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Wednesday, Februar y 2, 2011

BRAINCHILD’S KINEO SCHOOL TABLET MAKES ITS DEBUT AT FETC 2011 Meet Jeff Cameron, President of Brainchild, at FETC booth 231, the creator of Kineo, the only Android tablet created and developed just for education.

ESD: Tell us about Brainchild.

JC: In 1992 we developed the first handheld device for schools, with a black and white screen and limited memory. Ten years later, we introduced the Study Buddy, with a color screen and multimedia, offering self-paced study with feedback. When the online assessment became popular, we created Achiever!, an online assessment and instruction program built on specific state standards. For Continued on Page 20


Oser Communications Group

AWARD TEXTBOOKS OFFER UNIQUE ADVANTAGES FOR EARLY LEARNING Wendy Pye, President and Publisher of AWARD electronic textbooks, discusses the move to e-books.

ESD: As a developer and creator of shared and guided reading products that have affected major changes in American classrooms, why did you move to digital textbooks to create new packages for early learning?


BRITANNICA UNIQUE IN ITS RANGE OF PRODUCTS, ABILITY TO ADDRESS DIVERSE MARKET NEEDS Michael Ross, Senior Vice President/Education General Manager, Britannica Digital Learning, talks about his company.

ESD: Tell our readers a little about your company. What’s your main line of business?

WP: Digital natives come to school with different expectations. They may only be five years old, but they have already begun the journey to literacy in a variety of interactive ways with gaming consoles and other technology. Research shows that this early exposure impacts how

MR: Britannica serves the entire PreK through university market with a variety of educational websites throughout the world and in multiple languages―including Spanish, French, Korean, Chinese and Japanese. Under the umbrella of our online marketing division, Britannica Digital Learning, we are pleased that more than 75 million students and faculty members have access to

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Mark Elliott, President of Promethean North America, reflects on what lies ahead for his company.


An interview with Edward S. Marflak, Chairman and Founder, Schoolwires.

ESD: Tell our readers a little about your company.

Ladibugs are the world’s first wireless document cameras and designed to address the need for teachers to present from any location in their classroom. With this increased range, teachers can determine the optimal teaching location, encouraging students to pay closer attention to lessons as they are presented. Students are becoming more technologically savvy, so teachers must find innovative ways to capture their attention. The Lumens line of Ladibug Document Cameras provides educators an interactive tool to present a wide variety of materials with the best image clarity

ME: Last year was filled with many terrific opportunities. We helped improve teaching and learning in hundreds of thousands of classrooms around the country. Additionally, we had a successful IPO that prepared us for continued future success. Our acquisition of SynapticMash in July increased our ability to support assessment for learning. Other highlights include our participation in NBC News’ Education National Summit that launched a national debate on school improvement needs,

EM: First and foremost, we are totally dedicated to the success of K-12 districts. I personally have strong ties to K-12; both my parents were teachers. Today, Schoolwires provides one of the leading website and community management platforms to more than 1,200 districts nationwide. A key reason for our success is that we make technology easy to use, which in turn increases the usage of the tools and the value they deliver. For example, administrators and staff can easily add content to their district and school

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ESD: Thinking back on 2010, what were the high points for Promethean?


Wednesday, Februar y 2, 2011

RAMPING UP FOR T3 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE Former Astronaut Dr. Sally Ride To Deliver Keynote

Building on more than two decades of successful runs, Texas Instruments Inc. convenes the 23rd annual T3 International Conference to bring together math and science teachers from across the globe to discuss and learn about leading edge innovations in education and technology used in teaching. The professional development conference takes place Feb. 25-27 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. Registration information is available at The T3TM―Teachers Teaching with TechnologyTM―International Conference features Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman to travel in space, as the conference keynote speaker. Her address, “Reach for the Stars,” opens the event. “Speaking in front of thousands of dedicated math and science teachers about the importance of math and science education is a real honor and privilege,” Ride said. “More than anyone, they know how important it is to educate and support young students who will become tomorrow’s high-tech workforce.” Melendy Lovett, President of Texas Instruments Education Technology, said, “We are thrilled to have Sally Ride as the keynote speaker. We are hosting thousands

of excellent math and science teachers from across the U.S. and around the world, and Sally is the perfect person to inspire them as they return to the classroom with new ways to engage and interact with their students.” The T3 International Conference includes more than 500 sessions covering math, science and other special topics. Individual math sessions focus on algebra, geometry, calculus, precalculus, statistics, elementary and middle school math. Science sessions break out into biology, chemistry and physics. Other sessions provide the latest innovations in technology integration, assessment and effective teaching. A special all-day Calculus Conference-in-a-Conference, the second annual, examines a variety of topics on the subject, including teaching advanced placement, or AP®*, calculus and an international panel discussing perspectives on calculus instruction. The Mathematical Association of America President-Elect Paul Zorn presents a tailored address during the Calculus Conference-in-a-Conference. The closing session of the mini-conference promises an electric discussion on “Calculus or Statistics: Which is more important for mathematical literacy?” “Advanced mathematics is fundamentally important to getting students

EdTech Show Daily ready for college and for educating them for the science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM] careers of the future. Our Calculus Conference-in-aConference centers on helping educators have a forum for thinking about issues, innovations and ideas that can inform and improve the learning and teaching of calculus,” said Tom Dick, professor of mathematics, Oregon State University, and T3 International Calculus Conference-in-a-Conference organizer and speaker. Another all-day session specifically designed for pre-service teachers helps prepare future teachers for the rigors and rewards of a profession in education. The conference and associated T3 resources for pre-service teachers help emerging education professionals transition successfully from learning in a classroom to instructing in a classroom. Ashley Thurnau, a first-year mathematics teacher at Pontiac Township High School in Pontiac, Ill., attended the Pre-service Teacher Track during last year’s conference. She credits the conference with placing her at the top of the hiring list. “It was an incredible experience,” she said. “My principal told me that my background and expertise with T3 and the TI-Nspire technology was one of the determining factors in my being offered a job. He also mentioned that my willingness to teach other teachers about technology, which I learned from the T3 resources, put me high above the rest of Continued on Page 20


At this year’s FETC show, SP Controls (booth 756) introduces the Doceri System. Doceri gives the instructor the mobility to teach and interact with all their classroom technology tools from one simple to use interface―the Apple iPad. They can present lessons by taking control of the classroom computer, annotate―similar to the functions of an interactive whiteboard, and control the AV gear in the classroom, such as play the DVD player or document camera―all from anywhere in the room.

