Category AV in Education

Websites for a Digital Makeover

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I had the privilege of seeing Cheryl Conley’s sessions on the 21st Century Teacher at FETC in Orlando a few weeks ago.  Cheryl is a former Florida Teacher of the Year, and I can see why. She was so engaging and enthusiastic!  Cheryl shared examples of technology-integrated lessons that she has used with her 4th graders that really bring learning to life. The following are a few examples of websites that Cheryl shared to help teachers start or continue their Digital Makeover.— This website organizes iPad apps by subject and grade level, allowing you to search for curriculum-related learning apps.  Appitic is a collection of more than 1300 apps organized by Apple Distinguished Educators.  If you have iPod carts or access to even one iPad that you can use in your classroom, this site would be a great way to start organizing your content.  — Edudemic is an excellent resource for all things education technology related that teachers can really use. This website will bring teachers up to speed with resources such as: “The 20 Best Apps for Special Education” and “5 Apps for Organizing School Work.”  If you just don’t know where to start when it comes to integrating technology into your teaching practice, Edudemic is a great starting point. — Create speaking avatars and use them as an effective teaching and learning tool. Voki is a free service and also has a database of lesson plans, tutorials on how and why to use avatars in the classroom,  a teachers corner, a “Voki” classroom to create a manage students account, and much more. I visualize this as a opportunity for your students to have ownership over a project by managing a “Voki” project for your classroom. There is so much out there for teachers to learn, let’s flip the classroom and allow the students to teach us a thing or two!  — Textbook companies such as McGraw Hill are making the transition from paper and pencil to digital through a variety of resources, such as this website that features mobile apps for learning. If your school has invested in iPod carts, this would also be an excellent resource.

In this information age there is so much out there that it is difficult to know where to start when it comes to using technology for student achievement.  Choose one really helpful website as a reference point that includes resources you can blend with your existing technology tools.  Have your students be active participants in project-based learning that incorporates your favorite websites or apps. I hope the above sites peak your interest and give you a few creative ideas!

Learning in 3D

3D technology has come a long way since the days of those cardboard specs moviegoers wore to cinemas in the 1950s . Today we’ve been witnessing the rise of 3D from a novelty to a staple of movie theaters and home entertainment.

Only recently has this technology moved into our classrooms.   The number of brand manufacturers of 3D projectors has increased significantly, making the technology more available to K-12 classrooms.  Although not yet widely used, there are a few pioneering school districts implementing 3D.  I was curious to find out if 3D in the classroom improves learning gains and what educators have to say about it.

Boulder Valley School District in Colorado has integrated 3D in four of its schools. From an article in THE Journal, Nov/Dec 2011 issue, titled: “Taking Learning to a New Dimension,” thoughts on the effects of 3D in STEM education come from science teacher Kristin Donley, who says , “I teach mostly biology and chemistry, and a lot of that information is hard to visualize, so 3D really helped them see in much more detail what I was trying to teach them.”  She goes on to say, “As they would do an essay question about molecular processes, for example, they were able to recall details much better from a 3D versus a 2D and were able to put those details in an essay.”  

3D seems to go beyond the “wow” factor and encourages a deeper level of thought processes. Donley’s students, for example were able to demonstrate a higher level of understanding, and the use of higher order thinking skills. Anecdotal evidence points to what could be called the “Toddler Effect.”  Have you ever seen a very young child deeply immersed in play?  Students are deeply engaged in a 3D lesson as they want to know more about what they are seeing, which leads to much deeper understanding. 

Sounds like some of the early adopters of 3D are seeing tremendous benefits for their students.  I can’t wait to see more classrooms coming alive in 3D!

AVI-SPL Features Top Education Solutions for K-12 at FETC, Jan. 24-26

Are you looking for budget-friendly solutions that meet your curriculum objectives, as well as excite your students’ motivation to learn?

Visit AVI-SPL at FETC 2012, Jan. 24-26 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. We’ll be at booth #1407, offering professional development information and more!

Audiovisual technology offers a wealth of flexible possibilities to meet these dynamic needs, appealing to both auditory and tactile learners. In a range of advanced technologies, the simplicity of video remains a perfect medium for educators and students alike.

From innovative interactive whiteboards to the latest trends in 3-D projection technologies, discover engaging solutions that bring the ultimate level of excitement and education to your classroom. As we focus on empowering educators through technology, please be sure to stop by our booth at FETC and speak with our Education reps!




Presentation Schedule

Feel free to click here for our presentation schedule at FETC, Jan. 24-26. Our booth will include sessions on the SMART Response system, 3-D technology and interactive whiteboards, professional development for tech integration, prizes and so much more!

