Tag Archives: Education

New Year, New School Supplies

If you’re starting out the new year with a fresh classroom budget, you may be wondering how you can afford the basics, as well as items that inspire your students to learn. There are essentials like tissue, pencils, and hand sanitizer that are important, but your students could also benefit from new equipment and technology. We have everything from educational STEM games to Bluetooth speakers. We’re going to break down the best items by price point. Let’s maximize your classroom budget and find the perfect educational items!

$25 and under

Hamilton Buhl Smart-Trek Deluxe Stereo Headphones:

These headphones are a durable option at an affordable price point. They are versatile and compatible with many different types of technologies. Smart-Trek headphones are specifically designed to stand up the K-12 environment. Their high-quality leatherette ear cushions are easy to clean and provide excellent noise-isolation.

$25-$50

Comprehensive 6-outlet surge protector 12ft cord:

For the teacher who is always on top of the latest tech, this multi-use power strip is a must. You can safely charge and power up to six items at a time. The best part is it comes with a lifetime warranty. You will get tons of use out of this power strip!

$60-$100

3D Magic Pen:

This pen allows for creative hand-drawn three-dimensional renderings. Your students will enjoy taking their creativity from paper to three-dimensional reality! This pen comes with three color filaments but you can purchase more to incorporate in the classroom.

$100 and up

Andrea Communications Wireless Noise-Canceling Bluetooth Stereo Headset:

This is a top of the line headset with 360-degree microphone rotation. An effective noise-canceling headset with high-quality digital sound, it’s also got a durable padded headband and plush leatherette ear cushions. Some other helpful features include voice dialing, call waiting, and last number redial. On top of all of this, it comes with a USB dongle, charging cable, and carry case for storage and portability.

Invent! Kit:

This STEAM education robot is run on code. This kit comes with components needed to create programmable inventions. This robot has collision sensors, buzzers, color-changing lights, line sensors, and even infrared sensors. Open up a new world of experimentation and innovation to your students!

Whatever your classroom budget, we have something exciting to help your students learn and grow. We have many more products just like the ones listed above, in our online store. Shop all Encore Data Products and find the right m

Post Holiday Gift Guide

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

Cyber Acoustics AC-204 Stereo Headset:

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

Soundnetic Deluxe Tri-Plug Multimedia Headset:

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

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

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

Edison Educational Robot Kit:

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

Thinkwrite Ultra Durable Headphones:

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

HamiltonBuhl Primo Stereo Headphones:

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

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

Thankful Contest

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

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

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

Gumdrop DropTech B1 Headphones:

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

ThinkWrite Ultra Durable Headset 3.5mm TRRS Plug:

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

Soundnetic Budget Classroom Headphones, case of 12:

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

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

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

AVID Education AE-35 Classroom pack of 12:

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

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

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

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

Headphones for Halloween Costumes

With Halloween right around the corner, your kids are probably mapping out their route to get the best candy on the block, and choosing what they’ll wear while they get it. If you like to create fun DIY Halloween costumes for your family, we’ve got lots of ideas! We’re rounding up the best that include headphones. The following are inspired by characters from some of the hottest movies right now, as well as some from popular throwback films. So, if you’re looking for the perfect pair of headphones or earbuds for your costume, we have suggestions for them all!

Marty McFly from Back to the Future:

Recreate Back to the Future as Marty McFly! This costume is super easy to pull off with items you already have in your closet. Throw on a red puffer vest or denim jacket and you’re set. Marty’s classic Walkman and headphones complete the look. (Bonus points if you can find a DeLorean nearby!) A classic black headphone looks best. The Soundnetic SN-CCV Stereo Budget Headphones are a great option to pair with this costume. Be sure to order before you’re “outatime!”

Maz Kanata from Star Wars:

If your kids love Star Wars they are probably loving all the new characters from the past few years. For the ancient smuggler queen, Maz Kanata, you will want a pair of old swim goggles and a larger set of headphones. We would suggest something like our Hamilton Buhl SC-7V SchoolMate Deluxe Over-Ear Headphones, or AVID Education AE-808 Classroom & Library Stereo/Mono Headphone Volume for that finishing touch. The costume you seek is not behind you, it is at Encore Data Products!