The interface starts with Doceri Remote, allowing teachers to see and control a computer desktop on their iPad from anywhere in the room. Run a presentation, select applications, bring up a Web browser―anything the computer can do can be done wirelessly via the iPad. AV control is also simple, with a tap of the screen bringing up a control panel for selection of media, buttons for playing, pausing, etc. along with volume controls. The iPad interface is rounded out by free-form annotation that can be done over any presentation. Doceri allows teachers to draw, circle, graph and write on the iPad screen in a “what you see is

MORE THAN 250 NEW ACTIVITY PACKS FOR THE SMART TABLE NOW AVAILABLE Thousands Of Multitouch, Multiuser Activities Available Via The SMART Exchange™

SMART Technologies announces the addition of more than 250 activity packs for the SMART Table interactive learning center. Themed activity packs each contain a number of individual activities for the SMART Table, which can be downloaded at no charge via the SMART Exchange website ( With

more than 250 subject- and grade-specific activity packs, such as the Learning Colors activity pack for the SMART Table for K–3, teachers now have access to thousands of multitouch, multiuser SMART Table activities. Teachers can use the SMART Table Toolkit to quickly and easily modify existing activities to suit their lesson themes and learning objectives. Teachers can also create custom-made lesson activities to use and share via the

what you get” interface, with the results going out in real-time over the classroom projector. Doceri automatically saves your annotated images, which can be edited and replayed at any time. “Doceri gives you an amazing amount of freedom while keeping your class engaged,” said Gary Arcudi, SP Controls’ Director of Marketing. “Teachers love the technologies that are available to enhance the learning SMART Exchange. The comprehensive collection includes SMART Table activities created by teachers from around the world, activities created by SMART and activities created by a number of thirdparty publishing companies. In an effort to provide teachers and students with a broad selection of engaging activities, SMART is committed to continually working with third-party publishers to develop additional content. Additional information on the SMART Table interactive learning center can be found at ”The SMART Exchange website is a teacher’s dream–you can sort activities by standard, by grade level, by state,” said Mary Kate Hagmann, firstgrade teacher at Gilbert Elementary in


Lee M. Oser

CEO and Editor-in-Chief

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Editorial Director

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European Sales EdTech Show Daily is published by Oser Communications Group ©2011. All rights reserved. Executive and editorial offices at: 1877 N. Kolb Road, Tucson, AZ 85715 520-721-1300/Fax: 520-721-6300 / European offices located at Lungarno Benvenuto Cellini, 11, 50125 Florence, Italy.

experience, but they’ve been frustrated by the actual use of those technologies. Interactive whiteboards tether the teacher to the front of the room, frequently with their back to the class as they make notes or annotate content. The teacher usually has to move back and forth to activate devices or launch a software application. With Doceri, the teacher can access all digital resources in the classroom, annotate the content that students are viewing, and always remain in control of the technology in the room.” SP Controls’ mission is to make classroom technology simple and intuitive. Said Arcudi, “Doceri takes the use of technology to the next level. We’re extremely excited about this product and what it represents for seamless classroom flow.” For more information, stop by booth 756. Buena Park, Calif. “I’m constantly downloading activities, providing feedback, gathering information and uploading my own activities so they can be useful for everyone. It’s a great tool that gives me all the activities and support I need in one place.” “As teachers around the world continue to adopt interactive technology products into their classrooms, they require content and activities that will engage early learners,” said Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s CEO. “With the broad range of multitouch, multiuser activity packs available for the SMART Table, teachers have the necessary tools to help their young students collaborate, Continued on Page 25

Wednesday, Februar y 2, 2011

EdTech Show Daily

RELANPRO.NET AND RELANPRO MOBILE: LEARNING LANGUAGES OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM AND ‘ON THE GO’ ASC Direct Inc. (booth 243) has released the ReLANpro Mobile, the world’s first language lab app for iPad, iPhone and iTouch devices, and the ReLANpro.NET, an Internet-based language lab program allowing students to practice languages from any PC―just as they would in their school computer lab. It’s now easy for

students to work on teacher-directed assignments from outside their school language lab environment. The ReLANpro Mobile iPhone app offers mobile language learning possibilities in the palm of your student’s hands. The app is available as a free download for students from the Apple

SURVEY SAYS: WEEKLY READER CONNECT IS HUGE HIT What do the users of Weekly Reader Connect think of this new K–6 online reading-comprehension program? Fully 98 percent of respondents to a recent poll said they would recommend WR Connect to a colleague. Now listen to what they said when asked why they would recommend the program: • It is an excellent way to teach current events and teach reading comprehension strategies together. —Angie Taub, Rutherford County Schools, Cliffside, N.C.

• It has available all comprehension strategies that students need to assist with comprehension skills. —Kim Chatman, Alma Intermediate School, Alma, Ark.

• It fulfills the needs of the visual learner. —Deborah Famini, Meadowvale

Elementary, Md.

• It is an excellent resource to have in the classroom. —Lisa Newberry, Cross Street Christian School, Anderson, In.

• It is such an interactive teaching tool. —Marcia Jolley, Harris Elementary, Forest City, N.C.

