ANGEL LMS Wins Best Postsecondary Course Management Solution CODiE Award for Second Year in a Row

Indianapolis, Ind.–April 26, 2007–ANGEL® Learning, recognized innovator of enterprise e-learning software and services, today announced that its flagship product the ANGEL Learning Management Suite has won the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) CODiE Award for Best Postsecondary Course or Content Management Solution for the second year in a row. The award recognizes ANGEL Learning´s "outstanding achievement and vision in education technology."
CODiE Award Judges were impressed with ANGEL´s performance. "ANGEL allows much manipulation of the teaching content as well as opportunities for various tools not found in other systems," and singled out these additional ANGEL strengths:

*Ease of use.

*A comprehensive assessment system for instructors to act on data that is either aggregated or detailed for specific criteria.

*Users are provided tasks to be completed from main home page.

*Users can join different collaborative groups in addition to courses and share information in various ways.

"Our industry competes energetically for the CODiE award," said Christopher D. Clapp, president and CEO, ANGEL Learning. "Being chosen as the Best Course Management System for the second year running is a special honor and is also confirmation for us that our focus on creating an exceptional educational experience differentiates ANGEL in a compelling way."

"I applaud all the companies selected as winners in the 22nd annual CODiE Awards," said Ken Wasch, SIIA President. "The software and information industry continues to move at a dizzying pace, and being recognized by your peers for getting to and staying at the head of the pack in such a dynamic environment is a major accomplishment. It is one of the reasons the CODiE Awards hold such a special place in our industry."

ANGEL LMS is the only product to win the SIIA CODiE Award for Best Postsecondary Course/Content Management Solution two years in a row.

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CompassLearning Announces Partnership with Parent Tutor Corporation

NSBA Conference, San Francisco, CA (April 13, 2007)–CompassLearning Inc., the leading provider of K-12 education software that empowers educators to teach and students to learn more effectively, will announce tomorrow at the National School Boards Association´s Annual Conference in San Francisco, an exclusive partnership with Parent Tutor Corporation. Parent Tutor Corporation is the publisher of The Parent Tutor, an electronic tutorial service that provides parents with the tools they need to help their children achieve success in elementary and middle school classrooms.

As a result of the partnership, CompassLearning will bring directly to K-8 teachers the tools that The Parent Tutor offers currently to parents so educators can work directly with parents to increase parental involvement in the education of their children.

Called The Parent Toolkit?, the program will be available to teachers via the URL www.theparenttoolkit.com, a password-protected website populated with articles, activities, ideas and on- and off-line tutorials that parents can use?with guidance from teachers?to assist their children with schoolwork at home. The Parent Toolkit? meets the requirements of the Federal No Child Left Behind Act, which requires and provides funds for parent involvement programs.

Among the tools that teachers will find on www.theparenttoolkit.com are:
*Parent-friendly activities for K-8 foundational skills

*Standards-aligned targeted tutorials, in both Spanish and English, so parents can understand what is being taught at school and help their child learn

*Parent activity booklets aligned to district curricula support the teacher´s in-school instruction at home

*Instant resources that allow teachers to drill down to find the correct pre-requisite skill or go forward to more advanced skills to match each student´s ability level

*Recommended reading lists individualized by each student´s interest and reading level to improve reading achievement

*Database of well-researched and written in-depth articles that school administrators and teachers can use to educate parents on relevant issues

In addition, the easy-to-administer program allows a school district to get started with the program in as quickly as one day, saving the district time and money by not requiring in-depth staff development.

"Studies show that schools with an active parent outreach program perform up to 40% better on standardized tests than schools that do not offer such a program," says Ann Henson, CompassLearning´s Vice President of Curriculum and Instruction. "Increasing parent involvement is one of the most cost-effective ways to improve student achievement and The Parent Toolkit? will provide overworked school districts with an easy and cost-efficient way to help teachers get parents more engaged in their children´s education."

"CompassLearning has long been a leader in providing education software that allows educators to personalize and individualize their instruction to address the varied learning needs of students," says Bill Tudor, Parent Tutor Corporation´s President. "We´re delighted to be partnering with CompassLearning as they continue that mission."

