Category: Partner News & Resources

Dual-Credit Program Gives Lake County Students Hands-On Manufacturing Experience

K–12 students earn college credits while learning how to use the tools and technology that will give them an advantage in future careers.

by Rebecca Torchia

Rebecca Torchia is a web editor for EdTech: Focus on K–12. Previously, she has produced podcasts and written for several publications in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and her hometown of Pittsburgh.


Junior Gunner Kimble typically gets to Johnsburg High School around 7 a.m., but by 7:30 he’s heading out the door again. Kimble makes this quick departure because he participates in a dual-credit program through Illinois’s College of Lake County. A bus takes him and other participants to the college’s Advanced Technology Center, where they’re learning trade skills.

CLC built the Advanced Technology Center to prepare students for industrial careers, specifically in manufacturing.

“We could see a limit in terms of the supply we could create to establish a skilled workforce pipeline for the manufacturing sector,” says Lori Suddick, president of the College of Lake County. “The manufacturing sector in Lake County is strong, and it’s a necessary sector for the economic growth and sustainability of the communities that we serve.”

DIVE DEEPER: Colleges aim to fill workforce needs with tech training centers.

The college partnered with local high schools as part of the dual-credit program, providing an opportunity for students to earn college credits tuition free.

“Last year alone, we served over 2,200 dual-credit students and saved families $1.5 million in tuition and fees,” says Ali O’Brien, the college’s vice president of community and workforce partnerships. “The very first students to walk through the doors at the Advanced Technology Center and put their hands on the equipment in this industrial technology lab were our high school dual-credit students.”

The students get to work with industry-specific manufacturing equipment and advanced technologies, all aimed at helping prepare them for the workforce they’ll be entering.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

John Buttita 
Sales Manager

Learn More About CDW-G

Data Loss Prevention Best Practices For K-12 Education

As hard as it is to admit, cybercrime is a serious worldwide problem. In fact, the global volume of cyber attacks reached an all-time high in Q4 2022, with nearly 1,200 weekly attacks per organization. Overall, 2022 witnessed a 38% jump in cyber attacks compared to the previous year.

Unfortunately, K-12 education hasn’t fared much better. Malicious hackers are targeting the industry in record numbers, putting student information at risk like never before. Unsurprisingly, this unprecedented uptick in cybercriminal activity has reinvigorated the topic of data loss prevention (DLP).

In this blog, ManagedMethods walk you through the basics of data loss prevention. From what it is to how it works, we’ll even give you 10 data loss prevention best practices to help you protect your district’s data…


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

David Waugh
Sales and Marketing Vice President

Learn More About ManagedMethods


East Prairie School District Mitigates Third-Party Risk With Automated Cloud Security



Rich Chiuppi has a lot on his plate. As Director of Technology at East Prairie School District #73, he’s part of a two-person team managing the entire district’s IT and cybersecurity needs.

“I oversee the technology, implementations, and security, so I wear a lot of hats,” he explains. Although generally not as big as other districts in the Chicago area, East Prairie’s 550 students and 80 staff are more than enough to keep Rich busy, especially when it comes to cloud technology.


As Chiuppi recalls, East Prairie recognized early on that the industry was trending toward the cloud. At one point, the school hosted all of its student information and library systems on in-house servers but soon realized that moving them to the cloud was the better option.

“We gradually started phasing things into the cloud for the reason that it was more effective, and in some situations, the industry was kind of forcing us in that direction,” he says. “If you’re hosting certain things on-premise, it becomes cost-prohibitive over time.”

So, East Prairie started using Google Workspace for Education Plus, with a few Apple and Microsoft applications in the mix. According to Chiuppi, it was an interesting transition because teachers were at first allowed to try different applications on their own.

“We wanted them to have the flexibility and creativity to use technology in the classroom,” he explains. “As time went on, we started to realize how data was being used by some of these vendors, how certain services behaved, and how many services we inherited from letting teachers have that freedom. Then, SOPPA came along, and it really opened our eyes like, ‘Oh, this is what’s going on?’”