Less than a year after its launch, Weekly Reader Connect has already been adopted by hundreds of schools in 44 states, and has won major educational and technology awards. But the highest accolades the program has received are from educators who say that Weekly Reader Connect is a superb teaching tool. The program presents hundreds of highinterest nonfiction articles, enriched with meaningful multimedia that deepens students’ understanding. WR Connect complements those stories with 129 onscreen

GROW YOUR PURCHASING POWER WITH ENO The Lowest Total Cost Of Ownership Interactive Whiteboard On The Market

Although the implementation of interactive whiteboards is becoming increasingly more widespread in schools around the world, many districts are still hesitant to invest in solutions due to budget constraints. When performing comparisons of interactive whiteboards based on long-term total cost of ownership, some boards are

clearly cost-prohibitive. However, one interactive solution stands out from the rest—PolyVision’s ēno. ēno’s three-in-one surface enables teachers to use just one board for magnets, markers and multimedia, eliminating the need to buy an additional static whiteboard for traditional classroom needs. Since ēno is cordless and cable-free, districts can forget about the high cost of hiring a contractor and the staff downtime that comes

ARE YOU GETTING THE FULL BENEFITS OF YOUR CLASSROOM TECHNOLOGY? You’ve taken the steps to invest in audiovisual technology that enriches your learning environment, but what’s next? How can you be sure that you’re using the technology to its maximum benefit? With these questions in mind, AVISPL’s education team has turned its focus not just on the students, but the teachers

as well. “We want to ensure that our customers make as much of an impact as possible in the classroom,” said Rob Moss, Vice President of Education Sales, AVI-SPL. “Our goal is to help educators become fully trained to utilize the available technology. In turn, this will allow for more informed decisions when it


Store to their devices. ASC’s ReLANpro.NET can also access video lessons and allow the student to take written and multiple-choice tests. ReLANpro.NET plays ALL Windows™ audio and video formats supported by the Windows Media Player. ReLANpro Mobile app and the ReLANpro.NET both include free server space. Teachers can upload assignments and tests to the ReLANpro content server, eliminating undue loads placed on the school server or restrictions in a school’s available bandwidth. Once the student has downloaded the lesson they can practice just as they would in the school language lab.

Students can listen to the lesson, record their comments and/or responses to the lesson (i.e., listen and repeat exercises), and then by pressing the “submit” button send the lesson and their recording back to the server. Teachers can then listen to and grade a student’s work. ReLANpro.NET and ReLANpro Mobile offer a new level of ease and sophistication to language learning hitherto unavailable. They can now listen, perform makeup exercises or practice for AP tests anywhere, anytime, holidays, weekends, snow days, etc. For further information, contact ASC Direct Inc. at 800-613-9554, e-mail or stop by booth 243.

lessons that teach reading comprehension in a clear, concise and consistent way. WR Connect requires no additional software or tech expertise, and brings the following elements to all subscribing schools:

Weekly Reader Connect is built on the Concepts of Comprehension, a researchbased framework of 21 inferential

thinking skills developed by the nonprofit Urban Education Exchange. This framework enables students to expand their reading skills from year to year, and uses proven methods that teach kids to read for understanding. We could tell you more. But we’d rather let a teacher tell you: “I am thrilled with what Weekly Reader Connect provides me,” says Laura Havill of the Turning Point Elementary Program in Ithaca, N.Y. “The material is highly motivational for my students. … The multimedia resources are targeted and appealing. The additional work sheets support classroom learning and have been an excellent way for my students to go home as ‘experts’ to their family and demonstrate their new learning. In short, you have made us believers! Thank you for providing this terrific resource!” Want to know more? If you’re a principal, school district leader, media or technology specialist, or classroom teacher, visit and get a preview at Learning Services booth 1225.

standard with other interactive whiteboard installations. PolyVision’s ēno has an open architecture, meaning there is no need for teachers to master a new software to successfully use the board. The learning curve is minimal, and professional development resources are available when needed, but not required. Most novice users can interact with the board in less than 20 minutes. Paula J. Reber, Principal and District Technology Supervisor of Lewisburg Area School District in Pennsylvania, commented on her district’s recent implementation of ēno, “One of my teachers who began using ēno today is a

self-described technophobe. She just sent me an e-mail that she loves it and she’s only had it up and running for about four hours! I think that says a lot about ēno and its ease of use.” The durability of PolyVision’s e3 environmental ceramicsteel™ surface, coupled with the Forever Warranty™, make the decision to put cutting-edge technology in the hands of students simple, despite pre-existing budgetary concerns. Visit and use the online ēno TCO calculator and see how ēno’s savings for you add up. Visit PolyVision at booth 209 to learn more about how your district can grow its purchasing power with ēno.

comes to planning for curriculum and future technology investments.” There is a wealth of flexibility that today’s technology provides, noted Moss. For example, with the power of SMARTTechnologies, instructors can make media-rich lessons, highlight key points, encourage student participation and even save their lessons for future reference and use. These are just a few of the areas that are covered in AVI-SPL’s professional development training. Teachers who master technologies like the SMART Wireless Slate and document camera develop a powerful complement

to their classroom, one that facilitates full engagement with their lessons. AVI-SPL’s professional development classes, ranging from 30 minutes to full day courses, are taught by SMARTcertified trainers. Courses include SMART Notebook Basics, SMART Table Basics and SMART Grade Level Specific Notebook Advanced, among others. Because learning doesn’t stop when class is over, registered participants gain access to an online database library of supporting training materials. They’ll

• Exclusive interactive Weekly Reader digital editions, presenting timely, highinterest and grade-specific nonfiction content that has been carefully crafted to align to state curricula. • Downloadable companion Teacher’s Guides that incorporate wide-ranging background information, informal assessments and other engaging extension activities along with practical tips and techniques on how to broaden the lessons. • Concepts of Comprehension© Skill Builder lessons, with teacher tips and additional reading passages specifically designed to build reading skills and scores while improving students’ understanding of texts.

