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American Education Week Wrap-up

As we wrap up American Education Week, Spectrum Industries would like to recognize all those who contribute to the lives and education of our youth. First and foremost, United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and National Education Association (NEA) http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifPresident Dennis Van Roekel have the largest influence of any Americans on our education system. Even though their ideologies differ on how to best route for education to take, they stood united in a Monday morning meet and greet in Alexandria, VA. The kickoff event at T.C. Williams High School recognized the importance of education and what is needed to be successful in the future.

Tuesday saw the unveiling of NEA’s new guide for educators in developing effective partnerships to help improve student performance.

The rest of the week has been largely dedicated to those in education supporting roles that don’t normally get high-profile recognition. Wednesday was a national day of recognition – Educ…

American Education Week Observed for 9 Decades

In 1921, the National Education Association adopted a resolution to support a national effort to raise public awareness of the importance of education. The concern arose after finding that 25 percent of the country’s World War I draftees were illiterate.
American Education Week continues with continued support of the NEA. The NEA's mission is "to advocate for education professionals and to unite our members and the nation to fulfill the promise of public education to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world."
In 2010, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation for American Education Week. Through the proclamation, the President reiterated education’s importance to our nation’s core values and to future success. The proclamation reads, in part:
Education has always been central to ensuring opportunity, and to instilling in all our citizens the defining American values of freedom, equality, and respect for one another. Our Nation's schools …

Come on - help a Mo Bro out...

It's already Movember 10 … yes, I said Movember.And what might Movember be? Movemberhas been described as the male version of the Susan G. Komen effort to raise money and awareness for cancer. Men who participate (Mo Bros) shave on October 31 and then grow mustaches throughout the month of November. Caring friends, family, and coworkers (Mo Bros and Mo Sistas) can give a tax deductible contribution to help find a cure for prostate and testicular cancer and raise awareness to men's health issues.From the Movember Web site:The funds raised in the US support prostate cancer and other cancers that affect men. The funds raised are directed to programs run directly by Movember and our men's health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Together, the three channels work together to ensure that Movember funds are supporting a broad range of innovative, world-class programs in line with our strategic goals in the areas of awareness …
Every year, spring and fall, we like to write a blog and say, “Reset your clocks this Sunday.” But with the current technology, setting your clock for Daylight Savings Time observation has nearly become a thing of the past and the whole practice of DST has come to debate.

Many digital timepieces are connected to the internet – computers, cell/smart phones, PDA, tablets – all have clock functions and even the frill-free ones come standard with Daylight Savings Time settings. This has also led to another phenomenon – the decline in sales of watches. I rarely wear a watch and even have an “atomic clock” that sets itself through radio waves.

So why do we have Daylight Savings Time? Why do we continue to observe it? These questions are in debate. This practice was first proposed in 1895, but it took a while to spread. The US adopted DST in March 1918. Thoughts then and now about what Daylight Savings Time does for us include the thought that it gives more sun after work – depending on where…

EDUCAUSE 2011 attendees could win a multimedia lectern!

The 2011 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference attendees that register at the Spectrum booth are entered for a chance to win their choice of three lecterns. The winner can choose from the new line of sleek presentation lecterns - the Academic Lectern, the Inspiration Lectern, or the Moderator Multimedia Lectern.

Entering is easy. Deciding which lectern you want will be the hard part.

Just stop by booth 1019 and register with Butch, Jerry, Sue, or Louis. Then the hard part, choosing which lectern you’d like to win! Let the Spectrum Team tell you about the new and proven lecterns, desks, and mobile computing solutions that make IT integration in the classroom a breeze.

Let the Spectrum Team connect you with our furniture!

The Spectrum Team will have a variety of products along including the Freedom Lectern XRS, the Media Manager Lectern, and the new Inspiration Lectern. For desks, take a look at the configurable Instructor’s Media Console or the Flex InSight Extreme Monitor System Desks that comes i…

Educational Funding & Grants Support

Spectrum Industries works closely with educators and school administration and understands that purchasing equipment and material for education is getting harder because of the crunch on budgets and school spending. That is why we have dedicated a Web page dedicated to Funding & Grants Support for educational purposes.

So take a look below for some soon-to-end opportunities and then check out Spectrum’s Funding & Grants Support Web page for some more opportunities to get the funding you need.


