Clear Touch Team

6 Best Uses for Document Cameras in the Classroom

Classroom technology has changed dramatically over the past few decades, but even in all of the change, there remains a great deal of similarity between past and present technologies. Nowhere is this truer than in the case of document cameras. 

What is a document camera?

A document camera is a modern-day replacement for transparency projectors—although document cameras are a greatly improved technology! You used to have to create plastic or acetate transparencies to project a document in class, but a document camera allows you to project documents—and anything else—digitally.

Why use a document camera?

At its most basic level, a document camera is a specially constructed web camera for projecting images of documents and objects crisply and clearly to a display, touchscreen panel, or other device. The Clear Touch document camera has the benefits of a flexible multidimensional neck, built-in LED lighting, built-in microphone, and wireless connectivity to give teachers maximum flexibility in the classroom. Our document camera also comes preinstalled with a lite version Clear Touch Canvas™, our premier infinite whiteboard software.

There is a clear reason why this category of technology has persisted to the present. We live in a physical world, and technology in the classroom needs to bridge the gap between the real world and the digital one. For example:

  • We still have a need for books and physical objects in the educational process, and document cameras give teachers the ability to work with these objects while gleaning all of the benefits of digital technology.
  • Document cameras give students the ability to see an object or text clearly from anywhere in the classroom, which is important for comprehension and understanding.
  • Document cameras replace the need for costly handouts and help to save paper.
  • And much more!

Creative Ways to Make the Most of Your Classroom Document Camera

Here are 6 of our favorite ways we’ve seen teachers using their document cameras in the classroom:

1. Read & Write Along with Your Students

Even in today’s high-tech classroom, teachers and students still rely on textbooks, handouts, and other printed materials. Use your document camera to follow along in the textbook or novel when your students are reading out loud, to display a handout, or to inspect a chart, map, or graph as a whole class activity. If you teach younger students, your document camera can make storytime come alive and ensure all students can see the pictures. Your classroom document camera is also an invaluable tool when you want to display in-class writing and go over it with your students.

2. Bring Science Labs to Life

Science classes may benefit the most from having a classroom document camera. Use the document camera to demonstrate a dissection, study the pattern of petals on a flower, or see the striations on a rock more clearly. You can even quickly and easily document the steps of an upcoming lab or identify the parts of a frog by hitting record or taking photos of the process. Use these photos for identification questions on your next quiz or test.

3. Put the “Show” Back in Show-and-Tell

Students love Show-and-Tell. It’s a classic elementary school rite of passage that encourages even the most reluctant students to share a little more about their lives. But how often can the entire classroom really see what’s being shown? The next time your student proudly brings in a seashell or favorite toy, put the object on the document camera so the whole class can see it in stunning detail.

4. Magnify Math Manipulatives

Teachers love math manipulatives! These amazing educational tools teach students math basics such as counting, arithmetic, and pattern recognition while also honing their fine motor skills. With your document camera, you can use your interactive display to model the task for your students before they try it for themselves. Create a pattern with foam color tiles for your students to copy at their desks. Or, project a geoboard and make shapes with rubber bands while your students follow along. The possibilities are endless.

5. Demonstrate How To Use Technology

Sometimes it’s easier to quickly demonstrate how to do something rather than trying to explain it. A document camera is an effective tool in higher-level math classes and other classrooms. Show your students how to use their complicated graphing calculators or their tablets. Everything seems simpler when you have a guide to follow!

6. Review & Discuss Quizzes or Tests

Maybe you have electronic copies of all of your tests, quizzes, and other classwork—but probably not. If you’re like most teachers, you like to be prepared for the day’s lesson but have the freedom to be spontaneous. Your document camera allows you to review pop quizzes and handwritten assignments and tests in the moment.

There are many more ways to make the most of your document camera. Show students a historical artifact or painting. Play a game of cards or dice under the document camera to teach students about probability. Play a matching game to teach students new vocabulary words. However you decide to use your document camera in your classroom, the objects you display will show up in TrueHD on your Clear Touch interactive whiteboard.