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HOW CROWLEY ISD CUSTOMIZED LEARNING FOR CREDIT RECOVERY, CORE CURRICULUM AND IMPROVED TEST RESULTS Crowley ISD, located outside of Fort Worth, Texas, began its search for a more rigorous, online curriculum and assessment solution three years ago to improve school performance. Only two of Crowley ISD’s 17 schools were designated Recognized by the Texas Education

Agency; one middle school was ranked Unacceptable and was under state and federal sanctions; and one of two high schools in the district did not meet Average Yearly Progress (AYP) for the 2007–2008 school year. Crowley administrators wanted

EdTech Show Daily expanded student access to curricula, especially for its high school students. District administrators also wanted to ensure that their students had easy access to academically rich and rigorous content. With such a solution, Crowley educators felt, they could narrow the achievement gap and strengthen the district’s credit and course recovery effort. Based on all their requirements, Crowley administrators chose to implement CompassLearning Odyssey® in 2007. Personalized Instruction For All The personalized learning provided by CompassLearning, based on identified

SETTING THE STANDARD IN EDUCATION How Technology Factors Into The Standards-based Education Equation

The state of Florida has been awarded $700 million under President Obama’s Race to the Top initiative to improve education. While this presents an opportunity for the state to transform its education system, it also puts the state’s school administrators under tremendous pressure and scrutiny to ensure the funds are put to good use and having a positive impact. Promethean (Con’t. from p. 1)

and in the network’s school make-over show, ‘SchoolPride’, during which we helped rebuild seven deserving schools.

ESD: What are your predictions for 2011? How will the use of technology in the classroom evolve?

ME: I believe the use of interactive technologies in the classroom is reaching its tipping point. Certainly, interactive technology makes learning fun and, when effectively integrated into lessons, it produces a tremendous increase in student achievement. Teachers are increasingly being asked to do more with less and easy to use, effective interactive technologies that have been designed for the classroom will help them. In 2011, I predict that we’re going to see a greater focus on the application of technology to support learning and the use of data to deliver personalized instruction. AWARD Reading (Con’t. from p. 1)

their minds work and how they see the world. They expect that they will continue to learn using this technology. This is the reason why I developed AWARD as a response to the digital revolution in our everyday lives―I’m taking it to the classroom. I also wanted to build a program that offered everything a young reader needs to succeed. ESD: How are teachers using AWARD, and how does this differ from other programs used in Florida schools?

WP: AWARD Reading was carefully designed from the beginning with the

As Florida and other Race to the Top winners look to deploy the funds, they’ll need to have a good understanding of where to invest to have the most impact, and be able to measure whether the programs and initiatives put in place are improving the quality of education. That is why “building data systems that measure student growth and success, and inform teachers and principals how to improve instruction” is among the four priorities specified in the Race to the Top ESD: What are your plans to help district leaders stretch budget allocations in 2011?

ME: In these tough economic times, teachers are having to do more with less and it’s imperative that schools utilize technology to boost efficiencies as businesses do and we want to show them how we can help. As a proud national partner of the National Parent Teachers Association, we are offering matching funds that local PTA chapters raise to support the purchase of interactive technology. Additionally, our ActivBoard Mount System, introduced this fall, offers educators a low-cost answer to what the market demands: affordability with quality. This system is backed by Promethean’s quality promise―superior hardware, award-winning software, trusted product warranty and support. ESD: How will the enhancements to your current products or innovative new products benefit educators and students?

digital learner in mind, and it took over six years to develop. It offers a range of over 300 original, rich and engaging stories, the best in balanced literacy for use with shared or guided reading. AWARD is also a program designed with teacher support in mind. The website provides teachers with easy-to-use links from the Common Core State Standards correlation to AWARD lesson plans to support their skills instruction. We have found through research projects that once teachers and students begin using AWARD, they are guaranteed success.

ESD: Are the books graded in levels of difficulty, and how different are they

program. School districts implementing standards-based programs will also need a comprehensive software solution that empowers administrators, teachers, parents and students with the tools and information they need to ensure every student is successfully performing against state and national standards. ME: As you know, technology is constantly evolving. In 2011, we will introduce many exciting new products that will carry forward our tradition of solutions that boost student achievement and help teachers be more productive and effective. One of our first new products to be announced in 2011 is our ActivBoard 500. This next generation interactive whiteboard introduces, for the first time, leading-edge technology that allows for simultaneous use by both pen and touch for a more natural and intuitive interface. This added flexibility allows teachers to reach students in a variety of ways or modes, supporting a wider range of learning types. Another new product on the near horizon is ActivProgress, an online platform that district leaders can use to analyze and leverage data from formative, summative or benchmark assessments to enhance learning. This robust system, when used with our market-leading LRS devices, will enable educators to customize from e-books that everyone talks about?

WP: The 300 titles are animated and voiced with interactive skills activities connected to the text. These are not just e-books or digital copies of a printed book. AWARD gives teachers and students the opportunity to explore text through animation, video clips, and a range of text types. Each title is expanded with vocabulary, phonics, fluency, comprehension and writing tasks. Each text, each grade level, is scaffolded―building on the skills previously taught and advancing the learning in a gradual progression within an easy-to-follow digital format. ESD: I understand you offer professional

instructional strengths and weaknesses, means that all students can reach their potential at their own pace. For struggling Crowley students, personalized learning paths spark student interest and accelerate knowledge acquisition. Additionally, Odyssey assigns district students working above grade level more challenging and academically rigorous learning paths. With personalization, Crowley students have begun to take control of their learning, resulting in improved student outcomes and teacher accountability. Continued on Page 25

GlobalScholar’s instruction management software, the Pinnacle Suite, is the platform of choice for more than 1,000 school districts around the country using a data-driven approach to improve student performance. Pinnacle is much like enterprise resource planning (ERP) software used by major corporations, except the Pinnacle Suite was developed specifically for the unique needs of school systems, which are rapidly moving toward more data-driven, standardsbased teaching models. The Pinnacle Suite supports all aspects of managing education at K-12 schools through Continued on Page 25

instruction to individual student needs. But it doesn’t stop there. ActivProgress includes tools teachers can use for both peer-to-peer collaboration and parent communications.

ESD: What do you anticipate being the greatest opportunities in the year ahead?

ME: I believe 2011 is about shifting our paradigm. By working together, we can weather the storm that is brewing and come out stronger, with students who are prepared for post-secondary opportunities that are not yet created. However, effective use of technology is critical to our success. If educators want to maximize existing investments, sustain progress and accelerate student achievement, then true technology integration is needed so that teachers have more time to teach, which we know positively impacts student achievement. For more information, visit FETC booth 701.

development to support instruction for digital learning. Can you tell us more about that?

