How Userful and webOS Signage Work Together, the Combined Solution

Userful is a powerful AV-over-IP software solution that works directly with LG’s webOS displays enabling users to stream any content source onto any display globally in real time with no additional hardware involved.

Userful’s uClient App installs directly on LG webOS displays certified by Userful and leverages the System on a Chip inside those smart displays. Each display connects back to either an on-premise server or a Userful server in the cloud running Userful software. That single server, either on-premise or in the cloud, allows customers to do remarkable things with LG displays.

How Userful and webOS Signage Work Together, the Combined Solution

 

The combined Userful and LG webOS solution supports video walls for control rooms and operation centers, data and dashboard walls, LED walls, displays for corporate communication, digital signs, screens used for factory and process automation and more, all with the same lower hardware footprint.

By eliminating as much proprietary hardware as possible from deployments, Userful and LG are able to significantly reduce customers’ Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Less hardware means less upfront costs, less hardware to maintain and replace, less electricity used, less likelihood that a customer needs to add plugs and upgrade its electrical panels. And of course less hardware means reduced support and maintenance over the life cycle of the deployment.

The combined Userful and LG webOS solution delivers an AV solution using an IT familiar stack: the key components are the network, software and a server. It is also a platform rather than a point solution. While many customers adopt Userful with LG displays for a specific single need, they are able to easily add displays and video walls for new applications using the same system and toolset. This ensures long-term scalability and allows for an even lower total cost of ownership as IT teams no longer need to learn to support new hardware or software for every new manufacturer each time they roll out a new visual display application.

When customers are investing in smart displays one of the concerns is often whether the System on a Chip processor built into the display is going to be capable of supporting their new applications and requirements in the future. The combination of Userful and LG webOS can address this concern as Userful’s server (either on-premise or in the cloud) performs as middleware. Should the customer require new or more demanding content or applications in the future, the Userful server which handles all the processing and the application layer can be relied on to handle those more demanding requirements.

There is no need to replace all the displays. If the Userful server needs to be upgraded, that’s a far lower cost than replacing all the displays. In this way Userful future proofs a customer’s investment in smart displays.

The Userful-webOS Solution is leading the way in bringing AV deployments onto the IP network.  The combined solution makes it easy to deploy complex AV applications without the burden of complex and expensive AV hardware.

To make it easy for LG customers to get started with Userful’s Visual Networking Platform, Userful is offering free 1 year subscriptions to Userful Standard with purchases of select LG webOS displays, until December 31, 2020. 

To learn more about Userful and this special offer, visit userful.com/lg

A Deep Dive Into the Sudden Proliferation of LED Signage Walls, Part 2

A Deep Dive Into the Sudden Proliferation of LED Signage Walls, Part 2

 

By Dan Smith
Head of Business Development
LG Business Solutions USA

LED Signage display technology is a constantly evolving area in the tech world, with historical obstacles (things like cost, ordering complexity, visual performance and user experience) being changed through design innovations. In our previous post we addressed cost and ordering complexity. Today we’ll cover how recent advancements have elevated visual performance and the user experience.

VISUAL PERFORMANCE – The core of the video wall experience is visual impact, and LED Signage walls now have higher resolutions, ever-widening color gamuts and better contrast capabilities. With the advent of mass-produced sub-1mm pixels, LED Signage can now achieve the same pixel pitch as an 86-inch Full HD display. With color gamuts now capable of exceeding 100 percent of the sRGB standard, some LED Signage displays are even outperforming LCDs. And LED Signage has a critical contrast advantage over LCD screens.

Deep blacks and good gradation of dark tones is what allows the human eye to see shape or edges, so without good visual contrast, an image loses much of what we experience in the real world and can fail to appear lifelike. Although early LED Signage displays struggled with contrast because the individual pixel lenses were large enough to actually reflect ambient light back at the viewer, today’s much smaller LEDs can exceed LCD black levels thanks to more inherent black space between pixels and the use of smaller dual lenses on the LED itself.

USER EXPERIENCE – The days of public or commercial LED Signage video walls appearing, connecting and being controlled differently than traditional home or office displays are quickly vanishing. Due to differences in thickness, bezels and installation processes, general customers were often dismissive of LED Signage displays. New LED Signage walls feature a much slimmer profile, with some product families even meeting ADA regulations that limit wall displays to a 4-inch thickness. Additionally, newer more-attractive bezels can finish the look of the edges, eliminating the traditional rough industrial feel that often left mounts, cables and other inner workings exposed.

