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Makerspace

Building the Makerspace Curriculum

 

Makerspaces provide students the opportunity to create visuals for school assignments, perform science experiments, and even build robots. Projects are only limited by the space’s leader and students’ imaginations and ingenuity. Through Makerspace projects, students of all ages can learn problem solving, collaboration with others to work as a team, and job skills like computer programming, user interface design, and even social media networking. These skills can be applied to future STEM jobs, or at least prepare students for HOW to approach learning marketable skills. This blog shares some project ideas and curriculum examples to get you started with your Makerspace.

K-6 Makerspace Curriculum Ideas

Because they are still learning about how life works, elementary school students tend to be more curious and the most willing to try something, even if it fails. Getting them to try something isn’t going to be the hard part, but they may need some guidance. Setting up a project can be as simple as asking a question: What kind of building can you make out of cardboard? What is a tool that you need at home right now? What can you design using popsicle sticks, bottle caps, and/or water bottles? What problem would it solve?

One example of a ready made curriculum to try is a free program for elementary schoolers to learn about computer programming called Alice, a project developed by students at Carnegie Mellon. With plenty of people discussing Elementary Makerspaces and resources, these areas can create a fun and educational environment for any child.

Looking for More Ideas? Here are some great examples of Elementary School Makerspace Projects:

Middle School Makerspace Curriculum Ideas

Giving middle schoolers the ability to take charge of their own learning encourages engagement and active participation. At this level, competitions and scholarships can come more into focus, and higher stakes can often provide motivation for students.

One example of a way to get students excited in the Makerspace is to encourage participation in a science fair or competition. Science fairs have become more and more competitive, and the days of exploding model volcanos are long gone. Students can now program games, design smart phone apps, and make software with the right tools. With more access to resources, students can now win more scholarships and take their projects farther along than ever before possible.

Prestigious national science competitions include:

High School Makerspace Curriculum Ideas

With more schooling comes more elaborate projects. With more elaborate projects, having access to good equipment will ensure that the next generation will have the skills necessary to enter the job market, especially in STEM. Think of what these two self-taught brothers from Haiti could do with an equipped Makerspace.

Here are some of the most innovative science fair winners of 2015 in some of the most prestigious science competitions:

Imagine what these students can contribute to our world as they get older. With a good Makerspace, these and other students can go even farther and do more than before.

Whatever you decide to do with a Makerspace, the students will be sure to enjoy the opportunity for hands on learning. The Makerspace puts abstract applications into real-life situations, making it the best way to show, not tell.




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System Contractors News Names Spinitar Amongst Top 50 Integrators!

For Immediate Release

La Mirada, CA (December 22, 2016) – SPINITAR, an InfoComm APEX certified audiovisual and unified communications integrator, has once again been named as one of the Top 50 Integrators in North America by System Contractors News.

The SCN list continues to be an important bellwether of the commercial audiovisual integration industry. Rising from the number 30 spot in 2015 to number 26 today, Spinitar believes the climb can be attributed to significant growth within its federal government practice and to a strong economy that has encouraged growth in the construction sector.

Spinitar Co-Principal, Jeff Irvin, explains, “Our services first mentality, a simplified employee and customer experience, and relationships developed over our thirty years in business have led to a terrific anniversary year.”

Spinitar is honored to be included in SCN’s Top 50, and considers the nod to be a demonstration of our quality and tested competence. SCN notes the Top 50 list is “about history, innovation, and talent. There are qualities that are unquantifiable, but the SCN Top 50 is a benchmark for the business.”

For more information on the Top 50, please visit SCN.

About Spinitar

Since 1986, Spinitar has been designing, building, and servicing AV environments for corporate, government, and education clients. With offices throughout California, Arizona, and Florida, and through our affiliation with PSNI (Professional Systems Network International) Spinitar helps our North American and international customers share and disseminate information more effectively through the use of technology. We are proud to be an SCN top 50 integrator.

Connect with our press department today for more details.

 

Spinitar welcomes Steve Riley!


For Immediate Release – December 19, 2016

La Mirada, California – Spinitar

Steve Riley has joined Spinitar as Executive Vice President of Operations focusing on the people and processes that make up the technical resources for Spinitar’s professional service offerings. With over twenty years of commercial audiovisual experience, Steve has a natural ability to articulate technical concepts to non-technical people.  Combined with his inherent ability to lead and an intimate understanding of AV integrator operations, Spinitar is confident Steve will impact both the internal and external customer experience.

Listing a CTS-D, CTS-I, LEED Green Associate, RCDD and other industry/manufacturer certifications, Steve Riley has been an InfoComm instructor and an integral part of creating and maintaining AV engineering standards for one of the largest integrators in the US. Having been an active part of both the customer facing side and the more technical side of an integration project, Steve offers experience in everything from install tech to engineer, a project manager to account manager.

“As Spinitar has increased business, and continues to grow, we need leaders who can seize opportunities to improve employee retention and increase customer satisfaction”, explains Jay Rogina, Spinitar Co-Principal. “Having a long standing relationship with Steve, and knowing his passion to see some evolution of service/support models similar to IT models, it made sense to bring him into the Spinitar family.”

Steve believes that “a true test of client loyalty is when the customer treats you like you are part of their team, as opposed to a resource they solicit.” It is his commitment to customer ROI that will enable him to strengthen internal infrastructure to insure success at Spinitar.

