Learning.com and Educomp Solutions announce joint development agreement to create digital curriculum solutions

Portland, OR – November 27, 2007 Learning.com today announced a joint development agreement with Edumatics Corp. Inc., a subsidiary of Educomp Solutions LTD., to provide educators with innovative, Web-delivered curriculum solutions that support improved student learning outcomes. The agreement was signed by William Kelly, CEO of Learning.com and Sandeep Kumar, President of Edumatics Corp., on October 15th, 2007.

The two companies expect to announce the first of these curriculum solutions in early 2008.

Learning.com, the premier provider of Web-enhanced curriculum and assessment, focuses on innovative, results-oriented solutions that provide opportunities for students to model the new skills they are gaining, creating stronger connections to their learning, and to become flourishing 21st century citizens with the skills they need to learn, work and create.

In the United States, Educomp’s presence comes from its fully owned subsidiary, Edumatics Corp., based in Ventura, Calif. Educomp Solutions is the largest technology-driven education company in India. The company works closely with schools to implement innovative models to create and deliver content to enhance student learning.

"Edumatics gives us the ability to get new Web-delivered curriculum quickly into the hands of educators for expanded use of digital curriculum with their students," says William Kelly, CEO and cofounder of Learning.com. "We are excited to work with an organization of Edumatic’s stature, with its rich and deep history of producing high quality curriculum for both U.S. and international markets."

All digital curriculum developed under this joint agreement will be delivered through Learning.com’s innovative digital learning environment that allows teachers and administrators to individualize instruction, customize assignments, and quickly access student progress reports.

Learning.com’s current Web-delivered solutions include Aha!Math, a K-5 supplemental math curriculum; EasyTech, a K-8 technology literacy curriculum that helps students develop and apply technology skills to math, language arts, social studies and science, and TechLiteracy Assessment, an authentic assessment that measures and reports student technology skills and provides data to meet accountability requirements.

"We look forward to working with Learning.com, a pioneer in the field of Web-delivered instruction," says Shantanu Prakash, CEO of Educomp. "Learning.com’s digital learning environment is a proven platform upon which we will build comprehensive, engaging and effective solutions that can be accessed by students anytime, anywhere."

About Learning.com

Learning.com, the premier provider of Web-enhanced curriculum and assessment, partners with schools and districts to improve student learning outcomes. The Portland, Ore.-based company transforms learning experiences through its understanding of the art and science of Web-based teaching and learning. Founded in 1999, it serves nearly two million students in schools across the United States. Its Web-delivered solutions are EasyTech, a proven, K-8 technology literacy curriculum that helps students develop and apply technology skills in math, language arts, social studies and science; TechLiteracy Assessment, an authentic technology proficiency assessment that provides educators with the data to understand how well students grasp foundational technology skills; and Aha!Math, an interactive K-5 supplemental math curriculum that supports teachers to improve students’ foundational math skills while developing their higher level problem-solving and reasoning skills. For more information, please visit www.learning.com or call 800-580-4640.

About Educomp Solutions Ltd.

Educomp Solutions Ltd, is the largest technology-driven education company in India. In the US Educomp’s presence is via its fully owned subsidiary, Edumatics Corporation, based in Ventura, Calif. Educomp serves more than 3.6 million learners and educators across India, the United States and Singapore. The company works closely with schools to implement innovative models to create and deliver content to enhance student learning. Educomp has been at the forefront of various pioneering initiatives in the e-education space. Notable among them are the "teacher-led" content system called Smart_Class that dramatically improved learning effectiveness in classrooms, development of India’s largest K12 content library with more than 12,000 modules of rich 3D content aligned to Indian and various international learning standards, India’s first structured pre-school learning system: Roots 2 Wings, online learning initiatives like Mathguru.com, and pioneering Education Process Outsourcing in India through the Learning Hour platform, which has emerged as a benchmark for many similar initiatives. For more information visit www.Educomp.com.

tags

Toon Boom releases its first animation software for kids

Montreal, CanadaNovember 26, 2007Emmy award-winning Toon Boom Animation Inc. today announced the release of Flip Boom, a fun and creative free-form animation tool. Based on traditional animation principles, Flip Boom sets the imagination free while teaching notions of timing and motion.

