eXplorance Announces Premier Partnership for its Integration with Blackboard Learn

eXplorance Announces Premier Partnership for its Integration with Blackboard Learn

As a Premier Partner, eXplorance will be able to provide Blackboard Learn users with enhanced enterprise-class feedback solution into the LMS.

Montreal, Canada – March 27th, 2013 – eXplorance Inc., a leading enterprise-feedback management provider, announced that it is now a Blackboard Premier PartnerTM for its integration with Blackboard Learn™, Blackboard Inc.’s flagship learning management system (LMS). The upgrade from Signature Partner™ to Premier Partner will allow for greater collaboration between the two companies through increased technical, marketing and sales support.

The enhanced partnership illustrates eXplorance’s strong commitment to maintaining high client satisfaction rates and its clear focus on the higher education market by continuing to offer deep course evaluation and survey solutions directly into the leading LMS.

“Feedback management plays an increasingly important role as institutions place more emphasis on data-driven decision making,” said Ted Hopper, Blackboard Vice President of Business Development. “Through our partnership with eXplorance, we are able to offer a wide range of optimized course evaluation and survey tools, which is critically important to our clients.”

As a Premier Partner, eXplorance will be able to provide Blackboard Learn users with more marketing and sales information about Blue solutions for course/instructor evaluation, psychometric/knowledge tests development, 360 reviews, performance appraisals and organization-wide surveys, all of which is fully integrated with the Blackboard Learn platform.

“We are looking forward to collaborating together so that our mutual clients benefit from our closer relationship,” said Samer Saab, eXplorance’s CEO and Founder. “With Blackboard being the world leader in higher education technology, this partnership also allows us to enhance Blue’s visibility within their large customer base.”

To learn more about Blackboard platforms, visit Blackboard’s Website. More information on Blue and useful resources for enterprise-feedback management software can be found on eXplorance’s Website.

About eXplorance

eXplorance is a leading provider of enterprise feedback management solutions for the higher education, corporate training and organizational management markets. eXplorance’s solution, Blue, includes modules such as course/instructor evaluation, psychometric/knowledge tests development, 360 reviews, performance appraisals and organization-wide surveys. Unlike other solutions, Blue can fully adjust to your organization needs, whether by tailoring your survey and report formats, integrating easily with your existing software infrastructure, or by offering access support to Blue from a variety of computing platforms. Blue enables organizations to perfect their services by soliciting and analyzing feedback, issuing reports, and then monitoring the improvement in services. Founded in 2003 and based in Montreal, Canada, eXplorance counts many leading organizations as clients, including the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Toronto, the City University of Hong Kong City, the University of Adelaide and many other organizations such as NASA, Discover, the National Bank of Canada, and Fidelity.

Media Contact:
Gil Gruber,
eXplorance, Inc.
Email: ggruber@explorance.com
Tel: (514) 238-7766


New software aims to improve course evaluation process

EvaluationKIT recently partnered with Instructure to create integrated course evaluation software.

Course evaluations are one of many standard practices in higher education today. Administrators often find it time-consuming to manage multiple student responses—but new software aims to alleviate this problem.

EvaluationKIT, an enterprise online course evaluation and survey software specifically designed for higher education, has teamed with Instructure to offer a more seamless solution for managing the course evaluation process right from a learning management system. The integrated course evaluation software, dubbed the EvaluationKIT integration for Canvas, is available through Instructure’s Canvas platform.


The new software is described as a turnkey solution that simplifies the administration of course evaluations, provides features proven to drive survey response rates, and helps to streamline access to and delivery of results. It also features a single-sign-on (SSO) capability so that students can easily access their course evaluations. Software designers said they believe the SSO capability will help increase student response rates.

“At EvaluationKIT, we emphasize integrated approaches to online course evaluations, and we understand the power gained by integrating this key process into the learning platform,” said President Kevin Hoffman. “Canvas has shown remarkable growth in terms of customer adoption, and we are excited to bring our unique solution to the Canvas ecosystem.”

(Next page: Check out two other LMS options that include course evaluation tools)


McGraw-Hill Education and UMass Amherst Conduct Faculty Seminar on Benefits of Adaptive Learning

What: “From Memory Science to Student Performance: Using Adaptive Learning Software to Facilitate Student Performance”

At this seminar, faculty and leaders from UMass Amherst will gather with education technology experts to discuss the ways that adaptive learning programs are improving the learning experience and driving results for students, professors and learning institutions.

