Category: In the News

Get the Best Deal for Your School’s Microsoft Agreement

There are over 6 million ways for schools to combine Microsoft product licensing. Let JourneyEd experts help you determine the ONE that’s right for your school.

As a Microsoft Gold partner, JourneyEd understands Microsoft and carries a full line of K-12 education solutions. With over 25 years of serving educators, the company offers one of the largest selections of products for edtech buyers. By utilizing the JourneyEd-ILTPP contract, a dedicated and highly responsive account manager is made available to simplify the purchasing process. Ask about same-day quotes and FREE shipping on all orders over $500! JourneyEd is one of three preferred resellers of Microsoft.

Schedule a FREE Microsoft licensing consultation to potentially save money and maximize your agreement.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

JourneyEd, Inc.
Christine McConnell
Senior Account Manager

Simon Ibbitt
Account Executive

SHI Complete Care + Case

SHI Complete Care + Case is a cost-effective alternative to OEM warranties, support, and accidental damage protection. This program is vendor-neutral and does not charge deductibles or cap the number of accidental incidents a customer can claim.

Protection Benefits

  • No service fees or deductibles
  • Unlimited repairs during the term of the agreement
  • If device cannot be repaired, case & device will be replaced with similar make/model
  • Free two-way shipping, or localized pickup within 50 miles of Service Center location
  • A+ certified technicians to perform repairs
  • Coverage available for new, refurbished or used devices in working order
  • Optional OEM Extended Warranty and White Glove Services available

What’s included?

  • Unlimited Accidental Damage Protection
  • Unlimited Incidents/Claims (no caps)
  • Slim Protective Case
  • $0 Deductible
  • Eligible devices: Chromebooks, Tablets, Apple iPads, Microsoft Surface, Smartphones, and Apple MacBooks

What’s covered?

  • Accidental damages associated to protective case and screen (unlimited)
  • Accidental damages associated to the following device components (unlimited):
  • Casing
  • Buttons
  • Connectivity ports
  • Cameras
  • Speakers
  • Mics
  • Keyboards
  • Pixel damage caused by cracked or damaged screens (unlimited)
  • Lifetime warranty on parts and labor for repairs during term of agreement

What’s not covered?

  • Water submersion
  • Loss/theft
  • Power surge protection
  • Acts of nature
  • Intentional misuse & abuse

For More Information

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

SHI International Corp
Kyle Thomas
SM SLED Manager

SMART Refresh Program

Save on a new SMART Board® when you trade in any brand of interactive display.

Bring in your aging technology and leave with one of SMART’s world class interactive displays. The SMART Refresh program offers savings on any SMART interactive displays, when you trade in your existing classroom technology. SMART products, thirdparty products, anything goes!

The SMART Refresh Program enables school districts and US Government training facilities to trade-in their existing classroom technology for new SMART products of the same product category at special upgrade pricing. SMART Refresh offers partners the ability to:

  • Return to loyal SMART customers and offer an upgrade to the newest SMART products
  • Enable standardization on SMART
  • Approach competitor and mixed districts or facilities with an upgrade path to SMART

SMART Refresh gives customers the opportunity to fully standardize on the latest SMART products at a reduced price. Benefits of standardizing on SMART include reduced training requirements and improved sharing of resources and materials. The program also helps to ensure a consistent software and hardware experience in their school district or Government training facility.

SMART Refresh is available to accredited education institutions or US Government training facilities that have eligible product they wish to replace with new SMART product. There are two upgrade options when using SMART Refresh: trade-in existing SMART product and upgrade to a new SMART product OR trade-in non-SMART product and upgrade to the new SMART product of the same product category.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Joe Castelluccio
Director of Sales – Education & Government

COTG’s partnership with SMART Technologies allows them to offer the best and brightest ways to promote engagement in the classroom. The company works closely with its clients to provide educators and students with multimedia content and resources. COTG has been appointed as the SMART Certified Training Center for the state of Illinois.

Coding for K-5 Made Simple

Pitsco Education – MEET KUBO

Coding made as easy as a puzzle

KUBO is a simple, intuitive solution, that makes it easy for teachers to introduce computer science and coding to students as young as four.

Designed like a puzzle, KUBO’s groundbreaking Tagtile® programming language is tangible, easily managed, and completely screen-free. Free to educators are downloadable, beautifully illustrated lesson plans and task cards for your students, as well as video tutorials and quick start guides to help get you up and running.

Plus, ILTPP members can get an exclusive 2% off their KUBO solution along with FREE shipping!

Remember to enter promo code AEPA22 during checkout!

Pitsco Education is the leading provider of K-12 STEM solutions. Pitsco’s various products, activities, curricula, and program solutions promote relevant and engaging learning experiences and continued classroom success. From classroom and district level programs to individual activities, whether you’re looking for robotics, coding, dragsters, drafting supplies, STEM, or online testing, Pitsco Education has got you covered.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager

Preston Frazier
Illinois Sales
800-835-0686 Ext. 4559

Learn More About Pitsco Education
Pitsco Education Blog

The State of Student Robotics: An Educators Guide

Will 2019 be the year Student Robotics breaks through to become the most favored approach to hands-on, maker-oriented, STEAM Instruction?

