The Huntington Station-based company blends technology and classroom expertise, working to improve classroom learning through the smart use of technology.
Teq people are the ones who turn up at school board meetings and school ribbon cuttings with sample teaching lessons, maybe some small catapults, computers, whatever it takes to convey their message. And robots, definitely the robots.
Wednesday, they’ll be at Stimson, unwrapping one of the little Nao robots, which have created a buzz at presentations in the Huntington and South Huntington districts. Assisting with the unwrapping will be some roboteer students who are all graduates of the Silas Wood 6th Grade STEM Academy, which , Silalast year was named Long Island’s first middle school STEM Career Academy by the Long Island STEM Hub.
The company had the good timing and dexterity to get in front of the converging ideas of training students better to use technology and training the teachers in its use.
Its roots were in roots in vocational education. But as some funding for vocational ed began to fade, and noticing the interest in smartboards it used at trade shows, the company pivoted to developing the technology itself. Founded and operated out of a barn in Oyster Bay 40 years ago, the company began outgrowing its space and moved to Farmingdale and finally its current site, a former New Balance factory, on Norden Lane in Huntington Station.
Now the company has employees in technology, graphics, sales and other fields, including almost 40 state-certified teachers, all with experience in classrooms.
Chris Nelson, director of strategic alliances, said the company works with about 700 school districts, including Huntington, South Huntington, Deer Park, Amityville, Massapequa, Roslyn, Central Isilp and Levittown, figuring out what districts need and how to use classroom technology.
“There is a ‘things and stuff',” Nelson said, when “the teachers get something new, they get excited. We spend time on what they can do with it, not on the technology itself.”
The company provides onsite courses and workshops for teachers, videoconferencing, web-based seminars and assistance to districts to match program needs with technological abilities.
“i think in all of the different trends, it’s boiling down to one main theme, creating personal learning environments,” Nelson said. “They are a challenge for teachers. Moving forward, we want to specialize in strategies to customize and individualize learning.“As we get more mobile in our communities, how do teachers continue to be highly effective to engage students to know what's in their world. That's why we've looked at solutions, we might look at technology a different way.”
The company has expanded into New England, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware and expects to continue to grow beyond its 250-person staff.