WP: Yes, to match the needs of teachers, we offer a range of courses, presented by experienced classroom teachers. These courses cover effective classroom management strategies, differentiated instruction for grades K–3, and for ELL and RTI groups. We also have a video center on our website so that teachers can access professional development tutorials 24/7. For more information, e-mail or visit AWARD Reading at booth 950.

Wednesday, Februar y 2, 2011

EdTech Show Daily

A STUDENT RESPONSE SYSTEM THAT WORKS: IRESPOND The iRespond personal response system is a cost-effective way for any instructor to instantly become more productive. Combined with our proprietary Teachers Dashboard Software, you may take attendance, collect homework, track formative assessment, give timed tests, engage every student, reduce the drudgery of grading, produce meaningful state standards reports and much more.

Increase Instructor Productivity Because iRespond handles the grading process, from short quizzes to end-ofterm assessments, teachers have more time for teaching. Imagine how much more productive you can be when freed from the burden of grading tests.

Achieve 100% Student Participation With iRespond, every student is engaged

NEW REPORT URGES EDUCATION POLICYMAKERS TO INVEST IN COMPETENCY-BASED APPROACHES TO HELP HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS A new report by leaders in the youth development field encourages state education leaders to lift barriers and invest in innovative schools that implement dynamic competency-based approaches (CBA) to help over-age, under-credited Britannica Digital Learning (Con’t. from p. 1)

Britannica’s subscription products and are finding Britannica indispensable for their research and daily classroom needs. We are proud that 13 states have adopted Britannica products for their entire state, and that we even have national agreements with Ireland, Finland and South Africa. Last year the government of Brazil commissioned Britannica to create a learning portal for their K-8 students in Portuguese, all based on Britannica’s existing websites. We believe that the interaction we have with our global customers and partners improves all of our product offerings and benefits our customers everywhere. ESD: What would you say makes your company unique?

MR: Britannica is unique in its breadth and depth of product content, its editorial approach, and its ability to address the needs of a variety of markets across the globe. First, we have unparalleled products for all age ranges, particularly with our two flagship products, Britannica Online School Edition and Britannica Online Academic Edition. We address the specific needs of preschoolers with our Learning Zone feature; elementary students with our young learner’s database; middle schoolers with our Compton’s branded database; and high school through university users with the senior Britannica database. All of these sites are edited and maintained daily by our own in-house staff of editors, who work with experts around the world, including Pulitzer Prize winners and Nobel laureates. This ensures that all of our content is best of breed, up to date and meets the highest standards possible. We revise or add more than 1,000 articles a month to our sites, which is by far the largest output of any English-language reference and e-learning publisher. As a further benefit to our users, we have our own

students earn their diplomas. CBA is a holistic, student-centered method of development with explicit and measurable learning objectives for youth. Services and support vary depending on the need of each student. in-house staff of programmers, who are responsible for innovative site development and performance.

ESD: Are you new products?



MR: In the last two years we have launched several exciting products that complement our flagship products. SmartMath is our new elementary, online formative assessment product, which uses wonderful animated characters and a fun and engaging interface to help young learners master important math skills. The program is unique in its ability to adapt to the learners’ levels so that they never get frustrated and continue to make progress. It’s perfect for both struggling learners and gifted learners, and an ideal product for differentiated learning. SmartMath is part of Britannica’s groundbreaking line of math programs, which includes the highly acclaimed Mathematics in Context, a reform math program for middle school that has been adopted and used successfully in many districts across the country. ESD: Where is your current product emphasis?

MR: There is a great need for differentiated learning across the curriculum, and last year we addressed that need with our 21st Century Explorer online product. 21st Century Explorer is a two-tiered general reference product that is geared to the reading level of struggling readers but has an interface that will appeal to older learners. It has a very readable font and uses Britannica’s read-aloud feature so that learners can follow along with the text as they hear every word pronounced. It also has all of Britannica’s standard reference features, including the Merriam-Webster dictionary, our very popular workspace and a multitude of multimedia. 21st Century Explorer will be part of a growing line of e-learning


in the learning process and is an active participant. Students love the technology. EDCO customers say that attendance is always better when their students know they will be using iRespond remotes. The iRespond-Lite is a wonderful addition to any classroom from kindergarten to graduate school. It’s perfect for the individual classroom or a meeting where you want to capture everyone’s opinion. Flexible and easy to use, iRespond allows for a wide variety of questions: multiple choice, true/false, multiple response, yes/no, numeric, fill-in-the blank and survey.

The iRespond-Lite remotes have a display window to show students the question number they are answering and the answer they selected. This window can display the student grade, class average, messages from the teacher and feedback. Teachers are free to move around the classroom and can remotely send prepared questions. The system is also easy to use for questions on the fly. More reasons to come by booth 966 and see iRespond in action: fully integrates with Power Point; built-in state

The paper was compiled by leaders from: MetisNet, a consulting firm that helps foundations and nonprofit organizations maximize their community investments; Our Piece of the Pie®, (OPP®), a youth development agency based in Hartford, Conn.; the International Association for K–12 Online Learning (iNACOL), a nonprofit association based in the Washington, D.C. area; and Ephraim Weisstein, an independent education consultant who is piloting the Schools for the Future program. According to the report, “Clearing the Path: Creating Innovation for Serving

Over-Age, Under-Credited Students in Competency-Based Pathways,” education policymakers must offer flexibility to reorganize functions and staffing, expand high-quality content and instructional systems, and incorporate new tools, technologies and supports. In addition, policy needs to be amended to replace the current time-based system with a learning-based system allowing students to earn credits based on demonstrated proficiency, not seat-time. The report urges policymakers to lift

products from Britannica that will address the needs of students at different learning and reading levels. Right now we are developing a science product for middle school that will also have a strong differentiated learning component that will be available next fall.

addition, Britannica Online is easily integrated into popular federated search systems, learning management systems and other innovative technologies. We make sure that we are everywhere our customers are and break down any barriers to learning. We believe that we have a unique value proposition, which provides best-of-class content at all levels with technical best practices to make our content intuitive and rewarding.

ESD: What products do you see as being hottest this year?

