Clear Touch Team

Using Enneagram, Myers Briggs, DISC: Personality Tests in the Workplace

Businesses and organizations today have countless tools available to help them in hiring, training, and managing their employees. One of the most popular tools is the personality test. These tests can be extremely useful in helping leaders and managers understand how their employees think and act and how to keep them motivated in the workplace.

What is a personality test

A personality test is a standardized set of questions or scenarios presented to a person to help determine various aspects of that person’s personality and emotional status. The results of a personality test are generally collated into a persona or personality type that informs you about a person’s general traits, emotions, likes, and dislikes.

Should you use personality tests in the workplace

A lot of businesses and organizations have gleaned value from using personality tests. The core value is these tests can help you better understand a person and what makes them tick, which is extremely useful for employers and employees alike. However, there can also be cons to using personality tests in the workplace, and each organization should carefully consider both the pros and cons.

Pros of personality tests:

  1. Personality tests help recruiters determine in the hiring process if a candidate has the right personality type for a particular position (for example, a more extroverted personality type may be desired for a person in sales). 
  2. Managers can use personality tests to better understand their current employees and what motivates them in the day-to-day.
  3. These tests can also provide a quantifiable benchmark for comparing candidates and employees for hire or promotion.
  4. Personality tests can help employees understand themselves and others better, which is always a win-win. 

Cons of personality tests:

  1. Personality types do not necessarily inform you about a person’s job performance.
  2. These tests can be expensive (both from a dollar and time standpoint).
  3. Personality tests can be manipulated by the test taker.

Comparison of different personality tests

There are dozens of different personality tests on the market today. We have chosen four popular ones (Myers-Briggs, DiSC, Enneagram, and 16 Personalities) to compare for this particular article, though you may want to explore other available options as well. 

What is the Myers Briggs personality test

The Myers-Briggs personality test is a very popular test introduced in the 1940s and measures personalities using four characteristics: sensation, intuition, feeling and thinking. The results are one of the 16 personality types that describe a person’s nature. Each personality type is represented by 4 letters (e.g. INFJ). There are 93 questions in the North American Myers-Briggs test, and it takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. 

What is the DiSC personality test

The DiSC personality test was developed by Walter Clark in 1940 and measures personalities based on four types: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. This is also a very popular personality test and was specifically designed for use within businesses and organizations to help understand people’s preferences. This test has approximately 90 questions and takes 30 minutes to complete. 

What is the Enneagram personality test

The Enneagram personality test dissects a person’s motivations and character structure to measure them as one of nine personality types characterized by their primary motivator. These nine personality types are further segmented into three groups of three shared trait types: mind, heart, and head. There are two versions of the test (a short and a long), which range from approximately 36 questions on the short version and up to nearly 150 questions on the long version.

What is the 16 Personalities personality test

The 16 Personalities test combines elements of the Myers-Briggs personality types with trait- and type-based models to measure people as one of the 16 personality types. Available online, this is a popular personality test that is free and takes only 12 minutes to complete. 

Choosing the best personality test for your workplace

Businesses have numerous options for personality tests for the workplace, including the Myers-Briggs, DiSC, Enneagram, or 16 Personalities tests. Each test has its own strengths and weaknesses, but generally speaking here is the particular focus of each test to help you navigate to the correct one for your particular use case. 

  • Myers-Briggs focuses on understanding who you are by nature (for example, who you are as a person at home). It also costs $15-40 depending on the type of test. 
  • DiSC focuses on understanding in-depth who you are by nature and your adapted behavior (for example, to help understand how you would manage stress). It costs $24-100 generally. 
  • Enneagram focuses more on who are as a nurtured individual (for example, what you fear and desire in the day-to-day). It costs $12-24. 
  • 16 Personalities focuses on giving you a popular-level understanding of your nature and trait type. It is free online at 16personalities.com.

Using personality tests for team building

If you’re a manager or leader, you can help set the tone for a positive workplace culture simply by improving everyone’s understanding of each other. Personality tests are a key tool for accomplishing this. 

The first step is to better understand yourself and how you best interact with other people. Then, it extends to your teams as you all seek to understand each other. You can then use personality tests to create tailored learning and mentoring programs for your employees to help keep them motivated and engaged in the workplace. Strategically used, personality tests can help your business or organization achieve a more harmonious and effective workplace culture.

How to Use Technology for Emergency Preparedness in Schools

There is no weightier responsibility for school administrators than ensuring the safety of students and teachers, and today it’s more important than ever to adequately prepare for emergency situations. 

Here is a brief introduction to the topic of emergency preparedness and some of the solutions available to schools today. Being prepared for emergencies goes far beyond a single article or individual point of view, and schools are advised to seek expert counsel to ensure that they are adequately prepared for emergencies.

What is Emergency Preparedness in Schools

The Department of Homeland Security defines emergency preparedness as the “continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action in an effort to ensure effective coordination during incident response.” While not specifically referring to schools, this definition is an excellent one that fully encompasses all of the critical aspects required in school emergency preparedness. 

What Should Emergency Preparations Include? 

Emergencies take many forms and can range in severity from snow storms to natural disasters to an active shooter event to a lockdown event happening on or around school property. No matter the situation, the key takeaway for schools is to create a detailed response plan for what to do in any incident. 

Each state or district may prescribe different formats for emergency preparedness, but generally speaking emergency preparedness involves four main elements:

  1. Creating an emergency response plan for a wide variety of events that is reviewed and updated regularly.
  2. Forming an emergency response team that is specially trained to step up and take charge in the event of an emergency. 
  3. Developing a communications plan to quickly notify teachers, students, and parents of an emergency and pass along relevant instructions for how to respond. 
  4. Rehearsing responses to emergency situations to build awareness and understanding of the correct response and identify gaps and areas of improvement in your preparation. 