Installation and setup used to be troublesome, too, because the inputs for traditional LED Signage displays didn’t match the standard “jack pack” most users and even integrators are accustomed to seeing on the back of a video display. Newer models have solved this by including more standard connectivity options, making setup similar to other types of modern displays.

And what about control? Typical installations rely on an equipment rack in a separate room, which can require a technical support person to physically walk to in order to make content changes or troubleshoot. That’s no longer an issue, at least in LG’s case, as the latest generation of LED Signage products use a standard TV / display remote and have the same user interface and on-screen menus as home and office displays. Now the LED Signage wall can look, connect and be controlled in the same manner as a standard display, vastly simplifying both installations and use, and speeding user adoption.

On Friday we’ll conclude with Part 3, covering LED Signage scalability, applications, and durability. See you then.

For a Limited Time, Get Userful Software for Digital Signage and Video Walls for Free

Screens and the content displayed on them are a vital part of every company’s infrastructure today. Whether that’s for customer engagement with digital signage displays, for internal corporate communication or for screens used to enhance company productivity–digital displays and video are the new communication medium for employees and customers.

Userful and LG have worked together to provide a new class of solution for managing displays and deploying and interacting with content of all kinds.  Userful is software based visual networking platform that runs on a commercially available off the shelf Server or PC, or can be powered from the cloud. The Userful software runs directly on LG webOS Signage™ displays, eliminating the need for any additional hardware. With this powerful combination, customers can eliminate unnecessary and expensive proprietary hardware from any display deployment whether for digital signs, video walls, control room applications or corporate communication and collaboration.

Userful’s deep integration with LG webOS Signage enables customers to send any content to any display in any location, at any time and in real time.  It’s easy to add more displays, and no additional hardware is needed. Just add Userful’s uClient app to a LG smart display compatible with Userful’s uClient and connect it back to the Userful server either on site or in the cloud. This solution displays content in the native resolution of the display and brings all the powerful features of the Userful solution to your project. Customers also receive updates from Userful as new features are added.

By adopting Userful as the middleware between content and display, customers can be assured they can add new apps and content onto their smart displays into the future: Userful runs in the middle and takes care of compatibility.  And by eliminating unnecessary hardware, customers reduce their Total Cost of Ownership: fewer devices to purchase, less hardware to deploy and support, less electricity used and a streamlined architecture all add up to lower initial CAPEX and TCO.

While the Userful and LG webOS combination can be used for wide variety of visual display applications from video walls in NOCs, SOCs and control rooms, to digital signs, to video walls of any size and resolution for public display, Userful and LG have teamed up to offer $1,000,000 worth of free software licenses for digital signage and video wall deployments. LG customers who purchase select LG displays up until December 31, 2020 are eligible for this free offer.

To take advantage of this unique opportunity and to learn more about Userful and LG webOS, visit userful.com/lg.

A Deep Dive Into the Sudden Proliferation of LED Signage Walls, Part 1

A Deep Dive Into the Sudden Proliferation of LED Signage Walls, Part 1

 

By Dan Smith
Head of Business Development
LG Business Solutions USA

LED Signage display technology is a constantly evolving area in the tech world, with historical obstacles (things like cost, ordering complexity, visual performance and user experience) being changed through design innovations. At the same time, LED Signage is finally getting the attention it deserves for scalability, application diversity and durability.

Over the next three to five years, the combination of technological advances and affordable solutions is expected to make LED Signage more competitive with video walls using flat-panel displays at all sizes. According to Allied Market Research, the global outdoor LED Signage market should exceed $17 billion by 2027.* Just as LCD and OLED TVs changed the TV game by providing a larger, brighter, better-looking canvas for video programming, LED Signage will transform how companies, venues, governments, schools and private organizations think about their digital messaging and design. So much is changing in the world of LED Signage technologies, it’s important to stop and recognize how far we’ve come, and what it means for the future.

