Category: Organization Updates

#TraferaGiveBack2022

WIN 100 laptops for your school

Trafera is committed to helping schools build better learning experiences through technology. That’s why we’re donating nearly $500K worth of technology to schools across the nation. Six schools will receive one hundred laptops to transform teaching and learning.

 

Give away includes 100 x HP Elitebook 840 G2 fully equipped with:

  • 100 x Higher Ground Element Plus Cases
  • LocknCharge EPIC Carts to help charge and secure all devices when not in use
  • Trafera Gold Warranty

 

Tell Trafera how you would use your new devices to transform teaching and learning at your school to enter! 

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Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Tim Peters
Account Manager
651-209-1098
tim.peters@trafera.com

Learn More About Trafera

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

408

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

1,387

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

20%

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
Sarah.Goncalves@bluum.com

Learn More About Bluum

Browse the Catalog

ITsavvy Announces The Acquisition Of enfoPoint Solutions

ITsavvy is excited to announce they have acquired enfoPoint Solutions in Brentwood, TN. enfoPoint Solutions is a premier provider of advanced infrastructure solutions for mission-critical networks.

ITsavvy has always brought superior value in hardware, software, integration, professional and managed services. This acquisition will deepen and enhance their network infrastructure capabilities and offerings. This acquisition will also provide the following incremental value to their clients:

  • Network infrastructure expertise – our mission is to provide clients with the greatest business value from their network infrastructure investments.
  • Stronger partner engagement and relationships – ITsavvy strengthened its partner expertise with Juniper Networks, Corero, A10 Networks, Pulse Secure, Infoblox, Cradlepoint, and Adtran.
  • A Proof of Concept Lab – enfoPoint has an enterprise and carrier class proof of concept lab, featuring products from their partner ecosystem. They invite both prospects and clients to use the lab either in person or remotely to test, validate and confirm that a specific solution will meet your network needs. Some of their gear is also available to be deployed to your location for testing as well.

ITsavvy and enfoPoint Solutions also share similar values and culture which they are confident will accelerate how they serve and solve for you. Their focus has always been on superior client experiences – turning your goals into outcomes and providing thoughtful, intelligent solutions that maximize your investments and create consistently great experiences for their clients. With the additional capacity, resources, and expertise this investment provides, ITsavvy will be equipped to evolve the value we can deliver for you.

 

 


Make sure to mention you are an ILTPP member when speaking with your Account Manager.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Matthew Butler
Client Executive Public Sector
630-396-6307
mbutler@itsavvy.com

Learn More About ITsavvy

Effective School-to-Home Communications: Perspectives from Chief Technology Officers

The pandemic has shifted chief technology officers’ roles and job responsibilities — taking them from a traditionally behind-the-scenes role to putting them front and center with staff, families, and the greater community. Now, chief technology officers are playing a critical role in ensuring school-to-home communications are effective — in many cases, working collaboratively with public information officers and other administrators to identify the best tools and techniques to reach all stakeholders. Here are tips and tricks we’ve gleaned from our conversations with CTOs for more engaging, effective, and equitable communications — from the district level to the classroom and home.

1. Go the Extra Mile to Ensure School-to-Home Communications Are Equitable

School closures, adapted learning scenarios, language barriers, unstable housing situations, and more have presented a slew of challenges to parents and guardians — making it more difficult than ever for districts to connect with families. Districts have to find new ways to reach families in order to bridge the equity gap as best they can. Here are a few tips from other technology leaders on ways you can ensure equitable school-home communications:

Track and improve parent contactability. Do you have a platform in place that measures who you are and are not reaching through your daily, weekly, or monthly school-to-home communications? If you do, do you quickly review and fix contact details for any failed texts or emails? If you don’t, then it may be time to evaluate your current communications tools and strategy to ensure you’re reaching 100% of families (or close to it).

Go beyond digital communications. Does your district need boots on the ground to physically visit with families who are not engaging with your communications? Is there one form of communication that families prefer over others? Don’t discount the fact that some students may be under the care of grandparents who may not be technologically savvy. Do you need to print and post paper flyers at school sites or send them home with students? These are important questions to consider when parents and guardians are not engaging with your school-home communications.