Understanding your DC100 Document Camera

Here is a quick reference guide to help you understand all of the Clear Touch DC100 document camera’s buttons and ports:

WiFi Indicator Light
Working Modes Status
Power Indicator Light
Auto Focus
MIC ON/OFF
Supplement Light
Power Supply
USB port
USB Extended Port
Power

Learn more about document cameras

Ready to get document cameras for your classrooms? Contact us today to find get started!

Back To School Memes 2019

Yes, teachers. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true—summer is winding to a close. You know what that means. It’s back-to-school time again. We know this annual tradition comes with mixed feelings. 

Even though you love your job, you’re probably a little bummed to leave the carefree days of summer behind.

That moment you realize summer is over



But for some reason, parents seem to feel a little differently than you do.

In other news



That excitement makes sense for parents…but fellow teachers? Really?!?



Then again, when you think about what you did all summer, maybe it’s time to get back in the classroom after all.

Pinning teaching ideas



Speaking of Pinterest, teaching, and back-to-school…

When the teacher next door has a Pinterest-ready room



Yes, pin-worthy classrooms are nice, but at the end of the day, you know it’s all about doing whatever it takes to connect with your students.

So you didn't know that your project was due today?



So, sometimes you just have to get creative and make your own fun.

I'll make the first 10 answers C



But then you remember that every test you give your students means more work for you.

Just taking some papers home to grade



But if you’re honest, you’d have to admit that grading papers isn’t the most challenging part of your job.

Calling home about behavior



Fortunately, you’re a professional. That means you’re able to keep things in perspective.

There are no bad kids



Sure, teaching can be tough…

Who says teaching is stressful?



… but there are always those moments that remind you it’s worth it.

When my hardest kid has a good day



No doubt about it—teachers are the best of the best! So, from all of us here at Clear Touch® to all of you teachers out there….

Happy back to school day!!

“Displaying” Growth in the Upstate: Clear Touch® interview on SC Public Radio

Clear Touch President Keone Trask was interviewed by Mike Switzer of the South Carolina Business Review on South Carolina Public Radio. Below are highlights of their conversation. To listen to the full episode please click here. 

Mike: Hello and welcome to another edition of SC Business Review, this is Mike Switzer.

Seven years ago our next guest’s company began operations in Upstate SC selling interactive displays for the education and business markets. Since then they have won industry awards, and last year made it into the Inc 500 and are recognized as one of our states fastest growing companies. 

Keone Trask is CEO of Clear Touch Interactive and joins us from his office in Greenville, South Carolina. 

Keone welcome. 

Keone: Thank you Mike!

Mike: Tell us a little more about your company and how it all got started.

Keone: We got started as an idea of creating environments where collaboration and interactivity can be fostered in a better way. We recognized quickly in the education and business market that the technology that was available at the time could be improved. We have spent the last seven years continuing to innovate.

Mike: So what exactly is an interactive display?

Keone: An interactive display is a LED display that allows up to 20 points of simultaneous touch. This allows users to manipulate objects and text in different ways than was possible before.

Mike: So when we see people on the weather channel as an example touching screens and drawing – guess you called them smart boards –  is that what you are talking about?

Keone: Very similar and a great analogy with what we see on television, and on sports and weather displays. 

Mike: So are these manufactured in our state? 

Keone: They are manufactured overseas in multiple markets in Europe and Asia. We administratively are headquartered in Greenville, SC and distribute these technologies into the United States and into other geographies as well. 

Nike: So are these designs proprietary?

Keone: They are proprietary in design. We specify the technology features and functions.

Mike: What are this industry like, are there lots of competitors and market opportunities? 

Keone: There are amazing market opportunities, especially in areas of K-12 education, higher education and commercial spaces as well. It is a competitive environment. 

Mike: The success curve that you have experienced and making it into Inc 500 and list of our states fastest-growing companies – what has been the key to your growth?

Keone: It comes down to a passion for our products, and our team. culture These two factors have been the difference that allows us to stand out in a competitive environment. We go to market with an approach that allows the experience of this technology to be more hands-on, and that has been key to our success and growth as well.

Mike: How are the panels sold?

