SMART supports national teaching awards worldwide

Calgary, Alberta–September 27, 2006–SMART Technologies Inc. announces its worldwide support of teacher award programs. SMART celebrates excellence in instruction and will be awarding SMART products to outstanding educators in nine countries – Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, the United States, Greece, the UK, Australia and Japan. SMART will donate classroom technology solutions through local award programs in each country. The donations recognize the important contributions teachers make every day to the education of today’s youth.

The following awards are supported:

Brazil –Educator Nota 10

Russia — Teacher of the Year, Leader in Education, The Best School in Russia

Czech Republic–Zlatý Ámos (Gold Amos) Most Popular Teacher

The United States — National and State Teacher of the Year

Greece –Best Public School

Australia — National Teacher of the Year

UK –History Teacher of the Year

Japan — Teachers’ Organization for Skill Sharing, Internet Application Educational Activities,Excellent Ideas for Educational Activities

In each case, winners of the awards will receive SMART products, which may include SMART Board” interactive whiteboards, Sympodium interactive pen displays or SMART Ideas concept-mapping software. Some winners will also receive other technology products, such as software, projectors and computers.

“Educators prepare our students for the global marketplace and a knowledge-based economy,” says Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s president and co-CEO. “We celebrate outstanding teachers in a number of countries because they take on the enormous responsibility of shaping the academic and personal development of each and every student.”

About SMART

SMART Technologies Inc. is both the industry pioneer and global education market segment leader in user-friendly interactive whiteboards and group collaboration tools. The award-winning family of SMART Board” interactive whiteboards is the most widely installed interactive whiteboard in the world because of its unsurpassed product quality, versatility and ease of use. School districts across the United States have standardized on SMART products, including New York City Board of Education, Atlanta Department of Education, Vermont Institute for Science, Math & Technology, and San Diego City Schools. The SMART Board interactive whiteboard is used to teach over 11 million students in 330,000 classrooms in more than 100 countries around the world.

SMART is a private company founded in 1987. Employing more than 800 people, SMART is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, with assembly facilities in Ottawa, and offices in Bonn, Tokyo, Shanghai, New York City, Chicago and Washington DC. SMART has been issued and maintains a broad portfolio of patents with numerous U.S., Canadian and other patents pending. In 1992, SMART formed a strategic alliance with Intel Corporation that resulted in joint product development and marketing efforts, and Intel’s equity ownership in the company. SMART products are sold through dealers across North America and distributors worldwide. To learn more about SMART as a company as well as SMART products and programs visit www.smarttech.com and www.education.smarttech.com

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Growing Texas School District Takes Broadcast Pix Switchers to the Classroom and the Field for Instructional and In-Stadium Usage

BURLINGTON, Massachusetts (September 27, 2006)–Based on the successful implementation of a Broadcast Pix 2000 digital switcher in a classroom environment at its Ben Barber Career Tech Academy, the Mansfield Independent School District (Mansfield ISD), located in Mansfield, Texas, selected a second Broadcast Pix 2000 switcher. The second switcher will be used for closed circuit broadcasts within the school district’s new multi-purpose stadium and natatorium currently being constructed. Broadcast Pix is a premier manufacturer of live switchers for the broadcast market with such high-profile customer as CBS, ABC, Fox and PBS, as well as large corporations including Microsoft, HP, Cisco and Morgan-Stanley.

With over 27,000 students enrolled at its 33 schools from elementary through high school, Mansfield ISD is one of the fastest growing school districts in Texas. Because of the pace at which it’s growing, the school district is constructing a new sports stadium complex to accommodate the needs of its student body. The new stadium will include a Broadcast Pix 2000 switcher housed within the press box for signal switching to a Jumbotron system. Three JVC GY-DV550U camcorders will be on the field–with two stationed in the press box and one on the field. One Canon NU700N remote control camera will be placed on top of the Jumbotron and operated remotely from the press box.