Why are Emergency Plans so Important?

When high-pressure or unexpected events occur, the quickness and effectiveness of our responses can suffer dramatically due to shock or a sense of uncertainty. The huge advantage of an emergency preparedness plan is that it forces schools to confront the wide variety of events and incidents that they may experience and create a thoughtful step-by-step plan for the ideal response to each. By knowing exactly what to do, you can improve the overall quality of your school’s response to any incident.

A parallel example of this type of training is the safety briefing that takes place at the beginning of a flight. While you hope to never have to use this knowledge (likewise in a school situation), you are inherently better-prepared by knowing that the seat cushions function as floatation devices, that you should put your air mask on before helping others, and that the floor has lighting guiding you to the exits. School planning is just that: arming you with the knowledge to respond correctly to an unexpected event. 

How Often Should Schools Do School Emergency Drills?

Your school district or state may recommend different frequencies of conducting safety, fire, or lock-down drills, but generally it is best to hold various drills at least once every six months. However, some organizations are now making the move to more frequent drill schedules, such as once every three months. The key is to foster a culture of emergency preparedness that keeps safety top of mind. 

Tips for Preparing Your School for an Emergency

The very first step to improving your school’s readiness for an emergency is to recognize the importance of preparation. Administrators can channel this passion for school safety into clear, actionable steps, such as: 

  • Contracting with specialists to evaluate your school’s readiness
  • Creating a clear and actional readiness plan 
  • Regularly reviewing your preparations with administration and faculty
  • Fostering a culture of safety and readiness with regular drills 
  • Collaborating with other schools and districts to share knowledge and ideas
  • Upgrading your school technology and response tools 

How Technology Can Be Used in School Emergency Preparations? 

Improving safety in schools is a hot topic today, and technology can be a school’s number one ally in early notification and response to an incident. As technology usage continues to skyrocket in the classroom, so does the need to be able to leverage these devices as early warning systems and communication channels. 

Here are just a few technologies schools are using today and how they are using them:

  • Cameras – One of the most basic technologies in use today are camera systems. Properly implemented and monitored, cameras can give school security and administrators an advanced warning of any potential emergency. 
  • Metal detectors and other detectors – Some schools are implementing metal detectors to prevent weapons from being brought into schools, and there are a large number of companies and individuals exploring gun detector technology that can detect whether a gun is anywhere in a particular camera frame. 
  • Emergency notification systems and intercoms – Many schools today have an emergency notification system that allows school officials to send emergency notifications via text, computer push notifications, emails, phone calls, and more across the entire school. 
  • Card-access locks – Entrances and exits are now easily securable via card-access sensors that ensure only authorized individuals are able to enter or exit a building or room, and many schools are taking advantage of this technology.  

Additional Emergency Preparedness Resources for Schools

The great news is that your school is not alone when it comes to emergency preparedness and there is a plethora of resources at your fingertips. Here are just a few resources for in-depth exploration on this topic:

  • Emergency Preparedness for Schools: This article from AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org provides detailed lists and readiness plans for a wide range of emergencies that schools may face. 
  • DHS Campus Resilience Program: DHS offers a variety of resources for schools to work together with DHS on a variety of issues facing campuses all across the country today. 
  • Can Technology Make Schools Safer: There are a lot of questions around technology in schools, ranging from whether cell phones should be allowed in schools to how to use technology to our advantage for incident response. This resource provides some helpful insights into many of these questions. 
  • School Disaster Preparedness: The Red Cross has an excellent program for schools to prepare their communities for disasters. They also offer a Ready Rating Program for schools to quantify their preparedness. 

How Clear Touch Interactive is Helping Schools Prepare for Emergencies

Our technologies are not only helping educators and students excel at teaching and learning, but they are also part of many schools’ emergency preparedness plans. Clear Touch Command™ is one example of our company’s commitment to providing great technology solutions that can be part of a holistic vision for our educational institutions. This technology can play a critical role in your emergency preparedness plan by allowing you to rapidly deploy notifications to all of your interactive touchscreen panels. 

Together, we can build safer schools and school cultures where students, faculty, administrators, and parents can all have confidence that the utmost preparations have been taken to ensure the safety of everyone. For more information on how our technology can function within your schools’ emergency readiness preparations, please contact our solution experts.

Clear Touch Wins Multiple Tech & Learning “Best of Show” Awards at TCEA

Clear Touch® educational software recognized at the Texas Computer Education Association Conference

Greenville, SC – Clear Touch®, a leading provider of multi-touch interactive flat panels and software for education and business, and a reseller of Clear Digital™ products, recently announced two of their educational software products were honored with Tech & Learning’s TCEA Best of Show 2020 awards.

According to Tech & Learning, Best of Show winners were selected by an anonymous panel of judges. The group consisted of educators who rated individual products on a sliding scale that evaluates product characteristics such as quality and effectiveness, ease of use, cost, and creative use of technology. 

“We enjoy coming to TCEA and hearing feedback from administrators, teachers, and IT professionals as it relates to their experiences in the classroom,” said Keone Trask, President of Clear Touch. “We are honored to provide services to the educational community, and we strive to continually provide innovative edtech hardware and software solutions.”

