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My First ISTE Experience:

My First ISTE Experience:

Amy AL-Khalisi

Amy AL-Khalisi

Ed-Tech Project Manager at CTL
Amy AL-Khalisi, is a Ed Tech Project Manager for CTL’s Nevada 21 Contract. She operates as a liaison between Nevada school districts and CTL as part of the Nevada Ready 21 (NR21) program. CTL will provides Chromebooks, networking wireless infrastructure, a rich suite of apps and online tools and a robust package of service and support for the NR21 program. This program initially targets middle schools, while future phases will target high schools. With a background in both education and technology, Amy is an ideal fit to help Nevada middle schools make the transition to deploying Chromebooks in their classrooms.
Amy AL-Khalisi

Latest posts by Amy AL-Khalisi (see all)

How to not become overwhelmed whether you are a veteran, vendor, or a first time attendee

I attended ISTE 2017 as an exhibitor with CTL. If you don’t know, CTL is a Portland, Oregon-based company that specializes in Chromebooks for education, Ed-tech, and 1:1 comprehensive solutions for school districts. Being a licensed special education teacher by trade, I knew at the ISTE conference in San Antonio, I was going to be like a kid in a candy store.

The road to getting ready for ISTE 2017

A year and half ago, I took a position as an EdTech Project Manager based out of Nevada for one of the largest statewide 1:1 solution programs, funded through state grants, called the Nevada Ready 21 Program. I realized I had a big job to do as there were school representatives attending ISTE from each of our 23 schools, including 9 schools from Clark County, the 5th largest school district in the nation. I needed to touch base with all of them, be prepared for two after-hour events for our regular customers around the world and for our Nevada Ready 21 participants for the second evening. You can only imagine the anxiety level I felt and the long days I put in before the conference.

Then, there I was… getting ready to conquer the 2017 ISTE conference in San Antonio. At least, that’s what I thought. I walked out into 95-degree weather with 50% humidity into a convention hall the size of a small town, one of the largest in the United States.20,396 attendees and exhibitors, 572 exhibiting companies, and presenters like Jab Abumrad from NPR’s Radiolab. As I got in line to get my vendor badge, I had no idea what I was in for. I kept telling myself,

“I am here to work at our booth to help promote our CTL Chromebooks, our service packages, and our comprehensive 1:1 solutions that incorporate curriculum, professional development, devices, specialized software apps, and our amazing service and maintenance plans.” And I reminded myself to just stay focused and not to get distracted.

However, as Robert Burns said, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

ISTE First Impressions

Walking into the conference hall, I immediately felt overwhelmed by the noise, the massive advertising signs, all the music, the numerous booth raffles, and the candy (yes, candy, and me trying to avoid sugar). There were people approaching me, trying to give out free swag, so I would stop to talk to them at their booths. All the while, I was trying to navigate, be polite, and find where I was trying to go. Yes, I knew the number of our booth, but not the area. But the massive size of the room and the competing booths seemed to distract me.

I made many rookie mistakes by not being prepared as a first time ISTE attendee. All in all, this place was full of amazing exhibiting companies, speakers, educational sessions, and tools; all of which were geared to help teachers, IT directors, and districts be informed about and select from the many curriculum apps, computer devices, and anything to aid teachers incorporate technology into their classrooms ….plus so much more! It was a wonderful experience, even despite being a little overwhelming as a first time participant!

Here are my tips & tricks of how to survive and not become overwhelmed at ISTE:

  • Get connected: Download the ISTE mobile app and use social media like Facebook, and Twitter to keep updated. The mobile app will be your command center, allowing you to look up the vendors to see where they are and stay up to date with the presenters and where they will be presenting. Plan at least 30 minutes ahead to get in line, and use this time to familiarize yourself with the app.
  • Identify your main goals: This will allow you to plan out your days to see presenters and vendors you want to visit and to learn more about them.
  • Take pictures: I recommend taking pictures of the key business cards you collect from the vendors that you are interested in. You will collect so many, but this tip will help you if you misplace or lose them. After all, pictures in the cloud won’t be forgotten.
  • Wear comfortable shoes: You may walk for miles, so bring your own water and snacks unless you want to overpay for food and water.
  • Organize and plan: Go through your swag, the information you collect, and re-organize it at night to be better prepared to plan out your next day. Then start all over again.

Remember, you are the one who will take away what you need. The more you apply yourself to the experience, participate in the learning sessions, go to keynote speakers, and are prepared; the more you will get out of it. Wear your patience hat and your tennis shoes, and most of all, have fun exploring and learning!