SPECIAL REPORT PREVIEW | by Mark Gura with Edtech Digest

Student Robotics is one of the very most powerful approaches to instruction today. It enables the introduction and integration of highly relevant and engaging varieties of learning, including maker and project based activities, helping to establish effective STEAM Curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) as a featured part of classroom practice.

A comprehensive view

The upcoming guide, The State of Student Robotics: An Educator’s Guide, will give a comprehensive view of the state of student robotics: materials, practices, and curriculum—as well as explaining how Student Robotics can effectively fit within the school‘s organization and instructional program.

This will be a guide for educators who want to finally get started with robots, as well as for those who have a program underway but who understand there’s a great deal more for their school community to gain by going ‘all in’ on robotics.

Those hoping for a thorough explanation of what Student Robotics is and how it can help further establish the school as a vital, alive, exciting STE(A)M-rich learning environment will appreciate this publication.

The report will be primarily authored by Mark Gura, author of the popular Getting Started With LEGO Robotics (ISTE Publications) and other notable pieces on Student Robotics for publications that include Edutopia and ISTE’s magazine Learning & Leading with Technology, and his own blog, Classroom Robotics.

The State of Student Robotics: An Educator’s Guide will include quotes and nuggets of advice from prominent practitioners in the field as well as from materials providers and others who have important ideas to share.

Planned content

The planned content for the guide includes infographics that will serve as a reference for educators as they make comparisons of materials to inform themselves about which seem most READ MORE…

Microsoft Announces Licensing and Program Changes

Licensing Changes

  • Extended Security Updates (ESU) for Windows 7 now available.
    • Windows 7 extended support will end January 14, 2020.
    • Extended Security is available for purchase as of April 1, 2019.
  • Skype for Business Online Plan 2 standalone offers will be retired July 1, 2019.
    • Transition is to Microsoft Teams.
    • Customers who have already purchased the Plan 2 standalone offering will have access to the service through the end of their contracts.
    • Customers who have access to Plan 2 through one of the Office 365 suites are not affected by this change.
  • General Availability of System Center 2019.
    • System Center 2019 is now available for purchase.
    • No changes to licensing or pricing.
  • Team Foundation Server (TFS) has been rebranded to Azure DevOps Server 2019.
    • Azure DevOps is now available for purchase.

Program Changes

  • Effective May 2019, customers will see consolidated Azure billing.
    • Microsoft will now include both 1st party (Microsoft overages) and 3rd party (Marketplace) consumed services on the same invoice.

SHI International Corp., headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey, has transformed itself from a $1 million “software-only” regional seller into a $6.8 billion+ global provider of information technology products and services. SHI is one of the leading resellers of Microsoft. It offers custom IT solutions for every aspect of your environment from software and hardware procurement to deployment planning, configuration, data center optimization, mobility services, and IT asset management.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager for more information

SHI International Corp
Kyle Thomas
SM SLED Manager

Content by: SHI
View Original Post

Making On-Demand, Cross-Comparative Data Analysis in Education a Reality

At Florida’s School District of Clay County (Clay), Superintendent Addison Davis and the district’s technology leaders are in the middle of building a holistic data-informed learning model that will revolutionize how districts view and leverage data to make instructional, fiscal, and operational decisions. Clay is using a hybrid of platforms and tools to funnel multiple data sources—attendance and financial reports, software and app usage analytics, discipline records, test scores, socio-economic information, teacher evaluative forms, and more—into a single dashboard, enabling leaders to quickly see and cross-compare all data points with just the click of a mouse.

Jeremy Bunkley is the director of information services at Clay, and he and his team are the visionaries working behind the scenes to create this comprehensive data analytics ecosystem. “In the current education landscape, there is so much focus around student test scores and results data,” says Bunkley. “If a teacher uses a certain program and then students receive a certain range of test scores, there’s an assumption made about the effectiveness of that program. But at Clay, that’s not enough. We don’t want to know just about the results data. We want to know about all the elements surrounding the student that made them either successful or unsuccessful. Our mission is to remove the assumptive component of analysis.”

Clay has the data it needs to craft this holistic picture but piecing it all together in a single format that enables district leaders to instantly cross-compare all their data has been nearly impossible until this point.


Step 1: Compile Software and App Usage Data from School Devices to Make Informed Decisions

“The biggest question in education is how is technology affecting student achievement. That is a very difficult question to answer, but that’s the question every superintendent, CTO, and lawmaker is attempting to answer. CatchOn is one of the ways we are answering that question. Using the tool, we can see our technology and application usage for the first time. That’s the power CatchOn brings.” -Jeremy Bunkley


Step 2: Converge and Convert All Data Points into Meaningful Analysis

“The power of Innive is its visualization and ability to pull all data sources into a single screen.” -Jeremy Bunkley

Step 3: Migrate to the Cloud

“External cloud-based systems (ENA) ensure that school districts are always taken care of if there are staff changes because they can depend on the resources of an outside company.” -Jeremy Bunkley


Read Full Article


Spilled Water on your Lenovo?