The two award-winning software products come bundled with Clear Touch interactive panels:

  • Clear Touch Command™: The software provides a cloud-based control system for all Clear Touch panels on a shared network. Command also acts as a digital decoder on each panel, supports emergency messaging features, and allows administrators to set power-saving modes on all panels.
  • Clear Touch Collage™: Bundled with Clear Touch panels, this software enables wireless casting to the panels from many of the most popular educational devices, including Chromebooks. 

“Congratulations to the winners of the Best of TCEA contest,” says Tech & Learning Group Publisher, Christine Weiser, on the announcement of the winners. “Our judges evaluated each product for its uniqueness in the market and the ability to solve problems in classrooms and schools. There were a variety of solutions nominated for the award, and our judges were impressed with the standout features.” 

Clear Touch will be recognized in Tech & Learning Magazine’s March 2020 issue. Clear Touch is attending TCEA through February 2-7 in Austin, TX, at booth #2433.

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ABOUT CLEAR TOUCH

Founded in 2012, Clear Touch is a forward-thinking technology provider named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies two years in a row and recognized as one of South Carolina’s 25 Fastest Growing Companies. U.S. owned and operated, Clear Touch is also a winner of multiple Tech & Learning Best of Show awards for its innovative products. The company’s commitment to its customers, the reliability of its products, and its industry-leading innovation have paved the way for consistent growth. Clear Touch develops products for education, business, and government, including multi-touch interactive panels, software suites, and accessories. Clear Touch is also a reseller of Clear Digital™ products, including LED video walls, interactive podiums, and mobile display signage.

Galena Park Independent School District—Texas School District Relies on Clear Touch for Innovation and Implementation

Fostering Authentic Community Through Collaboration

Pioneering school district strives to create interactive educational environments that engage students today and prepare them for a productive future.

After attending the 2017 conference that promoted the educational benefits of touch technology, Darlene Lovinggood, Galena Park ISD’s Executive Director of Technology, decided the district should begin investigating the possibility of incorporating interactive touch-screen panels in its classrooms. But rather than making an impulsive decision on which technology the district would use, she took a far more thorough approach.

seven different companies to demonstrate their panels for a select group of teachers, administrators, librarians, curriculum specialists, and technology staff. When the presentations were finished, Lovinggood surveyed the group to find out which panels they liked best. Based on the feedback received, she narrowed the choices down to three potential panels. However, after visiting the Clear Touch® booth at the annual Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) conference, Darlene was so impressed with their representatives and product line that she invited the company to participate in the interview process. According to Michelle Young, Coordinator of Instructional Technology, the initial group survey results indicated that the primary considerations for choosing the district’s interactive panels were ease-of-use, connectivity to other devices, and the ability to have multiple students use the panel simultaneously. “Ease of use was definitely number one,” said Young. “The teachers didn’t want something with too big of a learning curve.”

“When we found out about Clear Touch, we felt that it met all of the criteria from the results of the surveys,” shared Lovinggood. To ensure that the district was able to make the best decision possible, Lovinggood asked Clear Touch and the three original finalists to come back and conduct more extensive presentations. After viewing all four demonstrations, the district made its final selection. “That’s when we decided,” said Lovinggood. “That’s when we selected Clear Touch.”

Choosing Clear Touch

Initially, Lovinggood felt that the high schools might not embrace the Snowflake® software that comes bundled with each Clear Touch panel. So, Galena Park launched a pilot group of Clear Touch 5000U panels, one in each of the district’s seven elementary and middle schools. It didn’t take long, however, for the high schools to make the move to Clear Touch as well.

“We had a phenomenal teacher who proved us wrong and showed us why high schools needed Clear Touch,” said Lovinggood. Based on that teacher’s experience and feedback, the technology team assembled a committee comprised of the district’s high school administrators and suggested introducing Clear Touch panels to the high schools as well. According to Lovinggood, the presentation made the decision crystal-clear. “From there,” she said, “we decided to go all-in with Clear Touch.”

Implementing Clear Touch in the Classroom

As the district rolled out the new Clear Touch interactive panels, they created a progressive implementation process, one that would allow teachers to use the panels right out of the box while also showing them how to take advantage of the versatile software included with each panel. “We wanted something that teachers could use with minimal direction, but then have advanced features for when they’re ready to move on,” said Lovinggood.

Once the panels were installed, Michelle Young’s technology team partnered with Clear Touch representatives to ensure teachers and administrators received the coaching and instruction they needed to feel comfortable with the technology. “We started off with tips and tools that they could use right away. We focused on basic programs like timers, system tools, and the infinite whiteboard,” said Young.

From that point, the district’s technology team followed a progressive implementation model that introduced staff members to Snowflake® and Clear Touch Canvas™, two of the most popular Clear Touch software programs. “As teachers grew more familiar with the Clear Touch panels, we built out a training schedule where the next instruction would be on Snowflake,” shared Young. “Once they learned how to use items and find the lessons within Snowflake, we moved on and introduced them to Canvas, Clear Touch’s infinite whiteboard program.”

Eventually, Young and the implementation team of 22 technology specialists walked teachers through the process of editing existing lessons and creating customized lessons of their own. Further demonstrating their commitment to thorough instruction, the team invited one to two teachers from every campus to come in for additional training about halfway through the school year and write lessons that could be used across the district. “We’re all about integration and what we can use within our scope and sequence,” Young added. “That’s what drives our training process.”

We wanted something that teachers could use with minimal direction, but then have advanced features for when they’re ready to move on.