Keone: We go to market with a distribution channel consisting of approximately 220 resellers across the U.S. and Europe. We are headquartered in Greenville, SC with staff of about 20 and have a global staff over the U.S. and oversees of another 30 individuals.

Mike: What have been the challenges in the interactive display industry?

Keone: The biggest challenge has been to convey and show people the different tools and opportunities that are available with the solutions that we present and making sure we can meet the demand of the customer. 

Mike: Do design come as a result of a customer request? 

Keone: Absolutely, the feedback from customers and the user community at large have driven much of the innovation. We take that feedback and interest in changing and modifying the solution very seriously and are able to implement those changes in our products. 

Mike: Congratulations on your recognition and thank you for you time! 

Clear Touch® Recognized on the 2019 INC. 5000 List

Company Achieves Rank of 856 Among Top Companies

Greenville, S.C. – Inc. magazine today revealed that Clear Touch®, a leading provider of multi-touch interactive flat panels for education and business and a reseller of Clear Digital products, is number 856 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. This is the second year in a row that Clear Touch® has been featured on the list, which represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

“We are beyond excited to once again place on the Inc. 5000 list this year,” said Keone Trask, President of Clear Touch®. “Being featured on the Inc 5000  list shows that they see the commitment we have to keep moving forward and to keep growing. To be considered among so many successful companies is quite an honor.”

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

“The companies on this year’s Inc. 5000 have followed so many different paths to success,” says Inc. editor in chief James Ledbetter. “There’s no single course you can follow or investment you can take that will guarantee this kind of spectacular growth. But what they have in common is persistence and seizing opportunities.”

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 twice 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 their innovative products.  Our commitment to our customers, the reliability of our products, and our industry-leading innovation have paved the way for our 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. 

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How to Layout and Design a Welcoming Waiting Room

No one likes the idea of waiting—but a reception area or waiting room is an integral feature for many businesses. Doctor’s offices, large corporations, hotels, mechanics, and restaurants may all need to make their customers wait for service.

For example, the most recent Vitals Wait Time Report shows that the average time that patients spend in the doctor’s waiting room is about 18 minutes. This same report also shows that there is a direct, negative correlation between wait times and patient satisfaction. The longer the wait, the less satisfied the patient.

This can be a losing proposition for businesses that have to incorporate wait time into their business model, knowing that customer satisfaction decreases with every passing minute. However, with a thoughtful layout and design, it’s possible to transform the waiting area from a necessary evil into a prime opportunity for customer engagement. Here’s how.

Understanding the Psychology Behind Waiting Rooms

Before we dive right into tips and suggestions for designing a more welcoming and engaging reception area, it’s a good idea to understand a little bit about why customers hate to wait and how they perceive wait time. Knowing both of these factors will help you understand what you can do to make their experience more enjoyable and boost your customer satisfaction.

In general, there are four basic principles that explain how wait time affects your customers:

1. The Perception is Greater Than the Reality.
People are naturally impatient. Study after study has shown that customers overestimate the time that they spend waiting by as much as 36 percent. That can be bad news for businesses that regularly require wait time—even with a perfect reception area design and layout, your customers are going to think they’re waiting for longer than they actually are.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution to this phenomenon: Setting the correct expectation. Decades ago, Harvard Business School researchers came up with a formula to predict customer satisfaction. S = P – E (Satisfaction equals Perception minus Expectation). This formula has been proven to hold true for waiting psychology as well. When customers’ perceived wait time matches their expected wait time, they are happier. So, it’s important not to underestimate their wait.

2. Uncertainty Adds to Wait Time Stress.
Have you ever noticed that the drive to an unfamiliar location always feels so much longer than the drive back? That’s because our brains are wired to respond to uncertainty with stress. Similarly, studies have routinely shown that customers react more favorably to a well-explained 30-minute wait than an uncertain and unexplained 20-minute wait. It’s not rational, but it’s true.

This means that setting the expectation can be a powerful tool for improving your customers’ waiting room experience. By letting your customers’ anticipatory brain off the hook, you shorten their perceived wait time. So, take a cue from amusement park lines and let your customers know how long they’ll be waiting. Something as easy as training your receptionist to give a wait time or displaying a digital sign-in at the doctor’s office can greatly reduce wait time stress and improve customer satisfaction.

