Category Archives: school

Shop Smart- Buy Durable and Cost-effective Headsets Like the AVID AE-39

Think headphones can be high-quality or affordable, but not both? Think again! Meet the AVID AE-39 headphones.

AVID EDUCATION AE-39

The AVID AE-39 headphones are top-of-the-line USB headphones featuring a noise-canceling microphone. This model was created with sound quality in mind, as well as the rigors of daily home working and school environments. The AE-39 is equipped with AVID’s signature nylon braided cord, which is sturdy and resistant to twisting. The 1.8m / 6-foot cord with inline controls allows for a wide range of motion during operation, allowing for a more engaging working environment, and then folds up into a Velcro tie for easy storage. You may use the inline controls to mute the microphone and alter the volume of your headphones without having to touch your computer, allowing you to focus on your conversation while knowing that changes can be made quickly if necessary. The vinyl ear pads and headbands are easy to clean and store using any gentle over-the-counter cleansing product, making them ideal for frequent use. The AVID AE-39s can be adjusted to provide the best possible comfort. They have a lightweight on-ear design with a microphone boom and an adjustable headband.

What Are the Features of the AVID AE-39?

Quality Headphone Drivers

When choosing a headset, the headphone drivers are an essential feature to put into consideration. The driver of a headset is the component that grants audio impulses to the user and transforms them into audible sound waves. Magnets and a membrane/diaphragm are commonly used in the AVID AE-39 drivers. The diaphragm is spontaneous due to electrical signals, and these spontaneous vibrations produce sound waves that users can hear. The diameter of the headphone drivers used in the production of AVID AE-39 is quite broad, and the wider the diameter of the headphone driver, the better the sound quality. 

When working with low tones, this is very critical. The speaker diameter is also essential for the AVID AE-39 headsets, given that it is an over-the-ear headset. Similarly, the connector you choose is equally crucial as the speakers you utilize. The most popular materials used by AVID AE-39 headset producers are stainless steel, gold, and bronze. The type of material utilized determines the quality of the headphones’ electrical conduction, these materials used by AVID AE-39 producers give their headphones the best quality.

Top-notch Sound Sensitivity and Pressure

Ideally, AVID AE-39 is constructed with good sound sensitivity. This is what the term “sensitivity” means: the ability of the headphones to detect sound, even at the tiniest change/volume. This word is used interchangeably by manufacturers with sound pressure. They are used to indicate how loud the headphones can be. Sound pressure levels are used to quantify the sensitivity of headphones, commonly reported in decibels per milliwatt (dB/mW). In contrast, sensitivity reflects how efficiently an electrical signal is translated into a sound wave.   

The sensitivity of a headphone is important since it aids in understanding how to control volume and how volume affects voltage. Sensitivity is measured in decibels per voltage (dB/V) and is proportional to frequency. To change the loudness of AVID AE-39 by 6 dB, for example, the voltage must be increased by two times. As a function of resistance, sensitivity affects volume. Higher volume gives higher sensitivity and reduced resistance, albeit there may be extra noise. This extra noise is only noticeable when there is no sound playing. However, with AVID AE-39 having a higher sensitivity, it’s expected to be very loud.

Impedance (Electrical Resistance)

AVID AE-39 operates on electromagnetism. So it’s crucial to understand how electrical resistance (or impedance) influences the sound quality and this type of headphones you’re about to buy. Impedance is measured in Ohms and influences the power of headphones in that the higher the resistance, the more power is necessary to power the headphones.   

High-end headsets like AVID AE-39 have a higher impedance, about 300 Ohms or more, and need an amplifier to operate efficiently. In contrast, headphones for mobile phones have lower impedance, about 40 ohms or less, thus needing less power. This may seem like a pro, but low-impedance requires more current, which causes frequent vibrations that produce sound. For this reason, there will be an audible background hiss when utilizing low-impedance headphones. This results in performance problems. With AVID AE-39, you can’t encounter this problem as the impedance is high.

Frequency Response

Frequency response is a phrase used to indicate the range of sound frequencies that headphones can produce. Frequency responsiveness is normally measured in Hertz (Hz), with the higher number signifying the frequency that produces high notes (usually labeled as “Bright”) and the lower number indicating the amount of bass produced (usually indicated as “Dark”). The AVID AE-39 headphone has a specified frequency corresponding to human hearing frequency, usually between 20 and 20,000 Hz. This makes it perfect for use.

Other features of the AVID AE-39 headphones include:

  • CONNECTIVITY 

This USB microphone headset allows you to quickly connect to your PC or Mac computer. The headset requires no drivers. 

  • CABLE LENGTH

The AE-39’s 1.8m (6ft) long braided cable is for exceptional durability and prevents the tangling you can get with plastic-wrapped cables.  

  • NOISE-CANCELING

The boom microphone has noise cancellation technology to limit background noise, giving you clear discussions. This feature makes AVID AE-39 one of the best options for school headphones

  • INLINE CONTROLS

The AE-39’s simple inline controls let you instantly mute your microphone and alter your headphone level during calls.   

  • COMFORTABLE DESIGN

Lightweight, on-ear design and adjustable headband are perfect for home working. Really comfy and cooling to wear for extended durations.

What Are the Benefits of the AVID AE-39 Headsets?

  • It’s simple to clean and maintain.  
  • Ideal for one-on-one user interface.  
  • Reliable and long-lasting  
  • Noise cancellation property helps in maintaining maximum focus.  
  • The AVID AE-39 has an ambidextrous design 
  • The headband can be adjusted perfectly for a custom fit

What Are the Specifications of the AVID AE-39 Headset Available? 

