BOULDER, Colo.–Jan. 22, 2007–With the small and medium business user in mind, ProStor Systems, a leading developer of removable disk storage solutions, today announced the launch of, a website designed as a central hub for the latest news and information on RDX® technology. The site is an educational destination for end users of what is quickly becoming the new multi-vendor standard for backup, archive and portable data applications in small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) worldwide.

Users who click to the site will find informational background on RDX technology, technical specifications and support documentation, in addition to links to RDX partner sites and a newsroom with current headlines, product reviews and press releases about the technology. Just as RDX is making data protection easy for businesses, the website makes it easy for potential and existing users of removable disk technology to find all the latest updates, FAQs, user guides and product links in one, centralized clearinghouse.

"We built this site to support the hundreds of SMB users who have expressed an interest in learning more about removable disk technology to protect their vulnerable business data," said Steve Georgis, CEO and president of ProStor Systems. "Visitors to the site will learn about the latest strides in data protection for the SMB and the benefits of RDX removable disk technology."

Compatible RDX solutions are available from several companies, including Tandberg Data, Imation and a leading PC and server manufacturer. Small businesses can customize their backup strategies using RDX media with cartridge capacities of 40 GB, 80 GB, 120 GB and 160 GB. The palm-sized cartridges can be stacked, labeled, bar-coded and managed onsite or stored offsite for added protection. Georgis noted, "The RDX storage solution is 10 times faster and more reliable than any tape storage product used in the past by small and mid-sized businesses. We developed RDX technology to provide business owners with professional-grade data protection at an affordable price point."
The recent announcements of the availability of a 160 GB RDX cartridge and the launch of the RDX website demonstrate ProStor Systems´ ongoing commitment to establish the RDX format as the single removable media solution that spans applications from desktop to enterprise data centers. About RDX The RDX system backs up like a tape drive while providing the performance advantages of a disk-to-disk system, with a range of cartridge capacities. Because the RDX cartridge uses the same 2.5-inch hard disk drives found in notebook computers, capacities will increase at the same rate. RDX technology provides forward and backward compatibility–enabling users to upgrade to higher capacity cartridges without having to buy a new drive–resulting in a higher return on investment for SMB users. RDX drives have been certified with most popular SMB backup software and can operate with simple drag-and-drop functionality.

About ProStor Systems

ProStor Systems develops and markets RDX® removable disk storage technology. The technology brings enterprise-class reliability and data protection to servers, networks and professional workstations at an affordable price. ProStor Systems recently signed licensing agreements with two storage industry leaders, Tandberg Data and Imation. The agreements allow Tandberg Data and Imation to manufacture, market and sell RDX drives and cartridges under their respective brands. For more information about ProStor Systems, visit or contact the company at or 303-565-3100. Visit to learn more about RDX removable disk technology.



FLORHAM PARK, NJ, January 22, 2007–The School Building Expo taking place March 6-8, 2007 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida will feature a world-class conference covering the latest trends in design, construction, and materials for K-12 and Higher Education school facilities. One of the features of the conference will be the Green Track, focused on environmental building issues.

"As the environmental impact of buildings becomes more apparent and green building gains momentum, we thought it very important to focus part of our conference program on teaching architects and facilities planners best practices of creating healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation, operation and maintenance," said Scott Goldman, founder School Building Expo. "In working closely with the AIA we have develop a dynamic conference program that will offer practical learning and a chance to earn up to 18 AIA-approved CEU learning units for architects to meet continuing education requirements."

The School Building Expo conference program will kick off on Tuesday, March 6th with School Tours of Facilities Across Palm Beach County. Architects and facilities planners are invited to tour some of the most exciting, most innovative projects in South Florida, along with expert hosts who will share the back stories of these inspiring projects. Participants will see public, private, primary and secondary schools across Palm Beach county, including outdoor spaces for science and environmental studies and will experience these facilities first-hand; tour the buildings and meet the designers and school personnel.