DJ:

DJ costumes range from simple to elaborate, and may have anything from homemade turntables, to disco balls. This costume version can be easy for babies, kids, teens, and adults. It can even be done as a group costume. The best part is that you can make it any way you want! Add bright colors or glow sticks to add some flair, and go with bright colored headphones. The Hamilton Buhl Flex-Phones and The AVID Education AE-808 headphones come in many bright colors and sizes, perfect for a DJ costume. Now…who’s ready to TRICK OR TREAT!

Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy:

With many Marvel movies being released there’s always new characters coming to the universe! Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy is known for his epic playlist, and always having his favorite tunes nearby. To complete the look, go for our headphones with a pop of orange like his. Both the AVID Education AE-54 Classroom Headphones in orange, and the AVID Education AE-36 Classroom Computer Stereo Headset in orange are great options. Sometimes the headset you’re searching for is right there all along!

Baby from Baby Driver:

Baby, a getaway driver, is known for always having the perfect soundtrack for every job, while wearing his extra dark sunglasses and earbuds. This is a super easy costume to pull off! We would suggest using the Disposable Headphones Stereo TT-1SP Slim Straight Plug White Earbuds. And when Halloween’s over, you’ll still hear the music!

When it comes to completing your Halloween costume, make sure you’re buying something that’s good quality for future use. Your kids will want to reuse these for their devices and phones. All of these are great affordable options for your whole family for Halloween and beyond!

Top Books This Summer

This summer many students will lose some of the knowledge their teachers and parents have worked so hard to instill in them. It can be hard to motivate kids to stay on top of reading, math, and science skills during the summer. One way to combat this is with audiobooks. Listening and reading along to fun audiobooks will keep students engaged in a unique way.

We’ve broken down the hottest books that are either coming this summer or are newly released. You can always get your favorite book in the audio form and read along with your favorite Encore Data Products headphones. We will show you which are best for audiobooks as well. Check out our list of books below broken down for Elementary, Jr. High, and High School aged kids.

Elementary:

  • Daniel’s Good Day: Follow along as Daniel takes a walk around his neighborhood and polls his neighbors. What makes a good day for you? Read the many unique and funny responses.
  • Vroom: One night Annie puts on her helmet and hops in her race car. She takes off through her bedroom window and goes on an adventure. Enjoy this adventure and see what Annie can do on her own.
  • Elvis Is King: This book captures Elvis’s amazing life and the heart of rock ‘n’ roll. Illustrated with clay figures it’s a captivating introduction for a new generation of young readers to the iconic performer.
  • Dragons are Real: This book teaches kids about the magical world of dragons. From their favorite meal to their fire sneezes learn all the best dragon facts.

Jr. High:

  • Max and the Midknights: This is a new series by the creator of Big Nate. This book is packed with jokes and is set in medieval times.
  • The Friendship War: From the author if Frindle comes the story of two former best friends who become pitted against each other.
  • Dragon Pearl: Percy Jackson and the Olympians creator has a new series. It’s packed with Korean mythology, magic, and sci-fi. In this adventure we have 13-year-old Min searching for her lost brother in outer space.
  • Sea Sirens: This new series is filled with Vietnamese legends. It follows a girl named Trot and her irritable talking cat as they are thrown into an undersea war.

High School

  • The Rest of the Story: Emma remembers the stories her late mother told her about growing up on the shores of a lake. Read along as Emma spends a summer with her mother’s family at the same lake.
  • Stepsister: There are many versions of Cinderella but few that go beyond the royal marriage and the family. In this feminist re-telling, we follow ugly stepsister Isabella. There is plenty of adventures and advocating autonomy.
  • Superman Dawnbreaker (DC Icons #4): Part of the DC Icons series we follow the story of a teenage Clark Kent. Clark stumbles on a dark secret in Smallville and gets his best friends to help him save their town.
  • The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe: Fans of the Matched series will love this book involving a river dredge, search for gold, a murdered boyfriend, and a girl determined to get revenge. This post-apocalyptic book will be an all-time favorite. 