ABOUT Spinitar

Since 1986, Spinitar has been a leading and trusted provider of audiovisual services and technology to business, government, and education customers.  Spinitar was recently ranked #26 amongst audio visual firms by Systems Contractors News, and is also a member of Professional Systems Network International, supporting enterprise clients throughout North America.

Interested in keeping up with Spinitar?
For more information on Spinitar and its services, click here: http://www.spinitar.com/about_spinitar.asp

Makerspace

Owning the Makerspace: Take charge of student success

 

Makerspaces allow students to experiment with hands-on learning in an environment that encourages creativity and expands horizons beyond the classroom. This blog is all about owning the Makerspace – cultivating the leadership that will need to be at the helm to help you take charge of student success. As in any space with schedules to manage, equipment to maintain, and people to motivate, there’s got to be a competent, inspired leader to take the reigns. In a school environment, a motivated teacher or librarian usually leads the way for the Makerspace. Read on to find out more about owning the Makerspace.

Preparing to Lead a Makerspace

For any teacher, librarian, or community member who is interested in helping build or maintain a Makerspace at his or her school, there are webinars, seminars and workshops that give new Makerspace leaders guidance and support.

Here are some great resources:

  • Maker Ed, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to helping schools develop their own Makerspaces. They have received a $1 million grant from Google to help them do just that.
  • MakerSpace website is a site started by the founders of Make Magazine, who started the Maker movement. Makers from all over the world can share their ideas, insights, and innovations.
  • Edutopia has many articles on how to design, create and fund a Makerspace.
  • For K-6th grade teachers, the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) has several articles about Makerspaces for young children.

Funding Your Makerspace

Spinitar understands how daunting it can be to implement a Makerspace, especially from a funding perspective. In fact, we wrote a blog post all about funding your makerspace, but here are a few good resources to get you started:

  • Competitions are a great way to get students involved and engaged with a Makerspace. Student Science and Science OC have lists of good local and national competitions.
  • There are government grants, such as Carl D. Perkins Act, who give money to schools looking to invest in students who would prefer technical programs to a 4-year college or Title I program that helps fund equipment that could help a school with low performing students.
  • Corporate sponsorship is a great avenue as well. Lowe’s Toolbox for Education, for example, will grant up to $5000 to a school for projects just like Makerspaces.
  • Students can participate actively with crowdfunding, using websites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or GoFundMe. Students, especially with entrepreneurial spirits, can create videos using smartphones and write out guidelines to their specific needs.

 




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BYOD Classrooms - the School of the Future

BYOD Classrooms – the School of the Future

 

Technology steers our personal and work lives, and it’s becoming a staple in our schools as well, via BYOD classrooms. Schools across the country are engaging in new technologies that make learning easier and more enjoyable. Education is more interactive and engaging when it’s personalized, and bring your own device (BYOD) policies offer a means to that end. Such policies allow students to use their own devices as learning platforms in accordance with the teacher’s software selection.

Discover a Technology Toolbox

An effective teacher has the right virtual toolbox at his or her disposal. In modern times, this toolbox must include the best apps and online programs for efficient instruction. Many of the most popular options encourage collaboration among students, teachers, and family members. Others give students control of the content to ensure the information is presented in a way they understand. There are hundreds of programs like this; here are our favorites:

Google Classroom

  • Google Classroom is like mission control for your class. Teachers can share assignments and feedback paperlessly. Plus, there’s immense cross compatibility with the other branches of Google software: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Each one mimics a Microsoft program (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, respectively) and allows students and instructors to create documents online at no cost, and with an inherently familiar interface.
  • Google’s tools provide an impressive level of collaboration possibilities. Students and teachers can work together on any of the three programs, whether they are two feet apart or on opposite sides of the world. Each user can view the content and share it instantly through Google Drive. The integration is completely built and easy to navigate. The Google suite also lets the original file creator choose permissions for each partner and view changes in real time.

Seesaw

  • Seesaw is a program created for students. It works by making the content more engaging and prompting responses through each lesson. Users can take pictures, write about the material, and create screencasts. The design allows students to capture their thoughts while learning—without switching to paper. Students can share creations from Seesaw with their peers, teachers, and family members.

Adobe Spark

  • Adobe is a well-known creative giant, and this collection adds to the company’s impressive suite. Spark encompasses three creation tools: Video, Page, and Post. All are available online or as individual apps. Spark Video generates a series of slides for students to customize, Spark Page tackles web pages, and Spark Post enables students to design images. When used together, the tools help students present information in a way that works for them.

Sesame

  • Sesame is different from the other programs because its design allows teachers to assess students’ skills instead of simply adapting the content. Plus, students can capture their learning as it happens. The instructor can keep an eye on each student’s progress and provide instant feedback. Instant interactions allow a more personal approach, so every student receives proper guidance. Teaching with Sesame is much faster than collecting, grading, and redistributing papers. It also allows instructors to offer private assistance.

Teaching without technology is no longer an option—teachers must leverage these tools to create a 21st century classroom. If you’re leading a BYOD classroom, review these options and decide which ones are the best fit for your classroom.





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Spinitar — Merry Christmas 2016

Merry Christmas from Spinitar

 

2016 has been quite a year around here, and we are incredibly grateful for our employees, partners, and clients who allow us to do what we do best…audio, visual, and communication solutions! The holidays are always a great time to look back and appreciate the gifts of the year. This fun blog shares some of the highlights. Thanks for being a part of our journey!

