Classrooms of the Future

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With its Classrooms of the Future program, an ambitious, $200 million effort to reform the state’s high schools through technology, Pennsylvania is moving to the forefront of educational technology in the United States.

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CoSN Presents Annual Awards to Schools and Education Leaders Blazing the Trail in Education Technology

Washington, DC (March 29, 2007)–The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) today announced the winners of its annual awards, celebrating the achievements and contributions of leaders in education technology. The awards were presented during CoSN´s 12th Annual K-12 School Networking Conference in San Francisco, California, themed Bridging Individualized Learning and High-Stakes Accountability.

This year´s award winners include:

*Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Public Service: Governor Edward G. Rendell, Pennsylvania

*Withrow Award for Educators: Dr. Michael Burke, Director of District Media and Technology Services, Edina Public Schools, Minnesota

*TEAM Award School District: Kiel Area School District, Wisconsin

*TEAM Award Individual School: St. Joseph´s Academy, Louisiana

*Volunteer of the Year Award: Jim Bosco, Professor Emeritus, Western Michigan University

*Private Sector Champion: Lil Kellogg, Education Networks of America (ENA)

"Across the nation there are education leaders, public officials, schools and school districts generating noteworthy, meaningful outcomes in education through the use of technology," said Keith Krueger, CoSN CEO. "We have identified a select group of these exceptional achievers to honor this year, and take this time to applaud their thought leadership and contributions to the education technology community."

CoSN wishes to thank Inspiration Software, sponsor of this year´s awards.

Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell is this year´s recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Public Service, and has been recognized for his visionary leadership in championing technology-based reform in the state´s schools. With his $250 million, three-year, comprehensive high school reform project called Classrooms for the Future, Governor Rendell has demonstrated his commitment to ensuring that Pennsylvania students have the technological tools they need to succeed and compete in the 21st Century global economy. The program equipped 100 local high schools with laptops on every desk to help students further develop the 21st Century skills needed to prepare them for success in the increasingly competitive post-secondary landscape. In addition to this initiative, since Governor Rendell took office, he has increased the state´s investments in K-12 education resources by $1.8 billion.

CoSN is pleased to present the 2007 Withrow Award for Educators to Dr. Michael Burke, Director of District Media and Technology Services for the Edina Public Schools in Edina, Minnesota. For nearly four decades, Dr. Burke has been a tireless advocate for the effective integration of technology in the classroom. Under his leadership, within a year, Edina moved from having one computer in classrooms and one computer lab to a 4-to-1 student-to-computer ratio. Dr. Burke was also responsible for launching an annual spring Technology Fair where students from across the school district showcase their creative use of technology and digital media. In addition, he played a key role in computerizing the district´s math and reading achievement tests, allowing teachers to review students´ results within two weeks and make necessary adjustments to their instruction plans. Dr. Burke was responsible for establishing a districtwide network called the Building Advisory Technology Team, which consists of technology leaders at each school who are dedicated to implementing districtwide education technology plans.

The Kiel Area School District in Wisconsin is the recipient of the TEAM Award School District. Kiel is the "little engine that could." A small, rural district, Kiel is "large in vision and vast in technology" according to its nominator. Kiel has accomplished many important outcomes despite limitations of time and funds. They have a state-of-the-art distance learning lab, video production labs, staff and student electronic portfolios data and curriculum warehousing, wifeless technology and paperless school board meetings. Kiel has also had a national focus on its online learning program to ensure that its results can be transferred to other districts and has created a joint computer lab for use by recently dislocated workers and our students with a local technical college.
Among the many valuable programs at Kiel, Build Your Own Curriculum (BYOC) is a Web-based curriculum program, which provides teachers a framework to organize their curriculum, instruction, and assessment. BYOC provides a view of courses and curriculum by state and/or local standards, through user-defined teaching objectives. This flexibility plus anytime/anywhere access by parents to student information make Kiel a truly "big" district that wins the CoSN 2007 Award for educational technology innovation.

This year CoSN was so impressed with one nomination we created a special award honoring a school level TEAM achievement. St. Joseph´s Academy (SJA) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a powerful school that has been a technology pioneer. We were touched by their community outreach in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The school invited 250 displaced students into their school of 800 young women. They gave these girls laptops and adapted their curriculum to match the regular curriculum of those students. In addition, the parents of New Orleans students were able to come onto SJA´s wireless campus to fill out electronic forms for FEMA, Red Cross and insurance claims, which further strengthened the ties between the Baton Rouge and New Orleans communities. This was not the first example of outreach from a technologically-savvy school. St. Joseph´s Academy has also established computer labs at two Baton Rouge elementary schools and also brought technology to impoverished students and teachers in six public schools and two orphanages in Cordoba, Mexico. Over the past two summers, members of the SJA Technology Department have traveled to Cordoba to install more than 100 computers, and set up numerous Web cams, Web pages and blogs for students.