About CompassLearning
CompassLearning is one of the nation´s leading providers of K-12 education software. With more than 35 years of experience in the field of research-based education software, CompassLearning delivers standards-aligned curriculum, assessment, and comprehensive data reporting products that reduce what CompassLearning calls "edu-stress," the stress associated with succeeding in today´s complex education environment. CompassLearning serves more than 11 million students in more than 20,000 schools nationwide. For more information about CompassLearning, visit www.compasslearning.com

About Parent Tutor Corporation
Founded by education industry veteran Bill Tudor, Florida-based Parent Tutor Corporation publishes The Parent Tutor, an electronic tutorial service that helps parents tutor their children in grades K-8. Tudor created The Parent Tutor after consulting with hundreds of educators, parents, and education experts to learn exactly what parents need to give their children an "edge" to succeed in school. Leading educators and parent advocacy groups have recognized The Parent Tutor as an effective resource in helping their parents "connect" with children in academic activities and as a tool that has had a significant impact in their success in school. For more information about Parent Tutor Corporation, visit www.parenttutor.com

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North American Video´s Las Vegas Facility Tour A Highlight of ISC West Education Program.

Brick, NJ (April 26, 2007)–Education. Education. Education. It´s a common refrain heard from manufacturers, customers, installers and system integrators regarding ways in which security professionals can upgrade their knowledge and skills to meet the demands of a changing industry. To this end, North American Video (NAV), a leading security systems integrator, and a premier provider to the gaming industry, was recently invited by the 2007 ISC West Education Program to provide a tour of its systems integration facility in Las Vegas for security professionals interested in obtaining practical systems integration knowledge.

"Education programs, such as those offered by Reed Exhibitions at ISC West, provide valuable and practical information to help meet the challenges of continually improving one´s knowledge and expertise," said Cynthia Freschi, President of North American Video. "Our offering–a comprehensive tour of our systems integration facility in Las Vegas? extended an opportunity for participants to gain firsthand knowledge and insight to the big picture of implementing cross-disciplinary security systems."

The system integrator visit, along with a tour of the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino, were optional conference packages offered by ISC Education.

According to Rich Billington, NAV´s Director of Operations, Western Region, two tours of 35 persons each attended the session at NAV´s Las Vegas facility, hosted by Billington.

"We offered the tour for the first time last year and were pleased to be asked again this year," said Billington. "It was really an eye opener for some of the people attending and they had a lot of questions about system integration as well as NAV and its history."

The tour included demonstrations of various vendors´ products, including North American Video´s 360° surveillance camera system, and a manufacturer-presented demonstration of digital recording, analytics and management solutions from VidSys. As well, attendees learned of the processes involved from start to finish in implementing an integrated and networked security system.

"Classroom sessions and panel discussions are basic to any educational program," said Cynthia Holloway, Director of Industry Development, Reed Exhibitions. "However, NAV´s Las Vegas facility provided an ideal situation for security professionals to learn through a practical experience. "

For more information, North American Video can be reached by contacting any of the following: E-mail address: info@navcctv.com, Toll Free Phone: 1-800-714-0717, or Web Address: www.navcctv.com.

About NAV
North American Video is one of the premier security systems integrators in the country and "Systems Integrator of the Year" in 2005. From system design through equipment installation and training, North American Video provides the highest levels of performance, integration, customer service and support. With offices located in New Jersey, New York, Las Vegas, Washington State and Mississippi, North American Video has built an extensive client list over the years, including numerous casinos, schools, corporations, retail, banking and financial institutions.

About ISC

ISC West is sponsored by the Security Industry Association (SIA) and endorsed by the NBFAA and California Alarm Association (CAA). For the past four years, ISC West has been ranked as one of Tradeshow Week´s "Fastest 50 Growing Events." It is part of the entire ISC portfolio including the upcoming ISC East event in New York, Sept. 11-12 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center and the recently launched ISC Brasil, May 2-4, 2007 at the Transamerica Convention Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions, producers of these events, is the world´s largest organizer of business-to-business events. Each year Reed plans and executes over 460 events worldwide. For information on attending or exhibiting at either ISC EXPO event, visit http://www.iscwest.com or http://www.isceast.com or to reserve your booth space, call Group Sales Director Bob McFarland at 203/840-5568.