The ease with which graphics and titles are created and integrated within the live video was the main advantage of the Broadcast Pix 2000 switcher, according to Jerry Cantu, Media Technology Instructor, Mansfield ISD’s Ben Barber Career Tech Academy: “We can have one person creating graphics simultaneously while another person is doing the switching. Previously, we’d have to go to a separate software program, transfer the graphics to removable media, import the files into the system, and then bring up the graphics. It’s much easier to operate than having a separate CG system. And the number of inputs we’re able to assign sources to more than meets our expectations.”

Because the Ben Barber Career Tech Academy already has a Broadcast Pix 2000 switcher in the control room for its “Media Technology” program, selecting the 2000 for the new stadium was an easy choice. “Our students will be the crew for the Jumbotron broadcasts,” explained Cantu. “And they are already familiar with the switcher through our Media Technology classes at Ben Barber, so they won’t need any training at all.” Three JVC DV-550U cameras are installed in a “newsroom” set up in Ben Barber Career Tech Academy’s Media Technology program that also houses the Broadcast Pix 2000 switcher. The Ben Barber Career Tech Academy offers career tech training in the culinary arts, electronics, RTV communications, business marketing, geographical information systems, and automotive industries. The Broadcast Pix 2000 switcher includes a rack-mounted workstation with a hard-panel control panel and a Break-out-Box. It includes a digital switcher with four keyers, Inscriber Character Generator, clip stores, still stores, logo generator, three DVEs, and it provides SDI and analog I/O, including composite, Y/C and component. Options include control of cameras, video servers and routers. About Broadcast Pix

Broadcast Pix provides the industry’s only live video production switchers with a built-in character generator, clip store and full-motion monitoring. They are more powerful, easier to use, and much more cost effective than a traditional control room of individual components, yet retain a fast action human interface and robustness. Broadcast Pix switchers enable a single operator to create engaging live television that used to require a team, yet gracefully adds operators when desired. They are also the only switchers that can be controlled remotely over the Internet. Broadcast Pix is based in Burlington, Massachusetts, with offices in California and Europe. Customers include leading broadcast, cable, corporate, education, entertainment, mobile, faith and government studios. For more information on Broadcast Pix, go to www.broadcastpix.com.

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SAFARI BOOKS ONLINE PROVIDES UNLIMITED WEB ACCESS TO MORE THAN 4,000 TECHNICAL BOOKS WITH SAFARI LIBRARY SERVICE

SEBASTOPOL, Calif., September 27, 2006 – Safari(r) Books Online, a joint venture of O’Reilly Media, Inc. and Pearson Technology Group, today introduces Safari Library, an online searchable reference library service that provides unlimited access to all technical books available on Safari Books Online. Safari Books Online currently includes more than 4,000 books from leading technical and business publishers O’Reilly Media, Pearson Technology Group, and others.

Safari Library makes it easy for technical professionals to locate the information they need, whether it is a quick answer to a programming question or an in-depth study of a design issue. With an online searchable reference library of vetted information across thousands of books with no access restrictions, Safari Library improves productivity and provides the training that professionals and organizations need to advance themselves.

Safari Library also includes access to Safari Books Online’s Rough Cuts service, which features books in progress about hot topics that professionals need and can access now, rather than having to wait for several months for a book to go through editing and other processes required for formal publication.

“Safari Books Online has been leading the online publishing industry since 2001 with a bookshelf model that specified the number of books users could access from the library each month. Safari Library is the next step in maintaining our leadership and extending our service to support the current needs of our customers,” said Debra Woods, VP Marketing of Safari Books Online.

Safari Books Online understands that users occasionally need or prefer to access books offline while they are traveling or otherwise away from an Internet connection. To support this need, Safari Library includes five chapter download tokens per month and a 35-percent discount on print-book purchases.

Safari Books Online is offering charter subscription rates for Safari Library of $39.99 per month or $439.99 per year, guaranteed for life, for users who subscribe by February 28, 2007.

