Tech Term Tuesday : STEM

Our local schools are getting back at it this week! We thought this week’s tech term should pay homage to our teachers and students:

STEM tt

STEM education is often seen as the opposite of humanities/liberal arts education, but the truth is that both aim to combine seemingly unrelated concepts and teach students to look for connections between ideas. STEM education is more than just the study of each of its four components; it’s a celebration of the ways in which technical skills affect our lives and our world.

Teachers and students, how do you see STEM education taking place in your school? How have you or could you have benefited from these kinds of programs?

Finally, to anyone starting back to school soon, all of us at Howard Industries want to wish you a year full of exploration, discovery, and maybe even a little fun!

25 Items for the 21st Century Classroom

The new school year is quickly approaching! Do you have everything you need for back to school?

Don’t panic!  We have put together a detailed checklist of all the essential items you need for your 21st Century Classroom, so you can be fully prepared for the upcoming school year.

Back to school checklist

Download your printable version here: Back to School Checklist

Be sure to check out our 21st Century Interactive Classroom for all of your back to school needs in one stop.

11 Back To School Technologies

Back to school list

It feels like summer just began, and yet it is already time to return to school.  Not to worry, Howard Industries has all the latest and greatest technology (and the best deals!) so you can hit the hallways fully prepared for Back To School!

Tablets
Tablets have become an obvious choice for students over the traditional computer.  The technology is easy to use and navigate which can make learning fun for students.  The ability to store all of your information in one device eliminates the burden of having to lug around a backpack all day.

Acer Iconia TabletWe recommend the Acer Iconia A1-810 7.9″ 16GB Tablet
The features include:

  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 16GB storage
  • 7.9″ IPS (1024 x 768)
  • Front and real camera
  • microSD slot
  • Quad-core CPU

Acer 32GB TabletWe also recommend the Acer Iconia W3-810 8.1″ 32GB Tablet
The features Include:

  • Atom Z2760
  • Intel GMA Graphics
  • 32Gb storage
  • 2Gb RAM
  • 8.1″ screen (1280 x 800)
  • Windows 8 32-bit OS

Tablet Case
It is essential to protect your investments with a quality case for your tablet.  Mistakes happen.  Especially during the school year where students are constantly carrying their device around and tossing it into their backpacks to return home after school.  The phrase is true, “With great power, comes great responsibility,” so make sure to add the extra safety of a tablet case.

Kensington CaseWe recommend the Kensington KeyFolio Pro 2 Tablet Case
The features include:

  • Wireless Keyboard
  • 3-in-1 case, keyboard, and tablet stand design
  • Secured velcro fastener
  • StrongFit corners

Notebook
The use of laptop computers have become extremely prevalent in higher education classrooms and are beginning to be incorporated into various K-12 classrooms.  Teaching students computer skills has become a fundamental part of their education.  Using a laptop also makes learning more exciting with millions of software options as well as the ability to learn in a more hands on approach.

Toshiba NotebookWe recommend the Toshiba Satellite C855 15.6″ 500GB Notebook
Features include:

  • Core i3 2348M
  • Memory 4GB
  • Hard Drive 500GB
  • Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4000
  • OS Windows 8 Pro

Printers
Although, students have the ability to complete and turn in their work directly from their device, many students may prefer to have a hard copy of their work to turn in or to bring into the classroom.  After putting in long and dedicated hours into a report or project, eliminate the worry of having to produce it.  Especially with all the creative and educational apps allowing you to create magnificent projects or works of art, it’s essential to be able to print out a copy to frame in your home, classroom or as a keepsake.

