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March 2012

Oser Communications Group

THE HARDING GROUP: MANAGES YOUR PROJECTS FROM START TO FINISH

An interview with Ron Verner, President, The Harding Group

TYLER TECHNOLOGIES ACQUIRES WINDSOR MANAGEMENT GROUP, EXPANDS SHARE OF K-12 EDUCATION MARKET NATIONWIDE

RV: The Harding Group is one of Texas’ leading Technology Solutions providers. As a highly experienced technology integrator, The Harding Group offers a comprehensive suite of data storage, document management, back-up/disaster recovery, infrastructure, and collaboration solutions. The Harding Group manages projects from start to finish, and sees them through to a satisfied

Product Suite to Infinite be integrated into Tyler's portfolio of school offerings Tyler Technologies, Inc. has acquired Windsor Management Group, LLC (WMG), which provides an integrated suite of financial and human capital management solutions to the K-12 education market through its flagship product, Infinite Visions enterprise software. As a result of the transaction, more than 800 school districts in 31 states currently served by WMG

PEIMS DATA PLUS: MANAGING INFORMATION FOR LOCAL SCHOOLS

BRITANNICA DIGITAL LEARNING REACHES WORLDWIDE IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES

Visions®

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

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Paul Polasek, sales manager and partner in Aloe Software Group, recently answered the following questions about their product, PEIMS Data Plus (PDP).

PP: Simply put, PDP is a Web-based data warehouse that allows local education agencies (LEAs) to load state standardized data files―for example, PEIMS, TAKS, TELPAS and EOC data files. ESD: Why PDP?

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LUMENS PRESENTS PODIUM CAMERAS DESIGNED FOR TEACHERS

The Makers of Ladibug Document Cameras would like to announce a NEW Higher Ed line, Podium Cameras

OKI SHOWCASES COST-EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS TO ADDRESS YOUR SCHOOL’S PRINTING NEEDS

Michael Garofola, Senior. Marketing Manager, Channel Development and Education for OKI Data Americas, answers your printing questions.

ESD: Studies suggest that color output enhances students’ learning, but can schools afford the costs associated with color printing? Is it possible to bring color into the classroom affordably?

MG I’m familiar with these studies and agree that colorful educational materials really do improve a student’s learning experience. Recognizing the benefits of color, OKI developed Color Access Policy Manager (CAPM), a

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Ed. Tech Show Daily interviews Michael Ross, Senior Vice President and Education GM about Britannica Digital Learning’s worldwide reach in multiple languages.

ESD: What exactly is PDP?

www.edtechshowdaily.com

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ONE SUITE DEAL—HOW ON-DEMAND PD IS HELPING TEACHERS AND STUDENTS

By Jared Heath, content manager at School Improvement Network

MR: Britannica Digital Learning serves the entire PreK through university marketplace educational web sites throughout the world and in multiple

In 2011, independent research showed 422 title 1 schools outperform their entire districts from one year to the next. The winners held PD 360, but we’ll be the first to say that it is the teachers who created successful classrooms. After all the coaching, training, mentoring, and practice, it’s an athlete that wins a race, and it’s the teacher that deserves the accolades— but they couldn’t do it without the proper support. In 1991, video training with real classroom exam-

TEACHER SHARES VALUE OF USING AVER H300 VIDEO CONFERENCING SYSTEM

ESPRESSO: ENGAGING STUDENTS WITH REAL-WORLD EXAMPLES

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

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Melodie Brewer, fifth and sixth grade teacher, shares with ESD the many virtues of the AVer H300 Video Conferencing System for her students.

Lumens has created cameras specifically for higher education: “Podium Cameras” enhance the learning experience for all undergraduate and graduate students around the world. Professors will now be able to engage their students on a deeper level with meaningful learning through the PS760, PC120 and PC190. Students are becoming more technologically savvy, so teachers must find innovative ways to capture their attention. The Lumens line of Podium Cameras provides

MB: As technology begins to allow the world to transform into one united community of learners, global communication and collaboration have become necessary skills that students need to

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ESD: What are your views and goals for distance learning and collaboration? How do these views and goals relate to teaching and learning in your classroom?