About Safari Books Online

Safari Books Online (http://my.safaribooksonline.com) is a joint venture of O’Reilly Media, Inc. and Pearson Education. Safari’s flagship service, Safari Library, is the premier electronic reference library for programmers, IT professionals and web designers. Unlike an online bookstore, Safari is a fully searchable database of the electronic versions of books from O’Reilly and Pearson’s many imprints: Addison-Wesley Professional, Adobe Press, Cisco Press, New Riders, Peachpit Press, Prentice Hall Professional, Sun Microsystems Press, Que, and Sams. Safari’s portfolio includes these additional electronic reference libraries: Safari HelpDesk Online for enterprise knowledge workers, Safari Business Books Online for business professionals and Safari Enterprise Library for enterprise licenses.

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Promethean and ExploreLearning Team to Provide Interactive Math and Science Lessons for Grades 6-12

Atlanta, Sept 27, 2006 – Math and science lessons just became more engaging for grades 6-12 students and teachers alike with the partnership announced today between Promethean, a global leader in interactive learning technology, and ExploreLearning, the world’s largest repository of math and science simulations.

The partnership brings together the best for math and science students and educators across the country. ExploreLearning’s catalog of modular, interactive simulations in math and science for teachers and students in grades 6-12, will now be optimized for Promethean Activclassroom users.

“As part of an ongoing commitment to provide educators the tools for effective instruction that keeps students engaged, the partnership between our two companies is the best of both worlds, said Mark Elliott, president of Promethean Inc. “The research-proven instructional strategies from ExploreLearning delivered on the Promethean Activboard make learning fun and interactive.”

“Teaching with Explore Learning Gizmos on the Promethean Activboard is like having supercharged teaching tools in a teacher’s toolkit,” said Gautam Saha, a science teacher at Norcross High School in Norcross, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta. “My students can’t resist interacting with brightly colored bouncing balls to explore difficult concepts. As a teacher, I am thrilled with the results my students achieve through Explore Learning and the Promethean Activboard.”

ExploreLearning brings research-based instructional methods to the classroom. Their simulations, called Gizmos T, build on scientific research showing that the use of computer-based manipulatives has a strong impact on student achievement. Gizmos are designed as supplemental curriculum materials, correlated to state and national standards and to most leading textbooks. With more than 400 Gizmos online, ExploreLearning has helped thousands of students grasp complex math and science concepts.

Promethean’s integrated Activclassroom empowers teachers to deliver rich, animated and sound-enabled content to enliven classroom experiences and learning. From Activstudio software that helps teachers prepare lessons from multiple media sources and interactively present on Activboard, the industry’s most durable interactive whiteboard, Promethean’s solutions are class-leading.

Collaboration is enhanced through the wireless Activslate which permits instructional mobility in the classroom while enhancing student engagement and reducing disciplinary issues. To further increase class interactivity and formatively assess individual student or group progress, students can use the wireless Activote device.

About Promethean

Promethean is a global leader in interactive learning technology helping to empower teachers to engage, educate, assess and motivate students. Developed by and for educators, Promethean’s curriculum delivery and assessment technologies enable teachers to create, customize and integrate texts, Web, video and audio content to interactively capture students’ attention and accommodate their different learning styles. By closely collaborating with educators worldwide in the development of new pedagogy-based technologies, Promethean supports local curriculum standards while providing tools to formatively assess student performance instantly and ensure their success. Promethean Activclassroom solutions are helping educators teach and students learn worldwide. Beyond the classroom, Promethean offers comprehensive training and support services to ensure maximum results and realization on investment. For more information, please visit www.prometheanworld.com/n-america The group is headquartered in Blackburn, UK, and has overseas offices in the USA (Atlanta, Ga.), France, Germany and China. About Explore Learning

ExploreLearning offers interactive online simulations that drive conceptual understanding of Math and Science in grades 6-12. The company’s objective is to help students build lasting knowledge of mathematical and scientific principles through hands-on exploration. Its growing base of inquiry-based learning materials provides a powerful enhancement to the way teachers teach and students learn. ExploreLearning brings research-based instructional methods to the classroom. Their simulations, called Gizmos T, build on scientific research showing that the use of computer-based manipulatives has a strong impact on student achievement. Gizmos are designed as supplemental curriculum materials, correlated to state and national standards and to most leading textbooks. With more than 400 Gizmos online, ExploreLearning has helped thousands of students grasp complex math and science concepts.

