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CTL J5 Convertible Chromebook is an “ISTE 2017 Best of Show”

CTL J5 Convertible Chromebook is an “ISTE 2017 Best of Show”

Laura Helms

Laura Helms

Content Manager at CTL
Laura Helms holds a BA in Applied Linguistics and has been working in content and social media management for 4+ years. Native to the Pacific Northwest when she isn't in front of a computer screen you can find her teaching yoga or creating large scale mosaic murals.
Laura Helms

The CTL team recently returned from our yearly trip to ISTE, the International Society for Technology in Education conference and tradeshow. This year was exceptionally special as a record number of over 20,000 attendees and exhibitors from all 50 states and 72 different countries flocked to see the latest in ed-tech solutions. CTL brought our fleet of ruggedized Chromebooks for education. Though we’re proud to say that the CTL J5 Rugged Convertible Touch Chromebook stole the show and was voted “ISTE 2017 Best of Show” by Tech & Learning Magazine.

Each year after the ISTE conference, Tech & Learning releases its list of winners of the “ISTE Best of Show” Awards. Tech & Learning’s team of advisors dedicate their time at the conference to explore all 572 exhibiting companies. These anonymous judges review each product based on a sliding scale, evaluating areas of ease of use, quality, innovative application of technology, and effectiveness. They then meet to discuss and name “Best of Show” products which will have the most impact in classrooms. Last year, T&L took note of the CTL NL61X Chromebook for Education and awarded the device “Best of Show.”

J5 Remains a Best Selling Chromebook for Educaiton

This year, CTL’s J5 Chromebook for education caught their eye. One of our best-selling products, the J5 Chromebook stands up to daily use from students, converts to display and tablet mode, and features a drop resistant design, spill-proof keyboard, and a battery that lasts up to 10 hours. The J5’s ten point capacitive touch screen allows the user to scroll, navigate, and interact with the Chromebook with ease.

We, at CTL, always value the time we get to spend with new and old friends attending ISTE and many other tradeshows. This year was no exception. From our Educator Appreciation Reception at the Hard Rock Cafe to our talks with our attendees about digital equity, 1:1 solutions, and ed-tech innovation, we remain excited to celebrate technology in education each year at ISTE.

Were You in Attendance at ISTE 2017?

Were you at ISTE this year? Did you have a chance to stop by the CTL booth and chat with our team? Did you come away with any questions about CTL or our products? We’d love to talk more with you about our 1:1 solutions, Chromebooks for education, and educational offerings. Feel free to email or call us anytime to chat.

Thanks again to everyone who made ISTE 2017 so special. We look forward to next year’s tradeshow and hope to catch up with everyone again!

J5 Now Featuring a New 360 True Flat Durable Hinge Design

J5 Now Featuring a New 360 True Flat Durable Hinge Design

Laura Helms

Laura Helms

Content Manager at CTL
Laura Helms holds a BA in Applied Linguistics and has been working in content and social media management for 4+ years. Native to the Pacific Northwest when she isn't in front of a computer screen you can find her teaching yoga or creating large scale mosaic murals.
Laura Helms

At CTL we are always thinking about the next innovation in ed-tech solutions and always looking for ways to continually improve our existing products. Whether product feedback comes by way of customers or our own experience with the products, we never shy away from continual refinement and innovation of our catalog. In other words, you speak and we listen!

The J5 Chromebook Made for Students

We love our J5 series of Chromebook. Rated as one of PC Magazine’s best Chromebooks of 2017, this device is a top seller for education and student use. The J5 is a great piece of technology, seamlessly moving from laptop mode to display mode to tablet mode. The device is also extremely durable, able to withstand falls, resists liquids through spill-proof keyboards which drain away from the internal components, and lasts ten hours between charges. All this and a 10-point capacitive touchscreen with IPS Panel ensuring responsive touchscreen interaction. The hinges are strong and durable to warrant the 360-degree movement in daily use.

J5 Chromebook: We Just Can’t Get Enough

We’ve now re-launched the J5 with new and improved hinges that smoothly glide with the screen, opening to lie flat yet still retaining the perfect amount of tension to hold the device open in whichever mode is desired. This improvement should reduce wear on the hinge and reduce risk to stress on the screen when opening.

We’re always proud to ensure that feedback and attention is paid to continual refinement and improvement in our devices.
CTL’s J5 Chromebook is an excellent choice for students and adults alike. At a price point of $259, with an included one-year warranty, this Chromebook is a great choice for back-to-school needs and classroom tools.

Visit the J5 Chromebook product page to learn more about specs and purchasing.