30 Year Anniversary

Spinitar has been providing quality AV solutions for 30 years now. We celebrated this amazing milestone in May of this year, and are proud to work with all of our wonderful manufacturer partners and vendor partners to keep everyone connected and inspired.

We blogged about it here!

2nd Annual Golf for Hope Tournament

In October, we hosted our 2nd annual golf classic, benefiting City of Hope. In the end, we are incredibly grateful to have been able to support the cancer treatment and research organization through the tournament, including a fun raffle and silent auction made possible by our incredible friends, family, and partners.

Visit our Facebook album to see the fun!

Growing Federal Government Practice

This year, our service to federal government facilities, including design and installation of some very complicated mission control rooms, has expanded exponentially. We are proud to serve our country in this small way, and look forward to providing even more customized AV solutions for state and federal government spaces next year.

New Office Opens in Concord

The expansion continues! We were proud to announce the grand opening of our new office in Concord, CA this November. The new space will help us to serve our West Coast clientele even better, and is a testament to the wonderful successes of our team in California.
Visit our Facebook album to see who joined our office warming party!

Microsoft Surface Hub

The Microsoft Surface Hub is one of the coolest collaboration technologies to hit the market… ever. We are excited to be one of Microsoft’s exclusive dealers for the solution, and really enjoyed launching the Surface Hub at several events this quarter. Look out for your invite in 2017 for more opportunities to try out Surface Hub with your group.

Very Merry Christmas

Here at Spinitar, we place a high value on our business and manufacturer partners. In fact, our partners are one of the top reasons for our success. One way we show our appreciation each year is by celebrating the joy of the holiday season with our annual Partner Appreciation Day.

View our Facebook album to see the fun, food, fellowship and Christmas cheer!

Microsoft Surface Hub

How it Works: Microsoft Surface Hub

 

Based on a Harvard Business Review study of meetings with remote participants, it takes an average of 12 minutes to get any session started. For people with busy schedules who already tend to view meetings as one of the least productive parts of their week, that 12 minutes can feel like an eternity of wasted time.

Finding ways to solve connectivity and content sharing issues for remote meeting participants, and figuring out how to make meetings engaging and productive became a major motivation for Microsoft in the development of its brand new Surface Hub solution. Read more about the basics of Surface Hub in our previous blog.

This post focuses on the details of how the Microsoft Surface Hub solution works to harness the power of the group, whether participants are in the room, or across the globe.

Easy Connectivity

Rather than spending valuable minutes figuring out how to connect, the Microsoft Surface Hub allows remote meeting participants to easily access any meeting from any Internet-connected device via Skype for Business. For those in the physical meeting space, connecting is as simple as a touch. The Surface Hub can also start and end meetings automatically for the ultimate ease of connectivity.

Content Sharing and Real Collaboration

Without the right collaboration technology, the flow of discussion can be interrupted when someone tries to share content or bring in external data, and faces unexpected technical delays. Most other meeting technologies have not been true content-sharing solutions. Too often, the presenter or those in the meeting room are the only participants who can share and modify content.
The Surface Hub solves this issue by allowing easy content sharing via Skype for remote participants, wireless connectivity to share content in the room from any device, and real time collaboration via touch screen technology.

Businesses have advanced their design, manufacturing and engineering processes and technology, but there is surprisingly still a demand for a tool in that delivers an effective way of accomplishing and advancing group communication goals.

100 Points of Touch

Microsoft acquired industry leading interactive display technology firm Perceptive Pixel in 2012, and has since advanced its own touch glass displays beyond any other offering on the market. The Microsoft Surface Hub includes an “infinite whiteboard” that allows for a fluid ink experience on an 84-inch interactive display. It’s a clever mix of technology and practical use that is designed to give educators and business professionals confidence expressing their thoughts immediately, and can be easily shared with participants electronically.

Runs Windows Natively

Powered by Windows 10, one of Surface Hub’s primary functions is to run Windows applications natively, eliminating the need for customization. Similar to how a smartphone operates, applications like Word, PowerPoint and Excel simultaneously run in their own windows. This means a remote user can present his/her screen via Skype for Business, and the people in the meeting room can still use the infinite whiteboard, web browser, or any other application. They can even clip the content from the presenter and interact with it on the whiteboard while the discussion is still happening.
When the meeting is finished, the Surface Hub can email everyone in the meeting with a OneNote and PDF file so the meeting is saved, meaningful, and actionable.

The Surface Hub is a powerful Windows computer mixed with a world class large, interactive display. It allows the end user to be as creative with their ideas as they can imagine, and harnesses the power of the group to create together!

Integrate with Professional AV Environments

The Surface Hub on its own is an excellent solution for huddle spaces and small conference rooms. Its connection ports are designed to integrate with a professional audio visual system. For a larger conference room or lecture hall, it can be complemented with an external audio, mic and camera systems to create a unified communication environment. Look out for our upcoming post on how to integrate MS Hub with your existing professional AV.

Unlocking the Power of the Group

The Surface Hub effortlessly harnesses the collective knowledge and skills of any group anywhere. It was designed as the best-in-class interactive display, a powerful team collaboration device that advances the way people work together naturally. We believe the Surface Hub can be as transformative to group productivity as the PC was for individuals.