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Schools to get hazard warning radios

When the squeal from an automated warning radio brought news a severe storm was approaching, school principal William Tomic acted quickly. He alerted teachers to bring children indoors and to a secure interior hallway for shelter.

Minutes later, 70 mph winds ripped the roof off the kindergarten wing of the Charles F. Johnson Elementary School in Endicott, N.Y.

No one was hurt, thanks to the warning and the timely response to it.

“It really did work very well; we were so pleased with it,” Tomic said. “The parents were as well.”

Many were concerned when they arrived to find the roof lying on the side of the building. But their children were safe and had not even seen the damage occur, Tomic said.

Hoping for more such success stories, the federal government on Sept. 25 announced that it will supply hazard warning radios to all 97,000 public schools in the United States, free of charge.

The National Weather Service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), operates more than 950 short-range radio stations. It has encouraged schools, businesses, and homeowners to buy warning radios that are activated with a broadcast signal that automatically turns a radio on and announces a potential hazard.

The Homeland Security Department now has decided to provide $5 million to make sure these radios are in every public school, NOAA Administrator Conrad Lautenbacher said.

Originally conceived as a means to deliver weather warnings, the system now covers all hazards–for example, terrorism, abducted children, or even derailed trains carrying toxic materials.

Of course, it takes more than just having the warning radio. School authorities have to know what to do when an alarm sounds.

Tomic said his school has two weather drills a year. Each classroom has a kit that the teachers bring along to the shelter area to keep the children occupied with games, stories, songs, and other activities.

In Fairfax County, Va., three tornado and severe weather drills are held annually, said Fred Ellis, the director of safety and security for public schools.

“Certainly we’ve had our share of severe weather,” Ellis said, noting the radios have been in county schools for several years.

Typically, they are in the school office, where there is always someone to monitor them. “They make quite a racket,” Ellis said–but they are useful tools to help administrators keep track of what is happening outside their buildings, he added.

“We’re not immune from severe weather, and we take that very seriously,” Ellis said.

In announcing its plan to distribute the radios, NOAA pointed out that more than 10,000 major thunderstorms, 2,500 floods, and 1,000 tornadoes hit the U. S. annually, and that hurricanes threaten the Gulf and East coasts.

Lautenbacher said weather experts from local Weather Service offices will be available to assist school officials in determining how best to use the radios.

The radios operate 24 hours a day, receiving forecasts and warnings from the Weather Service’s 123 forecast offices as well as other information.

Six states–Washington, Tennessee, North Carolina, Maryland, Florida, and Mississippi–already mandate use of the radios in schools. NOAA said schools in those states also will be included in the new program to make sure they have the most recent models. Also included will be tribal schools and public schools in U.S. territories.

Typically, the radios are smaller than a clock radio, have a battery backup in case of power loss, and are sold at electronic and other stores for $20 to $80. Most can be programmed to respond only to warnings for a specific area–a county or city, for example.

Lautenbacher said the distribution is expected to begin in October and should take a few months.

He said the NOAA radio system covers about 97 percent of the country, with the few gaps in some sparsely populated mountain areas.

Links:

NOAA Weather Radio
http://www.weather.gov/nwr

Find nearest NWS office
http://www.weather.gov/organization.php

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WYNN 5.1 Helps Students Meet NCLB Requirements

Palo Alto, CA–September 27, 2006 — The Learning Systems Group of Freedom Scientific, Inc., developer of literacy software designed to create custom learning environments for struggling students, announced today the release of the newest version of WYNN software. WYNN 5.1 includes further enhancements to support its industry-leading solution for reading Web-based content and for reading books that meet NIMAS (National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard) goals.

