Student class project leads to minimum wage jump

If anyone deserves an A+ this week it’s Marisela Castro, a daughter of farmworkers who turned her Social Action class project at San Jose State University into a campaign to increase the local minimum wage, the Associated Press reports. On Monday her activism paid off, as 70,000 workers in San Jose enjoyed the nation’s single largest minimum-wage increase, a 25 percent raise from $8 to $10 an hour, amounting to a $4,000 annual bump in pay for a full time worker to $22,080.

“I never doubted for a minute we could make this happen,” said Castro, 28, who grew up in agriculture-rich Gilroy, where her parents and at times Castro picked garlic, lettuce and other vegetables in nearby fields.

While putting herself through college in 2011, Castro worked at an after-school program with low-income children who slipped snacks into their backpacks because there wasn’t enough food at home. Meanwhile in her sociology classes she was reading about how a minimum wage job leaves workers — especially those in one of the wealthiest regions of the country — in severe poverty…

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More on classroom flipping in colleges

Flipping the classroom is in vogue, the Washington Post reports. The idea is to take the standard lecture and put it online or in some other format that a student can review on his or her own time — hence the term “flip.” Then students and instructors have classtime free to work on seminars, projects, homework or whatever. Or they can listen to a guest lecture. Last month, I reported the example of Philip Zelikow at the University of Virginia. His lectures in modern world history are now available to the world via a free online platform called Coursera. That means his U-Va. students in his flipped class at Charlottesville spend more time interacting with Zelikow and less time passively listening.  There are many examples of this phenomenon. Here are a couple more. At the public Salisbury University on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, professor Deborah A. Mathews said the Social Work Department puts much of its lecture material online. About two weeks before a semester begins, Mathews said, the online portion of the class goes live…

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Students’ reliance on Wi-Fi multiplies

A new survey shows that college students consider Wi-Fi access essential to their educational success.

A recent survey by the Wi-Fi Alliance and Wakefield Research discovered that 90 percent of college students consider Wi-Fi access to be essential to their educational success.

As reported in an Online Colleges illustrated infograph, 79 percent of students said that without Wi-Fi service, college would be much more difficult. About three in four students reported that Wi-Fi service helped improve their educational performance and earn them better grades, while 44 percent said they used Wi-Fi to increase their productivity, often using Wi-Fi service to get a head start on an assignment while class is still in session.

Wi-Fi availability is a major determining factor of where students travel to complete their assignments. Fifty-two percent of students said they often travel to coffee shops well-known for reliable connections, while 42 percent reported frequenting bookstores. Thirty-three percent of students said they often study in restaurants that boast solid Wi-Fi connections.

According to ABI Research, an increasing number of colleges and universities are investing in Wi-Fi access points and controllers. It is projected that colleges will invest upwards of $837 million worldwide in Wi-Fi technologies this year—a 611-percent increase since 2007.

The research shows that many institutions are transitioning to faster “n” Wi-Fi networks from the formerly popular third-generation “g” networks. Though “n” networks are typically more costly upfront, they could be more cost-effective in the long run, when future upgrades are considered.


IvedaXchange Launched to Take on School Security

Mesa, AZ (March 7, 2013) – Iveda Solutions (OTCBB:IVDA), cloud video hosting leader, in collaboration with Swan Island Networks, today announced the launch of IvedaXchange, which brings the growing power of cloud-based technology to bear on the vital matter of school security. IvedaXchange combines IvedaPinpoint, the company’s global positioning and video monitoring capability with Swan Island Networks’ Trusted Information Exchange Service (TIES®) platform to enhance school security and enable rapid response to developing situations.

IvedaXchange unleashes the power of cloud-based technology to provide a suite of threat assessment dashboards and alerting capabilities to schools, school districts, government agencies—or any organization wishing to upgrade their threat monitoring capability.

IvedaXchange will enable school, law enforcement, emergency personnel and others to receive targeted emergency alerts, share key information on potential threats, and locate critical assets—students, staff, and buses, in real time.

“The recent tragic violence at Newtown, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School has galvanized a consensus that school security has to be modernized and enhanced,” said David Ly, founder and CEO of Iveda Solutions.