Dr. Catherine Burke, a researcher and lecturer at the University of Leeds, UK, will keynote on "The School I´d Like: How Children View School Buildings." Dr., Burke´s research asked 15,000 students in England about their feelings on the designed environment of their school. She´ll share the results and conclusions from her research, much of which is surprising and contrary to expectations. Michael Hall will present the inspiring story of what a difference the vision of a man, and the facilities of a better school, can make in the lives of literally millions of Americans as he discusses the philanthropic endeavor funded by Sears Roebuck President Julius Rosenwald who helped create over 5,000 new public schools for poor rural African-Americans in the South, where school conditions were abysmal.
Several important environmental building issues will be discussed during the conference throughout the Green Track.

Michael Nicklas, FAIA, President and Co-Founder, Innovative Design, Inc. will present "The Green, The Bad and the Ugly: Learning from Mistakes in Sustainable Design." The schools designed by Mike Nicklas save over $3.5 million in energy and 35 million gallons of water every year. But there are some green building bloopers that Mike will share so others in the audience don´t make the same mistakes.

Lindsay Baker, LEED for Schools Program Manager, US Green Building Council will discuss the brand-new LEED rating system created specifically for K-12 schools that will be launched in early 2007. Lindsay will provide a first look at the final standard, along with authoritative guidance and expert advice from the people who set the standards.

The expo floor will feature a Recyclatorium, a unique collection of samples of sustainable materials which can be incorporated into school facilities.

Over 125 exhibitors will show products and materials for school facilities at the expo, including flooring, roofing, windows, walls, interior finishes, school furnishings, seating, sports floors, lighting, and much more. Attendees will have the opportunity to touch and feel the products, as well as to get detailed technical and specifying information from the exhibitors. More information is available at or by calling (800) 746-9646.


eLearning Africa: Great Response to Call for Papers

Berlin/Nairobi. The call for papers for the second eLearning Africa conference, which will take place from May 28 to 30 in Nairobi, Kenya, has just closed. The annual event intends to become the preeminent eLearning capacity-building event for the entire African continent and a forum for all stakeholders engaged in the planning and implementation of technology-supported learning and training.

More than 300 proposals from 46 countries have reached the conference organisers. Rebecca Stromeyer, co-organiser of eLearning Africa, is optimistic that a finalised first version of the agenda will be ready by the end of February.

"We have received numerous proposals of excellent quality from a wide range of public institutions, higher education organisations, and development organisations as well as from the corporate training sector", says Stromeyer. "The organising committee will now evaluate the proposals, and we can already say at this stage that participants can look forward to an extensive and substantial agenda featuring presentations from major players in the African education and development sector."

The Kenyan government will organise a high-level summit for policy makers and industry leaders within the conference at which the building of ICT infrastructures and capacities for African educational systems will be addressed. The UNESCO invites participants to an "African Summit for Technical and Vocational Education and Training", which will highlight the great relevance of this educational sector for mass education in developing countries.

Consistent with the 2007 conference´s motto "Building Infrastructures and Capacities to Reach out to the Whole of Africa", the event will reach out beyond the conference centre and will feature large-scale lectures in Kenyan universities that address both fundamentals as well as R&D topics in technology-enhanced education and training. In addition, there will be two break-out workshops devoted to the needs in rural areas and regional institutions: one in Mombasa on the Indian Ocean and one in Kisumu on Lake Victoria.

Regularly updated information on the conference and the programme can be found at

eLearning Africa 2007 is taking place under the patronage of the Hon. Prof. George Saitoti, Minister for Education, Kenya. The event is supported by the European Commission, the United Nations International Center for Technical and Vocational Education and Training UNEVOC, as well as by BiBB, the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training.


Partnering with identiMetrics Finger Scanning Software is Just Good Business Reports Owen Group General Manager

MALVERN, PA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FRIDAY, JANUARY 19, 2007–identiMetrics, a recognized leader in the development and marketing of biometric finger scanning identification solutions with their proprietary software, identiFi", heads the A List for the Owen Group, LLC, according to General Manager, Norm Rischbieter.

The Owen Group South East is headquartered in Trenton, South Carolina. Like its sister company, Retail Dynamics Inc., headquartered in Albany New York, the Owen Group is dedicated to providing schools, institutions and businesses from Virginia to Florida with cost-effective biometric identification systems. They exclusively sell, install and support identiFi in the education market throughout the Southeast, and are expanding into other markets, as well.

