IT asset-management system provides relief to New Hampshire school

For Miranda Clemson, the network administrator at Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire, last summer turned into one big headache: Having little knowledge of the whereabouts of 40 tablet PCs would be enough to make almost anyone reach for the aspirin.

Luckily for Clemson, she found relief.

Kimball Union Academy’s remedy came in the form of ITAMDirect, a web-native information technology asset management system from SchoolDude.com.

“With several programs running concurrently during most of last summer, I wasn’t always sure where the computers were or who had them,” Clemson said. “Using ITAMDirect, now I know that I’ll be able to see who logged on last and will have a much better idea of where the computers are. Last summer was extremely stressful, and I hope to avoid that this summer.”

Clemson is not alone in her quest to keep track of her school’s IT assets. One of the most difficult problems facing schools today is managing IT hardware and software assets through their entire life cycle, from budgeting and planning to repair and replacement.

Without an effective management program, IT assets can cost far more than necessary owing to waste and redundancy, as well as overly complex management and maintenance. To protect those resources, many school technology professionals are beginning to implement IT asset management systems.

A recent survey of educational technology professionals conducted by SchoolDude.com echoes the importance of IT asset management and the growing desire for an efficient management solution. Nearly 80 percent of respondents indicated a need to more effectively track networked assets, and more than 84 percent believe automated data collection to be the most important feature of any IT asset-management tool.

Obtaining an accurate database of all PC hardware and software assets meets a tremendous need for school IT professionals by providing a critical foundation for long-term technology planning.

The 310-student Kimball Union Academy in northern New England is no exception.

“We wanted to track assets–see who’s using them, where they are, and what kind of machines we had,” Clemson said of the decision to purchase ITAMDirect. “There were many incidents where we knew there was a certain computer on the third floor, for example, but no one had looked at how much memory it had, and the old database couldn’t reflect that information. That’s what we wanted to track.”

The system’s ability to get a handle on hardware assets got Kimball Union Academy’s attention. Tracking software licenses sealed the deal.

“The fact that it could track software was something we hadn’t considered when we first thought of purchasing the product,” Clemson said. “That’s definitely a huge benefit of ITAMDirect and is what sold me on it. We didn’t think about long-range planning, but it will be a really good tool as time goes on. Now, when we add a new asset, we have the purchase order, the warranty, how much it cost, and that will help a lot with long-range planning.”

Keeping a precise inventory of IT assets allows educational professionals to be better stewards of their limited resources. The improved accuracy can be beneficial in planning and budgeting for resource needs. Plus, maintaining data in a computerized system enables IT professionals to view PC configurations and history without having to go to the machine’s location.

“The best thing about ITAMDirect is not having to go around making sure the database is updated,” Clemson said. “Databases don’t stay updated unless you do it. Having a product that reports back is great.” Integration with an IT help-desk management system makes ITAMDirect an even more highly effective tool. According to Clemson, the ability to interface with SchoolDude’s ITDirect has been extremely useful. Requiring that each tech-support incident generated be tied to a specific asset is a welcomed idea for the small but efficient three-person staff within Kimball Union Academy’s IT department. With ITAMDirect and ITDirect working together, detailed configuration information and asset history are readily available for incident resolution.

Added benefits of an integrated asset-management system include the ability to conduct proactive IT support management and better protect assets through improved security. Monitoring IT assets enables a technology department to look for certain problems before they occur. And a system that screens assets at a component level provides added security by identifying missing or stolen assets through monitoring and reporting.

Additionally, an IT asset-management system can track software licenses to ensure compliance and avoid penalties–while monitoring usage to optimize license management.

“I have a much better handle on software. That’s the main benefit so far. As time goes on, the benefits will be even bigger,” said Clemson, who is now able to manage more assets using ITAMDirect.

Even though Kimball Union Academy has been taking advantage of ITAMDirect for only a few months, the school already is reaping benefits. The solution’s ease of implementation, especially with the school’s PCs, provided a solid start for the IT staff and the 175 computers on their roster.

“It was really easy to implement SchoolDude,” Clemson said. “On the PC side, it was super easy. I was able to eMail people and basically say ‘Go here, run this.'”