HP officejet printerWe recommend the HP Officejet 6100 ePrinter Color Printer
The features include:

  • Low cost per page
  • Professional quality color output
  • High-capacity links
  • Print from anywhere
  • Border-less printing

Other great items to check out for Back to School:

Acer V233HL BJObd 23″ HD LED Monitor
This monitor’s ability to tilt, swivel, pivot and adjust for height allows students and teachers to work on extended projects while sharing their view with others.  It’s In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology helps to create quicker response time to reduce eye strain and produce more realistic colors.
Acer MonitorThe features include:

  • 23″ (1920 x 1080) screen
  • FullHD
  • In-Plane switching
  • Ergonomic design
  • Plenty of ports
  • Mercury Free

JVC 32″ LED-backlit LCD 1080p HD TV
No longer do teachers just have to teach straight from textbooks or slideshows, engage your students by displaying educational shows and movies to make learning more exciting.
JVC_HD TVThe features include:

  • Ultran narrow bezel
  • D-LED backlight
  • CrystalColor
  • USb picture viewer
  • 20W audio power
  • FullHD

Logitech B910 HD Hi-Speed Webcam
Expand students knowledge by utilizing video calling to speak with another classroom from across the globe or just down the hall.  The widescreen features allows everyone to be seen during small-group video conferencing.
Logitech WebcamThe features include:

  • HD video calling
  • True 16:9 widescreen
  • Stereo audio
  • Premium auto focus
  • Certified for Microsoft, Lync, Skype & Avistar

Toshiba Dynadock Universal USB Dock
Students and teachers can expand their computer’s potential with the universal docking station that links all your electronic devices to your laptop with just one single USB 3.0 cable. The potential is unlimited.  Just one simple cable connection to your computer opens access to large screen displays for the whole class to enjoy, stereo speakers, external hard drive, optical drive, printer, full-size keyboard and mouse!
Toshiba USB DockThe features include:

  • One simple USB 3.0 cable connection to all your accessories
  • HDMI out port for Full HD video and gaming
  • 6 USb ports
  • 5.1 -channel surround sound through HDMI or 3.5 mm audio ports
  • 2 easy access front USB 3.0 “always on” sleep and charge ports
  • Fast USB 3.0 data transfer speed to USB 3.0 external storage devices

GefenTV Wireless Video/Audio Extender
Your lessons will never go unseen or unheard with this device.  It sends high definition audio and video to any HDTV display up to 80 feet.  It transmits within the room and does not require line-of-sight placement of transceivers for good reception.
GerenTV ExtenderThe features include:

  • Sends HD audio and video to any HDTV display up to 80 feet
  • Supports resolutions up to 1080p Full HD
  • HDMI supported

Asus O!Play Mini 6″ Digital Av Player
This device will truly enhance your lesson plans with it’s HD quality video and 7.1 -channel audio so you can share exciting movies, music and photos with your classroom.
Asus digital playerThe features include:

  • HD media player
  • Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Channel surround and full HD 1080p theater-like enjoyment
  • Auto subtitle detection

Howard wants to help you with all of your classroom needs, and we are happy to answer any questions so you can go back to school fully prepared every year!
Howard EDU

Mobile Device Solutions

Mobile Device Solutions_Graphic
With the number of mobile devices growing at a rapid rate, individuals and businesses are facing the challenge of managing all devices safely and securely.  Howard carries the latest mobile education technology from the following brands and more.

AVer CartAVer Carts
Classroom technology you can count on.
The new AVer TabSync is sleek, compact and full of energy; ready to charge, store, secure and transport up to 32 tablets, and sync iPads at the same time.  TabSync is made to significantly save schools time and money when deploying and managing multiple tablet devices.

Earthwalk Cart_MobileEarthwalk Carts
Customized solutions for your classroom needs.
Earthwalk has worked tirelessly to develop and provide the industry’s most comprehensive selection of computer charging carts and mobile computer labs.  With Earthwalk you are sure to find the solution that fits your specific needs.

Lenovo NotebooksLenovo_Mobile
Best in class.
Designed to make teachers more effective, IT managers less stressed and students further empowered.  Lenovo Notebooks also save time, money and resources.

Samsung_MobileSamsung Notebooks
Smart choice solutions.
Samsung mobile education solutions let learning happen anywhere with durable, cost effective laptops designed to keep students interested and engaged in and out of the classroom.

HP_MobileHP Notebooks
Power boosters.
HP Notebooks have a best-in-class design, leading technologies, and are feature-rich with greater security, enhanced manageability and premium customer support.

