The EZ Teach System from Just Add Power by WKMcintosh


The EZ Teach System from Just Add Power makes any PC lab more productive for teaching and training.

Bill McIntosh
School Vision Inc
Authorized Consultant for Just Add Power

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									The EZ Teach System from Just Add Power

Education and technology have always been an integral part of my life and
my career. During my days as a student at the University of South
Carolina, computers were still big machines that could only be
communicated with via a stack of punch cards. As soon as it became
affordable, I purchased one of the first “personal computers” , a
Commodore Vic 20 and began to teach myself to program in BASIC .

During my ten-year career as a teacher, I immediately saw the power of
computers to involve and excite students when I got my first computer in
my social studies class in Lake City in 1983. Finding ways to integrate
technology into teaching became one of my passions.
I got a chance to work with computers and students on a full-time basis
when I was hired to start a computer class at Middle School in Mt
Pleasant, South Carolina in 1986. That also led to an offer to go to work
for a local technology company, which I did on a part time basis until I was
offered a full time job.

I left teaching on a date easy to remember, 8/8/88, to start a new career,
marketing educational technology to schools. During the last 20 years, I
have helped schools to acquire whiteboards, projectors. Voting pad
systems, and various other technology products,

I have seen these products, when put to thoughtful use by a dedicated
teacher make a great impact on teaching and learning. However, I have
not seen any product the kind of potential for immediate and effective
change in the integration of existing technology into teacher-centered
instruction as has the EZ teach system from Just Add Power Inc.

I met Ed Qualls the president of Just Add Power three years ago. I have
shared info about his products with those I thought might be interested.
One of my clients, Starbase Florida, when they heard about EZ Teach
purchase a system based on my recommendation.

Here is the story about how EZ Teach impacted teaching and learning at
that site.

This is the story of a Science Education program in Jacksonville Florida
that serves elementary students from some of the toughest neighborhoods
of inner city Jacksonville. A second Starbase site in Sacramento California
also has EZ teach. I was a little concerned when I didn‟t hear from the
instructor who had ordered the system. It turns out she was deployed
overseas. When I talked to the director of Starbase California, about the
system he had only three words to share: “We love it”.

I had seen CPS in use at Starbase Florida, but the questions remained:
Would other educators also realize the value of this product?

Seeing EZ teach in action with a large group of educators was something
that was really eye-opening.
I was invited by Ed Qualls to join him at NECC in San Antonio in July of
2008 to assist the folks from Adobe who asked that his product, the EZ
teach system, be made available to use in the Adobe training workshops
that are conducted every year during NECC.

One thing I learned from this experience is how easy it is to set up EZ
Teach. Ed and I added the EZ teach system to two 30-computer labs in
two hours each. Most of that time was spent taping down the cables, since
this was a temporary set-up and we didn‟t want anyone to “trip”.

It was fascinating to see EZ Teach in use by new participants. The Adobe
instructors were immediately able to grasp the use of the simple EZ Touch
Console that allows an instructor to broadcast, darken or release screens.
In just a few minutes, instructors that had never seen the system before
were able to master it. Someone once said “the most powerful product is
one that people actually USE,” and the fact the Adobe instructors were up
and running right away was clear evidence that there is a very short
learning curve with EZ Teach.

Several of the Adobe instructors asked specifically if they would get to use
EZ Teach again at the training sessions Adobe will be hosting at the ILC
conference in San Jose in October, 2008. We were happy to respond that
EZ Teach will be featured at the ILC conference. We have found that those
who have used EZ Teach quickly become its biggest advocates. Not only
are the Adobe instructors from NECC anxious to use EZ Teach the next
time they are asked to demonstrate Adobe products, all of them are active
school teachers. Several have gathered the info they need and will be
making a case for purchasing an EZ Teach system for their computer lab
at home.

One person could not wait until he got home. An elementary principal went
out during a break, got a PO number and arranged to have the demo
system in use in the lab where he was learning about Adobe software
shipped back to his school in the Chicago area. Seeing is believing when
it comes to EZ Teach

Is there really a need for such a system?
Here is a quote from USA Today

 In 50 poor, rural South Carolina schools, I recently counted more than
10,000 computers in 2,000 classrooms. Only twice did I see an elementary
student in a classroom using a computer. I did see students using them in
computer labs but almost invariably to learn low level keyboarding skills.
Students seldom used modern interactive instructional software.