  • Impedance sensitivity: 100dB @ 500Hz w 1mW input
  • Plug type: USB
  • Magnet material: 32 Ohms @ 500Hz 
  • Volume control: In-line
  • Speaker size: 40mm Ferrite 
  • Earpads: PU leatherette 
  • Microphone type: Bidirectional method of boom rotation 
  • Color: Silver and black 
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20KHz
  • Channel balance: Within 6dB 
  • Mic sensitivity: -42dB  V/Pa
  • Max input power: 30 mW 
  • Cord: 6′ nylon braided effectively with ear cup strain relief
  • Headband: Adjustable with enough tilt
  • Packing: 40 pieces per carton

You’ll be amazed by the level of quality and durability that comes from this highly-affordable set of school headphones!

Recycling Headsets and Other Electronics: What’s the right approach?

Americans throw out between 300 and 400 million electronic devices every year, equaling approximately seven million metric tons, making the U.S. the world’s second-largest producer of e-waste (behind China). A recent survey of Americans between the ages of 18 and 38 by Decluttr found that 60% threw away one or more electronic devices between March and June 2020, rather than recycling them. The top three items discarded were charging cords, headphones, and cellular phones, a not surprising finding given COVID restrictions have made headphones and headsets a mandatory piece of equipment in many schools and businesses.

Once a device is tossed into the trash, it is typically taken to a U.S. landfill, incinerated, or exported to a foreign country. Though e-waste represents just 2% of America’s landfill trash, it accounts for 70% of the toxic waste, due to dangerous chemicals and metals, including lead, mercury, and zinc, which can leach into the air, soil, and water. The Basel Convention, an international treaty aimed at reducing hazardous waste exports, has raised awareness, but the sheer magnitude of the problem escapes easy solutions. 

Given the rapid pace of the development of new technology, not surprisingly, e-waste is the fastest-growing type of waste. According to a U.N. report, there was a 17% increase in e-waste globally, to 52 million metric tons, between 2016 and 2021. It is, therefore, imperative that each of us learn where and how to dispose of our electronic devices

Many cities and communities offer recycling days for e-waste, many of which are at no cost to the residents. Additionally, a website called Earth911 allows you to type in your zip code to find e-waste options in your area. The EPA lists the recycling policies of several retailers, which typically limit the number of devices they accept, and manufacturers, which tend to offer recycling only for their own products. 

What if you represent a business or school with a large number of mixed-brand devices?

Cyber Acoustics, maker of popular computer peripherals, is offering the first large-scale sustainability program to accept wired headphones, headsets, and earbuds made by any manufacturer for recycling. Once you’ve collected at least 10 of these devices, all you have to do is register on the company’s website and they’ll send you a box to collect your old or broken devices, along with a prepaid shipping label.

“Our primary goal with this program,” explains Cyber Acoustics’ COO Steve Erickson, “is to give schools and businesses a way to properly dispose of headsets and headphones that are good for the environment.” 

Cyber Acoustics pledges that the plastics, metals, and other components in the returned devices will be properly sorted, discarded, recycled, or re-used, and not end up in landfills. The program will also help recover valuable materials and reduce the resources needed for new products. Several dozen schools across the U.S. have already requested bins from the company to help recycle their school headphones

The headset recycling program is just part of Cyber Acoustics’ commitment to sustainability. The company has redesigned its packaging to be more compact and efficient, utilizing 100% recyclable materials, and is taking steps to eliminate single-use plastic and other non-recyclable products.

“We’re all about providing solutions, and that doesn’t stop at electronics. Smarter packaging and longer-lasting products are just the first steps. We are constantly taking action for a better tomorrow and are committed to a continuous process of innovation, adaptation, and change to better our planet,” adds Erickson.

How other brands are doing their part 

To help motivate students to go green, PepsiCo’s Recycle Rally provides materials, including videos, lesson plans, posters, and prizes. It even has a fun formula for tracking and measuring a school’s progress. One of PepsiCo’s partners is WeAreTeachers, an organization of educators which offers additional ideas for K-12 recycling programs, including conducting regular waste audits. Project Green Schools also offers a number of useful ideas to encourage environmental awareness and reduce waste in schools.

Thanks to Cyber Acoustics’ recycling program for headphones, along with numerous other electronics recycling programs sponsored by various corporations and nonprofit organizations, it’s now easier and more convenient than ever to properly dispose of broken or outdated electronic items. 

By joining the fight to preserve our planet, Cyber Acoustics will hopefully influence other companies that manufacture headphones and earbuds to follow suit, positively impacting our processes for responsibly and sustainably manufacturing, shipping, and recycling goods and preserving our beautiful planet for future generations.

Sources

Great Lakes Electronics Corporation. chatterbuzz. January 6, 2017. How Does Recycling Electronics Help the Environment. https://www.ewaste1.com/how-does-recycling-electronics-help-the-environment/

Mayer Alloys Corporation. Ilene Lubell. April 27, 2018. 5 Shocking Environmental Effects of E-Waste. https://info.mayeralloys.com/ewaste-blog/5-shocking-environmental-effects-of-e-waste

Logitech H111 Headphones Are Uniquely Designed for Students

Finding headphones for students can be a hard process, especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. By purchasing headphones or a headset designed specifically for education, educators can ensure students are receiving the right headphones for their needs. From their durable materials to comfortable designs, kids of all ages will love these headphones. 