Streamlining the entire IT management process with an effective IT asset-management system reduces the administrative burden, while increasing time savings, and allows for excellent record keeping and accountability for IT assets.

For Kimball Union Academy, and Clemson especially, the motives behind using SchoolDude are straightforward and result from a desire to maintain what they already have.

“We continue to use SchoolDude to keep track of where things are, to keep track of software packages, and to keep track of what’s installed on what,” she said.

Looking to the future, Clemson noted, “ITAMDirect does the job it’s designed to do. As we continue to use it, we’ll use it to more effect. It’s a process.”

With any luck, a process that is now a little less painful.

Links:

Kimball Union Academy
http://www.kua.org

SchoolDude
http://www.schooldude.com

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Hitachi Software Goes Green

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, www.hitachi.us, May 23, 2007 — Hitachi Software Engineering America, Ltd. is proud to announce that its interactive presentation technologies are going green. Following the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) established by the European Union, Hitachi Software is now shipping the RoHS compliant BT-2G Bluetooth System wireless tablet. This compliance ensures that the product will not release the restricted hazardous substances of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and two types of polybrominated fire retardants.

Now available, the BT-2G provides educators, trainers, and corporate presenters with a fully interactive presentation system. The device can be used as a peripheral to any existing StarBoard or as a standalone system. The new BT-2G tablet provides presenters with even greater freedom and versatility, allowing for highly interactive and dynamic communications.

"We are proud to announce that the BT-2G is compliant with the European RoHS standards," commented Tetsuya Wakabayashi, president, Hitachi Software. "This compliance underscores Hitachi Software?s commitment to providing the most interactive and productive presentation systems to educators, presenters and businesses with the highest quality standards — from ease-of-use and feature-sets, to affordability and environmental-friendliness."

The versatile StarBoard BT-2G Bluetooth System features a range of up to 65 feet and a battery life of 24 hours. The charcoal tablet is just 9.5" x 10" x 1.2" and weighs approximately one pound. Together, the unit?s extended range and light weight give educators and presenters extensive roaming capability in any presentation environment.

Additionally, presenters have the ability to connect up to seven BT-2G systems to a PC. The pen which operates the lightweight system is compatible with Hitachi Software?s T-15XL and T-17SXL systems and features an LED battery indicator providing reassurance to users with a low battery warning. The BT-2G tablet also features a writing resolution of 1000 Lpi, which is twice the resolution of its predecessor.

The complete StarBoard family of products also includes the StarBoard FX-Series of interactive whiteboards widely used in both education and business applications; the StarBoard T-Series interactive panels with applications in lecture halls and training rooms allowing presenters and teachers the ability to face the class while manipulating the screen; and the StarBoard P-50X interactive plasma display for use in smaller boardrooms or classrooms.

About Hitachi

Hitachi America, Ltd., Ubiquitous Platform Systems Division, produces and markets a wide variety of digital products for business and consumers. The division?s Consumer Group markets high-definition plasma televisions and monitors, LCD projection and flat panel HDTVs, LCD projectors, and DVD camcorders and DVD players. The division?s Business Group markets LCD projectors, professional plasma monitors, interactive panels and whiteboards and security and observation system products through value added resellers, system integrators, distributors and OEM.

Hitachi Software Engineering America, Ltd. develops advanced interactive communications tools for education, training and boardroom applications including interactive whiteboards, plasma displays and tablets all powered by the company?s category-leading StarBoard software. For more information about Hitachi Software, visit www.hitachi-soft.com.

Hitachi has a unique position in the marketplace by manufacturing and developing its own core technologies to provide consumers and businesses with optimal product performance in each of Hitachi´s product categories. For consumer products, please visit www.hitachi.us/tv. For business products, please visit www.hitachi.us/digitalmedia. For more information about electronic whiteboards and Starboard software, please visit Hitachi Software at www.hitachi-soft.com. Hitachi brand business products are connected through Hitachi?s OneVision program, which makes it possible for any Hitachi business unit dealer to sell Hitachi products from other Hitachi business units.

Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., markets and manufactures a broad range of electronics, computer systems and products, and consumer electronics, and provides industrial equipment and services throughout North America. For more information, visit www.hitachi.us.

Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 384,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2006 (ended March 31, 2007) consolidated revenues totaled 10,247 billion yen ($86.8 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company´s website at www.hitachi.com.

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NetSupport Announces New Educators Content Exchange

Alpharetta, GA ? May 23, 2007 – NetSupport, developers of the award-winning classroom control software NetSupport School, announce the release of a new resource center that provides teachers access to a wide range of testing content and resources that can be used within the software (http://content.netsupportschool.com).

Jane Earp, Education Coordinator for NetSupport commented "feedback received from our existing customers made it clear that educators across the globe were not only enthusiastic to use NetSupport School to help drive up educational standards within their own school, but they also wanted to have access to a forum area that would allow them to share curriculum content and resources with other educators that they could then use within NetSupport School regardless of where they are located, be it a different school, district or even country."

In response to this feedback, NetSupport has launched a new resources area online, which offers over a thousand curriculum based questions and resources. Participants are able to upload and download content that can then be used within the product. In addition, participants can leave comments, rate questions and are able to browse through available questions by topic or category and identify useful multimedia resources supplied by other educators.

The portal area is provided and managed by NetSupport but the actual content will be provided by Educators for Educators which will ensure it reflects up to date and relevant curriculum content.

Earp added "The testing modules are popular with teachers because the questions are automatically marked as the students take their tests. Teachers are able to provide instant feedback to students and identify any subjects that need clarification immediately. This new resource will give teachers access to a huge resource pool of possible test questions and deliver significant time savings when preparing classroom content."

NetSupport encourages its customers to participate and use this new resource. All of the content in this site is available free of charge.

To register a free account, review the example content provided or use and download the resources for your school, simply visit http://content.netsupportschool.com .

NetSupport School was awarded the Technology & Learning Legacy Award for Excellence for 2006 honoring best-of-breed examples that demonstrate clear superiority over similar products in the market, and was a winning recipient of a BESSIE Award in the 2007 Best Educational Software Awards hosted by ComputED.

About NetSupport, Inc.
NetSupport, Inc. is a member of the NetSupport Group of Companies, headquartered in The UK. Specializing in the development of commercial software packages to manage and support Local and Wide Area Computer Networks, NetSupport products are utilized on more than 7 million desktops throughout 50 territories. Its award winning products include NetSupport Manager Remote Control and PC Management software, NetSupport DNA IT Asset Management and Help Desk software, NetSupport 24-7 on-demand remote support and chat, NetSupport Protect desktop security software and NetSupport School software, the leading interactive classroom instructional software solution. For more information and a free trial, visit http://www.netsupport-inc.com or call 1-888-665-0808.

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NASA announces new Explorer Schools

In a partnership designed to inspire students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has chosen 25 new schools to join its Explorer Schools program.

The program provides unique learning opportunities intended to engage and educate students about space exploration, with the goal of encouraging and recruiting the next generation of scientists and explorers.

“NASA is committed to encouraging and working closely with our schools to foster learning opportunities that highlight innovative science and mathematics instruction,” said Joyce Winterton, NASA’s associate administrator for education. “Many of the students in the program today will join us and our many partners as the scientists, engineers, explorers, and researchers of tomorrow.”

Part of NASA’s elementary and secondary education programs, the NASA Explorer Schools project looks to attract and retain students in science and technical fields through a progression of educational opportunities for students, teachers, and administrators.

Currently, 200 school teams are involved in the project. The teams represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

The program establishes a three-year partnership between NASA and the school teams, which consist of teachers and administrators from diverse communities across the country. Focusing on underserved populations, the Explorer Schools program joins educators, students, and families in sustained involvement with NASA’s research, discoveries, and missions.

Each school team must develop a strategic plan to address its students’ needs in mathematics, science, and technology education. Selected schools are eligible to receive up to $17,500 during the three-year partnership to help buy technology tools and implement their plans. The project also provides educators and students with content-specific activities that can be used in many local and state curricula to excite students about science and math.

