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QOMO HiteVision is a dynamic educational technology manufacturer/distributor specializing in providing complete interactive classroom solutions. All of QOMO’s products are designed to work seamlessly together to foster the most positive learning experience possible. The QView Document Camera series, Interactive Whiteboards, RF Interactive Wireless tablets and QClick Audience Response Systems combine to create a powerful technology-enabled classroom environment.

An interview with Nancy Knowlton, CEO of SMART Technologies.

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

NK: The featured product was our new SMART Board 800 series interactive whiteboard. We’re calling it a new class of interactive whiteboard because it enhances collaboration by supporting multiuser writing and common multitouch gestures. It offers features such as

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

Continued on Page 20

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AWARD TEXTBOOKS OFFER UNIQUE ADVANTAGES FOR EARLY LEARNING Wendy Pye, President and Publisher of AWARD electronic textbooks, reveals what’s new at her company.

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?

WP: Digital natives come to school with different expectations. They may only be five years old, but they have already Continued on Page 18

ESD: What new products did SMART showcase at FETC 2011?


ESD: Tell our readers a little about your company.

Continued on Page 20



Michael Ross, Senior Vice President/ Education General Manager, Britannica Digital Learning, talks about his company.

ESD: What’s your main line of business?

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 Continued on Page 19


The World’s Only Truly Wireless Document Camera!

Many organizations are planning to roll out Windows 7 to enhance usability, performance and security. Migrating to a new operating system can be a daunting experience full of unknown and potential obstacles―but it doesn’t have to be. Melissa Kaleskas, Professional Services Manager at GovConnection, an IT solutions provider, offers some strategies and approaches that can ensure a relatively painless migration to Windows 7. ESD: There was a lot of initial hype and a lot of people have made the move to

EDCO now offers a NEW Technology Solution linking Student Response Systems (SRS) to a District Wide Teacher/Student Assessment Database eliminating the need for traditional bubble sheets and scanners. Tests can be delivered and analyzed by grade level from the classroom or by the District Curriculum Department. EDCO (Education Consultant Specialists), in partnership with EduTrax and iRespond, offers a realtime, integrated management solution for electronically assessing and measuring student/teacher performance at

Ladibugs are the world’s first wireless document cameras 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

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EdTech Show Daily

WHY EVOLVING MALWARE NOW REQUIRES A LAYERED SECURITY APPROACH There was once a time when IT professionals relied exclusively on one technology to protect their computers and networks. With the number and complexity of malware threats steadily increasing, relying solely on an anti-virus solution to ensure IT security is no longer enough. A layered security approach is absolutely necessary now to effectively protect an IT environment. Faronics, winner of multiple educational software awards, provides workstation security solutions that can help educational facilities achieve a more comprehensive security approach. As the core layer, Deep Freeze delivers

enterprise-wide protection against accidental or malicious damage without restricting user access. As the application layer, Anti-Executable’s whitelisting technology ensures only approved applications run. As the fundamental layer, Faronics Anti-Virus ensures proactive, resourceefficient malware protection without compromising system performance. Faronics Deep Freeze is widely recognized for protecting and preserving original computer configurations and eliminating routine IT maintenance while allowing complete, unrestricted workstation access. Faronics Deep Freeze helps eliminate workstation damage and downtime by making computer conindestructible. figurations Once Deep Freeze is installed on a workstation, any changes made to the computer are automatically erased upon a simple restart. Anti-Executable ensures total endpoint security by scanning a workstation’s hard drive and creating a whitelist of all authorized programs, thereby preventing unwelcome applications from executing or installing. Any other programs—whether they are

OKI PRINTING SOLUTIONS OFFERS NEW PRODUCTS AND TAILORED SOLUTIONS THAT CAN SOLVE YOUR PRINTING WOES Ed Lydon, Consultative Public Sector Sales Manager for OKI Data Americas, answers your printing questions.

School IT Director: My school needs new printers for administrative areas and our computer labs. Most printouts are black and white, but we still need the option for color. Our IT budget was reduced so we’re looking for affordable options.

Ed Lydon: We do have devices that are tailored to meet multiple printing needs and are affordably priced to accommodate reduced IT budgets. OKI has just refreshed a line of color MFPs providing the option of color when and where you need it, as well as a new line of mono

products that are designed to help education professionals control the costs of printing. They are more compact, faster and have higher consumable yields for increased efficiency. These products also feature banner capabilities and as an added bonus, OKI provides a free School Communications Pack DVD filled with more than 100 educational banners perfect for the classroom.

School IT Director: Half of my IT budget goes towards printing. I know printed materials are important to the students’ education, but the costs have been overwhelming. Ed Lydon: It sounds like you’re having issues with properly managing your print

WEEKLY READER CONNECT BUILDS BETTER READERS … ONLINE In our ultramodern, 24/7/365 world, one ancient skill still matters. Whether words are presented on a whiteboard or a billboard, an iPad or a memo pad, a computer screen or in a magazine, understanding what those words mean is absolutely essential.

That’s one explanation for the success of Weekly Reader Connect. Less than a year since it launched, this online readingcomprehension program for students in grades K–6 is already being used in hundreds of schools across 44 states. It has been named one of the Top 100 products of 2010

unwanted, unlicensed, or simply unnecblocked from ever essary—are executing. Organizations benefit from productive user sessions each and every time, while IT personnel are guaranteed that desktop computers, notebooks and servers are compliant with acceptable use policies, regulatory requirements and software deployment schedules. Faronics Anti-Virus provides highperformance, proactive endpoint malware protection without the sluggish performance and resource drain that can plague traditional anti-virus solutions. Its most innovative feature allows it to integrate seamlessly with Faronics Deep Freeze, so anti-virus updates can be applied even while computers are protected in a frozen state. Faronics AntiVirus has been developed as an integrated solution that combines anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-rootkit technology to provide a coordinated, pre-emptive response to advanced malware. Schools everywhere are quickly recognizing that the threat of day-zero attacks and information theft are simply too costly to risk permitting gaps in security. Invest today in a comprehensive solution to safeguard your vital resources. To see how Faronics Deep Freeze, Anti-Executable, and Faronics AntiVirus can simplify your workstation software management tasks and help you achieve an additional layer of security, and to download a free, fully functional 30-day evaluation version, visit fleet, and we can help you with that. OKI Printing Solutions conducts a free, comprehensive assessment which analyzes device usage and the level of color and mono printing to better understand your school’s printing habits. We then propose a strategic plan of action that will help you better manage your printing operations and save you money. This may consist of removing under-utilized products, consolidating devices and/or replacing expensive printers with costefficient OKI products to significantly improve overall performance. As a testament to the potential cost-savings, just recently, OKI identified a savings of more than a million dollars over a five-year time span for the Donna Independent School District, in Donna, Texas by upgrading their old fleet to OKI Printing Solutions.