Jim Bosco, this year´s Volunteer of the Year Award winner, has been recognized for his exemplary service in helping to make education technology a focus and priority for local, national and international educators. Bosco is one of CoSN´s Past Chairs and was the longest standing board member, and since that time has chaired CoSN´s International Committee. CoSN´s annual International Symposium was his brainchild and he has consistently developed intriguing, forward-looking topics and garnered participation from the some of the most prominent minds in education technology.

This year´s Private Sector Champion is Lil Kellogg with Education Networks of America (ENA). Kellogg has been honored for going above and beyond the call of duty to support the education technology community. In addition to co-chairing CoSN´s 2007 Advocacy Auction, she serves as chair of CoSN´s Marketing Committee, which oversees the development and coordination of CoSN´s messaging, Web site and marketing efforts, among many other tasks.

"Inspiration Software is proud to sponsor these awards and honor the service, vision and leadership of these innovators who everyday exhibit their commitment to demonstrating the value of technology as a tool to empower students and educators, and strengthen our education system," said Mona Westhaver, president and co-founder, Inspiration Software, Inc.

An awards committee with members from across the education technology spectrum chose this year´s honorees. Additional information about the CoSN awards program, including past honorees, can be found at www.cosn.org/about/awards.

Scholastic Administr@tor serves as media partner for the CoSN awards.

About the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)

CoSN is the country´s premier voice in education technology leadership, serving K-12 technology leaders who through their strategic use of technology, improve teaching and learning. CoSN provides products and services to support and nurture leadership development, advocacy, coalition building, and awareness of emerging technologies.

CoSN leadership initiatives include: Accessible Technologies for All Students (www.accessibletech4all.org); Cyber Security for the Digital District (www.securedistrict.org); Data-Driven Decision-Making (www.3d2know.org) K-12 Open Technologies (www.k12opentech.org); Taking Total Cost of Ownership to the Classroom (www.classroomtco.org); Value of Investment (www.edtechvoi.org) and the development of the Council of School District Chief Technology Officers (CTO Council).

CoSN´s membership includes a unique blend of education and technology leaders, policy makers, and influencers from the public and private sectors. Our audience includes key technology leaders (often called Chief Technology Officers–CTOs) in leading-edge states and districts, policy makers, private sector leaders, as well as those technology leaders who wish to accelerate their districts´ or states´ systemic technology use. Visit www.cosn.org or phone 866.267.8747 to find out more about CoSN´s programs and activities supporting leadership development to ensure that information technology has a direct and positive impact on student learning in elementary and secondary schools.

About Inspiration Software, Inc.

Recognized as the leader in visual thinking and learning, Inspiration Software, Inc. develops and publishes innovative software tools that inspire learners of all ages to brainstorm, organize, plan and create. With more than 15 million users worldwide, the company´s award-winning software is revolutionizing visual learning in education–inspiring students to develop strong thinking and organizational skills and improve their academic performance. Founded by Donald Helfgott and Mona Westhaver, the company´s mission is to support improvements in education and make a positive difference in students´ lives by providing software tools that help students learn to think. www.inspiration.com

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American Fibertek Launches V´nes Network Environmental Monitoring Systems.

Las Vegas, NV (March 28, 2007)–American Fibertek, Inc. (AFI) is displaying its innovative Network Environmental Monitoring System (NEMS)–the first release in AFI´s unique V´nes Video Network Enterprise Solution–here at ISC West. The network monitoring solution remotely monitors user-defined environmental conditions such as temperature, airflow and humidity levels of a wide variety of networked devices and provides notification of impending failures to system administrators so they can take appropriate action and preserve the integrity and continued operation of critical systems.
NEMS is comprised of V´nes´ Scout Series Environmental Monitoring Systems, Commander Series Switchers and Pilot CS Management Software for Scout and Commander.

"The availability of the V´nes Network Environmental Monitoring System is the first release in our unique V´nes Video Network Enterprise Solution," said Jack Fernandes, President and CEO of AFI. "We anticipate myriad network applications for NEMS as it provides IT and security professionals with an unsurpassed means of monitoring environmental conditions and potential failures. For networked video surveillance systems, NEMS solves the problems specifically associated with excessive heat generated by continuously running DVRs and NVRs, and the resulting loss of product life expectancy it causes."

