Tag Archives: education

Coming Soon in January 2014…ChesterKeys&Case for the iPad Air

DSC_1850At Chester Creek Technologies, staying on top of technology trends is vital to our business and livelihood.  Plus, it’s fun to learn about the changing world of technology!

We are thrilled to announce our latest product innovation – the ChesterKeys&Case for the iPad® Air!

ChesterKeys&Case for the iPad Air features an adjustable Bluetooth keyboard with a rechargeable battery for 120 hours of continuous use.  The new iPad Air case is a soft faux leather case that closes securely with a magnetic clasp keeping all controls, ports, microphones and camera easily accessible.  The Bluetooth keyboard includes all the function keys you would need with an iPad such as, Home, Volume, Search, Internet, Select All and more!

ChesterKeys&Case for the iPad Air is available with Chester Creek’s color-coded keys for improved typing, speed and accuracy, or a black and white keyboard; both with extra-large, bold face font for increased visibility.  The iPad Air will rest securely with its built in, collapsible stand that can be angled for optimal viewing.

Contact us today to preorder your ChesterKeys&Case for the iPad® Air!

Chester Creek Technologies – 888-214-5450

ChesterKeys&Case Air Specifications:

  • Size:   10.39” x 7.17” X 1.22”
  • RoHS & CPSIA Compliant
  • Battery Life:   120 Hours
  • USB Charging Cable included
  • Bluetooth V3.0 compatible with iOS 3.2 and higher
  • Part #  TCK – Air (Black Keys); TCK-C – Air (Colored Keys)

iPad® is a registered trademark of Apple and not included.


iCanConnectLogoHave you heard of iCanConnect?

iCanConnect is The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program.  This Federal program ensures individuals who have combined hearing and vision loss access to telephone, advanced communications and information services (like the internet).

The FCC set aside funding to support one program per state plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  iCanConnect provides communications technology free of charge to low-income people of all ages who have combined vision and hearing loss.  Equipment provided can range from hardware or software applications to the varying technology needs of specialized equipment, like screen readers or braille displays.

How do you know if this program is for you?  You may be eligible for this program if you are a person who has combined vision and hearing loss and you cannot afford communication technology that enable you to use telephone, send email or access the internet.  A qualified program specialist will help you identify your equipment needs and train you on how to use it as well.

You can learn more about iCanConnect and watch a wonderful video introduction on the program by visiting their website at www.iCanConnect.org or by calling 1-800-825-4595.

To apply, contact your state’s program. For more information visit: www.fcc.gov/NDBEDP


The past few months have been a rush of travels for the Chester Creek team and we still have more to come!  We set out to learn more about our customers and find what you want and need.  We have been visiting with our customers and distributors as well as attending a trade show here and there.  Here’s where we’ve been and what we’ve been up to:

August brought us out to Boston, MA, to visit some of our best customers and to a Red Sox game!

In September we visited one of our largest distributors, D & H, and visited with other Pennsylvania customers.

October arrived and we traveled to Mashantucket, Connecticut, for the 9th Annual WB Mason Trade Show and Convention.  It was well attended and we had a blast!  Also, Connecticut has Fall Colors VERY similar to Duluth…just no Lake Superior.

Also in October, we traveled down to North Carolina to visit two education customers.  Another great trip with beautiful scenery like Duluth, but still no Lake Superior.  We really are spoiled up here, aren’t we?!?!

Here’s an idea of what’s to come for our travelin’ gang:

November we travel to Washington, DC, for the 2013 NAEYC Expo & Conference.  NAEYC stands for National Association for the Education of Young Children.  We are excited about this one as a lot of our customers will be here so we will get to visit with them, face to face!

In the New Year, we travel to Orlando, Florida, to attend the 2014 ATIA Conference.  The Assistive Technology Industry Association is a great place for us to be in January.

Lastly, in April we conclude our travels right here in Duluth, MN.  We will be attending the 2014 MACHE Home School Conference & Curriculum Fair.  The Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators is held at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) every year.

Let us know if you’ll be at one these events. We’d be happy to meet you!

Even though we are travelling, we still have a dedicated team at the office working hard to ensure everything runs smoothly!  We love meeting you, our customers, and hearing what you have to say about our products!