We hope your kids and students will enjoy this summer reading list. If you decide to download the audiobook version of these we have a few headphones your kids will love to use.  Below are a few popular items they will want to try out.

  • HamiltonBuhl Flex-Phones: These are super durable and can withstand heavy use. Whatever your kids throw at them, these headphones can handle. They have foam earpieces for extra comfort and a 4ft. cord for movement.

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 To Add Color To Your Classroom

Picking the right color

When thinking about sprucing up your classroom décor you should start by setting the right mood for your classroom needs. If you’re looking to inspire, motivate, or relax your students there is a color that can help you keep your classroom on track.

Studies show that certain colors in the classroom can maximize information retention and stimulate participation. Primary colors are all good options for your classroom: red, yellow, green, blue.

You can bring in these colors as accent walls, bookcases, or motivational signs and boards, or even plants. Consider adding pops of these colors with classroom supplies like our colorful headphone sets.

Red brings in high energy and creativity. Yellow help facilitate collaboration. Green helps to relax and calm great for a reading nook or class library. Blue helps with calming and inspiring.

Décor and More

Use your walls to display unique themes and showcase your students work. You can find tons of great inspiration and sometimes free downloadables for classroom wall displays on Pinterest. Here are some fun free printables that you can use to customize your classroom…

Classroom Theme

Think about changing up your classroom theme: Changing out classroom décor can keep your students engaged and excited to learn. There are tons for fun themes on Pinterest to bring color and inspiration to your students. From Dr. Seuss to Woodsy garden you can transform your classroom and take your students learning to the next level. You can match your theme to your classroom reading list or something your students are interested in like a popular book. Depending on the grade you teach you can add lots of colors to make a space your students will love. For inspiration check out this list of unique classroom themes.

Colorful Encore Data Products

We can also help you add color to your classroom with our educational headphones and headsets. Some of our most colorful products are our HamiltonBuhl Flex-Phones Color Blast, and our Bucket of Earbuds Red, White, and Blue

Reference

Using A Portable PA In The Classroom

If you have a larger classroom or teach after school activities our portable water resistant PA might be the answer you’re looking for. Sometimes projecting can be an issue but with a portable PA you can get the right volume and get a ton of extra benefits. You wont have to worry about students spilling water on your PR because it’s waterproof! With noise levels increasing in the classroom it can make focusing hard for some students, especially ones with concentration issues. With our help you can put those problems behind you!

Our HamiltonBuhl Water-Resistant (IP54) PA System with USB Port has a ton of features you can optimize during your lesson plans. With two wireless microphones you can have one for student questions and use yours to keep the lesson plans going smoothly. With a rechargeable battery that lasts up to seven hours and the ability to project pre-recorded material through the USB  and Bluetooth features you are set for lesson plans. Coaches will love using this for any sporting event or during practice.

Studies show that 44% of students have good concentration skills, 46% have average attention skills, and 10% have poor attention skills. With any number of distractions including background noise and talking, students can become distracted easily and regaining focus can be hard. On top of exercises you can always incorporate our HamiltonBuhl Water-Resistant (IP54) PA System for extra volume, ease, and attention grabbing. Here are a few exercises you can implement to keep kids focused and ready to learn:

  • Mazes
  • Puzzles
  • Story based games with quizzes
  • Distraction blockers (like our educational headphones)
  • Include visual, auditory and kinesthetic facets to all lesson plans

Besides the distraction blocking benefits, our PA can help you share lesson plans from colleagues, online materials and more! With the Bluetooth enabled feature you can share TED Talks or anything you wish to your students or staff. It’s super easy to use and you will save lots of time with the USB and Bluetooth features. Think of all the extra time for lesson plans, grading papers, and keeping your classroom organized! If you’re ready to take back your classroom we’re here to help with many educational classroom items, you can incorporate today! Shop now

Building and Coding Modules

STEM building and coding modules in action.

