Category: In the News

Modern Classrooms Bring Learning to Life with CDW’s Blueprint to Design™ Service

Rochester City School District reimagines the teaching environment with color, collaboration and flexibility.

“Leaders of the Rochester City School District came to a few important conclusions several years ago: They needed to modernize instruction; they wanted education to be engaging and interactive; and redesigned learning spaces would be a big piece of the puzzle. 

To achieve that vision, the district launched a one-to-one program, invested in digital content and increased professional development for teachers. Guiding these efforts was a desire to move away from traditional content delivery to new instructional models, such as blended and project-based learning.”

Learn how RCSD leaders are investing in classrooms to ensure physical spaces facilitate the transition to new pedagogies below!

BLUEPRINT TO DESIGN: The Bridge To Creating Collaborative Spaces; A CDW•G Methodology & Customer Workbook

A MODERN LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: Three key aspects — technology, flexible furniture and audiovisual tools — help propel classrooms and students into the future.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
While most of the public conversation about K–12 education centers on topics such as test scores, learning standards and teacher quality and retention, the actual environment in which students learn is often neglected. And yet, the design of classroom spaces and other learning areas throughout schools can have an outsized impact on student outcomes ranging from academic growth and engagement to improved health and classroom behavior. Modern learning environments seamlessly integrate technology into spaces that are designed around teaching and learning, giving instructors and students the tools they need to succeed in a physical setting that promotes collaboration and supports multiple learning styles. While connected devices are an important part of modern learning environments, audiovisual equipment and even classroom furniture are also essential to creating spaces that are conducive to teaching that focuses on future-ready skills. A modern learning environment requires more than just investments in physical assets. Although the concept of the modern learning environment is still emerging, a consensus is already forming around best practices, which include a commitment to student-centered learning and professional development for educators.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

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

Learn More About CDW-G

USA Computing Olympiad: February Contest

The USACO 2020 February contest is available February 21 through February 24. Participation is free, and open to all, although only high-school (pre-college) students in the USA are eligible for selection as finalists to attend the USACO training camp and to compete for the USA IOI team.

The contest is available in four divisions: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. All returning participants start out in their former divisions, and new participants start out in the bronze division. The contest is for individuals only, not teams.

Participants who score particularly well in their current division will be promoted to the next division for future contests (promotion criteria is announced at the end of the contest and varies on a per-contest basis, since every contest is different). Promotion within a contest is also possible, if you achieve a perfect score. If you are promoted within a contest, you will be able to take higher-level contests with a full clock (no penalty based on the time already spent on ealier contests).

Each contest has 3 problems to which you will submit solution programs in C, C++, Pascal, Java, or Python. Problems are algorithmic in nature, and your score for each problem depends on the number of input cases your program can solve within the time limit (for this contest: 2 seconds per input case for C, C++, and Pascal, and 4 seconds per input case for Java and Python). If your program correctly solves the sample input case (included in the text of each problem), you will receive feedback on how it performs on each of our judging inputs. For example, you will be told if your program produced the right answer, timed out, experience a run-time error, etc. Note that although you receive this feedback, the remaining judge inputs beyond the sample case are not disclosed during the contest. Problems are intended to be challenging; it is rarely the case that a large number of competitors receive near-perfect scores!

The contest is 4 contiguous hours in length. You can take the contest during any 4-hour block of time you want during the larger contest window from Feb 21 through Feb 24. When you start the contest, your personal 4-hour timer starts counting down, and you will be able to view the contest problems and submit solutions via this website. The contest closes February 24 at 23:59 UTC-12 time (even if your personal clock is still running at that time, so do not wait until the very last minute to start!).

Results will be posted on this website shortly after the end of the contest.

Google Cloud Print Ending December 2020

Google Cloud Print, Google’s cloud-based printing solution that has been in beta since 2010, will no longer be supported as of December 31, 2020.

Beginning January 1, 2021, devices across all operating systems will not be able to print using Cloud Print. Google has stated that it recommends you find an alternative print solution and migrate your print services by the end of 2020.

  • For devices running Chrome OS, the company recommends native printing (CUPS).
  • For other devices or multi-OS scenarios, Google recommends the respective platform’s native-printing infrastructure or working with a print-solutions provider.

Consider native printing (CUPS) for Chrome devices

For Chrome devices, you can use your Google Admin console to set up CUPS for printing to local and network printers. When you add a printer, it automatically appears in your users’ list of printers and they can start printing without any further setup.

