TabPilot Comes Out of Beta with Free and Paid Versions, New Features

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER, 2012
TabPilot Comes Out of Beta with Free and Paid Versions, New Features
Today, TabPilot Learning Systems officially launched version 1.0 of their classroom tablet management system after several months of beta testing. The company now offers a free version for managing a limited number of tablets in addition to their paid offering. The Launch & Lock tablet interface is now available in the Google Play store and schools can sign up for their free account on the company’s web site. A free 30-day trial of the full version is also available.
TabPilot Tablet Manager allows teachers to lock down a whole group of tablets by choosing the specific apps that students may access during class. Students are locked out of everything else. Each teacher in the school can have their own configuration that they apply to the tablet group before use in their class. The system also functions as an app distribution system with the ability to remotely install or remove apps from a group of devices wirelessly. The cloud-based system is managed through any standard web browser.
TabPilot 1.0 introduces a few features that were not found in beta, including the ability to track versions of each app and determine which tablets have out of date apps. The system can then be used to push updated versions to the tablets wirelessly. Administrators now have the ability to hide certain apps, such as system apps, from teacher views, as well as the ability to get a quick inventory of all apps on any specific device, or find a list of all devices with a specific app to check for license compliance.
TabPilot runs on a variety of Android-based tablets, including a low-cost TabPilot-branded device. The company offers loaner devices to school technology departments to use for evaluation purposes.
More information can be found on the company web site at www.TabPilot.com.

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NEWS: Innovation Incubator Award Winners Announced

SIIA Announces Innovation Incubator Award Winners

‘Most Innovative’ and ‘Most Likely to Succeed’ Innovations Recognized at Industry Event

Washington, D.C. (Nov. 28, 2012) – The Education Division of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) showcased some of the leading growth companies in the education technology market and recognized the best among them as part of the Innovation Incubator program at the 12th annual Ed Tech Business Forum, held Nov. 26 and 27 at the McGraw Hill Conference Center in New York.

The award winners are:

  • Clever received top-votes as Most Innovative and Most Likely to Succeed
  • Mathalicious received first runner-up for Most Innovative and Most Likely to Succeed
  • Classroom, Inc. has the distinction of receiving the first-ever Educator’s Choice Award

“This year’s innovation incubator winners were incredibly creative and focused,” said Karen Billings, vice president for SIIA’s Education Division. “We are confident that all of the Innovation Incubator participants will make a positive, lasting impact on the ed tech industry.”

More than 75 applicants were assessed for the Innovation Incubator program on a broad range of criteria, including the education focus, end-user impact, market need for the innovation, representation of K-12/postsecondary market levels, and the level of originality and innovation. Twelve participants and one alternate were selected for the program, and six were elected as finalists in the program.

Other finalists include:

  1. C8Kids
  2. iPrompts
  3. LearnSprout
  4. mSchool

SIIA’s Innovation Incubator program identifies and supports entrepreneurs in their development and distribution of innovative learning technologies. The program began in 2006 and has provided incubation for dozens of successful products and companies in their efforts to improve education through the use of software, digital content and related technologies.

The Ed Tech Business Forum is the industry conference for the K-12 and postsecondary education technology marketplace. For more information regarding the event, visit www.siia.net/etbf

About SIIA
The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the principal trade association for the software and digital content industry. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to more than 500 leading software and information companies. The SIIA Education Division serves and represents more than 200 member companies that provide software, digital content and other technologies that address educational needs. The Division shapes and supports the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities and critical market information. For more information, visit www.siia.net/education.

Media Contacts

• Laura Greenback, SIIA Communications, 410-533-1943, lgreenback@siia.net

• Saul Hafenbredl, C. Blohm & Associates, 608-216-7300 x25, saul@cblohm.com

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NAO, the Best Robot for Education

NAO, the Best Robot for Education

Last October, NAO was named the best robot for education as part of the “Robot Hall of Fame®” Competition organized by Carnegie Mellon.
(PARIS, November 22, 2012) ALDEBARAN Robotics, a global leader in humanoid robotics and academic partner of some of the most prestigious universities, schools, and laboratories, is proud to announce that NAO is the most widely used humanoid robot for learning STEM and is additionally open to extra-curricular activities in raising awareness of the sciences in museums, and more broadly, to core businesses of the future.
Two years following its introduction into STEM classes, the number of secondary-education institutions that have NAOs has exceeded 200 across the world.

