Filling in the Blank: How Brooklyn-Based Blank Technologies Corp. is Integrating Meaningful Technology in North American Schools

Based out of Brooklyn and Buffalo, NY, Blank Technologies Corp (Blank.tech) focuses on bringing local insights, strengthened by strategic, global partnerships, to life through the JP Partner Program. To do so more effectively, we leverage the learning and experiences afforded to us by being a part of JP.IK’s global network of partners: more than 10 years in the educational industry, from more than 20 large-scale projects around the world, and 15M students impacted in 70 countries. Through our efforts, we are helping to redefine what it means to go from Global to Local.

Blank.tech exists because we believe that modern education is broken no matter where you are in the world. Currently, schools across North America use computers that all too often fail to enhance the classroom learning environment. As a result, many students become disengaged and expensive IT investments end up collecting dust. We believe in a collective effort to change the state of technology deployments in education, and we are proud to call the entire JP Family our partners in changing the status quo.

Tech Integration in the United States

Blank recently partnered with Newark Central School District (Newark CSD), a public school district in upstate New York that serves students from Pre-K through 12th grade. Newark CSD’s mission is to provide diverse opportunities and academic experiences necessary for growth for every student, everyday. To help improve students digital literacy and ensure that teaching methods stay fresh and modern, Jamie Sonneville, the Director of Technology, was looking for devices that could fulfill the District’s goal of a 1:1 computing initiative.

1:1 computing is a learning environment in which each student and educator is given a computer to access the internet, digital coursework, and supplemental material. Sonneville felt that the District was behind when it came to technology, so by introducing this new initiative, she hoped to help students and educators transform the way they learn in the classroom. With internet connectivity being a problem in rural American homes, it is necessary to ensure that students could access their coursework offline, as well as work on their homework assignments at home during out-of-school hours.

Publically Testing Blank.tech

The District educator’s biggest concern was product durability to maximize classroom time instead of lost learning time due to device repairs and replacements. Sonneville needed a device that supported Office 365, was affordable, and that supplemented the students learning; allowing them to use a stylus to take notes, be artistic, and most importantly, explore the digital universe on their own time.

Newark CSD reviewed two devices: an HP Probook and a JP3 2-in-1 PC. Both devices checked off nearly all the boxes, the ultimate deciding factor would come down to the ruggedness and durability of the product. Sonneville and her colleagues put these devices to the test by conducting a series of drops and spills that they expect to occur on a typical school day.

“We wanted to see what would happen if a student dropped their device in the hall on their way to class. Could they keep going or would they have to stop by the IT desk for repairs or a replacement?”

The staff dropped the devices from multiple heights to see how it would affect all students. After the third drop, a large part of the HP devices screen was no longer responsive, however, the JP3 had a small crack in the corner, but was still entirely functional. They continued putting the JP3 through a total of 15 drops, and even spilled a water bottle on it. After the rigorous testing was done, the JP3 was still functional, convincing Sonneville that this device was the right choice for the District.

Blank.tech’s Solutions Driven Design

Summed up by our Head of Partner Success, Ian Donnelly, “Blank.tech’s accessible, purpose-built platform enables [schools] to provide devices to each student and teacher, supporting their work to create high quality, equitable opportunities for all learners. Students and teachers will create meaningful learning experiences with a focus on creativity, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration by applying our purpose-built platform.”

For Newark SCD, the JP3 checked off every part of the checklist for the schools needs, including their desired price point. Newark CSD worked closely with our sales and deployment specialists to foster a strong partnership.  Sonneville remarks, “One of the things that really stuck with me is that the device is built for education. All of the features, including the self-maintainer program, empowers our students and gives them a lifelong skill.”

Next Steps for Newark and Blank.tech

Newark CSD is looking forward to maintaining their strong relationship with Blank.tech. Sonneville remarked, “Having the personal connection with the [Blank.tech] team is unlike something I’ve experienced in my 13 years of edtech.”

Sonneville’s plan for the future includes creating a student-run help desk that teaches kids how to do basic repairs and troubleshooting. Her goals also include encouraging all instructional staff to get Microsoft Innovative  certified.

By pioneering a holistic, socially responsible approach to edtech, and delivering a full suite of integrated hardware, software, lifecycle management and learning services, Blank.tech dedicates ourselves as partners to the educators we empower across North America. We are proud to partner directly with educators to fully empower their goal of enhancing their student centered learning environment by strengthening instructional technology deployments.

To learn more about Blank Technologies Corp, visit their website at www.blank.tech or reach out directly to hello@blank.tech.

I belive in your product, your mission, and your company. I believe you are making a difference in education

Jamie Sonneville, Director of Technology at Newark Central School District (Newark CSD)

Leslie Zemnick is Blank.tech’s Head of Operations, In addition to working with Blank.tech, Zemnick is on the Advisory Council for the STEAM Center at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Mentor for the NYC Department of Education’s HE³AT Program, and Advocate for Public Policy Associate for the New York Junior League. To showcase Blank.tech’s long-lasting impact with a recent school school partner, Zemnick sat down with Ian Donnelly, Blank.tech’s Head of Partner Success, and Jamie Sonneville, the Director of Technology from Newark Central School District (Newark CSD).

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