Bretford Carts

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Bretford last month announced an end of an era – Bretford, long a leader in TV carts, has announced the end of their traditional CRT carts, long the standard in schools across the nation; in favor of flat screen – LCD, Plasma and DLP display carts. The flatscreen display form factor allows exciting new designs and approaches to the classic TV cart. Worthington Direct‘s catalog has changed to reflect this turn of technology as more flatscreens find their way into schools, churches and commercial settings every day.

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Classroom Gets Answers on the Presidental Campaign

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More and more students are working with computers to aid in their studies and keep up with current events.  Worthington Direct offers a great selection of computer tables and computer workstations at resonable prices. Visit www.worthingtondirect.com today and find sturdy computer furniture and convenient audio-visual furniture that’s right for any classroom.

Bretford Model EC15

NBC News is making its top political reporters and experts available to answer questions about the 2008 presidential election from the nation’s students and teachers. "Ask NBC News" is an exclusive feature of NBC News Archives on Demand, a compilation of thousands of primary-source video resources created specifically for classroom instruction.

The Archives on Demand are available on HotChalk, a free web-based learning management system for K-12 teachers and their students. Students and teachers can submit questions about the presidential campaign via eMail to [email protected] or via text message to ASKNBC (275622) by texting ASK and then their question.

Each Thursday, the NBC News political team–including Meet the Press host and Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief Tim Russert, Washington Correspondent Pete Williams, and Chief White House Correspondent David Gregory–will answer one question and make the video available at the HotChalk web site.

In addition to Ask NBC News, the NBC News Archives on Demand features a "Decision ’08" curricular resource offering up-to-the-minute presidential election news. Features include full profiles on the candidates, information about their positions on major issues, video clips of speeches and debates, campaign trail news, historical footage from past presidential campaigns, and political analysis from the award-winning NBC News team.

The video-on-demand user interface allows teachers to customize their lesson plans with relevant content to bring the election process and political issues to life in their classrooms, NBC News said. Continue reading

Classroom Technology Reinvents the Pop Quiz

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GREAT NECK, N.Y. — The games had begun. In a darkened classroom at Great Neck South High School on a recent afternoon, the Advanced Placement physics students sped through a pop quiz, furiously pressing keys on hand-held clickers. A projection screen tracked their responses in real time, showing who knew what through an animated display of spaceships — individually numbered for each student — that blasted off or fell by the wayside with each right or wrong answer.

Worthington Direct has great prices and selection on audio visual furniture for the classroom or computer lab.  Visit www.worthingtondirect.com today and find the right classroom furniture, whether high-tech or low-tech.


As students in Matt Sckalor’s physics class at Great Neck South High School click their answers, the results go up on a screen. They can instantly see their progress, and how the class did. The students were not competing for grades (it was only a practice quiz), but they certainly acted as if they were. “Let’s go, let’s go!” yelled a boy from the back of the class. “What’s the next question?”

The Great Neck district has been introducing the clickers in an effort to liven up traditional classroom teaching with a more interactive approach. After a successful test at one of its high schools, Great Neck expanded the technology to other schools. The clickers are part of an increasingly popular technology known as an audience response system, which has been used for everything from surveying game show audiences to polling registered voters. That technology is now spreading to public and private schools across the country.

The Los Angeles school district has spent about $503,000 to buy clickers for more than two dozen middle schools since 2005, district officials said. Smaller districts in the Dallas and Atlanta suburbs have also invested in them, according to school officials and companies that manufacture the devices.

In New York City, a dozen schools across the five boroughs have experimented with the devices. And in St. Paul, the clickers are routinely used to train teachers and administrators and to get reaction from parents at community meetings. In a typical system, the clickers record data from individuals, and transmit that information, through wireless technology, to a computer program. The program can instantly display the results, tally them and present them in elaborate spreadsheets and eye-catching graphics like spaceships or “Jeopardy!”-style boards. It can track the percentage of correct answers received for each question as well as the participation rate among all users.

The growth of the clicker technology in schools has been “very big and fast paced,” said Jaci Hendricks, a spokeswoman for Qwizdom, one of several companies that manufacture the clickers. In the last five years alone, Qwizdom has supplied more than 750,000 clickers to schools nationwide, including those in Great Neck, New York City and Los Angeles. In Great Neck, the district spent $18,000 to buy the clickers after its technology director, Marc Epstein, saw them at education conferences. He thought they presented an advance over earlier classroom technology, which he said had focused on providing hardware to students (desktop computers, laptops and printers, for example), or helping teachers deliver lessons (“smart boards” and projectors).

In contrast, he said, the clickers used technology to assess student learning. Mr. Epstein found an ally in Randolph Ross, the principal of Great Neck South, who agreed to have the clickers tested at his school, which has 1,300 students, in 2006. Mr. Ross, who constructs crossword puzzles for a hobby, said that some teachers and students had already been requesting an electronic buzzer system to use for classroom “Jeopardy!” games and quiz bowls. Continue reading

Find the Right AV Cart

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Worthington Direct knows that AV equipment are valuable tools that should have the appropriate AV Cart to optimize their use. Here are a few details that should be considered before buying an AV Cart:

MONITOR SIZE : Be sure that the cart you choose is large enough and strong enough to hold the AV equipment you need to store or move. The measurement of your monitor is taken from the diagonal length from the upper left corner of the screen to the lower right corner of the screen. While most new monitors have a small footprint, you may want to check the overall base dimensions of the monitor against the overall dimensions of the shelf that the monitor shall rest on. Maximum monitor size and shelf dimensions are noted on all products designed for monitor use.

CONSTRUCTION : The most common materials that AV carts are made of are steel and plastic. Plastic carts are lightweight and generally less expensive, but are also weaker than steel carts. Keep in mind that steel carts are more suited for your needs if you have a larger or heavier monitor.

HEIGHT : Your audience is important to consider when shopping for an AV cart. Will your projector or monitor be used in an elementary school or a high school? Maybe both? Some AV carts feature adjustable height legs that can be lowered for younger students and then raised again for upper level students.

The size of the room that the AV cart is to be used is also important to consider. When projecting in a large space, a higher cart is best to insure that the audience in the back can too view the presentation. Likewise if in smaller space, the cart should be low enough to avoid having the audience crane their necks.

WHEELS : Most AV carts come with standard 4″ casters which works well for most mobile uses. Should an AV cart need to be pushed over rough ground or maneuvered in through tight classrooms, a larger caster base could be beneficial. Caster sizes and materials are noted for each product when applicable.

STORAGE : What type of AV equipment are you storing? Some AV carts are designed for specific equipment, such as an overhead projector cart or perhaps a laptop storage cart. Others may have many adjustable platforms that can easily hold a variety of media equipment that may need to be connected together to perform a task. Check product shelf dimensions against your AV equipment dimensions to insure proper fit. Some AV carts come with locking storage cabinets that will keep your expensive equipment safe and out of view when not in use.

ACCESSORIES : Most AV carts offer a power strip that allows the user to plug all equipment into the cart’s power strip and then run only one cord from the AV cart to an electrical outlet. Another useful accessory to consider is a safety belt, which keep monitors and projectors firmly in place during transit.

AV carts are a great way to share equipment between classrooms and to add convenience to equipment during presentations. Much research and money goes into purchasing the right AV equipment, so make sure proper consideration is also given when purchasing a corresponding AV cart.


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