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Richard McGrath, President of Espresso Education, discusses how the service―using a real-world approach―is ideal for supporting schools taking a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching.

ESD: What is Espresso and why is it good for schools?

RM: Espresso is an online, multimedia service designed specifically for pre K – fifth graders. In today’s world, it’s so important to engage students in their learning with materials they can relate to. Espresso has thousands of Continued on Page 4


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The Harding Group (Con’t. from p. 1)

completion.

ESD: Who are your target end-users?

RV: The Harding Group serves numerous clients from the government sector and the private sector. With industry concentrations in health care (Cooks Children’s, East Texas Medical, Scott and White Hospital, Scottish Rite), school districts in the State of Texas (over 75), municipal Tyler Technologies (Con’t. from p. 1)

will become Tyler customers, and WMG’s approximately 60 employees will join Tyler. WMG’s software and services will complement Tyler’s other School solutions. “The addition of WMG further expands Tyler’s share of the K-12 education market nationwide. We believe that the companies are a great fit because of our focus on providing superior products and support to clients, as reflected by client retention rates exceeding 97 percent,” said John S. Marr Jr., president and CEO of Tyler Technologies. “The Infinite OKI Data Americas (Con’t. from p. 1)

no-charge rights-based software application that allows schools to implement cost-effective color printing while eliminating waste. With CAPM, schools can control which documents are printed in color, black and white, or not printed at all. Printing privileges can be assigned to a user level or an application level, including specific websites and URLs. CAPM also includes a job log so that administrators can see what types of documents are being printed.

ESD: Sometimes school district administrators tell me that half of their IT.budgets go toward printing. I know printed materials are important to the students’ education, but the costs have been overwhelmEspresso Education (Con’t. from p. 1)

fantastic videos, interactives and lesson ideas for teachers to deliver memorable lessons and address specific learning objectives.

ESD: What subjects does Espresso cover?

RM: Espresso covers the core subjects of reading and writing, math, and science as well as social studies, art, music, and health and PE. However, the subjects are not independent. Espresso includes cross-curricular connections, an important element of the Common Core. We also have a weekly current events section called “News Roundup” with curriculum-based, topical video news and articles. Teachers will find all the resources aligned directly to state standards and the Common Core. ESD: How would a school typically use Espresso?

RM: One of the great things about

governments, and professional services (numerous law firms and accounting firms), we are prepared to provide a variety of services to meet our client’s needs. ESD: What would you say makes your company unique?

EdTech Show Daily an array of scalable solutions, and demonstrate our value through the knowledge we possess in both leading and emerging technologies. ESD: What are your key offerings for school districts in the current climate?

cal solutions that make paper-intensive projects quicker and more efficient. We also implement VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) to provide uniform computing experiences for all end users.

ESD: How can our readers find out more about your company?

RV: A distinctive feature of The Harding Group is our ability to provide total solutions for our customers, from IT infrastructure to the complete life cycle of document management. We can provide

RV: One example of the services we offer is email and network migration services that we tailor to fit each districts individual needs. Our document management team also provides ground-breaking technologi-

RV: Your readers can visit us at our website, www.harding-group.com, follow us on twitter, twitter.com/hardinggroup, give us a call at 817-461-3393.