Norm Rischbieter, General Manager of The Owen Group South East, knows a great thing when he sees it. "Biometric technology is evolving faster than ever and I wanted to be part of the solution, but without the hassles new technology often brings. When I discovered identiMetrics, I knew we had a winner. identiMetrics is moving us to the next level as we work with our customers to improve their profitability and operations with patron identification solutions across many industries. Doing business with identiMetrics is just good business."

"Working with The Owen Group is a perfect fit for us, as well," adds Jay Fry, identiMetrics´ CEO. "They know the value of identiMetrics biometric identification platform. Not only is biometric finger scanning cost-effective, affordable and convenient, but their customers can use finger scanning for identification anywhere in the school or organization, such as the library and for attendance, since the students are only enrolled once," he finishes.

Owen Group South East, LLC is exclusively selling, installing and supporting identiMetrics´ biometrics solution, identiFi, into its customer base in the Southeastern United States region. For more information, contact Norm Rischbieter at 803-663-7000 or email

identiMetrics, Inc., an identity management company, is a leader in the development and marketing of biometric finger scanning identification solutions. identiMetrics´ proprietary software, identiFi", is a biometric finger scanning ID platform that provides a cost-effective and accurate replacement for swipe-card readers, barcode readers, and PIN pads, allowing any organization to rapidly integrate and easily deploy biometrics. identiFi" eliminates the problems and costs created by cards and PINs and quickly integrates with host applications providing indisputable proof of identification. identiMetrics is primarily focused on the unique needs of consumer markets including education, retail POS, healthcare and hospitality. For more information, visit


CNN Student News Provides Coverage, Online Learning Tools for State of Union

On the day of President George W. Bush´s sixth State of the Union address, CNN Student News will provide educators and students with several resources in addition to its daily program to help them understand the impact of the speech, as well as the history of the State of the Union address itself.

The CNN Student News program for Tuesday, Jan. 23, will discuss the expectations surrounding Bush´s speech later that evening. The daily program for Wednesday, Jan. 24, will include highlights from the address and analysis. In addition to the availability of the CNN Student News daily 10-minute broadcast on CNN Headline News, the program is also streamed for the Web on CNN Student News can also be downloaded as a video podcast at and at CNN´s dedicated space at iTunes.

CNN Student News will offer several online learning tools focusing on the speech, including the "Learning Activity: Placing the State of the Union in Historical Context" and "Extra!: History of the State of the Union." "Extra" provides background and a Q&A about the State of the Union address, while "Learning Activity" challenges students to place the speech into a historical context, encouraging a discussion of the domestic and foreign policy issues facing the United States today. Additionally, CNN Student News offers an interactive State of the Union quiz, Frequently Asked Questions about the address and an online scavenger hunt designed to help students learn about the history and purpose of the speech.

CNN Student News, CNN´s cost-and-commercial-free educational program for middle and high schools is the cornerstone of Turner Learning and uses the vast resources of the CNN Worldwide to create news and information content specifically for the classroom. CNN Student News airs on Headline News, Monday – Friday throughout the school year at 3:12 a.m. (ET). The show is also streamed for the Web at CNN Student News, along with CNN Presents: Classroom Edition, is CNN´s contribution to Cable in the Classroom.

Turner Learning, Inc. is part of CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. (TBS). Turner Learning is dedicated to being the leading source of news and information for the classroom, creating educational outreach programs across the many divisions of TBS. By creating the highest-quality, most innovative programming, products and services; leveraging Turner assets; and creating instructional solutions valued by teachers, Turner Learning seeks to inspire youth to understand the world in which they live, and become better-informed global citizens. For more information on Turner Learning offerings, educators may visit our Web site at


LearnStar Named a Finalist in the 2007 Codie Awards

DALLAS, TX – January 19, 2007 – LearnStar, Inc., the provider of award-winning standards-based educational instruction and assessment for grades kindergarten through twelfth, has been named a finalist in the Software & Information Industry Association´s (SIIA) 22nd Annual Codie Award. LearnStar´s latest software release, SmartTRAX was
nominated in the category of Best K-12 Instruction Solution. SmartTRAX is an interactive educational software program that incorporates academic competitions, quizzes, real-time polling, testing, and performance assessment tools to increase teacher effectiveness. Wholeclass activities motivate students and focus their attention resulting in documented test score improvements. LearnStar´s interactive curriculum includes core subjects for elementary, middle and high school with standardized, state-specific aligned items as well as supplemental content for ELL students, life skills and financial literacy.