AFI´s NEMS system consists of the following V´nes components:

Scout Series Environmental Monitoring System provides unprecedented remote monitoring of environmental conditions with notification of impending failures–applicable to any and all IP based systems components. Features include: up to 10 individual user defined temperatures, airflow and humidity sensor readings; 10 hard contact alarms and Aux inputs; includes two (2) bi-directional data communication ports; logs with up to 5000 entries for historical review; built-in web server and remote access via standard web browsers; ability to manage multiple units; and the ability to interface with any IP-based system for comprehensive environmental monitoring.

Scout Series Probes are extremely small and light weight allowing them to be easily positioned for either standalone or rack mounted devices. An operation mounting arm is available for positioning sensors for rack mount operation.

Commander Series Switchers are fully managed 10 and 26 port network switches designed to provide IT Directors with complete control over network interfaces, and Security Directors with the ability to route video signals and data to network and broadband servers in a manner similar to setting up a matrix switching system. Commander Series Switchers also offer: on-board environmental sensing and alarm notification of status and impending failures with complete logs; a built-in web server that does not require any external software and remote access using conventional browsers.

Pilot CS Management Software collects and displays network status and environmental conditions from Scout Series Environmental Monitoring Systems in multiple remote locations. The software also monitors the Scout Series Environmental Monitoring System itself and Commander Switchers to ensure continuous operation. Data collected from various locations can be stored, searched and used to generate reports detecting environmental trends before they result in data loss and/or equipment failures.

"Data loss and system down time due to hard drive failures are the most common problems found in today´s DVR and NVR systems. While hard drive replacement can be measured in terms of dollars, the loss of data or exposure resulting from inoperative security systems cannot be. And while many hard drive manufacturers provide warranties between 3 and 5 years, they generally do not cover failures due to high temperature operation which can significantly shorten hard drive life spans. Scout is designed to alleviate such failures due to excessive heat and any other unfavorable environmental conditions," said Neil Heller, Director of New Business Development at AFI.

For more information call 877-234-7200, e-mail sales@americanfibertek.com , or visit www.americanfibertek.com.

About American Fibertek, Inc.
American Fibertek, Inc. is a leading supplier of innovative fiber optic and IP communication transmission solutions for video, voice and data applications. With two decades of experience in signal transmission, American Fibertek, Inc. has a renowned history of innovation in fiber optic and now IP devices for advanced video surveillance systems. Included in this is the continued development of advanced systems like Afinety and Scout that monitor installation performance and guarantee network continued operation.

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Altronix Showcases New StrikeIt1 Panic Device Power/Controller.

Las Vegas, NV (March 28, 2007)–Altronix Corporation is featuring its innovative StrikeIt1 Panic Device Power/Controller here at ISC West 2007. Altronix´s recently introduced StrikeIt1 is a comprehensive power solution for single or multiple hardware devices.

"Altronix has an established reputation for delivering advanced power solutions for professional security applications such as access control," said Alan Forman, President, Altronix, Corporation. "Our StrikeIt1 directly addresses the issues resulting from the activation of panic devices, and helps to ensure that costly labor is not spent troubleshooting problems that could have been prevented."

StrikeIt1 operates up to two (2) 24VDC panic hardware devices individually or simultaneously. It is designed to handle the high current surge that panic hardware locking devices demand. A programmable timed lock release feature ranging from one (1) to thirty (30) seconds, supervised lock outputs and two (2) programmable fire alarm disconnect options are all included, along with simultaneous 12VDC and 24VDC constant power outputs for access control accessories. Two form "C" follower relays and two form "C" delayed momentary relays which follow the lock outputs are provided for activation of automatic door operators. On-board circuitry facilitates stand-by battery charging.

For more information call toll free 1-888-258-7669, e-mail info@altronix.com or visit www.altronix.com.

About Altronix

Altronix is a leading designer & manufacturer of quality low voltage electronics for Security, Fire, CCTV, Access Control, Nurse Call, and Automation markets. Altronix provides Power Supply/Chargers, Battery Enclosures, Timers, Controllers, DIN Rail products, NAC Power Extenders, Transformers, Rechargeable Batteries, Relay Modules, Siren Drivers, Snap Track products, Power Distribution modules, and Automation products. Altronix also provides Custom Electronic Product Design and Assembly. Altronix products carry a lifetime warrantee and are manufactured in the U.S.