To see the Surface Hub in action, connect with us for your demo today.

Microsoft Surface Hub

Microsoft Surface Hub Transforms Collaboration

 

From healthcare to education, legal, government, manufacturing, to construction and every industry in between, the Microsoft Surface Hub updates offices and other workspaces to inspire and engage employees and collaborators. Anyone who has training rooms, huddle spaces, conference rooms, classrooms or any other indoor collaboration space can benefit from Microsoft’s brand new technology that helps workers everywhere to “unlock the power of the group.”

As Forrester Research puts it, “Many enterprises struggle with gaps in their workplace collaboration technology, environments that are not built for collaboration, and cultures that do not fully support teams to achieve better outcomes. The result is teams that are not as effective as they could be.”
The brand new Microsoft Surface Hub addresses this problem with technology that transforms collaboration.

The Microsoft Surface Hub Encourages Productive Meetings

  • Surface Hub can detect when you’re in front of it and will start the meeting automatically as its admin.
  • Everything needed to present and capture information during a meeting is within the Hub, including an infinite whiteboard, presentation platforms like MS PowerPoint, video/audio playback, file sharing and much more.
  • Meeting invites can be sent from the Hub during a meeting as the conversation evolves.
  • The 84” Surface Hub plays video in 4k for stunning presentation of creative assets.

The Microsoft Surface Hub Manages Follow Up Automatically

  • Any information captured in a meeting can be sent automatically when a meeting ends.
  • Leaders can select specific individuals to send to, including those who weren’t able to attend the meeting.

Harnessing the Power of Collaboration

The modern workplace is fast-paced, mobile, creative and collaborative. Smart people working together to solve complex problems in business need technology than can unlock the power of their group. Too often, people view meetings as a time sucking journey away from productivity. The dreaded meeting reminder doesn’t have to be so dreaded anymore with Microsoft’s brand new Surface Hub technology, which assures meeting start and end on time, and provides the perfect tools to capture real time collaboration that moves the business forward.

Surface Hub is the Most Effective Touchscreen Ever Built

Microsoft created Surface Hub to work natively with Windows 10. As a result, it is the most effective version of any touchscreen platform ever created. The built-in computer eliminates the need to toggle through inputs when using third party apps. It’s familiar, it’s fast, and it’s backed by the trusted and relied upon Microsoft platform.

 

Microsoft Surface Hub

Unlock the Power of the Group with Microsoft Surface Hub

 

Microsoft Surface Hub is a brand new presentation and conferencing technology that will transform the way we work in groups. As you know, some of the most productive work happens when you make the most of the collective knowledge and skills of a group. However, effective collaboration can sometimes be hard, especially when some members of the team work remotely, or when a company has several physical locations, all with smart people who should be involved with creating the best work possible.

Microsoft Surface Hub is like an infinite whiteboard that helps unlock the power of the group.

From designers, to manufacturers, trainers, finance directors, marketers, product developers and so many others are singing the praises of the Microsoft Surface Hub.

Microsoft Surface Hub Brings Versatility On Demand

The 55″and 84″ Microsoft Surface Hub both create a true ‘wow’ factor in a room, but collaboration isn’t limited to meetings. A brainstorm can happen anywhere, anytime…and with a single tap on any device. It’s a unique technology that harnesses the power of collaboration through multi-touch, inking, voice commands, even communication capabilities like storing past iterations of ideas, and automatically sending meeting notes to participants.

Harness the Power of the Hub

Spinitar is pleased to host a special event on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 where you can experience this amazing new technology for yourself. Join us at our La Mirada offices, and find out how you can harness the power of the Microsoft Surface Hub.

Custom AV System Design Delivers Delicious Win for LBCC

 

Effective audio visual system design transforms student experiences, leading to increased retention of matriculated students, and improved reputation among potential applicants. In a hands-on environment like culinary arts, being able to see and interact with the material presented by the instructor is crucial especially. When classroom AV systems are well-designed, every student can see and hear. This makes current students stay, and future students feel impressed by the up-to-date look and feel of their potential school.

In partnership with AV system designer Waveguide, Spinitar recently helped Long Beach City College (LBCC) achieve the highest standard in AV System Design. LBCC needed a standardized and simple-to-use instructional media platform for use across all of their brand new Culinary Arts spaces. They wanted students to be able to hear and see the same instruction, whether in the front row of a test kitchen classroom, or the very, very back. The answer would be found in the custom AV System Design Waveguide would create.

Spinitar Audio Visual jumped on board to furnish all materials, labor, control system programming, installation, and implementation of custom AV systems for the LBCC Culinary Arts program.

“We do believe we have built one of the premiere culinary arts facilities in Southern California,”
Terri Long, VP of Academic Affairs.

To find out all the details on how Spinitar brought state of the art AV Systems to LBCC, download the case study.

Long Beach City College - Culinary Arts Case Study

Planning Your Makerspace

 

Are you ready to start planning your Makerspace? From advances in STEM learning to enhancing classroom theories with hands-on experience, the benefits of having a Makerspace in your school are clear. As our education system works to better the way we teach our children with Common Core and STEM advocacy, the elements of free play can be used to engage the curiosity of our students and to broaden their scope of what is possible with new technology. Students need the right equipment to do so. However, creating an effective Makerspace requires careful planning, financial commitment, and teacher and community commitment. This blog provides a guide to planning your Makerspace.

