Driver’s ed gets 21st-century update

Driver’s education for students at Georgia’s West Forsyth High School includes high-tech driving simulators, USA Today reports. The simulators–which include three computer screens that comprise the windshield, as well as a steering wheel, turn signals, foot pedals, ignition, and gear lever–assess students as they "drive" and score them at the end. For many of these students, it’s their first "behind the wheel" experience. "I think it’s a good alternative to actually driving the real thing," says Travis Keeler, 15, a 10th-grader who’s never driven. "It does a good job of preparing me to drive." His teacher, Robert Fuller, says the simulators are a critical part of his semester-long driver’s ed class, which is a half-credit elective and costs parents $100. "The simulator can’t take the place of driving, but it … enhances their driving ability," he says. Driver’s ed in the modern era doesn’t come cheaply. The simulators at West Forsyth High cost $18,000 each, says Van Flanigan, a vice president of manufacturer Virtual Driver Interactive. To parents of young drivers killed in crashes caused by their own inexperience, however, cost should not be an impediment…

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European Union to set volume limits on MP3 players

The European Union says it wants makers of popular digital music players to recommend that users turn the volume down to preserve their hearing, reports the Associated Press. The EU’s consumer affairs commissioner, Meglena Kuneva, said hearing-loss experts and industry executives together will draft tougher standards to limit hearing loss. An EU scientific advisory body says that between 2.5 million and 10 million Europeans could suffer hearing loss from listening to MP3 players at unsafe volumes–over 89 decibels–for more an hour daily for at least five years. The EU’s executive commission said the maximum sound levels of players now being sold range between 80 and 115 decibels; using different earphones could add to those levels by up to 9 decibels. Kuneva said the standards would see new players set the maximum sound level default at 80 decibels. However, users could switch that default off if they wanted to. The standards also would urge manufacturers to beef up health warnings with players sold, either in instruction manuals or on the product itself. "The use of personal music players at high volume settings over a sustained time can lead to permanent hearing damage," said Kuneva. "We need to make sure consumers, particularly young people, are aware of these risks."

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txtNation Leads the way into the Croatian Premium SMS Market

txtNation Leads the way into the Croatian Premium SMS Market
txtNation, the premium SMS market leader, is now offering Premium SMS (PSMS) Shared Codes and Dedicated PSMS codes in Croatia. This deal marks another step in txtNation’s commitment to offering complete worldwide premium SMS coverage to existing and prospective clients. All existing txtNation premium SMS clients operating under the “All Countries” package bundle can expect to see SMS revenues increase as this new alternative billing channel goes live.

Analysts report Croatia’s mobile market continues to operate as a virtual duopoly, shared between market leader T-Mobile, which accounts for just over 50% of subscribers, and Vipnet, which has a market share of around 43%. However, txtNation is pleased to see that competition is growing slowly but surely: number three operator Tele2 now has 300,000 subscribers one year after launching commercial services. While that may only give the operator a market share of around 7%, the introduction of number portability on October 1 should open up the market and allow Tele2 to steal market share away from its larger competitors.

txtNation’s HTTP Post and SMPP connectivity to Croatia, along with all the other countries currently offered are available via one easy to integrate online application programming interface (API) through txtNation’s popular mBILL service. txtNation also have a full range of plug and play mobile marketing ‘ready’ campaigns that require no development to launch a revenue generating mobile campaign..

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PDF Technology boosts the campus productivity

With the development of technology, education is not the way it was before. Educators are facing the challenge of finding creative ways to teach. Students have to prepare themselves to the competitive world. Colleges need to work more efficiently, put the energy actually in teaching and doing research.

As we know, PDF format is rich in file integrity, regardless of the application used to create them, PDF files can look the same as the original format. No matter text, video, 3D, images and so on. PDF files are viewable on any platform, a free PDF reader is the only requirement to view PDF files. It has great extensibility and security. All of these features can be used in education, which will benefit the educators, students and schools. PDF format is one of the solutions for 21th century education.

For Educators

Books and blackboard are not enough for today’s classroom. Preparing for class is a time consuming job in the past. Teachers need to collect resources from books, from the Internet, and put them together, then create course guide, and print out thousands of materials and hand to the students. The truth is , half the time and energy are taken up with paperwork.

Nowadays, not everything is on paper. Often, video, audio, images are needed in class. Then teachers have to find the applications to open them. But with PDF format, they can just put all the stuff in one file using Adobe Acrobat, everybody can get, everybody can read. Preparing for class may take a week in the past, but now just take a day. The whole thing can be done sitting in front of a computer, and all you need to bring to class, is just a PDF file.