Top Recommendation

One of our top picks for high-quality, affordable school headphones is the Logitech H111 Stereo Headset for Education.

LOGITECH H111 STEREO HEADSET FOR EDUCATION

This headset is primarily focused for students and offers a simple way for kids to connect with fellow students, teachers, learning programs, and more! In addition to quality features like a 180-degree rotating microphone that provides better voice capture, background noise reduction and left or right side positioning, the H111 for Education delivers on durability, comfort, compatibility, hygiene, and peace of mind necessary for headphone use in schools. Here’s how.

Durability

The H111 for Education uses higher quality, more durable plastics designed to ensure that students can’t easily destroy, chew or break any of the components on the headphone. It also has reinforced wiring and strain relief so kids can use them all day long without risk for breakage.

Comfort

The H111 for Education features an adjustable headband and soft ear cushions that give students a great, comfortable fit for all-day use. An extra-long 4.5-foot cord allows students to stand, stretch, or move during the day as needed. 

Compatibility

Because school headphones are manufactured for students in schools across the country, they almost always feature the traditional 3.5mm jack, a standard USB cord, or both, meaning they’ll be usable in over 90% of devices used in schools—including Chromebooks, desktops and tablets. The Logitech H111 Headset for Education is compatible with virtually all computers, featuring a standard 3.5mm jack for easy use. It’s Chromebook certified and compatible with most operating Systems (Chrome OS™; Windows® 7, 8, 10 or later; Mac® OS 10.10 or later).

Easy to Clean

Now more than ever, keeping school headphones clean and sanitized is an absolute necessity. Manufacturers of classroom headsets understand the importance of a design that is easy for educators and school administrators to keep clean between uses. Quality school headphones for kids will often feature headbands, ear cushions, and microphones made from materials that can easily withstand regular cleaning and sanitation with the use of proper cleaning products. The H111 for Education meets CDC Cleaning Guidelines and is designed and tested to withstand disinfecting after each use.

3-Year Warranty

What makes the Logitech H111 Headset for Education even more unique is the extended 3-year warranty that comes with it. Most warranty options for other headsets and headphones only offer up to one year manufacturer’s warranty. Logitech for Education offers purchasing peace of mind with a 3-year commitment to your product satisfaction.

Finding durable, comfortable, easy-to-clean and compatible headphones for students no longer needs to be a chore. Educators can find the right headphones for kids when they consider the unique needs of students in the classroom. To learn more about the Logitech H111 Stereo Headset for Education and how it’s uniquely designed for students, visit Encore Data Products.

Are JLab Headphones Comfortable for Small Children?

As more and more of our children’s school experience becomes technology-focused, the use of school headphones becomes more prevalent, with even the youngest students engaging in activities that require headphones at school at least once or twice per week.

In fact, due to the unprecedented events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been no school years more reliant on technology, including school headphones, than 2020 and 2021.

As schools closed down for in-person learning and pivoted to remote learning to help protect students, faculty, and staff from contracting the coronavirus, we all learned something about the importance of having the right equipment on hand to help young students cope with the seismic shift in their school routine. Suddenly, having school headphones that not only produced good sound quality but also were comfortable for hours of wear became extremely essential. 

Now that kids are largely back in school, having headphones designed for their comfort is still an important consideration for teachers and parents alike, as they continue to use them for daily lessons as part of in-person instruction. Today we’ll take a look at the popular JLab children’s headphones to see whether they are a top choice for comfort, quality, and durability.

About JLab

Founded in 2005, JLab is a top manufacturer of innovative headphones, earbuds, and accessories for men, women, and children. The brand strives to deliver what they call “accessible innovation”- in other words, top-quality audio and cutting-edge technology at an affordable price. As the number one kids’ headphones brand in the United States, it’s safe to say that JLab knows a thing or two about designing school headphones with kids’ comfort in mind! 

Popular JLab Kids School Headphones

With a variety of styles optimized for learning, gaming, and more, the JBuddies line of school headphones is sure to offer something for everyone! Here’s a look at some of the most popular JBuddies models available.

JLAB JBUDDIES STUDIO KIDS ON-EAR HEADPHONES

JLab JBuddies Studio Kids On-Ear Headphones With In-Line Microphone

Featuring their patented Cloud Foam on-ear cushions, the JBuddies Studio school headphones offer ultimate comfort and focus at an affordable price. Optimized for kids’ comfort, the JBuddies Studio Kids headphones feature smooth-sliding metal adjustments and a feather-light build to provide long-lasting comfort for all-day use in school or at home.

The compact stainless steel headband is equipped with a plush memory foam cushion for maximum comfort and is adjustable to fit growing kids from ages 6 to 16. Since these school headphones are designed to grow with your kids, you can count on them to be part of your child’s learning experience for years to come. 

With plush, foldable ear cups that rotate 80 degrees and a braided, tangle-free nylon cord, the JBuddies Studio Kids school headphones are as durable as they are comfortable! Teachers and parents who know how rough young students can be on school equipment will breathe a sigh of relief to see how virtually indestructible these school headphones are for little fingers. 

In addition to being designed for kids’ comfort throughout the day, the JBuddies Studio Kids school headphones are also tested and approved for safe listening levels, with a built-in volume limiter at 85 decibels. This means that even the youngest students will be protected against future hearing loss from prolonged use of school headphones.