Address language barriers. Do you have instant translation tools, bilingual staff on hand, and interpreters for the languages your staff doesn’t speak? Some districts leverage Family Engagement Units to physically visit with or call disengaged parents and guardians in their home language. For districts with English Language Learner (ELL) communities, it’s essential to have a system in place to quickly and easily overcome any language barriers to promote equity among students and families.

2. Striking the Balance Between “Too Much” and “Not Enough”

Almost every district has difficulty finding a good balance between over-communicating and not communicating enough with parents and guardians. The CTOs we spoke to explained that having a unified communications platform such as ParentSquare makes communications more manageable for families. Here are some of the reasons why:

Streamlined communications. A unified platform removes the need for parents to manage a confusing network of things like different district emails, social media channels, classroom apps, payment systems, and survey platforms.

Customizable notification settings. ParentSquare allows parents to personalize how and when they receive notifications (text, email, and/or push notifications). This ensures parents are communicated within the way that best works for them, helping to eliminate frustration and message fatigue.

Dashboards with analytics. Administrators can gauge what’s working and what’s not working, allowing schools to continually adapt their communications, so they reach the most parents and guardians possible.

3. Ensure Staff Communications Maintain Student Privacy

No matter what your current learning scenario is, there’s always a need to ensure network security and student privacy. Tech tools used within any school community should fully comply with student privacy laws. Here are three things to consider when it comes to safeguarding student information:

Communications must be secure. That means staff should not share their personal cell phone numbers for student-related communications or message students’ or parents’ personal cell phones. Free classroom apps can be problematic, as they may expose personal contact details and can allow non-authorized parents or guardians access to student information. Most free apps also do not have administrative oversight or a way to access a paper trail of communications — making FOIA and other requests nearly impossible to manage.

Simplify management of sign-on and users. People with old credentials can jeopardize student information security, and no district wants to deal with the fallout. Make sure you don’t leave people with access to information when they don’t need it anymore. Single sign-on (SSO) is an important piece of managing that process, so CTOs and other administrators have fewer places to go to manage users when they leave the district.

Implement a communications platform that protects both students and teachers: The CTOs all appreciated StudentSquare, the safe and secure platform for all student communications at school, which protects both students and teachers with administrative oversight and an electronic paper trail (with access for up to five years). Teachers also appreciate this capability as an added layer of security if any questions arise concerning student-teacher communication. In fact, ParentSquare’s security features are so powerful that many schools require coaches and staff to use StudentSquare in order to protect all parties.

Note: StudentSquare is the student version of ParentSquare, designed so that high school and middle school students can easily communicate and engage with their teachers.

4. Have the Right Tools in Place to Handle COVID-19 Communications & Workflows

Keeping school communities healthy is one of the most important things on everyone’s minds right now. The CTOs touched on specific communications needs their districts had that stemmed from the pandemic such as the need to:

Be prepared and have the right communications in place to address exposures. From a legal perspective, districts have to make sure the right people are notified in the case of on-campus COVID-19 exposures. There is also a huge need for the capability to carry out daily health screenings and to quickly communicate home to parents and guardians when exposures happen. Does your district have the right tools in place to monitor exposures and quickly communicate with staff, students, and families? If not or if you could be doing a better job, here are five critical questions you should ask yourself when evaluating health screening solutions.

Use targeted messaging. When an exposure happens, everyone who was exposed may need to be contacted. Using a unified communications platform like ParentSquare allows for targeted messaging to groups or anyone who has been in contact with a COVID-19 positive person while at school.

5. Be Strategic When You Roll Out New Technology

There is a right way and a wrong way to roll out new technology. Whether it’s to families, students, or staff, you have to be strategic in how you introduce new platforms and products. Here are some considerations:

Don’t mandate adoption. Instead, offer new technology to staff and educators, stressing the benefits they’ll receive. Once the innovators and early adopters begin using a new tool and discover that they love it, they’ll naturally promote it to their colleagues — not because they had to, but because they wanted to.

Offer training and support. Staff will have more success with the uptake of a new tool if you offer training and make yourself available to answer questions. Another alternative is to “train the trainer” and leverage your champion users to train others on how to use new tools.

Have some fun. Show staff how fun it can be to use new technology like ParentSquare. With capabilities like posts, social sharing, newsletters, attendance, Community Groups, and more, staff will quickly see the amazing benefits of using a unified communications platform.

