Paragon Furniture Featured in Oprah Giveaway

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Ocoee Middle School in central Florida impressed the queen of daytime TV, Oprah Winfrey, and received a makeover for their school library.  In conjunction with Target, the middle school library received a complete library makeover, 2,000 books and all new computers.  Furniture from Paragon were used in the makeover to create a fresh new library that invites students in to spend more time reading.  Check out the video that showcases both the new Paragon library tables with sleek curves and the ultra cool Wave Kiosk.

Oprah and Target Combine Forces on Library Makeover

The Ocoee Middle school was awarded this gift after impressing Oprah with their flash mob video presentation of a twist on a pop song with a literal meaning.  They were granted rights by the Black Eyed Peas to re-arrange their song “Gotta Good Feeling”, to create a literary awareness song called “Gotta Keep Reading”.  Here’s their award winning video:

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Paragon Furniture Monitors the Economy

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Paragon Furniture, makers of quality classroom computer furniture and masters of clever advertising, have been "monitoring" the economy. 

Paragon Furniture

Paragon has a comfortable view for any way you wish to see the economy’s condition or better yet, your computer screen.  Summer is a perfect time for schools to upgrade their computer lab and no lab would be complete without Paragon’s computer furniture line which includes Flat Panel Semi-Recessed Workstations, Cluster Workstations and Lab Workstations.  Support your economy and enhance your student’s computer skills by visiting www.worthingtondirect.com today for all of your computer furniture products.


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

Business and Education Leaders Revise Learning Goals

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Worthington Direct has all the information technology furniture your school needs to train the future IT work force.  Find great deals on Flat Panel Workstations by Paragon or lead the class with the popular Sit-Stand Computer Workstation by Bretford.  Visit www.WorthingtonDirect.com today and find the perfect platform on which to grow your technology education program.

Looking for support in revising your curriculum to reflect the needs of 21st-century learners? A new online resource could help: On Aug. 2, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), a national coalition of business and education leaders, issued a revised plan to help students and educators achieve 21st-century learning goals.

According to P21, the group’s revised framework “addresses key [concerns] by developing a clear vision for 21st-century student outcomes in the new global economy.” For the first time, the plan also “defines how school systems can best support these outcomes,” P21 says. This latest offering builds on the organization’s previous efforts to guide the integration of so-called “21st-century skills” into the curriculum. It’s essential, say coalition members, that students have a strong grasp of these skills for the United States to remain competitive in the 21st-century economy.

To help promote what P21 calls “real-world applications of content,” the coalition has added a new skills category, called “Learning and Innovation Skills,” to its framework. These skills distinguish “those students who can thrive in the complex life and work environments of the 21st century,” and they focus on creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration, as well as mastery of information, media, and technology skills–all of which are “essential for preparing students for the future,” according to Charles Fadel, a P21 board member and global education leader for Cisco Systems Inc. Fadel added: “We live and work in a technology- and media-driven environment, marked by access to an abundance of information, rapid changes in technology tools, and the ability to collaborate and make individual contributions on an unprecedented scale.

To be effective in the 21st century, today’s students must be able to exhibit a range of functional and critical-thinking skills related to information, media, and technology.” Other skills stressed in the new framework are what P21 calls “Life and Career Skills,” such as flexibility, accountability, innovation, self-direction, social and cross-cultural skills, leadership, and responsibility.

According to P21, these are skills that many U.S. employers say are increasingly hard to find among prospective employees. Core subjects still included in the revised framework include language arts, world languages, arts, mathematics, economics, science, geography, history, and government and civics, as well as such 21st-century additions as global awareness; financial, economic, business, and entrepreneurial literacy; civic literacy; and health literacy. continue reading

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