Sept. 19 - Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Grants: First Energy offers grants up to $500 to educators in preK-12 schools served by its electric operating companies (Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company, Toledo Edison, Penn Power, Penelec, Met-Ed, and Jersey Central Power & Light). The grants are for any upcoming creative classroom projects and teacher professional development initiatives related to mathematics, science, and technology.

Oct. 1 - Healthy Sprouts Awards: …

Educational Funding & Grants Support

Spectrum Industries works closely with educators and school administration and understands that purchasing equipment and material for education is getting harder because of the crunch on budgets and school spending. That is why we have dedicated a Web page dedicated to Funding & Grants Support for educational purposes.

There you find a growing list of possible sources for getting the funds for educational needs from classroom materials, books, AV equipment, software, programs and yes, even for furnishing your classroom. As the page grows, more information will be added to aid in you in your search for funding and information to help you write a grant.

So take a look below for some soon-to-end opportunities and then check out Spectrum’s Funding & Grants Support Web page for some more opportunities to get the funding you need.



Deadline - Award Name
July 01
- School Facility Grant Program
July 01 - The Frederick and Florence Bauder Endowment for the Support of Physics Teaching
July 18

Parent Trigger Laws: Power to the Parents

Enacted in the State of California in January 2010, the “Parent Trigger” law gave parents of low-performing schools the power to change the landscape of their children’s education. Fast forward 1 ½ years, and similar legislation is appearing across the United States.

What is this law?

Provided that a California school 1) fails to meet federal academic benchmarks for more than three consecutive years, 2) has an Academic Performance Index (the state's benchmark test) of less than 800, and 3) is among the lowest 5 percent of schools in California; a vote by 51% or more of the school’s parents can enact change. These changes include: closing a school, firing all staff and re-hiring new teachers and administrators, or turning the school over to an education management firm or a charter operator.

In the other 49 states, this same action can be taken by a district school board under the No Child Left Behind law, also known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. But in California, th…

New products released!

Spectrum releases six new products in the presentation and mobile computing management lines. Being unveiled today at InfoComm 2011 in Orlando, Florida, Spectrum's new products should fill everyone’s needs.

Spectrum Industries Inc has just released two new mobile computing management carts, three presentation lecterns and an AV cart. With these new products, Spectrum offers one of the most complete lines of educational and presentation furniture. Spectrum’s customers have been asking and we’ve been working hard to design the products you want!

MOBILE COMPUTING MANAGEMENT
Mobile computing management can mean a lot of things, but we are offering solutions that will fit your needs. Whether you have iPads, e-readers, tablets or full-sized laptops, Spectrum has a cart to securely store, charge and manage software on them.

The InTouch40 Tablet Cart is designed for securely storing, charging and syncing tablets like the Apple iPad, Motorola Xoom, HP TouchPad, RIM BlackBerry PlayBook, Samsung…

New lecterns, desks and carts unveiled in Orlando!

What would you think of a line of lecterns and AV carts that can give you a big presentation in a compact package? Or a charging and storage cart that cannot only handle iPads, but a variety of tablets and mobile devices and sync them, too? An imaging cart for 30 laptops? How about a hide-away computer desk that can handle dual monitors or even the largest all-in-one computers on the market?

Don’t miss the unveiling of Spectrum’s latest line of innovative lecterns and AV carts for audiovisual integration for K-12 and Higher Ed. Take a “test drive” of our new and proven products at these shows!


EduComm, June 13-15, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, Booth 705
InfoComm, June 15-17, Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Booth 2498
ISTE, June 27-29, Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Booth 503

And don’t forget to visit Spectrum’s Facebook page for information on how you can win an Apple iPad! Giveaway not associated with Apple.

Educational Funding & Grants Support

Spectrum Industries works closely with educators and school administration and understands that purchasing equipment and material for education is getting harder because of the crunch on budgets and school spending. That is why we have dedicated a Web page dedicated to Funding & Grants Support for educational purposes.

There you find a growing list of possible sources for getting the funds for educational needs from classroom materials, books, AV equipment, software, programs and yes, even for furnishing your classroom. As the page grows, more information will be added to aid in you in your search for funding and information to help you write a grant.

So take a look below for some soon-to-end opportunities and then check out Spectrum’s Funding & Grants Support Web page for some more opportunities to get the funding you need.