Why: To succeed in today’s competitive global economy, it’s become critical for college students to make the most of their college education. At the same time, faculty and institutions are looking for insights into how their students learn so that they can make data-driven decisions about how best to provide instruction.

Adaptive learning – one of the most important trends in education – allows students to focus their outside-of-class study time on the topics and concepts that are most challenging to them, helping students study more efficiently, develop greater proficiency and earn better grades. Adaptive learning also benefits instructors: By better preparing students for class, adaptive learning enables instructors to spend more time delving into advanced concepts and engaging students in high-level discussion.

Who: Speakers include UMass Amherst Chancellor Dr. Kumble Subbaswamy; Dr. Ulrik Christensen, founder and CEO of adaptive learning company Area9; Professor William Hoover of Boston College and Bunker Hill Community College; Doug Hughes, senior vice president of McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

When: March 27, 2013 – 11:00am to 12:30pm ET

Where: UMass Amherst, Campus Center 1001

About McGraw-Hill Education
McGraw-Hill Education is a digital learning company that draws on its more than 100 years of educational expertise to offer solutions that improve learning outcomes around the world. McGraw-Hill Education is the adaptive education technology leader with the vision for creating a highly personalized learning experience that prepares students of all ages for the world that awaits. The Company has offices across North America, India, China, Europe, the Middle East and South America, and makes its learning solutions available in more than 60 languages. For additional information, visit www.mheducation.com.

Brian Belardi
McGraw-Hill Education
(212) 904-4827


The five best android tablets

Tablets are everywhere, and while Apple’s iPad commands the most media attention, there’s no shortage of excellent Android alternatives to choose from, ZDNet reports. Here are the top 5 Android tablets for February 2013. All of the tablets features here are very capable, powerful workhorses, and are ideal not only for home users, but also for enterprise users or those looking for a BYOD tablet…

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Princeton survey reveals the top concern of college applicants

What weighs most on students and parents choosing among colleges? Is it premier faculty, a prestigious reputation or an engaged and exciting student body? According to respondents in the Princeton Review’s “Hopes and Worries” survey, it’s potential debt load, the Huffington Post reports. Some 39 percent, the plurality, said they were most concerned that their college degree and the associated bills not sink them into hopeless debt. Previously, students were more concerned that they couldn’t pay for their “dream schools.” The data highlights the serious concerns of a generation entering a marketplace that devalues their degrees and could signal a turning point in the higher education marketplace. While the news is unlikely to shake strategic thinking among the country’s top-tier institutions — currently enjoying record selectivity and runaway status in world reputation rankings — it could serve as a huge hint to universities seeking a competitive foothold in the higher education sector, particularly smaller private colleges and middling state public education systems…

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12 reasons why public clouds are better than private clouds

To see many of the advantages of cloud computing without its risks, many enterprises are turning to private clouds, which are service layers contained within their firewalls that look and feel like public clouds, ZDNet reports. But these private clouds may actually be less secure and reliable than the public services. That’s the view of Jason Bloomberg, who said private clouds often add up to more trouble than they’re worth. In his latest book, The Agile Architecture Revolution: How Cloud Computing, REST-Based SOA, and Mobile Computing Are Changing Enterprise IT, Jason outlined the reasons why public cloud may ultimately be a better choice for enterprises. You may not agree with Jason’s premise about on-premises — in fact, I expect violent disagreement. And this is more of an either/or argument, rather than raising the possibility of blended strategies, such as employing public clouds as test beds, but keeping applications in production within private clouds. That said, here are Jason’s arguments for public cloud and against private cloud…

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Kanex Unveils meDrive: a File Server for iOS Devices that Expands Storage and Provides a Secure Local Cloud

Kanex®, a leader of innovative Apple® and iOS connectivity solutions for homes and businesses worldwide, today announced meDrive™, a file server that turns USB storage into a network drive and can be accessed from an iPad®, iPhone®, iPod Touch® or Mac + PC

Kanex meDrive is a file server for iOS devices that allows you to expand storage and create your own local cloud using external USB storage for easy access or sharing. meDrive is connected to a local network, so it’s always on; which makes files, media and other documents always accessible. iOS file management is available through the Kanex meDrive app, which is available at no cost at the Apple App Store. There are no extra service fees and users can have the peace of mind of private local storage. Users can also hot-swap in other USB storage drives to expand their storage needs. Mac + PC users will also find it easy to connect and manage files through OS X Finder® and Windows® Explorer.