About ANGEL Learning

ANGEL Learning, Inc. develops and markets enterprise elearning software. Our flagship products are the ANGEL Learning Management Suite and the ANGEL ePortfolio system. Our products have been honed by use–with millions of students and instructors served from K to corporate. We enjoy a reputation for creating products with exceptional ease of use, excellent vision into learner progress and for keeping our commitments. ANGEL LMS won the Software & Information Industry Association CODiE award for Best Postsecondary Course Management Solution in both 2006 and 2007 and is the only product to win the award two years in a row. Educators ranked ANGEL first in customer satisfaction in the IMS GLC Learn-Sat awards. Having emerged from the academy ourselves, our core values reflect those of our customers well. ANGEL world headquarters are in Indianapolis, Indiana. To learn more about the ANGEL difference, visit us at www.angellearning.com

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Billionaires start $60 million schools effort

The New York Times reports that Eli Broad and Bill Gates, two of the most prominent education philanthropists in the United States, have already poured more than $2 billion into America’s public schools. However, they are still dissatisfied with the rate of change, and are joining forces for a $60 million effort to get education placed high on the agenda for the 2008 presidential race. The program will include television and radio advertising in battleground states, a national network of operatives, and an internet-driven campaign for volunteers…

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/25/education/25schools.html?_r=2&ref=education&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

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Senate passes math, science bill

CNN.com reports that on Wednesday, the United States Senate passed a bill that will authorize an additional $16 billion for math and science programs over the next four years in an effort to keep the nation at the forefront of technology breakthroughs. The authorization will boost total spending in these programs to $60 billion over the four-year period. It will also double the funding for the National Science Foundation in five years, and put the Energy Department’s Office of Science on course to double over the next 10 years…

http://www.cnn.com/2007/EDUCATION/04/25/america.competes.ap/index.html

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Report: texting hurts Ireland’s youths

The Associated Press reports that according to Ireland’s Education Department, Ireland’s youth are increasingly becoming poor spellers and writers because of their love of text messaging on cell phones. The department’s Examination Commission released a report on Wednesday that said cutting-edge communications technology has encouraged poor literacy at odds with academic rigor…

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070425/ap_on_hi_te/techbit_ireland_literacy;_ylt=AuVgzjXSIkTdpkJon0rah_lj24cA

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Concerns put campus VoIP deployment on hold

The study, which was conducted by the Association for Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education (ACUTA), surveyed 279 schools. The web-based survey found that while 65 percent of respondents have had some experience with VoIP, 55 percent have only limited experience, with one-fourth or fewer of their phones employing VoIP service. This, in addition to the 35 percent of respondents who said they have no VoIP phones on their campus, suggests that while the trend is gaining steam among consumers, higher-education institutions have yet to truly embrace the use of VoIP.

“Our members have been seriously considering the benefits of VoIP for some time,” says Jeri Semer, executive director of ACUTA. “I’d say they’re doing their due diligence in learning about the technology and what applications of it might benefit their campus. It’s not about acquiring the technology for its own sake, but about determining how it can best meet their particular needs on campus.”

The survey reveals that of the schools that have begun using VoIP (which is the method of transmitting voice conversations through broadband internet networks, rather than traditional telephone lines), the majority have tried it in IT departments, as pilot projects, and on remote campus sites–suggesting there has been no widespread migration toward replacing traditional phone lines in administrative settings or dormitory rooms.

“Fewer and fewer students are using the campus-provided phones in their room,” says Semer. “They are tending to use their cell phones more, as well as eMail and instant messaging. The actual phone usage in dorms is shrinking, to the extent that a lot of colleges have or are considering removing the phones from their dorms.”

Security issues have always been a concern for some when switching to VoIP. Of the administrators who responded to ACUTA’s survey, 43 percent believe the possibility of viruses and denial-of-service attacks is a major concern. A majority of respondents also feel that security concerns cannot be overcome easily.

“Security is a big issue,” says Semer. “The traditional phone system has been very secure and has had a long track record of reliability. When a virus attacks your eMail program, it’s a major inconvenience. But if it attacks and brings down your ability to communicate by voice, that’s a major safety and security concern.”