The in-line microphone feature allows kids to easily participate in remote learning sessions, language labs where voice response is required, and more. Best of all, each set of JBuddies Studio Kids headphones comes with JLab’s exclusive lifetime warranty, so you can be guaranteed lasting quality for the life of your child’s school headphones.

The JLab JBuddies Studio Kids On-Ear Headphones are an excellent value for parents, school administrators, or anyone else in search of high-quality, high-performance school headphones.

JLab JBuddies Learn On-Ear Kids Headphones With Retractable Microphone

JLAB JBUDDIES LEARN ON-EAR KIDS HEADPHONE

Like the Studio Kids model above, the JBuddies Learn school headphones are designed especially for kids ages 6 and up. The on-ear design features comfortable Eco Leather™ cushions and a padded headband to provide long-lasting comfort for lessons, homework, and more. 

A built-in volume regulator safely ensures that kids never listen past 85 decibels, and the design allows the school headphones to be folded easily for storage and transportation to and from school. The JBuddies Learn model features a retractable microphone that can be used for remote school sessions, gaming, and programs that require voice response, then discreetly tucked away when not in use. Students can easily plug their JBuddies Learn school headphones into a PC, Mac, or Chromebook for use.

 

 

The JBuddies Learn headphones include a number of high-end features for a comparatively low price.

 

JLab JBuddies Folding Kids Headphones

For the youngest learners who may not require all the bells and whistles of a built-in microphone, it’s hard to beat the JBuddies folding kids headphones for comfort, quality, and style. Tested and approved for safe listening with a volume limiter at 85 decibels, the JBuddies Folding Kids Headphones are designed for kids ages 2 and up. Comfort features include pillow-soft ear and headband cushions, a folding, compact design, and pinch-free hinges to ensure no little fingers get caught.

Durable, spill-resistant materials help protect the JBuddies Folding Kids Headphones from everyday accidents, but parents and teachers can also rest assured that each pair is backed by the JLab Lifetime Warranty for added protection.

 

Best of all, the JBuddies Folding Kids Headphones come with 8 fun 3D character stickers so that each child can add his or her own personal touch!

The JBuddies Folding Kids Headphones are a must-have for any parent or teacher looking for safe, high-quality school headphones for toddlers, preschoolers, or kindergartners.

JLab has become a leading brand for school headphones thanks to its commitment to putting comfort and quality first. It’s tough to beat these school headphones in terms of what they offer versus how much they cost. By investing in a pair of JLab school headphones for your kids now, you can be sure they’ll serve them well for years to come.

How Voice Amplifiers are Beneficial for Teachers in 2021

Voice amplifiers, sometimes referred to as loudspeakers, are quickly becoming staples in the classroom, especially as more and more teachers are required to wear masks while teaching. Many teachers are finding that even without masks, voice amplifiers help them teach in their classrooms due to their ability to help students hear their lessons as well. Keep reading to find out why voice amplifiers are beneficial in the classroom as well as a few models that are worth their weight in gold for teachers looking to reach more of their students than ever before.

Benefits

There are far too many benefits to using a voice amplifier, so we thought we would break down our top four reasons that teachers should utilize a voice amplifier in the classroom.

Less Stress

We’ve all spent time nearly yelling at our students in an attempt to get them to listen, only to find that by the time we’re home for the day, our voices are lost. With a voice amplifier, teachers are able to speak the same amount that they normally would without putting undue stress on their vocal cords. This is definitely one of those situations where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of treatment, with many teachers finding they need to treat their vocal cords later in life due to the years of projecting their voices in the classroom.

Idealized Learning Environment

Besides less stress on the body, voice amplifiers also allow teachers to have less stress in the classroom by creating an idealized learning environment that simply cannot be beaten. Instead of facilitating a loud, chaotic classroom, voice amplifiers allow teachers to be in full control of their classrooms. No longer do teachers need to worry about whether or not their students can hear them, nor will teachers add to classroom noise that many students can find distracting.

Reach All Students

With some students attempting to listen to their teacher while others are talking over, voice amplifiers allow all students to hear exactly what’s being said by their instructors. This creates a quieter learning environment that actually makes teaching much easier as well as allowing more students to learn. For example, many students who sit in the back don’t always hear exactly what is being said by their teacher due to the rows of students sitting in front of them who can be disruptive. With a voice amplifier, teachers don’t need to worry about reaching those students at all.

Loud and Clear

Finally, voice amplifiers allow your students to hear you loud and clear, especially as more and more schools require education professionals to wear a mask while they are teaching. With a voice amplifier, teachers no longer need to worry about sounding muffled or not having their students fully understand what they are saying by providing loud, clear sound for everyone in the classroom. If that’s not a win-win for everyone, we don’t know what is.

Models

There are several different vocal amplifier systems available to teachers, but the following models are our absolute top picks for those looking to purchase a system.

HamiltonBuhl Amp-Up! Personal UHF Voice Amplifier with Wireless Microphone

HamiltonBuhl Amp-Up! Personal UHF Voice Amplifier with Wireless Microphone

This is our top pick for a few reasons, namely that it’s portable and can be used wherever teachers go. This system allows teachers to clearly, crisply, and loudly speak to their students, whether they’re in the classroom, on a field trip, or in an assembly. The 25W output covers large areas while the long battery life ensures students are able to communicate with their students all day long. Users are able to easily adjust the sound settings to ensure volume levels are correct, and thanks to the Bluetooth technology, USB/TF card slot and AUX-IN built into the device, users can play other audio through the device as well. Finally, the wireless, head-worn microphone and waistband hook allow users to use this device wherever they are, bringing forth a whole new level of unmatched portability.