Easy to use, Flip Boom is intuitive and provides a playful experience. Flip Boom is ideal for kids who want to start creating animation in seconds.

“Seeing the growing interest in animation coming from a younger age group, we decided to develop Flip Boom to cater to their creative needs. Keeping in mind the entertaining value such a tool can bring, we hope Flip Boom will appeal to kids when it comes to create animation” said Joan Vogelesang, President and Chief Executive Officer

at Toon Boom.

Buy Flip Boom now at the launch special of $29.99 US instead of $39.99 US. Available in electronic format only, Flip Boom runs on Windows XP, Vista and Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5. For more information, please visit http://kids.toonboom.com/

About Toon Boom Animation Inc.

Toon Boom Animation Inc. is the worldwide leader in animation software solutions. Toon Boom carries entry level and high-end animation software solutions for film, television, web, games, mobile devices and training applications. Toon Boom’s solutions also include powerful pre-production tools ideal for all animated or live-action projects. In 2005, Toon Boom was granted the Primetime Emmy® Engineering Award by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for its significant contribution made to the animation industry targeted for television, in North America and throughout Asia, Europe and the Middle East. In 2006, the IT Federation of Quebec (FIQ) awarded an OCTAS 2006 in the Multimedia – educational and cultural sector category, for Toon Boom Studio V3. In 2007, FIQ awarded an OCTAS 2007 in the Technological Innovation category, for Toon Boom Storyboard Pro.

Toon Boom’s client base ranges from major studios creating Hollywood blockbuster animated films to individual animators creating their first masterpieces. Market-leading studios using Toon Boom’s products include Nelvana, Warner Bros., Mercury Filmworks, China Central Television, Toonz Animation India, eMation, Rough Draft Korea, Alphanim, Cosgrove Hall, Cromosoma and Enarmonia, to name a few. Some

of the prestigious productions done with Toon Boom’s technology include Les Triplettes de Belleville, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, The Rugrats, SpongeBob The Movie, Curious George, Go West: A New Lucky Luke Adventure and The Simpsons Movie.

For additional information, visit Toon Boom at toonboom.com.

tags

Deadline extended for 2007 Speak Up survey

Irvine, CA – November 27, 2007 Students, teachers, and parents from around the country will have an extra week – until December 21 – to participate in the 2007 Speak Up movement. The annual, national survey gathers opinions about how technology and science education can be leveraged to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the Digital Economy.

The online survey at www.netdayspeakup.org will be open until December 21. Individual participation and responses provided in the Speak Up survey are completely confidential and completing the survey takes only 15 minutes.

All public, private, parochial and charter schools in the US and Canada are eligible to participate. Individual participation and responses are completely confidential and the online surveys can be accessed 24/7. Each year, Project Tomorrow facilitates Speak Up survey and shares the data with education leaders.

Given the importance of education in the upcoming 2008 Presidential election, Speak Up 2007 includes new questions about Web 2.0 tools, student interest in science, math and technology, the importance of emerging technologies such as video games, and the value of 21st Century skills such as critical thinking and learning a second language.

Since 2003, more than 857,000 K-12 students, teachers, and parents from over 10,000 schools in all 50 states have participated in Speak Up. The online survey is facilitated by Project Tomorrow (formerly known as NetDay) and supported by many of our nation’s most innovative companies and foundations. Additional information is online at www.tomorrow.org.

tags

Interwrite Learning announces winners in first interactive makeover video contest

Columbia, MDNovember 27, 2007 Interwrite Learning announces the three winners of the company’s first video contest that recognizes teachers and students for their creativity and use of technology in the classroom. Participants of the contest were asked to create a short music video parodying the song of their choice. The winners’ videos did a superior job of demonstrating creativity, collaboration and technology in the classroom.

The winners from each grade segment (K-5, 6-8 and 9-12) are as follows:

– Grades K-5 winner:

Mr. Richard Colosi’s class at Canandaigua Primary School in Canandaigua, N.Y.

Video: http://contest.interwritelearning.com/contestant/154/

– Grades 6-8 winner:

Mr. Jason Coogan’s class at Ilminster Intermediate in Gisborne, New Zealand

Video: http://contest.interwritelearning.com/contestant/159/

– Grades 9-12 winner:

Mr. Jonathon Blackburn’s class at J.M. Tate High School in Cantonment, Fla.