For many struggling readers, printed books are not sufficient for a successful reading and learning experience. “Differentiated learning, based on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) requires multiple means of representation and multiple means of engagement,” said Roberta G. Brosnahan, VP & General Manager of the Learning Systems Group. She continued, “Due to the ability to tailor both auditory and visual representation of the page, electronic versions of textbooks provide greater interaction with materials, encouraging more successful reading and learning. WYNN’s new features greatly enhance this capability.”

WYNN 5.1 Supports New Standard for Textbook File Format

Using WYNN 5.1, students can read DAISY and NIMAS formatted books. Textbooks can be spoken aloud, and can be visually customized for each student’s needs. WYNN also provides the study tools students are accustomed to using, such as highlighting, bookmarks, and dictionaries. WYNN integrates all these tools into one unique solution.

NIMAS is a national standard for the format of electronic textbooks for use in K-12 schools. This standard is based on the DAISY format, an internationally accepted e-book format that has been in use since 1999. Publishers are increasingly being asked to provide their materials in this format for use by qualified students. With WYNN, this format is even more valuable to students.

WYNN 5.1 Introduces New High-End Voices

WYNN 5.1 will ship with both RealSpeak Solo and ETI-Eloquence, the latest voices from Nuance. RealSpeak Solo™ is recognized as the most human-sounding speech synthesizer from Nuance. “We are pleased to be including such high-quality speech with WYNN. Many of our customers prefer the high-end, more human-sounding voices when listening to large quantities of reading materials,” commented Ms. Brosnahan.

WYNN 5.1 Provides Further Enhancements to Its Patented Web-Browsing Technology

Students with learning differences have greater success with WYNN as it presents text in a clean, uncluttered format. WYNN 5 introduced a completely redesigned Web-browser, which further extended its uncluttered textual presentation. Some of the web-based features in WYNN 5 include: web text being read out loud; WebMasking™, the patented feature that highlights selected text on a Web page by line, sentence, or paragraph while blocking out distracting elements like advertisements; highlighting directly on a live Web page; and extracting the highlighted text into a WYNN document with one mouse click.

WYNN 5.1 continues that tradition of making Web-based text easier to read and comprehend. Some of the new features include the ability to have hyperlinks spoken while hovering the mouse over them, auto-completion of Web addresses, Web information extracted into one document, and enhanced ability to find text on Web pages. All of these easy-to-use features provide differentiated learning, enabling the reader to better focus, read, and comprehend text.

WYNN 5 users may also access all standard WYNN features which include:

*Seeing & hearing text simultaneously

*Ability to visually customize text pages for easier reading

*Extensive study tools including Spell Check, Highlighting, Text Note, Voice Note, Dictionary and Thesaurus

*Ability to access virtually any type of text including printed pages electronic text, Web sites or PDF

For More Information

For a complimentary demo disk of WYNN 5 and pricing information, contact Freedom Scientific’s Learning Systems Group by phone at (800) 444-4443 x 1032 or by e-mail at WYNN@freedomscientific.com.

About The Learning Systems Group, Freedom Scientific®

The Learning Systems Group, headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, was founded in 2000 by a team of educational and assistive technology experts to address the needs of students with reading-related learning challenges. The group’s award-winning products, WYNN™ and TestTalker™, are best known as the “teacher’s choice.” Products are currently sold in all 50 United States, Canada, the U.K., Puerto Rico, Mexico and Australia. Freedom Scientific, Inc. is also the world’s leading manufacturer of assistive technology products for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

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“GENERATION Rx™” PITS TEENS AGAINST PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE

Potomac, MD: WILL Interactive, Inc., the Potomac, MD-based leader in virtual experience behavior modification gaming, has created Generation Rx”, an interactive gaming simulation, in collaboration with Kentucky River Community Care, Inc. (KRCC), a private non-profit organization dedicated to mental health. A high-tech “choose-your-own-adventure” program with serious consequences, Generation Rx” was developed to tackle the devastating national epidemic of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse among 12-17 year-old youth.