SOPPA — the Student Online Personal Protection Act — is an Illinois law that protects the privacy and security of students’ online data at school. Its intention is to regulate how edtech vendors manage student data, but it also requires school districts like East Prairie to implement a more rigorous vetting process for solutions that capture student information.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

David Waugh
Sales and Marketing Vice President

Learn More About ManagedMethods

Digital Citizenship for Kids

Let’s dive into what digital citizenship is and why it’s so important to teach in the classroom!

Basically, digital citizenship is about teaching young people how to act responsibly online. In today’s digital age, students have a heap of information at their fingertips, and with all this exposure, it’s important they know the basics about digital etiquette and online safety!

Learning how to be a good digital citizen comes hand-in-hand with learning how to be a considerate person; nurturing a sense of empathy towards others, and developing healthy relationships. Digital citizenship will also give students a headstart in their future careers as more and more jobs will value digital skills in the coming years.

There’s a lot to pack into this topic of digital citizenship for kids — and we know you teachers are busy — so let’s break things down into four key focus areas that will help guide students as they grow into good digital citizens: Respect, Digital Footprint, Protection, and Copyright.


When teaching students about the basics of being a good digital citizen, try starting with the most fundamental golden rule: treat people how you’d like to be treated – in real life and your digital lives!

We all know how easy it is to misinterpret messages we receive online. These situations are even harder for kids as online interaction takes away the social cues they’re often still learning. Without tone and body language, it’s easy for words to get lost in translation. Put this into practice by playing a fun game with your students where you include some examples of messages that could be misinterpreted to demonstrate the difference between communicating face-to-face and digital communication. This will help to bring home the point that online messaging can so easily get lost in translation!

This is also a good time to address cyberbullying. Teaching kids how to be good digital citizens is a key way to prevent cyber-bullying. It’s always good to set students up with responses and always remind them that if they’re being bullied online, they should tell you, their parents, or any trusted adult! Hold a brainstorming session with your class and see if they have some ideas on how to best respond to harassment online.

It’s also important to discuss the very real impact cyber-bullying has on people’s well-being – kids can often feel detached from their online personas and not understand the social and emotional impact of their actions.

Digital footprint

In relation to respect, students also need to be reminded anything posted online is going to stick around. The common phrase “think before you speak” is now also “think before you post.”

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Andy Hogan
Account Executive
619- 363-1994



Wood Dale SD 7 Success with Otus

The Wood Dale School District 7 set the goal of creating a more personalized learning environment for their students by giving teachers and administrators real-time access to student progress. They approached this goal through the lens of standards-based grading (SBG), which emphasizes more detailed data surrounding student understanding. The challenge was finding a platform built with SBG in mind that would provide more student data without increasing teacher workload.


With a list of requirements in mind, Wood Dale School District 7 began searching for a standards-based grading platform for their learning community. They found Otus and immediately knew it was a perfect fit. With Otus, teachers would easily attach standards to assessments and view each student’s progression to mastery in the standards-based gradebook. This also allowed the teachers to easily share each student’s growth journey with those outside the classroom.


Since rolling out in 2017, the teachers of Wood Dale School District 7 have become power users of Otus. Beginning with the success of their standards-based grading initiative, they also integrated third-party data to give a holistic view of student learning. In the fall of 2021, with the introduction of Otus Plans, Wood Dale School District 7 took action on the collected data and utilized Otus to create custom learning plans for their students. With such a dedication to personalized learning, Wood Dale School District 7 is an excellent example of collecting quality student data and acting on it.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Paul Kaskovich
Account Executive
773-789-5444 x110

Learn More About Otus

Technology Wellness Guide: Helping K-12 Teams Stay Organized This Year

Because of the rapid shift to digital learning and 1:1 programs over the past two years within K-12 education, it is understandable that schools and districts have become overwhelmed with managing these technologies efficiently. 

Juggling vendors, contracts, warranties, funding sources, and device inventories? To help you stay organized this year, we put together a Tech Wellness Guide Template!