COST – Until now, cost has always been one of the top deterrents to LED Signage adoption. Today, however, some LED Signage displays have actually reached points of price parity, with the initial investment necessary for a mid-range LCD video wall getting closer to the cost of a 1.9mm LED Signage wall of the similar size. Since the price point is often so close, but the technologies still have different benefits and appearance, it’s becoming more common today for customers evaluating video wall options to ask for quotes on both technologies.

ORDERING COMPLEXITY: THE RISE OF PACKAGED SOLUTIONS – While custom solutions can distinguish a brand or location, integrators may see a big business boost from the launch of packaged LED Signage display solutions. These packages come with just about everything needed for installation, from LED Signage tiles to mounting brackets and screws, and they help eliminate the need for complex steps such as tile-by-tile calibration. For the first time, integrators can easily dive into LED Signage without requiring extensive product training, creating new revenue opportunities.

Stay tuned. In the next post we’ll address visual performance and the user experience.

* https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/outdoor-LED-display-market

New LG Ergo Workstation Monitors Bring High Performance, Help Maximize User Comfort

New LG Ergo Workstation Monitors Bring High Performance, Help Maximize User Comfort

 

LG Business Solutions USA has introduced two new ultra-high-definition workstation monitors designed for today’s ever-evolving workspaces. The LG UltraFine Ergo monitors help maximize desk space in work-from-home, office, cubicle, classroom and laboratory environments while giving users control over screen position to help ensure a comfortable working experience.

The new 31.5-inch and 27-inch Ergo monitors (models 32BN88U-B, 27BN88U-B) feature a unique user-friendly, arm-type ergonomic stand that easily attaches to work surfaces with the included C-clamp mount. The Ergo stand lets the user quickly change the screen position, including height, pivot, tilt and swivel, or extend or retract the distance between the screen and user. Cables can be run through the stand to reduce clutter. At a time when workspaces are evolving to more of a work from home or hybrid situation, the LG UltraFine Ergo monitors are designed for adaptability and comfort and can change the way people imagine work environments.

The new UltraFine Ergo monitors support UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution, high dynamic range (HDR10) video and a rich DCI-P3 color gamut. Designed with a narrow bezel along three sides, it makes the most of screen real estate. The monitor easily attaches to the Ergo stand with a single click and mounts to the work surface with the included C-clamp or, if the desk includes it, through a pre-cut cable hole. By adjusting height, tilt, rotation, orientation and distance from viewers a monitor can be used by a single worker or shared among a collaboration team.

LG UltraFine Ergo monitors include a USB Type-C port for compatibility across multiple computing platforms and the high-speed transfer of 4K content. The USB Type-C port can also deliver 60W of power to attached peripherals, further reducing the need for more cables. The monitors also come with two HDMI ports, one DisplayPort and two USB 3.0 ports, as well as a pair of built-in 5W speakers with Waves Maxx Audio processing for an excellent listening experience.

LG’s IPS (in-plane switching) panel technology ensures color accuracy, dark black levels and wide viewing angles. The Ergo monitors also include AMD FreeSync technology for supporting dynamic refresh rates over DisplayPort and HDMI connections. Both monitors also will be available as standalone displays without the Ergo stands.

LG UltraFine Ergo monitors are a welcome innovation for anyone who spends a significant amount of time at their desk. The technologically and ergonomically advanced Ergo stand helps to promote good posture through its high degree of adjustability, enabling each user to create a perfectly customized workstation.

Want to know more about LG’s new ergonomic monitor stand? We invite you to join our next live LG PRO Spotlight Webinar on Wednesday, November 18, at 1:00 p.m. CST. We’ll cover the new Ergo stand in depth. You can register now for the webinar here.

Making the Most of LG Transparent OLED Signage

Making the Most of LG Transparent OLED Signage

 

Regular readers of this blog have seen plenty of coverage for LG OLED commercial displays. Lately we’ve focused on Transparent OLED and Transparent OLED Touch.

Transparent OLED provides beautiful OLED images with the added advantage of transparency. Why is this cool? Because the screen softly merges into the environment, harmonizing the content with its surroundings while also creating a wow factor. And whatever is displayed on the screen augments what is behind the screen. It turns places into open and interactive spaces.

Five unique selling propositions of LG Transparent OLED enable it to excel at its job.