Darlene Lovinggood

Galena Park ISD’s Executive Director of Technology

 

Support Beyond the Sale: The Clear Touch Difference

When Galena County ISD started with their initial pilot project of seven 5000U panels, the Clear Touch team provided additional value by conducting multiple onsite trainings and professional development seminars for teachers, administrators, and support staff. Based on that experience, the district has demonstrated confidence in Clear Touch support and a desire to keep pace with the company’s innovation. To date, the school district has installed and implemented 616 interactive panels, including the 6000K and the 7000X models. As existing school buildings are renovated and new buildings are constructed, Galena Park plans to completely phase out older technology and use the latest Clear Touch panels in each classroom. “Our technology department is no longer purchasing projectors,” said Lovinggood, “Our goal is to have them 100% replaced with Clear Touch panels.”

As the new touch-screen technology is implemented, the district wants to make sure teachers aren’t just using it as a glorified classroom display. Lovinggood stated that students are consistently encouraged to engage with the panels actively. “Our teachers set the expectation that they want to see the kids at the panel. We chose this touch technology for a reason. We don’t just want the teacher touching it; we want to see students up on the board as well.”

As teachers learn to leverage the capabilities of Clear Touch panels and software solutions, the district continues to look for ways to maximize its technology investment by incorporating the latest developments. Current plans include the integration of Clear Touch Command™, a powerful management tool that gives IT departments and school administrators the ability to remotely troubleshoot individual panels, monitor device usage statistics, and relay customized announcements and messages across the entire district.

Reflecting on the district’s three-year history as a Clear Touch customer, Lovinggood shared her thoughts on the overall experience. “Clear Touch has been a great partner in providing training and support,” she said. “This is new technology for us, and when we run into challenges, Clear Touch is there taking care of us 100%. They really provide a great product. I’m excited in the direction that we’re going and excited about the continued growth.”

This is new technology for us, and when we run into challenges, Clear Touch is there taking care of us 100%. They really provide a great product.

Darlene Lovinggood

Galena Park ISD’s Executive Director of Technology

 

 

Comparing iPad and Chromebook in the Classroom

Which is the best option for your teachers?

Technology in schools is an ever-increasing demand as vocations and learning continue to advance. The two most popular portable devices in the classroom are Apple’s iPad and Google’s Chromebook. By providing access to a multitude of learning apps and teaching software, these devices have taken the stage as the next big thing in education.And though both are being deployed in 1:1 initiatives, they’ve got a few differences that can seriously help, or possibly hinder, education in the classroom. But with equally impressive options on the table, it can be tricky to decide which works best for your students, your teachers, and your IT administrators.

To help you with your choice, we’ve put together a comparison of the pros and cons of each.  

iPads for Education: Advantages and Disadvantages

The Apple iPad began as a novelty tech item, but since its introduction into the market, it’s become the go-to for business and schools alike. The sleek tablet provides a mobile technology solution for professionals in the marketplace and educators in the classroom.

Thanks to its far reach and flexibility, the iPad’s educational potential is staggering. From the ability to assign projects one to one or the whole class, to using apps that allow students to interact with lesson plans and educational content by touch, iPad brings an unparalleled level of learning immersion to the classroom.

For Teachers

Whether you’re assigning work or coordinating schedules for students, you have the power. With apps like Cell and Structure, DragonBox Algebra, and WWF Together, you can customize assignments and make lessons more engaging with the iPad’s touch screen or even with the Apple Pencil. When using the iPad with the Apple TV or the Clear Touch® interactive panel, you can instantly mirror your screen on the board. You can even control connected student devices and highlight the work of another student, elevating them, and encouraging other students to participate. And since the iPad is a handheld device, you have the freedom to step away from your desk or podium and move about the classroom.

The new Schoolwork app allows teachers to send assignments, collect them, check student progress, and work with students one-on-one at any time. For students, the app organizes their class schedule, assignments, and due dates in real-time, giving them a full planner that updates automatically. 

The versatile Handouts app allows teachers to send links, documents, pdfs, and shortcuts directly to student devices. It works across all of their classes and subjects and makes distributing information and assignments so efficient that passing out physical papers feels like the stone age.

For IT

With Apple School Manager, implementation is straightforward and highly customizable, allowing for mass deployment of devices that can even be shared by multiple student profiles. Apple offers 24/7 support through AppleCare, though if there is a hardware issue, the device would likely need to be sent to Apple for repair, which means having a few spare iPads wouldn’t be a bad idea.

For Students

iPads bring a level of immersion into the classroom that is unparalleled thanks to their touch screen gestures that work hand-in-hand with apps. Combine this touch-screen convenience with digital textbooks via the iBooks App, and the iPad makes school material more engaging and backpacks even lighter.

Each student is given a personal profile for the iPads in their classroom, which allows them to sign in to any iPad and get to work where they left off, thanks to data saving in iCloud. And with the Assignment and Handouts apps, schedules are set, collaboration is simplified, and tasks are organized — all without the need of a planner.

iPads also make education more accessible to students with special needs. Apple has spent years perfecting settings that allow students of all ability levels to access and use all of their devices. There are customized options designed to help students overcome challenges with motor skills, speech, poor eyesight, or no sight at all. By ensuring no one in the school is excluded from innovative learning and collaboration, the iPad provides an excellent solution for any special needs classroom.

iPad Cost for Educational Institutions

If you’ve ever shopped for an Apple product, one thing certainly sticks out: the price. Over the years, however, they’ve released multiple versions (iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPad Pro), providing various price points for a wide array of budgetary constraints. On top of this, Apple has an entire section of their website dedicated to Educational Institutions. This section features a separate price list, lower than what an average consumer would typically pay on their own. This page has a link to two PDFs, one for K-12, and another for higher education, which has the full list of available Apple devices. For example, consider the base iPad at 32G. This device starts at $299. Add in accessories like keyboards, the optional Apple Pencil (depending on the curriculum), and of course, durable cases, and the total price can jump even more.