J5 Convertible Chromebook Display Modes

Interactive Video Tools for Chromebooks

Interactive Video Tools for Chromebooks

Katherine Livick

Katherine Livick

Professional Development Manager for Digital Learning at ESD 112 at ESD 112
Katherine is the Professional Development Manager for Digital Learning at ESD 112. She is a Google Certified Administrator and manages ESD 112’s GAFE training domain. She’s also a Google Education Trainer who trains district personnel on best practices for managing and using Google apps in an educational setting, as well as providing general tech integration training.
Katherine Livick

Latest posts by Katherine Livick (see all)

With more Chromebook and other devices in classrooms than ever before, teachers have the opportunity to help students deepen their learning with digital tools, including video. If you’ve been using video in class, but want to be sure it’s time well spent, check out these free tools you (and your students) can use to create interactive video lessons to flip your instruction, enhance study time, and engage your class.

Bringing Video to Life

You’re probably already using video in your class, so why bother with these new tools? Video is already useful, but we can make it even more relevant to educational use with tools specifically geared toward using videos for student learning. Even a great, highly engaging video that is germane to your learning objective can be ineffective if students are zoning out when they’re supposed to be watching it. With interactive video tools, you can not only guide students’ thinking and reflection while they watch the video, you can also drop questions into the video at just the right spots to deepen their thinking or reinforce an important point. Each of these tools works slightly differently; one of them should be just right for your classroom.

[Something to consider: because they’re third-party tools, you may want to double-check with your IT department or instructional technology coach to be sure that these tools are approved for student use in your district. Many of these websites (and those of many other educational tools) collect the email address of the student when they login, which could be considered personally identifiable information. The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act prohibits sharing of such information with third parties unless parental consent is obtained. This applies if you’re having students under 13 log in to view videos you’ve enhanced, or if you’re asking students to use the tools themselves to create quizzes or study materials. Asking students to view the videos on these websites without logging in shouldn’t create any problems, but you will not be able to collect data on student responses directly from the tool if they are not logged in.]

Interactive Video Options

Playposit: Log into this interactive video tool using OpenID–your Google, Microsoft, Clever or Edmodo account–and find the perfect video for your lesson from a number of sources, including YouTube and Vimeo. Add multiple choice or short answer questions throughout the video, then connect to Google Classroom or other tools to share your videos with students. You can view publicly shared “bulbs” (Playposit’s name for a video with questions) and use those for your class, too (though you’re limited to only a few shared bulbs as a free user). Playposit’s dashboard allows you to monitor student progress. It will let you know who’s viewed your videos and who hasn’t, but you’ll have to manually post links to the bulbs via Google Classroom, and your students will need to log in to Playposit (using their Google accounts) in order to view the videos.

EdPuzzle: This tool works in a similar way to Playposit, but allows you to upload your own videos when using a free account. You can also use YouTube or Vimeo videos, or videos from a number of different sources Like Playposit, you can use other teachers’ publicly posted lessons. Import classes from Google Classroom and post to Classroom directly from EdPuzzle using the “post to Classroom” button. You can prevent students from skipping ahead in your videos with this tool.

TED-Ed: This tool, as you might expect, was developed by the same organization that brings you TED Talks and conferences. It offers pre-made Ted-Ed lessons and series, as well as permitting you to choose YouTube videos (by searching or pasting in a URL) to create your own lessons. Ted-Ed has a very clean interface and is simple to use. It’s also 100% free, and you can choose to have students log in (if they’re over 13) or just watch the videos and take the quizzes with a nickname. Ted-Ed doesn’t collect data on the answers students submit, so it’s not as immediately useful for formative assessment as some of the other tools.

Vialogues: Another simple tool for creating interactive videos, Vialogues creates a comment stream alongside a Youtube, Vimeo, or uploaded video. Like Ted-Ed, it doesn’t collect answer data, but facilitates a discussion of issues in the video, based on questions or reflection prompts placed at certain points. As the creator of the questions and prompts, you’re a “moderator” rather than a teacher. Vialogues doesn’t connect to Google Classroom or other learning management systems, but it’s useful for non-graded activities such as encouraging reflection before an in-class discussion, or for introducing a topic.

Conclusion

Watching movies in class might have received a bad rap in years past, but with the abundance of digital video available to teachers today, we now know it can be an important part of an engaging learning unit. Try a few of these tools out with the videos you’re planning to show your class, and see how they deepen your students’ thinking. You’ve got nothing to lose!

 

To learn more about video tools for Chromebooks, attend or view Katherine’s June 15th Webinar on this subject! Register now! 