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Brady People ID Offers Patented TEMPbadge Badging Technology.

Las Vegas, NV (March 28, 2007)–Brady People ID offers the unprecedented protection of TEMPbadge time expiring badge technology. TEMPbadge allows security personnel to issue badges based on specific time durations for visitors, contractors and temporary employees with instant verification of security status. It´s the most practical and up-to-date solution available.

"TEMPbadge expiring badges provide an extremely effective first line of defense by providing instant verification of a visitor´s status," said Bill Kieckhafer, Brady Corporation. "The solution is fast, easy to implement and extremely cost-effective making TEMPbadge perfect for a wide range of applications ranging from schools to the military."

The expiring TEMPbadge is superior to any ordinary temporary ID badge as it visibly changes color when a visitor´s badge is no longer valid. Depending upon the expiration period you choose, the badge will remain white for the duration of that allotted time before the color change begins. For example, a One-Day Expiring TEMPbadge issued in the morning will reveal light pink bars by late afternoon, and darker pink bars within one day, signaling an unmistakable visual expiration.

In addition to TEMPbadge, Brady People ID is re-introducing the TEMPbadge Design Shop at this year´s ISC West. This dynamic tool was created to provide partners with a web tool allowing their clients to customize TEMPbadge time expiring badges as well as security signs on-line. Along with the design wizard, TEMPbadge Design Shop allows customer to price, proof and place orders instantly, cutting the process time from days to just minutes.

"TEMPbadge Design Shop provides our partners with the unique ability to easily provide a customized product," said Mr. Kieckhafer. "Our partners don´t have to be e-commerce enabled to sign on to this program. The system sends their customer´s order to them via e-mail with a copy to us. The partner confirms acceptance of the order, and we make them and ship them quickly and conveniently. It´s one more way Brady People ID offers the complete people identification solution."

For more information about these products, visit www.bradypeopleid.com, email bradypeopleid_sales@bradypeopleid.com or call 800-528-8005.

About Brady People ID

Brady People ID offers the complete people identification solution as part of Brady Corporation´s mission of identifying premises, products and people. Comprised of Temtec and CIPI, Brady People ID offers a combined 65 years experience in the ID and Security industry. Temtec is the innovator of patented TEMPbadge® time-expiring badges and identification products. CIPI manufactures and/or distributes the industry´s largest line of CardHolderz badging accessories including lanyards, badge reels, badge holders, badge attachments and luggage tags, plus laminating equipment and supplies, digital ID equipment, software and supplies and much more. Visit www.bradypeopleid.com for more information.

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A.L. Mailman Family Foundation Support for National Education Reform Program

The foundation maintains a national focus and supports organizations which are national in scope or reach more than one state. Its goal is to promote the building of sustainable systems that provide access to high quality early learning experiences for all children. The foundation funds the creation and dissemination of curricula, materials, or tools that promote quality.

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Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers Program

The purpose of this program is to provide grants for vocational rehabilitation services to individuals with disabilities who are migrant and seasonal farm workers, (individuals who have been determined in accordance with rules prescribed by the Secretary of Labor), and to the family members who are residing with those individuals (whether or not those family members are individuals with disabilities).

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2007 Pier 1/UNICEF/Weekly Reader Greeting Card Contest

Children in the U.S. are being asked to submit creative drawings for the 2007 Pier 1/UNICEF/Weekly Reader Greeting Card Contest. Two winners will be chosen from thousands of entries and their winning artwork will be reproduced as official UNICEF greeting cards sold exclusively at Pier 1 Imports, Pier 1 Kids and pier1.com to benefit children around the world. Entry forms are available online pier1.com, unicefusa.org, and weeklyreader.com; or by calling Pier 1’s Customer Relations Department at 1-800-245-4595. Entry forms will also be available at Pier 1 Kids locations and at Pier1Kids.com. The children’s artwork will be judged on artistic quality and creative interpretation of the theme “Holiday Happiness.”

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2007 AT&T Excelerator Grant Program

The 2007 AT&T Excelerator grant program will be open to nonprofit organizations located in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee and Wisconsin. To qualify, the major focus of the organization and project must have an emphasis on education, community development, health and human services, or arts and culture. The 2007 AT&T Excelerator grant program will award individual grants ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 that are one year in length. Collaborations by two or more organizations will be considered for grants up to $50,000 for one year.

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