Change management, especially when it involves adopting new technology, can be difficult for a lot of people. Beyond that, the additional challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic have given educators enough to manage. It’s understandable that some may be apprehensive about implementing a new school-home communications tool. However, CTOs can support staff by explaining and demonstrating the many ways that technology like ParentSquare can help make school-to-home communications more engaging, effective, equitable, (and fun).


Make sure to mention you are an ILTPP Member to access our contract pricing.

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Jeremy Tignor 
Senior Region Director
816-400-5712
jeremy@parentsquare.com

Book a Demo – https://meetings.hubspot.com/jeremy-tignor

CDW Completes Acquisition of Sirius Computer Solutions

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CDW Corporation (Nasdaq: CDW) (“CDW” or “Company”), a leading multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to business, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, today announced that it has completed the acquisition of Sirius Computer Solutions, Inc. (“Sirius”), a leading provider of secure, mission-critical technology-based solutions, for $2.5 billion in cash, subject to certain adjustments. The transaction is expected to accelerate and enhance CDW’s services and solutions capabilities in key growth areas, including Hybrid Infrastructure, Security, Digital and Data Innovation, and Cloud and Managed Services, as well as add services scale, further balancing and diversifying CDW’s portfolio mix with enhanced profitability.

“We are excited to officially welcome the talented Sirius team to CDW. Through this transaction, we meaningfully expand and scale our services and solutions capabilities and further enhance our ability to solve customers’ increasing interconnected and complex technology challenges,” said Christine A. Leahy, president and chief executive officer, CDW. “The addition of Sirius strengthens our role as the trusted technology advisor to our customers, with the expertise and portfolio breadth, depth and scale to orchestrate complete customer-centric outcomes across the full technology solutions stack and lifecycle. I am confident in our ability to leverage our common values and collective unparalleled expertise to deliver the best customer and partner experiences and create value for CDW shareholders.”

Sirius President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Mertens said, “CDW and Sirius share common values and a commitment to delivering an outstanding customer experience. Together, we will have the ability to broaden our reach and deliver even more value to our customers, who we expect to benefit substantially from the accelerated services and solutions mix, scale and efficiency of the combined company.”

As previously announced, the transaction is expected to deliver gross margin, non-GAAP operating income (NGOI) margin1, and non-GAAP earnings per diluted share2 accretion. CDW has raised permanent financing for this transaction and has an initial net leverage ratio of approximately 3.3x3. The Company will continue to target deleveraging to approximately 2.5x to 3.0x by the end of 2022 in alignment with its capital allocation priorities.

About CDW

CDW Corporation (Nasdaq: CDW) is a leading multi-brand provider of information technology solutions to business, government, education and healthcare customers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. A Fortune 500 company and member of the S&P 500 Index, CDW was founded in 1984 and employs approximately 11,000 coworkers. For the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2021, CDW generated Net sales of over $20 billion. For more information about CDW, please visit www.CDW.com.

ON DEMAND WEBINAR: How To Achieve SOPPA Compliance With Reasonable Security Practices

The Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA) is an Illinois state data privacy law that regulates student data collection and use by schools, the Illinois State Board of Education, and EdTech vendors.

Starting July 1, 2021, school districts are required to provide additional guarantees that student data is protected when collected by EdTech companies and that the data is used for beneficial purposes only.

You are also required to provide parents with greater control over their children’s data, enact data breach notifications to the public, and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices.

During this free webinar, The Learning Technology Center of Illinois and ManagedMethods teamed up to provide you with best practices for SOPPA compliance.

Now, you can access the webinar recording by filling out this short form!

 


 

Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

David Waugh
Sales and Marketing Vice President
303-415-3643
dwaugh@managedmethods.com

Learn More About ManagedMethods

Microsoft Updates ILTPP Contract to Include Imagine Academy

The Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) is excited to announce recent changes to our ongoing Enrollment for Education Solutions (EES) Microsoft contract. These changes will provide ready-to-use curriculum materials via the robust Microsoft Imagine Academy.

In an effort to provide access to the top-quality technology teaching materials, Microsoft has made Microsoft Imagine Academy FREE to all participants of ILTPP’s EES contract. Imagine Academy’s curricular materials cover a wide range of subjects, including computer and data science to IT infrastructure and productivity.