Did you know you can view all our past webinars on Chromebooks for Education and more? Find links to all our past webinars here! 

Touchscreen Chromebooks: We’ve got the touch

Touchscreen Chromebooks: We’ve got the touch

Laura Helms

Laura Helms

Content Manager at CTL
Laura Helms holds a BA in Applied Linguistics and has been working in content and social media management for 4+ years. Native to the Pacific Northwest when she isn't in front of a computer screen you can find her teaching yoga or creating large scale mosaic murals.
Laura Helms

Looking for Touchscreen Technology? CTL has the Chromebook for you!

In 1949, Maria Montessori stated in her book, The Absorbent Mind, “The hands are the instruments of man’s intelligence.” Almost 70 years later, “the hands” still play one of the most important roles in the way we interact with the world, and now with touchscreen technology.

It’s almost expected today that screens are touch-sensitive. If you’ve ever seen school-aged children around a standard or laptop monitor screen, chances are that they will reach out and touch the screen. They’ve grown up with touchscreen technology almost expecting it as a part of the digital native experience. CTL understands this need for innovative ways to interact with technology, which is why we carry a variety of touchscreen and convertible Chromebooks.

Here is a rundown of our most popular and best-selling touchscreen Chromebooks, all outfitted with capacitive ten point touchscreens and IPS panels for clearer viewing angles:

CTL Rugged J5 Convertible Chromebook 

The J5 Chromebook, awarded as one of the best Chromebooks of 2017, is one of our top selling units. This convertible unit has 360 degree hinges allowing it to be used in laptop mode, display mode, or tablet mode. The versatility and durability of this rugged Chromebook ensures that no matter which display mode the user chooses, the rotating capacitive touchscreen displays and responds correctly.

CTL J5X Chromebook: Extra-Rugged Chromebook for Education

The J5X Chromebook houses all the great features as the J5 with the addition of the X-panel, a bonded top panel which is designed to withstand up to 365 lbs. of pressure to the top of the unit. The X-Panel also can be used as a whiteboard for doodling, taking notes, or as a presentation aid. This unit can also be rotated 360 degrees allowing for use in laptop mode, display mode, or tablet mode. All combined, this is a great option for “on the go” and educational uses where durability is of the utmost importance, but technical capabilities are not hindered.

CTL Touchscreen NL61T Education Chromebook

The NL61T Chromebook is another great option for touchscreen. The 180 degree hinges allow for this Chromebook to lie flat. The user is able to use the water resistant trackpad and keyboard or choose to use the touchscreen option for selection. The 180-degree rotating camera with its optional microscope lens allows for special educational uses from science to videography. Another great feature of the NL61T Chromebook is the super long battery life, lasting up to 12.5 hours. This means it lasts more than a full work day or school day!

CTL NL61TX Extra Rugged Education Chromebook

Like the NL61T, the NL61TX Chromebook features a 180-degree hinge and a rotating camera. This unit also features the extra rugged X-Panel, which allows for the top cover of the unit to be used as a whiteboard for doodling, personalizing, taking notes, or as an aid during presentations. This X-Panel also ensures that the unit is ultra-rugged, withstanding up to 365 lbs. of pressure to the top of the unit. And in addition, when dropped on the corners, the unit is protected from damage.

Extra Rugged Touchscreen Chromebooks Stand Up and Stand Out

The Touchscreens offered by CTL go beyond touchscreen capabilities to offer versatility and durability that stands up and stands out to daily use. Visit the TouchScreen product page to learn more about our touchscreen Chromebook options!

CTL Education Software Offerings

CTL Education Software Offerings

Laura Helms

Laura Helms

Content Manager at CTL
Laura Helms holds a BA in Applied Linguistics and has been working in content and social media management for 4+ years. Native to the Pacific Northwest when she isn't in front of a computer screen you can find her teaching yoga or creating large scale mosaic murals.
Laura Helms

Did you know that CTL offers a variety of educational cloud-based web apps that are made for educational Chromebook use? Whether you’re looking to secure your Chromebooks for student safety or seeking to enhance the classroom environment with interactive learning programs, CTL has what you need.

Our software vendor partners have been vetted and proven to be outstandingly successful in their fields of operation. Here is a list of some of our offerings:

Google for Education Apps for Chromebooks:

Did you know that CTL is a Google for Education Premier Partner? Google has become a front-runner in the education sector offering many cloud-based apps specifically designed for use in schools and classrooms.