“We believe that IvedaXchange is a great step forward in meeting this imperative. Centralized access to real-time video and real-time intelligence can save precious time and lives in emergency situations. There are a few things that we in the business community can do. What could be more important than helping secure schools and children’s future? We are proud to be associated with Swan Island Networks in this outstanding endeavor,” Ly added.

Swan Island Networks’ flagship technology, TIES, is highly secure Software as a Service (SaaS) for integrating, displaying and sharing data from both open and proprietary sources.

IvedaXchange offers a unique and complete platform for threat detection, situational awareness and cross-organizational, red tape-free, information-sharing between school districts and law enforcement. As a cloud-based service, IvedaXchange will require little to no new infrastructure investment by school districts and is being launched as a low-cost monthly subscription service.

“With both schools and governments facing increasing budget challenges, we believe IvedaXchange provides an immediate, highly affordable way to increase public safety without large capital expenditures,” Swan Island Networks CEO Charles Jennings pointed out. “The real value is intelligence-led security rather than just more guns, guards and gates,” he added.

IvedaXchange is designed to be customizable since school safety is not a one-size-fits-all proposition and specific needs will vary between jurisdictions. For example, in addition to more traditional security concerns, schools in Minnesota might need up-to-the-minute monitoring of developing snow and ice storms, while a district in California might be better served with real-time updates on potential earthquake activity.

IvedaXchange targeted alerts can incorporate available information sources, from local police 911 feeds and National Weather Service warnings to sexual predator registries and Amber Alerts. The precise location of school buses or developing social media threats can also be monitored, with alerts generated and shared as needed between schools, police, emergency personnel or other trusted groups.

About Iveda Solutions, Inc.

Iveda Solutions, Inc. (OTCBB:IVDA) is a premier online surveillance technology innovator and an enterprise-class cloud video hosting provider. Based in Mesa, AZ, with a subsidiary in Taiwan (MEGAsys), Iveda Solutions has a SAFETY Act Designation by the Department of Homeland Security as a Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology provider. For more information call 800-385-8618 or visit

About Swan Island Networks, Inc.
Founded in 2002 and based in Portland, Oregon, Swan Island Networks is a cloud security services provider specializing in intelligence solutions and cloud federation systems. Its flagship technology, TIES®, is a highly secure Software-as-a-Service for integrating, displaying, filtering and sharing intelligence from literally hundreds of real-time and near-real-time sources. TIES is also the platform powering Swan Island Networks’ Cybero solution for cyber security awareness, alerting and training. For information call 503.796.7926 or visit


Luz A. Berg
Iveda Solutions, Inc.
480 307-8700

Juli Morse
Head of Product Marketing
Swan Island Networks, Inc.
503 796-7926


Reports: Harvard secretly searched deans’ emails

Harvard University administrators secretly searched the emails of 16 deans last fall, looking for a leak to reporters about a case of cheating, two newspapers reported, according to the Associated Press. The email accounts belonged to deans on the Administrative Board, a committee addressing the cheating, The Boston Globe and The New York Times reported, citing school officials. The deans were not warned about the email access and only one was told of the search afterward. Harvard will not comment on personnel matters or provide additional information about the board cases that were concluded during the fall term, Michael Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said in an email Sunday. If the committee’s work were compromised, Harvard College would protect the process, he said.

“Generally speaking, however, if circumstances were to arise that gave reason to believe that the Administrative Board process might have been compromised, then Harvard College would take all necessary and appropriate actions under our procedures to safeguard the integrity of that process, which is designed to protect the rights of our students to privacy and due process,” he said…

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Pacts for profs, teachers before right-to-work law

Wayne State University professors in Detroit and teachers in a suburban school district separately agreed to eight-year contracts, weeks before Michigan’s new right-to-work law takes effect, the Associated Press reports. The law bans mandatory payments from employees to the unions that represent them under collective bargaining agreements. It takes effect in late March. Some schools are seeking to circumvent it by signing agreements before then, according to backers of the legislation. At Wayne State, the American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers Local 6075 announced the contract ratification Thursday. The union said 93 percent of professors who voted approved the deal. The school’s board of governors must approve the pact. The 1,950 employees represented by the union won’t get pay increases this year but will get $1,000 bonuses, 2.75 percent raises next year and 2.5 percent raises in future years. The contract replaces one that expired July 31, 2012…