How To Use iPads in the Classroom

With Assignments and Handouts, coordinating students’ schedules and classwork couldn’t be easier, even on a one-on-one basis. And thanks to the iPad’s near-universal connectivity, if a teacher wants to show a video, they can cast it directly to an interactive display in the room with just a swipe. Once their screen is displayed, they can share graphs, charts, videos, and more thanks to the iPad’s built-in mirroring feature.

Google Chromebooks for Education: Advantages and Disadvantages

Google’s Chromebook had a similar inception to the iPad: it was released, and many criticized it as being underwhelming or, at the very least, a strange move for the search engine giant. But over time, the Chromebook has cemented its place in the educational world with its accessibility, low cost, and suite of useful apps that connect to Google’s global reach.

The Chromebook is an internet device, meaning it only connects to the internet and does not store data internally like traditional computers. It uses a customizable web browser that uses a simple operating system to do everything from downloading apps to playing videos. And with more than 30 million student users to date, Chromebook has already established a serious presence in the classroom.

For Teachers

The Google Chromebook comes complete with G Suite for Education, a group of Google-designed apps dedicated to education and classroom organization. One such app, Google Classroom, helps organize assignments and collaboration between students by allowing teachers to not only create schedules and assignments. The application also integrates thousands of educator-approved apps from Google Play, giving educators a nearly unlimited suite of interactive teaching tools.

Chromebooks bring something special to the educational table. Not only can teachers assign and coordinate, but they also have access to all the data on their classroom devices, which allows them to monitor student progress in real-time. This visibility enables teachers to see if an assignment was worked on, determine how far along a student is, or help them find an assignment if they’re not sure where they saved it. The classic laptop design means the Chromebook is a little more stationary than an iPad or tablet. Still, with wifi and Bluetooth capabilities, the computer can connect to the main classroom display with ease.

For IT

G Suite for Education allows unlimited users, meaning each student can use their own profile to log into everything they need, from apps, settings, books, and videos, as well as their class assignments. Chromebooks also provide a Google Admin Console, where teachers and administrators can predetermine which apps can be installed or accessed. They can even block apps and websites as need be. Support is easy, as Chromebooks have 24/7 support via online chat, email, or phone.

For Students

The Chromebook’s biggest advantage is that it’s a portable computer with a built-in keyboard and trackpad, as well as USB ports for a mouse. Since the laptop doesn’t feature touch screen controls or handheld mobility, it can be harder to damage and easier to hold. This makes durability another selling point. With a user interface that operates like a standard laptop, the Chromebook also helps students develop computer literacy, which is invaluable in today’s connected marketplace. And since not every home has access to wifi, much less a computer, school-provided Chromebooks ensure that students from low-income families have the same access to a computer as everyone else. Google also put in the time and effort to make Chromebooks accessible to students with special hearing, sight, and motor skill needs, allowing them to be used by anyone.

Google Chromebook Cost for Educational Institutions

On their own, Chromebooks can run about $200 each, but when you go through Google’s Education program, this changes entirely. The Chromebooks for Education program makes the computers available for $20 per Chromebook, per month. While this translates to $240 per year, the plan also includes all hardware and software support. On top of that, participating schools receive all new Chromebooks every three years, and they can keep the old Chromebooks at no extra cost.

How to use Chromebooks in the classroom.

In the classroom, apps like Science Journal enable interactive focuses and immersive learning. With a built-in-keyboard, students are naturally introduced to typing, a skill that will serve them well in their educational and professional careers. Chromebook can connect to anything, from Bluetooth speakers to Wifi devices and interactive touch screen displays, allowing presentations to be created and displayed from the same Chromebook by students and teachers alike.

Apple iPad vs. Google Chromebook for Education

The iPad and Chromebook are incredible devices that can take learning to the next level. They are phenomenal tools that increase student engagement and allow teachers to do what they do best. 

iPad for Education

The iPad gives users access to incredible educational suites and peripheral tools like the Apple Pencil, making it a valuable resource for the classroom. But maximizing its potential may require additional investments that, depending on your school, may not be feasible. In the end, the iPad offers more flexible options for pure immersion, but some of these options may be cost-prohibitive.

Chromebook for Education

The Chromebook is an excellent way to introduce technology to the classroom, and Google makes it easy to keep going with new devices every three years. The Chromebook is the most affordable way to get interactive devices into the hands of teachers and students. And in the end, though maybe less immersive, this solution still provides a versatile educational tool that prepares students for a computer-based future.

The bottom line is that both the iPad and the Google Chromebook are excellent tools for the classroom, and they can both connect to a huge range of apps and devices, including Clear Touch® interactive panels and software applications such as Canvas, Command, and Collage. Since Clear Touch solutions are hardware and software agnostic, the decision between iPads and Chromebooks is more about preference and budget than functionality. When it comes to making a choice, there isn’t a wrong one as both are capable of furthering education in the classroom in a way that was once unimaginable.

Clear Digital Wins the 2020 Big Innovation Award

Evo Lite digital signage solution recognized as one of the year’s top new products

Greenville, SC – Clear Touch® announced today that their sister company, Clear Digital™, has been named a winner in the 2020 BIG Innovation Awards presented by the Business Intelligence Group. 