CTL is Coming to You: Summer Trade Show Line Up

CTL is Coming to You: Summer Trade Show Line Up

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

Learn about CTL’s Latest Ed-Tech Offerings at a Trade Show Near you!

CTL is dedicated to maintaining face to face relationships with our customers whenever possible. Hearing your stories and feedback with Chromebook technology in your classroom is what keeps us dedicated to always improving. This summer come see us at a trade show or educational conference near you. We’ll always have the latest CTL models and even sneak peeks at upcoming devices that are perfect for your Ed-Tech and business solutions.

June 7thSCS Instructional IT Conference – Memphis, TN

Shelby County Schools Instructional Technology Summer Conference, is attended by 500+ participants, ranging from principals and other key decision making members of their instructional learning teams along with six surrounding districts. CTL will be there showing off the latest in Chromebook technology like touchscreen convertible Chromebooks, the new J5X & NL61TX with Extra Rugged X-Panel, Google for Education, and Ed-Tech Software offerings.

June 14th – InnEdCo – Keystone, Co

This statewide conference takes place in Keystone, CO each year with the mission to help teachers integrate technological tools into all content areas. This four-day, hands-on, conference will help teachers learn how to implement new technology into their classroom to aid in curriculum and engagement. With 100+ different workshops, keynote speakers, and roundtable discussions with over 150 presenters and co-presenters who are primarily classroom teachers. Come see us at InnEdCo!

June 20th – NCESD Google Summit by DigitalBug – Wenatchee, WA

In the Wenatchee, WA area and curious about how to begin or better use Google products in your classroom? This Google for Education focused summit offers a day of learning and sharing tips and tricks on how to implement Google for Education and G Suite apps into the classroom. Come learn from a variety of certified and skilled presenters and discuss how to get the most from Google’s free products at NCESD’s DigitalBug Google Summit.  

June 25th-26th – SETDA’s Emerging Technologies Leadership Forum – San Antonio, TX

Join us for a weekend intensive in San Antonio, TX to engage in meaningful dialogue about topics of importance in digital learning across the nation. CTL will be showcasing our great selection of Chromebooks for education. SETDA members from state departments of education will also be there highlighting their major state initiatives and priorities.

June 28th-July 1 – ISTE 2017 – San Antonio, TX

ISTE is the place to be for educators and technology leaders. This weekend long conference highlights some of the most innovative leaders in technology and education. This year the Keynote speakers are Jad Abumrad, host and creator of NPR’s “Radiolab”, Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, and more. This event has an annual draw over 18,000 attendees and industry representatives, including teachers, technology coordinators, administrators, library media specialist, teacher educators, and policymakers. ISTE Conference & Expo is recognized globally as the most comprehensive educational technology conference in the world.

Aug 9th – Digital Edge ESD112 Summit – Vancouver, WA

The Digital Edge ESD112 Summit takes place each year in Educational Service District 112 in Vancouver, WA. This summit focuses on Google Apps for education. From Chromebook deployment to G-Suite apps, educational partners, including CTL, share the latest in Ed-Tech.

Come See CTL at the Following Trade Shows  in March 2017!

Come See CTL at the Following Trade Shows in March 2017!

Stephanie Shea

Stephanie Shea

Marketing Manager at CTL
Stephanie Shea holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Georgia and has almost 20 years of writing experience ranging from newspaper reporting to PR, blogging, website copy, product descriptions, social media and advertising. When she’s not at CTL, Stephanie can be found playing the tenor sax, practicing astrology or hitting the running trails in Forest Park.
Stephanie Shea

CTL will be at several trade shows this month. If you plan to attend any of these events, please stop by our booth and learn more about our EdTech solutions that combine our K-12 specific Chromebooks with enterprise level service and support. Get your hands on our demo Chromebooks and meet CTL team members.

March 8 – 10
Kentucky Society for Tech in EDU (KySTE) Spring Conference
Booth 1014
Galt House Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky

Kentucky’s premier education technology conference promotes the use of technology in Kentucky schools. The mission of KYSTE 2017 is to bring educators, administrators, technology professionals, college faculty and staff, public and academic librarians, business and industry trainers, industry representatives and policy makers together to think, discuss, listen and learn the best strategies to plan for, implement, and use education technology in our schools. This year’s “theme” will be a “Tech Super-Hero” theme.