PDF is a real time saver. It can also make the teaching more efficient. Can you picture a professor reading hundreds of students’ homework, adding comments with his pen page by page? Now students can put their work together into a PDF file. Then they can send it to the professor. The professors can add suggestions for polishing them up, then send back to the students. The communication can be done with just a few clicks.

For Students

Getting into college is competitive enough, but students have to deal with tons of stuff in campus, such as dorm applications, interviews, essays and so on. It’s quite exhausting. Can they get rid of the trouble of dealing with paper? Yes, they can fill PDF forms in a few clicks without running to the office, print out their work to PDF format then email to the instructors without finding a printer. They can save more energy and focus on their study.

And creativity is essential in the world, an out-standing student has done some good work and want to show it, or a graduated students need a great portfolio when they are hunting for a job. But many of the work are in different file formats. Not everyone has all the applications to open them, then what should they do? Just create a digital portfolio. PDF is rich in file integrity like I mentioned above, everybody can read as long as they have the free PDF Reader.

For School Administrators

Mass paper flow of document is one of the challenges the schools are facing, which cost lots of money and time. For example, applying materials, medical forms, contact information forms, dorm requests, course registrations and so on. The school administrators need to deal with how many paper forms? What’s worse, those papers are easily messed up, then easy thing will become complicated. Now with PDF format, they can scan old files and manage them in computer, make PDF form of anything, then email them to everyone who needs it, and collect them through Internet. A green campus is built like this, no more paper wasting, save a lot of budget and workforce, so that college can focus on research and teaching. 

PDF is one of the great solutions for the connection of education and technology. The most professional PDF software is Adobe Acrobat, it can make all the stuff mentioned above possible. Also, Adobe Acrobat can convert the PDF file back to Word, Excel and so on, the conversion quality is great.

Everyone can read PDF with free PDF reader, but PDF is not easy to be modified without Adobe Acrobat. However, students’ budget is always tight. Adobe Acrobat is out of some academic users’ budget.

Here is a little tips, if someone wants to edit PDF, for example, fill the PDF forms, add comments, modify a PDF file, but do not want to spend a lot of money, just convert the PDF to Word. Some affordable applications like PDF to Word Converter are available. And Create PDF is also easy, just install an add-in, Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 can save as PDF format directly. Just enjoy the power of PDF format, make an innovation for 21st century education.

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PDF Technology Boosts the Campus Productivity

With the development of technology, education is not the way it was before. Educators are facing the challenge of finding creative ways to teach. Students have to prepare themselves to the competitive world. Colleges need to work more efficiently, put the energy actually in teaching and doing research.

As we know, PDF format is rich in file integrity, regardless of the application used to create them, PDF files can look the same as the original format. No matter text, video, 3D, images and so on. PDF files are viewable on any platform, a free PDF reader is the only requirement to view PDF files. It has great extensibility and security. All of these features can be used in education, which will benefit the educators, students and schools. PDF format is one of the solutions for 21th century education.

For Educators

Books and blackboard are not enough for today’s classroom. Preparing for class is a time consuming job in the past. Teachers need to collect resources from books, from the Internet, and put them together, then create course guide, and print out thousands of materials and hand to the students. The truth is , half the time and energy are taken up with paperwork.

Nowadays, not everything is on paper. Often, video, audio, images are needed in class. Then teachers have to find the applications to open them. But with PDF format, they can just put all the stuff in one file using Adobe Acrobat, everybody can get, everybody can read. Preparing for class may take a week in the past, but now just take a day. The whole thing can be done sitting in front of a computer, and all you need to bring to class, is just a PDF file.

PDF is a real time saver. It can also make the teaching more efficient. Can you picture a professor reading hundreds of students’ homework, adding comments with his pen page by page? Now students can put their work together into a PDF file. Then they can send it to the professor. The professors can add suggestions for polishing them up, then send back to the students. The communication can be done with just a few clicks.

For Students

Getting into college is competitive enough, but students have to deal with tons of stuff in campus, such as dorm applications, interviews, essays and so on. It’s quite exhausting. Can they get rid of the trouble of dealing with paper? Yes, they can fill PDF forms in a few clicks without running to the office, print out their work to PDF format then email to the instructors without finding a printer. They can save more energy and focus on their study.

