School libraries key in teaching information skills

When school media specialists and educators make an effort to become familiar with the social-networking web sites and technologies that today’s students use each day, they can forge important learning connections with their students: That was one of the key messages to come out of the American Association of School Librarians’ annual conference, held Nov. 5-8 in Charlotte, N.C.

The conference theme, "Rev up learning @ your library," focused on how school library media specialists can help students develop valuable multimedia skills as the role of traditional school libraries changes.

"School library media specialists are crucial to the teaching and learning process," said Cassandra Barnett, AASL president. "It’s not enough for kids to know how to read anymore; they must be savvy in a multitude of literacies essential in managing information."

Barnett said today’s school libraries have become interactive media centers with a plethora of learning tools and opportunities.

"Today’s children must be able to use both print and electronic resources if they are to succeed in the next century–and school librarians are there to help them do it," she added.

Danah Boyd, an authority on online social networking sites, delivered the opening keynote address and encouraged librarians not to be afraid of or intimidated by students’ online activities. Instead, she said, educators should keep the door open for conversations and learning opportunities that might arise from these.

Author James Patterson spoke during a special session of the conference and said school libraries are essential in helping young children cultivate an appreciation for reading, even though the task might be challenging. Library media specialists can help parents choose books for children to get them started on the right path to reading, he said.

Patterson created the web site to help teachers and parents encourage kids to read.

Also during the conference, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills released an updated version of its Milestones for Improving Learning and Education (MILE) Guide, a hands-on tool designed to help districts and schools evaluate their integration of 21st-century skills into current and future practice. (See "New 21st-century skills guide available.")
As information technology becomes a more integral part of student learning and achievement, the role of school libraries and librarians is changing to meet increasing student demands while incorporating traditional library functions.

"No longer are school libraries just for books; they have become school media centers with computer resources that enable children to engage meaningfully with a wide variety of information," said an AASL publication. "These centers with trained staff support the use of electronic information resources not just in the center, but help to integrate these resources in classrooms and throughout the curriculum."

Ten years ago, school libraries were being used less and less frequently, said Diane Freeman, the librarian at Wossman High School in Monroe, La.–but thanks to a renewed focus on 21st-century skills, the school library has grown in function and use and has once again become a hub of activity within the school.

"Libraries should have been a hub of activity from the very beginning, because they are where all knowledge is found," Freeman said. "Students need not only textbooks, but books in the libraries to widen the scope of their vocabulary and to increase general knowledge."

Wossman’s library sees students before and after school for research and assignments, as well as during free time throughout the day and lunch. Students use the library and its technology to complete homework assignments, check out books, and take Accelerated Reader tests, which–for some students–have become a very lucrative venture.

Freeman gave away three laptop computers at the end of the past school year to students who read between 7 and 8 million words and scored 90 percent or better on the Accelerated Reader tests.

Increased reading is translating into higher grades in the classroom for many students and improved scores for schools as a whole.

Wossman junior Jesse Flunder, who received a free laptop last year, said his determination and perseverance toward his reading goals are helping him in all of his classes.

"It’s really helped me, especially in my English class," he said. "After reading and passing the tests, I am able to comprehend what I’m reading better."

AASL data indicate there are 77,000 public school library media centers, representing 92 percent of all traditional public schools, in the United States. There are 62,364 state-certified library media specialists in public schools and 3,909 in private schools. On average, there is one school librarian for every 953 students.


American Association of School Librarians

Partnership for 21st Century Skills MILE Guide


Baylor IT official focuses on digitization

Orr has helped make Baylor's library more collaboration friendly this year.

Orr has helped make Baylor's library more collaboration friendly this year.

Pattie Orr and other Baylor University officials take preservation seriously. So seriously, in fact, that the school dedicated a wing of its library to digitizing rare books, audio recordings, maps, and other material that students now can access online.

Orr, vice president for information technology and dean of libraries at Baylor’s Waco, Texas, campus for more than two years, said merging IT and library services proved to be a critical step in transferring documents to the web as libraries become more reliant on technology to make books accessible in campus databases.

“It kind of makes sense that these groups need leadership that will have them working together instead of duplicating efforts,” said Orr, who recently was chosen as a board member for the higher-education technology advocacy organization EDUCAUSE. “I think the open-access trend is a very important trend … that [colleges and universities] should be paying attention to.”