High Transparency – Excellent see-through capability even when content is displayed. This opens a wealth of placement opportunities not considered for standard signage. It allows the viewer to see both the signage content and the scene behind the display, and the image quality is so good that it can be difficult to distinguish the displayed content from the reality behind the screen. 

Outstanding OLED Picture Quality – Wide viewing angles and rich, realistic colors captivate viewers.

Robust Design – Uses tempered glass in the front for enhanced safety, for use in industrial environments.

Touch Screen (model 55EW5TF-A) – P-Cap film provides good touch response with 10 touch points and maintains a sleek design, ideal for installations that require interaction.

Flexible Configuration – Transparent OLED offers portrait or landscape configuration capabilities. Displays can be tiled into a video wall horizontally or vertically, for creating interesting interactive environments beyond that of a single transparent screen or touch screen. LG offers a tiling kit that is a 2 x 2 tiling solution, each unit allowing for a 2 x 2 customized installation and scalable as 2 x N, for example, as a 2 x 3 window in portrait configuration.

Now we’ll go over some of the ways these amazing displays can be used to raise the bar on customer experiences and separate a business from its competition:

Museums – A museum can show an exhibit and use the screen in front to enhance the experience with different artifacts or points of reference. The touch screen can allow the visitor to interact and learn even more.

Retail – In a retail window display, images and graphics can be added in front of a product to bring the entire window display to life. A Transparent OLED screen with dynamic colorful content will attract the attention of passersby, which can help increase foot traffic in the store.

Hospitality – Hotels can captivate guests in the lobby by superimposing images to create a relaxing and immersive atmosphere. Also, a display can function as a digital concierge between the guest and the desk clerk, even if the clerk isn’t present. The Transparent OLED screen can be configured with proximity sensors  by system integrators to turn on as a guest is approaching.

Industrial – In an industrial environment the displays can function as a window to the factory, enabling engineers to view key data while also looking at the production floor.

Auto – In a car dealership, the customer can see the actual vehicle and interact with the display, changing the color, adding options, and learning about special features. The display can raise the efficiency of the sales floor with or without a salesperson.

Health/Safety Protocol – In this difficult time with COVID-19, requests are coming in about integrating these transparent displays as the barrier between the customer and the business rep/vendor. An incredible idea.

LG Transparent OLED is all about excitement, engagement and immersion. You can install a Transparent OLED just about anywhere, and it will enhance whatever you are trying to do, be it educate, sell, augment or entertain.

A note for content creators: Because OLED’s self-emissive pixels turn off to reproduce black content, OLED technology is renowned for delivering perfect black. However, with Transparent OLED, when you feed content to the transparent panel, any content that is black becomes transparent. So, if you don’t want a fully transparent area use shades of gray.

New LG Pro:Centric Connect Allows Simple and Secure Patient Video Calls on LG Healthcare TVs

New LG Pro:Centric Connect Allows Simple and Secure Patient Video Calls on LG Healthcare TVs

 

LG Pro:Centric® Connect is a new tool for third-party development partners or System Integrators (SI) to provide hospitals, medical centers and long-term care facilities access to videoconferencing via LG’s healthcare smart TVs. It supports peer-to-peer video calls between the patients’ in-room smart television, and desktop and mobile devices of hospital staff, doctors, family members and friends. Pro:Centric Connect also provides a scalable, secure, cloud-based video call handling platform that manages the traffic and call transactions for multiple hospital facilities.

Here’s how Pro:Centric Connect works. The built-in browser of LG’s healthcare smart TV supports the WebRTC (real-time communication) open standard and this is used by the hosted third-party interactive patient application to add video conferencing capability to the system. With the addition of a compatible webcam,* the patient can access the video calling feature through the existing user interface on the LG smart TV, navigating the menu by using existing in-room control devices such as the pillow speaker already connected to TV. The patient can originate or terminate calls at any time. Family members and friends can utilize their own personal mobile devices that run on Android, iOS, MacOS or Windows to reach out to patients.

LG’s Pro:Centric Connect platform is secure in that it does not require entering in patient personal identifiable information and call traffic is encrypted. The SI’s application hosts the data that connects a specific patient with a specific room number, minimizing the possibility of unauthorized users accessing the system.