Video: http://contest.interwritelearning.com/contestant/53/

The winners were selected from more than 220 submissions from across the United States, New Zealand and Australia.

The online consumer votes constituted 30 percent of the entrant’s final score and the panel of judges determined 70 percent of the entrant’s final score. The consumer’s votes proved to be an important factor in the final decision of the winners. For the 9-12 grade segment, the videos submitted from J.M. Tate High School and Highland Central High School in Highland, N.Y. tied for the judges vote. J.M. Tate High School received 100 more consumer votes than Highland Central High School, naming them the winner of their segment.

"On behalf of Interwrite Learning and ShyCast, we would like to personally thank every teacher and student who participated in our first video contest," said Lisa O’Masta, vice president of marketing of Interwrite Learning. "This contest was such a success that we’d love to do it all over again. Teachers, students and parents should keep their eyes out for the next contest announcement in 2008."

All contest participants will receive a fifty dollar off coupon for purchase of the Interwrite Pad, as well as a certificate of participation. All contest finalists will also receive a certificate of participation and a free limited edition, lime green Interwrite Pad that is not available for resell.

Winners will be awarded with a complete Interwrite MakeoverTM consisting of:

– Interwrite Board, an engaging, durable, easy-to-use interactive whiteboard that features the Interwrite Workspace software. The Software and Board inspire students by turning classroom lessons into interactive experiences.

– Interwrite Pad, the number one leading wireless pad worldwide, gives teachers the ability to teach interactive lessons from anywhere in the classroom.

– Interwrite Cricket, the newest member of the Interwrite assessment family. Cricket is a powerful yet simple to use clicker for students of all ages. Cricket "clickers" combine robust radio-frequency technology with a friendly look and feel to make real-time student assessment practical for any classroom setting.

– Mitsubishi XD206 DLP projector integrates seamlessly with the Interwrite Boards and Pads with an RS-232c port for 3rd party control. The XGA projector (1024 x 768 resolution) has a bright 2000 ANSI lumens picture and high 2000:1 contrast ratio. Digital vertical keystone correction allows for presentation from a variety of locations.

– FrontRow Pro Digital, a sound system shown to improve attention, test scores, and teacher vocal health. FrontRow Pro Digital clarifies and evenly distributes the teacher’s voice throughout the classroom, helping students more easily understand teachers regardless of where they’re seated. Supports streaming media and podcasting, too.

– SP Controls, Inc.’s Pixie wall mounted modular control system is an elegant and complete control system that fits in a standard single-gang back box. Pixie offers intuitive control of virtually any display system with a remote control, be it a video projector, plasma screen, or LCD monitor.

– Brewer Technology and Learning will provide one full day (up to six hours) of professional development to each of the winning schools in order to help teachers learn to use the Interwrite MakeoverTM equipment as tools to enhance and accelerate the learning process.

In addition to receiving the $15,000 interactive classroom makeover, each winner will be given a celebration party for the entire school and a $1,000 cash prize.

For more information on Interwrite Learning’s interactive learning solutions and to see the winner’s videos, visit http://www.interwritelearning.com/contest.

About Interwrite Learning

Interwrite Learning is a premier global provider of interactive learning solutions for primary, secondary and higher education markets. Interactive solutions, including the Interwrite Board, Pad and Panel all come with Interwrite Workspace, a next generation educational software application for creating, teaching and assessing student performance using digital content. Interwrite assessment solutions include Interwrite Cricket and PRS clickers, members of a powerful student response system that combines interaction and assessment to enhance classroom productivity and improve student results. Interwrite Learning has a rich 32-year history of delivering interactive solutions that are changing how the world learns. To learn more about Interwrite Learning’s Interactive Classroom solutions, please visit http://www.interwritelearning.com.

tags

Barix Exstreamer IP Audio Decoders provide customized classroom bell systems for two private K-12 Schools

Zurich, Switzerland – November 27, 2007 Barix AG, a pioneer in IP-based audio, intercom, control, and monitoring, today announced the first U.S. K-12 installations of its low-cost, IP-based audio decoders in two private schools. Crean Lutheran South High School of Irvine, Calif.; and St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School, a K-8 grade school in The Woodlands, Texas; have both installed Barix Exstreamer IP audio decoders to establish reliable, customized classroom bell systems. Barix’s low-cost, high-performance IP devices continue to gain momentum in the education world, with numerous recent installations in schools, colleges and universities for a variety of applications including classroom recording, live paging, and campus security among other purposes.