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University research discovers hard truth of budget crisis

Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Carol Greider used to have eight to 10 young researchers working in her university laboratory, but with U.S. government funds for scientific research shrinking in recent years, she’s gone down to four, Reuters reports. Sequestration, Washington’s name for $85 billion in federal spending cuts this year, promises to cut even deeper into Greider’s team at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She’s decided she cannot afford to hire “a promising young researcher” she wanted to add to her staff for the next academic year.
“I’m not sure in the current climate we have for research funding that I would have received funding to be able to do the work that led to the Nobel Prize,” Greider said at a National Institutes of Health (NIH) event last month, adding that her early work on enzymes and cell biology was well outside the mainstream. The NIH has been funding her research for the past 23 years. Federally funded, university research has long been a major engine of scientific advancement, spurring innovations from cancer treatments to the seeds of technology companies like Google…

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World Education University aims to create an ‘army of humanitarians’

WEU aims to improve the socio-economic status of the world’s underserved populations.

Long before Scott Hines dreamed up the World Education University, he was a young foster kid growing up in Western Colorado who believed that college was out of his reach. That all changed when he was accepted into the Air Force Academy.

“I was very lucky I got in,” he said. “It’s a completely free, high-caliber education. You pay back your education through service to your country. It set me on a whole other path.”

Hines earned a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees while serving more than 10 years of active duty. Yet, as he continued to accumulate higher education honors, he never forgot where he came from.

“It has been a lifelong goal for me to pay it back and inspire other kids like me to reach for the stars,” he said.

In 2010, Hines was elected Mayor of Rancho Mirage, Calif., and he founded World Education University (WEU), a completely free online university where he serves as president and chief operating officer, alongside Curtis Pickering, who serves as CEO.

WEU is unlike most other online universities in that it focuses primarily on training its students to become “an army of humanitarians,” according to Hines.

(Next page: How WEU works—and how it emphasizes the importance of giving back)


MyVRSpot Partners with Pay It Forward Day for an International Video Competition for K-20 Students

MyVRSpot, a division of the FTC Family of Companies, has partnered with the Pay It Forward Day, by launching an international video contest for K-20 students. The Pay It Forward Day video contest was created to encourage students to submit videos exemplifying intentional acts of kindness, with the top entries to be featured as part of Pay It Forward Day, April 25, 2013.

The premise of Pay It Forward Day is based on the novel “Pay It Forward.” It begins with doing a favor for another person, without any expectation of being paid back. The day promotes the idea that any person can conduct selfless good deeds at any time and for anyone. “We are absolutely ecstatic to partner with FTC and MyVRSpot to promote the Pay It Forward Day video competition. It is our sincerest hope that the student filmmakers will truly embrace the Pay It Forward concept and capture the essence of selfless giving,” said Donovan Nichols, International Co-Coordinator for Pay It Forward Day.

“We are thrilled to offer the MyVRSpot system as the platform for the hosting and delivery of all multimedia content for Pay It Forward Day,” said Michael Kessler, CEO of FTC Family of Companies. “With the recent events across the county, we felt it was important to get involved with an organization whose mission is to inspire people to Pay It Forward with intentional acts of kindness,” he adds. With educational partner, BES IT Systems in Australia, FTC is helping to bring the video contest worldwide. “When we were asked to join FTC and the Pay It Forward Foundation to support Pay It Forward Day, we jumped at the opportunity. We knew that bringing the contest to Australia would help to further carry Pay It Forward’s philosophy to students across the world,” said Alexa Bowen, Chief Executive Officer at BES.

The Pay It Forward Day video contest is open to all students in a K-20 school system. Videos (less than 100 MB) must be original student-created work demonstrating at least one intentional act of kindness. Entries can be submitted starting Monday, March 11, 2013 and all entries must be received by Friday, April 19, 2013. For more detail about the contest and to submit the video entries, please visit Students may submit more than one entry, and can be either an individual or group effort. Winners will be chosen based on the overall message exemplifying the selfless concept of Pay it Forward. There will be a winning video per category: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, and College, as well an overall winner. Winning entries will be showcased on Pay it Forward Day (April 25th) on both the Pay it Forward Day and MyVRSpot’s websites.