Teenage abuse of over-the-counter and prescription drugs is an increasingly alarming national crisis. New abuse of prescription opioids among children 12 to 17 years old was up by 542% between 1992 and 2002, and in 2004, 2.3 million 12 to 17 year-olds abused at least one controlled prescription drug. [Source: “Under the Counter: The Diversion and Abuse of Controlled Prescription Drugs in the U.S.”–The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University].

Generation Rx”, created with students in Eastern Kentucky as part of KRCC’s substance abuse prevention program in schools, will be available to schools and organizations across the country, via the Internet, and on CD-ROM. Designed to improve critical thinking, judgment and decision-making, Generation Rx” uses WILL Interactive’s patented VEILS® (Virtual Experience Immersive Learning Simulations) technology, which has been proven effective in changing behavior and enhancing positive decision-making.

A cross between a video game and a feature film, VEILS® enables users to role-play the lead characters in live-action, research-based interactive movies that depict real-life decisions and consequences in the safety of cyberspace. The goal is to enhance the user’s decision-making skills by creating realistic, stressful situations where the user must make decisions in a slice of life context. The experiential learning provided by WILL Interactive’s programs teaches users how to think rather than what to think.

Generation Rx” allows students to role-play as three characters of different age, gender, education and socio-economic status. *Leslie is an ambitious freshman who is beginning her high school career on the varsity cheerleading squad and with her well-liked new boyfriend Justin, a senior. What does she decide when Justin, starts to pressure her into taking pills to party and have a good time with him and his older friends? She doesn’t want to let him down.

*Ryan is a 17-year-old basketball star, who has just started his senior year with a career-ending injury. He’s prescribed painkillers by his doctor, but after seeing his father’s downfall due to prescription drug abuse, Ryan is wary of taking them. What should he do when his girlfriend asks him for his extra pills, and the kids around school start pressuring him to share his stash?

*Roy is a 17 year-old, who is half a step away from being a high-school dropout. His grandfather first gave him a prescribed pain pill to help a toothache two years ago, and now Roy sells pills to support his own addiction. After a near-death overdose due to using a mix of prescription and illegal drugs, should he continue on his path or seek help to get clean? Does he go back to his pill-popping friends – the only ones he’s ever known – or does he go back to school and get a job?

“We are pleased to work with KRCC in confronting this health crisis, which is affecting communities across the U.S.,” said Sharon Sloane, CEO of WILL Interactive. “WILL has had much success in dealing with powerful and realistic subject matter in a format that engages today’s video game generation youth.”

“The prescription drug abuse which started six years ago in eastern Kentucky has now become a national public health issue,” said David Mathews, Ph.D. Director of Adult Services at Kentucky River Community Care, Inc. “Through this innovative program we hope to lead the nation in demonstrating a new way to involve teenagers in avoiding future drug abuse.”

Previous WILL Interactive programs for students include “Hate Comes Home,” created in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League, which follows high school students as they navigate such issues as hate crimes, racism and bias; “Just 2 Days,” which addresses school violence; and “Interactive Nights Out 2,” which helps 11-17 year olds make smart choices about alcohol and illegal drugs, as well as family and peer relationships.

WILL Interactive Inc., founded in 1994, pioneered and patented the advanced form of digital game-based learning called Virtual Experience Immersive Learning Simulations (VEILS®). WILL works with America’s leading organizations to help address their most critical education and training challenges, including issues of national concern. VEILS® uniquely enable users to role-play the lead characters in live action, research-based movies and experience real-life decisions and consequences in the safety of cyberspace. WILL’s products are used by millions of military and law enforcement personnel, and are also part of the curriculum in thousands of middle schools, high schools and colleges. WILL Interactive’s unique blend of art and science allows them to create immersive learning simulations that have been shown in independent pilot evaluations to improve individuals’ decision-making under real-life stresses.