Students need to be able to use the Makerspace to further their ideas, solve problems, and collaborate with each other, while learning concepts they need for standardized testing in a different, more hands-on methodology. It follows that location, equipment, and teacher-guides are all important elements of making a lasting impact. This blog shares tips on how to get through the planning process so your students can benefit from learning with cutting edge technology.

Finding the Space for Your Makerspace

The first step toward planning your Makerspace is finding the space. What rooms are being underutilized at your school right now? How big is your woodshop? Can a space be re-appropriated depending on the time of day and on which classes are being taught at certain times? Is there a large storage closet that holds junk the school isn’t using? One teacher from California asked to use an old storage facility and uncovered the school’s old woodshop, which still had many tools that were usable. Other options include portable classrooms or sectioned-off areas of larger rooms.

One of the best spaces that many schools can use as a Makerspace is the library. Libraries are moving to be helpful beyond books with internet resources, and these spaces are primed to increase student interaction and learning by adding technology. With the addition of equipment and design software for the computers, the students can find new comfort in their school library, as long as the librarians are okay with the noise.

Designing the Makerspace

Part of planning your Makerspace is deciding how to lay it out. How will your equipment and supplies fit into the space? The best guide is the room itself. Are there enough tables for the students to sit and spread out? Some schools use tables that have been treated so that you can write directly on the table with dry-erase markers, allowing the students to go beyond the norms of 8.5”x11.” Boxes and shelving units can organize the crafts simply and with labels. Certain grade levels can be responsible for keeping assigned parts of the room organized and clean. Involving students in the organization can prevent poor treatment of the equipment and promote greater responsibility for the space.

Of course, organization can only happen if there is something to organize. Tapping into the right funding [link] can make or break the room. There are plenty of ways to get the community involved in helping create this Makerspace.

Planning the Right Equipment for Your Makerspace

Makerspaces should fill students with awe and encourage exploration. Useful equipment for a Makerspace can include:

  • iPads or Tablets: can be used to schedule Makerspace hours, has countless apps to help students learn math, English, and everything else we use tablets for
  • 3D Printer: The holy grail for any school Makerspace; opens up whole new worlds of scientific research, design projects, and even robotic competitions. Not only would students learn how to code and program with the software, but they would also be able to test the physics in real space and problem-solve in unique ways and designs.
  • Professional Poster Printer: comes with design software to create beautiful, professional-looking posters related to school projects and personal interests
  • 2D Cutout Maker: can be used to create shapes that can help visualize all kinds of cycles, numbers, awards, and even puzzles
  • Sewing Machine: not just to make clothes, but can also be used to upholster furniture, patch holes, and make fabric dolls and other toys
  • Workshop equipment: jigsaws, soldering iron, hammers and nails, and don’t forget the aprons and goggles for safety
  • Craft materials: glue gun, markers, scrapbooking paper, stickers, felt, even bottle caps and popsicle sticks

 

Makerspace Leadership: Getting Teachers to Commit

While it is important for students to initiate their own projects, a Makerspace still needs an effective leader who can create a schedule that provides equal access to students, make sure students are using the equipment correctly, and act as a resource for questions and general information. Most importantly, the teacher will need to lead the charge in funding and finding resources for the Makerspace. A teacher or group of teachers trusted by students and parents alike who are enthusiastic about programming, experience-based learning, and technology can serve as a guide to design and maintain control of the space.

Librarians could be great advisors in this manner. As the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) works to change the image of librarians to teachers in their own right, these particular educators are in the unique position of being able to lead a Makerspace better than anyone else.

Regardless of position, the best teacher will be able to get students, parents, and administrators on board and on the same page. A great leader will be able to hold meetings, keep parents and administrators updated, and delegate tasks to the right people, even students themselves. If the school and the parents work together to pool their resources, there will be no limit to what anyone can do.

Funding Your Makerspace

The difficulty, as always, is funding. The good news is that there are a number of governmental and private-sector opportunities for scholarships and grants to fund a space as innovative as these.

Here are some resources to get you started:

  • Carl D. Perkins Act is a governmental funding source that caters to students who would prefer to enter “career and technical education programs” versus a 4-year college or university. These Makerspaces are perfect areas to give students their first taste of these kinds of programs.
  • Maker Ed is a non-profit organization that is helping schools all over the U.S. start their own Makerspaces who can advise on funding and tips for making a unique Makerspace for your students
  • Corporate sponsorship is a great avenue as well. Lowe’s Toolbox for Education, for example, will grant up to $5000 to a school for projects just like Makerspaces.
  • Students can participate actively with crowdfunding, using websites such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or GoFundMe. Students, especially with entrepreneurial spirits, can create videos using smartphones and write out guidelines to their specific needs. Competitions can be organized between classrooms and/or grades to develop the best campaign in order to engage their creativity.

Hands-on learning and enhancing creativity for middle and high school students ensures the next generation will be prepared to enter a digitally advanced, innovative job market, which includes work in robotics research, computer analysis, and even game design. Makerspaces can help make that happen.




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California AV Company supports City of Hope!

To our Sponsors, Guests, Volunteers, Friends & Family, thank you for supporting Spinitar’s Golf for Hope 2016!