With over 8 million jobs in STEM, educators are preparing the future workforce at an early age. With rapid advances in technology driving much of the changes in our world, the more comfortable students are with technology today, the better they will function in the world of tomorrow. Starting kids in the right direction is easy with many toys and games geared towards STEM learning.

Encore Data Products has many options for your classroom. Whether you’re looking to combat classroom distractions, or incorporate STEM education into your curriculum we have the right products for you.

Our new Building and Coding Modules can help you spice up your curriculum and get your students excited about a career in STEM.

Students will learn:

  • Circuitry knowledge
  • Hardware operation and control
  • Software programming and coding
  • Creative thinking
  • Problem solving.

These modules are perfect for kids aged 5 years and up.

If you’re looking for programmable education these modules have the capability and can be modified for younger ages to work without programming. This is a skill that will carry over into a future career in computer programming. The filed is growing at a rapid rate and the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 22% increase in careers in programming by 2022. With programming languages evolving, there are many options for students to practice and become experts in the field.

Filled with tons of benefits for your student’s future, STEM is taking over the learning sphere. It exposes students to the creative learning process and allows them to grow through questioning their process and trying new ways of thinking. By allowing your students to apply their learning to build new technology they come to the best solutions. These STEM lessons work a different part of the brain and help your students develop new skills.

STEAM SNIPS™ includes 73 different components. /Each can work with every other module in the set. All that is needed is imagination, inspiration, and curiosity to build an infinite number of combinations of electronics products. These modules will become a favorite of your students and bring fun to your classroom. We make it easy for teachers to stoke the flames of curiosity that open up the world of science, technology, engineering, creativity coding and inventing to their students.

Want to snag a set for your classroom? Get them here: https://www.encoredataproducts.com/robotics-smart-construction/steam-snips-kit-electronic-building-and-coding-modules/

Idaho Still Has Current Issues With Common Core

One of the later adopters of Common Core as of January 24, 2011, Idaho has faced a tumultuous end to 2015. With scores on the state’s first assessment based on the Common Core coupled with parents fighting to have a say on opting out of the program altogether, the state is doing what it can to find a happy medium within such a complex situation.

 

Released Scores

In July, Idaho released the preliminary results of their Idaho Standards Achievement Test, one put together by Smarter Balanced, a consortium of states working together to create exams based off of the Core’s new standards. Unsurprisingly, the results were low. As a new test asking about higher standards, virtually all educators were expecting a dip in scores as both they and the children learn to adapt.

As it stands, only half of all students are proficient or more in both English and math. Critics ask for more information, such as figuring out how reliable the test actually is. Teachers are working to figure out how best to improve these grades come the next test. Because of this, most educators all but expect the scores to increase over time.

 

Released Controversy

Common Core is one of the nation’s most debated topics at the moment in regards to education. While Idaho has managed to get through the past four years relatively unscathed, this recent year has proven to be challenging.

In the latter half of this year, parents banded together to create a “parental rights” bill. This document was designed to require all Idaho schools to create opt-out processes for parents, giving them the legal right to shield their children from material they don’t agree with. Luckily, it was a bill that died in a House Education Committee hearing.

The reason this has been so frustrating for educators is the fact that student participation is directly tied to government funding. In an age where schools scrape the bottom of the barrel year after year, losing $57.2 million would be a crippling blow. Current law states that in order for Title I funding from the government to continue, at least 95% of all students in the state have to participate in the annual testing. If parents had gotten the bill to pass, this would have resulted in drastic educational harm in addition to severely increased taxes to make up for the deficit.

Crushing the bill, however, doesn’t mean that the educators of the state aren’t listening. Idaho’s superintendent Sherri Ybarra is doing everything she can to find a balance without sacrificing the funding desperately needed to protect the most vulnerable students across the state. For this, she’s putting her faith in a continually developing Core standard set that will produce great results in the future.