This concern is often raised when considering a switch to VoIP, says Kevin Flynn, senior manager of security technology marketing for unified communications at Cisco Systems Inc.

“In the past, people have had two separate kind of systems–voice on one wire, and data on another,” Flynn said. “Now, we’re talking about having both on the same wire. That doesn’t mean the two data types will necessarily impact each other. The problems of having issues on the data stream affecting voice are easily fixed, and that’s just part of any good unified design system.”

Flynn says there is, in essence, an automatic separation between data and voice traffic in any well-designed system. This creates two separate virtual LANs, so that a virus attack on the data end will not affect the bandwidth or the quality of the voice traffic.

The ACUTA survey also shows that a majority of campus administrators believe VoIP vendors need to better disclose the full costs of service and installation, Semer says. More than half of those surveyed say vendors provide unrealistic assessments of the costs of VoIP implementation. In addition, only 19 percent felt that VoIP deployment will save their colleges and universities money over the next five years.

“The challenge for educational institutions is that they typically operate over very long planning cycles,” says Chris Thompson, senior director of solutions marketing for Cisco Unified Communications. “For these institutions to move forward to unified communications, they often would need to do a significant network upgrade.” But schools can avoid these additional expenses and realize the benefits of VoIP service sooner if they design all new buildings to handle voice and data traffic on the same network going forward, Thompson added.

Other results from the survey include:

•A majority of respondents believe deploying VoIP might decrease the costs of moves, adds, and changes to telephone lines and extensions, as well as enhancing and converging business processes, allowing for easier deployments of integrated multimedia applications, and improving integration with third-party application servers;

•76 percent feel more optimistic about the prospects for VoIP today than they did three years ago;

•Senior campus administrators are seen as the biggest advocates for deploying VoIP; and

•59 percent of respondents cited the unnecessary expense of replacing current equipment that functions well as being a major concern preventing them from fully deploying VoIP across their campuses.

While most of those surveyed are wary of fully deploying VoIP across their campuses, almost all agree there are many applications of VoIP they can benefit from. These include unified messaging, emergency notification, business continuity, voice mail, and desktop video conferencing.

“There are a lot of benefits that can result [from implementing VoIP],” says Semer. “But schools need to fully consider the costs, and they also need to figure out business models that will allow them to install and maintain the equipment and [that] continues to pay for its maintenance, upgrading, and technology refreshments on an ongoing basis.”

Link:

ACUTA
http://www.acuta.org

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WriteToLearn 3.0 Launches With Expanded Essay Feedback, Industry-Standard Teacher Tools

BOULDER, Colo.–April 24, 2007–Pearson Knowledge Technologies (PKT) today launched WriteToLearn 3.0, the newest update of its innovative Web-based learning tool for developing writing and reading comprehension skills. Offering both summary and essay writing activities, WriteToLearn now provides students with expanded feedback on their essays and gives teachers a tool for targeting their students with ability-appropriate reading passages.

With WriteToLearn, students practice essay writing and summarization skills, and their efforts are measured by the state-of-the-art Knowledge Analysis Technologies (KAT) engine, which automatically evaluates the meaning of text by examining whole passages. The KAT engine is a unique automated assessment technology that evaluates the meaning of text, not just grammatical correctness or spelling.

WriteToLearn 3.0 now gives student writing a score for each of six traits of writing: ideas, organization, conventions, sentence fluency, word choice and voice. WriteToLearn 3.0 also offers students expanded feedback on how to improve their essays and their scores on each of the traits.
The more than 100 reading passages available for summarizing in WriteToLearn 3.0 now have Lexile® measures. As the most widely adopted reading measure, The Lexile Framework for Reading measures both reader ability and text difficulty on the same scale.

"Teachers tell us that students find WriteToLearn an engaging and motivational environment for practicing and refining their reading and summarizing skills. Students love the visual appeal and the immediate feedback and come to class excited about completing the activities," said Lynn Streeter, president, Pearson Knowledge Technologies. "Now with the enhancements in WriteToLearn 3.0, we are taking our premier tool for developing writing and reading comprehension skills to the next level by providing even deeper evaluation of essay writing as well as access to the industry-standard Lexile measures for matching students with text."