"SmartTRAX represents our first major release in several years and is the culmination of
customer feedback, technical advancements and innovation by our development team. We
are very proud of our team´s efforts and honored to be recognized by an organization like

Through a unique combination of journalist and peer review, the Codie Awards recognize 72
categories of outstanding products and services. This year´s 367 finalists represent an
impressive array of technology and business excellence, passion and success. They were
chosen from more than 1,200 nominations submitted by more than 600 companies – breaking the record set in the 2006 awards. Over 219 individuals in the trade press, consulting, educators, IT specialists and other neutral specialists have reviewed all of the products entered.

"The 2007 Codie Finalists represent real winners, even at this stage of the contest," said Ken
Wasch, SIIA President. "Competition is fiercer than ever and that makes selection as a Codie
Finalist a real achievement. All the companies on this year´s list should feel justifiably proud
of their recognition."
About LearnStar, Inc.

LearnStar is an innovative publisher of interactive educational software for the K-12 school market. Designated as a Media & Methods 2005 and 2004 Portfolio Award Winner, a 2004,
2005 and 2006 Codie Awards finalist, and a Technology & Learning Awards of Excellence 2003 winner, LearnStar´s system is an interactive software solution designed to enhance learning and provide instant assessment. Including approximately 30,000 question items, LearnStar´s technology is platform independent and can be successfully implemented on a school´s existing technology. Its software has a proven track record for increasing test scores, improving knowledge retention and motivating students. LearnStar makes learning fun! For more information about LearnStar and its latest release SmartTRAX, visit

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 800 leading software and information companies. For further information, visit


Emergency-preparedness portal debuts

School leaders now have a new tool to help them prepare for disasters and other emergencies: The SAFE (School Actions for Emergencies) Center, a joint project of eSchool News and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), made its online debut earlier this month.

For the first time, educators now have free, unlimited access to a comprehensive web site intended to help them prepare for physical and IT security threats and emergencies. The site is fully functional today, but it will be expanded and enhanced as time goes by.

Though four out of five educators say their schools consider emergency preparedness important, according to a recent eSchool News survey, one in four rate their schools’ level of preparedness as “below average”-and 27 percent say they have little faith in their organization’s ability to carry out its plan.

The findings of this unscientific survey suggest a need for more resources to help school leaders prepare for emergencies, like the hurricanes that devastated Gulf Coast schools more than a year ago and the shootings that have rocked even more schools this academic year. To help meet this critical need, eSchool News and ISTE have teamed up to create the SAFE Center, which aims to serve as a clearinghouse for essential school-safety resources.

“Recent tragedies, such as Hurricane Katrina and the several school shootings, underscore the need for a central repository of shared information and resources. Educators need help in their efforts to protect today’s children and young adults in all emergency-related scenarios,” says Gregg Downey, president and publisher of eSchool News.

“Now, besides just reporting on a disaster affecting education, we’ll also be able to provide the field with many of the resources educators search for as they prepare for emergencies, learn to react as effectively as possible in time of need, and then recover in the aftermath.”

Here are some of the resources this new center provides now or soon will provide:

*Emergency-specific collections of the best available research documents and guidelines on preparing for and coping with a disaster or emergency;

*A link library of corporate security and preparedness providers;

*A clearinghouse of exemplary state and local disaster plans that educators can use as models when developing their own plans; and

*Presentations of “best of breed” examples of planning documents covering key types of disasters and emergencies.