School IT Director: I’ve read studies on how color printouts help enhance students’ learning, but I don’nt think my school can afford the costs associated with color printing. Is it possible to bring color into the classroom affordably?

by District Administration magazine. The Massachusetts Innovation Technology Exchange proclaimed the digital editions one of “the most innovative, effective and compelling achievements in the development and implementation of interactive technologies.” Weekly Reader Connect is a superb tool for teaching children to understand what they read. It presents hundreds of high-interest nonfiction stories enriched with meaningful multimedia that deepen

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Ed Lydon: I’m familiar with the studies which support our belief that colorful, educational materials really do improve a student’s learning experience; in fact, one study shows that color documents increase learning and retention by up to 78 percent1. Recognizing the impact of color, OKI developed Color Access Policy Manager [CAPM], allowing schools to utilize color printing without waste through accountability. With CAPM, schools can control everything from user-name to application to the number of color or black and white pages printed, helping you better manage your color printing and have more control over costs.

For more information, please visit 1Loyola

College, Maryland, U.S.A., by Ellen Hoadley, Ph.D., Laurette Simmons, Ph.D., and Faith Gilroy, Ph.D. Case & Company, Management Consultants Bureau of Advertising, Color in Newspaper Advertising Maritz Motivation, Inc., Southern Illinois

students’ understanding. WR Connect complements those stories with 129 onscreen lessons that teach reading comprehension in a clear, concise and consistent way. “Weekly Reader Connect brings together elements that teachers have told us are crucial: easy-to-use 21st century technology; compelling, newsworthy nonfiction; exciting multimedia; and Continued on Page 19

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RESULTS SHOW WHY AWARD CHOSEN BY FLORIDA SCHOOLS FOR ELECTRONIC TEXTBOOKS Florida schools have chosen AWARD Reading as an electronic textbook program to be used for digital learning in the classroom. As schools move forward to embrace new learning resources in this digital age, there is an increasing demand for online programs that have proven research results. AWARD Reading was creatively developed for electronic instruction that would teach and motivate digital natives. The term ‘digital native,’ along with ‘digital immigrant,’ is being more and more used to explain the differences between those born after the ‘tech movement’ and those born before it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that ‘natives’ are technically expert but their thinking is different.

A study of kindergarten and first grade students in Texas, New York and New Jersey coordinated by Dr. Cathy Collins Block, Professor of Education at Texas Christian University, reviewed outcomes based on the use of AWARD Reading and control subjects using standard basal reading programs. Results showed that after only 20 weeks, the AWARD program significantly improved subjects’ abilities in phonics, continuous reading and attitudes toward reading. Increases in positive attitudes toward reading were especially profound with African American students (48 percent increase) and Hispanics (15 percent). The students showed more enthusiasm for reading, and they engaged positively

BRITANNICA IMAGE QUEST GIVES STUDENTS, TEACHERS PHOTOS THEY CAN USE Students and teachers who need photos and other images for research and special projects can now find them easily in Britannica Image Quest, a new online resource from Britannica Digital Learning. Unlike other image collections, this collection automatically grants use for academic purposes, to help schools avoid copyright violations. Image Quest provides images from more than 60 of the best collections in the world, including Dorling Kindersley, Getty, the Granger

Collection, the National Portrait Gallery of London, the National Geographic Society and Oxford Scientific. These photos and illustrations are not available elsewhere on the public Internet. The collection contains more than a million images with more added each month. Suppliers of content come from the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, Spain, Australia and New Zealand―“a truly global representation of the finest historical, fine arts and contemporary images,”

TRACK BENCHMARK ASSESSMENTS WITH ASSESSTRAX AND EDCO EDCO (Education Consultant Specialists) has partnered with EduTrax to provide a better management solution for assessing and measuring student/teacher progress. AssessTrax is a Web-based, flexible test management solution used to monitor student performance on standards-based benchmark and unit assessments. Test results are instantly available to teachers and staff allowing for the immediate development of intervention strategies.

Districts are using this new technology to better manage and gauge the results of assessments, and to make it easier for teachers to focus on teaching their students. By eliminating bubble sheets, which need to be manually scored by teachers, and then sent to be scanned and analyzed by the school system, this new technology allows for an immediate response to improve student achievement. AssessTrax is available to any

PERSONALIZED LITERACY ENVIRONMENT CONNECTS STUDENT INTERESTS AND READING ABILITIES Capstone Digital, developer of personalized learning environments for students, announces the launch of myON™ reader. The first of its kind, myON reader is a personalized literacy environment that provides access to the largest integrated library of digital books with multimedia supports, customized to a student’s interest and reading ability. myON reader enables students to take ownership of

their reading growth while rating and sharing their reviews with classmates. Designed for PreK-8 and remedial readers, myON reader creates individual, personalized reading programs for students. The online platform offers a growing library of more than 1,000 books from award-winning Capstone Continued on Page 16

with the animated and interactive texts and activities. AWARD Reading significantly improves reading abilities in the critical early school years, in particular with ELLs, students with disabilities, those from low socio-economic backgrounds and students who benefit from accelerated learning opportunities. Published by the balanced literacy publisher that first brought big books and guided readers such as Mrs. Wishy Washy to U.S. classrooms, AWARD Reading offers teachers and students an opportunity to interact with technology in new ways to create successful learning outcomes. One reason why AWARD has proven so successful in creating readers and changing attitudes to reading and learning lies in the richness of the texts. They aren’t e-books. They are animated and fully voiced for students to hear the words and understand the instructions. Each text, each grade level, is scaffolded to provide a gradual progression and the more than 900

interactive activities support and extend learning of the essential skills. The U.S. Department of Education sparked a national discussion around digital learning with the release in 2010 of The National Education Technology Plan. Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology calls for applying the advanced technologies used in daily life to our entire education system to improve student learning, accelerate and scale up the adoption of effective practices, and use data and information for continuous improvement. AWARD’s instructional materials parallel the recommendations of this plan and its principles connected to learning, assessing and teaching. AWARD Reading was selected as the innovative educational program to be showcased on the nationally televised “Today in America.” The TV program prominently featured teachers and students from Oak Hammock School, St. Lucie County.