One example of an educational program that is using WriteToLearn to improve student reading and writing abilities is East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring (EPATT), a unique, nonprofit afterschool program at Stanford University, East Palo Alto, Calif. Many of the students are learning English as a second language and, as a result, are struggling writers. EPATT academic director Kesha Weekes said WriteToLearn is helping to change that.

"These kids want to write now, and that is amazing," said Weekes, who first introduced WriteToLearn to EPATT´s middle school students. After seeing its success, she quickly ordered more subscriptions for the fourth through six graders. In fact, Weekes said students are forgoing playing educational games on the program´s laptops to work on their WriteToLearn summary and essay writing assignments.

"They just love WriteToLearn," said Weekes. "They´re kids, and they don´t want to do anything that´s not fun, and it´s fun."

WriteToLearn is available from Pearson Assessments, Pearson Digital Learning, Pearson Prentice Hall and Apple (as part of the Apple Digital Learning Series for middle and high school language arts). More information about WriteToLearn is available at www.WriteToLearn.net.

About Pearson Knowledge Technologies

Pearson Knowledge Technologies is the developer of products and services based on a unique automated text analysis technology that evaluates the meaning of whole passages. The company´s Knowledge Analysis Technologies (KAT) engine immediately measures writing and content in a way that simulates a skilled human grader and encourages better subject knowledge. Pearson Knowledge Technologies´ writing and reading skills products, such as WriteToLearn, Intelligent Essay Assessor and Summary Street, use the KAT engine to help improve writing, reading and comprehension skills as well as build content knowledge for education and other markets. For more information, visit www.PearsonKT.com
Pearson Knowledge Technologies is a business of Pearson Education, the world´s largest integrated education company, which in turn is part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the international media company. Pearson´s other primary operations include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.

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Ed Tech Advocates Converge on the Hill to Promote Technology in Education

Washington, D.C. — More than 120 advocates from 34 states gathered in Washington. DC, this week for the Washington Education Technology Policy Summit and spent time on Capitol Hill educating Congress on the value of technology to improve teaching and learning at the K-12 level. These educators and technology proponents met with the congressional delegations from their respective states to promote the need for more funding for education technology programs, particularly Title IID/Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), as well as the E-Rate program. These efforts were particularly timely as Congress begins considering NCLB reauthorization.

The Summit was hosted by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN, www.cosn.org); the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE, www.iste.org); the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL, www.nacol.org); and the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA, www.sedta.org). Keynote addresses included remarks by Carl Cannon of the National Journal and presentations from key congressional staff. Following these updates and presentations, attendees met with Senators, Representatives and congressional staff from their states to advocate for education technology programs and funding.

Representative Ron Kind (D-WI) was honored for his exemplary support for education technology in Wisconsin and across the nation. Congressman Kind has been a leading advocate in support of full funding for the EETT program, recognizing that "students need technology skills and knowledge to compete in the 21st century economy."

Clark County (Nevada) School District Chief Technology Officer, Philip J. Brody, called the Summit experience "enlightening and worth my time." Also a first advocate on the Hill, Brody said it was "very interesting to see the amount of preparation a person or an organization needs to do" to be effective. "Most of the folks I met were interested and interesting," Brody said of his Hill visits. "I felt I was part of the process — not just casting my vote."

"Policymakers make bad decisions when they don´t hear from their constituents. Conversely, when education champions stand up and tell their stories about the exciting things they are doing with technology, public officials listen," said Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN,

"Competitiveness is a huge issue," said ISTE CEO Don Knezek. "We´re thrilled that more than 120 education technology advocates converged on Capitol Hill to share their vital message with Members of Congress. We know constituent voices have a real impact."

"The Summit provides an invaluable opportunity to discuss what is working in our schools with state, district, and school-level educators," said Mary Ann Wolf, executive director of SETDA. "And that discussion allows us to build upon programs that are improving student achievement. It is critical that policy reflects practice. Education technology advocates ensure that those in Congress know what makes a real difference for kids."

