Technology @ High Point, vol. 21

Tech for teaching and learning in our new space

Fill Your Toolbox!

Well-implemented technology gives classroom staff loads of tools for teaching students with a broad range of learning styles. The time investment in learning new technology will make teaching easier and assist students in advocating for their life-long learning. This newsletter PD is intended to help you learn new technologies at High Point a little bit at a time, slowly filling up your teaching toolbox throughout this chaotic school year.

This Week's Tech Feature:

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Portable Power Bank

Have you seen these heavy blocks in your classroom and wondered what they are? The OmniCharge Power Banks are portable power sources you can use to power devices wherever you or students are. They contain a rechargeable lithium ion battery. If an ipad, laptop, phone, toy, appliance or any device that needs power is to be used in the middle of the classroom, you can use these power banks to get power without having long cords running across the classroom. There are 2 power banks in each class.

Who is it for?

We could all use a little more energy! Students can use these power banks to charge and use their AAC devices. Teachers can use these power banks to power their laptops, classroom iPads and devices or even to wirelessly charge up their cell phones.

Setup Instructions

Omni 20+ Manual

Power Button

To turn on the power bank, press and hold the power button on the front of the device. Another long press will turn the device off. Double click the power button to enter the menu on the LED screen. You can navigate the menu using the two buttons to the right of the LED screen with a quick press on the power button to select. This menu has settings for changing the input and output power on the power bank. You should not need to change these settings. The screen may also show icons, most of which confirm which ports are in use at the time. You can see a list of these icons on page 6 of the Omni 20+ Manual linked above.

AC Outlet

On the left side of the power bank is a single, 3 prong AC outlet. You can plug power cords into this outlet to get power to many devices including laptops, iPads, TVs, cameras, projectors and many more. Plug in your device and be sure the AC outlet button (the one with the power cord icon) on the front of the device is illuminated. If it isn't, just press the button to start the charging. You should see an icon on the screen that says, "AC."

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DC Output

On the right side of the power bank, there are 2 plugs. Both of these plugs can be used to output power to another device or input power to charge the power bank. The first is a DC barrel plug. This plug can be used to power a laptop, but it must be set to the correct voltage and amperage through the menus on the front screen to avoid damage to the laptop. If you are not familiar with what power settings your laptop needs, it would be safer to just use the AC outlet on the left side of the power bank to charge your laptop. When the DC Output plug is in use, you will see an icon on the screen that says, "DC" or "HVDC."


The second plug on the right side of the power bank is the USB-C plug. USB-C is a fast way to charge iPads or cell phones. Just plug them in and they will start to charge. You should see an icon on the screen that says, "C." You can also charge the power bank through the USB-C plug. It should be fully recharged in about 3 hours.

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On the right side of the front of the power bank, there are 2 USB plugs. The top USB plug is a standard USB-A plug that can power phones, iPads, etc. The bottom USB plug is a Quick Charge (QC 3.0) USB plug. When you plug devices into this plug, if they are Quick Charge compatible, they will charge much faster. You do not need to know which type of device you have. You can use either plug, but if the device is a Quick Charge device, it will charge faster, so you may want to use the bottom USB plug most of the time. After you plug in a device to charge, be sure the USB button on the front of the power bank is illuminated. If not, just press the button to turn on charging to the USB plugs. You should see an icon on the screen that says, "USB."

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Wireless Charging

The power bank also has wireless charging capabilities, so you can charge cell phones. To use, be sure the USB button on the front of the power bank is illuminated. If not, just press the button to turn it on. Set the power bank on a flat surface and place the cell phone on top towards the back of the power bank as shown below. On the screen, you will see a wireless charging icon that looks like a dot with lines radiating out from the dot. On the bottom left of the screen there is a battery icon with an arrow leaving the battery. When that number is between 7 and 10 Watts, you have found the ideal position for wireless charging.

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Do not put any objects other than power cords in the plugs on the power bank. There is always a risk of shock when putting foreign object in a power outlet. Keep away from students who may not understand this danger.

Recharge each night for the next school day.

The power banks can be cleaned with disinfecting wipes, as needed. Do not get any moisture in the ports.

If you take a power bank on a flight, it must go in your carry-on luggage as lithium ion batteries are not permitted in checked luggage.

The power bank has safety features that cause it to shut down if it is too hot or too cold. Be sure it is at room temperature before using.

Ideas for Using This Tech in the Classroom