“What makes the meDrive file server unique is that it has built-in WebDAV and Bonjour support which enables iOS devices to easily connect to the drive and read/write, access and share Apple iWork files such as Keynote, Pages, and Numbers,” said Kelvin Yan, Kanex president. “meDrive basically becomes your WebDAV server for your iPad. And because it’s connected to a network, any other devices can connect, share and access files on the drive including OS X and Windows.”

Users of Keynote®, Pages® and Numbers® will find this device ideal for local file sharing with its built-in WebDAV support. Users can save iWork files directly to meDrive for local access and sharing.

Ideal for Educators, Home and Office Users
meDrive helps educators, home users and office workers to get more out of their iPad. For example, meDrive provides a simple solution for teachers to receive student assignments in the classroom done on the iPad. It also helps reduce internet bandwidth bottle neck, provides an alternative to cloud-based storage and gives users peace of mind for having local private storage with no monthly service fees.

“The Kanex meDrive is an elegant alternative to Dropbox, Edmodo, Evernote and other cloud based storage solutions,” said Robert Craven, director of technology and media services, Fullerton School District. “Easy enough for a classroom teacher to set up, the meDrive provides our teachers a rapid method to share files with students on iOS devices or computers, as well as to collect work back from students in a flash. meDrive is the new must have device in our mobile classrooms.”

Home and office users can use meDrive as a way to expand storage for their iPad or iPhone or to share documents or media with other devices on the network including Macs and PCs.

meDrive delivers productivity in conference and meeting rooms by enabling users to share and present documents using the iPad. meDrive also is a great solution for local private storage amongst departments or work groups.

meDrive File Manager App
The meDrive app is a file manager software tool designed to work with the meDrive file server so users can easily manage all their folders, files and media as well expand the storage of their iOS devices to a local drive. File management can also be done through other apps that support WebDAV or SMB file protocol. The meDrive app is available at no cost at the Apple App Store.

The meDrive app also features:
• Bonjour auto discovery of Kanex meDrive file server for easy setup
• Download, move files between remote and local storage
• Add folder, Import photos/video from camera roll
• Export a file with “OpenIn” feature.
• Import file attachments from Mail with “OpenIn”
• Sort files by name, type, date or size
• Zip and Unzip files

Pricing and Availability:
meDrive is immediately available for $99 MSRP at leading retail and online retailers including our website: www.kanexlive.com/medrive

About Kanex:
Kanex is a leader of innovative Apple and iOS connectivity solutions for homes and businesses worldwide. Kanex is dedicated to advancing technology by investing in tomorrow’s future. Leveraging its deep-rooted commitment to the consumer electronics industry, Kanex continues to design and develop products that fit the individual, the house, the business and the environment. More information can be found on the web at www.kanexlive.com.

Follow Us:
• Become a Kanex Facebook fan: www.facebook.com/kanexproducts
• Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kanexlive
• Follow us on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/kanexlive
• Follow the Kanex Blog: http://blog.kanexlive.com

# # #

Kanex is a trademarks or registered trademarks of Apogee Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Apogee Inc. and any other company.

Press Contacts
Karen Sohl
714-658-7330 (c)


itslearning Secures New Funding for Product Development

Contact: Kevin Pawsey
itslearning, Inc.

itslearning Secures New Funding for Product Development

Plymouth, Massachusetts – March 25, 2013 – Leading educational software company, itslearning AS (www.itslearningnet), has received an investment boost from EQT Expansion Capital II. The agreement, signed on the 21st of March 2013, gives itslearning the ability to increase product development and expansion into new markets and makes EQT Capital II the largest investor in the company.

Arne Bergby, itslearning Corporate CEO, stated: “I am very pleased to welcome EQT Expansion Capital II to itslearning. Their experience with international expansion will help support our continuing growth. We will re-invest much of the capital into product development, so we can ensure itslearning offers even better support for teachers based on proven pedagogical practice.”

The agreement makes EQT Expansion Capital II itslearning’s largest shareholder with its investment of $51 million. However, the original itslearning founders still remain in control of the company. Ulf Mattsson, Industrial Advisor at EQT, will take over as Chairman of the itslearning board.

itslearning is a full-featured and easy to use learning platform designed specifically to support and enhance teaching and learning. itslearning contains a powerful content management and delivery system for both teachers and learners with tools for planning and delivery of lessons that enables dramatic transformation of school culture and learning outcomes. It provides the tools for every stakeholder to work together to improve student learning; facilitating communication throughout the learning community and encouraging greater collaboration in developing, delivering and sharing effective practices.