NAO is an interactive, fully programmable humanoid robot which is being continuously developed and which meets the requirements of educational methods that are based on experimentation and analysis. From learning about robotics to the development of STEM skills, NAO has already proved itself in classes of all levels, and since August 2012, even as part of a summer school.
This was the case of the Connecticut Science Center which uses NAO in the framework of raising STEM awareness, by means of specialist workshops aimed at young people aged between 6 and 18 years old.
Its user-friendly programming environment favours learning about programming, in addition to the illustration of abstract concepts, mathematical theories, the principles of physics, electronics, or computing science.
Timothy Gifford, researcher at UConn, and CEO of Movia Robotics is a partner of the Connecticut Science Center. He is persuaded by NAO’s educational potential, and has therefore committed himself to promoting and encouraging an educational solution based on NAO. Along with parallel workshops dedicated to learning about STEM, NAO welcomes young visitors at the entrance to the museum, and which can also interact with them via a graphic interface specially designed for this purpose.
“NAO has been a great tool that supports our workshops. It is a fully realized and implemented robot that is ready to go right out of the box. Some students are more interested in applied robotics than in constructing a robot from a kit. NAO has provided us with an exciting tool to teach students robotics, to introduce robotics related concepts and show how robots can be applied in the real world,” explains Timothy Gifford.
ALDEBARAN Robotics Founder and Chairman Bruno Maisonnier says:”With NAO in the schools, students are faced with tangible applications in innovation. A humanoid robot is packed with the latest technology, bringing together the most avant-garde science and techniques. One just has to applaud this raising of awareness happening throughout the world.”
In a bid to energise science and technology curricula, and to better implement its teaching solution in the classroom, ALDEBARAN Robotics intends to provide teachers with content that is suitable to their course programme, starting next December. It will be a turnkey solution complete with a new product offer, the NAO Ankle Kit. This NAO sub-assembly will allow students to study and understand better how the world’s most used humanoid robot functions at both the mechanical and electronic levels.

About ALDEBARAN Robotics
Founded in July 2005 by Bruno Maisonnier and established in France, the United States and China, ALDEBARAN Robotics designs, produces and sells humanoid robots in order to contribute to Mankind’s well-being. There are currently over 3,000 units of the first NAO robot operating within laboratories and universities in over 70 countries worldwide, to serve research and teaching. ALDEBARAN Robotics has a team of 230 people – 40% of whom are engineers and doctors – involved in developing and producing its robots. http://www.aldebaran-robotics.com/en
To watch the video, please visit : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfuwSdoBgnk&list=UUggm3OyRRI_pF7zA4F4DynA&index=5&feature=plcp
To download pictures, please go to : http://www.aldebaran-robotics.com/fr/Presse/images-et-videos/NAO-robot.html

Media inquiries: Oana DORITA, +33-(0)1-17-77-37-97, odorita@aldebaran-robotics.com

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FSR Revolutionizes Wall Mounted Racks With Top Shelf

Woodland Park, NJ • FSR, manufacturer of audio and video switching, control products, and connectivity boxes, announces the launch of Top Shelf, a revolution in wall mounted equipment racks. Drawing on their extensive experience with UL Listed Ceiling Racks, FSR designed Top Shelf to provide an unobtrusive and secure enclosure for audio, video and network equipment. Top Shelf mounts to a wall close to the ceiling in locations without drop ceilings, or where space above the drop ceiling is limited.
Top Shelf holds up to 4 RU of equipment with multiple mounting locations for power as well as signal connections for easy installation. The unit’s steel frame ensures the equipment will be securely mounted; and a plastic cover allows wireless signals to pass in and out of the enclosure unobstructed. The cover can be painted to match the room décor, and the box can be mounted in the best location to ease wiring and visual impact.
“Top Shelf is the newest addition to our wall-mounted enclosure line of products,” says Jan Sandri, president, FSR. “With its unique ability to solve challenges many classrooms, boardrooms, schools, hospitals and more face with limited space, we are thrilled to bring this new solution to market. The unit’s ability to pack up to 4RU of AV equipment in a visually appealing housing make it a perfect fit for almost any AV environment.”
For further details contact FSR at (800) 332-3771 or via e-mail at sales@fsrinc.com.
About FSR
FSR, established in 1981, manufactures a wide variety of products for the audio / video, education, hospitality, government, and religious markets, including AV floor, wall, table, and ceiling connectivity boxes, as well as a full line of interfaces, distribution amplifiers, matrix switchers, seamless switchers and CAT-5 solutions.