Visions product suite is competitive in the marketplace, and it is an ideal addition to Tyler’s portfolio of software and services. We welcome WMG’s clients and employees to the Tyler family.” Tyler acquired Windsor Management Group and its assets for $23.5 million in cash, subject to certain working capital adjustments. WMG, based in Tempe, Ariz., had total revenues of approximately $12 million in 2010, including approximately $7.8 million in recurring revenue. “We are pleased to add WMG’s Infinite Visions product suite to Tyler’s school financial and human

capital management solutions, and we are eager to begin working with WMG’s team,” said Brett Cate, president of Tyler’s Local Government Division. “WMG is a deeply respected company with more than 30 years of K-12 business experience, and we look forward to building on the successful track record that the Infinite Visions product suite has established with clients across the country. Together with the management and employees of WMG, Tyler looks forward to providing the same level of excellence in service and product for which both organizations are

known.” WMG’s programs and services will be integrated into Tyler operations and branding during the coming months. “We are excited to join Tyler Technologies,” said Bruce Borcher, president of Windsor Management Group. “Tyler shares the same high level of commitment to customers and staff that has made WMG one of the leaders in the K12 Education market and we look forward to being a significant part of Tyler’s K-12 business software offerings.” For more information visit www.tylertech.com, e-mail info@tyler tech.com or call 800-772-2260.

ing. Can you offer any cost-effective printing solutions?

Recently, OKI saved an East Coast school district more than $300,000 a year as the result of a Rapid Scan assessment. Every school is unique, so we take a personalized, consultative approach to identifying ways to reduce a school’s printing costs without sacrificing quality or productivity.

reduced IT budgets. In addition to our lineup of durable monochrome devices, OKI has an entire color product line with multifunction capabilities – including banner printing capabilities – that are versatile, fast and have low operating costs for maximum efficiency. What’s more, OKI offers FollowMeTM printing technology from Ringdale that allows a school district the ability to account for all its printing activity, as well as optimize and streamline the printing environment – all to help administrators bring color into those areas as needed, but to do so cost-effectively.

MG: It sounds like they may be having issues managing their print fleet, and OKI can help them with that. OKI conducts a free comprehensive Rapid Scan TM assessment, which analyzes device usage, as well as the level of color and mono printing, in order to better understand a school’s printing habits. We then propose a strategic plan of action that will help the school better manage its printing operations and help save money for their school district. This may consist of removing underutilized products, consolidating devices and/or replacing expensive printers with cost-efficient OKI products to significantly improve overall performance. Espresso is its flexibility. Espresso is perfect for use on whiteboards. Students really engage in class when a video is played full screen or they are up at the board completing an activity. However, Espresso can also be used in a computer lab for collaborative or independent learning. What’s more, students can access Espresso at home, so teachers can assign students homework on Espresso as well. ESD: How does Espresso support teachers in meeting the depth of learning required by many of the standards?

RM: Teacher guidance is a very important part of Espresso. We have recently released what we call “Module Guides” that show teachers, at-a-glance, how resources support the learning objective and then provide useful suggestions of how to use the specific resources including guiding questions, lesson ideas, and prompts.

For more information, visit www.espresso education.com.

ESD: Let’s say that a school district needs new printers for its administrative areas and its computer labs. Most printouts are black and white, but it still needs the option for color. Maybe its IT budget was reduced, so it is looking for affordable options. What can you suggest?

MG: OKI has affordably priced devices that are tailored specifically to meet multiple printing needs and accommodate

AVer (Con’t. from p. 1)

develop as 21st century citizens. I believe that video conferencing is an innovative and important tool that can be used to help promote these skills in my students, as well as foster conflict resolution and communal responsibility.

ESD: Prior to implementing the AVer H300, what was your previous experience with video communication in your curriculum?

MB: I have used free streaming video for both personal and professional use, and I have introduced it to my classroom for both class and individual learning experiences.

ESD: What were the challenges while using the other tools in your curriculum?

MB: These programs were slow and tended to lag and skip when trying to communicate with others and the camera did not allow us to showcase the whole

For more information on OKI’s broad portfolio of printing solutions and how OKI can help your school/district, visit www.okidata.com/education.

class at one time.