Current and upcoming native printing (CUPS) features

Currently or will be supported by the end of 2019

  • Admin console interface to manage thousands of CUPS-based printers for users, devices, and managed guests by organizational unit (the legacy 20-printer cap has been removed)
  • Admin console policy to manage user-printing defaults for 2-sided (duplex) and color printing
  • Support for advanced printing attributes (stapling, paper trays, pin printing)
  • Admin console policy to include user account and file name in IPP header of print job over a secure IPPS connection, which enables third-party printing features, such as secure printing and print-usage tracking
  • Admin console policy to manage PIN-code printing, allowing users to enter a PIN when sending a print job and release the print job for printing when they enter a PIN on the printer

Available before the Google Cloud Print deprecation

  • Support for external CUPS print servers, including authentication
  • Policy to configure connections to external CUPS print servers 
  • APIs for third parties to access print job metadata, submit print jobs, and provide printer-management capabilities

Next steps


ILTPP Recommended Contracted Partners Offering Assistance

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Aaron Ott
Government Accounts Manager
314-960-2884
aott@kmbs.konicaminolta.us

Jason Bradshaw
Government Accounts Manager
402-250-7545
jbradshaw@kmbs.konicaminolta.us

Learn More About Konica Minolta

Contact Your Dedicated Account Manager

Dan Woolly
National Account Manager
972-893-1155
dan.woolly@da.kyocera.com

Learn More About Kyocera

Soter Technologies #NoVaping Grant Program

The Soter Technologies’ #NoVaping Grant Program provides financial support and alternative opportunities for secondary schools looking to implement innovative FlySense™ real-time vaping and elevated sound detection solution on their campuses.

Applicants must fit the following criteria:

  • Be an individual secondary public or private school [Grades 6-12].
  • Consist of a single school campus [Soter will not be accepting district applications].
  • Have an annual enrollment of 500 students or less.

Soter Technologies is currently accepting submissions for Round 2 awards. Deadline: January 31, 2020. Round 3 Deadline is June 30, 2020.

Take Control With FlySense™

Flysense™ by Soter Technologies is a multi-sensor device capable of detecting vaping, smoke, and noise disturbances that may suggest violence such as bullying.

When the FlySense™ sensor detects vaping signatures or decibel level anomalies caused by bullying, a zero-delay, location-specific alert notification is sent by SMS and or email to designated school officials.

The Soter Team is Here to Help

Receive guidance and support directly from our experienced team members

Creative Positive Environments

Through our experience, we can help to create safer, healthier, and more positive environments

Deter Unhealthy Habits

Detect and deter behaviors and incidents that are inappropriate and potentially dangerous

The FlySense™

Have access to device set-up, device adjustments and monitoring, scheduling, and customization of alert notifications through your computer or phone with the mobile app.

Real-time sensor data and analytical reports determine which locations and time of day experience the most activity to help schools align operations and react accordingly.

Mobile Web Portal

Use your phone to check or adjust your FlySensors™ at any time – from school or home, work or away. Schedule and receive real-time text and email alerts when FlySense detects an environmental disturbance.

FlySense™ is available for purchase under contract via Quill.com.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Cameron Shapiro
Buying Group Sales Manager
847-876-4209
cameron.shapiro@quill.com

Learn More About Quill

Two animated children in front of a laptop. one is walking on the laptop, while the other is sitting on the keyboard. Both have digital devices in their hands.

Securly Launches @Risk Student Wellness Scores to Supplement Student Safety Offerings

Article By: CISION PRWeb, December 14, 2019

Securly, the leading K-12 student safety company, announces the launch of @Risk Student Wellness Scores, a new technology that provides a comprehensive online wellness assessment for each student based on their online sentiments and activity.

Securly, the leading K-12 student safety company, announces @Risk Student Wellness Scores, a groundbreaking new technology that utilizes human-enhanced AI to provide a comprehensive score of students’ overall online wellness based on a compilation of their online history and activity. If the @Risk score exceeds the threshold for high-risk online behavior or sentiments, a student’s at-risk level is flagged for review. The scores indicate the students’ risk level as well as the urgency of intervention needed and the confidence of the assessment.

Securly launched its cloud-based web filtering product, Filter, in 2013 in the K-12 market for school districts to use to achieve CIPA compliance by blocking porn, gambling, and proxy sites. In the years since, the company has grown from a focus on web filtering to a more comprehensive solution for online student safety and device management. Securly’s 360 degree portfolio of products keep children safe online in school, the classroom, at home, and on-the-go. While Filter focuses on websites, web searches, videos, and social media, Auditor monitors emails, cloud documents and drive. Securly’s Tipline service receives anonymous tips that provide eyes and ears across the district for activity that happens offline.