Professional Development

While at FETC, our sessions will feature:

RM Easiteach Next Generation: This is a complete whole-class teaching and learning software application which puts you in the driving seat for creating and delivering engaging lessons and resources.

The tools are rich and powerful, but also easy to use, removing barriers and allowing you to make the most of your classroom hardware tools – compatible with any interactive whiteboard and a range of classpads, voting systems and multi-touch tables.

Click here for a video overview of the Easiteach!

RM Dance to Advance: A fun and easy-to-use dance mat activity software for math, ELA, science and social studies.  Using visual, kinesthetic, and auditory stimuli, RM Dance to Advance is an ideal way to challenge and test students’ knowledge.

The captivating game format features 1 or 2 player capability and allows for single, dual (stepping on 2 answers at once) or sequential (A then B then C) responses.  RM Dance to Advance allows students to personalize their learning experience by selecting from a range of characters, music and background scenes.  Even the most reluctant learner will want to join in the fun!

RM ePad: The RM ePad gives you the freedom to teach and engage your students from anywhere in the classroom. Create and deliver engaging lessons with all the interactivity of a whiteboard from the palm of your hand.

The RM ePad includes RM Easiteach, the award-winning dynamic software tool for engaging and stimulating whole-class teaching. Click here for a video overview of this exciting product!

RM Tuff-Cam: The RM Tuff-Cam is an ultra-simple 3.1 mega-pixel digital movie/still camera designed particularly for children.  This innovative product features rugged rubber casing and a child-friendly grip that makes it perfect for classroom and field-trip use. 

The 4cm LCD screen facilitates video and audio recording and playback.  Children are able to adjust video resolution and zoom through intuitive and easily accessible buttons.  In addition, the camera includes 64MB of internal memory which can be expanded via the SD card slot. 

A docking station allows for easy connection to any PC or Mac (please note, the RM Tuff-Cam is not compatible with Windows 7).  

Come Meet AVI-SPL’s Education Team

These are just a few innovations you’ll see while visiting us at FETC. With a strong dedication towards not only meeting — but exceeding – client expectations, AVI-SPL’s highly trained, highly certified Education team defines the standards for the dynamic design, build and installation of cutting-edge presentation solutions.

You can depend on AVI-SPL to provide:

 • Customized presentation and communication solutions for your classroom

• Comprehensive training

• 24/7/365 support, both on-site and off-site 

While at FETC, please be sure to visit AVI-SPL at Booth #1407 to learn more about using video technology solutions in your classroom. You can also contact AVI-SPL by calling (866) 559-8197 or visiting

Can Technology Combat Teacher Burnout?

We often think of teaching as a lifelong profession, with educators taking up post in a classroom and staying there for 30 years. But did you know that the teaching profession has the highest burnout rate of all public service careers?

An article in the November/December issue of THE Journal, titled “Combating Teacher Burnout,” reveals that the average new teacher tenure is three to five years, and that Gen-Y teachers (those under 30) account for one fifth of the workforce. Education policies and practices focus on student achievement and learning gains, while studies show that teacher turnover costs districts approximately 7 billion dollars a year.

The article also notes a study by the American Federation of Teachers and the American Institutes for Research, which found what teachers want most: time to collaborate, differentiated pay for high performance, and technology not only to provide engaging lessons, but for peer collaboration, such as video conferencing.

Education technology also provides teachers a method to quantify learning gains, give feedback to parents and administrators, and improve communication. Teachers who feel that they have, and are, making a difference in the lives of their students, often stay for just that reason. The intrinsic value of knowing your choice of career has changed lives can offset some of the profession’s stressors.

That being said, wouldn’t it be great if we all could take two minutes to remember a teacher who really did make a difference in our lives? Sometimes we relate a story to a friend about school and a particular teacher or coach, but it never gets back to the subject.  I’ll bet you could find some of your teachers on Facebook (or your children’s teachers) who you know made a difference, and thank them personally and wish them a happy holiday season.  That’s another way technology can help combat teacher burnout!

University Enhances Classroom With Cisco TelePresence

Cisco TelePresence 3210Through Cisco TelePresence, the American University in Dubai is bringing a world of education to its students.  The Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication has deployed the Cisco TelePresence 3210 system into its Global Classroom, connecting it with education networks around the world.

One of those networks inlcudes the U.S.-based National Lambda Rail, a networking consortium.

Through this deployment, students at AUD will be able to participate in lifelike, interactive lectures from around the world.

AVI-SPL is the global leader in designing and deploying audio visual solutions for businesses and educational institutions. If you are considering adding distance learning technologies to your classroom, contact us at 1-800-282-6733 or email us at Learn more about the Cisco TelePresence 3000 series at AVI-SPL.