Videoconferencing has become commonplace for businesses, especially since the coronavirus pandemic began. And now telemedicine has arrived and is growing, giving patients not only the opportunity to speak with their doctor, but the benefits of face-to-face contact and more frequent check-ins, where the physician can assess the patient’s demeanor and the patient can experience the assurance of personal interaction. Pro:Centric Connect means less travel time for doctors and more time to meet with patients, providing the ability to see more patients at multiple sites.

Patients alone in their hospital bed or long-term care facility can benefit from the comfort of face time with loved ones. And rather than having to hold onto a mobile device like a smart phone or tablet to view the video call, the LG smart healthcare TV allows the patient to maintain a comfortable position. Especially in these days of restricted visitor access due to the pandemic, LG Pro:Centric Connect video calling can help ensure the smiles and benefits of the all-important human connection while minimizing the risks.

For more information on LG Pro:Centric Connect click here.

*Webcam not included

LG Presents Four UltraGear Monitors Aimed at Serious Gamers

LG Presents Four UltraGear Monitors Aimed at Serious Gamers

 

Esports is seeing a continual rise in popularity not just with the partnership of Vindex and IMAX®, but in colleges and high schools as well as public esports arenas and facilities, and this is driving and growing the gaming monitor business. New business models such as subscription services, an abundance of video games, and increasingly sophisticated PCs are driving the market, too.

To take advantage of the computing prowess of today’s high-performing PCs for demanding games, gamers are expected to purchase newer displays. In fact, in December 2019, the International Data Corporation (IDC) Global Gaming Industry Forecast expected the gaming monitor market to grow to 12.2 million units in 2023 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.8%.1 That makes gaming monitors a very robust category.

What’s more, the National Association of Collegiate Esports states that more than 170 U.S. member schools have esports varsity programs and are offering around $16 million per year in esports scholarships and aid.2 Through esports, students can learn digital citizenship, team building, leadership and life skills aligned with academic areas.3

Accordingly, LG has leveraged its extensive expertise with In-Plane Switching (IPS) display screen technology to design four UltraGear Gaming Monitors aimed at providing an immersive, precise and responsive experience for serious gamers. These 2020 models cover the 27-, 34-, and 38-inch class and include an array of high-performance features and LG technologies geared for the win.

 

Advanced Imaging Features

LG is renowned for IPS screen technology, which is ideal for gaming. IPS delivers great color rendition, and very wide horizontal and vertical viewing angles without distorting colors. New to the LG monitor scene is Nano IPS technology, which is created by applying nano-sized particles to the LED backlights that provide the lighting. The nano particles absorb unnecessary or excess light wavelengths, resulting in even richer contrast and color expression than standard IPS.

LG UltraGear monitors are compatible with NVIDIA® G-SYNC technology, which synchronizes the monitor’s refresh rate to the computer’s graphics card (GeForce GTX-powered PCs), and delivers an amazing experience with virtually no tearing, stuttering, or input lag. Another important compatibility is with AMD FreeSync Premium, which synchronizes the monitor’s refresh rate to the graphics card with AMD-powered PCs, and equips gamers with a fluid, virtually tear-free gameplay experience at peak performance with at least 120Hz refresh rate at minimum FHD resolution.

Another key feature is 1 millisecond (ms) response time on IPS. LG’s new IPS gaming monitors have mastered 1ms Gray-to-Gray (GTG) response time, providing ultra-fast response with all the benefits of IPS.

Refresh rate is a very important function that the human eye doesn’t notice in non-gaming apps when numbers rise much above 60 Hz, but a high refresh rate can keep intensive game experiences smooth and virtually free from screen lag. LG’s 2020 lineup of UltraGear gaming monitors features refresh rates starting at 144 Hz (some can be overclocked to 160 Hz) up to a blistering 240 Hz depending on the model.

In addition to synchronization, response times and refresh rates, High Dynamic Range (HDR) color performance has also improved in LG’s newest gaming monitors. Reaching beyond simple HDR10 performance, multiple LG gaming models feature VESA DisplayHDR 6004 which provides 10-bit image processing and a visible increase in color gamut compared to the already improved DisplayHDR 400 standard.

 

Key Gaming Features

LG Dynamic Action Sync® minimizes input lag so nearly every moment is clear.

LG Black Stabilizer® adds resolution and clarity in the shadow areas, revealing enhanced detail in the dark scenes to give gamers a competitive edge.