To begin the formal partnership, educators and administrators from each team will attend a one-week professional development workshop at their respective NASA Field Center this summer. During the workshop, team members will become familiar with the resources that are available through the project. Representatives from the NASA centers will help kick off the program with presentations at the Explorer Schools in their region this fall.

In the first year of the partnership, an initial needs assessment will collect information about areas of concern for each team to determine the direction and focus for this first summer workshop and follow-up support. The assessment is based on the National Science Education Standards, Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, Standards for Technological Literacy, National Educational Technology Standards, and National Geography Standards.

After a year of implementing classroom and school activities, Explorer Schools educators are invited to attend content-specific workshops. Educators can choose their areas of focus based on the needs of their school’s instructional program, the team’s strategic plan, and their own educational background. In one example, teachers brave the cold to learn how NASA scientists study ice and snow, as well as many different classes of extremeophiles, by spending a week in February with NASA scientists and education specialists in Yellowstone National Park.

The Explorer Schools project is directly tied to NASA’s major education goal of attracting and retaining students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines. To compete effectively for the minds, imaginations, and career ambitions of America’s young people, NASA is focused on engaging and retaining students in efforts that encourage their pursuit of disciplines critical to NASA’s future engineering, scientific, and technical missions, the agency says.

“This program enables schools and their communities to partner with NASA to develop the nation’s future science, technology, engineering and mathematics work force,” said NASA Explorer Schools Program Manager Rob Lasalvia. “It is today’s students who will help make the nation’s vision of sending humans back to the moon, then on to Mars and beyond, a reality.”

The Explorer Schools program began in 2003 in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association. Designed for students in grades 4-9, the program aims to help middle schools improve the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and math through significant structural and curricular supports (including professional development, stipends, and grants) based on NASA’s resources.

During the 2006-07 school year, the program served more than 137,000 students, and 6,800 teachers, in 125 schools. Seventy-four percent of the schools are considered high minority, and 86 percent are considered high poverty, said John Entwistle, technology services coordinator for the program.

The Explorer Schools program is a competitive initiative, and schools apply to participate online. The application for the next cycle of schools will be available from mid-September through the end of January 2008. Applicants are typically notified of their status in early April, and in early May, a NASA TV program will formally announce the new cohort of teams selected to be in the program.

Links:

NASA Explorer Schools
http://explorerschools.nasa.gov

List of this year’s winners
http://explorerschools.nasa.gov/portal/site/nes/menuitem.c0b8f939f195b42793ebf770621a5ea0/

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S.C. governor signs virtual school measure

Home-schoolers and students attending public, private, or charter schools in South Carolina now can take online classes after Gov. Mark Sanford last week signed a new law creating the South Carolina Virtual School Program, the Charleston Post and Courier reports. The law, which will be administered by the state education department, will give students a chance to enroll in online courses that might not otherwise be available to them. The law will allow students to earn credits in Advanced Placement, remedial, and specialty classes online. It also will ease scheduling conflicts, provide individualized instruction, and help students meet graduation requirements, its supporters say …

http://web.charleston.net/news/2007/may/18/sanford_signs_virtual_school_measure/

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Schools hit home with online ‘gradcasts’

It didn’t take much of an investment–just an inexpensive cable, a borrowed video camera, and some free software–for the Aldine Independent School District to join the growing ranks of school districts that allow friends and family to watch graduation ceremonies from the comfort of their own homes, reports the Houston Chronicle. "Gradcasts," as some techies call them, allow viewers to watch live streaming video of the ceremonies without the nightmares of parking, uncomfortable stadium seats, and long restroom lines. The web-based technology is catching on among many school districts, which say it costs next to nothing to offer the extra service to students’ families. Some districts have even started webcasting sporting events and pre-kindergarten graduations–and school plays and open houses aren’t far behind …

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/4828105.html

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House approves bill to combat spyware