“ISTE is very pleased to be partnering with eSchool News on this timely project,” said Don Knezek, ISTE’S chief executive. “We believe this resource will help ensure student safety and uninterrupted learning in the event of a disaster that may impact schools. This resource will support many of our chief technology officers and technology coordinators in their responsibilities related to disaster preparedness.”

Additional survey results underscore the need in the educational community for such a resource center. Only 10.5 percent of respondents believe their organization is “very capable” of executing its emergency-preparedness plan. In addition, many respondents believe a disaster is likely to befall their organization in the next five years and beyond. Fifty-nine percent of respondents believe a disaster is “likely” in the next 5-10 years, while 50 percent believe it is “very likely” one will strike in their schools.

Though much of the information contained in the new SAFE Center can be found elsewhere online, eSchool News and ISTE have assembled it into one easy-to-use repository, aggregating the very best plans and strategies for addressing a wide variety of possible emergencies, including bomb threats, earthquakes, shootings, gang activity, floods, hurricanes, pandemics, sexual predators, and more.

Each type of emergency has its own easy-to-find heading; clicking on these headings brings you a collection of emergency-specific links to guidebooks, news, plans, and other resources from government entities, associations, organizations, schools, and universities.

Peruse the heading “Pandemics,” for example, and you’ll find links to the Department of Health and Human Services’ “School District Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist”; the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s “Pandemic Planning for Schools”; and more. Under “Terrorist Threat/Attacks,” you’ll find school terrorism preparedness guides from National School Safety and Security Services, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition, eSchool News and ISTE have collected and organized several sample emergency and disaster plans from specific schools across the nation. This resource will be expanded and “best of breed” selections will be highlighted as time goes by, said Downey.

While certain identifiers – such as phone numbers, key personnel, and specific meeting places – have been removed to protect the schools’ confidentiality and the effectiveness of their plans, these sample plans can be useful models for schools that have yet to define their own emergency procedures-or they can help school leaders refine their existing emergency plans.

The new online SAFE Center is a work in progress; eSchool News and ISTE will continue to add more resources, and educators are encouraged to submit their own model disaster plans, success stories, and other information of use to their colleagues.

That way, “everyone can take from and contribute to what we hope will become the foremost clearinghouse for this absolutely critical information,” said eSchool News Online Editor Roger Riddell.


SAFE Center

International Society for Technology in Education


Google opens dialog with book publishers

CNET reports that according to those speaking at the Google-hosted “Unbound” event, the print publishing industry is going to have to evolve to fit in with the 21st century’s new-media culture. The event was held in large part to respond to the controversy surrounding Google’s ambitious Library Project and the corresponding Book Search tool, which has been met with strong resistance by the book publishing industry. At the event, tech-savvy authors, publishers, and analysts basically agreed that to grow and profit in the digital world, the publishing world will have to leave its comfort zone and expand its boundaries. Google has been trying to convince publishers that it is part of the solution, not the problem, and has been trying to secure deals with publishers and libraries that would make their content available through Book Search. However, the publishing industry has been skeptical that this initiative will hurt their profits…


Microsoft makes Vista available online

USA Today reports that Microsoft has announced that it will make its new Windows Vista operating system available online for download, marking an important new step for the company. Previously, Microsoft has only sold operating system software through disks or pre-loaded on PCs. While a low number of users are likely to download Vista, this step suggests that Microsoft is beginning to tweak its distribution methods. The downloadable version of the program will also include Office 2007. Initially, the downloadable version of Vista will only be available in North America…


Tech helps parents get the message reports that St. Louis area schools are increasingly using technology that allows administrators to reach thousands of parents by phone in minutes–marking the end of calling trees and notes home as the lifeblood of school communications. Now, all an official has to do is record a voice message and click a button, and that message will be broadcast to thousands of parents simultaneously. If they so desire, administrators can even send text messages. This new technology has two major applications: the emergency notification and alerting parents to important events, such as report cards are being sent home or parent-teacher meetings. Services associated with the technology can even track whether or not parents are listening to the messages, or hanging up early. The immediacy of such a system is a major plus, as phone chains take longer, and as any child who has played “telephone” knows, the message sometimes gets distorted by the end of the chain…