Clear Digital is a digital signage provider dedicated to providing unique, solution-driven signage options for education and businesses. Evo™ Lite is Clear Digital’s flagship product.

Organizations from across the globe submitted their recent innovations for consideration in the BIG Innovation Awards. Nominations were then judged by a select group of business leaders and executives who volunteer their time and expertise to score submissions.

Key innovative features of the Evo Lite digital signage include:

  • Anti-glare, shatterproof glass and an overall weather-resistant design
  • 14hr+ onboard battery and rugged wheels that allow the unit to be mobile
  • Simple USB uploading technology; also supports third-party content devices

“This is now the fourth award given to Evo in less than a year, and we could not be more proud. Our team dedicates themselves to developing innovative products and signage solutions as well as bringing new products to market. Winning this award validates their ongoing efforts,” says Keone Trask, founder of Clear Digital. “Evo is a newly developed product, but we have seen strong support and sales. We are pleased that both the digital signage industry and our users have seen its value.”

“Innovation has become a major theme for organizations across virtually all industries, and this year’s winners are a testament to the creativity, passion, and perseverance of individuals worldwide,” said Maria Jimenez, Chief Operating Officer of the Business Intelligence Group. “We are thrilled to be honoring Clear Digital as they are leading by example and making real progress on improving the daily lives of so many.”

Evo Lite will be displayed at the upcoming BETT trade show in London, England on February 22-25 at booth #SD60.

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About Clear Touch

Founded in 2012, Clear Touch is a forward-thinking technology provider named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies two years in a row and recognized as one of South Carolina’s 25 Fastest Growing Companies. U.S. owned and operated, Clear Touch is also a winner of multiple Tech & Learning Best of Show awards for its innovative products. The company’s commitment to its customers, the reliability of its products, and its industry-leading innovation have paved the way for consistent growth. Clear Touch develops products for education, business, and government, including multi-touch interactive panels, software suites, and accessories. Clear Touch is also a reseller of Clear Digital™ products, including LED video walls, interactive podiums, and mobile display signage.

About Business Intelligence Group

The Business Intelligence Group was founded with the mission of recognizing true talent and superior performance in the business world. Unlike other industry award programs, these programs are judged by business executives having experience and knowledge. The organization’s proprietary and unique scoring system selectively measures performance across multiple business domains and then rewards those companies whose achievements stand above those of their peers.

Clear Touch Renews Partnership with NUITEQ

EdTech company extends a five-year license with the creator of Snowflake educational software

Greenville, SC – Clear Touch®, a U.S.-headquartered company and leading provider of multi-touch interactive flat panels and software for education and business, recently announced they have agreed to continue their partnership with NUITEQ®, a collaborative software company that enables educational institutions to add value through smarter human interaction, and developer of the educational software Snowflake, for another five years. 

All Clear Touch educational panels come bundled with the Snowflake software, which allows teachers to create their own lessons or use pre-made lessons from the program’s easily accessible online library. When combined with Clear Touch interactive panels’ 20 points of multi-touch and split-screen capabilities, Snowflake expands the collaborative aspect of education by allowing up to four students to work simultaneously. 

“The Snowflake software suite gives educators a robust lesson creation platform. We have been bundling the software in our panels for many years and are looking forward to continuing this partnership in the years to come,” said Keone Trask, CEO of Clear Touch. “We have worked closely with the NUITEQ team to create exclusive Snowflake features that can be found only on our panels, and we are excited to continue innovating with them.”

“Our company is passionate about fostering interaction in the classroom environment, and we are proud of the continued work our team has done to ensure Snowflake meets the multi-faceted needs of teachers,” says Harry van der Veen, co-founder and CEO of NUITEQ. “As our company continues to expand, we look forward to developing further innovations based on the feedback we receive from educators. After hosting Clear Touch and educational professionals from around the world at last year’s Education Forum in Dublin, Ireland, we are excited that this license extension will allow us to continue our collaboration.”

Clear Touch will be displaying its panels, digital signage, accessories, and software solutions alongside the NUITEQ team at upcoming educational technology conferences, including FETC in Miami, Florida, BETT in the United Kingdom, and TCEA in Austin, Texas.

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ABOUT CLEAR TOUCH

Founded in 2012, Clear Touch is a forward-thinking technology provider named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies two years in a row and recognized as one of South Carolina’s 25 Fastest Growing Companies. U.S. owned and operated, Clear Touch is also a winner of multiple Tech & Learning Best of Show awards for its innovative products. The company’s commitment to its customers, the reliability of its products, and its industry-leading innovation have paved the way for consistent growth. Clear Touch develops products for education, business, and government, including multi-touch interactive panels, software suites, and accessories. Clear Touch is also a reseller of Clear Digital™ products, including LED video walls, interactive podiums, and mobile display signage.visit www.getcleartouch.com.

About NUITEQ

NUITEQ® is a collaborative software company that enables educational institutions to add value through smarter human interaction. Designed to support digitalization, productivity, and augmented learning in schools, Snowflake, NUITEQ’s educational software solution enables educators to enhance interactive learning. It helps reduce lesson planning time, offers the tools needed for personalized learning, and provides a safe environment for authentic feedback in a collaborative setting. Snowflake empowers digital natives’ expressive learning through memorable digital storytelling. Customers in over 70 countries have chosen the award-winning Snowflake software.

For more information, visit www.nuiteq.com.

NUITEQ® and Natural User Interface® are registered trademarks of Natural User Interface Technologies AB in Sweden, EU, and the USA.