@Risk gives us the ability to look at the fuller picture behind the kid’s online life from what she is searching for, to what sites she has been visiting, to what her conversations with others in the district look like.

@Risk Student Wellness Scores supplements Securly’s offerings by providing a holistic view of each students’ online activity by analyzing students’ web searches, website URLs browsed, email, social media posts, Youtube videos and searches, and more. From there, the algorithm compiles a comprehensive score for each student, giving a picture of their overall online wellness. The feature’s algorithm operates at a speed that far surpasses human analysis, enabling Securly to pinpoint the students that need immediate intervention and help, and alert schools and staff right away.

Vinay Mahadik, co-founder and CEO, explains, “We are at a point where our @Risk system is incredibly close to passing the Turing test. We are now able to spot vulnerable kids almost as well as trained human analysts. This is primarily due to our ability to look at the fuller picture behind the kid’s online life even if such activity spans many days, weeks or months. While the AI could fail in an accurate determination of the sentiment behind a single message, such as a dark poem or social media post, it becomes indistinguishable from human analysis when multiple data points are correlated, like when the same student makes concerning private searches leading up to such a troubling public post. By building algorithms that span multiple data points over a longer period of time, we are able to scan millions of messages daily, and assess the wellness of these students in real-time at a rate that surpasses the reach of human analysts. @Risk allows our analysts to focus on AI quality control and training, and emergency notifications, instead of piecing together activity summaries themselves.”

Securly is currently utilizing this new technology to supplement their 24 operations. Securly plans to make the scores available to schools in the future in their product UI. School administrators will be able to easily pull wellness reports on individual students, and Securly will be able to easily share a wellness report identifying concerning patterns for an individual student, school, or even an entire district. The company also plans to work with schools to extend these notifications to the parents of students involved.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Joe Meldrich
Regional Sales Executive
704-209-7637
joe@securly.com

Marissa Angel
Account Executive
704-612-6512
marissa@securly.com

Learn More About Securly

Everything You Need to Know About the AWS Pricing Change

Article written by: The SHI Blog

Say hello to AWS Savings Plans.

Effective Nov. 6, 2019, Amazon EC2 is available through Savings Plans, a new flexible pricing model option.

If you have questions about this new program, SHI is here to help. Here’s what you need to know:

What are Savings Plans?

Savings Plans are a new pricing model that provides the same discounts as EC2 Reserved Instances (RIs) in exchange for a monetary commitment, instead of making commitments to specific instance configurations.

You can save up to 72% on Amazon EC2 and AWS Fargate by committing to a consistent amount of usage (e.g., $10/hour) over one or three years.

How does it work?

Every type of compute usage has an On-Demand rate and a Savings Plans rate. If you commit to $10/hour of compute usage, you’ll get Savings Plans pricing on all usage up to $10. Any usage beyond the commitment will be charged at regular On-Demand rates.

Savings Plans take two forms:

  • Compute Savings Plans offer the greatest flexibility and up to 66% savings—the same discounts as Convertible RIs. They’re are applicable across EC2 and Fargate, and they’re region agnostic. Compute Savings Plans also provide flexibility across instance family, OS, and tenancy (dedicated or default).
  • EC2 Instance Savings Plans offer the deepest discounts—up to 72% (same as Standard RIs). They’re applicable on a selected EC2 instance family in a selected region. For example, M5 in US East. EC2 Instance Savings Plans are flexible across size, OS, and tenancy.

Savings Plans are available in all AWS commercial regions (except Beijing and Ningxia) and AWS GovCloud (US) Regions.

Why should you use Savings Plans?

In short, it’s easy, flexible, and offers significant discounts.

  • Easy to use: Get automatic discount rates in exchange for a monetary commitment.
  • Flexible: Make a single commitment that applies across multiple AWS Compute Services, even as your requirements change.
  • Significant discounts: Up to 66% on Compute Savings Plans and up to 72% on EC2 Instance Plans.

What if I already have existing RIs?

Note that you cannot convert existing RIs to the new Savings Plan model. You’ll have to wait for the RIs to expire or sell your RIs on the marketplace. But existing RIs will continue to work as-is alongside Savings Plans.

You can also continue purchasing EC2 RIs to maintain compatibility with your existing purchasing and cost management processes.

Just like with Regional RIs, you can reserve EC2 capacity with On-Demand Capacity Reservations. If you have active Savings Plans, your usage will be charged at Savings Plans rates.

Do Savings Plans offer Reserved Capacity functionality?