Source: James Guthrie. &al
" Computers idle in public schools"
USA Today, 18 March 2003

This quote is now 7 years old. This article did not list the schools involved.
To apply this to all schools in South Carolina, or all schools anywhere, is
neither entirely true, kind, nor fair. A one-time visit is not a true picture,
merely a snapshot. But such a quote is thought-provoking. A system that
allows teachers to control and make effective use of the PC labs by giving
teachers control and make it “easier for them to teach” would go a long
way towards alleviating this kind of situation where it does, in fact, exist.

EZ Teach, because it is hardware based, is very fast and efficient. We
didn‟t have a single “technical glitch” during 5 days of continuous training
sessions. And, in one case where the projector lamp failed, the training
class would have come to screeching halt if EZ Teach were not in use: EZ
teach gave each participant a “front row seat” because they saw a mirror
image of the presentation, what was also being shown on the projector. It
was also interesting to note that even when the 8x8 screen WAS back in
use when the lamp was replaced , the participants in the back row of the
computer lab had a “front row seat” because EZ Teach made it possible for
them to see clearly on their PC screen what the instructor was doing. I
was especially interested to notice that even the people in the front two or
three rows were also looking at the instructor screen on their PC monitor,
rather than the projector screen, since the color fidelity and clarity on the
monitor will always be clearer than a projector image, no matter how large
or bright.

Do I need to point out that schools are finding replacing expensive data-
projector lamps to be a costly burden? In many computer labs, EZ teach
would obviate the need for a projector, in many cases, with a one-time
Also, because EZ Teach is hardware, not software, district PC support
staff don‟t have to go from school to school installing updates or patches.
In the last few years alone, Windows has gone from Win NT to WinXP, to
Vista to Windows 7. Each of those updates required reconfiguration of not
only the PC OS, but the software that works with it. There are schools that
have been using EZ teach since Win 95 with no updates. That is 15 years!

This system is also “unhackable” by students, because it is hardware. . I
found, being a gamer, quite by accident, the hacks to defeat one
commonly used software system for PC control among the “ tips” on an
Xbox gamer‟s site. A system that kids can easily defeat is not much better
than no system.

It is important to note that this EZ Teach does not compete with, interfere
with, or in any way hamper the use of some of the other innovative
interactive technologies coming into classroom use. In fact, EZ teach is a
“force multiplier” for these kinds of technologies. An instructor with an
Interactive Whiteboard will find that not only can students see the projected
image onto the whiteboard, but now, when a whiteboard is used in a PC
lab setting, students are also seeing a “mirror image” on their PC screen.
Likewise with student response pads, or “clickers” , the clicker questions
can be put on each PC screen , where the students can respond. With the
advent of software that turns a PC into a „virtual clicker” this system will
give teachers an added level of control on how that kind of assessment is
used in the class.

Here is where you can find some information on the products for computer
labs offered by Just Add Power :

This is also a good time to point out that EZ Teach works only with
computers that have a separate external monitor. EZ teach does not work
with student laptops, or all-in-one computers, as some of the iMacs and
PCs that have the CPU and monitor built into a single unit. EZ Teach
works by attaching a small hardware box to each monitor and that is not
possible with a laptop or self-contained unit EZ Teach does support
laptops and most all-in-one PCs as the teacher station. We would also
need to know if you wish Just Add Power to provide the needed Cat 5
cables. Many schools have lots of these cables already available, but we
can provide them, at a very reasonable price, if needed.

Another benefit of EZ teach, is that it also connects together not only the
PCs, but also the sound cards. Just Add Power can supply headphones for
each station and a teacher microphone. With this system you get not only
a “PC control” system, but also a classroom sound system. And this is all
accomplished without connecting the LAN or NIC cards. The small external
“box” that goes to each station does this, without the need for networking
or adding traffic to already overburdened networks.

If you would like a product quote on what this would cost to install in one of
your computer labs, we s imply would need to know how many student
stations are involved, and whether you plan to supply your own cables,
headphones, and microphone.

A lot of people have chosen EZ Teach based on the product materials. If
you would like to “test drive” EZ Teach, we do have a limited number of
test drive kits we can make available.

Just Add Power Inc sells EZ Teach directly to schools, which is a sole
source for this product.

If you would like a product brochure on EZ Teach, you can find it here :

Here is a product sheet that answers the basic question: “Why EZ Teach?”

Please let me know how I can provide any additional information about this
innovative new product.
I have seen the future of PC labs..and it works.

Sincerely yours
Bill McIntosh
School Vision Inc.
Authorized Just Add Power Consultant
Phone: 843-442-8888
Just Add Power Website:

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