In the past, Imagine Academy was offered to schools looking to get Level B pricing on their EES contract. Now, if you purchase Microsoft 365 for Education A3 in addition to one unit of Azure Prepayment, you will still receive Level B pricing. Azure Prepayment continues to provide access to the Azure port, which in turn can help you set-up virtual servers, server backups, virtual desktops, and more.

If you are new to Azure and looking for some training, then you can learn more about Azure’s fundamentals and core concepts here. Those looking for education-specific training can also participate in Microsoft’s “Getting Started with Azure for Education” course.

Current Imagine Academy users should expect no changes in terms of logging in and accessing their existing resources. Once a new EES contract is signed, new users will receive a welcome letter with instructions for setting up an account and logging in for the first time. You can find more information on this process and answers to a variety of other program-related questions here.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Microsoft
Justin Libis
Account Executive
701-281-7780
justin.libis@microsoft.com

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

JourneyEd
Christine McConnell
Senior Account Manager
636-349-7058
cmcconnell@journeyed.com

SHI International Corp.
Kyle Thomas
SMSLED Manager
732-564-8526
Kyle_Thomas@shi.com

Learn More About Microsoft

Google Chrome Education Upgrade – Savings with ILTPP

This last year, Google announced that an increase to the Chrome Education Upgrade pricing would be coming. Thankfully, the increase was delayed until March 9, 2021 to help relieve any further constraint on schools and businesses impacted by COVID.

Most school districts buy Chromebooks and additional hardware or software towards the end of the school year. This allows them to deploy them over the summer break. Schools typically do not budget for a price increase, such as this, during the early months of the calendar year. However, the Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) can help by providing pre-negotiated discounts with Google partners.

What’s Changing?

Chrome Education Upgrade pricing of $30 will be increasing to $38 per device license. While ILTPP members were already saving considerably on these licenses, this also means contract pricing will rise.

The $8 price increase is due to extending the Auto Update Expiration (AUE) policy from 6.5 years to 8 years. This allows Google to have many more features such as enhanced management capabilities, improved OS management, and tighter access restriction settings. There will also be additional rollouts of new productivity and collaboration updates being made in the near future.

If your school or district would like to purchase Chrome Education Upgrade licensing for the next school year, contact an ILTPP partner before March. Explore these partner agreements and mention ILTPP to ensure the lowest pricing available.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

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

Learn More About CDW•G

Howard Technology Solutions
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

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

Learn More About SHI

Learn More About Googe for Education

ITsavvy Expands Contract, Providing Discounts on Full Offerings

ITsavvy and the Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) have partnered to upgrade the ILTPP contract to now provide members full offerings under the agreement. This includes Chromebooks, computers, laptops, internet services, printers, security camera systems, software, and more!

ITsavvy built its reputation as a value-added reseller with industry-leading product availability, project management, client support and logistics. The company was co-founded as B2B Computer Products in 2004 by Mike Theriault, now the CEO and President, and Chris Kurpeikis, now the Executive Vice President. In 2012 they rebranded the company as ITsavvy to reflect our growing expertise in Security Solutions, Engineered Solutions, Cloud Solutions, Managed Services, and Unified Communications.

In 2014 ITsavvy made a significant investment in IT products operation with the launch of an e-commerce site that streamlines the purchasing process. ITsavvy can ship from 46 warehouses across the continental US, with 99% of all orders being processed and shipped same day. The company offers a full range of products (over $8 billion in daily inventory) with over 1,000 brand names. In the past three years, they have made key acquisitions that have significantly enhanced engineering capabilities and industry leadership in security, cloud solutions, data center management, IT lifecycle management, help desk, managed network, managed print and unified communications. In 2015, ITsavvy expanded their Tier-3 Illinois and New Jersey data centers along with the New York Managed NOC center for state-of-the-art data security and network management.


Contact your dedicated Account Manager:

Matthew Butler
Client Executive Public Sector
630-396-6307
mbutler@itsavvy.com

Learn More About ITsavvy

ILTPP’s Webcam Shortage Solutions

The Illinois Learning Technology Purchase Program (ILTPP) has received notices of limited quantity and price increases on webcams. This is an industry-wide supply issue and is not limited to ILTPP vendor partners. For more information on availability, please contact your vendor-specific dedicated account managers or view more below.

The Good News!

We have been in contact with our vendor partners and have compiled a list of webcams and discounts currently available. Login or become a member to view the list: