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Lessons in UC From the Classroom

Unified Communications (UC) tools are moving out of the board room and into the realm of higher education. In a great post on the UC Strategies blog, Blair Pleasant discusses a variety of areas that universities could use UC to streamline communications between faculty, staff, students, and others.

All UC vendors today are trying to find ways to differentiate themselves from one another and to stand out from the crowd. I generally recommend that they focus on professional services and/or applications, especially vertical applications. One vendor that has been successfully building UC applications and solutions based on its vertical expertise is NEC, which is working with its partners to understand the business challenges and business processes in the areas of health care, hospitality, higher education, and government.

For the full text of the blog post, click here.

For more information about UC products and services from AVI-SPL, click here.

Year-round Creative Ideas for Your Awards Maker by VariQuest™

The Awards Maker can be utilized for more than the Awards Ceremonies. Here are some ideas on how to utilize it year round! Use it to fundraise, create incentives, highlight specific programs, or educate.

Fundraising

Create stickers to sell during Valentine’s Day rather than sell carnations. There are several great templates in the Design Center software you could use to sell these unique valentines.

Awards Maker Ideas

Sell stickers to support different clubs in your school. Whether it is the chess club, drama club or even a sport, you can create small stickers that students can stick to mugs or notebooks. You could also use the bumper sticker templates for a bigger sticker with a larger profit.

For spirit week, sell graduation year stickers and use this as a way to see who has the most spirit – the more stickers sold equals a winner! High Schools students will enjoy the creations you make on the clear sticker because they can stick these onto the windshields of their cars.

If sporting events cause trouble with parking, why not make a few bucks off of it? Sell VIP parking passes that you can create using the Awards Maker. Let these folks park in the spots closest to the stadium.

Get your Marketing classes involved on the fundraising and ask them to contact local businesses. Sell water bottles, notebooks, or pencils with special labels during sporting events or during lunch periods. The sticker may even include a coupon, so student can take the water bottle or sticker to the business for a special discount.

Create Incentives

Highlight student achievements in the Accelerated Reader program by giving them a bookmark for each new level they reach in the program. Simply print one of the ribbon stickers and stick to manila card stock to create a sturdy, useful award to keep them reading!

p>Motivate students to hand in assignments in a timely manner by creating simple, quick stickers that say something like “way to go”. These stickers can be personalized with their name to make them special.

When a student consistently makes improvements in their grades, why wait to give them an award at the awards ceremony? Create a plaque or bumper sticker to show them you see their efforts and are proud of what they’ve accomplished.

Use the Awards Maker to create stickers that show a student their improvements. Maybe you’re working on learning a complicated concept. Give them an award for after mastering each portion of the concept. By the end of the unit, they will have all collected a complete set of these incentives.

Highlight Specific Programs

If you are working on character education year round, pass out stickers to students who embody the concept you are teaching. For example, you notice one of your students is willing to share supplies with another classmate. Showcase that student’s positive behavior with a small sticker with her name and what she embodies.

Awards Maker Ideas<

Start a “Random Acts of Kindness” program at your school and reward students with a sticker when you see them exhibit kindness to classmates. This small incentive will help them to understand how their behavior has made a positive impact within the school.

If your school has a Head Start program, create bumper stickers to help the program grow. The more exposure the program has in the community, the better your chances are of enrolling additional students.

Create plaques or window stickers for teachers who are working towards or earned their National Certification. This allows parents and visitors to see how many teachers you have that are dedicated to their own growth as educators.

Educate

The bumper sticker templates can help teachers create word walls in their classrooms. All the colored sticker media has a temporary adhesive making them easy to peel off of the wall after use. Because the stickers are not made of paper, they shouldn’t apply to the percentage of wall space covered by paper rule the Fire Department enforces.

Awards Maker Ideas

You can also create stickers the students can utilize while they are learning new concepts like math formulas or grammar rules. The more they see the rules and concepts, the more likely they are to remember them. If it’s posted on their notebook, they’ll see and use them every day!

Create puzzles by creating stickers with vocabulary words and definitions on separate stickers. Press the stickers to a card stock to make them sturdy and use them like flash cards. Have the students match the words to their definitions for a group project that is fun and educational.

As you can see, there are several great applications that you can utilize your Awards Maker for in addition to the twice yearly Awards ceremony. With the quick print times, you can get in and out of the workroom with great incentives that will wow your students with little effort on your part!

To view Varitronics® full-line of visual learning products, click here.

SMART Ideas™ Software Enhances Visual Learning

SMART Ideas softwareSMART Ideas software brings the power of visual learning to your classroom. Students can better analyze and understand complex ideas by building multilevel interactive maps in this fun, colorful software. These exciting presentations take students through concepts one level at a time for greater clarity, with the maps easily converting into multipage Web sites for everyone to share.

SMART Ideas software

With the software’s easy navigation features, you can easily view maps in various formats to help students learn from multiple perspectives. The convenience of the global view feature allows you to show all the map levels at once, while the presentation view option removes toolbars for a large, clear display.

You can also swiftly switch between the diagram view and the text outline view to demonstrate the connection between visual and written ideas. SMART Ideas also allows you to enhance maps with curriculum-specific and interactive clip art to aid learning and make lessons interesting, effortlessly adding multimedia content and links. Click here for product brochure »

Receive a complimentary SMART Ideas software license from SMART Technologies by registering your SMART Board Interactive Whiteboard on SMART’s Web site. Just include your email address with your product registration, and a SMART Ideas software license will be emailed to you.

Epson’s All-in-One Presenter Designed with Educators in Mind

Looking for an all-in-one solution that combines the high-quality and functionality of a DVD and projector into one system? Look no further than PowerLite PresenterEpson’s PowerLite Presenter! This innovative resource is fully equipped with a three-LCD imaging engine, 200 watt bulb and two built-in 10 W speakers and virtual surround sound. Take advantage, as the Presenter is available at a budget-friendly price through Epson’s Brighter Futures buying program.

Although bigger than the typical classroom projector, the Presenter also offers more options for versatility in educational applications. This includes larger-than-life images at a native WXGA resolution (16:10), perfectly suited for widescreen computers. At 2500 lumens of color and white light output and an auto color mode that instantly adjusts to any environment, the Presenter is bright enough to accommodate any setting!

Click here to view Epson’s PowerLite Presenter specs »

SMART Table Helps Increase Collaborative Learning

“It’s really cool,” says one shy youngster, a pre-schooler at the exclusive Baldwin Academy in Pacific Beach. “It’s a lot of fun,” adds another, breaking into a smile. When Baldwin became selected as the only pilot school for the SMART Table in Southern California, these precocious learners immediately demonstrated the rewards. AVI-SPL’s Education Market Manager, Maggie McGill, was instrumental in helping to make a difference.

“The best benefit of the SMART Table is its ability to promote collaborative learning, with room for up to eight students to interact,” says McGill. With a format similar to that of an iPhone, the SMART Table is the first multitouch, multiuser interactive learning center that allows groups of primary school students to work simultaneously on its surface. From math to social studies to art, the SMART Table allows the youngest of learners to take a fun, hands-on approach to their activities. Best of all, it helps teachers create new and unique collaborative learning activities with minimal preparation time.

“For me to be able to work with their pre-K teacher and get her true feedback has been phenomenal,” adds McGill. “Both she and the kids absolutely love it.”

The SMART Table has currently been on loan to Baldwin since August; they hope to purchase the technology in the near future.

Click here to view the news story on Baldwin Academy »

To view the SMART Table specs, click here »