Microsoft Programs for Education

If your school is in need of Microsoft Office for either administrative or educational reasons, take a look at Microsoft’s EES (Enrollment for Education Services) program. For a flat fee (which is tied to the amount of faculty and staff your school employs), you can outfit your entire school with anything Microsoft – Office Licenses, Server Solutions, even the Windows OS itself.

Ready to upgrade your school? Head on over to our site here

Check out Little Bits Youtube channel for some cool classrooms projects

Have you heard of Little Bits? They’re a new brand of educational technology that easily integrate in the classroom and are suitable for ages ranging from Elementary to High School. LittleBits kits are composed of electronic building blocks that are color-coded, magnetic, and make complex technology simple and fun for students. They’re powered by a power circuit which eliminates any need for wiring or soldering. You can check out their Youtube channel here for some fun and creative classroom ideas.

You can also learn more about Little Bits and their products by going to our website here.

Go Guardian – the most recommended solution for managing Chrome Books.

If your school is using Chromebooks, or considering using Chromebooks, we recommend considering GoGuardian Admin 2.0.  From monitoring student behavior, to setting differentiated usage policies, to providing anti-theft solutions, Admin 2.0 has it covered. And the new Smart Alerts are great for improving and simplifying admin workflows. Plus, all this functionality is available at an incredibly reasonable price. To read more about Go Guardian, check out this review.

You can find our educationally discounted Go Guardian page here.

Maroon 5 used Avid Pro Tools to polish their latest album, Red Pill Blues

You’ve probably heard of the popular radio artist Maroon 5, but have you heard of Avid Pro Tools? Avid Pro Tools is the software used by Maroon 5, and many other popular music artists, to edit their music and polish their albums.

If you are a teacher and need music editing software, check out our Avid Pro Tools page here, and look for products with the word “academic” in the title to save big.

Avid takes home the gold yet again

Avid has, once again, taken home more gold medals. And for good reason – they remain the industry standard for media creation. Ask any professional music producer or composer – Avid is the way to go. And with their educational discounts, you can get your students learning the software they will continue to use throughout their creative careers.

Ready to see what we have to offer? Head on over to our website here.

Adobe MAX 2017 announces new Creative Cloud apps

Adobe announced a flurry of new applications as well as features for existing products today as it kickstarts Adobe MAX 2017, the company’s annual creativity conference. Adobe XD and Adobe Dimension are just a few of the changes you can expect to see in the Adobe creative cloud suite, as well as Lightroom being upgraded to the cloud. Adobe has also expanded their Stock and Typekit tools, with all new templates for motion graphics and Typekit visual search, which allows users to match fonts with submitted images.

If you teach creative media at your school, we encourage you to check out these new apps and see what they can do for you and your students. You’ll find them at the top of our education page on our website here.

Technology is Changing Education

Just as technology has revolutionized other industries, it has the power to transform education. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Last week, Holly referenced an EdWeek article that identifies reasons educators fail to implement to transformative, student-centered and technology-driven instruction. The article points out one big issue, “Many teachers lack an understanding of how educational technology works.” It is for this reason I want focus on ways that technology can make learning happen in ways that were impossible in the past. The smartphones that many students carry in their pockets are much more powerful than the technology used to send a man to the moon. Students are able to use these devices to access massive amounts of information, connect virtually to anyone on the planet and to create impressive digital products. These are exciting times for education, but it is our challenge to use technology to create engaging, relevant, and personalized learning experiences for students that will equip them for their futures. In my book, Ditch that Textbook, I point out ways that as educators we can use technology to be different, innovative, creative and hands on. While there are so many great online resources, apps, and other tools that we can use to enhance teaching and learning, I want to focus on the use of video. According to Eric Jensen and others, at least 60% of students are visual or visual-kinesthetic learners. Because of this, video can have a huge impact on student learning. The increased interest in flipped instruction over the past few years demonstrates how technology is changing teaching and learning. Swivl is a great tool to have in the classroom for teacher and student use. The Swivl Capture App is free and can be used on iOS and Android device and the Swivl robot works with any smartphone or tablet. Here are three the ways that I see technology used in my classroom that was unable in the past.

  1. Self Reflection is not only important for teachers, but it is also beneficial for students. Teachers might capture instruction and classroom interactions to analyze and identify areas for growth. A student with behavior issues can look back at the video and work with teachers to set goals and adjust his or her conduct. While I use Swivl to capture instruction and reflect on the effectiveness of my lessons, I also allow students to use Swivl to capture their interactions in small groups. This helps them to reflect on their participation and performance in discussions and group activities.
  2. Video Based Assessments are a welcome alternative to paper/pencil tests. In my Spanish classes, I might use Swivl to capture student conversations and discussions or I may ask them to read a passage aloud. These videos allow me to assess more than written concepts. My students don’t feel anxious by having me stand over them. By uploading videos to Swivl Cloud they are accessible on any device with a browser. Students can even record themselves explaining concepts to use to teach others or use video clips within a digital portfolio.
  3. Mystery Skype is a global guessing game for students that encourages critical thinking through in depth questioning and discussion. Swivl makes it easy to connect with other classrooms by placing a tablet into the robot and using dual markers to capture high quality audio.  I use Swivl Live, an alternative for Skype to help my Spanish students learn about other cultures.

To use technology in a dynamic way we have to think outside of the box and change the way we teach. There are so many ways that video can enhance teaching and learning. The Swivl solution is designed to make video capture easy and a seamless process using the Swivl Capture app and Swivl Cloud. I shared three ways that I use Swivl in my classroom and here are a few other examples.

You can find Swivl products on our website here:[]=169