Kentucky River Community Care, Inc. (KRCC) is a nonprofit Community Mental Health Center dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the people of our region. We help individuals and families in the eight counties of the Kentucky River region by providing mental health, developmental disabilities, substance abuse and trauma services. KRCC seeks to promote public safety, boost economic wellbeing and improve community and individual quality of life.

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Spelling Moves Beyond Reading, Memorizing to Pattern Recognition

ST. LOUIS, MO, September 26, 2006 — Recent educational research suggests that the traditional method of teaching spelling through reading and rote memorization may not be the best approach. Rather, teaching students to recognize letter and word patterns empowers them to be independent readers.

According to J. Richard Gentry, author of The Science of Spelling, “[A] whole generation of children in America may have been disenfranchised from spelling instruction because authorities told teachers that children learn to spell by reading; consequently, many children grew up without spelling instruction.”

Orchard Software, published by Siboney Learning Group, met this change in spelling education with its latest program, Spelling Buzz. Students compete against each other or against Buzz the Bee in several spelling bee activities, earning points for spelling correctly. This flexible software program allows students to set the pace from easy to challenging, while teachers can import their own words or use the lessons provided.

“We’ve captured the excitement of a spelling bee and added superb graphics to help motivate students to learn spelling,” said William D. Edwards, President of Siboney Learning Group. “The features in Spelling Buzz get students and teachers alike excited about spelling.”

Students in kindergarten through 6th grade encounter words commonly found in basal series used by schools. Each lesson contains 10 words that share a letter or sound pattern or that relate to a subject area like science. Students learn to manipulate words and gain experience in components of words, such as roots, prefixes, and suffixes, as well as spelling patterns, such as word families.

Spelling Buzz is available as a single title through Siboney Learning Group’s Gamco product line or as part of a comprehensive solution through Orchard Software, which also provides standards-based assessments and automatic targeted assignments. With more than 150 Skill Trees covering over 3,000 concepts, Orchard’s assessments are designed to ensure that students are working on the specific skills they need to master in order to meet challenging academic standards as well as each school district’s learning objectives.

Siboney Learning Group is a dynamic publisher, integrator, and provider of comprehensive and motivational software. Its associates are passionate about the success of children and adult learners and are committed to playing a leading role in their education by providing high-quality software.

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SMART’s free, live, online training sessions support Mac users

Calgary, Alberta–September 26, 2006–SMART Technologies Inc. announces that all of its free, online training sessions are now available to Mac users. The sessions are available to all SMART customers in North America. Each week 1622 sessions (approximately 75 each month) are offered on 10 topics, including introduction to the SMART Board™ interactive whiteboard, Sympodium® interactive pen display and AirLiner™ wireless slate. Also included are sessions for teachers on creating engaging interactive lesson activities with Notebook™ software. SMART is the only interactive whiteboard manufacturer in the world to offer such a large number and variety of online sessions. Conducted with SMART’s own Bridgit® conferencing software, the training can be accessed at http://www.smarttech.com/trainingcenter/online/index.asp. Session descriptions and connection instructions are also provided. “I have never seen online training sessions for any of the other software that I use in my library. SMART is really ahead of its time,” says Lynne E. Borgerson, librarian at Meramec Heights Elementary School in Arnold, Montana. “SMART is the only company I know of that doesn’t charge for technical support and still provides free upgrades.” “SMART’s name is synonymous with innovation, quality, value and commitment, and we know the importance of providing our customers with up-to-date training,” says Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s president and co-CEO. “Our online training sessions provide a convenient resource that benefits both new and existing users.” SMART’s online training sessions include SMART Board Interactive Whiteboard Mac, Notebook Software Mac, Creating Lesson Activities (K6), Creating Lesson Activities (712), SynchronEyes® Classroom Management Software, AirLiner Slate, Bridgit Software, Sympodium Interactive Pen Display, SMART Ideas® Software and SMART Board Interactive Whiteboard Setup and Support.