Advantages of Technology in Special Education Classes

The past three decades have witnessed a revolution in technology that has transformed every area of modern life from communications to business to travel to education. The advances in classroom technology are incredible to say the least, but innovations in technology for special education are particularly revolutionary.

Students, who in the past may have been hindered from recognizing their full potential, are now finding powerful new ways to grow, learn, and thrive with the help of technology.

Types of Technology for Special Education 

Technology for students with special needs comes in many different shapes and forms to meet the equally diverse set of educational needs that these students have. Here are just a few exciting examples of the technologies available for special needs students: 

1. Text-to-Speech Technology

Students who have difficulty reading—whether from dyslexia, visual impairment, or some other learning disability—can now utilize Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology. This technology has matured greatly over the past years. At its core, TTS takes written text and transforms it into audio, allowing student to process text aurally. Kurzweil is a leader in TTS technology, and the Kurzweil 3000 is one of the most popular TTS solutions on the market today. 

2. Voice-recognition software

Voice recognition provides a compelling alternative to a keyboard for students with special needs. In the past, voice-recognition was often a standalone software solution that schools had to purchase. While these specialized solutions still exist today, they have been almost entirely eclipsed by the native voice-recognition tools in nearly every smartphone, tablet, and computer (e.g. Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant). 

3. Sip-and-Puff Systems

Sip-and-puff devices from companies such as Orin are especially beneficial for students that do not have the use of their hands. By sipping or puffing into a tube, students send an air pressure signal to a sensor that is used to control a wide variety of devices, such as motorized wheelchairs and computers. This technology has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for students.

6. Virtual reality technology

Virtual and augmented reality tools now allow students to learn through visual experiences. Systems like InclusiveVR offer VR/AR tools to immerse students in 360-degree visual experiences, where they can learn and explore the world in new and compelling ways. These tools also let teachers personalize experiences to meet any student’s special needs. 

7. Assistive Technology for Writing

Students with dyslexia or other learning disabilities can benefit from assistive technology like Ghotit, which helps them eliminate the frustration that can often be associated with reading and writing. Tools include predictive typing, proofreading, read-aloud capabilities, and much more to help reduce errors in writing, as well as the frustration that can be caused by a learning disability.

8. Math Learning Tools

There is an especially innovative wave of new solutions for learning math. For example, MathTalk lets students use voice commands for completing math work. Tools like Snowflake let students interactive visually with math on interactive touchscreen panels. Teachers can also use Snowflake to create customized, interactive lessons for their students.

9. Touchscreen Technology

From tablets to smartphones to interactive touchscreen panels, touchscreen technology is especially useful in today’s classrooms, as it allows all students to interact with classroom instruction through touch. We are especially passionate about our touch screen panels, which opens the door to countless possibilities for teaching and learning. Useful accessories also enable further learning and accessibility. For example, table-top mounts allow students in wheelchairs to more easily access the panel. 

Benefits of using technology for special education

Schools today are developing and implementing effective special education technology strategies that are ensuring no students are left behind in the educational process. The benefits of a thoughtful approach to using technology for students with special needs include the following:

Improved learning

Every student learns differently. Some learn by seeing, others by hearing, and others by experiencing, and every student deserves the chance to learn, regardless of ability or style. The wide range of technologies available give teachers an extensive toolkit from which to draw to meet their students’ particular needs. The result is improved learning. 

Personalization to student needs

Many of the technologies listed above give teachers useful new capabilities that they can combine in a personalized way for each student’s special needs. For example, Snowflake gives teachers the ability to create personalized lessons that combine visual, audio, and interactive elements. These lessons can also be saved and shared with students on any device. 

Helping students realize their full potential

Every student deserves a chance to achieve his or her full potential. Technology not only enhances the educational experience through improved learning and personalization, but it also extends students’ capabilities. By providing the appropriate technology for a student’s particular situation, you are enabling them to overcome their disability, grow their confidence, and achieve at the very highest possible level. Nothing is more rewarding! 

Conclusion

Clear Touch Interactive’s touchscreen panels are a technology solution designed for maximum usability. The interactive nature of this learning tool means that you can accommodate nearly every type of learning style, and a wide range of accessories ensures you can meet any situation. For example, our mobile stands let you transform your touchscreen panel into an interactive table-top display that easily accommodates students in wheelchairs.

Contact us today to find out more about how these devices can improve your ability to serve students with special needs.

Clear Touch Wins Multiple “Awards of Excellence” by Tech & Learning Magazine

Four Clear Touch® products recognized as outstanding educational technology

Greenville, SC – Clear Touch®, a leading provider of multi-touch interactive flat panels and software for education and business, and a reseller of Clear Digital™ products, recently announced that four of their products were honored with Tech & Learning Magazine’s prestigious Awards of Excellence.

“Our team has worked tirelessly to innovate our products and software in order to provide the solutions that students and teachers deserve. Winning these awards honors the dedication of our team and partners and propels us to look towards other successful product launches in 2020,” said Keone Trask, President of Clear Touch.

After reviewing a wide range of entries, contest judges selected those products that improve the way educators work and students learn the most. With awards going to three of their bundled software products that come integrated with Clear Touch panels and one hardware digital display product, Clear Touch products won every category in which they were nominated.

“For 40 years, Tech & Learning has reported on how edtech products are improving teaching and learning,” says Tech & Learning Group Publisher, Christine Weiser. “In keeping with this mission, our 2019 Awards of Excellence contest focused on stand-out products that are both unique in the K-12 market, as well as those that are helping schools solve specific problems.”