Avid Education PA-216 35 Watt Portable PA Amplifier

AVID Education PA-216 35 Watt Portable PA Amplifier

This system isn’t the most portable on our list, but it’s perfect for those looking to reach a large audience outside or in bigger rooms like playgrounds, field trip locations, assembly halls, etc. The shoulder strap and handle allow users to easily move this system where they need it while the 35-Watt system means it’s loud while providing clear, crisp sound for those who need to hear it. Unlike some of the other systems on our list, this one only has a USB port; however, the sound quality and portability make it a must for those who need to regularly speak in large areas.

Avid Education PA-122 6 Watt PA Waistband Amplifier

AVID Education PA-122 6 Watt PA Waistband Amplifier

This system may be small, but it packs a powerful punch for those who need to use a voice amplifier in a classroom setting. While this system is incredibly basic (it’s not going to record nor does it have plug-ins for outside audio to playback), it’s perfect for those who feel they only need to amplify their voices. Due to its smaller size, users can’t really rely on this one outside of the classroom.

There is a multitude of reasons to purchase a voice amplifier, including creating a more ideal learning environment and putting less stress on educators’ bodies. Purchase a voice amplifier today and experience the difference in your teaching as soon as possible.

What Chromebook Case Option is Right For Me?

Congratulations- you’re the proud owner of a new Chromebook! You’re all set up too- you’ve got your reliable WiFi connection, your chromebook headphones with microphone, and the charging cord just in case you need to plug it in after a few hours of use. Looks like you’re all set to bring your Chromebook everywhere you want to go!

But…what are you going to put your Chromebook in? If you haven’t already noticed, there are a multitude of cases specially designed to accommodate Chromebooks on the market, and it can be a bit overwhelming to determine which of these options best fit your needs. Fortunately for you, we did the research, so you can just sit back, relax, and read on about the advantages and potential drawbacks of each of the most popular types of Chromebook case available.

Briefcases and Carrying Cases

NUTKASE BALLISTIC NYLON FOLIO

Need a little more room for your peripherals, charging cord, Chromebook headphones with microphone, and other accessories? You may be in need of an upgrade to a carrying case! These soft-sided, briefcase-style bags are equipped with a handle, carrying strap, or both for easy transportability, not to mention a number of pockets for your other school or office supplies. We like the NutKase Ballistic Nylon Folio Big Pocket for Chromebook shoulder bag carrying case.

Pros:

– Slim, compact profile allows for ease and convenience.

– Solid outer clamshell design and quilted padding interior for maximum durability and protection.

– Accessory storage pockets eliminate the need for a second backpack or bag. Students can transport everything in one case!

– Padded shoulder strap provides comfort and ease when on the go.

Cons:

  • May not be practical for those who rarely have to carry their Chromebook long distances.

Who Should Buy One: Any student or office worker who needs to transport their Chromebook back and forth every day should look into this convenient, all-in-one carrying solution. It is especially ideal for kids on hybrid learning programs.

Gumdrop Cases*

Gumdrop DropTech Case

Before you ask, no- these cases are sadly not made of gumdrops. However, if you are looking for a case that is so durable and rugged that it renders your Chromebook virtually unbreakable, this may be a case worth looking into! Gumdrop cases combine the impact-resistant outer shell of a standard hard case with the practicality of rubberized sides, backs, and edges to help build air pockets inside, cushioning just about any blow. We like the Gumdrop DropTech Case for Chromebook.

Pros: 

  • Made with durable thermoplastic polyurethane for extreme drop protection.
  • Rubberized sides and back offer maximum shock absorbency.
  • Slim profile makes your Chromebook a breeze to pack in a backpack, briefcase, or suitcase!

Cons:

  • No variety of color or style options are available.

 

Who Should Buy One: Do you or your kids drop stuff, like, constantly? Do you work in a field that involves you bringing your laptop to construction sites, geological digs, or other dangerous surroundings? Do you just want to be certain that nothing’s going to break your Chromebook? This might be the best investment you ever made.

Hard Cases (Shells)

Max Case* Extreme Shell

As its name implies, a hard case is, well, hard. That is to say, it is built for durability and can protect your Chromebook in a number of otherwise problematic situations. We like the Max Case* Extreme Shell for Chromebook.

Pros: 

  • Rugged hard outer shell provides shock resistance from drops, collisions, and other types of impact or force. 
  • Dust-proof, waterproof case protects against other types of damage.
  • Shell fits right over your Chromebook, protecting it in the same way that a phone case protects your smartphone- no excess baggage when you travel!

Cons:

  • Most hard shell Chromebook case models don’t have a handle or carrying strap, meaning you’ll have to carry it separately in your hands or put it into a backpack or messenger bag.

 

Who Should Buy One: Anyone who is prone to dropping their laptop at regular intervals (read: your kids) or who has to commute on foot, by bicycle or scooter, or take public transportation regularly, as these activities increase the chances of dropping your Chromebook.

No matter which style of case you choose for your Chromebook, it’s important to always make sure the case you choose is designed to fit the size, make, and model of your laptop. These cases are rarely a one-size-fits-all option and it’s imperative to read all the fine print either online or at the electronics store to ensure it will fit your Chromebook.

It’s also fun to choose a case that suits your personality as well as your Chromebook protection needs. No matter what kind of commute you have or how often you have to take your laptop out of the house, the most important thing is to select a case that fits your lifestyle.

