Edgerton School District Delivers Big Impact through STEM Program

Background
Edgerton, Wisconsin is a small town of just over 5,500 people; with a school system that boasts well rounded and accomplished graduates year after year. A system committed to academics, well-maintained facilities, arts, athletics and, of course, technology.

The district, made up of four schools, not only remains up-to-date with technological developments but also paves the way for students to incorporate tech into their learning. Students are using mobile devices to be introduced to computer coding skills, app development, math strategies, presentation display, and Internet safety.

There are two Elementary STEM Centers in Edgerton – learning spaces for students in grades K-5 to experience Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum. These learning experiences encourage problem-solving and critical thinking and serve children at the universal level – meaning they’ve been carefully developed to give students flexibility, empowerment and ultimately, an equal opportunity to succeed.

One of the teachers leading the charge is Sheila Fox. “We are hoping to encourage children to use mobile devices in a smart and safe way and also to expose them to the advantages that devices can have on their learning environment,” said Fox.

Sphero robots are one of the educational tools Fox and her colleagues are utilizing to give students a variety of learning modes with visual, tactile and auditory applications. 

Challenge
With new technology comes new responsibility and logistics. When the Edgerton School District staff first introduced Sphero robots to their STEM Experiences, charging and safety were their top concerns. They needed to maintain safe, student-friendly learning stations. They also knew they’d need to share and transport the devices between the two Centers and beyond.

Solution
The Sphero Charging Case™ by LocknCharge is tailored precisely to these needs. It accommodates up to six Sphero BOLT or Sphero SPRK+ robots, along with their inductive charging bases, tools and accessories in a compact and neat hand-held container. 

“The Charging Case has been exactly what we were hoping. It has allowed a safe space for storage and is very versatile to move from one classroom space to another learning environment,” said Fox.

The Case prevents unwanted clutter and tripping hazards that exposed cords can create, which is vital in classrooms that are often tight to begin with. Open architecture design lets you see that all devices are in place, which in turn means they’ll be charged and ready to work, learn and play.

Strong aluminum, a keyed lock and a lifetime warranty are matched with a lightweight, compact design easy enough for children to carry around, which helps get them ready to work, learn and play, too.

Learn more about the Sphero Charging Case.

You can download the PDF of the case study here.

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TechDen Helps Families Decrease Screen Time

LocknCharge has been around since 1998 and has expanded to so many important industries like healthcare, retail, hospitality and more. TechDen is the brainchild of LocknCharge CEO James Symons and aims to transform how families manage devices in their home.

Did you know: The average smartphone user checks their phone 47 times a day? That’s 17,155 times a year!

With stats like this, there’s no denying that there is a serious smartphone addiction – especially among kids and teens.TechDen - Managing Screen Time

Because of this, parents all over are looking for methods to cut down on their family’s screen time. This is where Tech Den comes in.

The Den is a physical, in-home charging station in which families can give their smartphones a time out. In addition to the charging station, the Den offers an app that families can use to set boundaries and screen time expectations. The main goal of this product is to avoid the pitfalls of constant distractions and smartphone usage.

When setting up screen-time sessions with the Den, parents are able to choose when their kids are allowed to use their device and for how long – up to an hour. Even if a session is not active, the Den remains locked and children do not have access to devices.

The charging station works alongside an app, which is activated when the smartphone is in use and starts a timer via notifications. When screen time is up, the child will receive a notification that the device needs to be returned to the Den, and if it is not returned within 5 minutes, parents will receive a notification.

James Symons says: “When creating the Den, our focus was not on taking away screen time for kids, but rather to promote a positive balance between screen time and family time.”

The Den is compatible with both iOS and Android Smartphones and tablets and can store and charge two devices at once. It has two doors which open and close independently and includes easy storing and access to devices.

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Getting your Students Refocused After the Holiday

The weeks leading up to the holidays can be an extremely hectic time – especially at school. Students often lose focus on their school work – causing a chaotic classroom, leaving teachers to various tactics to keep their kids on task before the holiday break, as well as refocusing them once they return to school.