This year’s event could not have been a more terrific day of fun and friendship, with all of us coming together to help in the fight against cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Spinitar and City of Hope sincerely thank you for your support and participation!

City of Hope is committed to combining “scientific innovation with the power of human compassion, creating medical miracles every day.” Their amazing work and innovation continues because of those who decided to join us in the fight for cures and HOPE.

We thank our Gold, Silver, and Platinum Sponsors!

Spinitar hosted over 144 people on October 13th at Tustin Ranch Golf Club in Tustin, CA – including golfers, guests, family, and friends. With a desire to be great hosts and an even bigger desire to support City of Hope, we could not have accomplished all we did without the generosity of our partners, sponsors and donors.

PLATINUM

crestron-control-av    milestone-av-technologies

SILVER

harman-amx-av-control  variquest-classroom-av

GOLD

middle-atlantic-av-furniture  nec-display-solutions  sharp-display-av

Call to carts!

We kicked off the day with a Putting Contest and lunch from The Habit. MMM, it was tasty! If you did make it to the Putting Green, you may have picked up a Bloody Mary from Spinitar’s Gil Gomez, our resident go-to for all things yummy!spinitar-av-golf-for-hope-2016

Based on the honor system, Tustin Ranch Golf Club set up the Putting Contest and awarded John Reda from Sound Marketing West winner. Congrats John and thank you for joining the fight!

Game On – on the green!

As the day continued on the green with beautiful 75-degree weather most of the day, golfers made their way through 18 holes in a scramble format, including contest holes for Closest-to-the-Pin and Longest/Most Accurate Drive. At Hole # 3, sponsored by Cambridge Sound Management, Kyle Moloo from Big Presence was awarded for Closest-to-the-Pin. The second Closest-to-the-Pin contest was at Hole #11 sponsored by Impact Solutions. Patrick Bellor from Southern California Edison measured out 17’4” on Hole # 11 and was therefore also awarded for Closest-to-the-Pin.spinitar-av-technologies-golf-for-hope-2016

Who had the longest drive you ask? Downey High School’s Mark Rand walked away with the win for Longest Drive which was calculated from scores on both Hole #2 sponsored by Sony and Hole # 15 sponsored by Vaddio. Thank you to all golfers for a great game on the green!

Congratulations Kyle, Patrick, and Mark and thank you for joining the fight!

The Winning 4 must be thirsty.

Quenching our thirst throughout the day, Kramer and Samsung sponsored the Beverage Carts providing each golfer with their beverage of choice.

Although our Event Chairs, Adriana Hernandez and Angelique Tavizon, won’t exactly admit that this team called their win from day one of registration sign-ups, the proud winning foursome from CRESA Partners had an unbelievable day of golf recording a score of 53!

Congratulations Jeff Manley, Chris Armato, Taylor Keddinton, and Tony DeFrancis and thank you for joining the fight!

Now let’s all get together.

premier-mounts-av panasonic-av christie-digital-av

After 5 hours of golf, friendship, and fun, golfers and guests gathered to enjoy a champagne chicken and tri-tip dinner, courtesy of Christie Digital, Panasonic, and Premier Mounts. Tustin Ranch’s Chef also treated attendees to a plethora of desserts and sweet treats!

Let’s toast to the cures!

This item is generously sponsored by … We thank you!

Exceeding last year’s amount for funds raised just through purchased raffle tickets and silent bidding, Spinitar was able to raise funds with 22 Auction items and 29 Raffle items! We could not have accomplished this goal without the generosity of the donors, raffle ticket buyers, and bidders, so a special thank you to All who contributed to this fun and exciting part of the event. spinitar-av-solutions-golf-for-hope-2016

 

Raffle Item Winning Ticket Holder Donor
Tannoy Mercury 7.2 Speakers Tom Larson Tannoy
A Pie A Month All Year Cathy Ahlers Polly’s Pies
LA Kings & Fleming’s Gift Card David Ellis Ed Knopf & Tim McCarthy
Mary Kay Beauty Basket Jodie Park Tiffany Dozier, Mary Kay
Trader Joe’s Items & Visa Gift Card Victoria Dade Trader Joe’s & Starin
Long Beach Aquarium Tickets & The Auld Dubliner Gift Card Whitt Adams Long Beach Aquarium & The Auld Dubliner Gift Card
Golf Bag with Umbrella Tim Reph Janine Zaffino, Spinitar
Samsung 32” Display Tim McCarthy Delphi Display Systems
Gift Card Ben Kane Sonic Foundry
Sweet Treats & Movie Gift Card Maria Lee The Spinitar Family
Disneyland Tickets Kris Mosser The Spinitar Family
Laugh Factory Tickets & Fleming’s Gift Card Alex Marasovich Laugh Factory & Anew CT
Anaheim Ducks Tickets Chris Spangler The Spinitar Family
Laugh Factory Tickets & Fleming’s Gift Card Chris Barnard Laugh Factory & Anew CT
Tannoy Mercury 7.2 Speakers Chris Barnard Tannoy
Callaway Odyssey Wedge Iron Natalie Barker Mark Smith, Spinitar
Nothing Bundt Cakes Natalie Barker Nothing Bundt Cakes
Fleming’s Gift Card & Colby Red Wine Kris Rogina Drake & Cheryl Wayson, Spinitar
Cryptic CA Red Wine 2011 (3L) Steve Rodriguez Rick Kincer, State 31 Wines
Wine Country Gift Basket Andy Bennett Wine Country Gift Baskets
Wine Country Gift Basket Jeff Kane Wine Country Gift Baskets
Callaway Odyssey Wedge Iron Victoria Dade Mark Smith, Spinitar
Lottery Ticket Basket Adriana Hernandez The Spinitar Family
Rams Tickets Barbara Irvin Kristin Gallo
In & Out Burgers Gift Basket Cathy Ahlers In & Out Burgers
Best Buy Gift Cards Tim McCarthy Anew CT
Golf Bag with Umbrella Dave Bright Rick Kincer, State 31 Wines
BBQ Chef Package Steve Riley The Spinitar Family