MR: We have just released a fantastic new product called Image Quest. This product addresses the need for students at all levels, and teachers as well, to have instant access to educational images―photos, illustrations, maps, and, in the near future, video clips―that they can use freely in all of their projects, presentations, websites, lesson plans and interactive whiteboard activities. We have over 1 million images available now and will soon have 2 million. All image rights have been cleared for use for education, and the database is searchable by keyword, subject or image provider. We have brought together more than 50 of the best image providers in the world, and have provided important metadata for each image, including captions, full copyright information, keyword and related subject areas, and citation information. Image Quest is a unique product and should have broad appeal―from elementary school through university. ESD: What distinguishes your products from the competition?

MR: Britannica today is distinguished among reference and e-learning publishers in a variety of ways. Our mission is to make sure that our customers have access to the highest quality content on any format they prefer, including print, e-books, websites, mobile devices and apps. Through our unique ‘universal Access’ technology, our school and public library users have access to Britannica Online content through any search engine. In

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ESD: What’s next at Britannica?

MR: We are constantly innovating, changing and improving the experience that our customers have with all of our products. Our editors work with more than 3,000 experts in their fields in order to keep up with the latest scholarship, to separate fact from fiction, to maintain neutrality, and to appeal to a variety of reading levels. Our designers and media specialists are constantly updating our video offerings, interactivities, maps and other illustrative content so that our users benefit from information provided in multiple forms. Moreover, we are responding to the need for more interactive products in the classroom that are curriculum-focused, like Student News Network, a social studies product with cross-curriculum links; Discover English with Ben and Bella, for preschoolers through grade two; and Science Pathways, a middle-school science supplement tied to the state standards. Our goal is to make sure that we are meeting the needs of students and teachers alike with engaging, trustworthy content that is easy to use, accessible to all learning styles, and that provides the best value on the market.

Schools, universities and libraries interested in Britannica Image Quest can call 800-621-3900 or go to for more information or trial subscriptions. Visit them in Orlando at FETC booth 1337.


Wednesday, Februar y 2, 2011

COURSESMART’S DIGITAL BOOKS, EREADERS APPS ARE ‘MUST-HAVES’ CourseSmart, the world’s largest provider of eTextbooks and digital course materials, is currently offering easy, free mobile app access to more than 90 percent of core college textbooks in use today at up to 60 percent off traditional print prices. CourseSmart’s apps provide a user Schoolwires (Con’t. from p. 1)

websites. Teachers can interact with students and parents online, extending classroom content out through the Web to more effectively engage students and drive parental involvement. Our platform also makes it easy for districts to seamlessly connect their various Web-based technologies so that they are easier to access, and work together more effectively.

ESD: What are the biggest issues facing education that are addressed by your solutions?

EM: As we continually speak with superintendents and thought leaders in this market, six key themes keep rising to the top.

First, districts need to better connect with communities at the school, district and community levels. We repeatedly hear that the ultimate success of the district and the superintendent pivots on how well they connect with their communities.

Second, districts struggle with the multiple technology pieces that operate in silos, and are costly to maintain and support. But the greater cost is that these discrete technologies make it difficult for users to easily access the resources and information they need. Districts want to provide their users with an easy, seamless experience wherein each individual can access the information and services that they need to succeed.

Third, districts want ways to effectively measure and drive engagement. The availability of data helps districts make adjustments to their tactics to increase engagement even more.

Fourth, districts place great importance on supporting 21st century teaching and learning. Research, like Project Tomorrow’s 2009 national research study, shows that students apply knowledge when learning occurs in a collaborative and interactive environment, yet many districts are unable to provide the technology platform necessary to support 21st century learning. Lastly, given the economy, districts are looking for ways to gain efficiencies to save time and money.

Schoolwires delivers software and services that address these critical concerns. Our solutions enable districts to create a 21st century teaching and learning environment; enable districts to more deeply and socially engage teachers, students,

experience today’s digital natives seek—a replica of their textbooks, with value-added functionality, in an affordable and portable option. Students can download CourseSmart’s apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch by visiting www.course parents and other constituents; and seamlessly unify their technologies to deliver the right services to the right individuals at the right time over a multitude of devices to activate communities. Also, with the implementation of the Centricity2 platform, districts can affordably gain efficiencies, saving time and money. ESD: What are some of the most significant achievements of the company in the past year?

EM: We had several notable accomplishments. We delivered our new Centricity2 solution that will help districts address their critical key issues even better.

Also in 2010, we reached an important milestone: earning the business of more than 10 percent of the nation’s 200 largest districts, and implementing their new platforms on budget, on time and with high client satisfaction. These large districts added to our ongoing growth. In 2010, we ranked on Inc. Magazine’s Top 500|5000 list for the fourth consecutive year, and we remain in the top 20 fastest growing companies in the private education sector. How do we achieve this rapid growth in a flat economy? It’s because our products and our people deliver solid results and remarkable satisfaction. This is demonstrated in our exceptionally high client retention rate, averaging 98 percent since our founding.

ESD: Do you have any customers in Texas?

EM: Since 2005, when Denton ISD chose Schoolwires and became our first client in Texas, over 130 Texas districts have come to rely on Centricity as their website and community management platform. Districts of all sizes―from Callisburg ISD to Dallas ISD―enjoy increased efficiency and cost savings as a result of this strategic decision. In addition, we have a long-standing relationship with Education Service Center (ESC) Region XI in Texas to provide certified hosting of our solutions to K-12 districts in the state.

To learn more about Schoolwires, visit booth 1138; or, call 877-427-9413 or join the Schoolwires Knowledge Center by visiting center where experts share their insights through a growing collection of thought leadership white papers, K-12 business and technology models, case studies and more!

EdTech Show Daily Brainchild (Con’t. from p. 1)

years, teachers have asked us to combine offline handheld use with online reporting. The answer is KINEO, which syncs student achievement data from the handhelds with their progress on computers using our online assessment. ESD: What is KINEO?

JC: KINEO is the first Android tablet specifically designed for education. It offers all the benefits of mobile technology, but with the strongest security measures that schools require. In the past couple of years, school districts have found that mobile technology can cause problems as well as benefits. ESD: What do you mean by ‘the strongest security measures’?