And creativity is essential in the world, an out-standing student has done some good work and want to show it, or a graduated students need a great portfolio when they are hunting for a job. But many of the work are in different file formats. Not everyone has all the applications to open them, then what should they do? Just create a digital portfolio. PDF is rich in file integrity like I mentioned above, everybody can read as long as they have the free PDF Reader.

For School Administrators

Mass paper flow of document is one of the challenges the schools are facing, which cost lots of money and time. For example, applying materials, medical forms, contact information forms, dorm requests, course registrations and so on. The school administrators need to deal with how many paper forms? What’s worse, those papers are easily messed up, then easy thing will become complicated. Now with PDF format, they can scan old files and manage them in computer, make PDF form of anything, then email them to everyone who needs it, and collect them through Internet. A green campus is built like this, no more paper wasting, save a lot of budget and workforce, so that college can focus on research and teaching. 

PDF is one of the great solutions for the connection of education and technology. The most professional PDF software is Adobe Acrobat, it can make all the stuff mentioned above possible. Also, Adobe Acrobat can convert the PDF file back to Word, Excel and so on, the conversion quality is great.

Everyone can read PDF with free PDF reader, but PDF is not easy to be modified without Adobe Acrobat. However, students’ budget is always tight. Adobe Acrobat is out of some academic users’ budget.

Here is a little tips, if someone wants to edit PDF, for example, fill the PDF forms, add comments, modify a PDF file, but do not want to spend a lot of money, just convert the PDF to Word. Some affordable applications like PDF to Word Converter are available. And Create PDF is also easy, just install an add-in, Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 can save as PDF format directly. Just enjoy the power of PDF format, make an innovation for 21st century education.

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Perfect Picture Lighting – Make Your Home Cozier with Picture Lights




Feeling Happier At Home:  Perfectpicturelighting.com offers gift certificates for their wide range of direct wire picture lights, architectural lighting and contemporary home lighting.  With hundreds of accent lamps for pictures, mantel picture lighting, antique brass and bronze antique lamps as well as modern pendant and sconce lighting, a gift certificate allows the giftee to choose from among hundreds of beautiful picture light options. 

Gift certificates for home decorating are an increasingly popular option, especially in these stressful economic times:  "Many customers say that their goal is to give a loved one the gift of something that they had been putting off, like redecorating a room. . . . It’s the best thing people can do to feel happier at home, plus it adds curb appeal and increases resale values, even when, obviously, these lights would travel with you when you move."  Moira Lumina adds that many customers are excited about making the small investment with the big home décor improvement that picture lighting represents.  “It’s a whole different level of refinement to have art with its own lighting, or family photos that are presented with illumination of its own.”  

It’s no surprise that we’re all nesting this season, favoring the joys of hearth and home and creature comforts over frivolity.  The national trend toward nesting continues as people opt to work with what they’ve got rather than put up the “for Sale” sign and move.  Stay-cations (when you stay home and relax instead of hitting the road and spending tons of money) make “home” the ultimate destination.  And quality lighting really changes the feel of a room, the warmth of a home. 

Further to economic considerations, energy efficient lighting home décor is a focus at perfectpicturelighting.com, where many energy saving light bulbs such as battery led light, compact fluorescent bulbs, led light bulb and mini led light glow within graceful lighting for wall art that will beautify and simplify your home.

Family Portraits Glow When Lit by Picture Lights – I spoke to my friend, a college professor of education, and she gave me this great idea:  “Here’s a step by step process to engage your family in personalizing your home.  The process gives everyone a sense of ownership and choice, which helps everyone feel more connected.  What better way to focus on the family?”  I call this project “Family Shrine” because it really puts a lot of loving focus on what makes the family feel good, and the results beautify your home and serve as a constant reminder. 

1.      Start by selecting a cherished family photograph; take votes to see which one it will be! 

2.      Now that you’ve engaged your family in picture selection, make decisions on matting and framing the picture (get it enlarged if need be).  When you frame the photo DON’T cover the image with glass – picture lights aren’t used with glassed over pictures.  (The money you save by not getting glass can help you with the rest of the project).

Here are some more decisions you all can make:

3.      Where in the house should it go? 

4.      Do you need to paint those walls? 

Great, you’re almost done.  Now for the finishing touch –

5.      A picture light will make that photo glow and serve as another source of light to the room.  Sometimes in the evening small cascades of light makes it feel homier than room brightening ceiling lights.  Find the best light for your “Family Shrine” at perfectpicturelighting.com.