Kate Spangenberg | Marketing Specialist
FireFly Computers

What to do when you spill on a Lenovo Chromebook

Have you ever noticed a water drop symbol on the bottom of your Chromebook and wondered what it was? Turns out, it’s a simple solution to a very common problem: accidental spills. Instead of flooding and harming to internal components, with a spill drain, water can flow through the device and exit through the bottom without causing any damage.

“How?” you may ask? Under the keyboard is a drainage system–similar to a roof gutter–which collects and diverts the liquid harmlessly out of the bottom of your Chromebook. This is great news, because not only does it protect they keyboard itself, but it prevents damage to what’s beneath the keyboard (i.e. motherboard, data storage, electrical components and more). Like a "spill resistant keyboard", spill drains are no guarantee against water damage, but if you follow these steps, the odds of your Chromebook surviving an accident will be much better!.

The mysterious droplet icon may be hard to see. Keep your eyes out for this very small icon that appears next to a pinprick draining hole.

So what do you do when you spill on your keyboard?


It may be tempting to turn the Chromebook upside down or shake it to try to expel the liquid, but by doing so you’re inhibiting your device from taking care of the problem itself. Jostling the device actually spreads the liquid around inside which may cause serious internal damage.

Spill reservoir built into the Lenovo keyboard. That little drain diverts all liquid away from all of the computer components beneath the keyboard.

So when the time comes when you accidentally spill on your keyboard, turn the power off, gently lift up your device (keeping it level), place one absorbent towel or napkin underneath, rest another atop your keyboard, and sit back. Avoid using your device for a while so the drain can work properly.


Spilled on laptop? > Power-off > Gently lift and place towel underneath > Place towel on keyboard > Wait


Get comfortable. This can take a while. (When the FireFly team tested the spill drain in our own office, we found that it took about 5 hours to drain all the liquid from a Lenovo Chromebook.) It may not look like anything is happening but be patient and resist moving your device. Your Lenovo Chromebook will be good as gold soon enough!


Applicable Models: Lenovo N series, 500e, 300e and 100e. When in doubt, look for the droplet icon.

Deadline Looms for $75,000 STEM/STEAM Grant

By David Nagel 04/08/2019 at STEAM Universe

The deadline for American Honda Foundation’s STEM grant is fast approaching.
Each year, the organization awards grants of $20,000 to $75,000 for STEM and STEAM education projects, with an average of 27 grants awarded annually.

Schools, colleges and universities are among the organizations eligible to apply for the grants.

There are three deadlines for submissions each year. The next deadline is May 1, which is for organizations that have received a grant from American Honda Foundation in the past. The next deadline for new organizations is Aug. 1.

Priorities for the grants are “youth education, specifically in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, the environment, job training and literacy.” The program does not fund the arts unless the program is integrated with STEM (STEAM).

According to Honda, the types of projects that will be funded include those that are:

  • Innovative and creative that propose untried methods which ultimately may result in providing solutions to the complex educational concerns currently facing the American society.
  • Broad in scope, intent, impact and outreach.
  • Possess a high potential for success with a relatively low incidence of duplication of effort (i.e. other organizations administering the same programs).
  • Dedicated to improving the human condition of all mankind.
  • Operate from a position of financial and administrative soundness.
  • In urgent need of funding from a priority basis (not necessarily financial need); i.e., the relative importance of the program or project to the public.

According to the foundation, the average award is $45,000 for a single-year funding cycle. A total of $37 million has been awarded to date.

Complete details, an eligibility quiz and an online application form can be found at


ILTPP 2019 Showcase Recap

This year’s showcase was a full-day series hosted in Rock Falls, Mahomet, Jacksonville, and Vandalia. The series ran from March 18th-21st and featured overviews on many of the latest products from top education manufacturers for your 1:1 device initiatives and interactive classroom tools.

The morning session was presented by Chris Elkendier with Technology Resource Advisors (TRA). Chris compared nearly 50 different devices including Asus, Acer, Dell, HP, and Lenovo during the TRA Chromebook device 2019 Overview. The afternoon session focused on the Interactive Flat Panel Offerings from the ILTPP RFP agreement with vendor partner Troxell Communications. Manufacturer representatives from BenQ, Boxlight, Newline, Promethean, and ViewSonic highlighted the latest technology features available in helping simplify lesson prep for teachers to engage and collaborate with students.

This free event allowed for technology decision-makers to truly interact with the latest technology being implemented in Illinois K-12 schools. The presenters adapted to each of the four environments while remaining pleasant and captivating. Attendees were equally engaged.

After doubling our previous years attendee numbers, ILTPP is pleased to announce that we are already working toward plans for a 2020 Showcase!

A few exciting stats:

96% of surveyed attendees were satisfied with the event.

100% found at least one of the two sessions (46% both) to be useful and informative.

88% of those surveyed are likely to make a tech purchase based on the information shared.

88% are likely to attend the 2020 Showcase.