Short Deadline

May 27 - AIAA Foundation Classroom Grant:Teacher must be an AIAA Educator Associate (Dues: $0) Can receive $200 per time and up to $1,000 in a…

The Standardized Testing Advantage: Spectrum's Flex Insight

Leaders of the nation's largest teachers union, the National Education Association, recently issued a policy statement endorsing standardized testing. While NEA leadership doesn’t want standardized testing to be the sole indicator of a teacher’s ability, this statement represents a significant shift in the NEA’s philosophy of excluding such tests for teacher evaluation.

Education reformers say that the tests help provide accountability, but opposition states that placing high importance on periodic testing creates stressful environments for both students and teachers. Although the NEA union still has to vote the statement into an official platform, it appears the tide is changing for standardized testing. Could the inclusion of standardized testing change the makeup of our classrooms of the future? It very well could be, and Spectrum Industries has experience in working with customers on a solution for effective standardized testing.Many school districts across the country have tak…

Teacher Appreciation Week

If you haven’t shown your appreciation to your local teachers during National Teacher’s Appreciation week, there’s still a little time left! Our teachers face an incredible amount of challenges in their line of work. Certainly the most publicized lately has been school budgets – will they have the funds they need to best prepare our kids? But let’s not forget the other issues that teachers face: defiant students, difficult parents, administrative politics, and the very under-publicized exposure to colds and other ailments in a normal classroom!

This is quite a profession that our teachers have taken on – they deserve some love here and there. Our children have an ever-increasing amount of obstacles to overcome nowadays, and our teachers play such a major part in making them feel special enough that they can overcome future hurdles. So give our teachers the support they need to make all our kids truly feel special – send a card, tell them “Thank You”, or give them a hug. Or maybe even t…

Earth Day at Spectrum

Since Spectrum Industries has a holiday on April 22, we celebrated Earth Day in advance. We must admit that we overstepped our bounds this year by picking up refuse on our neighbor’s lands. Maybe it was because it was fun to be outside on a sunny day (did it really snow yesterday?). Or maybe we just didn’t have enough to pick up within our own boundaries. Either way, our crew made fast work and we were done in only a couple of hours.

Because of the long winter this year, pruning and sweeping efforts might just go a little longer into the calendar year than normal. But as for the six acres surrounding both of our manufacturing facilities, Spectrum will be refuse-free when local residents drive by on Earth Day. Employees at Spectrum have a lot to be proud of, and being good environmental stewards to our community is one of our big priorities.Happy Earth Day!

Happy D.E.A.R. Day!

April 12 is Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R) day. By no strange coincidence, April 12 also marks the birthday of children's book author Beverly Cleary. For most everyone else, National D.E.A.R. Day is a special reading celebration to remind and encourage families to make reading together on a daily basis a family priority.
So if you can find a young one to read with, find out what their favorite book is and drop everything else. Flying solo on April 12? Start that book that you've been putting off for so long!

The Freedom Lectern Outdoes Itself

It’s normally difficult to improve a great product but with the help of our customers, Spectrum Industries has done just that. When we introduced the Freedom Lectern, our focus was to make an ADA-compatible lectern with as small a footprint as possible. As it turned out, customers outside the ADA world liked the ergonomics gained through the electric-adjustable worksurface. Others that were familiar with the easy integration of technology in other Spectrum lecterns said “Why not the Freedom Lectern too?”

Well, you know what we said to them? “Sounds great – coming right up!”

Introducing the Freedom XRS. While the original Freedom offers ergonomic flexibility, the XRS takes it to a new level by delivering technological flexibility. For those that simply want the basic rack-based audio visual equipment, the Freedom XRS comes standard with 11 rack units. But if you want the ultimate in integration, check out the optional rack cube. Talk about Xtreme Rack System, not only does the rack cube …

Happy New Year, You April Fish!

Happy New Year … at least that's what I'd be saying if the Gregorian calendar hadn't been implemented in the late 16th century. But because of the calendar change in 1582, we have been able to plan nefarious deeds and shout "APRIL FOOLS!" this time of year.

