Category Archives: Technology

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.

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. 

 

Technology and Equipment Designed for the Return to In-Person Learning

With three different COVID-19 vaccines available to adults nationwide, it looks like we may finally be nearing the end of the pandemic in America. This news is especially welcome to parents of school-age children, many of whom have been overseeing their kids’ remote learning since mid-March 2020, when the coronavirus caused all in-person learning for most K-12 schools to grind to a halt.

While a number of school districts in the nation have since reopened for in-person learning in a limited capacity for the 2020-2021 school year, not all parents have opted into a return to the classroom just yet, and many American students are still learning via Zoom or Google Hangouts rather than in a traditional class setting. However, things are looking like they will be back on track to some level of normalcy for the 2021-2022 school year, and educators everywhere are already planning the best ways to ensure that their students’ transition back to in-person school is both as safe and as smooth as possible.

Part of this planning process includes putting the right tools into the hands of teachers and school administrators. Not only does access to improved technology and equipment help teachers ensure classroom safety by allowing for each student to have their own materials, but it also will go a long way in helping them use the upcoming school year to close the learning gap that experts say has occurred from the shift to remote learning during COVID-19. Here is some of the top classroom technology to help students and teachers return to school this year.

Classroom Sets of Headphones

While children’s education experts agree that the use of headphones can have numerous positive benefits to a child’s learning process, new safety measures that have been put in place by school districts to limit contact between students mean that these headphones can no longer be used at a communal table or listening center. By providing teachers with a class set of headphones, each student will have access to their own pair for use with computer programs, educational videos, or learning labs, giving them a distraction-free way to concentrate on their lessons. 

Of course, the type of classroom headphones that each teacher needs can vary by grade. Younger students who will primarily use headphones to listen to stories or watch educational videos may benefit from headphones designed for comfort and durability. Brands like AVID Products, Califone, Cyber Acoustics, HamiltonBuhl, and ThinkWrite are all optimized for use by school-age children and have been designed accordingly, with adjustable headbands to fit virtually any age, rugged cords to withstand normal wear and tear, and over-the-ear or on-ear cups for sound isolation. 

Older students, meanwhile, may be using their headphones for hands-on instruction via a computer program that requires voice response. In this case, a USB headset with a microphone may be the ideal choice for both practicality and ease of use. Look for headsets with noise-canceling features to help minimize distractions and keep students focused on the task at hand.

Equipment Carts

In a perfect world, each student at school would have access to a Chromebook or tablet on which to complete assignments, take quizzes, and use interactive software as part of their in-class learning experience. However, not many public school budgets can handle the expense of several hundred laptops or tablets. 

Thanks to equipment carts like these, your school can do the next best thing: safely share a limited number of electronics among all classrooms! After each classroom use, the teacher simply needs to sanitize the Chromebooks or tablets with specially-designed electronic wipes, then load them onto the cart for the next class. This way, every student in the school gets a turn to interact with learning technology on a regular basis.

Best of all, equipment carts significantly lower the risk of cross-contamination among different learning bubbles within the school. Most schools that have returned to in-person learning have found great success by grouping small numbers of students into “cohorts,” which are smaller than traditional class sizes and remain together throughout the day. The ability to move equipment from classroom to classroom via a cart, rather than having multiple cohorts of students moving into and out of a computer lab all day, help to cut down on the risk of schoolwide infection, allowing schools to remain open.

Webcams and Document Cameras

Of course, even as we return to in-person learning for our young students, it is imperative that each school retains a plan for pivoting back to remote learning at a moment’s notice in case of an outbreak or a spike in case numbers in the school district. For this reason, we’re including webcams and document cameras on this list. 

At the start of the pandemic, most teachers found themselves unequipped for teaching students over Zoom or Google Hangouts and had to scramble quickly to design a curriculum that could be effectively absorbed without the benefits of in-person instruction. Needless to say, this led to a fair amount of chaos, confusion, and frustration for students, parents, and teachers alike as school districts struggled to navigate this enormous challenge. 

One year later, we’ve learned a lot about best practices for remote instruction, and it’s no surprise that much of it comes down to having the right technology for the job. Teachers at school districts that have invested in webcams and document cameras find it significantly easier to teach lessons as if their students were in person, as this equipment allows them to interact more naturally with students and show examples more easily. A document camera is the next best thing to a smartboard in a classroom when it comes to showing students how to solve a complex math problem or work with words on the week’s spelling list. Best of all, it allows teachers to share documents, such as worksheets or study aids, with their off-site students. 

Meanwhile, webcams allow teachers to maintain eye contact with their students in a way that feels more natural for everyone. Not only does this create a more interactive, engaging environment, but it also enables teachers to get their lesson across more effectively through the advantages of a built-in microphone and other available features to improve resolution at any connectivity speed. 

By supplying your faculty with the right equipment to overcome the new obstacles in education that this pandemic has thrown at us, you can ensure that your students are receiving the best possible education regardless of the twists and turns the upcoming school year may take. Sooner or later, perhaps in the not-too-distant future, we will find ourselves back to the way we were before the pandemic; however, the improvements your school makes to its technology and equipment now will continue to serve your students and teachers well into the future.

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!

Best Chromebook USB Headsets for Schools

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

Chromebook Headsets for Distance Learning

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

The Best Headsets for Remote Work

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

The Best Headsets for Online Meetings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Document Camera

In a perfect world, your students would be in class every day and every student would be at the same stages of your lesson plans. But life happens. Sometimes students can be out for athletic activities, sick days, or suspension. Keeping track of where every student is in your lesson plan can be tough, making it difficult to know which students may need to take home assignments. They may have missed out on key information that even make up work cannot help. The Boardshare High Definition Document Camera can help!