JC: Serious legal issues have been caused by mobile device usage in schools. Some features, such as messaging, picture taking and video recording, have caused problems. Messaging has enabled cheating on state tests in Mississippi. The state employs a company to monitor the situation, and has reduced cheating by 70 percent. But this is an unnecessary expense. Cameras in mobile devices have led to incidents causing great harm to students that require involvement of law enforcement agencies. In other cases, students have added or deleted applications, ruining the experience in cases where devices are shared among students. KINEO has a restricted ‘Student Mode’ and an ‘Administrator Mode.’ Schools can decide what students can or cannot do.

ESD: How do students learn using KINEO?

JC: Along with access to eBooks, learning applications and controlled Web browsing, administrators will have the ability to connect to our award-winning Texas Instruments (Con’t. from p. 4)

the other interviewees.” The T3 International Conference also places a spotlight on special interest topics, such as successful grant-writing strategies and techniques, engaging atrisk students through classroom technology, and the most recent innovations of EDCO (Con’t. from p. 17)

standards to correlate to your test questions; create a quick answer key for instant testing; unique PIN login allows students to use any remote; foster classroom excitement and competition; supports paper-based, oral and projected tests; allows assessment of individual students, teams or the entire classroom; easy to create reports that can be printed or e-mailed; radio frequency for fail proof two-way interactive communications; runs on AA batteries; and online easy-to-follow video tutorials. See how engaging your students and improving performance is as easy as 1…2…3! Select a class, choose a lesson, and pick your remotes. That’s it. Now you

Achiever! program. Students then have the ability to master their state standards with the help of multimedia instruction and assessment. In addition, Kineo provides self-paced learning and differentiated instruction for students needing extra attention.

ESD: How is this technology different from other tablets? JC: First, we spent money where it counts. The battery has more than twice the power of most tablet devices. Second, our touchscreen is rated for 20 times the impressions of other devices, at 500,000 impressions. Third, the processor is powerful, so applications run properly. KINEO also has a Flash player so it can run multimedia applications. Finally, we have physical controls that provide easy usage and make it an assistive learning device. There are ABCD buttons for answering multiple choice questions like the ones found on state tests. There is a back button to go to the previous screen and physical volume control. No instructions are needed for people to use KINEO.

ESD: How will Kineo help teachers in the classroom?

JC: KINEO provides students with unlimited extra instruction tailored to their individual needs. Because scores and usage can sync to our online assessment programs, everyone has Internet access to student, classroom and schoolwide progress reports. Finally, KINEO can be connected to whiteboards or LCD projectors. It has an HDMI video and audio output. Teachers can play our standards-based software on large screens for group instruction, or play high-definition movies.

For a hands-on demonstration of Kineo, visit us at FETC booth 231. You may also visit our website at, e-mail, or call 800-811-2724. TI-Nspire technology. For more information about Texas Instruments, visit or stop by booth 401. *AP is a registered trademark of The College Board which was not involved in the production of and does not endorse TI products.

do what you do best―teach. iRespond’s Student Response System collects student answers and scores each response in realtime, whether delivering a random single question or a comprehensive “test for record” to all students. Both you and your students know in seconds what has been mastered and what still needs to be learned. Come by the EDCO booth 966 or visit and see how iRespond allows you to link questions to the standard you are teaching, as well as identify and track each student’s mastery of objectives. Combined with EDCO’s instant reporting features, teachers may modify lessons or assist individual students who need further help. EDCO also offers assessment solutions and statealigned content. Both work seamlessly and dynamically with iRespond.

Wednesday, Februar y 2, 2011

EdTech Show Daily GlobalScholar (Con’t. from p. 12)

software modules that can stand alone, integrate with point solutions or be deployed as a complete end-to-end solution. The Pinnacle Suite includes: Pinnacle SIS, which provides centralized enrollment, attendance, health, transportation and discipline information. It automates scheduling based on student performance, giving students and teachers a more flexible and productive classroom environment. It also allows for individualized, creative teaching strategies. Pinnacle Instruction gives teachers a central platform for accessing, storing and creating curriculum and assessments. It supports all levels, types and styles of curriculum mapping and standardsalignment, making it easy for teachers to measure progress against standards and identify and repeat best practices. Pinnacle Grade gives educators, administrators, parents and students a comprehensive view of student progress. It reduces data entry requirements and administration hours for teachers and enables real-time alerts for attendance, grades or disciplinary actions. Pinnacle Insight gives schools analysis and reporting tools that help make sense of the wealth of data in the education environment and facilitate datadriven instructional strategies. Pinnacle PD delivers timely and CBA (Con’t. from p. 17)

barriers allowing students to enroll in competency-based online courses, transfer competencies across schools, and recognize proficiency in learning objectives developed outside of the traditional school day (including jobs, participation in clubs and community service). “Clearing the path for this innovative method of education is essential in ensuring over-age, under-credited students have the tools to succeed,” said Bob Rath, President/CEO of OPP. “States and school districts that focus on competency-based approaches can reap tremendous economic benefits averaging over $300,000 for every student that graduates high school instead of dropping out,” Rath said. According to the report, a set of policy conditions must be in place for state education agencies to realize the full benefit of CBAs. Competency-based approaches offer a new value proposition for our education system, according to Susan Patrick, President and CEO of iNACOL. It focuses on a departure from seat-time requirements to concept mastery—a vital change toward student-centered learning. “There are too many young people who have been left behind with gaps in their skills because of our time-based system,” said Ephraim Weisstein. “Competency-based models are invaluable for addressing our dropout crisis by offering a high-engagement, accelerated path to a high school diploma.”