3. Time Flies When You’re Having Fun. Or at Least Occupied.
The infamous Houston Airport example illustrates this point perfectly. The airport was dealing with numerous complaints about the time it took passengers to get their bags at baggage claim. At first, the airport responded by hiring more baggage handlers and dropped the wait time to 8 minutes, which the industry considers a reasonable wait time for a mid-sized airport baggage claim. But the complaints didn’t stop. Then, the airport executives analyzed their layout and decided to move the baggage claim further away from the arrivals gate. The wait time didn’t change, but when passengers had to walk further the complaints dropped to zero.

As you’re considering the best waiting room design for your office, it’s important to think about including distractions and tasks for your customers. A few outdated magazines or a TV playing soap opera reruns in the corner may have counted for something two decades ago, but today’s customers expect more. It may be wise to design your waiting room around several different kinds of activities or stations so customers can choose their waiting experience. Perhaps some customers want to fix themselves a coffee at your refreshment stand while others would like to charge their laptop and do some work at a well-designed technology station. Designing a waiting room that can accommodate both of these customers (and give them a choice) will greatly increase their satisfaction.

4. Personalized Service or Extra Touches are Worth the Wait.
Another way to understand waiting room psychology is to look at situations where customers believe that the product or service is worth the wait. In other words, what are people willing to wait for? Typically, customers are willing to wait for products or services they believe are unique, personalized, or carefully-crafted. It’s why customers are willing to wait for 15 minutes for a “scratch-made” burger at a local joint but expect to get out of the McDonald’s Drive-Thru in under 3 minutes.

Applying this knowledge to your waiting room experience can go a long way toward satisfying your customers. For example, if you run a pediatrician’s office, why not rethink the grubby Legos that other sick kids have been playing with? Instead, create a custom, interactive video demo that introduces your young patients to their doctor. Or, use an interactive quiz to ask patients about their favorite colors, foods, animals and superheroes and have your assistants call patients back by their answers: “I’m looking for Jake, the kid who loves hot dogs and Spiderman.” The kids, and their parents, will appreciate the personalization and are more likely to feel the value they received matches the wait time.

7 Ways to Ensure the Ideal Waiting Room Layout and Design

Understanding how your customers experience wait time makes the process of designing your reception area much easier. Whether you’re starting from square one in a brand new building or redesigning an existing space, keeping the customer experience at the forefront will help guide your decisions.

Here are 7 considerations for companies planning to design a waiting room around their customers’ needs:

1. Analyze Your Existing Waiting Room and Observe Customers.
If you are going to redesign your reception area or waiting room, you should begin by fully analyzing your current layout and design. You should also look at the ways your current customers interact with the space and any front desk personnel. Do they seem impatient? Bored? Uncomfortable? Do the customers seem to understand why they’re waiting and what they’re waiting for? Keep careful track of these and other questions you create for a few weeks or even months before you begin your redesign.

2. Choose Your Space Wisely.
How much space to dedicate to your waiting room is, understandably, one of the greatest concerns for business owners. If you don’t calculate your waiting area space requirements correctly, you could end up with customers who are forced to stand or feel cramped. On the other end of the spectrum, you could overestimate your needs and have an underused reception area when your team could really use the space. Your reception area should look attractive and professional while accommodating all guests comfortably.

A good standard to go by is to calculate 20 sq ft per person for small seats and 30 to 35 sq ft per person for lounge-style seating. Most waiting areas provide a mix of seating options for greater accessibility (more on this below). Many also include tables, charging stations, water fountains or refreshment areas, a reception desk, and even retail. Understanding these baseline numbers for seating can help your planning, though. Calculate a minimum and maximum for customers in the waiting room and go from there. You will also need to choose a space and a layout that allows for a clear, easy flow of traffic without bottlenecks.