Pay It Forward Day

Founded in 2007 by Australian Blake Beattie, Pay It Forward Day has since expanded into 64 countries throughout the world. Pay It Forward Day is one day a year when people throughout the globe come together to make a major, positive impact on society through acts of kindness. For the other 364 days of the year, Pay It Forward Day encourages citizens of the world to get involved with the concept of selfless giving through the Pay It Forward Foundation. For more information on Pay It Forward Day, visit

Pay It Forward Foundation
The mission of the Pay It Forward Foundation is to inspire people to Pay It Forward with acts of kindness and create the world’s largest ripple effect of good deeds. The Foundation serves as a resource for people who want to be involved with the altruistic movement in order to create a better world. For more information on the Pay It Forward movement and Pay It Forward Foundation, visit

About the FTC Family of Companies

FTC Family of Companies ( has spent the past 18 years developing and publishing educational products and services that help K-12 schools and districts stay ahead of the technology curve. From their leading MyVRSpot ( online hosting service to their newly released Teacher Gaming Network ( and FileBlimp system ( for cloud-based storage, FTC will continue to lead the way in developing affordable new technologies in support of K-12 education.


Sonic Foundry Announces Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform

Company unveils the most comprehensive, scalable approach to video content creation and management – the cornerstone of enterprise and campus video strategy

MADISON, Wis. — March 7, 2013 — Sonic Foundry, Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFO), the trusted market leader for video management and academic, enterprise and event webcasting, today announced a major milestone with the introduction of Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform.

This evolution of Mediasite delivers an integrated approach to any campus or enterprise strategy for creating, managing and distributing all video-based content – whether it was generated by Mediasite or another tool – and solidly establishes Mediasite as a recognized solution for comprehensive video content management.

The most notable enhancement is Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform’s ability to import any video including Adobe Flash, QuickTime, AVI, Windows Media, MPEG4 and others, and transform them into rich video files that are indexed, searched, secured and played back on nearly any device from desktops and tablets to smart phones.

Many long-term Mediasite customers are already undergoing the process of importing thousands of hours of video-based technical documentation, training and research from archives into Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform.

“Sandia needs to keep content for up to 75 years and meet National Archives and Records Administration standards. Using Mediasite as a video content management platform is a big deal for us. We need to know where the information is and how to get it back,” said Rogulja Wolf, digital streaming operations and content manager, Sandia National Laboratories.

Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform builds upon the momentum of the Mediasite 6.1 family of innovations, including My Mediasite, a streamlined, user-friendly dashboard from which users create, upload, manage and share their own video content. Collaboration and approval workflows provide a layer of control for enterprises with multiple content producers and knowledge-creation environments, allowing the growth, management and scalability of online knowledge libraries.

“The user generated content capabilities in My Mediasite will give us the ability to be more flexible with video creation. We’re moving to a YouTube type situation, but everything still has to be approved and controlled,” said Wolf. “We already have basic review and approval guidelines for classification and external release of material but we are reworking those and developing polices more appropriate for My Mediasite on our internal network. My Mediasite will allow us to take in more content and make more content available.”

“We’ve architected the most sophisticated capture technology on the market, delivering smart, secure and searchable video with powerful analytics. As our customers’ video initiatives continue to grow at an astronomical pace, so does their need for greater flexibility and more sophisticated management of the content,” said Gary Weis, chief executive officer of Sonic Foundry. “They have placed their trust in Mediasite to deliver a workflow that not only extracts the knowledge from their many technology-enhanced rooms, but also to serve as a destination for video that’s created from every imaginable source. Mediasite Enterprise Video Platform promises to accelerate, simplify and streamline content creation and management to ultimately unleash the value of video in the enterprise.”

Trusted by more than 2,600 customers worldwide in education, business and government, the Mediasite webcasting and video content management system quickly and cost-effectively automates the capture, management, delivery and search of live and on-demand streaming videos and rich media presentations.

About Sonic Foundry®, Inc.
Sonic Foundry (NASDAQ: SOFO) is the trusted market leader for enterprise webcasting solutions, providing video content management and distribution for education, business and government. Powered by the patented Mediasite webcasting platform and webcast services of Mediasite Events, the company empowers people to advance how they share knowledge online, using video webcasts to bridge time and distance, enhance learning outcomes and improve performance.