LG Crosshair® is situated in the center of the display and helps enhance accuracy in first-person shooter games.

LG Sphere Lighting 2.0 creates an ambience in the room via soft, indirect lighting from the rear of the monitor, which illuminates according to the dynamic sounds or visuals in the game.

On-Screen Control places a host of essential monitor settings into a handy window for quick, easy access. Volume, brightness, picture mode presets, Screen Split 2.0 and Dual Controller can now be adjusted with just a few clicks of the mouse.

 

The 2020 LG UltraGear Team at a Glance:

27-inch (27GN95B-B) – 4K gaming perfection for serious players. The “hot rod” of gaming monitors. UHD 4K Nano IPS with DisplayHDR 600, 1ms response time, 144Hz refresh rate, NVDIA G-Sync compatibility

27-inch (27GN75B-B) – Ideal for outfitting a gaming lab or team. A great value with IPS 1ms response time for crisp visuals and sharp clarity, NVDIA G-Sync compatibility, 240Hz refresh rate

34-inch (34GN85B-B) – Curved Gaming Nano IPS 1ms, UltraWide QHD (3440×1440), 144Hz with 160Hz Overclock, DisplayHDR 400, NVDIA G-Sync compatibility

38-inch Curved (38GN95B-B) – The gamer’s dream. Curved Nano IPS 1ms, QHD+ (3840×1600), 144Hz with 175Hz Overclock, DisplayHDR 600, NVDIA G-Sync compatibility

Looking to build an esports curriculum? One of the benefits that LG can provide to its partners is a consultative approach that can help with building curriculum at schools. LG can put you in contact with platform organizations that are organizing large tournaments and maintaining continuity with everything.

 

1. https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS45761419

2. https://nacesports.org/about/

3. https://www.nasef.org/news/blog/why-should-educators-embrace-esports/

4. Models 27GN95B-B, 38GN95B-B

With E-Learning, School Districts are Building the Foundation for Better Learning Outcomes, Part 2

With E-Learning, School Districts are Building the Foundation for Better Learning Outcomes, Part 2

 

By Jeremy Dolby
Education Tech Expert
LG Business Solutions USA

The current crisis has focused schools’ attention on enabling e-learning. During the sea change in U.S. education in the spring of 2020, LG’s education experts reached out to administrators, teachers and parents. Here are few things school districts will be considering as they explore e-learning — now and in the future.

 

E-Learning Is Based on New Ways of Delivering Education

“Our students are fortunate because prior to coronavirus, that’s how they’d been learning,” said Cao Mac, Cicero 99 School District Chief Information Officer, who worked with partners like LG to create a classroom digital learning framework. “They’re still learning in the same manner because we’ve had that infrastructure in place. Our teachers have been doing this for the last five years, so now we’re 100-percent remote learning and we’re still seeing our students connected and engaged with our teachers.”

At Cicero 99, every classroom has an interactive screen, connected to the district’s online learning resources. Students are able to wirelessly “cast” what they’re seeing on their one-to-one devices to the classroom display in order to share ideas with teachers and classmates. Cicero 99’s Sherlock School even has an immersive video wall from LG that lets groups of students experience the subjects they’re learning about. Yes, today’s generation of students is already digitally savvy, but experience using technology for education can help ease the transition to e-learning. “Our transition has really been seamless not just for our staff, but also for students, because they’ve been learning in a 21st-century learning environment,” concluded Cicero 99’s Chief Information Officer Cao Mac.

 

Access Is Critical

School districts have spent years implementing one-to-one learning. Even prior to the coronavirus outbreak, schools made tens of millions of mobile devices available to students. But the device is just one component; Internet access — especially now, when learning is often 100-percent online — is equally important. And not every student has access. It’s estimated that 98 percent of U.S. schools have high-speed broadband to support e-learning in their buildings, but millions of students don’t have the access they need to work from home.7 Districts can work with internet service providers to help facilitate free or affordable connections. Others, like Cicero 99, offer portable WiFi hotspots with their students’ one-to-one devices. Regardless of how students and teachers connect, to the extent e-learning takes place over their networks, districts also need to ensure they have the robust infrastructure needed to deliver increasingly multimedia-rich materials from their learning management systems to students.