3. Design for Comfort. But Not Too Much Comfort.
Comfortable seating is one of the main considerations for any reception area. The best way to ensure comfort is to test out the seating for yourself before purchasing. Would you want to spend 15-20 minutes in that chair? If not, then your customers don’t either! It may seem counterintuitive, but your reception area design could backfire on you if it looks too comfortable. Think about it this way. What do you think when you see a deep, plush couch? That you’re going to sink into it and not get up for a while? Customers feel the same way. Unless you’re operating a spa or hotel, seating that looks too comfortable and plush makes customers worry that they’re in for a long wait.

4. Design for Accessibility.
This may be the most important design consideration. You want your waiting area to feel welcoming and accommodate the broadest possible range of customers. Truly, there’s so much to think about here that we could write a separate blog post just on this topic. But for starters, think about:

Provide an accessible seating space. An accessible seating space is simply an empty area alongside your seating where people can put wheelchairs, assistive devices, or service animals without encumbering themselves or disrupting the flow of traffic. Depending on the size of your waiting area, it may be a good idea to include several of these spaces throughout your layout. Generally, it’s most helpful for accessible seating spaces to be located against a wall.

Provide a good mix of seating types. Provide chairs with armrests so older customers can get in and out easily, chairs without armrests so people can transfer from a wheelchair or other mobility device into the seat, and chairs with broader seats and higher weight limits to accommodate all body types.

Provide a good mix of seating locations. Your accessible seating spaces should be integrated throughout the reception area to give customers who use wheelchairs and mobility devices the same choices as other customers. It’s a good idea to provide companion seating next to an accessible space and at least one area where two wheelchairs can fit side-by-side. Again, this seating should be included in the general layout of your waiting room. The worst thing to do is segregate people who use wheelchairs and other mobility devices into one area.

Provide an accessible path. Think about how your customers will move through the space. Providing a clear path that will accommodate all customers creates a better overall experience.

5. Use Colors and Lighting to Set the Mood.
If the layout and furnishings are the foundation of an engaging reception area, the colors, lighting, and decor set the tone. Anyone who’s sat in a drab, gray doctor’s office under harsh lighting knows just how miserable it can be. Choose calm, soothing, rich colors such as blues, purples, and greens, which are colors that also denote honesty and decisiveness. While you do want to bring your company’s brand into the space, you should avoid reds, yellows, and oranges as these colors feel aggressive and anxiety-inducing when painted on a wall. If these colors work for your brand but not for your waiting room, soften the look or warm it up. Add a touch of blue to your fire-engine red to lean it toward maroon. Soften your bright yellow into dandelion or goldenrod.

For lighting, choose natural light whenever possible as windows will connect your space to the outside world. Use brighter lighting to show off displayed items and create a sense of professionalism. Warm, low lighting, on the other hand, creates a more cozy atmosphere. Whatever you do, avoid harsh, artificial lighting in your waiting area. For decor, think about greenery and water features. Even fresh-cut flowers on the reception desk or a small tabletop water feature can improve your customer experience by promoting calming feelings.

6. Plan for Technology.
Ideally, your design should incorporate reading materials, games, interactive digital signage, televisions, refreshment stations, or other ways for your customers to pass their time. However, in reality, most customers today carry their own entertainment with them. Impress them with thoughtful touches, like a charging station for their devices or a laptop bar where they can easily send a couple emails while they wait.

7. Make the Waiting Room More Interactive.
Remember what we said about customers being happier about their wait if they are occupied and feel they are getting personalized service? Using interactive, digital signage is a powerful way to engage your customers from the moment they enter your building. Preload an interactive map of the offices so they can check where they’re going, encourage digital check-in, display wait times, create personalized entertainment, or display other useful customer information. Interactive digital signage is quick to update, versatile, and endlessly customizable.

If you follow these 7 suggestions, you’ll be well on your way to designing a welcoming waiting area—but your job isn’t done yet. There are hundreds of ways to make your waiting room better and personalize the experience. The real judges of your effectiveness are the customers themselves. So, pay attention to which features they use and which features they don’t. Pay attention to any common requests or complaints. And then continue to adjust and improve your waiting room as you are able.