ESD: What are a couple examples of how you have used the system during live classroom lessons and what was the experience like? MB: We created “monsters” out of recycled materials and wrote instructions on how to build them. We then emailed them to a school in Canada to recreate and they did the same with us. Then we conferenced with the school to compare our recreations and discuss the strengths and areas of refinement in our writing. This allowed us to reflect on our writing and provided an authentic audience for our work. We have also implemented a monthly sign-language series with a school across the country and will be conferencing with a museum in Missouri to learn about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

For more information, check out the AVer H300 Video Conferencing System at www.averusa.com.


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educators with 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 panels or unwieldy carts. “Teachers are doing it for themselves,” proclaimed Lumens VP of Sales and School Improvment Network (Con’t. from p. 1)

ples of best known practices was groundbreaking professional development. In 2007, PD 360 was the world’s first ondemand professional development resource for educators. Now educators have access to a host of resources that are first, best, and newest in the industry.

PD 360 Mobile What is “on-demand” if it’s not available when you are? PD 360 Mobile is the first mobile app available to provide the quantity and quality of resources found on PD 360. PD 360 Mobile gives educators unlimited access to the core library of over 1,800 videos on 117 topics with commentary from 120 experts and examples of best known practices from more Britannica Digital Learning (Con’t. from p. 1)

languages―including Spanish, French, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. Today, more than 80 million students, teachers and faculty members have access to Britannica’s subscription products and are finding Britannica indispensable for their daily needs. 13 states have adopted Britannica products for their entire state, and we have national agreements with Ireland, Finland, and South Africa. Two years ago the government of Brazil commissioned Britannica to create a learning portal for their K-8 students in Portuguese. 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?

Aloe Software Group (Con’t. from p. 1)

PP: Districts spend a large amount of money and time complying with state and federal data submission requirements, but the data is often unused by LEA staff, due to having no simple way to use it. While there are software products that exist that can create reports, they often require extensive knowledge of the data layout and report-writing skills. PDP removes these barriers by being so simple to use.

ESD: What are some things that make PDP unique?

PP: First and foremost, PDP is easy! The interface is incredibly intuitive and most LEA staff can use the software with little or no training. Additionally, due to the

EdTech Show Daily

Marketing, 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, “Go Wireless!” The Lumens PS760 is a professional, high-definition multimedia document camera. With 20x optical zoom and 1080p / UXGA resolution that delivers clear images and crisp text every time, the Lumens PS760 is ideal for lecture halls and folds to just six inches' (15 cm)

height, for storage in a podium or cart. The Lumens PS760 operates without a computer or with any interactive whiteboard software. Special features include a built-in backlight, support for USB mouse controllers, and stand-alone onetouch audio and video recording and playback. These features and its unlimited, five-year full REPLACEMENT warranty, make the Lumens PS760 a perfect choice for educators creating an innovative learning environment. Visit www.PodiumCameras.com to see the

full line! All Lumens Podium Document Cameras are compatible with Interactive Whiteboards and boast superior image clarity with an unmatched unlimited fiveyear replacement warranty. Teachers surveyed chose the Ladibug as their favorite classroom technology tool for convenience and ease-of-use. For more information on Best in Class! Lumens document cameras, visit www.MyPodiumCameras.com, or contact Lumens at 615-530-7236.

than 3,500 real classrooms. PD 360 Mobile opens the industry of mobile professional development. Chet Linton, CEO and President of School Improvement Network, says, “[School Improvement Network] is constantly exploring new territory and creating new avenues to provide quality PD to teachers, because our focus is truly to improve schools and help educators in any way we can. It’s our passion, and we don’t slow down, and we never consider our work done, because educators never do, either.”

nology. This technology automatically recommends differentiated training videos from PD 360’s on-demand library based on unique observation results.

Standards as they are written on paper are useless—I repeat, useless—without a breathing plan that changes year by year or even day by day to answer the needs of our students. Common Core 360 provides the support to understand the why, what, and how of the Common Core Standards.