“itslearning has proven to deliver strong results for our 2.5 million customers around the world,” said Kevin Pawsey, CEO of itslearning, US. “I am delighted by this new agreement with EQT Expansion Capital II and the opportunity it affords itslearning. We already have a great platform to help schools with innovative initiatives related to blended learning and virtual learning environments and we look forward to continuing to expand our learning platform to address even more needs in the areas of mobile learning and personalized learning.”

To learn more about itslearning, please visit www.itslearning.net or call toll-free (888) 853-2761.

About itslearning, Inc.
At itslearning, we pride ourselves on understanding the needs of education. More than 50% of our U.S. staff has education experience and our learning platform was designed specifically for the education sector. Our learning platform is used by millions of educators, students, administrative staff and parents around the world. It can be found at all levels of education, helping make teaching more inspiring and education more valuable for students. Established in 1999, we have headquarters in Bergen, Norway and we have offices in Boston, London, Birmingham, Berlin, Paris, Mulhouse, Malmo, and Enschede.


Blended Schools Network MOOC – Building K-12 Professional Peer Networks

RICHMOND, VA, March 26, 2013 – Blended Schools Network (BSN) will be using SoftChalk Cloud and the Google Plus platform to deliver a new massive open online course (MOOC) on “Today’s Blended Teacher: A MOOC made for Community and Curation.”
The course is designed for educators who wish to improve their knowledge of quality blended learning and improve the quality of their existing content while growing their K-12 professional peer network. Each week of this five week course will include a live panel discussion, course materials, curating quality resources and developing and critiquing new lessons. Participants should be willing to spend at least three hours each week reviewing content and sharing ideas. Weekly topics are:
• The State of Blended Learning: How Do We Define Blended Learning?
• Student Centered Learning: Using Inquiry and Project-Based Learning
• Objective Assessment: Using Tests to Improve the Classroom
• Digital Citizenship: Modeling Ethical Behavior to Students
• Disruptive Innovation: Flip Your Instruction
The BSN MOOC will be delivered using the Google Plus platform with content created and delivered via BSN’s Private SoftChalk Cloud Learning Object Repository and Content Authoring platform. All technologies are free to use for all MOOC participants.
The BSN MOOC will begin on Monday, April 15th and will run for five weeks through Monday, May 20, 2013. Anyone interested in participating can register on the MOOC website: Today’s Blended Teacher: A MOOC made for Community and Curation.
SoftChalk LLC is sponsoring a free Innovators in Online Learning webinar on April 3rd entitled “Building Peer Groups with a MOOC.” In this presentation, Mark Radcliffe and Dan Lucas from the BSN network will discuss their goals for the MOOC as well as the week-to-week agendas and strategies. Educators interested in learning about the MOOC planning process should register this free webinar.
Mark Radcliffe, Director of Professional Development for Blendedschools.net, states “This course is designed to connect participants rather than just deliver knowledge. Our goal is to have all participants leave with a new peer group that will persist beyond this course.”
“We are extremely excited to have the Blended Schools Network show how their Private SoftChalk Cloud instance is used to create and deliver content as an important feature of their upcoming MOOC,” says Susan Evans, CEO of SoftChalk. “We look forward to working them on this and other MOOC offerings in the future.”

About Blended Schools Network
Blendedschools.net is a not-for-profit company that empowers schools to teach and learn online by providing K-12 curriculum, learning technologies, professional development and a professional network.

About SoftChalk
SoftChalk, LLC is an award-winning provider of eLearning software for worldwide education and business institutions. Specializing in the development of intuitive, easy-to-use tools, SoftChalk products allow instructors to create powerful and professional-looking content for eLearning and smart classrooms in K-12, higher education and corporate training. For more information, visit www.softchalk.com.



What is Florida Gulf Coast University?

It’s safe to say that a few weeks ago not many people outside South Florida had heard about Florida Gulf Coast University. Now, thanks to the school’s basketball team and its historic forward march in March Madness, it’s the new “it” school, at least for the moment. What exactly is it? And where is it? asks the Washington Post. Florida Gulf Coast University is a 760-acre accredited public comprehensive university located in South Fort Myers, on the southwest coast of the state. It has some 11,300 undergraduate students and 1,400 graduate students, 92 percent of whom are from Florida, and it offers 52 undergraduate degree programs, 30 graduate degree programs, two doctoral programs and on specialist program, according to its web site. It has its own astronomical observatory It was established in 1991 with the idea of being a commuter school where most students took classes online, but it did not start classes until August 1997…

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