Tech & Learning's Stellar Service Awards 2016

Tech & Learning's Stellar Service Awards are upon us and we need your help! We are asking you, the reader, to vote for this year's winners between now and October 28th.

Below, we've listed all the candidates for each category. Please take a moment to read through the descriptions and vote here.

The winners will be announced in the December/January Edition of Tech & Learning Magazine.

Best Use Of Afterschool Time (Best Online PD Training)

Defined Learning

Defined Learning’s on-line professional development course, Performance Task PD, was developed in partnership with nationally recognized educator and author Jay McTighe. This four module course guides educators on how to teach towards success using performance tasks. By the end of the course participants will be able to develop performance tasks, implement performance tasks in their classrooms, and evaluate student performance through a performance task. Individuals who finish the course receive a “Certificate of Accomplishment” by Jay McTighe’s team.


littleBits STEAM PD supports educators in integrating STEAM teaching and littleBits into the classroom in grades 3-8 through an interactive, hands-on course combining online and offline learning. Educators engage in 6 hours of online instruction at their own pace and gain an in-depth understanding of littleBits by getting hands-on with inventions.


PresenceLearning’s SPED Ahead webinar series features industry experts such as Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Barry Prizant, and Dr. Frances Stetson, and provides insight and guidance on crucial topics impacting special education, from federal mandates to data-driven interventions. Since its launch in 2012, the series has provided 65,000 hours of PD to more than 30,000 school administrators and special education leaders, helping them develop leadership strategies and increase critical dialogue.


Renaissance-U is a blended service that pairs an expert coach with engaging and evolving on-demand content in best practices for Renaissance's reading, math, and assessment solutions. The expert coach helps plan the implementation for the school year and provides ongoing expertise for conversations around data, implementation roadblocks, and facilitating collaboration among educators in the school. The on-demand content offers a variety of videos, tutorials, and activities that fit the flexibility of any educator's schedule.


Teq's Online PD platform offers weekly live broadcasts and over 200 archived videos on how to effectively integrate technology into daily instruction. Videos are approx 45 minutes and cover a range of tech topics with practical examples. It also features the "Instructional Support Now" button where educators can email, chat, video chat, or schedule a call or chat with one of our PD specialists, who is an ed tech expert as well as a teacher with classroom experience.

Best Excuse To Leave The Classroom (Best In-Person Training Program)

Defined Learning

Defined Learning offers a half-day in-person training for new Defined STEM users. Our professional development (PD) team is dedicated to providing comprehensive training on Defined STEM and teaching strategies for project-based learning within the classroom. To support educators, our team utilizes a three-phase process to deliver PD that is personalized and actionable: 1.) Methodology behind project-based learning and performance tasks, 2.) Defined STEM 101 and 3.) Driving outcomes using project-based learning through Defined STEM.

Discovery Education

A comprehensive professional development system, Digital Leader Corps (DLC) develops teacher-leaders to propel the district's transition to modern digital learning environments. DLC helps districts develop a network of teacher-leaders prepared to design and implement successful and innovative teaching strategies to be shared with their peers. Featuring a combination of professional learning, pedagogy and tools, DLC offers educators proven approaches to integrating educational technologies and digital media into instruction. Teachers receive continuous customized, job-embedded consultation with on-going modeling, coaching and feedback from Discovery Education experts.

PASCO Scientific


A principal from Virginia exclaimed about Promethean’s PD: “BEST PD I have ever had for my teachers. I also sat in on both days. The trainer is flexible and tailors the class to what the staff needs. Her use of adult learning techniques was superb. She manages the crowd well and keeps everyone on task. She gives the teachers so many take-aways as well as time to produce their own lessons. We want to have her back again.”

Reading Horizons

Reading Horizons Teacher Workshops empower teachers with a fresh and research-based approach to teaching reading to beginning readers, struggling readers, and English Language Learners. The workshop is affordable and includes two-days of hands-on training from energetic presenters. Attendees typically leave the training saying: "Why didn't I know this before? ... I could've helped so many more students."


Renaissance onsite professional development delivers in-person training tailored for each school or district's needs. A highly trained Renaissance Consultant helps schools and districts identify their goals and map out their paths to achieving them. Regardless if the training is one day or ongoing and job-embedded, the consultant delivers engaging, interactive, and practical content to move educators toward achievement in their profession and in their Renaissance solutions.

Sales Support You Can Believe In (Best Sales Support)

Aver Information Inc.