Clear Touch® Product Receives Award from Digital Signage Magazine

Evo Lite wins Best in Show at InfoComm 2019

Greenville, S.C. – Adding to their recent Best in Show win at this year’s 2019 ISTE Conference (the International Society for Technology in Education), Clear Touch®, a leading provider of multi-touch interactive flat panels for education and business and a reseller of Clear Digital products, was recently awarded another Best of Show honor at InfoComm 2019. The award, given by Digital Signage Magazine, recognized the Evo Lite, a Clear Digital mobile digital sign, as well as 10 other products showcased at the annual conference.

“The Future Best of Show Awards at InfoComm are in their sixth year,” said Adam Goldstein, Future VP market leader for AV, Pro Audio, and CE at Digital Signage Magazine. “The program focuses attention on superb innovations in technology as seen around the exhibit floor of the industry’s top trade show. The list of 2019 winners and nominees shows where our industry is headed.”

The Evo Lite, a Clear Digital product, is the best in mobile digital signage is impact resistant, weather resistant, and battery-powered so you can take it just about anywhere. It has a built-in media player that allows you to load your own video or image content. Standing 40 inches tall, the Evo Lite’s long battery life allows for 14 plus hours of charge or a plug-in option for continuous use. 

“Once again, this Best of Show win is an honor and a testament to the team that has been working hard on research and development of these new products,” said Keone Trask, President of Clear Touch®. “In our industry, innovation is the differentiator between good and great, and we are most appreciative of this recognition of what we think is a great product.”

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 their innovative products.  Our commitment to our customers, the reliability of our products, and our industry-leading innovation have paved the way for our 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. 

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How to Keep Your Classroom Healthy and Clean

It’s that time of year again—when your students walk through your doors bringing all their germs with them. When they share viruses along with their crayons or pass the flu around along with their notes.

Even if you’re a veteran teacher who has become immune to most of these classroom sicknesses, flu season still strikes fear in your heart. This year, stop germs in their tracks with a classroom cleaning regime that will keep you and your students healthier through flu season.

5 Ways to Keep Your Classroom Clean During Flu Season

1. Start With the Students Themselves

One of the best ways to limit the spread of germs in your classroom is to help your students learn proper flu season etiquette. You can’t spray them all down with disinfectant as they walk through your doorway, but you can teach them a few tips for keeping themselves healthy. Whether you work with young kids or older students, it’s never too late to learn the Vampire Cough Method. You can also encourage your students to wash their hands more frequently throughout the day, and teach them proper hand washing techniques. The number one way that the flu and other diseases spread in the classroom is through hand contact, so teaching students the proper way to wash their hands will go a long way toward keeping the flu at bay.

2. Get Your Class Involved

There’s no reason that you have to be a one-person germ defense in your classroom. Numerous educational studies demonstrate that classroom jobs help students feel more important and needed, give them a better sense of personal responsibility, make them more community minded, and promote better behavior. During flu season especially, give two or three students the responsibility of wiping down desks after class with cleaning wipes while others are responsible for cleaning any tablets, Chromebooks, or class sets of books that you used that day.

Or, you can even make a few minutes of cleaning into a fun, whole class activity. Give each student a disinfectant wipe, turn on some music, and tell them to dance and wipe down the classroom during the song. Your entire room will be sparkling and disinfected in no time. For younger students, try using shaving cream to get their desks clean. Give each student a handful of foam, spread it on their desks, and ask them to trace their letters or draw in the foam before wiping it back off. Your desks will look restored and be squeaky-clean, germ-free surfaces for learning.

3. Clean Your Classroom Technology

One-to-one districts, Chromebook classrooms, Apple classrooms, interactive displays, and personal learning devices have revolutionized the way we teach and learn. However, the technology you use in your classroom can foster germs and spread sickness, too. Especially those class sets of laptops or tablets that get shared by multiple students throughout the day. Here are a few tips for how to disinfect your laptops and other classroom technology.