 

Security Is Equally Critical

And when students and teachers take advantage of e-learning, it’s incumbent on schools to make data privacy and security a top priority. Especially in challenging times, when schools can expect to see an increase in online scams, phishing attempts and other potential cyberattacks, it’s important to have procedures and policies in place that protect students and district networks. Technology such as content filtering, single sign-on authentication and mobile device management can help school districts maintain trusted connections between one-to-one devices and online learning systems. School districts need to work with solution providers to maximize the security settings on their platforms and teach students and facility to be aware of cyberthreats and how to protect themselves online.

When schools get back to normal, it will likely be the “new normal” people talk about. E-learning will help the nation’s school districts though the current crisis, and it will also lay the foundation to tap into new classroom technology opportunities, while at the same time helping to enhance learning outcomes 365 days a year.

“As a district, we have all the key components to ensure that, pedagogically, we’ve changed our mindset on leveraging technology tools in the classroom. We’re seeing the benefits today,” said Cicero 99’s Cao Mac. “The online enrichment exercises and activities students used to do in class, they’re now doing from home.”

LG Business Solutions USA is a leading provider of technology solutions for the U.S. education market, from digital signage and desktop monitors to interactive digital white boards and video walls.

7 https://www.educationsuperhighway.org/announcements/98-percent-public-school-districts-connected-to-high-speed-broadband/

With E-Learning, School Districts are Building the Foundation for Better Learning Outcomes, Part 1

With E-Learning, School Districts are Building the Foundation for Better Learning Outcomes, Part 1

 

By Jeremy Dolby

Education Tech Expert

LG Business Solutions USA

 

When Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered schools closed throughout the state in response to the coronavirus pandemic, sending home millions of students to learn remotely, Cicero School District 99 was ready. The K-8 district of 14,000 students, southwest of Chicago, was already five years into its mission, driven by Superintendent Rudy Hernandez, of changing the way it delivers education through technology in the classroom and beyond. Cicero 99 has embraced one-to-one learning by putting computing devices in the hands of all its students. It adopted Google Classroom and the Schoology online learning management system as foundational education tools. And it charted a professional development path for its staff that included Google Educator certification, with nearly 300 teachers certified at Level 1 or 2 so far. When Cicero 99 students and teachers began sheltering at home, they were ready to continue their studies.

K-12 school districts and service providers throughout the country have stepped up heroically to try and facilitate remote learning during the pandemic. By late March, New York City had distributed 175,000 laptops, Apple iPads and Chromebooks to students so they could study from home.1 Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland set up drive-through distribution days for students needing mobile devices to participate in the county’s new Continuity of Learning initiative.2 Online conferencing company Zoom gave schools free access to its platform and lifting time restrictions for its basic accounts.3 Google and Microsoft have also offered free access to their collaboration platforms.4 And internet service providers such as Comcast are addressing the digital divide by offering free connectivity to low-income families.5

To be sure, the current crisis has focused schools’ attention on enabling e-learning. When the pandemic subsides, districts that haven’t already will likely take a closer look at e-learning and the skills and solutions that make it possible. A study by Deloitte found that educators, students and parents want more and better access to e-learning.6 Not only does e-learning allow education to continue in times of disruption, whether due to a public health crisis or natural disaster, it creates new opportunities for students and teachers to improve learning outcomes.

During the sea change in U.S. education in the spring of 2020, LG’s education experts reached out to administrators, teachers and parents. In the next post we’ll discuss a few things school districts will be considering as they explore e-learning — now and in the future. Stay tuned.

 

1 https://ny.chalkbeat.org/2020/3/23/21196118/the-new-reality-of-coronavirus-here-s-what-nyc-s-first-day-of-remote-learning-looked-like

2 https://wtop.com/montgomery-county/2020/03/marylands-largest-county-loans-laptops-to-students-for-remote-learning/

3 https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkonrad/2020/03/13/zoom-video-coronavirus-eric-yuan-schools/#78e932954e71

4 https://www.techradar.com/news/google-and-microsoft-offer-free-teleconferencing-tools-to-combat-coronavirus 

5 https://variety.com/2020/digital/news/comcast-free-broadband-low-income-households-coronavirus-1203532765/

6 https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/technology-media-telecommunications/us-tmt-digital-education-survey.pdf