Download the template to help you keep track of:

  • Vendors 
  • Funding Sources 
  • Device Inventory  
  • Device Replacement  

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Kris O’Connor
EDU Sales Executive, Kajeet

Ryan Frohle
Account Manager (Install Accounts)

Learn More About Kajeet



CYBERSECURITY: How schools can protect their network, devices and data from cyber attacks

The shift to digital learning in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has opened up opportunities for schools to adopt new EdTech tools and create more innovative learning environments. But this has also given cybercriminals new avenues to attack school networks, devices, and data.

Experts recommend protecting all aspects of an educational organization’s online presence:

Endpoint Security

Protect end-user devices connected to a network or cloud with technologies including antivirus tools, endpoint protection platforms (EPP), and endpoint detection and response (EDR) to detect, prevent and respond to cyberattacks in real-time.

Network Security

Prevent and remediate internal and external threats with next-generation firewalls, intrusion prevention, and detection and response systems designed for complete system visibility.

Cloud Security

Safeguard cloud-based data and applications and protect against data loss and malicious theft with tools that elevate application visibility, security, and control for hybrid learning environments.

Applications Security

Detect and block threats deployed through email and the Internet with real-time protection technologies, including spam and DNS filters, encryption, and antivirus.

Data Protection

Keep user data secure with backup and recovery software for the cloud for on-premises and hybrid learning environments and backup-as-a-service (BaaS) solutions.

User Training

Awareness and compliance training for students and staff to improve cybersecurity hygiene and reduce phishing and social engineering attacks.


Put the building blocks in place to protect yourself from data leaks and cybercriminals with the support of the Bluum team.



Why is Cybersecurity a Critical Issue in K-12?

In 2021, district-level leaders ranked cybersecurity as the top concern for the seventh year straight. *

*based on CoSN survey data


Reported cyberattacks against K-12
schools in 2020. an 18% increase over 2019


Days of downtime in U.S. schools due to
ransomware attacks (Feb. ’18 – Jun. ’21)


K-12 Schools with a full-time
staffer dedicated to cybersecurity




Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Sarah Goncalves
Regional Vice President of Sales
888-226-5727 x3730

Learn More About Bluum

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Discover How Inclusive Technology Helps Improve Education Equity

In today’s evolving education environment, teachers are increasingly turning to inclusively designed technology to help students of all backgrounds and abilities reach their academic and social potential.

In this guide, you’ll learn how inclusively designed technology helps:

  • Expand educational access for all learners, promote student independence, and provide each student with the opportunities and resources they need for future success.
  • Ensure multiple means of representation for all students to fully engage, create, and participate in the knowledge construction process.
  • Increase student success with customized, real-time support as well as built-in inclusivity, accessibility, and learning tools that facilitate individualized skill-building and problem-solving.

Always identify yourself as an ILTPP Member when requesting a quote or placing an order and reference the corresponding contract number. Quote requests may be placed with our resellers online, or working directly with your account manager.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Justin Libis
Account Executive

Or reach out to one of our channel partners.

John Buttita
Sales Manager

Christine McConnell
Senior Account Manager

SHI International Corp.
Kyle Thomas
SMSLED Manager

Learn More About Microsoft

Full STEAM Ahead With Pitsco


Engineering and creativity lead the way in this open-ended and all-inclusive kit! The STEAM Builder Bin can be used for a range of educational concepts – from design and construction to implementing the engineering design process.

  • Endless Opportunities – Potentially hundreds of different builds in one kit
  • Prompts – 15 categories of open-ended Idea cards
  • Level Up – Idea cards have three difficulty levels for self-paced learning
  • To Each Their Own – Every student has a unique outcome
  • Teacher Friendly – You get Teacher Tips to guide students through the engineering design process
  • Storage – A durable, stackable bin and compartment to keep things tidy

STEAM ON with the new STEAM Builder Bin!

When shopping directly with Pitsco Education, be sure to enter AEPA22 at checkout for the exclusive discount of 2% off your purchase along with free shipping on orders of $50 or more!

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

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

Learn More About Pitsco Education
Pitsco Education Blog