allows them to take advantage of their dual mic and audio features, while headphones and many earbuds will have a 3.5mm TRS plug, enabling listening only. There are USB compatible versions of all three that will work, too. Luckily, we have many affordable options for you! Let’s break down the top products by price point below, from low to high.

Soundnetic SN-CCV Stereo Budget Headphones:

These stereo headphones come individually packaged with volume control on the cord. Some of their best features include affordability and great sound quality. With their Chromebook, netbook, PC, laptop compatibility and more, they are a versatile option for your classroom or office.

Califone E3T Classroom Stereo Earbuds With Mic & Volume Control:

Lightweight with full-bodied sound quality, these earbuds are a great find for the price! They work with iOS, Windows, Android devices and Chromebooks. The ABS plastic resists shattering. These are also our first earbuds with a 1-year warranty, including use in schools.

Hamilton HA-2V SchoolMate Personal Stereo Headphone Volume Control:

There are many perks to these headphones! They have comfortable foam ear cushions that are replaceable—ideal for long testing days and classroom cleanliness. They offer in-line volume control, a 6’ braided nylon cord, and come with a 1-year warranty. On top of all this, they are compatible with Chromebook!

AVID Education AE-36 Classroom Computer Stereo Headset:

If you’re looking for a mid-level priced headset with Chromebook compatibility, look no further! This AVID headset has a padded, adjustable headband that’s a great choice for all ages. The permanent earpads stay on even after multiple uses and the 3.5mm TRRS plug operates both headphones and mic.

Hamilton Buhl SC-7V Schoolmate:

If your students need a robust headphone option with high-quality sound, this will help them get the most out of their high tech lessons. These are noise-isolating and have leatherette ear cushions that are replaceable. With a chew-resistant cord and 1-year warranty, these are ideal for your busy classroom!

HamiltonBuhl Smart-Trek Deluxe Stereo Headphone:

These have been designed specifically for the demands of the K-12 classroom environment. They are sleek, durable, and have a comfortable design. The ear cushions provide excellent noise-isolation on top of the many other unique features. Best of all, these come with a 1-year warranty!

HamiltonBuhl Sack-O-Phones:

This 5 pack of headphones is great for your small office or classroom setting. They can be easily shared and used on all your Chromebook devices. These have noise-reducing ear cups that will help your team or students stay focused. These are also compatible with MP3 players, cell phones, tablets, Mac and PC, CD players, TV’s and most gaming systems. With this versatility, you will find many uses for these in your office or classroom!

Finding Chromebook headphones has never been easier! We have options for headsets, headphones, and earbuds that are affordable, durable, and under warranty. When shopping for your classroom, school, or office, take a look at our list of Chromebook options and find the right set for your needs.

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!

The Best Headset Choices for WIDA Testing

In the past years, states across the nation have begun implementing the WIDA assessment program. WIDA develops proficiency standards and assessments for English-language learners throughout the country and has also developed the same for Spanish-language learners. Since its beginning in Wisconsin, Delaware, and Arkansas, WIDA is now used by school districts in 37 states. With WIDA, schools determine a student’s level of English when entering a school and can then place them in the correct language learning class level.

WIDA includes both listening and speaking exercises and gives recommendations for what sort of headsets will work best with the test. WIDA suggests using over-ear headphone-style headsets with microphones and stereo sound, instead of earbud-style. Lighter styles with smaller earpieces work well for younger students, while heavy-duty earpieces that sit over the entire ear are good for noise reduction and help students focus on their test exercises. Boom microphones work much better than inline microphones since they capture sound better than inline mics, which sit farther from students’ mouths. Fabric-covered cords will prevent tangling and are much more durable than rubber-covered styles. Finally, WIDA recommends having inline volume control. Since the volume cannot be adjusted once the testing software is in use, the inline volume control allows students to set the headphone volume to a comfortable level before the test begins.