All Fools Day has been around for a long time and has been celebrated by many different cultures, but its origins remain a mystery. Some historians have linked it to the Roman festival Hilaria that celebrated the vernal equinox, or the coming of spring. But the more common practices of April Fool's Day come around when the calendar was changed shifting the new year back 3 months.
When the calendar change was made, many European countries were slow to adopt the change. Even for the countries that accepted the new system, news traveled slowly to the outreaches of civilization. The people that didn't get the news didn't realize the start of the New Year had moved to January 1. In their ignorance, they…

Spectrum Industries Host Optimists

Bright and early Wednesday morning they rose and came to a meeting. You don’t have to be an optimist to do that, but it’s nice to be an Optimist. The Chippewa Falls club of Optimist International met for a 6:45 am meeting hosted at Spectrum Industries.
Optimist International is an association of more than 2,900 Optimist Clubs around the world dedicated to "Bring out the best in kids." Adult volunteers join Optimist Clubs to conduct positive service projects in their communities aimed at providing a helping hand to youth. With their upbeat attitude, Optimist Club members help empower young people to be the best that they can be. Approximately 20 members of the club met in the Chippewa River Room in the First Avenue facility with coffee and pastry to start their day. A prayer began the meeting followed by members reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and birthday wishes sung to observe several members births. Some business matters were attended to and then off for a tour of Spectr…

Sometimes Higher Seeds are Just Upsets-in-Waiting

Predictions are down the tubes. Hopes for being known as the local Nostradamus are dashed. You played it safe by choosing the favorites and the favorites have let you down big time!

This is a common refrain heard from hoop enthusiasts during the regionals of this year's NCAA basketball tournament. It is also a very common refrain Spectrum Industries hears from our new customers. Some high-profiled competitors have slick marketing campaigns and very slick sales representatives that make big promises on products that just can’t deliver. Many of our customers have turned to Spectrum when the big guys’ products fall apart or when their customer service is simply no help at all.

Spectrum products are built to last using quality materials and quality, ISO 9001:2008-based manufacturing methods. Our lecterns and carts are not trendy ideas whipped together and hastily distributed just so that we can be first to the market square. We listen to what our customers really need and make sure that…

First Wiki Launched Today

WikiWikiWeb, the first wiki or user-editable website, was launched on March 25, 1995 and still is a valuable source of information and sharing.
The concept and development of the “Wiki” came from Ward Cunningham in a hope to create a web page that was quickly editable by the users. In Cunningham’s case, it was to establish and promote an exchange of ideas between programmers within his company.

Cunningham originally was going to call his new platform “QuickWeb,” but later he remembered a Honolulu language term for “fast” used by an airport counter employee. The employee told Cunningham to take the Wiki Wiki Shuttle, a shuttle bus line that runs between the airport's terminals. "Wiki Wiki" is a repeating of "wiki", a Hawaiian language word for fast.

From the “Front Page” of the WikiWikiWeb:

The idea of a “Wiki” may seem odd at first, but dive in and explore its links! The “Wiki” is a composition system; it’s a discussion medium; it’s a repository; it’s a mail syst…

Spring Forward - Daylight Savings Time 2011

It has been said that time stands still for no one. While that may be true, we might feel just a little bit cheated this weekend when we lose an hour. If you have a clock that doesn't set itself automatically and you’re up to the task, you can be official and add another hour to it at 2:00 am Sunday morning. Most of us, however, would probably prefer to wait until we wake up.

Either way, make sure to remember to spring forward, turn those clocks ahead one hour, and try not to feel too bad about the hour that Father Time has taken from us - he'll give it back to us eventually!

A Partnership that Traveled the Distance

On March 14, 1995 an historic space flight took place bringing many firsts with records broken and a new cooperation between two global giants.The flight of the Russian Soyuz TM-21 spacecraft and Russian Mir EO-18 mission marked American astronaut Dr. Norman Thagard with a lot honors. Thagard became the first American to train on Russian soil, enter space aboard a non-American craft, and the first American occupant of the Mir. Serving as the cosmonaut researcher, He helped conduct 28 experiments in the course of the 115-day flight. At the missions completion, Dr. Thagard was the U.S. record-holder for longest space flight and, with 140 days in space overall, was the most experienced U.S. astronaut ever.The flight, although several years after the demise of the Soviet Union, still had some disbelief of the union that the two countries now were joined. Thagard trained and worked side-by-side with his cosmonaut travel mates and despite years of conflict between the U.S. and former govern…