  • Laptops and Keyboards. Remember back in the 80’s when that big study came out showing that our phone handsets carried more germs than a toilet seat? Turns out, the same thing is true of keyboards, which harbor germs from unwashed hands. But you don’t have to buy special computer cleaning wipes to disinfect your classroom laptops and keyboards. An NPR study demonstrated that regular, commercially available cleaning wipes such as Clorox Disinfecting Wipes are both safe and effective on keyboards, ridding the surface of bacteria and preventing regrowth for several days. Simply wring out any excess liquid before cleaning and press gently over the keys and screen.
  • Tablets and Personal Devices. Similar to keyboards, your classroom tablets, smartphones, and other personal devices tend to be covered in germs. While there are specialty cleaning wipes available, the standard disinfecting wipes you use on the rest of your classroom surfaces work just as well. So does a mixture of distilled water and isopropyl alcohol. Be sure to use a microfiber cloth to avoid scratching the screen—or give each student a small piece of felt as a budget-friendly way to clean smudges.
  • Interactive Displays. Clear Touch® interactive displays promote collaborative learning with 20 points of simultaneous touch—but you don’t want to promote the spread of germs at the same time. To clean, simply wipe the screen gently with a microfiber cloth. Use a gentle cleaner only, and don’t use paper towels or other fabric and never clean with alcohol, acetone, ammonia or other harsh chemicals. Anything harsh can create micro scratches on the surface of your interactive display, which will dull the LCD screen over time. Finally, if your display gets shared between classrooms on a mobile stand, be sure to quickly wipe down the stand as well before sending the display to the next classroom.

4. Get Rid of Germs in One Pass

Stringing beads. Math manipulatives. Counting toys. Magnetic building tiles. If you teach in an early education classroom, you know exactly what we’re talking about. The bins and bins of small, handheld teaching aids that help your students learn math while improving their fine motor skills. Unfortunately, all these small items are the perfect breeding ground for germs and nearly impossible to clean individually—even if you had the time. Instead, why not take them home in a mesh laundry bag and toss them in the dishwasher overnight? Germs gone. Sanity saved.

5. Keep the Air Fresh and Clean

Between sports practice, gym class, and recess, kids and teens can get stinky throughout the day. Cleaning the hard surfaces in your classroom is one thing, but fabrics such as bean bags, pillows, or sofas can not only absorb these lingering odors but also be a hideout for germs. Invest in a product like Clorox 4 in 1 or an all-natural, organic refresher like Counter Culture Air & Fabric Refresh. A few quick sprays of any cloth surfaces and the surrounding air will eliminate odors and germs. A charcoal odor absorber is another natural, eco-friendly way to eliminate unwanted smells in the classroom.

It’s important that you’re able to take care of yourself during this time of year so your classroom can keep running smoothly. So, drink lots of fluids, get your rest, send sick kids to the nurse quickly—and keep your classroom as clean and germ-free as possible.

Keeping your classroom clean and healthy during flu season doesn’t mean that you have to become OCD or a total germaphobe. And, you can still give that struggling student a quick hug. By incorporating a few, simple cleaning activities into your normal classroom routine, you can help your students and yourself stay healthier this year.

Clear Touch® Named to 20 Fastest Growing Companies

Greenville, S.C. – Clear Touch has been named one of the 20 fastest-growing companies in South Carolina for 2019 by SC Biz News in their annual Roaring Twenties designation. The list, which honors 20 large companies and 20 small companies from across the state, recognizes the state’s fastest-growing companies based on both dollar and percentage increases in revenue from 2017-2018. Clear Touch was recognized for its ranking on the list of large companies honored. 

In order to qualify for the Roaring Twenties designation, companies must have a physical presence in South Carolina and be a for-profit entity or a nonprofit organization, excluding government entities and charitable organizations. Company size was determined by gross revenue: A small company was considered as having $10 million and under in revenue, with revenues of at least $500,000 each year for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018; large companies were classified as having over $10 million in revenue. 

“The Roaring Twenties award is one of the premier awards in South Carolina, and we are honored to receive it this year,” said Keone Trask, President of Clear Touch®. “The growth recognized by SC Biz in this award is only possible because of the hard work from all of the members of our team, and the many customers who put our products in their business and schools. We are grateful for every person who played a part.”