When you invest in AVer products you’re also investing in the people that stand behind it. Our sales team is not only technology-savvy, but is professionally trained to provide exceptional support and service. We offer product training and onsite services to guarantee the best product experience for each and every customer. And when we say sales support, it includes all of the staff that supports sales: marketing, R&D, operations, accounting, product managers, accounting, IT support, and warehouse. We’ve seriously got you covered!


The Boxlight customer care team is passionate about service, all day, every day. But not passionate about service in the same way all companies claim to be. We’re passionate enough to answer the phone in the middle of the night (yes, really), and passionate enough to drive to a school with a projector accessory because they REALLY needed it. We’re passionate enough to think every U.S. customer could be our own frustrated grandmother just trying to get the darn thing to work - and we treat each customer as such. We love our customers. And we love what we do.

Discovery Education

Discovery Education believes that our business only succeeds when our educational partners’ achieve academic success. Therefore, our sales partnerships team works extremely closely with our school district partners to determine what type of learning environment our services will be used in, and then tailors their efforts to what our partners’ needs and ultimate goals are. Discovery Education’s Educational Partnerships team works with educators and administrators nationwide to develop customized solutions that empower them to meet their strategic goals and create digital learning environments supporting the success of each learner. They evaluate school district goals and challenges and then help districts enhance student outcomes through facilitate the integration of digital curriculum, custom professional development, and educator communities.

Securly, Inc.

Securly is a cloud based web filtering service for K-12 schools. Our pre-sales support team is an integral part of the the overall product experience. The team comprises several dedicated professionals who possess a unique blend of networking/systems expertise and a service mindset. At the start of evaluation, the team gives prospects a white-glove onboarding experience which includes network configuration changes and a end-to-end UI walkthrough and training. With a first response time of 12 minutes and a median ticket solve time of 1.5 hrs, pre- and post-sales support at Securly is something that customers have come to believe in.

The Ed Tech Rep You Would Hire If You Could (Best Ed Tech Rep)

Rob Warren, Vice President at Discovery Education

Rob Warren, Vice President at Discovery Education, works with his educational partners to find out what their goals are-what specific challenge or issue are trying solve. Rob then acts as a partner to help school systems develop innovative learning initiatives powered by dynamic digital content that is supported by a parallel professional development effort. This, coupled with a strong emphasis on stakeholder communication and engagement, makes him not an ed tech partner, but rather a strategic partner that is helping school systems imagine and scale their digital transitions.

Stephen Mirante, VP of Sales & Strategic Relations, FileWave Endpoint Management

Stephen is a sharp professional. When I met him initially about a year ago, I thought we would just be another salesman shark out to sell his product, but what I came to discover was that he was knowledgeable about his product and knew who to count with when we had a question or a doubt about our Proof of Concept. Stephen resulted in becoming much more than the sales manager we got assigned to a valuable advisor and contributor to our project. Thanks to his knowledge and dominance of the product he represents, we were able to acquire this system and we are on the steps to deploy it. To top it all off, Stephen is a great guy, extremely hardworking and a family man. While we have a professional relationship its difficult not to consider him a friend, because he is just that good of a person. I recommend him to work with you on any project you have at hand that involves FileWave.

The Number You Have On Autodial (Best Tech Support)

AVer Information Inc.

Our commitment to customer satisfaction is ensuring that our customers are happy from product purchase to the end of its use. AVer’s technical support team is proficiently trained and experienced to provide the world’s best IT support. Our team goes above and beyond to address questions and concerns with the most reliable and efficient solutions. Our extensive web support with US based live chat, e-mail, and phone services are backed with the friendly, service-oriented experts!

Bloomz, Inc.

Bloomz is a mobile and web app that connects teachers with today’s new generation of mobile and social-media-savvy parents. Bloomz saves teachers time by integrating communication, coordination, and community-building tools—all in one easy-to-use, beautifully designed app.


Boxlight pulls out all the stops when it comes to providing the best service and technical support the industry has to offer. Our support team is available to address your issues 24/7/365. In the event a customer needs assistance, there is no need to worry about long hold times or difficulties with language barriers. Our Support Team is highly trained to ensure you get the best possible service, always. Rest assured Boxlight’s are built to last and boast a industry-leading 99.8% success rate.


ClassLink earns high praise for its high-touch service and support. We build lasting relationships with tech teams, teachers, students, and parents. Tiffany McKenzie (Indian River County Schools, FL) captured it nicely: “ClassLink has an amazing team committed to providing quality customer service and support. From set-up and training to ongoing support, our district LOVES ClassLink. Administrators, teachers and students use it daily and think ClassLink is the best thing since sliced bread!”