  • Google Chrome Management Console makes it easy for school IT administrators to deploy and manage users, devices and apps across a fleet of thousands of Chromebooks.
  • G Suite for Education allows teachers and students to create, share and edit files in real time. G Suite for Education core services include Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Hangouts and Drive.
  • Google Classroom  is a new tool in G Suite for Education that helps teachers create and organise assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently and communicate easily with their classes.

Internet Accessibility and Safety Apps for Chromebooks:

CTL understands that your all your students need access to the internet to be successful and in order to maintaining CIPA compliance and safe browsing environments for students is priority number one. That is why we offer several great cloud-based software options for security.

  • Kajeet is an industry leader for closing the digital equity gap on providing safe mobile internet connectivity for students. Their Education Broadband solution includes their Kajeet SmartSpot device and cloud portal which allows school districts to provide CIPA-Compliant, education-only filtered internet access at home.
  • Securly is a first of it’s kind cloud-based web filtering software, Securly, gives administrators and educators the ability to customize student’s online browsing experiences and monitor emails and social media to curb cyber bullying and self-harm.
  • GoGuardian provides administrators the power of web filtering, protection, analytics, and reporting all in one place. For teachers, GoGaurdian allows you to set browsing restrictions and view the screens of each students, ensuring that teachers can focus on teaching and not monitoring student device behavior.
  • NetOp Vision allows teachers to manage exactly what students are seeing on their Chromebooks during instruction, block access to the web, and direct attention to the teacher with screen customizable lock screens.

STEM – Math, Science, Coding, etc. Apps for Chromebooks

Your students learn better when they are engaged through a variety of learning methods combined with discovery and play.

  • LabCam helps to promote scientific inquiry, helps make abstract concepts tangible for students and is an excellent complement to your STEM curriculum.The application includes six modules: Time-Lapse Camera, Microscope, Pathfinder, Universal Logger, Kinematics, and Motion Cam.
  • Desmos Graphing Calculator is a best-in-class HTML5 graphing calculator that allows millions of students free access via their internet browser. With a mission to help all students learn and love learning math, their digital tools allow for teachers to create activities or use the Desmos activities provided on the site.
  • CodeCombat is an interactive learning game that combines learning and fun. Students are led through an interactive universe where special game play powers are utilized by creating read code!
  • NCLabs has created a variety of programs with the goal of bringing educational equity to STEM education programs everywhere. These online courses teach students a variety computational thinking and programming skills using fun games that make learning feel like play.
  • PocketLab is a science lab that fits in your pocket and connects to software ran on Chromebook. This little device can be used to measure position, velocity, acceleration, magnetic fields, pressure, altitude, and temperature. When connected to the PocketLab software, students are able to see detailed reporting on experiments.  
  • Intel Tools bring an innovative and engaging approach to science, reading, debate, and more. These specialized tools allow for students to map out cause and effect relationships and learn processes for data collection. Each of the Intel Tools Apps gives teachers the tools they need to create lesson plans and project ideas, and students the platform to

Educational Music Apps for Chromebooks:

Music has been proven to aid in developing language and reasoning. Our music software offerings allow students to learn the basics of music in a collaborative, fun, and creative environment.

  • Noteflight allows students to write, create, and share music online using the Noteflight composing software. Students will gain knowledge of keys, scales, tempos, and familiarize themselves with a variety of instruments.

Video & Image Editing Apps for Chromebooks:

Our world is becoming increasingly based in multimedia formats. Our video and image editing software offerings take Chromebooks for education to the next level teaching students how to produce brilliant videos and presentations.

  • WeVideo is a unique cloud-based collaborative video editing service that helps people from all over the world simply create and share great-looking videos. The WeVideo editor is easy enough for first-time editors, and sophisticated enough to help students create a professional-looking video.
  • Autodesk Pixlr allows students to edit images by quickly cropping, rotating, and fine-tune any picture. The cloud-based app is easy-to-use and allows students to turn photos into works of art with great effects like crosshatch, halftone, and dapple with a single-click.

Contact CTL today to find out more about these Chromebook applications and how you can use implement them in your schools and classrooms!

Managing Chromebooks in the Classroom

Managing Chromebooks in the Classroom

Katherine Livick

Katherine Livick

Professional Development Manager for Digital Learning at ESD 112 at ESD 112
Katherine is the Professional Development Manager for Digital Learning at ESD 112. She is a Google Certified Administrator and manages ESD 112’s GAFE training domain. She’s also a Google Education Trainer who trains district personnel on best practices for managing and using Google apps in an educational setting, as well as providing general tech integration training.
Katherine Livick

Latest posts by Katherine Livick (see all)

So–you’re getting Chromebooks for your classroom! This is a great opportunity for you and your students. You’ve heard they’re great tools…but the thought of all the things that could go wrong makes your blood run cold. What’s an already-busy teacher to do with the influx of technology into his or her classroom? Every situation is different, but there are a few things you can consider to make the transition smooth for everyone.