About SMART

SMART Technologies Inc. is both the industry pioneer and global education market segment leader in user-friendly interactive whiteboards and group collaboration tools. The award-winning family of SMART Board interactive whiteboards is the most widely installed interactive whiteboard in the world because of its unsurpassed product quality, versatility and ease of use. School districts across the United States have standardized on SMART products, including New York City Board of Education, Atlanta Department of Education, Vermont Institute for Science, Math & Technology, and San Diego City Schools. The SMART Board interactive whiteboard is used to teach 11 million students in 330,000 classrooms in over 100 countries around the world. SMART is a private company founded in 1987. Employing more than 800 people, SMART is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, with assembly facilities in Ottawa, and offices in Bonn, Tokyo, Shanghai, New York City, Chicago and Washington DC. SMART has been issued and maintains a broad portfolio of patents with numerous U.S., Canadian and other patents pending. In 1992, SMART formed a strategic alliance with Intel® Corporation that resulted in joint product development and marketing efforts, and Intel’s equity ownership in the company. SMART products are sold through dealers across North America and distributors worldwide. To learn more about SMART as a company as well as SMART products and programs visit www.smarttech.com and www.education.smarttech.com

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Capital One, JA Worldwide Unveil Mobile Financial Literacy Program for Middle School Students

WASHINGTON (September 26, 2006)–Results of a new survey by Capital One Financial Corporation show that 94 percent of 8th graders have never had a personal finance class, yet 48 percent would like to learn more about managing money. Capital One and JA Worldwide™ (Junior Achievement) have teamed up to create the Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park that will be unveiled today in Washington before it heads to Fairfax and Richmond, Va., this fall.

The Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park™ (Finance Park) is a mobile, interactive classroom–two 53-foot semi-trucks that feature 2,000 square feet of training space and can host up to 60 students at a time–where students are given real-life financial situations and taught how to make important decisions on money matters and establish a personal budget.

Prior to arriving at Finance Park, students prepare by participating in twenty-four hours of classroom instruction led by their teachers on financial literacy topics including saving, investing, taxes, budgeting and career planning. When they arrive, each student receives a life scenario that includes job and salary information, family situation (single, married with children) and existing financial commitments (student loans, car payments, rent). Their challenge is to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it at Finance Park to make sound financial decisions and maintain a personal budget.

“Students can be adults for a day,” said David S. Chernow, president and CEO of JA Worldwide, which developed the curriculum for the program. “Through our partnership with Capital One in developing our mobile Finance Park, together we will provide more middle school students the opportunity to get a head start on learning about some of the financial decisions they may encounter down the road.” “With this new mobile classroom, we hope to provide middle schoolers access to financial education resources and instill money management skills that will last a lifetime,” said Richard Woods, senior vice president at Capital One. “Finance Park allows us the flexibility to bring financial education to our local communities–our associates will play an active role in opening possibilities and building self-confidence in these young adults.”

Finance Park will make its inaugural stop in Washington on September 26 before pulling into Fairfax from October 12-October 25 and Richmond from October 30-November 8. More than 200 Capital One volunteers will staff the Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park and mentor the nearly 1,000 students who will pass through the mobile, interactive classroom this fall. Plans are under way to bring Finance Park to the Washington D.C. area, Richmond, Va.; and communities in Texas in 2007.

About JA Worldwide™ (Junior Achievement) JA Worldwide is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA Worldwide provides in-school and after-school programs for students in grades K-12. JA Worldwide offers educational programs that focus on seven key content areas: business, citizenship, economics, entrepreneurship, ethics/character, financial literacy, and career development. Today, 139 individual area operations reach approximately four million students in the United States, with more than 3.5 million students served by operations in 100 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.ja.org.

About Capital One

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company, with more than 324 locations in Texas and Louisiana. Its principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank, Capital One, F.S.B., Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., and Capital One, N.A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had $47.2 billion in deposits and $108.4 billion in managed loans outstanding as of June 30, 2006. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 index.

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