 

Auction Item Bidder Name Donor
Golf Anyone? Kris Rogina Tustin Ranch Golf Club
Handmade Wood Game Set Jeff Manley Matthew Kosel, Spinitar
Oregon Home Vacation Jeff Manley Jeff and Barbara Irvin, Spinitar
Come Visit Us Again Adam Nowan Tustin Ranch Golf Club
Golf Membership Jeff Kane Tustin Ranch Golf Club
Trefethen Wine Basket Tim McCarthy John Harmyk, Spinitar
Boutique & Beauty Janet Newon Dry Lounge, Bungalow Bay, and Brighton
Cheers to Fans Too! Jeff Newon BackStreet Brewery and Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim
Come Ride With Me Antonio Dias Jay and Kris Rogina, Spinitar
Toruk – The Camera That Flys Antonio Dias Stampede Global
GOPRO 4 Camera John Gargus Listen Technologies
Marshall Woburn Black John Gargus Biamp
Big Bear Vacation Home Andy Bennett Lizette Spellman
Sound Off Dennis Potts Quantum
Sound Off Edmund Curley Quantum
Samsung Professional Monitor Edmund Curley Larry Schilz, Samsung
Christmas Duffy Boat Ride Chris Barnard Jay and Kris Rogina
Apple Watch Chris Barnard Jeff and Barbara Irvin
Sound Off Anthony Tellez Quantum
Weekend In La Quinta C. Adams Jay and Kris Rogina
Davis Estates Winery Angelique Tavizon Rick Kincer, State 31 Wines
iPad Air 2 Erick Cortez Live Wire

 

Giving us all hope.

Every new discovery, each patient helped or cured, is a testament to the transformative power of philanthropy. Since City of Hope’s very start, they have relied on the generosity of individuals, companies, foundations, and governments supporting their work. Your participation, as volunteers, sponsors, golfers, and donors, is a part of that amazing effort, and Spinitar thanks you!!

For pictures of the fun, fellowship, and golf, please visit Spinitar’s Facebook page: Facebook page.

Makerspace

Advantages of the Makerspace: Using Visual Technology to Encourage STEM Learning

 

Schools all over the country are seeing the advantages of a Makerspace – a place filled with educational equipment and supplies to help students implement skills they’ve learned in the classroom. The goal of such spaces is to encourage whole-brain learning at an optimal level. Rather than force a child to follow a set curriculum, a Makerspace allows the student to come up with his/her own way to learn. The Makerspace becomes a place for students to have access to equipment, such as a 3D printer, that they can use to turn their ideas into something real.

Makerspaces are most effective when they expand the possibilities in the students’ minds and help them achieve their goals. While Makerspaces work best with a free-for-all feel, students can also benefit from having guides that can leave breadcrumbs in certain directions without pushing the students in any particular way. A well-executed Makerspace drives students to imagine, design, and create anything that their minds desire, while they learn the skills they need to do well on regulated tests and subjects.

Makerspaces Provide Benefits in STEM

Because there is still a great need for more people to enter careers in STEM, especially in the computer and programming fields, Makerspaces are the perfect places to ignite those latent passions. With the Common Core standards wanting to focus on more practical applications, students will need to do hands-on work to explore the connections between the subjects of math and science with technology that will prepare them for these jobs. A forward-thinking school can provide students with such experiential resources inside a Makerspace that can be used during class time as well as within student-initiated organizations and clubs after school. These students can move on to earn more than double their non-STEM-employed colleagues.

Unfortunately, for many students the very idea of a STEM career may seem out of reach because of a lack of understanding or motivation in the subject areas. For example, computer programming can feel quite daunting for those who have trouble understanding mathematical and logical concepts. Makerspaces are a great way to help students “put a face” to math in a way that makes more sense to them, on their own time. After-school guided projects or experiments can help students learn skills and encourage trying, even if it means failing, without the fear of bad grades or embarrassment in front of classroom peers. When students are engaged and encouraged to help each other out in a space that doesn’t limit them, everyone wins.

Visual Learning & Technology for the Makerspace

The key, then, is to provide students with the right tools. While construction paper, scissors, and glue might do the trick for small projects, the real possibilities lie in allowing creativity to have free reign of technology that will actually be used in the jobs of the 21st century.

With technology advancing so quickly, no doubt our students will help design the way we live in the future. Preparing middle and high school students for those challenges will provide a significant advantage. 3D printers can help with grasping physics or scientific concepts by giving the students a chance to design something that they can execute and look for strengths and flaws.