Observation 360 Finally—thanks to Observation 360— your classroom observation work is done the moment you hit “send.” Observation 360 is the only walkthrough tool that provides differentiated prescriptive PD tech-

Your paper-and-pen observations, broad trainings that cover a variety of challenges for multiple teachers, and attempts to track all progress across several departments are over—with Observation 360; the efficient and effective use of classroom observations is in your hands again.

Common Core 360 The Common Core Standards give us an opportunity—a choice—to reclaim the classroom and the learning process and do what we are so passionately involved in doing. But the Common Core

MR: Britannica is unique in its breadth and depth of product content, its editorial approach, and its ability to address the needs of markets across the globe. First, we have unparalleled products for all age ranges. We address the specific needs of preschoolers with Learning Zone; elementary students with our young learner’s database; middle schoolers with our Compton’s database; and high school through university users with the senior Britannica database. We address the needs of students reading below grade with 21st Century Explorer. 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, Nobel laureates, and subject experts. 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 1000 articles a month to our sites, which is by far the largest output of any English-language reference and e-learning publisher.

combination of PEIMS and assessment data, we are able to closely forecast TEA accountability report results so LEAs can review accountability indicators before the data is finalized with TEA. Such reports include student completion rates, Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System (PBMAS) indicators (bilingual education/English as a second language, career and technical education, special education and certain Title programs under the No Child Left Behind Act), data validation indicators (leaver/dropout records, disciplinary data and student assessment data) and others. Often districts do not have the resources to create such reports ahead of time.

time. Due to its simplicity of use, LEA staff who formerly had no way of accessing data other than putting in a request to the I.T. department can now access and gather the data they need themselves. Once LEA staff have access to data, they begin to take ownership of the data, which leads to data quality and awareness. This in turn empowers many administrators to take ownership of the data.

ESD: How can PDP help me?

PP: PDP can save LEA staff considerable

ESD: Are you introducing any new products?

MR: SmartMath is our new online elementary and middle school formative assessment product, which uses animated characters and a fun and engaging interface to help young learners master math skills. The program is unique in its ability to adapt to the learners’ level so that they continue to make progress. It’s perfect for both struggling learners and gifted learners, and an ideal product for differentiated learning. In early 2012, we are introducing two new versions of SmartMath, for libraries and classrooms. Also available is the highly

ESD: How does it work?

PP: PEIMS Data Plus is a Web-based and fully hosted solution. The LEA database can be hosted at the Aloesoft secure hosting center. LEA s have virtually no maintenance or other related cost. All patches and upgrades are performed over the network in the evening.

PD Consultant Partners School Improvement Network partners with schools, districts, and states across the United States and throughout the world to provide the support necessary to improve student learning. Learn more about the School Improvement Network PD suite when you visit us online at www.schoolimprovement.com or call 801-572-1153.

acclaimed Mathematics in Context, a reform math program for middle school used successfully in districts across the country. As of October 2011, MiC has been available in an interactive version.

Last year we introduced Image Quest, a collection of over two-million rightscleared images selected for educational use. This product has quickly become a bestseller. We just released a new middle-school science product online called Pathways: Science deals with 100 common misconceptions and takes students through the scientific inquiry process to make the concepts clear and free of any misconception. For more information on Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc. please visit www.info.eb.com or 1-800-6213900, or email at contact@eb.com.

ESD: Do you have any partners?

PP: PEIMS Data Plus currently partners with Education Service Center (ESC) 3 in Victoria and ESC 4 in Houston. Both service centers offer PEIMS Data Plus to their districts as contracted services. The software can be purchased directly from the ESC. An ESC version of the software also exists. The ESC version allows ESC staff to run reports for the total population of their regions.

ESD: What do you enjoy most about the product?

PP: Seeing the effect it has on district staff that previously had no way to access their data. It is very refreshing to see someone become self sufficient when it comes to obtaining the data they need.


EdTech Show Daily - March 2012  
EdTech Show Daily - March 2012  

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