according to Michael Ross, a Senior Vice President at Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., and general manager of Britannica Digital Learning. Image Quest provides easy access to high-quality photos and illustrations from trustworthy sources for students of all ages on a wide range of topics. Images are organized by subject matter, and the site is fully searchable. Each image, which is cleared for educational use, includes a caption, citation, copyright information, etc. With all the images in one convenient place, it simplifies the search for photos because researchers don’t have to comb through multiple websites or worry about permission to use them. The product has many uses. Students can turn to Image Quest for homework

assignments and course projects, and teachers can use the images in lesson plans and classroom activities. It’s ideal for whiteboards, school websites, newsletters, newspapers and bulletins. “Students today don’t just write reports; they produce rich expositions that combine research and relevant illustrations,” said Ross. “But it can be hard to find the right images, to identify what’s in them and to know if you’re allowed to use them. We’ve made all of that a lot easier.” Britannica Image Quest is produced in collaboration with the Universal Images Group. Schools, universities and libraries interested in Britannica Image Quest can call 800-621-3900 or go to for more information or trial subscriptions.

school district which utilizes benchmark test scores, standardized test scores, surveys, etc., to gauge student performance. EduTrax stores the data, offers analysis options, and produces easily understood reports and graphs suitable for the school district, school or teacher use. Because AssessTrax is a Web-based tool, test results are instantly available to teachers and staff, allowing for the immediate development of intervention strategies. AssessTrax aims to target the needs of each individual student by pinpointing proficiency levels across a range of subject areas. With AssessTrax, school systems can monitor student performance on standards-

based benchmark and unit tests; target instruction to address any needs prior to state and federal assessments; and test as desired (benchmark, unit, or pre-/post-test). EDCO efforts focus on partnering with school systems to plan and implement solutions that will improve student achievement. Whether implementing a comprehensive assessment plan, managing district benchmark testing or providing a wide range of data analysis programs, EDCO along with EduTrax is committed to helping school systems improve student achievement. Visit the EDCO at or call 770-720-0222 for more information.

EDMODO: BEYOND THE CLASSROOM The Fastest Growing Social Learning Network for Educators Serves As A Comprehensive Communication And Content Distribution Center For School Districts

Originally created in response to teacher demand for safe social networking tools for the classroom, Edmodo has become a powerful communications tool for school districts as teachers and administrators discover new ways to communicate with their school communities through the free online service. Offering a comprehensive

communication and content distribution center for school districts, Edmodo provides school administrators with an instant and targeted delivery platform to enable rapid communication and school community engagement among teachers, students, administrators, and parents. Through Edmodo, schools can easily distribute a variety of administrative content, including district-wide alerts and emergency notifications, club and activity updates, parent notifications, principal Continued on Page 8

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HOW MUCH ENERGY ARE YOUR COMPUTERS WASTING? If your school district is searching for fresh green initiatives that save money, you need to consider a PC power management solution. It is one of the most immediate and cost-effective ways to reduce your school district’s power bill and energy consumption. With the creation of its PC power management software, Faronics has become a recognized industry leader in reducing enterprise IT energy waste.

Faronics Power Save provides organizations with centralized computer energy management and real-time savings reports, allowing companies to continuously maximize their savings by powering IT down daily. Faronics Power Save can deliver a full ROI in as little as eight months—less if you qualify for a rebate. Depending on the number of PCs, districts can annually save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

WHAT DOES SOFTWARE LICENSING HAVE TO DO WITH SERVER VIRTUALIZATION? HINT: IF YOU WANT TO STREAMLINE AND SAVE, THE ANSWER IS EVERYTHING. The benefits of server virtualization are easy to see—reduced costs, increased hardware and application availability, greater deployment agility, as well as time and energy savings. But is there a price to pay for those gains? While virtualization makes it almost effortless to deploy new servers, it also creates a unique challenge for software licensing.

The Smarter Way To Simplify As organizations move their Microsoft server environments to virtual models in order to take advantage of all that cloud computing and virtualization

have to offer, it’s important to be aware of potential issues that software costs and licensing can present. Virtualization has drastically changed the way organizations license their software. While there are more options to choose from, it’s now easier to find a licensing program that complements the advantages of virtualization. By adapting your licensing structure to the needs of a virtual environment, you can realize a number of benefits, namely ease of operation and a reduction in the total number of licenses you need to purchase, track and manage. One of the

Last year, Faronics teamed up with industry analyst Forrester Consulting and conducted a Total Economic Impact (TEI) study verifying that organizations reducing their computer energy waste by deploying Power Save can achieve a substantial and rapid return on investment (ROI). The study focused on the deployment of Power Save on more than 8,000 computers at a Canada-based utility giant. Power Save outperformed initial estimates and saved the organization 1.2 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity. Also among the growing list of more than 1,000 Power Save customers

is California-based Chaffey Joint Union High School District, which is currently saving $350,000 annually by shutting down their inactive PCs. As regulations slowly increase, more and more schools will be mandated to adopt a green IT approach. Educational facilities have a strong responsibility to help create a greener, cleaner future. Irresponsible PC energy consumption is not just a waste of energy; it’s a waste of money. To learn how your organization can benefit from PC power management, visit and download a free 30-day evaluation.

greatest benefits of virtualization is that it has leveled the playing field between small and large schools. It’s brought the power of the data center within reach of the little guy, but in doing so it has introduced the complexities of software licensing into organizations of every size. For schools that don’t have a dedicated licensing expert to deal with those issues, acquiring the right mix of software can be a challenge.

your sockets. Microsoft licensing for virtual environments includes several different options to help you get the most value for your investment. These options include: Licensing by Instance, Licensing by Processor, Unlimited Virtualization Rights and Application Server License Mobility.

More Options, More Opportunity The good news is that Microsoft has created a variety of licensing options to choose from, so you can get the coverage you need without wasting resources. They’ve even added a new version of Windows Server, called Datacenter, to their product lineup. Datacenter is specifically designed to meet the needs of virtualized environments. It allows you to license your machines on a per-socket basis, giving you the option to run an unlimited number of virtual machines (VMs) as long as you’ve licensed all of

HOW SCHOOLWIRES HELPED ONE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL When the Dalai Lama comes for a visit, public attention follows. The spiritual leader of Tibet was scheduled to visit Costano Elementary School, part of the Ravenswood City School District, on Oct. 13, 2010, to engage in a public conversation with children who reside in East Palo Alto before an audience of more than 400 students and special guests. Knowing that the eyes of the world would be on them, school officials wanted to implement a new website that would better reflect the high-quality educational opportunities that the district provides for students and their families. However, there was one problem: His Holiness was arriving in eight days. For most districts, migrating content to a new content management system and launching a new district website often takes months. With the support of the Edmodo (Con’t. from p. 6)

announcements, differentiated instruction lessons, professional development opportunities, and much more. Accessible from any networked device, Edmodo provides updates to school communities through individuals’ preferred delivery method including RSS feed, SMS, smart phone