The U.S. House passed legislation on May 22 to combat the criminal use of internet spyware and scams aimed at stealing personal information from computer users, the Associated Press reports. The bill makes it a criminal offense, subject to a prison term of up to five years, to access a computer without authorization to further another federal criminal offense. Obtaining or transmitting personal information with the intent of injuring or defrauding a person or damaging a computer is punishable by up to two years in prison. The measure also approves $10 million a year over the next four years to help the Justice Department fight other computer scams such as "phishing"–the use of fake eMails or web sites to trick consumers into providing bank account, credit card, or other personal information–and "pharming," where hackers redirect internet traffic to fake sites in order to steal personal information …

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070522/ap_on_hi_te/spyware;_ylt=Ai_0kmB7aqxWBeYiPTrW5gdj24cA

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NACOL issues online learning primer

Educators and education stakeholders interested in online learning have a brand-new resource at their disposal. The North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL) has released a free, comprehensive guide to online learning intended to help school leaders implement virtual education programs of their own and help parents understand how online instruction works. "A National Primer on K-12 Online Learning" gives answers to common questions and provides facts about online learning.

The report answers questions such as what an online course looks like, how students will interact with their teacher, and whether online instruction really works. (The short answer: Yes, if done correctly.) It also addresses issues for educators and policy makers who are considering developing their own online learning initiatives, such as what courses can be taught online effectively, what qualifications and training teachers will need, and what policies states or school districts should have in place before starting an online learning program.

"More than 700,000 K-12 students are already learning online. Educators, policy makers, and parents recognize the benefits of providing new opportunities through high-quality online courses that students can access from anywhere, 24-7," said Susan Patrick, NACOL’s president and chief executive.

"Yet, despite this growing interest, there are few resources for parents or educators to answer basic questions about online learning. The ‘Primer’ will serve as a tool for parents seeking the best educational opportunities for their children, and for school leaders and policy makers who must understand the essential elements of online learning in order to make informed decisions about implementing these programs," Patrick said.

She explained: "We get so many phone calls every day from legislators, school board members, parents, and teachers, asking the same questions … We thought we should put this in writing, so we can help people understand [online learning] a little bit better."

Teachers are essential to the success of any online learning program, Patrick said, adding: "Nothing is more important to the quality of an online course."

One key feature of the report, Patrick said, is that it lays out different models for online instruction. For example, some teachers might teach online classes full-time, whereas others might teach in a classroom and use free periods to teach an online course.

Online learning can help meet the demand for talented math and science teachers in particular, she said, noting the shortage of highly qualified math and science teachers who are needed to help today’s students succeed in a global economy.

By the end of 2006, 38 states had established state-led online learning programs, policies regulating online learning, or both, according to NACOL. Of these, 25 states have state-led online learning programs. The number of students taking one or more online courses has grown rapidly, the group adds, with annual growth rates in individual programs—and in some states—consistently in the range of 15 percent to 50 percent over multiple years.

Recommendations contained in NACOL’s new primer include funding online learning programs based on educational attainment instead of seat time; progressing students based on outcomes instead of social promotion; and enhancing the use of data throughout education.

"Data are increasingly at the center of education management and policy decisions. Online learning provides an inherent advantage over traditional classrooms in the amount and quality of data that are available through the learning management system: discussions, questions, assessments, time online, progression through and mastery of course material, and numerous other data points typically captured by the software. The information management capacity of online programs is often well ahead of state information systems," the primer says.

The guidebook also addresses some misconceptions that the public might have about online learning, such as the idea that online learning is essentially "teacherless" and that students are isolated and lose out on important social skills.

Other misconceptions include the myth that online teaching and learning is easier—an idea Patrick says isn’t necessarily true.

"It’s a lot of work, and students who take online courses are often surprised to find out how much harder and rigorous they are," she said. For instance, online courses usually put a heavy emphasis on writing skills; both teachers and students need to have excellent written communication, Patrick said. If students turn in less-than-satisfactory written work, online course instructors will work with them on draft after draft not only until the assignments are satisfactory, but also until the students have truly learned how to improve their skills.

Another misconception is that online courses are easy to pass and make it easy for students to cheat.

Online teachers get a better sense of each student’s voice through all the written assignments, and that helps to counteract academic dishonesty, according to the primer.