 

March 15 -17
Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) Conference
Booth 237
Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan

The annual Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) Conference is March 15-17, 2017 at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI. It is one of the Midwest’s largest educational technology conferences with 5000+ educators from across Michigan, the region, and Canada.

 

March 22 – 24
Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE)
Booth 817
Oregon Convention Center, Portland Oregon

NCCE partners with educators, educational leaders, affiliates and corporations to enhance teaching and learning through our conference, professional development and resources. An affiliate organization of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), NCCE has a membership base from Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. The NCCE 2017 event will include speakers, workshops, continuing education, and more!

CTL® Announces that it is Exploring Collaboration with PortableCloud from TCEA

CTL® Announces that it is Exploring Collaboration with PortableCloud from TCEA

Stephanie Shea

Stephanie Shea

Marketing Manager at CTL
Stephanie Shea holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Georgia and has almost 20 years of writing experience ranging from newspaper reporting to PR, blogging, website copy, product descriptions, social media and advertising. When she’s not at CTL, Stephanie can be found playing the tenor sax, practicing astrology or hitting the running trails in Forest Park.
Stephanie Shea

CTL teams up with PortableCloud to offer classroom servers that can be configured with the exact websites, learning resources, course materials, and tools needed for a particular subject or class, without connection to the Internet. Contact CTL for more information.

CTL has announced that it is exploring collaboration with PortableCloud from the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) conference in Austin, TX. CTL will offer customers the PortableCloud platform and Cube servers which allow users to access curated files, web-content and web-apps over WiFi in any device with a browser, at blazing speeds, regardless of Internet connectivity.

PortableCloud Helps Schools Overcome Connectivity Limitations

The PortableCloud Cube micro-server empowers schools to ensure that educational content and apps are always available, even in areas without internet connectivity! The PortableCloud Cube server is connected to a Server applications marketplace where schools can download needed solutions, content, resources and tools to the PortableCloud and it will seamlessly connect to wireless devices on campus.

PortableCloud Gives Teachers the Right Resources in the Right Places

The PortableCloud solution gives schools control over the web pages and apps their students can access. PortableCloud Cube servers can be customized for each grade level so that students have access to resources appropriate to their curriculum. Common references such as Wikipedia, the Khan Academy, Gooru.org and other educational sites and apps will be readily accessible, while the distractions of the entire internet simply won’t be an option.

Benefits of PortableCloud for Schools

  • Ensure content and apps that matter the most are always available fast and appropriate for K-12 students
  • Integrate with your existing platforms, or make Portable Cloud the platform
  • Run best in-class open-source learning solutions, such the Khan Academy and other proven learning solutions
  • Deploy in-classroom or lecture-hall cloud e-learning solutions without requiring any external infrastructure
  • Connect multiple Cubes to expand local network capacity
  • Save bandwidth use on core content and learning activities
  • Provide parent education opportunities via mobile devices
  • Protect intellectual property with full security options
  • Keep networks online during power outages with battery options
  • Download new shared content from Portable Cloud Marketplace
  • Share top lesson plans on Portable Cloud Marketplace
  • Integrated hardware and software makes deployment easy
CTL Continues to Expand, Helping to Bring More Chromebooks to Classrooms Worldwide

CTL Continues to Expand, Helping to Bring More Chromebooks to Classrooms Worldwide

Stephanie Shea

Stephanie Shea

Marketing Manager at CTL
Stephanie Shea holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Georgia and has almost 20 years of writing experience ranging from newspaper reporting to PR, blogging, website copy, product descriptions, social media and advertising. When she’s not at CTL, Stephanie can be found playing the tenor sax, practicing astrology or hitting the running trails in Forest Park.
Stephanie Shea

 

CTL Chromebook sales increase in Europe after enormous success of Chromebooks in US K-12 Education

CTL’s European team just attended this year’s BETT education and technology trade show in London, England. Over the past year and a half, CTL has expanded into the European market with the opening of an office in Vigo, Spain in August of 2015. Chromebooks have rapidly skyrocketed here in the US, even outselling Macs for the first time in the US, according to a May 19, 2016 article in The Verge. Europe has taken note and teachers in Europe are learning from teachers experiences with technology here in the USA.

CTL Spain’s General Manager Hugo Ramallo has made the CTL J2 Chromebook one of the top selling Chromebooks in Spain. Additionally, the CTL J4+ with IPS panel and CTL J5 rugged convertible touchscreen Chromebook are now available in Europe. CTL is excited to announce the addition of a German office, that will be headed by Eric Masso. If you’re attending Didacta in Stuttgart February 14 – 18, look for Eric and the CTL team in Hall 4, booth number 4A60.