A 2D cutout printer can create numbers, letters, or shapes that can help with conceptual math, or biological stages of cells. There are so many ideas out there for using visual technology to aid understanding of abstract concepts. All these devices come with software that the students can learn and program to fit their needs, creating multiple levels of learning in a timely and engaging fashion. Early introduction to software and programming raises students’ aptitude and desire to work in a computerized field. In a Makerspace, students can learn how to design very specific objects with the 3D printer and can learn computer design using the Poster Maker.

The most important thing we can do for our students is to create a Makerspace that is friendly, user-oriented and broadens their scope of post-school opportunities. With equipped Makerspaces, students can learn these skills early on and find out about STEM jobs that go beyond the doctor-or-lawyer mentality. From biochemist to software developer to web designer, these jobs will ensure a bright future, not just for our students, but for everyone they can influence.

Ready to Read More?
Check out our next blog on Planning Your Makerspace.

digital transformation

Communication Changes Caused by Digital Transformation

Proof of digital transformation is everywhere.

Take a cursory glance around you, and you may notice how much it’s impacted our everyday lives. We live in smart homes, drive smart cars, and collaborate with people all over the globe. Perhaps one of the areas that digital transformation has affected us most is in communications. The digitization of our world has had a profound effect on the way we communicate with one another – and with our customers.

Experience More Comprehensive Internal Communications

The digital age has fundamentally changed the way we communicate internally. According to a recent survey by Ombono, work departments no longer work in individual silos. Almost two-thirds of a business communications department’s budget is allocated to digital avenues on average – this is highest of any department in an enterprise. Companies continue to use the intranet, but real-time messaging applications like Slack and GChat improve efficiency.

The way we conduct meetings is also evolving. Instead of the phone conferences, we use video collaboration methods. Gone are the days of impersonal conference calls; using video, we get the same results as a face-to-face meeting – without paying travel expenses.

Even the way we train and onboard employees is changing. Workers can attend training webinars while sitting at the desk in their cubicles or even from their couches. And businesses can conduct initial interviews via video conference calls, reserving final face-to-face interviews for the best candidates. Today’s digital technology allows companies to collaborate faster and more effectively within the workspace. 

Improve the Customer Experience

Employees aren’t the only population that’s more connected. Consumers eagerly anticipate each new technological advance and expect businesses to be ready, too. Technology has given today’s customers an appetite for convenience: We have notoriously short attention spans and little patience for companies that don’t deliver quickly. Digitization can help deliver on these demands in a few ways:

  • Chat bots have become increasingly popular in the past few years. A case in point: Starbucks has a chat bot on the Facebook Messenger app representing its wildly popular Pumpkin Spice Latte. While the coffee mega giant uses this as a clever marketing ploy, chat bots also serve to provide real-time customer support, 24/7.
  • Live video feeds like webinars as well as pre-recorded videos help customers troubleshoot common problems with products or services. For example, companies can post tutorials to help customers install or assemble products.
  • The digital age presents new opportunities for marketing through Social Media. No marketing avenue has exploded the way social media has in the past few years. Savvy businesses use outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to generate and convert leads. Customers engage with brands by posting to social media to score promotions and post reviews directly to a company’s social media account.
  • Email marketing has become simultaneously more automated and customized. Companies leverage big data to create time efficient targeted messaging for prospects, shortening the time between generation and conversion.

Just as the digitization of communication presents new opportunities, it also poses unique challenges. Since consumers are free to post reviews of businesses instantaneously, companies must invest more time in effective reputation management techniques. Businesses are under constant online scrutiny, so they must continually be on the lookout for and respond to criticism.

Technology has changed the way we live and work for the better. With the right approach, companies can use the digital transformation to streamline internal communications and enhance the customer experience.

Audiovisual Integrator Microsoft Surface Hub

California Audiovisual Integrator Introduces a New Communication Solution to West Coast Customers

 

Spinitar becomes a Microsoft Surface Hub Dealer.

La Mirada, CA – September 15, 2016 – For over three decades, Spinitar has proudly served California with a mission of being a world-class provider of integrated commercial audio-video solutions. Today we are excited to announce our partnership with Microsoft as an official device reseller for the Microsoft Surface Hub. Spinitar now joins a short list of Surface Hub dealers in the United States, and was handpicked by Microsoft for being a full service audio, visual, and communication integrator.

Our ability to integrate the appropriate audio, video, and communication technology solutions allows our customers the opportunity to share and disseminate information more effectively, while enhancing organizational performance. “Spinitar is excited to be a Microsoft Partner!”, explains Jay Rogina, Spinitar Principal. “This partnership fits perfectly into our future growth strategy. We look forward to the opportunity to bring leading edge unified communications technology to our clients.” An exclusive partnership with Microsoft further expands Spinitar’s reach providing industry leading communication and collaboration tools. We are confident the Surface Hub will be integrated as a central device for conference rooms and huddle spaces. Microsoft has tailored the Surface Hub for users looking to improve productivity in meetings, and to work on tasks and specific applications in an easy and engaging way. This link provides more information on the Surface Hub and how to schedule an on-site demo today with our Microsoft Specialists: www.spinitar.com/microsoft-surface-hub.

About Spinitar
Spinitar is an audiovisual and unified communications design-build firm, helping our customers build high performance work spaces and places for tomorrow’s workforce. Spinitar is regularly acknowledged by Systems Contractors News as being among the top 50 integration firms nationwide, and is an active member of InfoComm International, PSNI and NSCA.