Category: In the News

FireFly and Trinity3 are Now Trafera!

ST. PAUL, Minn., Jan. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Last October, Trinity3 Technology and FireFly Computers, two long-time competitors in the education and government technology market, announced they were merging to become one of the largest education-focused technology vendors in the US. Today, Trinity3 Technology and FireFly Computers are formally launching a new identity as Trafera (www.trafera.com).

At the time of the merger, Trinity3 Technology and FireFly Computers were in the midst of their highest-growth years on record. “This merger was not a takeover or acquisition,” said Scott Gill, former CEO of Trinity3 Technology and new CEO of Trafera. “This was about recognizing the incredibly strong synergies these two companies would have together and knowing what a positive impact it would create for the thousands of schools that rely on us for their technology.”

In 2020, schools experienced significant challenges in shifting quickly to hybrid and distance learning models in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Technology was a critical part of that transformation, and finding reputable, experienced companies who could guide them towards accomplishing their distance learning goals became a crucial need in education.

“When choosing a vendor, it was important for us to find a true partner, a company who took the time to understand our problems and time constraints and make it their problem as well.” explained Eric Wells, Chief Operating and Technology Officer of Muskogee Public Schools in Oklahoma and a long-time Trinity3 customer.

“Trafera not only represents Trinity3 and FireFly coming together as a new company,” continued Scott Gill. “The name also represents us guiding people into a new transformational era of computing, where 1-to-1 classroom technologies are essential and there are a host of ways technology done the right way can help improve educational outcomes.”

Based on 2020 combined sales data from Trinity3 and FireFly, Trafera is now one of the top three suppliers of Google® Chromebooks™ to schools nationwide and will also be a major supplier of Windows® computers for education. Additionally, Trafera will continue to offer the unique comprehensive warranty plans that were a hallmark of Trinity3 Technology and the easy setup and support options familiar to customers of FireFly Computers.

“Our goal with Trafera is to take everything that was great about both companies and add to it,” reported CEO Scott Gill. “None of the core services, values, or even team members from either company are going away, and Trafera is committed to delivering the same high levels of trust and integrity our previous FireFly and Trinity3 customers have known us for.”

Trafera’s headquarters will remain in St. Paul, MN at the former Trinity3 main office location on University Avenue. For more information, please visit www.trafera.com.

What does this mean for ILTPP members?

ILTPP is in communication with Trafera on what this means for the current FireFly Computers RFP Chromebook contract. Please stay tuned for more updates!


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Marissa Kolmer
Senior Account Manager
612-808-9144
mkolmer@fireflycomputers.com

Impero Acquires Netop to Keep Students Safe

Original Article by Impero

On January 5, 2021, Impero Software announced the acquisition of Netop, a leading classroom management and secure remote access tool used by corporate and educational establishments all over the world.

Since 2002, the Impero team has been working closely with its customers to develop world-leading products and services that help keep students safe and improve their chances of success. Similarly, Netop has been working since 1981 to make digital teaching easier and improve learning outcomes. Impero’s acquisition of Netop comes at a time when students around the world need this kind of technology most and will accelerate Impero’s ability to deliver innovative, market-leading solutions for ILTPP members.

Your customer experience won’t change through this transition and Impero looks forward to offering you a broader product portfolio soon. ILTPP and Impero’s commitment to and transparency with ILTPP members remains our first priority, so we’ll be in touch with more information on contract offerings as it becomes available. Until then, it’s business as usual.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager

Zoe Lamb
Business Development Manager
(512)-599-9976
zlamb@imperosoftware.com

Return to School Safety Solutions from NBF

National Business Furniture is excited to be partnered with the Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) representing AEPA Furniture Contract 018-D. NBF offers options to reduce the risk of cross-contamination by offering personal protection products such as sanitizer dispensers, sneeze guards, and space dividers – just to name a few. These products will be essential to ensure the comfort, safety, and health of each student upon their return to the classroom.

Implementing Safety Practices for a Healthier Classroom 

ON THE WEB

Visit NBF’s website to see everything offered, including the all-new health and safety products continuously being added.