Read on to find out how a few teachers are keeping their students mindful during the busiest time of the year:

Justine Gillespie, Special Education Teacher

“Halfway through the school year students can become burnt out on specific apps they’ve been using over the first semester. Most notably, math apps. I try to introduce new apps after winter break to “catch” my students attention again and get them to buy into the learning.

The biggest thing that I base all of my teaching off of is the individual student, I try to tailor all of my teaching to the child’s interests. The kids are more apt to learning when it is something they’re interested in. If we are writing an essay, I give options for the essay topic and the way in which they write their essay (handwritten, on the iPad, on the computer, etc). This is much easier to do as a special education teacher than as a general education teacher. However, I feel many teachers can benefit from switching things up mid-year.

The kids can pick up on teacher’s energy. If the teacher is burnt out, the kids will be too. Teaching is a give and take and the more we can involve our students in the process of teaching the more they’re willing to participate in the learning process.

I also ask my students what I can do to help them. Kids have a powerful insight to their learning styles and it is essential to teach them that they have the power over what they take out of what is taught in school and how they develop as a learner. Again, easier to be done as a special education teacher than as a general education teacher, but crucial to the success of each student.”

Kate McNally, Elementary School Bilingual

“I like to give students opportunities to have movement breaks throughout the day which helps them stay focused and engaged right before and after holiday breaks! This really helps retain their focus when the excitement of break is still on their minds. For example, we might spend 5-7 minutes doing a breathing exercise or a short Zumba session. I also like to change the seating charts or scenery in the classroom. It gives them a new and exciting environment to look forward to once they return to school!”

Katie O’Connor, Middle School English Teacher

“Get students involved in their learning! My students love using Kahoots and Peardecks on their devices, which allow them to be creative and see their results compared to their classmates in minutes!

Set up games in your classroom. Getting students involved in games such as Jeopardy online or a vocabulary challenge, to allow students to have fun while they learn a new topic or review something they learned during the first half of the year. Let them talk! I think that in the second half of the year, students will start showing how much they have grown since the beginning of the year: so listen to them!

Give them the opportunity and chance to share their thoughts and ideas with you and their classmates in any way possible! Debates, conversations, think.pair.share, and presentations.”

Rachel Rohland, Special Education Teacher

“I’ve found success by offering rewards, incentives, and class prizes. Some examples might be a party at the end of the week, 30 minutes of free time, or time to play learning games on our classroom iPad. Even something as simple as using stickers as a reward system has been a great way to keep kids on task and learning-focused.

One trick, unique to January, was our New Year Resolution day. My fellow educators and I went over what a “resolution” was this morning and each student named one that they would work on in school. Throughout the month, we can continue to remind them of their resolutions and keep them on track to success!”

Megan Cagney, 1st Grade Teacher

“Something I’ve started doing more all year with the students but definitely try to make sure I do after coming back from break is to involve them in goal setting, personal and academic. The personal goal would be like a New Years resolution which we usually write those out and post them on a bulletin board either in our classroom or in the hallway. I talk about involving others in your goals so that they can hold you accountable and help you reach your goals. The academic goal, I make kid-friendly sheets to track data, such as their sight words and reading level or certain reading skills we are working on. I show them the end of the year goal, where they are at currently, and then together we decide what they can work on for the next month or two to reach their personal academic goals. It motivates them, it’s visual and tangible, it makes it seem more doable to them if we work on it together to come up with a realistic goal based on each student’s needs and abilities.

It also helps to start out coming back from break with very interactive lessons that are guided by the students’ interests to some extent. We planned it so that our writing unit when we come back will be a nonfiction writing unit. The students will use books, Chromebooks, and iPads to do research on an animal and then an insect that they’re interested in learning more about. The first week or two back is all about research, learning as much as you can about your topic to become an “expert” and then we work on taking organized notes. Then we will transition into writing about our animal/insect. We create big books full of diagrams, labels, pictures, and info. At the end of the unit, we invite a Kindergarten class in to read the students’ nonfiction books they wrote.