FSR complies with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and is a woman owned business. FSR offers live 24/7 technical and sales support throughout the country from expertly trained technicians and sales representatives. For more information visit www.fsrinc.com.

FSR Contact: Jan Sandri
973-785-4347 • sales@fsrinc.com

Press Contact: Desert Moon Communications
Harriet Diener
845-512-8283 • harriet@desertmooncomm.com

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CaseCruzer Multiple iPad Charging Station Helps Educational Institutions with Inventory Control

iPad devices now being deployed to schools are at risk without reliable theft protection and multiple charging options. Always at the service of technology innovators and users, CaseCruzer has solved both needs with its new, easy-to-use 10 Pack iPad Charging Station.

The CaseCruzer Multiple iPad Charging Station is ideal for schools and information technology professionals using iPads. “As Apple continues to wow the world with amazing trend-setting products, we’re busy serving school teachers and IT departments who must convert their mobile learning devices from laptops to iPads. The brave, new direction for computing requires transport solutions that are both tough as nails and secure. And that’s our specialty,” says Tatiana Briceno, CaseCruzer marketing director.

The Multiple iPad Charging Station has a tough ultra strength copolymer plastic exterior designed to withstand harsh weather and the rigors of the road. The station also has two layers of theft prevention. First, stainless steel flanges allow the unit to be padlocked when being transported by airplane, train or truck. Second, an interior lid encloses and locks down the iPads while they are charging.

The tablet transport is also easy to use. ITs may simultaneously charge and protect all versions of the iPad — including the new iPad. Simply plug the Apple charger/cable into the power surge protector (110V AC) included with the CaseCruzer unit.

Each iPad is held in a padded vertical position, which protects them from impact and vibration damage. Durable, injection molded outer shell provides additional protection against blunt force.

Also, every iPad model will fit in the 10 bays with or without a protective cover. But for schools that intend to use individual covers, it is recommended that specific dimensions be provided when ordering so that tablets will fit “like a glove” in the Multiple Charging Station.

The dimensions of the Multiple iPad Charging Station are a trim 25.63″ L x 19.5″ W x 15.63″ H. When empty, the station weighs 47.15 lbs. An ambient pressure equalization valve, high-quality latches, and o-ring seal make the station watertight, airtight and dustproof. It also boasts an IP76 certification.

Although the new CaseCruzer mobile charging station is a must-have for IT departments that understand the importance of technological advancements in the learning environment, it is best used by students – where visual learners comprise of the largest group of any learning style, and teachers – as they are able to stray away from the traditional lecturing in front of the classroom for the duration of the class period, and opt for a more interactive, hands-on approach. Teachers and students alike can both vouch for increased productivity and content-creation.

When it comes to lending a helping hand to the already well-rounded school educators, the iPad excels at providing for enhanced learning, engagement and motivation in the classroom. Likewise, CaseCruzer praises individualized learning and has not only helped with theft prevention, but also solved the need to charge multiple devices.

CaseCruzer proudly offers other iPad Charging Station as well as carrying case solutions that meet the growing technological needs of the educational market.

The CaseCruzer network of companies provides the community with the most comprehensive packaging solutions available on reusable carrying cases for applications such as Communications, Photography, Computers, Electronics, and other industrial shipping and carrying case uses. For more info about the new charging station, visit www.casecruzer.com; call 800-440-9925 in the U.S. or 909-613-1999 internationally; fax 909-465-5598; or write to CaseCruzer at 4665 State Street, Montclair, CA 91763

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Best practices in higher-education technology use

Here are some of the best practices in campus technology use featured in our November/December 2012 edition.