LOCAL SALES REP

NBF’s nationwide network of sales representatives are here to help you find the right solution for project large, small, and anywhere in between.

SHOP THE CATALOG

Explore the pages of NBF’s catalog to gain inspiration and find solutions that can help your students succeed and grow.

Contact your National Business Furniture dedicated Account Manager today for free design services, catalogs, quotes, or orders. Don’t forget to mention Contract Number AEPA-018-D.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Joanna Terry
Director of Education Sales
414-615-3684
joannat@nbf.com

Learn More About National Business Furniture

Newline Flex Gen is Leading the Next Gen of Desktop Collaboration

Need a better way to collaborate with your teachers or students? Newline Interactive has now launched the Newline FLEX to accomplish just that.

The Newline Flex is a versatile all-in-one touch monitor designed for desktop collaboration. Phones, tablets, and many other smart devices are intuitively touch and collaborative, it’s time for the desktop to join the party. Use the Newline FLEX to eliminate desk clutter from cables and peripheral devices, by plugging up to your laptop and getting to work. Increase productivity, join video calls, and host collaboration sessions with the Newline FLEX.

World Class Touch and Writing Experience: Newline FLEX has been developed with to emphasize the natural feeling of writing. Simply annotate over any document, using any software, and save your notes for future reference. The FLEX pen is also compatible with Windows Ink.

Tilt to Fit: Easily tilt the FLEX into a comfortable position for a video meeting or writing. Palm rejection allows you to use the pen in a natural writing position.

Control at Your Fingertips: Not all videoconferencing software makes it easy to control your audio and video.

You may often find yourself looking for the icons to mute/unmute or to reveal your video. FLEX ensures these functions are always within reach with cam & mic control, no matter how the software may have moved the control menu.

A Flexible Camera That Recognizes You: Tilt the 4K camera to the perfect angle for you. With Windows Hello support, you can unlock your laptop and access all your content in seconds.

Paper-like Writing: Magnetically attached to the side of the FLEX for easy storage, the active pen provides a natural handwriting experience with high precision and low latency. There are two built-in hotkeys that let you quickly switch to eraser or access “right-click”.

Plug & Play: Simply plug in your laptop and instantly upgrade to a world-class touch, writing, and videoconferencing experience. Easily power your device with the powered USB-C connection.

No need for a learning curve, just use your existing desktop device. Want to remove all the clutter and cables from your desktop? Plug in an SDM for fully integrated computing power.

Bringing Video Calls to Life: Capture your voice without background interference. Experience clear visuals with the 4K camera. Enjoy a better sound experience through high-end speakers with a subwoofer.

FLEX ensures a better videoconferencing experience for you—as if your students are in the room with you!


Newline Interactive is available for discounted purchase via the ILTPP-Howard full catalog contract.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Joe Leppert
Senior Field Sales Representative
(312) 448-1314
jleppert@howard.com

Erin Miller
Inside Sales Manager, K-12 Education
(601) 399-5720
elmiller@howard.com

Learn More About Howard Technology Solutions

Google Delays Chrome Education Upgrade Price Increase

Google is delaying the Chrome Education Upgrade price increase from January 12, 2021, to March 9, 2021.

In January 2020, Google announced an increase in the price of Chrome Education from $30 to $38 USD per device license starting January 12, 2021. Given the increased demand for devices as many continue to work and learn from home, Google is delaying the price increase to a time when devices will be more readily available and to alleviate any potential pressure on school districts.

The new scheduled date for the price increase is March 9, 2021.

What Do You Need to Know?

This price increase reflects the continued innovation and value that Google added to Chrome OS over the past several years, as well as the hundreds of new policies that are on their way. The upgrade also includes 24/7 support that is provided through the Chrome OS Automatic Update Expiration (AUE) policy, which was extended in the fall of 2019 to offer more years of support.

Google is planning to re-evaluate pricing annually in January, based on exchange rates and relevant product enhancements.

What Do You Need to Do?