The Barix Exstreamers work in conjunction with Acrovista Software’s BellCommander scheduling software, which runs on a centrally located PC in each school, initiating bell tones as MP3 files according to a user-determined schedule. At Crean Lutheran South High School, the bell tone files are sent over CAT5 wiring to the Barix Exstreamers, which decode and distribute audio to Behringer speakers throughout the school.

"This school bell system has proven to be very easy to set up, schedule, and modify," said Carl Butz, Director of Informational and Instructional Technology at Crean. "At our recent Open House, we invited parents to meet the teachers and visit the classrooms according to a schedule. Just before the parents arrived, we quickly expanded the regular bell schedule to ring at certain intervals during the evening so that parents would know when it was time to move to the next room. When it was over, we reverted to the regular school day bell schedule."

Crean Lutheran South High School plans to extend the use of the system for morning announcements and emergency instructions in the near future.

Dan Crandell, Network Administrator at St. Anthony’s of Padua at The Woodlands, said that the Barix and BellCommander system is extremely flexible, and allows him to schedule in bell rings at different times for the middle school grades. To enable this, Crandell and his team created six specific classroom and hallway zones, with four Exstreamers on each of the school’s two floors. Each Exstreamer is connected to a 70-volt paging amplifier that feeds up to 12 speakers through a single PA amplifier to announce specific start and end times for 26 classrooms. Each zone can be expanded to include 16 speakers per amplifier.

"The Barix and BellCommander classroom bell system provides far more reliability and flexibility than our previous system, which was essentially little more than a basic PA system with a downrange toner that did not meet the school’s requirements," said Crandell. "The Barix portion alone was cost-effective, allowing us to cover 30,000 square feet for less than $2,000. Installation was also extremely easy; we simply connected the Exstreamers to our backbone network, turned the devices on, and assigned static IP addresses. The 70-volt configuration with each Exstreamer allows us to cover a much larger area, and we can also monitor the status of each Exstreamer over our network by just clicking on one of the devices. That makes the monitoring process very user-friendly."

About Barix AG (www.barix.com)

Barix AG, headquartered in Zurich Switzerland, specializes in research and development of state of the art IP based communication and control technology. Barix products are stand-alone and able to remotely connect worldwide over standard networks / Internet offering new and improved solutions to the professional audio distribution, communication and automation industry. Barix products provide solutions in audio over IP (audio distribution and monitoring, communication, security) and automation (remote controlling, monitoring and maintenance).

tags

‘HippoCampus’ aims to stimulate students’ minds

The Monterey Institute for Technology and Education has launched a free, interactive homework help web site, called HippoCampus, that provides comprehensive high school, Advanced Placement, and college course content that is suitable for advanced learners, credit recovery, home schooling, and general student use. Thousands of students are already using a trial version of HippoCampus to access multimedia courses in algebra, physics, biology, calculus, U.S. history, civics, environmental science, and other subjects, the institute says. The site gives instructors tools for customization, similar to MyYahoo or MyGoogle. Instructors can point their students to a HippoCampus link that features only the course materials they select and can post messages and bookmark pages of particular interest to their students. “Our mission is to increase access to high-quality education for everyone. HippoCampus is a big step toward achieving that goal,” said Gary W. Lopez, executive director of the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education. HippoCampus is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation as part of the foundation’s goal to make “open educational resources” available to students worldwide through the internet.

http://www.hippocampus.org

tags

Privacy groups ready FTC complaint against Facebook

Adding to the backlash against Facebook’s new advertising programs, privacy groups are preparing to file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission against the social networking site. The digital civil rights group Electronic Privacy Information Center intends to file a complaint by January about both Facebook’s new SocialAds and Beacon programs. The Center for Digital Democracy, which currently has a complaint pending at the FTC about behavioral targeting, also intends to pursue regulatory action against the company.