Clear Touch will be recognized in Tech & Learning Magazine’s December/January 2020 issue and invited to a special reception during TCEA Convention and Exposition in February 2020 in Austin, Texas. Clear Touch will also be attending TCEA and displaying all awarded products at their booth #2433.

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ABOUT CLEAR TOUCH

Founded in 2012, Clear Touch is a forward-thinking technology provider named to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies two years in a row and recognized as one of South Carolina’s 25 Fastest Growing Companies. U.S. owned and operated, Clear Touch is also a winner of multiple Tech & Learning Best of Show awards for its innovative products. The company’s commitment to its customers, the reliability of its products, and its industry-leading innovation have paved the way for consistent growth. Clear Touch develops products for education, business, and government, including multi-touch interactive panels, software suites, and accessories. Clear Touch is also a reseller of Clear Digital™ products, including LED video walls, interactive podiums, and mobile display signage.

18 Best Examples of Technology in the Classroom

New innovations in classroom technology are being created every day. Teachers and students alike are tapping into the raw potential of these latest gadgets and software and finding new and transformative ways to teach and learn. Here is our list of the 17 best examples of technology in the classroom. 

Reley

TechSmith Relay is an innovative new technology in the classroom that lets teachers capture lectures and share them with their students outside the classroom. This frees up valuable classroom time to be spent on one-on-one and group activities. Relay also lets teachers monitor interaction with their videos, and it can also be integrated with your school’s LMS.

StudyBlue

Study anywhere with StudyBlue! StudyBlue is one of the largest crowdsourced learning resource providers. Students simply download the app onto their tablets and smartphones to access hundreds of millions of study guides, flashcards, and class resources on practically any subject.

Snowflake®

Snowflake Multiteach is an amazing suite of tools included with Clear Touch™ interactive panels that lets teachers make the most of their interactive touchscreen panels. The tools in this application include screen recording features, the ability to create and share lesson plans with teachers all over the world, and so much more!

MakerBot

When it comes to technology for education, MakerBot brings the exciting possibilities of 3D printing to life in the classroom. This minimal-setup, out-of-the-box 3D printing solution is easy to use from day one. It is particularly geared towards STEM classes.

Project Noah

Project Noah describes itself as a global citizen science platform and is one of our favorite technology examples for education. This massive online community lets anyone and everyone learn about, identify, and share information about local wildlife. Not only is it a great resource for learning about the many species of animals around the world, but it also can be a great starting point for fun and informative field trips.

Celestia

Learn about the skies with Celestia. This innovative space simulator lets you explore and understand the heavens in new and compelling ways. Discover how objects move through space, explore the composition of planets and stars, and so much more!

Microduino

Microduino is a fun way to teach and learn electronics and coding. These bright and colorful modular electronic components allow you to easily conceptualize and create innovative classroom electronics projects with your students.

Canva

Teach art and design in new ways with Canva. This powerful drag-and-drop design tool gives you access to rich features and vast content libraries for creating compelling presentations and learning boards for your students. Yet, it’s designed for students to use for their creative activities as well!

SiLAS Solutions

SiLAS Solutions is an innovative technology solution for teaching social skills. Students collaborate to create social scripts, which they then act out visually. Students use a video game controller to guide their animated characters through conversations. It’s a unique solution that is definitely worth a look!

NearPod

Nearpod VR is a new technology in education that empowers you to take journeys to faraway places from right within the classroom. Whether you want to travel to Rome, the Pyramids, or Ancient China—Nearpod can take you there!

LeadMotion

LeapMotion is another VR augmented reality solution that is enabling profound new educational experiences. With some of the most advanced hand-tracking technology on the market, LeapMotion lets you reach out, grasp, and interact with digital objects around you. There’s no better way to understand how groundbreaking this technology is than to see it for yourself.

Classcraft

Role-playing game meets education in Classcraft’s innovative new learning solution to increase classroom engagement. Students create their own fantasy characters that grow and learn as the student grows and learns. This is a very creative and innovative way to gamify the educational experience.

Minecraft

No list of classroom technology would be complete without some reference to Minecraft, the cultural phenomenon that has dominated a generation. Minecraft is a massive open-world sandbox game that lets students explore, build, and craft practically anything that they can imagine while teaching them valuable concepts, such as basic programming, physics, and more.

Knewton Alta

Alta is a personalized learning solution that empowers understanding through guided activities. This adaptive learning system helps students navigate their way to a fuller comprehension of a subject through personalized learning journeys. Alta is smart and adapts to a student’s level of knowledge and even incorporates prerequisite content into the learning journey to maximize deep comprehension.

Raspberry Pi

Again, no list of classroom technology would be complete without a reference to one of the many microcomputer brands that are dominating STEM labs today. The Raspberry Pi is perhaps the earliest and most iconic microcomputers on the market and continues to push the boundaries of microcomputing at an affordable price point.

Duolingo

Duolingo is a free language instruction app for anyone wanting to learn a new language. Duolingo’s innovative learning approach emphasizes visual, written, and aural comprehension of a language through a series of immersive activities and in-context stories. It helps students develop a deeper understanding of a language’s nuances, pronunciation, and meaning that is often missed in more traditional language courses.

KidBlog

KidBlog is a blogging and digital portfolio solution that empowers teachers to publish student writing in a controlled and safe environment. Powerful moderation tools ensure that nothing is published without the teacher’s approval, giving you the ability to monitor all content before it is shared.

Science360

Science360 lets students explore the latest discoveries and research in STEM from scientists, engineers, and mathematicians all across the world. Every video can be shared on your own site, blog, and social networks, giving you the power to share what you’re learning.