If you plan to purchase the new Chrome Education Upgrade licenses on or after March 9, 2021, the new rate at $38 USD will apply. If you’re not planning to purchase new the new Chrome Education Upgrade licenses, no action is required. If you had previously purchased a Chrome Education Upgrade license at $30 USD prior to March 9, 2021, no billing adjustments will be made.

How Can You Get Help?

If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact your dedicated Account Manager below.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

CDW•G
John Buttita
Sales Manager
877-325-3380
johnbut@cdw.com

Learn More About CDW•G

SHI
Kyle Thomas
SM SLED Manager
732-564-8526
Kyle_Thomas@shi.com

Learn More About SHI

Learn More About Googe for Education

CTL Updates & Stocked Chromebooks

As we all head into winter with schools and districts making decisions on remote learning for the next semester, CTL would like to update ILTPP members on its ongoing COVID response and steps. CTL is making strides to ensure that customers get the Chromebooks and support they depend on.

How is CTL doing it? Recently, the company published an update about how it is working around the clock to get products shipped to customers during this challenging time by redesigning workflows to continue to operate as safely as possible.

While CTL has been experiencing back-ordered products due to supply chain disruptions, most of these orders have now shipped. The company has an open stock of 11″ and 14″ Chromebooks, as well as Celeron and Intel Core i7 Chromeboxes.

The new CTL 14″ NL81T Chromebooks have Full HD screens and Intel Pentium N5030 CPUs, while the new CBx2 Intel Core i7 Chromebox has WiFi 6, a powerful Intel Core i7 CPU, a 2028 AUE, and can be configured with 32 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage.

For more information, contact your dedicated Account Manager or browse the monthly updates on CTL products below.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Aaron Pearson
Senior National Account Manager
937-405-6486
apearson@ctl.net

Learn More About CTL

Close The Gap With STEM PBL Units

Pitsco Education’s new STEM PBL Units enable students to learn within and across disciplines, developing their ability to innovate and apply what they learn to solve a relevant problem or to explore a new situation. Then, they present their results to an authentic audience.

These units allow a holistic approach to the skills that are necessary to be successful in life. Though planning is required, Pitsco’s made it as simple as possible through concept maps and a completed planning form for one of the three Activators that come with each unit.

“If you look at how Google hires, Google says, ‘we want skill-based hires.’ So, industry has been telling us that these are the people who will be successful in the modern workplace. . . . To me, PBL does a better job producing the skills that industry wants.”
– Dave Ross, teacher and former P21® CEO and Buck Institute for Education senior director


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Preston Frazier
Illinois Sales
800-835-0686 Ext. 4559
pfrazier@pitsco.com

Learn More About Pitsco Education
Pitsco Education Blog

MNJ and AT&T Monitor Data Plans With Low Cost

The convenience of a right-sized data plan is critical in your district, no matter the size. ILTPP partner, MNJ Technologies recognizes that need and is offering AT&T and Verizon data plans for all connectable devices such as laptops, tablets, networking hardware, etc. (excluding smart phones) to provide a beneficial solution for your school district’s data plan needs. Either AT&T or Verizon is chosen based on a coverage analysis below.

U.S. AT&T or Verizon Data Plans/Pricing Are The Same (12 Month Minimum Term):

1GB

1GB (Cross Carrier Pooling)

5GB

10GB

20 GB

$25

$28

$56

$98

$224

Note: Taxes and fees are NOT included in the pricing as they vary by state, district and jurisdiction and are based on the service location of the device. There is a $10 one-time set up fee per IEMI/device.

Contact your MNJ Account Manager today to order hardware and data plans at the same time so the internet is activated and shipped to your office ready to use! Mention ILTPP or contract number AEPA IFB-18A in order to access additional savings and FREE shipping on all orders.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Marcus Sheffer
Senior Account Manager
847-229-4015
msheffer@mnjtech.com

Steve Kaus
Senior Account Manager
847-876-8821
skaus@mnjtech.com

Learn More About MNJ Technologies

ComicsPlus – An Exclusive Offering Only At Mackin

A unique gateway into the diverse and engaging world of digital comic books, graphic novels, and manga—with cost-effective unlimited and simultaneous checkouts.

