Category: STS in the News

STS EDUCATION Loves Giving Back in Ventura County

It was our pleasure to support Ventura County’s 6th annual Skoolcade competition this past weekend at Rio Vista Middle School.

In the Skoolcade challenge, students from Ventura County schools create a game on any platform and submit it for consideration. At the main event, the top 3 student games from each site were available to play by all. The arcade style event also included local speakers, game walkabouts, industry professionals, food, prizes and a STEAM Playground that showcased amazing school STEAM programs and commercial educational products available in Ventura County. All students who submitted a game received a certificate of participation and an invitation to the finals. Prizes were then awarded to the top three games in each category/grade level, and the top 3 games in the High School division may be entered into IndieCade in October!

STS EDUCATION is also extremely proud to perenially support the Ventura County Impact II Grant competition, which puts innovative and creative teaching methods on display for the entire country while raising awareness of exemplary classroom practices. We always welcome opportunities to support the educators and learners of our home county- Ventura County!

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2022 ACSA Every Student Succeeding Sponsorship

I was lucky enough to represent STS EDUCATION at the Bowers Museum on Friday, March 18, at the ACSA Every Student Succeeding Breakfast and Awards. STS has sponsored a Chromebook for each of these award recipients for many years and 2022 was no different.

The ACSA awards honor students that have overcome extreme adversity in order to achieve academically- some examples included a single teenage mother who’d recently completed her degree, and a young hearing impaired individual that emigrated to the US from Colombia after teaching himself ASL via YouTube to maintain a 3.5 GPA at his school. There were also students who’d overcome severe mental and physical limitations to achieve academically- this was their chance to be recognized, and to have their support teams stand and be recognized also.

I’ve mentioned before that I used to work as a teacher and I feel privileged to be able to bring that experience to the Marketing department at a company that has students at the center of its Golden Circle– it felt really great to get out from behind my computer and actually meet some of the students- in person, faces uncovered- that this company provides solutions and services for.

The Bowers Musuem is a wonderful venue in Santa Ana, a town filled with wonderful little venues– they host free family festivals all the time, make it a point to attend! It was a breautiful Southern Californa morning and the French Toast and orange juice were flowing.

I got to be one of the two sponsors that handed the prize recipients their goodie bags and gave them congratulations after they came off the stage, and they were elated.

The students and their sponsors didn’t know they’d be receiving Chromebooks as prizes- the emcee announced that all the bags had a $100 gift card for Boomers and the crowed oooooohed and then they announced the inclusion of the Chromebooks and the crowd OOOOOOHEEED. It was a spine tingling moment, connecting with students that viscerally. I also got approached during the picture session after the ceremony by a teacher who told me that one of the honorees could barely contain himself, as he was so excited to receive a Chromebook.

It was a wonderful morning and helped me reconnect with the core of our mission at STS- Students!

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STS EDUCATION and MJP Technologies Join Forces

Some things are better together

The evolution of STS EDUCATION takes a giant leap forward with the addition of a major technology services provider.

As we look to expand our footprint nationally, MJP Technologies will help us transform our business from one that has been device centric to one that can now offer comprehensive and sustainable edtech solutions that help enhance teacher effectiveness and ultimately improve student outcomes.

Dedicated to meeting all the technology needs for K-12 schools, this union gives an immediate boost to service capabilities and will provide schools with a resource to meet all their education technology needs.

“The acquisition of MJP Technologies is the culmination of a years long relationship with their founder Indy Batra,” said Marc Netka, CEO, STS EDUCATION. “Having a founder of Indy’s stature trust that STS will be a good steward of the company he and his family have nurtured for all these years is unbelievably flattering and we are humbled that he has put the future needs of his customers and staff in our hands.”

The talented and passionate team at MJP brings tools, knowledge, experience, and hands-on support to help customers deploy and manage technology. This addition doubles the company workforce, adds a second production facility, increases the fleet, adds valuable members to the leadership ranks, and is a key driver to accelerating growth nationwide. In addition, MJP brings an excellent managed services team and a C-7 contractor license that allows onsite teams to handle more installations.

“I am also excited for the benefits to our employees such as more career opportunities, better job security, and additional experience and expertise from a larger leadership foundation,” said Indy Batra, founder of MJP Technologies. “Customers from both companies will benefit from this union because we can now provide the complete array of technology offerings.”

While the most immediate impact will be the ability to directly serve Ventura, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara County school districts, charter schools, and private schools, both companies have a national presence that can now be grown faster with enhanced offerings and customer service.

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Tip Sheet: Adapting to Limited Supply of Student Devices

Navigating the sea of supply and demand can be treacherous during bad conditions. And, the current backlog of laptops and Chromebooks is not clearing up anytime soon.  

Here are 6 tips to help you avoid running aground while still sailing toward your destination.

Ignore False Promises
No reseller or vendor has access to a secret stash of computers. Every device being received is tied to an existing customer order. Some schools are placing orders based on verbal assurances from some resellers that devices can be delivered in 6-8 weeks. Given current demand and production, a more honest and practical timeline is 10-12 weeks. Have an honest conversation with your vendor to set expectations before you place an order so you can plan accordingly.

 Stay in Line
If you have already placed an order, stick with it. The allure of shaving a couple of weeks off your delivery date is enticing; however, you will just end up at the back of someone else’s line.

Beware of Price Gouging
Desperate times bring the rats out of the bilge. Some companies are offering gray market and used devices at 200% of the going rate. Schools desperate for devices might see this as a viable short-term solution, but long-term it will cost even more money and create many headaches.

4. Consider Alternatives to Laptops
Desktop computers and Chromebox desktops are still available. For non-hybrid learning environments like in-school classes or 100% distance learning, these devices can save the day.

5. Re-evaluate Who Needs Computers
Free up hundreds or thousands of devices for redeployment to other grades or schools. Instead of implementing a 1:1 take-home program across a district, reach out to families and identify children that can use an existing home computer.

6. Bring New Life to Older Machines

Supplement your current Chromebooks with converted computers. Many schools that switched to Chromebooks have older PCs that are not being used. Neverware software allows any desktop or laptop to begin a new journey as a Chrome device.

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A straight look at the real picture.

Many schools are still waiting on devices they ordered in months ago. Complaints from parents, local public officials and school board members are placing extreme pressure on school IT officials to secure the devices by any means necessary.

Under such pressure and hearing promises for quicker delivery, some schools have jumped from one ship to another by switching manufacturers or resellers. Those false promises have placed schools in a worse situation.  An article in USA Today cites one district that switched manufacturers after being promised they would receive the devices before the first day of school in August. That delivery date was ultimately pushed back to September and then to October.

According to an Associated Press article on the plight of K-12 schools looking to implement remote learning, “Lenovo, Dell and HP have told school districts they have a shortage of nearly 5 million laptops.”

That’s a very long line.

The truth is the backlog for laptops and Chromebooks is much higher. Even under optimum conditions, manufacturers are only able to produce a finite number of devices per month. However, those production numbers have decreased because of multiple factors such as: workforce, health and safety restrictions, availability of components, and shipping. Currently the shortage of computer processors is a major driving force behind delivery delays.   

The whole world is vying for devices from the same supply pool. Jumping ship for one that claims to have more cargo only puts you in the back of the line.

We wish that we could magically solve this global supply issue and personally deliver devices to every child. Unfortunately, at this point, the best thing we can do is keep you informed by telling it to you straight. 

 “We pledge to provide honest, accurate and transparent communication to all customers.” Marc Netka, CEO, STS Education

STS Education stands ready to assist you and your community with resources to help make informed decisions and solutions for meeting education goals.

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