Additionally, keep in mind that a case for your Chromebook is always a great investment, no matter how infrequently you plan to take it out of the house. By purchasing a case for your Chromebook now, you can have the ability to safely transport it wherever you want to go in the future.

By taking good care of your Chromebook and keeping it protected against drops, collisions, shattering, dust, and water when you’re on the go, you can look forward to many years of enjoying your computer and learning new things!

 

*Though not listed on our website, Gumdrop and Maxcase Chromebook cases are available in classroom-sized quantities from Encore Data Products. Contact Customer Service to tell them what you need and they’ll provide options and a quote.

How Headphones in the Classroom Support Independent Learning

Classroom headphones are becoming more and more popular; however, many are still on the fence about how they can create and support an ideal independent learning environment. From minimizing background noise to helping students relax, headphones are quickly becoming one of the top learning tools utilized by instructors in classrooms around the world. Read on to learn some of the benefits headphones can bring to any classroom.

Minimize Background Noise

Classrooms are noisy. Even in the quietest classroom, students talk, keyboards clack, and pencil sharpeners whiz all throughout the average school day, so why let these noises distract your learners? Headphones facilitate noise cancellation, allowing students to ignore the noises they’d normally hear every day. As a bonus, they also allow for a quieter classroom in general, meaning instructors can receive some quiet time as they prepare for other lessons or grade assignments. 

Optimal Learning Environment

A quiet learning environment optimizes students’ learning experience, meaning they can learn quicker and retain more information. Optimized learning environments allow students to focus on their tasks, and headsets are the perfect way to create the correct atmosphere for each student’s needs. One methodology a number of instructors find helpful is teaching their students that when headphones are on, it’s time for learning. This tends to make students know they need to focus on what they’re focusing on. Finally, some students learn better with music. Allocating time for students to listen to their music while working on an assignment may improve focus.

Practical Applications

Headphones are not just for the classroom; they can also be used in a variety of other locations. Certain areas or lessons may benefit from headphone use, including:

  • Listening Centers
  • Language Labs
  • Computer Labs
  • Using Computer Programs
  • Watching Videos
  • Cafeterias 
  • Events
  • Field Trips
  • Loud Areas 

Some of these areas may be for the benefit of the environment, like computer labs, while others can benefit students with disabilities who can feel overwhelmed by too much stimulation. Regardless of where headphones are used, they allow students to focus on what instructors are teaching without distractions.

Facilitates Relaxation 

School can be a stressful environment, especially for younger children. They’re outside of their comfort zone which may cause behavioral issues, stress or anxiety in some children. Headphones allow students to relax and create their own personal learning space they can thrive in. For students who become overstimulated or those with behavioral issues, instructors may find that giving students a few minutes of headphone time may calm them down or allow them to better focus on lessons before rejoining their classmates.

No Hearing Issues

Parents understandably may worry about their children’s hearing, but headphones at a reasonable volume have not been shown to cause hearing issues. Most hearing issues are actually caused by constant exposure to extremely loud noises, like concerts, construction sites or even noisy classrooms. Headphones give students an auditory break by making them refocus on their lessons and protecting their hearing. Finally, students with hearing issues may become better equipped to complete their lessons by adequately hearing their instructors.

Maximizes Focus

We’ve talked a lot about focus in this article, but it definitely necessitates its own section. Headphones allow students to “spend” their mental effort in productive ways by focusing on learning, without over-exerting their brainpower. Headphones block out noise and feed students the information they need to know, which can be especially helpful for auditory learners who may struggle with traditional visual learning methodologies. By pairing headphone learning with visuals, instructors can reach all their students—no matter which learning style they’re more likely to utilize. Finally, headphones during testing periods allows students to create an individualized learning environment that fits their needs, meaning they may score higher on standardized test scores.

Make Easy Accommodations 

Accommodating students’ needs can be difficult, especially when multiple students are at different reading levels. Students who are behind can experience stigmatization from their peers if their delays are known. Headphones allow students to learn at their own pace, letting instructors tailor each students’ curriculum to their needs, rather than attempting to make all students learn the same material (with some falling behind and more advanced students becoming bored) at the same time.

Make Learning Fun

Keeping students’ attention all day can be one of the hardest aspects of teaching due to the monotony of lessons. Headphones can facilitate learning becoming a fun experience. Even giving students headphones in a fun color can make learning fun, but they also allow teachers to utilize a variety of programs and games they wouldn’t introduce their students to without headphones. Finally, teachers can reward their students for good behavior with “headphone time” by allowing them a few minutes of music or games, leading to better behavior in the classroom.

Affordability 

Creating an individual learning environment for each student can be expensive, from printing personalized worksheets to buying special supplies. Headphones allow instructors to easily tailor their curriculum to each student by allowing them to utilize a variety of programs they simply need to download onto a device and plug some headphones in. This allows instructors and schools to spend a minuscule amount of funds when compared to what they’d spend completing the impossible task of tailoring their supplies to each students’ needs. While headphones may have a higher up-front expense, they can save schools thousands over the course of the school year.

Headphones can become an invaluable tool for schools and instructors to create individualized learning environments for all their students. From facilitating quiet, safe, and less stressful learning environments to making accommodations dependent on student’s learning styles and their ability to handle the stressors of a classroom. By providing students with headphones, teachers will most likely see an improvement in focus, grades, and test scores, meaning they have more time to dedicate to crafting better lesson plans, completing administrative work, and spending more time outside of the classroom. For more information on school headphones, please visit our website.