TAKE ACTION:

Remember: Picture Lights Make Great Gifts – Give a picture light, or a gift certificate, for that perfect finishing touch – call 1-800-792-4457 or visit www.perfectpicturelighting.com to get great gift ideas.

OFFER:

Buy from either of our sites (www.perfectlygrand.com or www.perfectpicturelighting.com) and get 10% off on a purchase from the other site – offer good until January 31, 2010 (a code will be emailed to you after your first purchase).

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PunjabiDressWorld.com launches Live Support

If your target is to promote Punjabi and Indian dresses worldwide, then how can you help customers for the
dresses, which are not available at your portal?
"Actually, we have been receiving such queries in the past as well. We try to arrange any type of Indian
dresses, which are required by customers, even if its not available on our website.Some times, we even get
fully personalised dresses prepared for customers. We try our best to make long lasting relationship with
customers.", she replied.

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Free web filtering catching on in schools

As schools struggle with shrinking budgets and try to work around technology funding cuts, many are turning to OpenDNS, a free network security service that provides content filtering, anti-phishing security, and domain name system (DNS) resolution. 

DNS is a database system that translates a domain name or URL–which is how the average internet user calls up a web page–into an IP address. In essence, it takes the alphabetical name for a web site and translates it into the numerical IP address.

OpenDNS features more than 54 categories of blockable internet content, and the web sites listed in those categories are contributed largely by OpenDNS users from school districts such as Detroit, Baltimore, and San Diego.

Although entire categories may be blocked, the service allows for individual exceptions. For instance, a district might choose to block all social networking sites from its computers, but a teacher’s classroom blog can be entered as a permissible site so the teacher and students can access the blog from school.

The globally distributed network service, which is a free alternative to software from companies such as Websense and Lightspeed, operates by accepting web site requests from school customers. Those requests are routed to the closest OpenDNS data center, such as the center in Chicago or Washington, D.C.

OpenDNS examines the user’s IP address with each incoming web site request and brings up the corresponding school or district’s web site preferences. The service matches those preferences against the web site request. If a student tries to access an approved site, OpenDNS approves the request and connects the student to the site in question. If a student tries to access a blocked web site, such as MySpace, OpenDNS verifies that MySpace is on the school’s blocked list and will deny the student access to the site.

"OpenDNS is a service that runs in the cloud; every network usually has a DNS server, and all you have to do is change [a preference] in your DNS server" for the service to work, said David Ulevitch, OpenDNS founder.

For instance, a network administrator would adjust a school’s DNS server so that external or "all other" DNS requests are forwarded to OpenDNS, and OpenDNS would then check web site requests against the school’s preference list.

In the same way that a home internet user might have Verizon internet service but will opt for Gmail or Yahoo eMail service instead of Verizon’s built-in eMail service, users can "unbundled" their DNS and opt for a service such as OpenDNS.

Roughly 25,000 schools currently use the free, ad-supported service, and network administrators can connect with each other to discuss OpenDNS and other technology issues in a recently launched K-12 community forum.

Vermont’s Bennington-Rutland School District uses OpenDNS as part of its new network structure. Superintendent Daniel French said it’s a simpler, easy-to-manage solution that offers content filtering but does not inhibit learning opportunities for the district’s students.

And while financial considerations are important, French said one of his district’s main concerns is the ability to use technology in the classroom as needed or desired.

"It’s a great solution for schools moving from a corporate IT structure to more of an educational IT structure, which is more flexible," French said. "It’s been a good match as we sought to simplify our networks in terms of opening things up for the kids."

French said his district repeatedly had problems with other firewall appliances, but OpenDNS has been easy to configure and has improved the district’s network performance. As Bennington-Rutland deploys more wireless devices, more demand is placed on the network, and French said the efficiency of bandwidth usage inside and outside the firewall was an important consideration.

The Mississippi Department of Education switched from Websense to OpenDNS owing to financial constraints, and state education technology staff say the service’s performance has been a great bonus.

Wade Grant, the department’s senior network specialist, said Mississippi’s switch to OpenDNS cut down on non-educational network traffic by about 40 percent. About half of the state’s schools reportedly use OpenDNS.

"OpenDNS provides us with an additional layer to help keep kids on task," Grant said.

OpenDNS also offers domain tagging, in which users submit sites that are not yet categorized in the OpenDNS database. Other users help to validate those sites, and they are added to the blockable database.

Ulevitch said school IT administrators often keep spreadsheets of all blocked web sites, and OpenDNS users can upload those spreadsheets into the system for their school or district.