Schoolwires services team, the new Ravenswood City School District website went live within five days. “We really had eight business days before the visit, but we set a deadline for going live within five days to be certain that we met the district’s requirements,” said Diego Rodriguez, Sales Consultant for Schoolwires. Migration, Development, and Implementation started on a Monday. By that Friday, Ravenswood’s new website (, built with Schoolwires Centricity, launched to the public. “It really wasn’t anything too different than what we normally do,” recalled Peter Weyandt, Manager of Activation Services with Schoolwires, who played an integral role in this pivotal district implementation and launch. “We just applications, and e-mail. “Edmodo began as a tool for teachers and students, and grew into a platform for school-wide communication. Now, it has become a critical component of district-wide activities,” notes Nic Borg, President and Co-founder of Edmodo. “It’s been astounding to see the viral growth of the service; there really

gave it a bit of extra attention to make sure that it was done really quickly.” Centricity is a strategic website and community management platform that brings together robust and flexible website management, community management and web 2.0/social network capabilities in a single, user-centric solution. “Not every district can implement in five business days,” said Jeff Windsor, the Product Manager for Centricity. “But we really try to go out of our way to meet are no limits to where schools will take things next.” For more information on implementing Edmodo in your district and to reserve your unique district sub-domain, visit About Edmodo With more than 1 million users and

The Right Software Licensing Starts Here The key to finding the right licensing program for your school is knowing how your virtual data center operates, and choosing a licensing option that lets you capitalize on the efficiencies you’re already pursuing. While the large variety of licensing programs and complex rules may seem daunting, talking to an expert who understands how your data center is set up and knows what you’re trying to accomplish with virtualization can help. Call 800-800-0019 to speak to a dedicated Account Manager at GovConnection.

the needs of our clients, even if they may not seem possible at the time.” The Schoolwires services team has successfully implemented the Centricity platform at nearly 1,200 districts nationwide. The tech-savvy Schoolwires Implementation Specialists draw upon their expertise and broad situational experience to meet the schedule and budget of individual districts so that they can go live quickly and begin to strengthen their connections with their communities. Schoolwires believes that districts should not have to compromise on functionality, price or delivery date. “We have created very effective tools and processes to help districts go live very quickly, whether the implementation is complex or straightforward,” said Weyandt. “We recognize that an effective website has significant impact on district and student success, and we want to deliver these benefits to school districts as quickly as possible.” Visit Schoolwires at or growing, Edmodo is a free and secure social networking platform for teachers, students, parents and school administrators. Edmodo enhances collaboration and learning in schools, offering a real-time platform to exchange ideas, share content, and access homework, grades and school notices. For more information, visit

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NEW LITERACY PROGRAM ATTRACTS ATTENTION OF EDUCATORS Electronic textbooks are a new innovation for some teachers. However, there are other teachers, especially those who use interactive whiteboards daily in their classrooms, who readily embrace these accessible textbooks. They find programs like AWARD Reading to be a powerful resource that connects with their students. They are able to share hundreds of carefully graded stories with their

students and extend instruction with vocabulary, comprehension, fluency and writing tasks. The technology behind AWARD allows students to progress at their own pace and practice until the essential literacy skills are learned. One of the strengths of AWARD Reading―a provider of electronic textbooks in Florida―is that it offers interactive extension activities in all the reading

BRITANNICA SMARTMATH PERSONALIZES LEARNING For schools and districts looking to help students improve their math skills, Britannica Digital Learning offers SmartMath, an online math practice and formative assessment tool. Britannica SmartMath encourages math practice by making it fun, adapting to each student’s performance for truly individualized instruction. Dealing with differences in student skills has always been a challenge, particularly in math. But SmartMath’s adaptive platform builds differentiation into every question by adjusting difficulty

based on each student’s performance. In this way, teachers reach all students, from those who are falling behind to those who are well ahead. The result is that students achieve success in math and move through each topic at their own pace until the material is mastered. A highly interactive program, Britannica SmartMath uses amusing cartoon characters and an award system to create a fun, game-like environment that engages students. Students have fun practicing math, meaning more time-ontask and a greater mastery of the subject.

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 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-theblank and survey. The iRespond-Lite remotes have a display window to show

LEARNINGSTATION ANNOUNCES PLANS TO AWARD OVER 2,000 TEACHER GRANTS LearningStation announced at FETC 2011 that it has rolled out a campaign to award 2,011 individual grants to teachers to deploy its Classroom Insight Assessment and Learning Platform in the coming year. The Insight Platform allows teachers to access a unique assessment and test creation tool via a Web-based interface, and deliver the assessment via interactive whiteboards using student response devices. LearningStation’s V.P. of Business Development Don Carte noted: “The

benefits of the Insight Platform are just too plentiful to keep bottled-up. Being able to create an assessment aligned to state-standards in minutes, and deliver the test seamlessly using current classroom technology, can be a huge justification for the 21st century classroom. By using that technology in a meaningful way, teachers can see results from their assessments of students instantly, and pin-point exactly where intervention may be required.” Continued on Page 12

skills, as well as a range of software packages, useful across the K–3 curriculum. One example is “Snappy Slide Show.” This open-ended software allows students to use illustrations from the text and then write captions, add visual effects and music to create an individual interpretation of the story. This activity encourages a range of writing experiences and highlights for the teacher a student’s understanding of the text. Or students can create their own science or social studies presentation using images sourced from personal picture libraries or downloaded from the Internet.

Another example is “Newspaper Front Page.” Students write a newspaper story based on a text they have read in class or they can create their own story. Illustrations from the texts and a choice of headlines are provided, or students can source their own. The finished story can be printed and filed in the student’s digital portfolio. These are just two examples of the hundreds of activities and games featured as extensions to the 300 electronic textbooks available from AWARD Reading, where content and technology integrates diverse media tools to reinforce traditional learning and expand comprehension.

SmartMath is designed around NCTM focal points and correlated to the Florida Sunshine State Standards and the Common Core standards. Formative assessment is also an integral part of SmartMath. Teachers and administrators have access to reports to inform instruction according to an individual student’s needs or the progress of entire classes and grades. These assessments drive differentiation without putting an extra burden on teachers. There is less grading to be done and more time for teachers to respond to student results. “This is the future of math instruction,” said Michael Ross, a Senior Vice President and General Manager of Britannica Digital Learning. “It’s fun and engaging for students and a powerful,

easy-to-use formative assessment tool for teachers. It’s on the cutting edge of incorporating feedback into the learning process. Educators, parents and students now have real-time measurable results of student performance and a better way to track student progress.” SmartMath joins the company’s mathematics-instruction portfolio alongside the Mathematics in Context middle school core mathematics curriculum. Ross said that the two initiatives exemplify Britannica’s expanding product line that focuses on the needs of 21st century classrooms. Schools interested in Britannica SmartMath or any of Britannica’s products can visit smartmath or call 800-621-3900.