Mimio_MobileMimio Wireless Pen Tablet
A better way to learn.
Teachers rejoice! With the new MimioPad wireless pen tablet, you can break free and control your interactive whiteboard from anywhere in the classroom.

Lenovo Tablet_MobileLenovo Tablets
Redefining the industry.
ThinkPad tablets combine ultra-mobility, complete connectivity and smooth multi-touch comfort with the virtues of rugged reliability and unmatched security.

Tablet Case_MobileTablet Accessories
Enhance your investment.
Many classroom tablets are damaged or broken.  Protect your investment with tablet cases and accessories offered by Howard Technology Solutions.

 

Technology’s Impact on Education Infographic

Thank you edudemic for this fantastic infographic detailing the impact technology has on our education system.

This infographic reveals a lot of interesting statistics about the incorporation of technology in education and the huge benefit it has not only to students but to teachers as well.  It gives a great idea as to where technology is going in the future and how to utilize it to your favor.

Check out this infographic to learn more about Technology’s Impact on Education:

Technology Impact On Education

Check out our 21st Century Interactive Classroom site to see how Howard Technology can help you successfully incorporate technology into your education system.

Thank You for Another Successful ISTE Exposition!

From the moment you stepped off the plane in San Antonio, you could sense the excitement leading up to the annual ISTE 2013 Conference.  Educators, administrators and exhibitors gathered from around the world all with one common goal in mind, to further enhance the learning and teaching through the use of technology.

ISTE ExpoOn Sunday afternoon, the Howard Technology team gathered together to enter the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center to begin setting up for what would be yet another amazing experience exhibiting at ISTE.  After hours of collaboration and teamwork our empty section of carpet in the grand exhibit hall was transformed into an interactive one stop shop technology booth.

image (2)The group was filled with excitement about the next 3 days that would be spent sharing and engaging with individuals from all over the world who holding various roles in the education industry.

Monday morning quickly approached, and with the group full of energy and eagerness, the Exposition began!  Individuals were able to approach our booth to interact and ask questions about our broad display of products and solutions.

The Mimio board was set up in front of our comfy orange chairs, where educators were invited to take a rest and learn about the interactive system.  We had a variety of individuals eager to discover more about the software options associated with Mimio and theMimo Demo importance of incorporating interactive boards into a 21st century learning environment.

On one side of our booth displayed a table full of our mobile devices, featuring brands such as Lenovo, Howard, Acer, and HP.  The table was also filled with literature detailing our numerous options of solutions and open for the public to interact and become familiar with our products.

On the other side, our booth was dedicated to our Audio Visual and Instructional solutions as well as our Wireless options.  This table held our BenQ projector, AVer video server and ISTE_Collagedocument cameras as well as our Enterasys wireless network solutions.

Standing alone, but attracting an array of publicity, sat our brand new AVer cart.  With it’s ability to charge, sync, secure, store and transfer 32 iPads at one time, it became a very popular product among many educators.

The front of our booth displayed a variety of thin clients, computers and monitors. Our NComputing Virtual Desktops (aka Classroom in a Box) were a fan favorite of individuals looking for desktop virtualization.

Around our booth were our digital signs from ViewSonic displaying messages about our endless amounts of services, solutions and products. Intermixed with our Howard Technology messages, were the fabulous iRover stands displaying signs introducing the new Microsoft Office and the innovative EPSON projectors.

Throughout our 3 days at the Exposition, we had the opportunity to talk with educators about their ideas and questions around integrating technology in the classroom.  The ISTE_Customersconference allowed us the time to learn about their concerns and put their minds at ease by explaining our array of solutions, software, and products offered.  We mingled with existing customers and discussed their thoughts and excitement about their flipped classrooms.

Overall, the conference was extremely successful!  We loved the opportunity to engage with new and existing customers.  We want to thank all of our partners for helping to make the conference a huge success and a BIG thanks to all the educators around the world.  Without your excitement, interest, and dedication to education none of this would have been possible.