"The leadership Summit explored how to best communicate the positive uses of technology to improve student achievement and help policymakers understand what works on the ground to provide a 21st century education with today´s students," said Susan Patrick, CEO of NACOL. "Online learning is a proven, practical method to enhance the learning experience of all students."

The event was made possible by underwriting from Atomic Learning and eChalk.

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Aerva Gains Momentum in Education Market With Freeport, Maine High School´s Selection of AerChannel

Cambridge, Mass. (April X, 2007)–Aerva, the innovator of cutting-edge digital signage technology and Web 2.0 applications that empower real-time interactivity between mobile devices and custom digital displays, today announced the addition of Freeport, Maine High School to its client roster. Freeport High School joins existing Aerva education customers, including Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine, who have chosen Aerva´s AerChannel software suite to easily and cost-effectively manage and broadcast digital content to students.

Aerva´s AerChannel solution replaces an existing LED ticker display with a 42-inch plasma screen in the school hall, and supplements PA announcements to provide an interactive and engaging solution when Freeport High School´s staff needs to communicate valuable information to its students. With this screen located in a key student gathering area, students are able to receive important and entertaining news, including daily announcements via an RSS feed from Freeport High School´s Web site, and details from different school departments, each with its unique display layout, on a rotating basis throughout the day. For example, guidance staff will post college visit dates, content from college promotional DVDs, testing dates (e.g., SAT exams) and college acceptance announcements, including photos of the accepted students. The athletic department will leverage an RSS feed to automatically post its news to the system for all students and staff to see. In addition, art teachers will be presenting images of student work.

Taking it a step further, Freeport High School plans to leverage AerChannel´s dynamic interactivity capabilities to further engage students and enhance learning opportunities. Future goals include an SAT testing game and a substance awareness campaign, both of which will highlight questions and information on the school´s screen and encourage students to respond via SMS text messaging using their cell phones. The screen will highlight, in real-time, collective student responses, and the answers will be sent to their phones and prompt recipients with the option to receive more daily tips via their cell phones. Freeport High School hopes to possibly link other area schools to its interactive campaigns via AerChannel to foster interaction and scholarly competition between the schools.

"We examined all available solutions and quickly came to the conclusion that Aerva´s was most in line with the dynamic nature of a K-12 school system like ours," said Kerry Gallivan, technology systems director for the Freeport, Maine school system. "AerChannel´s flexibility, scalability and non-resource intensive model enable us to quickly deploy the solution via the Web and immediately start interacting with everyone in the school in an exciting, engaging way. From a management standpoint, AerChannel´s ability to support RSS feeds allows our staff to publish information one time and have it pushed to all appropriate venues, including posting on our screen, which is a huge time-saver."

"Working with an innovative school like Freeport High School is exciting for us," said Sanjay Manandhar, founder and CTO of Aerva. "AerChannel is a powerful tool for enhancing education, information-sharing and community building for K-12 and higher education institutions, and the traction we have gained in the education market validates schools´ interest in leveraging a unique, easy-to-use, dynamic interactive communication solution."

About AerChannel

The AerChannel software suite is a powerful and cost-effective communication and application-enabling platform. Users can manage one digital screen in one location or thousands of digital screens anywhere in the world easily via the Web, and the screens can support any content, including audio, video, text, images, TV, news, etc.

Because of the flexibility the suite provides, users can use any display (LED, plasma, CRT or others), whichever hardware they prefer (embedded in appliances to rack-mount systems) and any kind of operating system they choose (Linux, Windows or Mac). Also network independent, AerChannel works via broadband, satellite, dial-up or unconnected.

The interactive functionality offered by AerChannel, including Bluetooth, SMS (texting), MMS with displays and RFID, is built into the technology, requiring no further investment on the users´ part to create dynamic, two-way communications with target audiences.

About Aerva
Aerva, founded by MIT alumni in 2004 and headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., is a pioneer in cutting-edge digital signage technology and Web 2.0 applications. Enabling real-time interactivity between mobile devices and custom digital displays, with solutions positioned at the cross-section of digital signage, interactive applications and media content, Aerva is forging the way for business- and consumer-driven marketing and information sharing. For more information on Aerva, visit www.aerva.com.

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