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 check out iRespond: fully integrates with Power Point; Built-in State Standards to correlate to your test questions; create a quick answer key for instant testing; unique PIN login allows students to use any remote; fosters classroom excitement and competition; supports paperbased, 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 do what you do best―teach. iRespond’s Student Response System collects student answers and scores each response in real-time, 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. 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. Visit EDCO at or call 770-720-0222 for more information.

SMOOTHWALL’S NEW V.P. OF SALES LEADS EXPANSION IN USA & AMERICAS Daniel A. Cabrera Brings Deep Industry Experience To Expand Smoothwall’s Sales and Channel Partner Programs

Internet security specialist Smoothwall Inc. has announced that Daniel A. Cabrera has joined the company as Vice President of Sales. In this role, Mr. Cabrera will lead Smoothwall’s ongoing expansion in the U.S. and the Americas, developing channel partner programs and reaching more value added resellers (VARs) and system integrators. “Daniel’s international and channel sales experience are a great fit for

Smoothwall at a very important moment as we seek to expand our U.S. presence,” said Richard Moore, Executive Vice President of Smoothwall. “His extensive experience in the network security industry means that he can speak the language of our customers and channel partners and deliver exactly what they need.” Mr. Cabrera has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, serving in a variety of executive sales and marketing roles. Most recently, he was a Regional Sales Director at SonicWALL Continued on Page 14

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EdTech Show Daily stories with 129 onscreen 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: • 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. Weekly Reader Connect is built on the Concepts of Comprehension, a research-

based 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 or call 877-344-2834 for a free demo.

and the student side. Instructors can now limit Web browsing on all Windows browsers, such as the popular Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. To get students’ attention more effectively at the beginning of class, instructors can immediately shutdown all applications appearing on selected students’ desktops with a Clear Desktop feature. Meanwhile, lesson quality and student experience are enhanced by the ability to broadcast both audio and video. The latest release features an expanded Mac feature set

matching the comprehensive Windows set, and also supports Apple iPod, iPhone and iPad. Faronics Insight empowers instructors to educate, monitor and communicate with an entire class from one central computer or a portable device, such as Apple iPod, iPhone, or iPad. Instructors can share their screen with students, control student access to applications and websites, and monitor classroom screens to ensure students are on task. Students can interact with the instructor directly through Insight’s chat, voting, and remote assistance capabilities. Instructors no longer need to deal with classroom distractions—such as games, instant messaging, and Web surfing—when teaching a class. Insight students are kept on task and engaged in an

environment where technology accelerates their learning. “This version offers increased flexibility for instructors making it easier than ever to monitor students’ activities, remove distractions for more effective learning, and strengthen control over the classroom,” said Graham Vair, Product Manager for Faronics Insight. “Instructors can fully benefit from computers as educational tools minus all the student distraction of messaging, browsing and playing.” Classroom-specific solutions are the most effective means to achieve complete collaboration within educational environments. To see how Faronics Insight can help you gain classroom control and help you achieve your mandate of a stronger learning environment, visit

Kirchner, pointed out that the Insight Assessment platform can turn any set of ‘clickers’ into an a premier tool for

monitoring student progress. “In short, the platform can transform a very neat idea (clickers) into a device to monitor student

progress real-time in the classroom.” Find out more at www.learning

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.

• 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 high-interest nonfiction articles enriched with meaningful multimedia that deepens students’ understanding. WR Connect complements those

MORE EFFECTIVE LEARNING WITH FARONICS INSIGHT 7.5. THERE IS AN APP FOR THIS. Faronics is pleased to announce the release of Faronics Insight 7.5, a popular classroom management software for instructors in the lab. This latest version offers 35 new feature additions and enhancements to help instructors monitor students more easily and strengthen instructor control over the classroom while improving lesson quality and increasing teaching effectiveness. Student monitoring is improved with keystroke alerts for banned words and dual monitoring for both the instructor LearningStation (Con’t. from p. 10)




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SUPER START: WR CONNECT WINS MULTIPLE AWARDS IN FIRST YEAR Weekly Reader Connect—an online reading-comprehension program for grades K–6—was launched in January 2010, and has already won multiple awards for its outstanding content and seamless integration of technology into the classroom. In December, District Administration magazine named Weekly Reader Connect one of their Reader’s Choice Top 100 products of 2010. The 2010 winners were selected from hundreds of nominations. “Weekly Reader provides economical yet informative and entertaining reading to my district’s English language learners,” Lynne Ewing, ESOL Program Director in the Queen Anne’s County (MD) Public Schools, told the magazine. Weekly Reader Connect’s digital editions also won a prestigious award from the Massachusetts Innovation

Technology Exchange. That organization—which describes itself as a “growing community of thought leaders, collaborators and individuals in search of insight, education and opportunity”— proclaimed Weekly Reader Connect’s digital editions one of “most innovative, effective and compelling achievements in the development and implementation of interactive technologies.” The honors for Weekly Reader Connect were matched by enthusiasm from users. “Every teacher [in my school] … has been super excited to try out Weekly Reader Connect on our new whiteboards,” wrote Karen Small, SI Title 1 Reading Coordinator at the Crittenton Community School in Columbus, Ohio. “Some comments have been, ‘Wow, I’m just going to use this instead of trying to make all my own flipcharts for everything’ and ‘This has all

BUILDING A 21ST CENTURY LEARNING ENVIRONMENT The Proliferation Of The Portable Mobile computing is one of the most visible changes to today’s campuses. From netbooks and notebooks to smartphones and tablets, portable computers have earned their place in the classroom. Today’s generation of students is well-versed in portable computing, and they need to be in order to prepare for a workforce that increasingly relies on portable tools to conduct business. These powerpacked PCs add a new dimension to learning, creating a foundation for exciting possibilities inside and Smoothwall (Con’t. from p. 10)

where he managed wholesale channel partners, engaged with system integrators, and

outside the classroom.

Learning Online And On-Budget While already extremely popular in higher education, Web-based learning is quickly gaining momentum in K-12 environments. It’s an excellent way to provide students with greater access to resources, personalized instruction and self-guided learning. Online interaction has become an everyday part of students’ lives, and providing them with an online forum for discussion and research is both a constructive and cost-effective way to enhance learning. developed Managed Service Provider/Enterprise programs in Latin America. In these roles he built and managed sales teams to achieve sales targets in

the content areas covered, plus the short cycle assessment? Too cool!’” Weekly Reader Connect requires no additional software or tech expertise. Developed by Weekly Reader—the innovative, 108-year-old educational publishing company that virtually invented current-events coverage in the classroom—Weekly Reader Connect brings the following elements to all subscribing schools: • Dozens of exclusive interactive Weekly Reader digital editions, presenting timely, high-interest 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. • 129 onscreen 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.