Click here for the full story

tags

Online profiles a factor in college admissions

If you’re a high school junior or senior, you’re probably working hard to get into college–researching schools online, preparing applications, taking grueling SATs and ACTs and writing the perfect essay. Maybe you have an air-tight application. But you could still blow it, with something you thought was harmless fun: Your online profile. Whether it’s through Friendster, Facebook, MySpace, Xanga or LiveJournal, you better have an air-tight online profile, too. High school guidance counselors are warning juniors and seniors this year that their online profiles could make or break them in getting that “yes” answer from a college of choice.

Click here to read the full story

tags

Tutors for toddlers

The toddler-tutoring frenzy is heating up, and, more than ever, parents are hoping that if their kids learn to read before first grade, it will ultimately help them get into college and get good jobs. But “kindercramming,” such as through the use of fancy computer-based curriculum, may not be so great after all.

Click here to read the full story

tags

Now educators can plan, implement, evaluate academic interventions with Pearson Inform 4.2

Rancho Cordova, CA — Nov. 27, 2007 — Pearson today launched the newest update to Pearson Inform, its award-winning achievement data analysis and decision support tool for K-12 schools. With its new Academic Intervention Plan feature, Pearson Inform 4.2 significantly expands its capabilities for planning individualized and group student instruction.

Building on the product’s robust support for identifying and monitoring intervention groups, the new feature allows educators to quickly and easily develop intervention plans for any group of students who need instruction outside of the regular academic program, such as remediation activities for struggling students or enrichment academics for gifted students. With this new feature, Pearson Inform now fully supports the Response to Intervention (RTI) framework and helps school districts meet state and federal mandates and reporting requirements.

When paired with a student information system, such as PowerSchool Premier, Pearson’s innovative, award-winning, easy-to-use student information system, Pearson Inform, gives educators a quick view into individual student performance, enabling them to measure progress, plan for improvement, intervene when necessary and improve overall district and school performance. With access to a wealth of student data, educators can develop individualized learning plans that include performance history, concept mastery status, intervention activity history, assignment of new intervention activities and programs, educator comments, targeted concepts and suggestions for parents. District leaders, principals and teachers can create and store Academic Intervention Plans, as well numerous other reports, analyzing multiple formative and summative assessment results by year, subject, grade, demographics and more.

“Pearson is committed to developing intuitive and innovative solutions that help educators improve student achievement,” said Mary McCaffrey, president of the School Systems group of Pearson. “When a school district implements Pearson Inform with PowerSchool Premier, educators will have a complete view of multiple sources of student data and can develop targeted plans to intervene or accelerate learning, putting all students on a course for academic success.”

As an example, a principal can use Pearson Inform 4.2 to identify a reading intervention group for third-grade students who failed last year’s state reading assessment and are not meeting learning goals based on the first two interim reading assessments. Then, in
collaboration with the school’s reading specialist and teachers, an Academic Intervention Plan can be developed that includes a number of targeted learning activities, such as one hour daily of small-group instruction, use of a special curriculum or reading learning tool, or daily reading with a parent.

Paired with PowerSchool Premier, the principal and district leaders can use Pearson Inform 4.2 to access student and class demographic information and get a summary analysis of current and historical school and classroom performance. With access to all student assessment and demographic data through these seamlessly integrated technology tools from Pearson, educators receive a comprehensive picture of what is happening with all of the students, based on multiple performance indicators, across the district or school, by classroom, and within an intervention or other student group. Based on this information, educators can determine the best intervention plans for students.

Once the plans are put into action, district leaders, principals, instructional specialists and teachers can monitor student progress in an intervention group, individually, in subsets, or as a whole. Teachers can view the plans for individual students and make comments or add additional information that will be included with the Academic Intervention Plan in historical data and can be shared with other educators and parents.

The Academic Intervention Plans in Pearson Inform 4.2 are available to teachers and administrators online or they can be printed and included with grant reports or shared with individual students’ parents at conferences.

For more information about Pearson Inform 4.2, visit
www.pearsonschoolsystems.com/products/inform

About Pearson
Pearson is the global leader in educational publishing, assessment, information and services, helping people of all ages to learn at their own pace, in their own way. For students preK-12, Pearson provides effective and innovative curriculum products in all
available media, educational assessment and measurement for students and teachers, student information systems, and teacher professional development and certification programs. The company’s respected brands include PowerSchool, Chancery SMS, SASI, Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall and many others. Pearson’s comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student. Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.

tags