How to Identify the Best Headsets for High Schoolers?

As young adults with different educational goals and needs (not to mention larger heads!), it stands to reason that high school students may have different requirements and use cases for school headphones. Here are some of the things you should consider when determining which headsets will be the best for your high school student.

Ear Cup Size

Available in three primary styles, (in-ear, on-ear, and over-ear) the right ear cup size depends on each student; however, there are pros and cons of each style as detailed below.

In-Ear – Commonly called earbuds, in-ear headphones require users to place the headphone directly into the ear canal. This facilitates excellent sound quality while keeping outside noise to a minimum—all while being portable. However, they can be exceedingly uncomfortable or regularly fall out if using the incorrect fit, expensive and easily lost.

On-Ear – Sitting on top of the ear, on-ear headphones send sound directly into the ear canal while still being portable. They also have a few drawbacks though, namely that they can’t filter out background noise and need to have a proper fit to avoid causing pain to the user.

Over-Ear – Providing the best sound quality of all three options, over-ear headphones cover the entire ear, allowing for noise cancelation. They’re the least portable option; however, students are unlikely to move from their computers, making this a moot point for most high schoolers. This is usually the ideal pick for most students.

Comfort

High school students are going to wear their new headphones for several hours each day, so comfort should be a top priority when looking for which model to purchase. Again, exactly which model is purchased depends entirely on the student. In-ear and on-ear headphones need proper fitting to ensure a comfortable fit while most parents can purchase nearly any pair of adult-sized over-ear headphones. Finally, when examining over-ear or on-ear headphones, make sure to find a pair that has a soft, padded ear cup.

Microphone

In-ear headphones won’t have a built-in microphone which means a separate purchase for parents to ensure proper communication and ideal sound quality between students and teachers. In comparison, microphone options are available on both on-ear and over-ear sets with varying sound qualities. Look for a set that allows the mic to go close to the mouth—ideally around an inch to prevent picking up background noises while also not catching breathing from the user. 

Sound Quality

On-ear headphones provide the poorest sound quality of all three headphone options, allowing background noise to filter in and cause distraction. In-ear and over-ear headphones will give the best sound quality, with both filtering out background noise while delivering sound directly into the ear canal for optimized sound. 

Wired or Wireless

All three styles are available in both wired or wireless options, with the right headphone depending on the student. Wired headphones plugin directly to the computer to get their power supply, meaning no one has to worry about batteries or charging, but they also prevent movement—only allowing the student to travel as far as the cord will let them. Wireless headphones allow total freedom of movement; however, students need to make sure they charge their headphones after each use or keep track of the battery life if the headphone uses disposable batteries.

Price

Headphone prices can vary greatly, with some models costing hundreds of dollars. While the adage of “you get what you pay for” is often true, many companies offer affordable headset options well under the $50 dollar mark that are perfect for students and will last for years. Most people will see when examining specs that cheaper headphone options offer many of the same benefits as more expensive models or a minuscule difference. 

Top Picks

  • AVID Education AE-75 Deluxe Over-Ear Classroom Computer Stereo Headset TRRS Plug

    AVID AE-75

    These are our number one pick for a reason, they’re one of the best models on the market—no matter what price point. The ear-cup is well padded and the head strap adjustable to ensure maximum comfort while the over-ear style allows for excellent noise cancelation. The microphone is in the one-inch sweet spot, meaning students can speak clearly with their instructor and peers, while also facilitating pin-pointed accuracy to cancel out background noises. Finally, the universal functionality means this set will work across almost all devices, platforms, and applications.

 

  • AVID AE-55 Black and Silver Headset TRRS Plug

    AVID AE-55

    Slightly less deluxe than the AE-75, these headphones are an excellent budget option. Offering Avid’s superb sound and mic quality, this model is perfect for those looking for a durable and dependable headphone system. The bidirectional boom rotation facilitates clear sound quality while the braided rope and padded ear cups allow students to comfortably wear them all day long.

 

  • HamiltonBuhl Smart-Trek Deluxe Stereo Headset with In-Line Volume Control And 3.5mm TRRS Plug

    HAMILTONBUHL SMART-TREK

    Much like the Avid AE-55, these headphones are great for those on a budget. Durable and versatile, these headphones are compatible with most educational technologies as well as offering a rugged, comfortable design that’s more than capable of standing up to the normal wear-and-tear that students commonly put their supplies through. While not quite as padded as the AE-75, these HamiltonBuhl’s ear cups are comfortable while the adjustable head strap ensures students receive the right fit.

 

 

  • Andrea Communications WNC-2100 Wireless Noise-Canceling Bluetooth® Mono Headset

    ANDREA COMMUNICATIONS WNC-2100

    These Bluetooth headphones mean no more cords, but they also come at a steeper price. The 12-hour battery life means high school students will be connected throughout the day while the semi-rigid boom ensures mics will stay put. What really pushes these headphones over the edge is the sturdy carrying case, meaning no more damaged headphones. 

 

 

 

  • HamiltonBuhl WSP2BKDeluxe USB Multimedia Headset

    HAMILTONBUHL WSP2BK

    Unlike the rest of the headsets on this list, this headset connects through a USB port that’s both PC and Mac compatible. The ear cups are soft and comfortable while the steel-reinforced mic features in-line volume control. Easy portability makes this a great option for remote use while the anti-lice bag means they can be used in school as well.