Summer Learning Loss

Summer is on its way.  Can you smell it in the air?  I can smell it in the fog rising off the lake.  Even out here in the Northland, the snow is all but gone and the first flowers are blooming, little green and purple surprises.  Accordingly, kids all over are feeling that anxious itch for summer vacation.  To be honest, I am too, even though it doesn’t mean vacation for me anymore.

Summer has one downside, though.  Summer learning loss.  Studies have found that on average, students lose about one month’s worth of learning over the summer.  This number varies across demographics, location, and subject.  In fact, students tend to lose just over two and a half months of math knowledge.  Low income students tend to be set back about two months of reading.

Only about 9% of students K-12 in the US attend summer programs.

So how can you keep your students on track through their summertime adventures?  How about incorporating it into their daily life?  Learning doesn’t only happen in the classroom.  Have them pick up a book, and talk with you about it when they’ve finished reading.  Take them on nature walks and explore the wonder of the world around you.  You can learn together.  Educational computer games are fun for a rainy day, too.  Check out Chester Creek’s new educational software packs for computer adventures through science, logic, math, and more! Throw in a LessonBoard to teach them good typing skills while they’re at it – a skill sure to come in handy next fall, giving them a leg up over their peers.

Charter Schools

Yesterday, I wrote a little about homeschooling as an education option.  This is one route that provides huge flexibility and choice regarding structure and content.  Another non-traditional education path is the charter school.

Definitions for charter schools vary from state to state, as do laws, but generally a charter school is the following:

  • A public School.
  • Created when a group individuals petition a local school board or county board of education for a charter to open an independent school in their community.
  • Sponsored by another organization, such as a local university.
  • Typically founded by educators, parents, community groups or private organizations.
  • Operated under a written contract with a state, district or other entity.
  • Required to meet local, state, or federal standards of education.

Furhter definitions can be found at US Charter Schools.  These schools can be part of a larger public school district, or an independent district supported by the state and sponsors.The National Charter School Study has found that the top three reasons charter schools are created is to gain autonomy, realize a vision, or serve a specific group. These goals are met in a variety of ways.  Charter schools’ freedom allows them to structure the learning as they like.

Parents and teachers choose charter schools primarily for educational reasons–high academic standards, small class size, innovative approaches, or educational philosophies in line with their own. Some also have chosen charter schools for their small size and associated safety (charter schools serve an average of 250 students).  -US Charter Schools

The charter school which I used to work for, Avalon School, for instance, accepts 180 students from grades 7-12 and emphasizes growth through project-based learning — very different from the traditional public schools in the St. Paul area.

There are so many options for education available; what works best for your family?


Homeschooling is an increasingly popular choice among American families.  The number of homeschoolers increases by over 8% annually, and about one million US families already homeschool, according to numerous studies by individuals, organizations, and the census bureau.  Why do people homeschool?  For a number of reasons, whether it be displeasure with the public option or a desire to build stronger family bonds.  As many reasons as there are for homeschooling, there are just as many approaches.  Some of the typical homeschooling approaches are listed here.

Two of the main concerns about homeschooling are whether the children will earn to socialize and whether or not they will match traditionally schooled peers in learning.  Studies have shown that contrary to the belief of some, homeschooled children tend to be more confident in social situations and less peer-dependant. As to the speed and quality of learning, every child learns differently.  This is true of homeschooled children as well as traditionally-schooled kids.  The quality of their learning depends entirely upon their natural abilities and the parents’ commitment.  There is no reason a homeschooled child cannot have an education as good as or better than any public-school student.  The other worry is cost.  According to homeschool.com, one of the internet’s largest homeschool networks, homeschooling can cost as little or as much as the parent’s decide.  Resources include free work sheets and expenszive boxed curriculum.  Peripheral educational devices like computers can also be very important to learning.  Much of the free curriculum is available through the web, after all, and skills like typing and research are indispensable in today’s world.

To help both traditional and non-traditional educational programs, Chester Creek offers a 10% discount for orders that can be verified as part of a library or education program.

What techniques do you use in your homeschooling adventures?