The primer includes a case study of Ohio’s online learning program, called eCommunity Schools, and discusses the state legislature’s efforts to put in place measures to ensure academic quality in the eCommunity Schools.

A project of NACOL, the guidebook was written by Evergreen Consulting Associates. Financial support was provided by grants from NACOL and Connections Academy, a national provider of K-12 virtual public schools operated in partnership with charter schools and school districts.

Links:

North American Council for Online Learning
http://www.nacol.org

"A National Primer on K-12 Online Learning"
http://www.nacol.org/docs/national_report.pdf

Evergreen Consulting Associates
http://www.evergreenassoc.com/

Connections Academy
http://www.connectionsacademy.com/

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Rapidly Increasing Number of U.S. Schools, Districts Turn to GenevaLogic for Classroom Management Software

PORTLAND, Ore., & LANGENTHAL, Switzerland – May 22, 2007 – When school districts, such as Indianapolis Public Schools and Florida?s Brevard County Schools, are looking for ways to help teachers integrate technology into teaching, they are increasingly turning to classroom management software and are choosing Vision® from GenevaLogic because it is the easiest to use and most effective tool.

In fact, GenevaLogic is seeing rapid growth in the adoption of its classroom management software. In just the first quarter of 2007, the company?s U.S. sales increased by more than 50 percent over 2006.
"At GenevaLogic, we are committed to providing schools with comprehensive, easy-to-use and innovative classroom management software solutions so their teachers can use technology to improve student learning," said Kirk Greiner, chief executive officer, GenevaLogic. "The growth that we are seeing in the adoption of our solutions is further evidence that Vision is the leading classroom management software in the United States and many international markets as well."

For example, Indianapolis Public Schools, which serves more than 36,000 students in 80 schools, is in the process of standardizing on Vision . To do this, the district is purchasing Vision School Kits, an innovative purchasing option that allows districts to easily and cost-effectively offer their schools the classroom management software that best meets their needs. With the Vision School Kit, an entire school is equipped to manage classroom computer activity, guide student learning on computers and teach effectively with technology. The Vision School Kit includes school-wide licenses for Vision6; App-Control; Surf?Lock2; and Pointer? as well as the new Vision Teach-Pads , which puts the software?s most frequently used capabilities at a teacher?s fingertips. Online teacher training courses are also included with this package.

A district committed to using technology to enhance education, Indianapolis Public Schools has each classroom wired for Internet access.

"Our district wants to ensure that educators have access to the resources and support they need to offer students the kinds of learning experiences that will prepare them for today?s global digital environment," said Jeff McMahon, academic technology officer. "With GenevaLogic?s classroom management software, we are maximizing our investment in hardware, software and Internet access, by putting a powerful tool for using technology to engage students in learning in our teachers? hands."

Other districts are choosing GenevaLogic?s classroom management software to support particular instructional programs. After using Vision in a number of classrooms, Brevard County School District in Florida, one of the 50 largest U.S. school districts, recently purchased site licenses to extend the use of Vision, Surf-Lock and App-Control to 10 of its high schools with career and technical education programs.

At the core of GenevaLogic?s classroom management solution is Vision6, the newest version of GenevaLogic?s easy-to-use classroom management software that allows teachers to manage, control and optimize the use of technology to support instruction. First launched in 1996, Vision is currently used in more than 50,000 classrooms worldwide.

Vision6 is enhanced by App-Control, Surf?Lock2 and other plug-ins that extend its functionality to meet each school?s unique needs. App-Control allows teachers to keep the whole class learning together by remotely launching applications, sharing documents and managing access to applications on all student computers. Using Surf?Lock2, teachers turn browsing on or off from their computer with a single click, allow students access only to selected Web sites that support instruction, and stop or limit Web browsing instantly for a single student or the entire class.

Complete information about GenevaLogic?s classroom management software solutions and purchasing options is available at www.GenevaLogic.com or by calling 866-725-7833.