An Arkansas college has achieved success by learning its students’ technology needs … A new eLearning venture invites students to contribute course content themselves … Tufts University has become a leader in social media outreach by focusing on one word—“Vibe”: These are among the best practices in higher-ed tech use featured in the Nov./Dec. 2012 edition of eCampus News.

The digital version of our Nov./Dec. edition is now available. You can browse the full publication here, or click on the headlines below to read any of these highlights:

Boise State seeks to redefine ‘well-educated’

Sam Matson flashed a picture of two rocks on the wall-size screen in front of about 100 students taking his Introduction to Physical Geology class. Which rock, he asked, is volcanic? The students picked up their clickers. Results were on the screen within moments, and 76 percent chose the correct rock.

That tiny teaching moment reflects a sea change in how Boise State University is educating students, beginning this school year.

After more than three years of study and discussion, Boise State launched a new Foundational Studies Program this semester. The program focuses on moving beyond pouring facts and theories into students’ heads with a structure that makes critical thinking, innovation, teamwork, effective writing, and communication essential outcomes of classes…

NWACC uses technology to serve its ‘customers’ better

Northwest Arkansas Community College (NWACC) is a public two-year college located in Bentonville, Ark. NWACC opened its doors to 1,200 students in August 1990 and now has more than 7,000 students, making it one of the largest and fastest growing two-year college in Arkansas.

Recognizing that “customer” satisfaction is a key factor in recruiting and retaining students, NWACC has made it easy for stakeholders to access computer systems and resources through mobile devices, and this attention to service has paid off: In a recent survey, a majority of students said they were happy with the school’s technology services.

NWACC also has used technology to reduce costs and improve decision making, and it is a state leader in technology use. For these reasons and more, we’ve chosen NWACC as our “eCampus of the Month” for November/December. Here, Chief Information Officer Paige Francis describes the school’s ed-tech accomplishments and the keys to its success…

New online university seeks ‘many-to-many’ approach

Two George Mason University economics professors have started a free educational site that seeks to answer a simple but far-reaching question: Why are some countries rich while other countries are poor?

Marginal Revolution University, known as MRUniversity, launched Oct. 1 as a hub for teachings on developmental economics, starting with a study of India’s economy.

The site is part massive open online course (MOOC), as it offers college-level teachings at no cost to anyone with an internet connection. But it strays from the traditional MOOC model with an innovative approach that invites students themselves to share educational material—studies, reports, and videos, for example—to supplement the online lessons on developmental economics…

Tufts uses ‘Vibe’ in massive outreach to prospective students

Dean Tsouvalas, editor-in-chief of StudentAdvisor.com, recently interviewed Daniel Grayson, associate director of undergraduate admissions at Tufts University, which appears on StudentAdvisor’s list of the Top 100 Social Media Colleges.

Grayson pushed to begin Tufts’ social media outreach and founded the university’s admissions presences on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and CollegeConfidential.com. He attributes the school’s successful approach to using social media in admissions to one word: “Vibe.”

“In all our outreach, whether through pubs, the campus visit, our traditional website, or our social media efforts, we want our prospective students to garner a sense of our values, attitudes, and personality,” he says. “We know that the intangible quality of a school’s ‘vibe’ drives our students’ ultimate university selection—so what we put out needs to reflect the vibe of Tufts. Personality matters, and every post or tweet needs to reflect that.”

Tennessee’s classroom upgrade offers new way of teaching

Learning at the University of Tennessee soon might be revolutionized by a $350 plastic chair. That chair—1,410 of them, actually—is the crux of a $4 million renovation project in the Humanities and Social Sciences building.

Set on wheels, the brightly colored seat—called the “Node,” and made by Steelcase Inc.—spins in all directions and has a rotating desktop that will allow students to be mobile inside the classrooms.