For more information on CTL Spain, contact Hugo Ramallo at hramallo@ctl.net. To contact CTL’s General Manager for Germany, Eric Masso, email emassso@ctl.net.

CTL® Announces from FETC the J5X Convertible Touch Chromebook with Extra Rugged Pressure-Resistant Cover

CTL® Announces from FETC the J5X Convertible Touch Chromebook with Extra Rugged Pressure-Resistant Cover

Stephanie Shea

Stephanie Shea

Marketing Manager at CTL
Stephanie Shea holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Georgia and has almost 20 years of writing experience ranging from newspaper reporting to PR, blogging, website copy, product descriptions, social media and advertising. When she’s not at CTL, Stephanie can be found playing the tenor sax, practicing astrology or hitting the running trails in Forest Park.
Stephanie Shea

The CTL J5X Chromebook converts into a tablet and features a pressure-resistant cover that can withstand over 300 pounds of pressure from the top, reducing breaks by 90%

January 25, 2017 (Orlando, FL)–Today at the Future of Education Technology (FETC) conference in Orlando, Florida,  CTL® has announced the new CTL J5X Convertible Chromebook for Education, an extra rugged convertible Chromebook and tablet in one. This convertible Chromebook is ideal for students, educators or mobile professionals who need a versatile, rugged device. With a 360-degree hinge, users can choose to type on the keyboard in laptop mode or fold the keyboard under and angle screen back for presentations. By rotating the screen all the way around, this extra rugged Chromebook can be converted into a tablet.

“The CTL J5X Convertible Chromebook for Education is one of our most versatile and durable Chromebooks to date,” said CTL President, Erik Stromquist. “This extra rugged Chromebook has it all: durability, touch screen, tablet functionality and a competitive price point.”

The new CTL J5X Convertible Chromebook for Education is available from CTL at a starting price of $289.00, which includes a free 1 year accidental damage warranty. Discounts are available to qualified education customers. Educators who wish to test drive a J5X may purchase a discounted unit through CTL’s “Buy and Try” program.

The CTL J5X Convertible Chromebook for Education is durable enough for the rigors of student use and includes a splash-proof keyboard and drop-resistant design. The water-resistant keyboard has been tested to channel spills of up to 11.16 oz. away from the electronics. This extra rugged Chromebook has been drop tested up to 2.3 feet. Other features include reinforced ports, hinges and power plug as well as a frame around the screen, sides and corners to help absorb the shock of bumps when dropped.  

In addition to having a rugged design, the J5X has extra fortification from a pressure-resistant cover that doubles as a whiteboard. The patented CTL X-Protect Cover can withstand over 300 pounds of pressure from the top, reducing breaks by 90%. The whiteboard surface makes it fun for students to personalize their Chromebooks or take notes.

CTL J5X Convertible Chromebook for Education Features and Benefits

  • Pressure-resistant cover that doubles as a whiteboard
  • 11.6’’ HD (1366 x 768) 5 point touch 16:9 IPS Panel
  • 10-point capacitive touch screen
  • Intel Braswell N3060 processor (bursts to 2.48 GHz)
  • 4GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • 32GB storage standard
  • Chrome OS
  • 1x combo audio jack
  • 3x USB 3.0 port
  • 1x HDMI
  • 1x Micro SD card
  • HD Web Camera
  • Up to 10 hours battery life
  • Serviceable battery

 

CTL Chromebooks Come with Enterprise Level Support and Services

All of CTL’s Chromebooks are available with a host of enterprise-level support and services. CTL provides IT solutions and classroom devices including CTL branded Chromebooks, Windows devices, and a host of enterprise level educational services such as professional development, custom logo painting, Pearson Education software and eTextbooks, asset tagging and much more.  To learn more about CTL’s professional development for educators, visit http://www.ctl.info/webinars. For more information on the CTL J5X Chromebook or other CTL products, contact CTL.

About CTL

Founded in 1989, CTL® designs and manufactures computer products including Chromebooks, desktop and mobile workstations, LED Monitors, and high performance servers. CTL® also manufactures specialty devices including ruggedized tablets, slates, and digital sign solutions. Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon with offices in Asia and Europe, CTL® and their partners supply North American and European consumers, government agencies, and many of the most recognized corporate brands. For more information about CTL®, please visit www.ctl.net.