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. Subscribing schools just log on to for full access to the program. Teachers can project the content onto a screen or use an interactive whiteboard for group instruction. The program is also appropriate for individualized use on a single computer. With a simple password, instructors can also provide off-premises access to all students. Want to know more? If you’re a principal, school district leader, media or technology specialist, or classroom teacher, visit or call 877344-2834 for a free demo.

The Sky Is The Limit Cloud technologies are yet another driver of progress, introducing powerful new capabilities into education without carrying a hefty price tag. Districts making the jump to cloud computing have discovered the benefits of seamless sharing, increased collaboration, and greater access to tools and resources. Being able to store and share data in the cloud reduces the burden on IT staff and budgets while making resources available to everyone.

Technology + Education = Success With all of the recent advancements in computing, networking, and storage, one fact has never been more evident―technology and education are a powerful combination. In coming years, the

integration of these two entities will undoubtedly continue to amaze and surprise us. Technology will become even more integrated into the learning process, with real-time feedback from ‘clickers’ and other input devices, individualized monitoring reports for students, and more powerful software tools. Incorporating online programs into traditional classes will provide the best of both worlds, with personalized attention and targeted instruction in areas where students need more focus. GovConnection is here to help you integrate technology into the learning process―quickly, effortlessly and cost effectively. They can provide the products, services, and expertise to support your IT initiatives and promote learning. For more information, call 800-800-0019.

difficult environments. Mr. Cabrera is multi-lingual, speaking Spanish, Portuguese, French and English. He has a master’s degree from the University of

California at Los Angeles and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California For more information, visit

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decision making will compound, and inefficiencies will proliferate. These are strategic–not just technical–issues that require thought and leadership at the superintendent level. Fortunately, districts can address these issues by developing a comprehensive technology strategy, and using it as a guide for making strategic technology decisions. To help districts in their strategic planning efforts, Schoolwires has created the K-12 Unified Technology Model (download whitepaper at unifiedtechnology). This model was developed by Schoolwires through our technology leadership and our exclusive immersion in K-12. It provides districts with a cohesive technology model that provides the framework for evaluating strategic technology decisions. According to Project Tomorrow’s 2009 Speak-Up research, “Ninety-one

percent of administrators report that the effective implementation of instructional technology is important/extremely important to their district’s mission and that facilitating meaningful social-based learning requires a supportive technology infrastructure, access to technology and explicit opportunities for students to collaborate.” Fortunately, creating and maintaining a unified technology infrastructure does not need to be a core competency of a district. Technology standards and innovations offer great promise for developing these unified technology infrastructures. A community management platform like Schoolwires Centricity2™ creates an environment where students are more deeply engaged in the learning process, applying their real world knowledge of collaborative, interactive and social technologies to the classroom and to their education, and creating the kinds of experiences that are critical to developing 21st century teachers and learners.

It is important for each district to create its own plan for a unified technology approach and then ensure that selected vendors can work within that infrastructure to help the district achieve its goals. has the Schoolwires resources and information to guide you in your planning efforts and to help you create the infrastructure that will enable district success. By creating a strategic, unified and comprehensive technology framework, districts can create a single comprehensive technology platform where all your constituents–from the educator to the learner, from the parent to the board member–can access with a single sign-on all the information and resources that are relevant to them in a personalized and individualized manner across all the district’s many applications, engaging them more deeply in support of your district imperatives and student achievement. Visit Schoolwires at www or e-mail

In addition to customizing the reading experience, myON reader furnishes a collaborative reading environment in which students, educators and parents work together to support student reading performance. The online platform uses cloud-based technology to connect school and home through anytime, anywhere access to an expanding library of digital books, and to provide a safe, social network where students can read, rate and review digital books and recommend them to classmates. “In Orange County, our goal is to continue to motivate students to ‘read for the love of reading,’ ” said Katrina Summerville, M.Ed, Program Specialist for NCLB services at Orange County Public Schools. “Through research and observation, it is noted that children who become more engrossed in reading construct a foundation that teachers can build

upon. Exposure to myON reader has engaged and inspired our 21st century learners to expand their knowledge through digital exploration,” Summerville added. Capstone Digital partnered with MetaMetrics to embed The Lexile® Framework for Reading, which measures student reading ability and text complexity on the same developmental scale within myON reader. Educators use Lexile measures to match a student with books that will provide the right level of challenge for that student’s ability and goals. Research shows that students can improve their reading skills by reading books within their Lexile range (100L below to 50L above the student’s Lexile measure) and on their favorite interests―two factors that myON reader uses to recommend books. Through embedded assessments,

myON reader enables educators to monitor, track and measure student reading growth based on the Lexile Framework. Benchmark tests measure reading levels, and end-of-book quizzes determine comprehension. In addition, myON reader accurately tracks number of books read and time spent reading. To monitor their own growth, students have access to a personalized trajectory report that can forecast their expected reading level. myON reader is supported by several research studies on how students read, how technology plays a part in reading, and what motivates students to read. These three indicators together influenced the development of myON reader. For more information on the research behind myON reader, view the white paper entitled “Building Proficiency Through Personalized Reading.” To download a copy, visit

HOW SCHOOLWIRES CAN HELP YOU DEVELOP A COMPREHENSIVE TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION STRATEGY Technology strategy has the potential to greatly impact student and organizational success. However, many districts take a reactive, fragmented and tactical approach to acquiring and integrating technology in the absence of a long-term and cohesive strategy. Despite a district’s best efforts, these technologies yield only a fraction of their potential benefit in the areas of advancing student and organizational success, and the lack of cohesiveness results in high-cost technology management. If a district continues on this path of acquiring point solutions to meet specific needs, the deficiencies associated with these disparate systems will continue to grow and heighten over time. A district’s IT staff must continue to integrate this multitude of point solutions and maintain the integrations individually each time a vendor releases an update. The amount of incorrect data and its implications for Capstone Digital (Con’t. from p. 6)

imprints. Embedded reading scaffolds (including highlighting, audio and dictionary) increase student confidence. To personalize the reading experience, myON reader develops an individual profile for each student based on interests and reading ability, and generates a recommended book list to encourage students to read more and further improve their reading skills. “myON reader gives students the power to choose what they want to read,” said Todd Brekhus, President of Capstone Digital. “Today’s students personalize their lives digitally on a daily basis through music, games and social networks. myON reader leverages those skills to engage students in an online, integrated reading environment using the same premise: digital personalization.”

