Tag: oklahoma sound

Enter to Win a Free Tech Cart from Oklahoma Sound!

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Worthington Direct is giving away a Free Tech Cart from Oklahoma Sound! Enter today for your chance to win a mobile presentation tech cart for your classroom of office.

Participants may enter April 14th through April 30th. The winner will be announced on May 1, 2014. Contest is open to all fans of the Worthington Direct Facebook Page. Click on the below image for contest details and entry form. Good luck!

 

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Technology in the Classroom

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School furniture is being used less for finger paints and more for Microsoft Paint in most classrooms today.  Worthington Direct has a wide variety of classroom furniture that can also double as computer lab furnitureComputer seating, computer tables, computer cabinets and multimedia centers are all important parts of the modern classroom; from college students all the way down to toddlers clicking away at their early childhood computer tables.  Visit www.worthingtondirect.com today for quality school, church and early childhood furniture that will support the new technology found in today’s classroom.

School Technology FurnitureIn some classrooms, iBooks have replaced textbooks. In others, students prepare video yearbooks that can be delivered to their classmates’ cell phones. In still others, teachers ask students a question and they punch in the answers with “clickers” that look like TV remote control devices.

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent getting computers into classrooms, and teachers and students around the country are using technology in new ways. That raises two important questions for parents:

1. How is technology being used to improve learning?

2. Are students developing the skills they’ll need to understand and use it in the future?

Pointers for Parents

It can be tough to assess a school’s use of technology. There is little research to go on since many of the tools and techniques that employ them are new. Here are three pointers to help assess how technology is being used:

1. Ask the teacher or principal how technology is aligned with grade-level goals. Parents might be wowed by an 8-year-old’s ability to produce a Power Point presentation without looking closely at the thinking that went into it. While students need to develop technological skills, it should be in the context of thinking and learning to solve problems. That means the technology needs to be aligned with learning goals, says Shelley Pasnik, senior researcher for the New York-based Center for Children and Technology. “There needs to be a vision on the part of the instructional leaders at the school,” she said. “The content should lead, the tool should follow.”

2. Ask your child about how he uses technology in doing his assignments. Pasnik advises parents to talk to their children about how they use technology in their assignments. If, for example, your child put together a multimedia presentation about the Lewis and Clark expedition, ask why he chose the elements he did. You’ll find out pretty quickly if technology was used for its own sake or because there was thought behind it. “If your child says, ‘I was able to use not only my words to describe Lewis and Clark’s journey, but also a picture’ or ‘I chose this font because it looked like something Lewis and Clark might have used in the 1800s,’ you’ll see that technology was used to give deeper meaning to learning.”

3. Volunteer in the computer lab. Pasnik also encourages parents to help out in the school computer lab to see how technology is used. When you’re visiting the school, ask the teacher why the computer was used in a particular lesson. If she says, for example, that she’s using the Internet so students can pose questions to experts in the field, that’s a sign that technology is being used with a purpose. Continue reading


Tips on Giving a Great Presentation

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 Giving a presentation soon?  While you may have to do extensive reseach for your presentation details, look no further for the right lectern to stand behind.  Worthington Direct has a wide variety of lecterns, podiums and multi-media carts that will ensure your presentation looks polished and well thought out.  This is the last week for free shipping on the Orator lecterns by Oklahoma Sound, so don’t delay!

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 Know the needs of your audience and match your contents to their needs. Know your material thoroughly. Put what you have to say in a logical sequence. Ensure your speech will be captivating to your audience as well as worth their time and attention. Practice and rehearse your speech at home or where you can be at ease and comfortable, in front of a mirror, your family, friends or colleagues. Use a tape-recorder and listen to yourself. Videotape your presentation and analyze it. Know what your strong and weak points are. Emphasize your strong points during your presentation.

When you are presenting in front of an audience, you are performing as an actor is on stage. How you are being perceived is very important. Dress appropriately for the occasion. Be solemn if your topic is serious. Present the desired image to your audience. Look pleasant, enthusiastic, confident, proud, but not arrogant. Remain calm. Appear relaxed, even if you feel nervous.

Speak slowly, enunciate clearly, and show appropriate emotion and feeling relating to your topic. Establish rapport with your audience. Speak to the person farthest away from you to ensure your voice is loud enough to project to the back of the room. Vary the tone of your voice and dramatize if necessary. If a microphone is available, adjust and adapt your voice accordingly.

Body language is important. Standing, walking or moving about with appropriate hand gesture or facial expression is preferred to sitting down or standing still with head down and reading from a prepared speech. Use audio-visual aids or props for enhancement if appropriate and necessary. Master the use of presentation software such as PowerPoint well before your presentation. Do not over-dazzle your audience with excessive use of animation, sound clips, or gaudy colors which are inappropriate for your topic. Do not torture your audience by putting a lengthy document in tiny print on an overhead and reading it out to them.

Speak with conviction as if you really believe in what you are saying. Persuade your audience effectively. The material you present orally should have the same ingredients as that which are required for a written research paper, i.e. a logical progression from INTRODUCTION (Thesis statement) to BODY (strong supporting arguments, accurate and up-to-date information) to CONCLUSION (re-state thesis, summary, and logical conclusion). Do not read from notes for any extended length of time although it is quite acceptable to glance at your notes infrequently.

Speak loudly and clearly. Sound confident. Do not mumble. If you made an error, correct it, and continue. No need to make excuses or apologize profusely. Maintain sincere eye contact with your audience. Use the 3-second method, e.g. look straight into the eyes of a person in the audience for 3 seconds at a time. Have direct eye contact with a number of people in the audience, and every now and then glance at the whole audience while speaking. Use your eye contact to make everyone in your audience feel involved. Speak to your audience, listen to their questions, respond to their reactions, adjust and adapt. If what you have prepared is obviously not getting across to your audience, change your strategy mid-stream if you are well prepared to do so. Remember that communication is the key to a successful presentation. If you are short of time, know what can be safely left out. If you have extra time, know what could be effectively added. Always be prepared for the unexpected. 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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