About the Authors Chris Sturgis is the Principal of MetisNet, a consulting firm working with foundations, government and individuals to shape effective investments that build communities, benefit children and

contextually relevant professional development that facilitates improved teacher effectiveness. Pinnacle PAL is a collaborative online learning solution that lets students and teachers conduct interactive, online sessions in a secure environment. GlobalScholar works closely with Dr. Marzano, a leading assessment expert and internationally respected educational researcher, trainer and author. Through his research, Dr. Marzano strongly advocates for data-driven instruction, formative assessments and standards-based grading as key to precisely pinpointing individual student strengths and weaknesses and improving overall student performance. Many of Dr. Marzano’s philosophies and methodologies are built into the functionality of Pinnacle Suite for schools that want to follow his approach. The Pinnacle Suite empowers educators with data and actionable insights into student performance, enabling teachers to quickly identify when and where individual students might be struggling or need additional help. It also provides development tools to help teachers improve their effectiveness, and automates many tasks and processes so that teachers can focus on what they do best―teach. For more information, call 800-4734572, visit or stop by booth 237. families, and brighten our future. The mission stems from the very roots of their name—metis—a Greek word for local knowledge and wisdom. Drawing on multiple perspectives, MetisNet works with clients to develop vibrant, assetbased investment strategies. Bob Rath is the President and CEO of Our Piece of the Pie, Inc. (OPP), based in Hartford, Conn. With more than 30 years’ experience in organizational leadership, Bob led the transformation of OPP into a youth development organization intently focused on helping urban youth 14–24 become successful adults. OPP’s signature program, Pathways to Success, has been successfully implemented in the community at large, as well as inside Opportunity High School—a partnership school for over-aged and under-credited youth— launched in August 2009 by Hartford Public Schools and OPP. Susan Patrick is President and CEO of the International Association for K–12 Online Learning (iNACOL), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership association based in the Washington, D.C. area with more than 3,700 members. iNACOL is unique in that its members represent a diverse crosssection of K–12 education from school districts, charter schools, state education agencies, nonprofit organizations, colleges, universities and research institutions, corporate entities, and other content and technology providers. iNACOL’s mission is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success ( Ephraim Weisstein is an education consultant. With R & D support from the Mott Foundation, Weisstein is piloting Schools for the Future. Ephraim designed the Diploma Plus model, which is now used by 29 schools nationally, serving over 4,000 students.

Lumens (Con’t. from p. 1)

and color reproduction in the industry. Teachers are more effective when they have the ability to utilize all areas of the classroom, but the ability to teach by moving around the classroom can be hindered by poorly placed classroom control panels or unwieldy carts. “Teachers are doing it for themselves,” proclaimed Lumens Product Manager Chris Laughary, who is a former Broward County teacher and technologist. “You no longer have to sacrifice image quality when a long VGA cable or USB connection isn’t feasible,” he continued. As with any valuable teaching tool, the Ladibug wireless document camera is intended to empower educators to spend more time teaching and less time transitioning between teaching materials. Freedom from wires allows teachers to send an image from any location in the SMART Technologies (Con’t. from p. 4)

explore and succeed.”

About SMART SMART Technologies is a leading provider of collaboration solutions that transform the way the world works and learns. They believe that collaboration AVI-SPL (Con’t. from p. 9)

also receive a video of their training session for future reference. “We want our teachers to learn as much as possible when it comes to technology’s versatility in the classroom. They can then use this knowledge to help improve their interactions, as well as student engagement,” said Moss. “Professional development training is a CompassLearning (Con’t. from p. 12)

Theresa Kohler, Chief Instruction Officer at Crowley ISD, noted, “We tell them what the targets are and expect that they will be intimately involved in keeping pace with their educational goals.”

Response To Intervention = Full Potential Crowley’s school improvement solution enabled educators to better measure academic progress and to fine-tune response to intervention (RtI) efforts, so students can avoid Tier III strategic intervention involving intensive or district-sponsored special education services. Detail-rich progress monitoring reports have enabled teachers to make instructional adjustments in real-time, thus helping all students excel individually. In addition to RtI support, at the middle school level, Crowley ISD has found the solution helpful with skills intervention.

Credit Recovery And Extra Credit Expanded access has been critical in the district’s efforts to prepare students for end-of-course exams and aid with credit recovery. Additionally, Crowley students falling behind on credits―as well as those wanting to earn additional credits―continue to benefit from the


classroom. This means that no teachable moment will be missed whether it is from a lab table, classroom learning station, or even a student’s desk. All Lumens Ladibug document cameras are compatible with Interactive Whiteboards and boast superior image clarity with an unmatched unlimited fiveyear replacement warranty. Teachers surveyed chose the Ladibug as their favorite classroom technology tool for convenience and ease-of-use. Hampton City Schools, Va., asked 40 high-tech teachers to try numerous classroom technology tools and they unanimously selected the Lumens Ladibug document camera as the best. The group studied uses for interactive whiteboards, wireless tablets, student response systems and Ladibug document cameras. For more information on the exciting Lumens Wireless Ladibug document cameras, visit or stop by booth 1131. and interaction should be easy. As the global leader in interactive whiteboards, we bring more than two decades of collaboration research and development to a broad range of easy-to-use, integrated solutions that free people from their desks and computer screens, so collaborating and learning with digital resources are more natural. critical step in the right direction, one that can benefit not only teachers, but their students as well.”

While at FETC, please be sure to visit AVI-SPL at booth 1413 to learn more about their professional development training program. You can also contact AVI-SPL by calling 866-559-8197 or visiting implementation of an always-on, Webbased, standards-aligned digital curriculum. And the benefits extend beyond the student population. For example, a summer program pilot offering students the opportunity to receive credit using Odyssey from home resulted in all participating students earning high school credit and the district saving money on transportation, utilities and personnel.

Results Since 2007, the district’s number of Recognized campuses has increased from two to nine, even with the state competency level increasing from 75 percent in 2009 to 80 percent in 2010. Crowley has seen: • Improved AYP status within the district. • Increased credit recovery. • Enhanced RtI framework. • Improved TAKS performance in mathematics and science. • Improved TAKS performance across all student subgroups. Said Kohler, “We are extremely pleased with these results and look forward to achieving even better results in the future.” Visit CompassLearning at booth 508 and at

EdTech Show Daily - Feb. 2, 2011  
EdTech Show Daily - Feb. 2, 2011  

EdTech Show Daily distributed at FETC 2011 for Feb. 2, 2011. Published by Oser Communications Group, copyright 2011.