After registering for Edthena, teachers learn key features through in-app tutorials and video demos. Teachers can search a database of step-by-step help docs from within Edthena; there’s even a doc to explain drag-and-drop uploading. If a help doc doesn’t exist, teachers can convert their question into a support ticket. Someone from the Edthena team will always respond via email. Our response time is notoriously fast… one of our partners asked us if we ever sleep.


ExploreLearning Customer Support provides free technical support to customers using Gizmos and Reflex. In 2015, we responded to more than 20,000 support tickets and received a 4.5 out of 5 overall satisfaction rating (with 75% completely satisfied) from those who received support. Overall, 48% of clients received a response within 60 minutes or less; and nearly 50% of clients’ issues were resolved within one business day. We have maintained similar statistics to-date in 2016.

PASCO Scientific

PASCO’s Teacher and Technical Support team includes former educators who know when a technical issues eat away at precious lab time. They are available by phone before, during and after school hours to recreate any classroom experiment to walk teachers through the step-by-step process of data collection. They can also mirror their screen or control a teacher’s screen, ensuring that teachers get the support they need to implement our solutions with confidence.


Based in central Wisconsin, Renaissance Customer Support is comprised of friendly, knowledgeable experts. Renaissance’s team is always willing to go the extra mile to ensure each support experience is exceptional, but what sets Renaissance apart is the tremendous live support. Every phone call is answered in 9 seconds or less and chats are answered within 4 seconds by a real person, so educators can get back to doing what they do best.

Vernier Software & Technology

When a Vernier customer calls with a question, they will always be connected with an educator, either a product developer, tech expert, or former teacher who can provide timely and targeted assistance. When customers call during a lab, Vernier’s support team walks them through the investigation on the phone. As part of its unparalleled support, Vernier also provides 24/7 online access to an award-winning technical information library, how-to videos, and more.

The Ultimate Reputation Saver (Best Warranty Program)

Acer America Corp.

Acer's offers its education customers free access to U.S.-based level 2 Premier Support with a dedicated email address and a toll-free number. Agents answer the phone in less than 15 seconds and resolve most issues within 6 minutes. It also provides pre-paid shipping to and from Acer’s U.S. depot. The warranty’s start date can be adjusted to reflect product deployment versus purchase, so it starts when classes begin, ensuring customers receive the warranty’s full benefit.

AVer Information Inc.

Every customer deserves to have peace of mind when it comes to trusting product quality. We offer solid warranty programs not to only back our products, but because we want to keep our customers happy. AND we understand that accidents and human error can happen! We offer the best 5-year warranty, 5-year free 2-way RMA shipping, 5-year worry-free standard advanced replacement, and dedicated technical support team. Our warranty is a promise to provide the most seamless and satisfying product experience.

PASCO Scientific

PASCO’s warranty service is unparalleled in the education space. Our Promise of Learning gives customer’s a 90-day satisfaction guarantee. Not satisfied with your product? Just return it for a refund. We also have a five-year warranty on PASCO manufactured products. We will repair or replace products under warranty, and we continue to repair products long after their warranty expires. We’ve even recently replaced parts on the first product we sold over 50 years ago!

Frequent Buyer Smiles (Best Perks & Extras.)


PublicSchoolWORKS’ Client Services and Research & Development Teams make compliance and safety effortless for districts. Client Services creates a customized and automated safety and risk management program based on district needs and helps the district implement the program. Research & Development tracks state and federal legislation and creates new or updates existing content to address mandates. Customers write often about their experiences, commending the teams for going above and beyond normal support.


Renaissance Royals is Renaissance’s customer advocacy program. The platform serves as a community for passionate educators to connect and share best practices, provide valuable feedback on Renaissance products, and access educational resources. Educators are encouraged to participate in engaging activities based on their product usage where they earn points that they can redeem for Renaissance swag, professional development, gift cards, and more. Renaissance Royals humanizes the brand and is where customers’ voices are heard.

The Videos Most Likely to Go Viral (Best Online Product Demos)


Epson’s free BrightLink Bright Spots videos help educators better understand the wide range of features available with BrightLink ultra-short throw and short throw interactive projectors and how to best use them in the classroom. Topics covered in the two- to four-minute BrightLink Bright Spots videos include connecting devices and document cameras, implementing various software programs such as Easy Interactive Tools, using Epson’s iProjection app and more.


With the help of Consensus, a demo automation platform, Renaissance is able to deliver a personalized video experience for each new prospect. After a quick overview of the product, viewers fill out a short questionnaire, ranking their needs. The demo uses that information to deliver the right information to the right stakeholder, educating them in a unique way. Consensus also streamlines the process of collecting feedback from multiple stakeholders within a buying group.