Introducing Chromebooks

What is a Chromebook, anyway? How is it different from a laptop? It’s a good idea to have a background understanding of what you’re actually wrangling in your classroom. A Chromebook is essentially a netbook, or small lightweight laptop, that runs the Chrome OS operating system instead of MacOS or Windows. Don’t worry – the environment won’t look too foreign to you once you’re used to it. In order to be called a Chromebook, a laptop must meet certain standards set forth by Google that allow it to operate comfortably with Google tools. Chromebooks are designed to work smoothly with Google apps, but you can run almost any web-based application on a Chromebook, including Office 365. There are a few exceptions, but that list is shrinking by the day. Chromebooks do have some storage space, but they aren’t designed to hold all your documents and data–that’s what Google Drive is for.

Most of the time, when you use a Chromebook, you will log in with your own Google (school district) email account. This is also likely to be how your students will use the Chromebooks. The documents you create and work on will be stored in your Google Drive, which means you can log in to that same account from any device and find all your stuff. This is why your students don’t need to grab the same Chromebook every time (though some teachers prefer that they do just to keep track of how the device is being treated). Pretty cool!

Daily Routines

Think through your daily routines and storage of the devices. Depending on the number of Chromebooks you have, and on district policy, you’ll want to think about the following things:

  • Do students take the devices home? Are they responsible for arriving at school with a fully charged device? Does your district designate policies around handling of electronics, or do you need to make your own?
  • How do students know if they need a device today/this period/for this lesson? It’s a good idea to have a system or sign so you don’t have to answer the question “Can I get out my Chromebook?” a million times at the beginning of the day. Frisco ISD made some great resources for device handling and signals for use–their site is aimed at students who are bringing their own devices to school, but the resources are handy for anyone with devices in their classroom. Take a look at some great teacher advice and student-created posters.
  • If Chromebooks are stored in the classroom, how and where? What are the likely problems with traffic patterns to and from the storage area? Does everyone fetch his or her own device, or will you designate helpers who will pass them out?
  • It’s advisable to be very specific when teaching students how to handle a Chromebook, as well. Two hands on the device whenever you’re carrying it is a very good idea. Be sure to model this behavior for students…I admit that I have dropped a Chromebook in front of my class more than once!
  • Computers collect germs (yuck). Make sure you set policies around food and beverage use near the devices. Whose responsibility is it to clean the devices? How often? Is your district providing cleaning materials that are legal and safe for school use? (Please don’t Windex your Chromebook!)

Expectations and Consequences

If you haven’t used computers in your classroom much, you’ll need to adjust your classroom management style just a bit. Don’t worry too much, and don’t think of yourself as the Internet police, but it’s a good idea to be sure you’re moving about the room. Before you ask students to get their devices, be sure you have a clear purpose for their use, and clearly communicate that to students (with intermittent reminders). If your principal walks in and asks a student “What are you doing with that Chromebook”, you want them to be able to answer intelligently! To save yourself major headaches later, decide on some attention signals to use (yes, even with older students) so you aren’t doing an interpretive dance up front to get attention from a class full of students with eyes glued to screens. Some teachers say “Screens 45” to indicate that they need to interrupt student work briefly; then say “Screens closed” to indicate that they need students to turn off the devices. Be sure to give adequate time for students to respond–even adults don’t respond instantly!

Once you’ve set expectations for device use in your classroom, you’ll need to decide on consequences for misuse as well. Your district may have a policy that you’ll need to follow, or you can create your own. Make sure it allows for a learning curve and an occasional mistake (nobody’s perfect), and then be consistent and fair in enforcing it. It’s always a good idea to know how you would teach a lesson without the technology, just in case something goes wrong (behaviorally or with the network!)

After reviewing basic procedures and expectations with students, it’s a great idea to involve them in the management of their classroom by having them create presentations or posters as reminders for the whole class.

Don’t Panic–Plan!

You have a great opportunity to deepen your teaching when you have Chromebooks available in your classroom. With a little advance organization, you can have a great experience with these devices–and your students will learn some valuable new skills!

Want to learn more?

Register for the May 17th Webinar on this same topic with Katherine Livick at http://ctl.info/webinars/

You can also view all our past webinars at http://ctl.info/webinars/ or on the CTL YouTube Channel