School users will see advertisements when using the free service. The ads, along with Yahoo search results that are based on whatever has been typed into the address bar, appear instead of an error page when users try to access a site that either does not exist or is not loading, and on the "access denied" page if they try to load a blocked web site.

But if a student tries to access a pornographic site, for instance, the ads on the "access denied" page will not promote other pornographic web sites.

Ulevitch said OpenDNS plans to launch a fee-based, ad-free K-12 support package in the coming months. The free K-12 service will remain, but some customers have requested heightened service availability and guarantees, which Ulevitch said OpenDNS is happy to provide.

Link:

OpenDNS

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Yale researchers examine online accreditation

Yale Law School researchers will team up with a tuition-free online university to study how online higher education is perceived worldwide and document what it takes for internet-based institutions to achieve accreditation.

The law school’s Information Society Project (ISP) announced Sept. 22 that it would partner with University of the People, which launched its first courses earlier this month (see "Scholars try tuition-free colleges"), in a project that seeks to learn how the web-based program might boost its validity among powerful world leaders.

"Online learning is a relatively new thing for lawmakers, so all countries don’t know how to deal with it yet," said Shai Reshef, founder and president of the University of the People, which has 179 students enrolled in its two fields so far: computer science and business administration. "We want to … determine the barriers that we need to overcome to operate." Accreditation for online schools, Reshef added, "is a big issue right now."

Read the full story at eCampus News

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Yale researchers examine online accreditation

Yale Law School researchers will team up with a tuition-free online university to study how online higher education is perceived worldwide and document what it takes for internet-based institutions to achieve accreditation.

The law school’s Information Society Project (ISP) announced Sept. 22 that it would partner with University of the People, which launched its first courses earlier this month (see "Scholars try tuition-free colleges"), in a project that seeks to learn how the web-based program might boost its validity among powerful world leaders.

"Online learning is a relatively new thing for lawmakers, so all countries don’t know how to deal with it yet," said Shai Reshef, founder and president of the University of the People, which has 179 students enrolled in its two fields so far: computer science and business administration. "We want to … determine the barriers that we need to overcome to operate." Accreditation for online schools, Reshef added, "is a big issue right now."

Reshef would not say whether University of the People is seeking accreditation through its partnership with Yale’s ISP.

The project, he said, would benefit web-based schools worldwide that have struggled to gain acceptance from local and national education officials and legislators.

"Some countries have no problem with it whatsoever," Reshef said, adding that some international education policies require local accreditation before the institution is recognized as a legitimate school. "We want to answer the question: How is online [learning] regulated in other countries? … And who can study [that] better than Yale Law School?"

Jack Balkin, director of Yale’s ISP, said law school officials partnered with University of the People because both institutions have a foundational understanding that "affordable education is a crucial ingredient for human development and human freedom."

"Harnessing new technologies to deliver low-cost education to people around the world is a daring venture," Balkin added. "It is also the kind of experiment that everyone should want to succeed."

University of the People has seen an international, although somewhat mild, response to its tuition-free online programs, which are designed by educators and taught by about 800 volunteer professors–about half of whom are American.

Reshef said the university has 2,300 applicants from 154 countries. University officials decided to split the school year into five terms instead of three because the institution’s pedagogy called for shorter, more focused lessons and reviews.

The year’s first 10-week term started Sept. 10, Reshef said, and the second term will begin Nov. 19. More than 300 students are expected to take classes this winter.

Because University of the People strives to bring higher education to developing nations where college is not an option for many, Laura DeNardis, Yale ISP’s executive director, said teaming with the free online program would advance a common agenda.

Although the proliferation of internet access and social-networking technology has advanced online learning, many people in undeveloped countries have been left without a chance to continue their education after basic schooling, DeNardis said.

"These advancements … have not yet reached their potential to bring effective digital education to the world’s poorest areas–and that is something this collaboration will help change," she said.

Yale’s ISP, founded a decade ago, brings together policy makers, scholars, activists, and students to focus on five main areas of research: protecting and expanding access to knowledge via the internet; finding solutions for social, legal, and ethical problems that crop up in the Information Age; granting teachers better access to online course materials; encouraging intellectual property reform globally; and creating policies that will protect civil rights in a web-based environment.

Enrollment for University of the People’s third term, which begins Feb. 4, 2010, is open. The university charges between $10 and $100 to process student exams taken at the end of each semester. The charge depends on the student’s country of residence.

Links:

University of the People

Yale Law School’s Information Society Project

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