“What we he hope to do over time is move to having a lot of learning in the classroom be interaction,” said Bill Dunne, an associate dean of engineering and chair of the classroom upgrades subcommittee. “We’re working at eliminating the front of the room.”

The key to campus network security: Better risk management

Campus networks host tens of thousands of devices each day, and while those devices have access to network resources, campus IT administrators must be vigilant as they strike a balance between openness and vigilance.

Finding that balance can prove difficult if IT administrators attempt to address every single threat, no matter how relevant that threat might be to the campus. Many experts suggest focusing on a university’s mission, and adjusting security measures so they support this mission…

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U.S. for-profit colleges spend big on marketing while slashing other costs

Google’s biggest advertiser is neither a bank nor a retailer, Reuters reports. It’s the for-profit University of Phoenix, which has recently been spending nearly $400,000 a day on ads, according to search analytics firm SpyFu, more than any financial firm or retailer, the traditional big spenders on online advertising. That kind of spending may seem surprising coming from a college, but marketing has become vital for the university and its for-profit rivals as enrollments plummet and they fight back against a host of criticisms, including low job-placement rates. Colleges such as University of Phoenix, the industry leader owned by Apollo Group Inc, will not only have to boost enrollments to reverse their fortunes, analysts say. They will also need to consider cutting tuition fees as well as continue to slash costs and take market share from rivals…

Click here for the full story

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More bad news for Ala. tuition plan; parents irate

The board that oversees Alabama’s prepaid college tuition program got more bad news about the plan’s financial outlook Wednesday, and the board’s chairman got an earful of outrage from frustrated parents who can’t plan for their children’s education, the Associated Press reports. Actuary Dan Sherman said the board’s liabilities will exceed its assets by $605 million if it keeps paying full tuition, and it should run out of money in fall 2015. He said if it keeps paying full tuition for more than 10,000 students currently enrolled in college, the board will need to close the program down in about a year if it wants to have enough left to refund the money participants paid to join. The board is paying full tuition while the Alabama Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of a law that would allow it to pay reduced tuition at 2010 levels and remain operating…

Click here for the full story

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House to vote on increasing advanced-degree visas

A House vote to offer permanent residency to foreign students graduating with advanced degrees in science and math from U.S. colleges and universities is setting the stage for a bigger battle next year on how to redesign the nation’s flawed immigration system, the Associated Press reports. House Republicans, with the help of a minority of Democrats, are expected to prevail Friday in passing the STEM Jobs Act, which would provide up to 55,000 green cards a year to those earning masters and doctoral degrees from U.S. schools in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But the bill is unlikely to go anywhere this year in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and the Obama White House has come out against it, saying it “does not support narrowly tailored proposals that do not meet the president’s long-term objectives with respect to comprehensive immigration reform.” The House voted on a similar STEM Act in September, but it fell short under a procedure requiring a two-thirds majority…

Click here for the full story

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Community colleges adjust for working professionals

A growing number of working professionals are returning to campuses across the nation.

Since the “Great Recession” of 2008, community colleges have sought innovative ways to simultaneously reach wider student audiences and achieve lower costs. American workers are returning to college in record numbers to obtain, finish, or supplement their postsecondary degrees.

Community colleges are responding to their needs by making their programs more flexible. Besides offering online classes, a growing number of schools are scheduling face-to-face classes at all hours of the day and night.

In a move to accommodate a new crop of students consisting mainly of working professionals with standard 9-to-5 job requirements, Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) in South Portland will offer early morning classes at 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. beginning in January. This will mark the earliest course start time in SMCC’s 67-year history. A recent SMCC survey found that 28.5 percent of SMCC’s students work full-time and 42.9 percent work part-time.

“We were really looking at a student population of working students who might be interested in credentials that will be related to the work that they’re doing that will help them to aspire to career advancement,” said Janet Sortor, vice president and dean of Academic Affairs. “This would allow students to take a class before they go to work. We’ve had evening classes for many years, but they’re not always as convenient.”

Sortor cited later working hours and family responsibilities as two key inhibitors when students register for evening classes. Early morning classes should diminish these problems and are “less competition for one’s time,” Sortor said.

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