In addition, we will be working on our nonfiction reading unit which again encourages students to read a lot about topics to become experts so that they can be “reporters” on their topic. We watch kid-friendly documentaries and then the students actually create their own mini-documentary on their topic. We will record it with iPads and create little videos to send to parents, watch as a class, and send to other classrooms as well.”

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New Products at BETT 2019

LocknCharge to launch its new range of charge and store devices aimed at saving time, space and funding for schools, at BETT 2019.

LocknCharge is committed to making teachers’ lives easier by manufacturing high quality solutions for syncing, charging, transporting, securing and storing iPads, Chromebooks, tablets and other mobile devices.

On stand F250 at BETT 2019, LocknCharge will showcase its innovative new range of charging and storage stations and portable baskets aimed at making teachers lives easier.

 Does your school have too little time, too little space, too little funding? Whether it is affordability, flexibility or ease of use, LocknCharge has a superior range of options for any school seeking real-life answers to their storage and device management problems. 

Currently facilitating deployments in over 30 countries worldwide, LocknCharge have had major Global success in the education sector with their unique charging systems. LocknCharge recognises that not all schools are the same.  That is why they offer a multitude of different storage and charging solutions to suit any educational establishment.

LocknCharge is world famous for its unique and innovative basket designs, which keep tablets safe and reduce the time spent by teachers in distributing devices, as well as the time spent by children queuing up to put them away in a traditional cabinet style solution. This means teaching can happen faster – saving over two weeks of instructional time per cart each year!

Other common problems in schools include a lack of available space, and with a choice of stations complete with a small footprint, and lightweight frame, a school can easily install smaller units to the floor, wall or desk to save valuable footprint.  

LocknCharge will be launching their Carrier 15, the Revolution 32 Charging Cabinet, their Putnam 18-C Base, and their new Joey 30 & 40 carts at the BETT show.

The Carrier 15 charging station offers supreme flexibility (with the inclusion of LocknCharge baskets and a wire rack to accommodate devices over 13”) and is truly universal as it is compatible with Chromebook, Tablet, iPad devices and more. It is wall or desk mountable – saving valuable floor space within a classroom. With easy cable management, you can simultaneously charge up to 15 devices at one time.

The Revolution 32 charging station is ideal for classrooms that are tight on space but have a large volume of devices to charge and store.  It takes up 40% less floor space than a cart with its tall slim design and can accommodate a huge variety of devices due to its innovative power strips which slide on a clever track to make space for just about any type of device cords or power bricks.

The Putnam 18-C Base Charging station is designed to individually store, charge and secure up to 18 Chromebook or small laptops.  The Charging Station is extremely easily to cable and set up. Plus, with numbered slots for each device, teachers can easily know which slots are available and can assign them easily. For larger schools, two or more units can be stacked, whilst still remaining ultra-small on footprint. With an integrated mechanical combination lock too, there are no keys to worry about either.

Appreciating that budget is a genuine concern for many districts who do not want to compromise on choosing the right cart, locker or charging station for their schools, also on show at BETT 2019 are the new Joey 30 & 40 carts, designed for schools to enjoy the education-focused designs that LocknCharge is known for, at a more entry level price.   

James Symons, CEO of LocknCharge, says: “LocknCharge products keep devices safe and charged, and always ready for use. Schools all have differing needs and our new products provide an even wider range of options to fit any type of device deployment. Whether a school is faced with too little time, too little budget or too little space – we have something that can help resolve each of these problems. We are pleased to be able to offer solutions to our customers and new visitors alike at BETT 2019.”

Something also to watch out for in 2019 is TechDen™ – the new LocknCharge brand for parents to help manage screen time at home.  

For more information on LocknCharge, please visit their website at www.lockncharge.com.

 To learn more about TechDen, please visit their website at www.techden.com

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