While WIDA does not require any specific brand of the headset, they do have a few that they recommend. Here are three of the most popular styles among our customers for use in their WIDA testing:

  1. Hamilton Buhl Trios: The Trios headset comes equipped with both dual plugs and the TRRS plug, so it is convertible between different devices like desktops, laptops, and tablets. This makes them a great investment for school computer labs: Hamilton’s products are well-built, reliable, and can be used for a variety of applications outside of standardized testing. The Trios has a large, over-ear headphone design to help block outside noise and keep students on task.
  • AVID Education SMB-25VC: These headsets are another large over-ear design, and are heavily padded for maximum comfort. The large boom microphone can swivel up out of the way and is also adjustable to sit closer or farther from the student’s mouth so each student can achieve the perfect fit. These come with a dual plug, making them a good choice for testing environments utilizing desktop computers.
  • AVID Education AE-36: The AE-36 is possibly the most popular headset that our customers use for WIDA testing. They can be used with any laptop or desktop, and are a great choice for Chromebooks. The AE-36 comes with a 6-foot cord, which ensures that students won’t accidentally pull the cord out, even if the audio jack is in the back of the device. The padded headband and earpieces on this design keep the headphones comfortable for long-term use.

While headsets with microphones are needed for WIDA testing, purchasing a large set for school-wide testing isn’t always feasible and can be cost prohibitive. Since WIDA only recommends having three to five students working on the speaking portion of the test at a time, an affordable solution is to purchase a smaller set of headsets and combine these with headphones that can be used for the listening portion of the test. A very popular style of headphone for WIDA is the AVID Education AE-35. Similar in style to the AE-36, the AE-35 is a lightweight style with an adjustable headband that fits most students’ heads. A comfortable style for long-term use, the AE-35 is a good choice for both computer and language labs as well as classroom and school-wide headphone sets. With bulk pricing available, these headphones are not only a reliable choice for schools but are also affordable.

WIDA testing has become an important tool for school districts, and having the right equipment puts students in the best position to succeed. As schools begin to plan for the next academic year and look for headset solutions, keep these WIDA recommendations in mind!

State Testing: What Headsets Will You Need?

Spring has arrived, and with it, the school standardized testing season. Throughout the country, students will soon be taking state tests. TELPAS, PARCC WCAP, SBAC and more. Educators and testing coordinators preparing for testing will need headsets for use with the test so that students can complete listening comprehension and speaking exercises. Many state tests have requirements for these headsets to make sure they will be compatible with the testing software, and schools will need to navigate these requirements to find a headset style that will work and fit their budget. In this post, we outline some of the headset requirements and spotlight three of the most popular styles for schools to purchase. 

So, what are the headset requirements? Some testing requires headsets used must have a microphone for speaking exercises and must sit on the students’ ears and not in them (meaning that earbud styles are excluded). Using an over-the-ear headphone style instead of earbuds is also more comfortable for most students and allows them to fully focus on the test. Headsets must have a double earpiece (no single-ear styles), have stereo sound, and utilize a single, 3.5mm TRRS plug to connect into the computer. Styles with a single TRRS plug will simplify set-up, as teachers and students won’t need to deal with multiple plugs for earphones and microphones. Additional requirements are:

Driver unit size: 32mm

Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz

Impedance: 32 Ohms

Microphone Frequency Response: 100 – 12,000 Hz

Microphone Impedance: 3,320 Ohms

Using the right headsets for testing is essential so that student responses are clear and can be properly assessed.

Encore Data Products carries a wide range of headsets that fit these requirements. Here are three of the most popular styles used by our customers:

  • Soundnetic SN503: These headsets are one of the most affordable styles that our customers. The boom microphone is adjustable so each student can move it to the most comfortable position for them. The SN503 has a braided cord that helps prevent fraying, meaning these headsets can stand up to heavy use. Each one comes with a plastic storage bag, making it easy for students to store their headsets after testing.
  • AVID Education AE-55: The AE-55 was designed with the TELPAS test in mind. The ambidextrous design allows the microphone to rotate 270 degrees, so students can put these headsets on in either direction and the microphone will work. The cord comes with a Velcro tie that will keep cords from tangling with each other when the headsets are stored. The leatherette earpads are easy to clean and can be wiped down between uses.
  • ThinkWrite 90103: ThinkWrite headsets have a larger earpiece that is meant to fit over the student ’s entire ear. This guarantees comfort during applications requiring the student to wear the headset for a long period of time. Volume control on the cord of the 90103 allows students to adjust audio volume as needed. The microphone has a stiff plastic arm for maximum durability; it can also swivel up out of the way when not needed or when the headsets are stored. ThinkWrite headsets have a wide range of applications in addition to TELPAS, making them a good investment for computer and language labs.

With any of these headsets, students will not be hindered by unreliable or incorrect equipment. Instead, students will be able to focus entirely on their exam, enabling them to achieve their highest potential. As testing kicks off for some schools (and wraps up for others), we wish all students good luck on their exams this spring and in the fall!