With LibraryPass’ ComicsPlus, your students can have access to thousands of age-appropriate digital comics, graphic novels, and manga—including popular titles for readers of all interests, like Avatar: The Last Airbender & The Legend of KorraBig NateBoneDisney PrincessesGeronimo StiltonStranger ThingsLocke & KeyAmerican Gods and timely, award-winning nonfiction like March and They Called Us Enemy.

An annual subscription includes digital access for every student—at school and at home. Every title is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for offline reading, with unlimited, simultaneous checkout to maximize circulation through book clubs, reading programs, makerspace activities, and other engaging initiatives. 

Why ComicsPlus?

  • Elementary, Middle and High School packages available
  • 20,000+ age-appropriate digital comics
  • Unlimited, simultaneous access for every student—at school and at home; on computers, tablets, or phones; online and offline
  • Anonymized usage reports show which titles are circulating
  • Educational resources to help integrate comics into your curriculum and/or extracurricular activities
  • Onboarding and technical support, tutorials, and training videos
  • Marketing materials to promote ComicsPlus in your school or library
  • Content updates throughout the year

LibraryPass’ ComicsPlus is available for purchase exclusively through Mackin Educational Resources. Mention contract number AEPA-IFB020-C in order to access ILTPP discounted pricing or become a member to view transparent pricing.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Sheri Omernik
Sales Manager
920-400-9902
sheri.omernik@mackin.com

Learn More About Mackin Educational Resources

Primary & Secondary Education Industry Challenges Intensify the Need for Cloud-Driven Networking

Original Article by Extreme Networks

The COVID-19 global pandemic has brought on a unique set of IT challenges for primary & secondary education, especially the issue of returning to school. Engaging students and preparing them for their futures just became more challenging. In times like this we can thank technology for assisting us through these unique circumstances.  

The list of challenges K-12 is facing today: 

  • Deploy new styles of teaching 
  • Improve student learning outcomes and success with personalized learning  
  • Ensuring Student Safety and Privacy in the new normal 
  • Prepare for the new normal in a post-COVID-19 world 
  • Improve remote/online learning- a need especially heightened by COVID-19 
  • Manage cybersecurity risks which have been heightened by extended and remote online access 
  • Ensure compliance with evolving government requirements 
  • Extend connectivity with drive-In learning, remote sites, and mobile Wi-Fi hot spots 

Primary and secondary institutions need a flexible, agile, scalable, and intelligent networking solution that will support present and future needs. In the fast-paced, constantly evolving, education environment it is crucial that your network can handle the unforeseen challenges. 

It’s high time that primary & secondary education starts taking advantage of the benefits of cloud infrastructure. 

Extreme Networks’ survey of over 200 education IT professionals found that 94% of education institutions are hosting at least one solution in the cloud. This includes email platforms, learning management systems (LMS), student information systems, CRM, curriculum content, and teaching devices. 

And while 17% of education institutions currently manage their IT network in the cloud, 40% plan to move their IT network to the cloud in 1-5 years. 

Why should education institutions have a cloud infrastructure management strategy now? Here are some of the benefits: 

  • Lower infrastructure management costs 
  • Ease of interoperability, system integration, and data exchange, including remote access of data for remote locations and online classes 
  • Flexibility and scalability 
  • Improved security 
  • Intelligent analytics and AI/ML-powered insights 
  • Increased network reliability (100% uptime for ExtremeCloudIQ) 

Extreme Networks is committed to the complex requirements unique to K-12 educational institutions. Extreme Networks infrastructure management solution, ExtremeCloud IQ is designed to support K-12 education and deliver the highest levels of student data protection, management, and compliance needed to take on the evolving industry demands. 

Check out this ExtremeCloud IQ in action video for Primary and Secondary Education! 


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Mike Fortenberry
Senior Account Executive
248-921-8670
mikfortenberry@extremenetworks.com

Learn More About Extreme Networks