No. If you need Reserved Capacity in specific availability zones, you’ll need to continue purchasing Reserved Capacity RIs.

How do I get started with Savings Plans?

If you have other questions about your specific organization, reach out to your account executive to talk through these changes and what they mean for you.

If you’re ready to get started, your account team is waiting. Contact them today.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

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

Learn More About SHI

E-Rate State Matching Grant & Webinar

As the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) has stated in their latest broadband access release, the internet is no longer an afterthought for K-12 education. High speed broadband and Wi-Fi access is a vital component to the classroom.

Below, check out the upcoming webinar related to technical assistance with the eligibility requirements and application procedures for District Broadband Expansion:


District Broadband Expansion Grant Funding for E-Rate Fiber Special Construction Projects Webinar

The Illinois State Board of Education has released an RFP for District Broadband Expansion state match grant funding for E-Rate fiber Special Construction Projects. A technical assistance session will be held on Wednesday, December 18 at 1:30pm. This technical assistance session will go over eligibility requirements and application procedures.


OTHER E-RATE RESOURCES

2019 with gingerbread man as the O, Hollydays. All in gingerbread-like text. Making your season and classroom a little sweeter.

2019 HollyDays with Pitsco

Pitsco Education is serving up 20 giveaways over 10 days.

Enter to win engaging products – robotics, coding, and STEM are all on this Christmas list!

With hands-on STEM and Coding & Robotics products available to win, you can select a few you’d like to win or select them ALL!


Contest details: Drawings will be held daily, December 5-14, 2019. Winners will be contacted directly and announced via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Eligibility: Must be 18 or older to enter. Pitsco employees and contracted representatives, their immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings, and children), and their household members (whether related or not) are not eligible. A completed form must be submitted for the participant to be entered in the drawings. After a participant wins, he or she is no longer eligible for any remaining 2019 Pitsco HollyDays drawings. This promotion is void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to participate.

Delivery: Each prize will be shipped within a reasonable time after the winner is announced. Delivery addresses must be within the US. There is no guarantee of delivery before Christmas.

If you have any questions regarding the Pitsco HollyDays, please email pitscoed@pitsco.com. Thank you for participating. Happy holidays!


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

Creative Minds Smart Hands

Create Future-Ready, Life-Long Learners with Pitsco

Preparing Students For Their Future

Complex challenges don’t have to have complex solutions.

  • It’s estimated that by 2030, 38% of jobs will be automated. By that time, there will be 500 billion connected devices in the world.
  • Plus, Houston…we have and engagement problem. Only 49% of U.S. public school students are engaged in school.

Coding and robotics represent an opportunity to engage students while preparing them to face the complications of the real world.

Pitsco Education is on a mission to make it easy for schools to bring these materials through their K-12 Coding and Robotics Continuum.

Pitsco’s goal is to make it easy for schools to bring these materials to the classroom to create lifelong learners, successful professionals, and engaged citizens.

The company promises to remove barriers, to bring cutting-edge education technology into the classroom, and to help teachers find new, relevant ways to do what they do best.

Pitsco meets students where they are by delivering age-appropriate, hands-on solutions that enable all K-12 learners to thrive. Explore Pitsco’s robust Coding and Robotics solutions today!

Plus, AEPA members get 2% off their purchase of Pitsco products along with free shipping on orders of $100 or more! Remember to enter promo code AEPA22 during checkout!


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

Google Extends AUE Support on Several CTL Models

ILTPP has recently renewed its direct contract with Computer Technology Link (CTL). A US based company, CTL is a technology solutions provider, that has been supplying technology solutions, including CTL Laptops, PCs, LCD Monitors, Servers and Chromebooks to education customers throughout the United States for over 28 years.

CTL’s comprehensive chrome solutions include industry-recognized education-specific Chromebooks, value-added software titles, deployment assistance, and professional development offerings.

Since 2013, CTL has assisted with education partners of all sizes on their chrome deployments. Ranging from total 1:1 deployments to smaller, more intimate classroom deployments, CTL has helped schools across the United States implement chrome solutions that best fit the unique needs of each district.

Google has extended AUE support on the below several CTL models.

CTL Chromebook NL6September 2021 + 15 months additional
CTL Chromebook NL61/TJune 2022 + 1 year additional
CTL Chromebook J5June 2022 + 1 year additional
CTL Chromebook NL7/NL7T/NL7TW/J41June 2024 + 7 months additional
CTL Chromebox CBx1-X/CTL CBx1-7 and CBx1 for Hangouts MeetJune 2025 + 1 year additional

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

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

Learn More About CTL