We really enjoyed hearing everyone’s thoughts and ideas about education technology at the conference and we encourage people to continue to share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Google Chromebook Giveaway #HowardISTE13

We are so excited about ISTE 2013 that we are giving away a FREE Google Chromebook!

All you have to do is tweet using the #HowardISTE13 and you are automatically entered for your chance to win. Feel free to send a photo, tell us what you’ve learned, talk about your favorite speaker or simply tweet to @HowardComputer.  We would love to hear your thoughts on the EdTech event of the year!

ISTE_#HowardISTE13

Be sure to check out the schedule for ISTE’s 34th Annual Conference and Exposition held June 23-26, 2013 in San Antonio, TX.  The conference will be full of workshops, networking fairs, exhibits and amazing keynotes.

Be sure to check out booth #12086 where Howard Education will be featuring some of our amazing partners:
ISTE Partners

Is your school ready for PARCC assessments?

What is PARCC?

PARCC

PARCC is an alliance of 22 states plus the U.S. Virgin Islands working together to develop a common set of K-12 assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts (ELA)/literacy and mathematics, anchored in what it takes to be ready for college and careers.  The CCSS call on students to have not only a solid content knowledge but also the skills to apply their knowledge in ways demanded by colleges, careers and citizenship in the 21st century.  Measuring the full breadth of the CCSS will require new kinds of tests that measure what matters for students’ futures.  Moving to such an assessment system will require re-imagining assessments as we know them.

The next-generation assessment system envisioned by PARCC will have several benefits not found in current assessment systems including benefits to: students, who will know if they are on track to graduate ready for college and careers; teachers, who will receive results to guide learning and instruction; parents, who will have clear and timely information about the progress of their children; states, which will have valid results that are comparable across the member states; and the nation, since the assessments are based on the college and career-ready, internationally-bench marked CCSS.

The PARCC Vision:

PARCC’s assessments will yield significant advantages for educators, state policymakers, parents and students. The PARCC assessments will measure what matters-the full range of the content and skills called for in the ELA/literacy and mathematics Common Core State Standards.  Students will take parts of the assessment system at key times during the school year-closer to when they actually learn the material-giving teachers more timely information so they can adjust instruction and student supports as appropriate throughout the school year.

PARCC Quote

PARCC assessments will be computer based in order to maximize technology and engage students and to deliver faster turnaround of student results.  PARCC’s high school assessments will be developed in collaboration with higher education and will tell students whether or not they are ready for entry-level post-secondary courses. Finally, states in PARCC will adopt common performance standards that will allow policymakers to compare results within and across states to identify pockets of innovation and achievement.

  1. Build a Pathway to College and Career Readiness for All Students
  2. Create Better Assessments
  3. Support K-12 Educators in the Classroom
  4. Make better Use of Technology in Assessments
  5. Advance Accountability at All Levels

Budget Now for Technology Upgrades Compatible with PARCC Computer Based Assessments in 2014-2015

Recommended Guidelines for New Hardware PurchasesPARCC_Guidelines Table

Howard Technology Solutions is your complete source for PARCC technology upgrades

Mobility (Laptops & Tablets)                                          Howard, HP, Lenovo, Acer

PARCC_Mobility Devices

Desktops & Thin Clients                  Howard, HP, Lenovo, Ncomputing, VMware

PARCC_Desktops & Thin Clients

Infrastructure                      Xirrus, Aerohive, Enterasys, Extreme, Brocade, HP

PARCC_Infrastructure

Mobile Device Management                                                                           Airwatch

AirWatch_Mobile Device ManagementAs tablets, smart phones, iPads, and e-readers ease their way into the education system, school networks need a way to secure, configure and manage all of these mobile devices.  Mobile Device Management (MDM) is the key.  it not only provides support for the increasing number of users but also the ability to automatically identify and profile all devices and users on a network, enabling complete visibility and control.

MDM wireless solutions from AirWatch and Xirrus make it easy to enroll devices in your network quickly, configure and update device settings over-the-air, enforce security policies and compliance, and remotely wipe or lock managed devices.  Let Howard help you take control with comprehensive, customizable MDM solutions.