With the Boardshare High Definition Document Camera, you can record videos, turn captured images into video, and use a time-lapse feature that allows you to digitally annotate. These features can be useful in the classroom in multiple ways:

  1. Record Videos- Sometimes students need extra help they can’t get at school. You can use your Boardshare High Definition Document Camera to record lesson plans or live classroom days. Students who are absent will be able to watch these and feel like they were in class while catching up. They will enjoy the benefits of seeing first hand what the conversation was around and can pause or stop while doing assignments. You can also share with other teachers, staff, or parents. With the help of parents and your videos, they will be up to date.
  2. Captured Image to Video- Some students are visual learners while others are verbal learners. Turning your PDF assignments into a video with side notes and voiceover narration can bring a full picture for both types of learners.
  3. Time-lapse- Some students need to see someone else work out a problem to know how to solve the one they are working on. If you’re working through something on paper, you can use the time-lapse feature to make a video working out an equation or creating a drawing. This would help students see fast-paced versions of what they are working on.

As you can see, the Boardshare High Definition Document Camera can be used in the classroom in various ways. With the USB feature, it can hook into your computer, laptop, or projector making it run throughout your entire lesson. And this high-resolution camera is incredibly affordable compared to other makes and models.

On top of all the ways this can incorporate into the classroom the Boardshare High Definition Document Camera is also great for business settings. It can be used for business presentations, webinars, lectures and more!

For more information or to order your own Boardshare High Definition Document Camera, the fine staff at Encore Data Products, Inc. will be happy to help!

How Technology is Changing English as Another Language Instruction

Long gone are the days in which students learning English simply memorize and repeat what their textbooks and teachers tell them. English learners around the world of all ages are tapping into and embracing the power of technology in countless ways to enhance and support their language-learning experience. Technology in the English language acquisition classroom is critical to helping students not only learn English but also to be able to succeed academically in main content areas.

Video

One of the most widely-used methods of teaching English using technology is the use of video. Students can watch short clips that are relevant to a particular grammatical point they’re learning, vocabulary content they’re studying, or to practice social pragmatic skills by watching a roleplay of how language is used in certain social situations, for example.

As a self-study tool, video empowers students to practice listening and to learn new vocabulary by watching YouTube videos, television shows, movies, documentaries, and more in English. With the subtitles turned on and then off, students can pick up more of what characters are saying and master more of the language on their own.

Video can also be used as a tool to demonstrate understanding of a particular topic and to practice all four domains of learning a language: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students can write a script, act it out, read it on camera, and listen to themselves with school headphones as they edit and re-shoot video of they find parts of it aren’t clear. They can then share this video with their peers and instructors as a demonstration of what they’re learning.

Apps

Hundreds of apps are available for mobile phones, iPads, tablets, and PCs that focus on various aspects of learning English. For example, students can listen to podcasts with headphones on a topic that they’re interested in, such as the latest news. They might play games that encourage them to practice their grammar skills or improve their reading comprehension. The number of apps for practicing specific English skills are nearly limitless, it seems, as new apps are being created every day.

Blogs and Pen Pals

To improve writing, students can engage in a wide variety of activities that incorporate technology. For instance, students might write posts in small groups, pairs, or as individuals for the class blog. They are likely to pay more attention to their writing if they know that it’s available to the world through the Internet and that their classmates will be reading their posts and then commenting on them (another great way to practice writing).

Students can connect with other English learners or with native speakers of English in another class through websites that connect teachers and students around the world as pen pals. If a student has an e-pen pal they like to write to, they are more likely to be internally motivated to put their ideas into an email to share with their pen pal on a regular basis than if they have to write just because the teacher says to.

Another idea to improve writing is to have students share their thoughts on online articles or discussion forums. The BBC offers a site for teenage students to read short news stories and then comment on them, for example. Using online identities (and with parents’ permission for young students), commenting on news stories or in a class discussion forum can be great ways for students to utilize technology to improve their language abilities.

Computer Testing

Technology is not just present in the classroom for instructional purposes. For students who live in countries or who attend schools where academic content is presented in English, they often face difficulties in learning how to use the technology required for them to take assessments of their academic abilities, including their English language proficiency.

Teachers must do more than teach English. They must teach students how to use the platforms, click and drag, type in text boxes, for example. Students must learn vocabulary related to the instructions for the technological aspects of the test, such as “drag” or “icon.”

Students who are from low-income homes may not have access to computers and the Internet, and their schools may not have much in the way of computers, either, if they are located in low-income areas. Students may be familiar with how to use mobile phones and tablets more than computers, and this can put them at a disadvantage when they have to put on their headphones during an assessment at school and navigate the exam’s computer interface on their own.

Technology is not just for entertainment purposes. English courses for adults and children are available for free and for a cost. Private tutors and online English teaching companies teach using web conferencing software. Schools and governments test students using computers and expect them to know how to use them and the Internet to research and write papers.

Teachers are incorporating technology into the classroom to make learning more fun and engaging for students on an individual level. Technology in the English classroom is changing the way students are taught and how they learn, and it will continue to do so in new ways as technology advances.

References: https://busyteacher.org/13732-using-technology-esl-instruction-10-modern-ways.html

http://www.colorincolorado.org/blog/computer-based-common-core-testing-considerations-and-supports-ells