Profiles of the winning companies will be published in the winter issue of SCBIZ magazine. The winners will be honored at an event on Sept. 26 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Columbia.

ABOUT CLEAR TOUCH®

Founded in 2012, Clear Touch® is a forward-thinking technology provider named to the Inc. 500 list of the fastest-growing companies 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 their innovative products.  Our commitment to our customers, the reliability of our products, and our industry-leading innovation have paved the way for our growth. Clear Touch® develops products for education, business, and government including multi-touch interactive panels, software suites, and accessories. Clear Touch® is also an exclusive reseller of Clear Digital products including LED video walls, interactive podiums, and mobile display signage. 

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Video Wall vs. Projector: Which is Best for Churches and Events

Are you looking to upgrade the video technology in your church sanctuary or event venue? Projectors have long been a staple solution in these places and are often the first solution to come to mind. However, over the past few years, videos walls have more and more been coming into the mainstream, and there’s a very good reason why!

Video walls are by far a superior technology solution to projectors, and they enable new and compelling ways of presenting content that once would have been possible only in the realm of imagination. Here’s a quick introduction to video wall technology, what it does, and how it compares to projectors. Finally, we will explore how video walls are a wise long-term investment.

What is a video wall?

A video wall is a series of LED video displays that work together as a single unit. These LED displays work together via a built-in video wall controller. This device contains heavy duty image and video processing hardware and software that gives each LED display more video processing power and capabilities than it would have on its own. The result is a video solution that is bigger and brighter than a traditional projector or even a single LED display.

Benefits of a Video Wall vs. a Projector

So, what exactly does this look like in reality, and how do video walls stack up against projectors?

1. LED video walls deliver superior performance to projectors

Firstly, video wall technology has a superior resolution to projectors. Many video wall displays are already higher resolution than a projector to start with, but then you must consider that video walls are modular and can be stacked together to increase the resolution even further. Projectors simply do not have this ability.

Video wall technology is also much smoother when it comes to displaying content. The frame rate is much higher thanks to the video wall controller, and the high-resolution LED displays offer consistent, clear, and crisp image and video rendering. Projectors, on the other hand, are not as crisp and often have a slight blur around sharper edges, such as around the individual letters in the words of projected song lyrics or sermon notes.

All-around the visual quality of video walls is superior, and we have only begun to scratch the surface of this technology.

2. LED video walls are brighter than projectors

Video walls are also much brighter than projectors and are visible even in broad daylight, whereas projectors must compete with other light sources to look their best. Projectors also lose brightness over time with 20-30 percent of brightness lost during the first year alone. The disadvantage of this is that projectors require dimmer and dimmer room lighting for optimal brightness or must be placed closer to the screen, which can be technically limiting.

Video walls, however, do not have these limitations and are ideal for sanctuaries and auditoriums with high-ceiling light sources or large windows that offer competing sources of light.

3. LED video walls connect to various content sources with ease.

The processing power of the video wall controller means that these videos and media sources can also be resource-heavy without affecting the video wall’s overall performance. Projectors simply do not have this level of power and flexibility.

4. LED video walls are long-lasting and require minimal maintenance

Video walls do require more time and effort to install initially than projectors, and they are a more complex technology than projectors are. However, they require much less maintenance in the long-term. For example, projector bulbs quickly lose brightness over time and are very expensive to replace. The average bulb lasts around 2,500 hours, while a video wall can last up to 100,000 hours. You would have to replace a projector bulb 30-40 times over the same period of time that a video wall lasts. In addition, LED video walls emit direct light, which means they will look great for years without losing brightness.

A video wall’s modular design enables front access with standard wiring (no ceiling wiring like projectors), so you can easily remove one tile from the wall and replace it as needed. The new tile will even auto-calibrate its color to match the other displays around it!

Conclusion: Is a video wall a wise investment?

It is important to acknowledge that video walls do cost more than projectors, but they also last much longer and deliver superior performance. In addition, video walls require minimal maintenance and support over the long-run. We believe that these reasons justify the extra upfront cost to provide a long-term, sustainable display solution that you and your church or event venue will be able to enjoy for years to come!