About GenevaLogic
GenevaLogic (www.GenevaLogic.com) has one passion: enabling educators to manage, control and optimize the use of technology to support teaching and learning. Founded in 1996, with headquarters in Langenthal, Switzerland, and Portland, Ore., the privately held company is an international leader in active teaching systems whose Vision classroom management software is used in more than 50,000 classrooms worldwide. The company?s education software solutions – Vision, App-Control, Surf-Lock, Pointer, Plan-It, Protect-On, Print-Limit? and Print-Limit Pro – allow schools, universities and training centers to get more learning value from their technology investments. For more information, visit www.GenevaLogic.com .

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Hitachi Software Goes Green with RoHS-Compliant Starboard BT-2G Bluetooth Wireless System

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA, www.hitachi.us, May 23, 2007–Hitachi Software Engineering America, Ltd. is proud to announce that its interactive presentation technologies are going green. Following the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) established by the European Union, Hitachi Software is now shipping the RoHS compliant BT-2G Bluetooth System wireless tablet. This compliance ensures that the product will not release the restricted hazardous substances of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and two types of polybrominated fire retardants.

Now available, the BT-2G provides educators, trainers, and corporate presenters with a fully interactive presentation system. The device can be used as a peripheral to any existing StarBoard or as a standalone system. The new BT-2G tablet provides presenters with even greater freedom and versatility, allowing for highly interactive and dynamic communications.

"We are proud to announce that the BT-2G is compliant with the European RoHS standards," commented Tetsuya Wakabayashi, president, Hitachi Software. "This compliance underscores Hitachi Software?s commitment to providing the most interactive and productive presentation systems to educators, presenters and businesses with the highest quality standards–from ease-of-use and feature-sets, to affordability and environmental-friendliness."

The versatile StarBoard BT-2G Bluetooth System features a range of up to 65 feet and a battery life of 24 hours. The charcoal tablet is just 9.5" x 10" x 1.2" and weighs approximately one pound. Together, the unit?s extended range and light weight give educators and presenters extensive roaming capability in any presentation environment.

Additionally, presenters have the ability to connect up to seven BT-2G systems to a PC. The pen which operates the lightweight system is compatible with Hitachi Software?s T-15XL and T-17SXL systems and features an LED battery indicator providing reassurance to users with a low battery warning. The BT-2G tablet also features a writing resolution of 1000 Lpi, which is twice the resolution of its predecessor.

The complete StarBoard family of products also includes the StarBoard FX-Series of interactive whiteboards widely used in both education and business applications; the StarBoard T-Series interactive panels with applications in lecture halls and training rooms allowing presenters and teachers the ability to face the class while manipulating the screen; and the StarBoard P-50X interactive plasma display for use in smaller boardrooms or classrooms.

About Hitachi
Hitachi America, Ltd., Ubiquitous Platform Systems Division, produces and markets a wide variety of digital products for business and consumers. The division?s Consumer Group markets high-definition plasma televisions and monitors, LCD projection and flat panel HDTVs, LCD projectors, and DVD camcorders and DVD players. The division?s Business Group markets LCD projectors, professional plasma monitors, interactive panels and whiteboards and security and observation system products through value added resellers, system integrators, distributors and OEM.

Hitachi Software Engineering America, Ltd. develops advanced interactive communications tools for education, training and boardroom applications including interactive whiteboards, plasma displays and tablets all powered by the company?s category-leading StarBoard software. For more information about Hitachi Software, visit www.hitachi-soft.com.

Hitachi has a unique position in the marketplace by manufacturing and developing its own core technologies to provide consumers and businesses with optimal product performance in each of Hitachi´s product categories. For consumer products, please visit www.hitachi.us/tv. For business products, please visit www.hitachi.us/digitalmedia. For more information about electronic whiteboards and Starboard software, please visit Hitachi Software at www.hitachi-soft.com. Hitachi brand business products are connected through Hitachi?s OneVision program, which makes it possible for any Hitachi business unit dealer to sell Hitachi products from other Hitachi business units.

Hitachi America, Ltd., a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., markets and manufactures a broad range of electronics, computer systems and products, and consumer electronics, and provides industrial equipment and services throughout North America. For more information, visit www.hitachi.us.

Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 384,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2006 (ended March 31, 2007) consolidated revenues totaled 10,247 billion yen ($86.8 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company´s website at www.hitachi.com.

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