 

 

Choosing the right headphones for your student is an important decision, and with a plethora of options on the market, it can seem like an endless number of choices. When you select headphones, make sure you have your student’s comfort in mind while looking for excellent sound and mic quality. Remember, the right headphones save money in the long run.

Creating a Clean and Healthy Classroom this Fall

As summer vacation begins to wind to a close, parents, students, and teachers alike are setting their sights on a school year that looks much more like the ones we all used to remember. After a fun-filled summer of gathering once more with our friends and loved ones, not to mention the return of playdates, summer camp, and Fourth of July fireworks in the park, we’re all excited to welcome the 2021-22 school year and get our students back on track for a year of in-person learning.

However, we’re not completely out of the woods yet. Due to the rise of COVID-19 variants, lagging vaccination rates in some parts of the country, and the fact that the vaccine still has yet to be cleared for kids under 12, it is still absolutely essential to approach the upcoming school year with an abundance of caution. For educators, this means ensuring that their school buildings and individual classrooms continue to adhere to the rigorous cleaning and sanitizing practices put in place during the 2020-2021 school year. For some districts, this may mean continuing to require masks for unvaccinated students and teachers, along with maintaining last year’s social distancing protocols. However your school district chooses to approach it, it is critical that we ensure our students’ safety and protection while they are in class. 

Here are some of the top supplies and equipment that have been helping to keep schools protected against COVID-19 outbreaks and keep students learning in their classrooms.

Hamilton-Buhl HygenX Sanitary Headphone Covers- from $16.95

For schools in districts with limited budgets, the necessity that COVID-19 has placed on educators to avoid communal use of supplies and equipment has created a bit of a problem. How can teachers affordably and safely ensure that each student is protected without the ability to buy an entire class set of some supplies? These headphone covers are an ideal solution for schools without the available budget to purchase a pair of disposable headphones or earbuds for every student in every grade. 

HygenX covers come in unique and convenient “tissue box” style packaging for easy storage and distribution. Hypoallergenic material and weave design give you full sound quality, comfort and protection. By simply stretching these hygienic covers over the ear cups of any standard size classroom headsets, your students are ready to confidently and safely share with the rest of the class. Maintaining proper hygiene is more important now than ever and these covers are an easy way to keep your students safer and cleaner in shared environments. Not only do these covers help teachers effectively adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines now, but they can also provide excellent protection against the spread of other viruses, bacteria, and head lice.

Hygenx Disposable Microphone Covers– from $16.99

OK, now you’ve got your hygienic headphone covers, but what are you supposed to do to keep the rest of your headsets clean and germ-free? A perfect companion for disposable headphone covers, these covers are made to fit over standard USB headset microphones, protecting students from accidental exposure to germs. Made with hypoallergenic, latex-free black polyester with a special weave design, the HygenX disposable, sanitary gooseneck microphone covers are individually wrapped for ultimate protection and safety, are simple to use, and can be changed quickly for multiple users of headsets in a short period of time. Simply place the cover over the microphone, tighten with the Velcro tab, and you’re all set, ensuring cleanliness and peace of mind! 

Disposable microphone covers for headsets take germ protection to the next level, keeping the microphone sanitized and free of germs for communal use. 

Classroom Disinfectant Wipes Jumbo 4-Pack- $149.99

Disinfecting wipes can safely and effectively disinfect and sanitize shared surfaces, such as tables and desks, as well as equipment and school supplies that may be used by multiple students each day, making them quite possibly the single most important thing for schools to be equipped with this school year. Made with a non-toxic, hospital-grade disinfectant that is proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria, flu virus (A2/Japan), H1N1, staph, MRSA, E.Coli, salmonella, HIV-1, and more, these wipes can quickly and safely disinfect all hard surfaces of your classroom, leaving your learning environment safe and sanitary for your students, and restoring peace of mind to parents who have been apprehensive about having their kids return to school in person. 

Highly effective against germs, yet safe for use on all surfaces and free from benzyl-alcohol, citrus, bleach, and phenol. Classroom Disinfectant Wipes are EPA registered in all 50 states.

Hamilton-Buhl HygenX V-Ray Portable UV Sterilizer- From $189.90

Unfortunately, not all classroom surfaces can be effectively sanitized and cleaned with disinfectant wipes. This handheld UV sterilizer tool has become extremely popular with teachers and school administrators looking to eliminate viruses and bacteria from anywhere they may hide in the classroom. 

The cordless and portable sterilizing wand emits UV-C light that quickly and safely sterilizes and decontaminates all objects and surfaces in a classroom setting, including stuffed animals, electronics, and other hard-to-clean surfaces. .The V-Ray can be used to safely sterilize everyday items that are used and shared in classrooms, offices, and homes, helping eliminate the expense and waste associated with disposable sanitizing wipes. 

An excellent choice of UVsanitizer, the HygenX V-Ray allows for hands-free ease of use, safety, and peace of mind to ensure every shared item is clean and sterilized!

As we prepare to welcome our students back to a school year that feels much more like the way we remember it, it’s important to remember that it is still our duty to protect children, teachers, and staff by maintaining careful sanitation practices. Even when COVID-19 is no longer a risk we must keep top-of-mind in the future, keeping classroom equipment and surfaces clean and free of germs is still crucial for the continued health and safety of students and teachers.

By using these tools and equipment in your school, you’ll be able to start the year off with confidence that you are bringing the best, safest in-person learning experience to your students each day!

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.