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has the unique ability to work with both passive and active 3D displays as well as a variety of light sources including lamp, laser and LED, offering schools and manufacturers a variety of options for displaying and interacting with projected content. One example of this is DLP’s interactive projector, which allows teachers and students to manipulate projected images on any surface with the touch of a pen or from a distance without the need for calibration. Using a special interactive pen that functions similarly to a wireless mouse, teachers and students can interact with an image on the screen

from up to 7 meters away by simply rolling, pointing, clicking, scrolling, navigating and writing. With new dual-pen capabilities classrooms can have two students interacting with the projected image at the same time. DLP dual-pen interactive projectors also work in conjunction with 3D to create interactive 3D teaching opportunities. Imagine multiple students racing each other to solve math equations projected on the ceiling or students viewing Earth in 3D and taking turns using the pen to break apart the earth into layers―all from wherever they are sitting in the classroom. In addition, projectors such as the one launching this week from Acer are now available with SXGA+ chipsets. This chip provides increased resolution for readable text and graphics at a distance. The 1400x1050 resolution ensures students sitting in the back of the room see crisp, clear images, which is especially important for

viewing letters, numbers and other highly detailed objects. This higher resolution also displays more content on the screen at one time, making it easier to view complex, detailed spreadsheets without having to scroll. “Technology is a powerful enabler for positive change in classrooms and something Texas Instruments has been dedicated to for decades,” said Roger Carver, Manager of Front Projection, DLP Products. “In collaboration with our projector manufacturing and education ecosystem partners, we’re developing innovative technologies to transform education for the better, and these interactive solutions are great examples of that. Not only do they foster an environment of collaboration, they’re reliable and easy to use, so teachers can spend more time teaching.” For more information, go to

provides a snapshot of a student’s level of understanding. This snapshot enables respective classroom teachers and administration the opportunity to immediately develop intervention and remedial strategies when necessary and the option to re-direct curriculum delivery. Eliminating the need to administer bubble sheets, the Comprehensive Assessment Solution saves time and provides a faster response to instructional needs to further student achievement. AssessTrax is advantageous to any school district which utilizes benchmark or standardized test scores, surveys, etc., to gauge student

performance. EduTrax stores the data, provides analysis options, and produces easily understood reports and graphs suitable for use across all levels of curriculum and classroom management. In addition, iRespond offers customized reports to be used at the classroom level for performance analysis and remedial recommendations for individual students. Utilizing AssessTrax in conjunction with iRespond’s (SRS) hand-held units school systems can: Monitor student performance on standards-based benchmark and unit tests; Target instruction to address any needs prior to state and

federal assessment; and Test as desired (benchmark, unit, or pre/post tests). EDCO partners with school systems to plan and implement solutions focused on improving student achievement. Whether implementing a comprehensive district-wide assessment plan, managing district benchmark testing, or providing a wide range of data analysis programs for student/teacher performance, EDCO is committed to helping school systems reach their maximum potential. Please visit EDCO at or call 770-720-0222 to learn more about their education solutions.

about when it comes to taking on an OS migration?

MK: In general, we run an assessment for 30 days. That gives a good snapshot of the trending of what’s going on in their environment and how everything is being utilized. It gives us a really good look at a full working environment. We can tailor shorter or longer time frames based on customer needs, but we recommend a full 30 days.

compatibility requirements and underutilized software applications. We then sit down with them and go through the data to show them where things are.

TI DLP UNVEILS INTERACTIVITY FOR 3D LEARNING AND MULTIUSER ABILITY FOR DLP INTERACTIVE PROJECTORS The Combined 3D-Ready And Interactive Projector With Dual-pen Capability Offers More Opportunities For Student Engagement

Further advancing collaboration in the classroom, Texas Instruments (TI) DLP® Products announced dual-pen and 3D interactive projectors at FETC 2011. With this technology comes richer and broader engagements between teachers and their students as well as between students and their classmates. The versatility of DLP’s micromirror chip design also extends to technological collaboration. DLP technology EDCO (Con’t. from p. 1)

the classroom level. AssessTrax, a module of EduTrax, is a Web-based test management solution that monitors student performance on standards-based benchmark and unit assessments. Gathering student data at the classroom level via iRespond (SRS) clickers, the data is delivered electronically to the AssessTrax database. Analysis of the data can then be done at both the school and district curriculum department levels. Real-time analysis of student performance utilizing instant test results GovConnection (Con’t. from p. 1)

Windows 7. What have people been saying that motivated them to make the jump?

MK: It’s different for everyone, but the reason that is resonating the most is a demand for the next true business class operating system [OS]. It’s been about eight years since customers last had real confidence and desire to move forward as quickly as they are today. Because of that, there has also been some hold off with desktop refreshes. With Windows 7, there are so many wonderful benefits and enhancements that many people are excited and ready to make the jump.

ESD: If someone is ready to go, what are one or two steps they need to think AWARD (Con’t. from p. 1)

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 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

MK: The first step is to have a conversation about getting a Windows 7 Assessment done. This will give a better understanding of the current environment and determine the readiness to move to a new OS, where there will be new system requirements. It gives a detailed look into what’s happening in a system today, what’s ready to move to a new OS, and perhaps what’s not going to work. When they get to the planning stage, they will already know what is needed and where to go.

ESD: I’m sure this changes for different organizations, but what is a normal timeline for an assessment? programs used in Florida schools?

WP: AWARD Reading was carefully designed from the beginning with the digital learner in mind, and it took over six years to develop. It offers a range of more than 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: What type of information are most people going to get out of that assessment to start moving the project along?

MK: We stay very much involved throughout the entire process, from the initial conversations about the OS to the differences and the benefits throughout the assessment. After the assessment, we take a look at the data that is collected― from system speed and hardware to ESD: Are the books graded in levels of difficulty, and how different are they 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-tofollow digital format.

ESD: What are your top two tips for an OS migration?

MK: First, go back to the importance of an assessment; planning is critical to the success and outcome. Second, make sure you have partnered with someone who understands what they are doing and can walk you through the process as a collaborative effort. Be sure they understand what you are looking to get out of this so that the plan is tailored to your needs and you are happy with the end result. For more information, call 800-800-0019.

ESD: I understand you offer professional 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,


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marketing division, Britannica Digital Learning, we are pleased that more than 75 million students and faculty members have access to 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 Lumens (Con’t. from p. 1)

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 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 Weekly Reader Connect (Con’t. from p. 4)

engaging, curriculum-rich lessons,” said Ira Wolfman, Senior Vice President of Weekly Reader. “WR Connect enables schools to integrate technology seamlessly into the classroom and reach today’s tech-savvy kids directly where they live.” WR Connect requires no additional software or tech expertise. Developed by Weekly Reader—the innovative, 108year-old educational publishing company that virtually invented current-events coverage in the classroom—Weekly Reader Connect brings the following

output of any English-language reference and e-learning publisher. As a further benefit to our users, we have our own inhouse 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?

multimedia. 21st Century Explorer will be part of a growing line of e-learning 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. 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 key word, 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.


content through any search engine. In 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’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 curriculumfocused, like Student News Network, a social studies product with crosscurriculum 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.

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

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

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 classroom. This means that no teachable moment will be missed, whether it is from a lab table, classroom learning station, or a student’s desk. All Lumens Ladibug document cameras are compatible with Interactive Whiteboards and boast superior image clarity with an unmatched, unlimited five-year 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

elements to all subscribing schools: • 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. • 129 onscreen 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.

feature of WR Connect. Subscribing schools just log on to for full access to the program. Teachers can project the content onto a screen or use an interactive whiteboard for group instruction. The program is also appropriate for individualized use on a single computer. With a simple password, instructors can also provide off-premises access to all students. Want to know more? If you’re a principal, school district leader, media or technology specialist, or classroom teacher, visit or call 877-344-2834 for a free demo.

ESD: What distinguishes your products from the competition?

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. Ease of use is another outstanding

Schools, universities and libraries interested in Britannica Image Quest can call 800-621-3900 or go to for more information or trial subscriptions.

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QOMO HiteVision (Con’t. from p. 1)

To accomplish this, QOMO engineers have designed the document camera to serve as your one-stop media center for connectivity and control. With a complete multimedia switching system, video scaler, and projector control, you can connect two Mac or PC computers and video sources such as a DVD player directly to your document camera. You only need one VGA cable to connect to your projector, saving hundreds of dollars in installation costs. QOMO’s new QD 8000 document camera with HDMI 1080p output, on-board color monitor, and touch controls delivers a new standard of quality in document cameras. The QPC30 offers brilliant color in a versatile SMART Technologies (Con’t. from p. 1)

freestyle interactions, touch gestures and full object awareness, meaning that the whiteboard recognizes whether a user interacts using a finger, fist, pen or an eraser and responds accordingly. This series includes the 880 and 880i models, and the widescreen 885, 885i and 885ix models. The fact that two people can work anywhere on the 800 series interactive whiteboard at the same time will help teachers make effective use of class time, engage in meaningful collaboration and motivate all types of learners.

Another product featured was the SMART Table interactive learning center. Although not new, it continues to garner considerable interest from educators and be very popular. We are excited, and think our customers will be too, about our recently announced addition of more than 250 activity packs which can be downloaded at no charge via the SMART Exchange Schoolwires (Con’t. from p. 1)

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 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

EdTech Show Daily portable form factor, making intricate viewing angles possible. The Interactive Whiteboard series is created with you in mind. By using infrared technology, users can annotate and draw simply using the touch of a finger—no special pens or pointers required! The board’s hard surface is virtually indestructible and the writing speed makes it superior to the competition. QOMO’s electromagnetic whiteboards are very cost-effective and feature dual pen technology allowing for team collaboration. The new analogue resistive board is a low cost alternative to IR touch technology, perfect for cost-conscious users that require touch technology. Many teachers and presenters complain of being rooted to the front of the

room, instructing a group while stuck to the blackboard. QOMO’s Interactive Wireless Tablet frees the presenter to navigate around the room, interacting with their audience while still having all the power and control of being at the front of the room. The RF technology communicates wirelessly via a USB dongle. Simply plug the dongle into your PC or MAC and you are ready to go! QOMO’s QClick Audience Response System is simple, affordable and extremely effective. With varying model levels equipped with RF and IR technologies, QOMO ensures that your specific needs are being met. Newly introduced QRF700 features an all-new student remote design with a backlit LCD display for all the information a student needs. In addition to commonly used

exam modes, homework and session modes allow exams to be done without relying on a computer. The software is easy to use, with a large collection of reporting features. To tie together the product line, QOMO HiteVision offers Flow!Works software. It allows the user to annotate over various documents, including PowerPoint, Word, and Excel, as well as video. This results in unique interactivity with the audience allowing your files to be saved with annotations included! QOMO HiteVision strives to be competitive on price point, while offering the best quality technology on the market today. Their product line speaks for itself and the staff is known for their passion and creativity. End users are sure to be pleased!

[]. website These new resources mean teachers now have access to thousands of multitouch, multiuser SMART Table activities.

NK: Some articles in the media tend to talk about our products and other classroom technology products in isolation. At SMART, we have consistently said that simply putting our products in the classroom is not the answer–it’s how they are put to use. We believe SMART products are a valuable tool that, when combined with effective teaching and appropriate pedagogy can help transform the learning experience. There is a considerable body of research posted on our website from national and international sources indicating that our products, when properly used, can increase student motivation and engagement and improve learning outcomes and teacher effectiveness.

SMART Exchange, an online community that helps educators share information on various topics, now has almost 50,000 classroom-ready resources. Teachers are also able to connect with educators around the world to exchange ideas. We’ve announced a new, free membership program to SMART Exchange that will mean even more exciting features for users. SMART also believes strongly in supporting our customers after their purchase. So we offer a variety of online training options, certification and professional development opportunities.

ESD: Your company recently went public. How is that affecting how SMART operates and how has it affected the way you offer your education solutions?

NK: It was an interesting step for SMART, but also just another along the growth path of our company. It means some changes for the way we do things internally–but what hasn’t changed is our commitment to our customers. We remain passionate about providing our customers with education solutions that will enable them to better engage and motivate students.

ESD: Beyond products, tell us what SMART offers?

ESD: There have been recent reports in the media about SMART products and other classroom technology being used more as a fad rather than having positive results for students. What is your take on that?

NK: SMART is committed to providing a wealth of resources and support for teachers to fully utilize SMART products and create dynamic learning activities for students. For example,

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, 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 Centricity 2 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

ESD: Any final thoughts on SMART in 2011?

NK: Engage with us regularly to learn what is new in our product offerings and other materials supporting the use of our products. With more than 400 people on our R&D team, we are and will continue to be very active in new product releases and upgrades. 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, call 877-4279413 or join the Schoolwires Knowledge Center by visiting www.schoolwires .com/knowledgecenter where experts share their insights through a growing collection of thought leadership white papers, K-12 business and technology models, case studies and more!

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EdTech Show Daily - Post Show FETC Issue  

EdTech Show Daily distributed after FETC 2011 for Feb. 22, 2011 Published by Oser Communications Group, copyright 2011.

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