Baylor’s aged materials that are being moved to the web in the Ray I. Riley Digitization Center include Victorian-era women’s poetry, mid-19th century journals, gospel music on vinyl records, and letters from the Civil War that are plotted on a timeline according to when they were written.

“We’re not trying to be the Google of the world and digitize all materials,” Orr said, referring to Google Book Search, the internet giant’s effort to make millions of books available online to the chagrin of many publishers. “But we want to do what we can to preserve our special collections.”

Orr’s rise to vice president of IT at Baylor began in the early 1980s as an agent for American Airlines. While some employees struggled to use the airline’s computer system, Orr found the technology meshed with her personality.

“You had to be logical understand the commands you needed to learn,” said Orr, 55, a Dallas native. “I learned that I’m a very logical person, and I could use computers to solve a lot of problems. … I was always good at following steps that needed to be followed. It just came together and made sense to me. And that inspired me to find ways to use technology to teach others.”

Orr’s first IT position was at Shrewsbury Public Schools in Massachusetts, where she stepped in as interim technology director after the district’s IT chief went on sabbatical. Orr entered higher education in 1992 as a technology support official, later becoming director of user services and policy and planning officer at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she became a lecturer in 1996 for the department of computer science.

Orr created an internet research course that remains part of the college’s computer-science curriculum.


Gates Foundation funds teacher quality models

Three school districts and a coalition of charter schools have agreed to be test kitchens for some radical ideas for improving teacher quality — from paying new teachers to spend another year practicing before getting their own class to letting student test scores affect teacher pay.

In exchange, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is handing them the biggest pile of cash it has spent on education reform in about a decade.

The foundation announced $290 million in grants to the four groups on Nov. 19, plus another $45 million for education research aimed at uncovering what, exactly, makes an effective teacher. The grants follow up on the foundation’s announcement in August that it would turn its attention to answering this fundamental question. (See "Gates Foundation seeks keys to effective teaching.")

The grants include $100 million to Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, Fla., $90 million to Memphis City Schools, $60 million to a coalition of charter school organizations in Los Angeles, and $40 million to Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Vicki Phillips, director of the foundation’s K-12 education program, said the investment is big, the ideas are bold, and she hopes the impact could rock every school and every district in the nation.

Foundation co-chair Melinda Gates said she and her husband, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, consider education reform one of the toughest issues the foundation has taken on. The foundation is best known for its work fighting diseases like AIDS and malaria worldwide, although it also has given about $2 billion to education.

"Any time you’re trying to change a system and really have some innovative approaches, it’s going to take some long-term work," Melinda Gates said.

The foundation purposely picked four diverse organizations to work with: from the four corners of the U.S., of a variety of sizes and ethnic mixes, all with existing problems and some successes meeting the educational needs of their students.

A fifth district was in line to join the others, but Omaha Public Schools dropped out at the last minute after decided it could not meet the matching requirement of the grant during these tough economic times.

Smaller grants to other districts will be announced later, Phillips said.

The various reform projects have a number of central themes.

They will focus on teacher training, put the best teachers in the most challenging classrooms, give the best teachers new roles as mentors and coaches while keeping them in front of children, make tenure a meaningful milestone, get rid of ineffective teachers, and use money to motivate people and schools to move toward these goals.

"If you could boil what we know in education down to one sentence, it truly would be, ‘Nothing is as important as an effective teacher,’" Phillips said.

The school districts worked closely with local and national teachers unions in crafting their proposals. One of the first organizations to send out a congratulatory note to the grant recipients was the American Federation of Teachers.

"These Gates Intensive Partnership grants will show that when dedicated adults engage in true collaboration, the real winners are the students," said AFT President Randi Weingarten in a statement.

MaryEllen Elia, superintendent in Hillsborough County, believes these experiments will be closely watched by everyone running a school district.

If the results are close to expectations, other districts won’t have a choice but to find the money to make similar changes, she said.

"We owe it to the children," Elia said.

She hopes her Tampa district can set an example for other large districts dealing with similar challenges. It’s the eighth largest in the nation, with 190,000 students spread out over an area the size of Rhode Island.

Kriner Cash, superintendent in Memphis, expects to be watched very closely by everyone who cares about equal opportunity. In his district, 86 percent of the 108,915 students are African American and 83 percent are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

"All professionals involved in guiding and educating children have a stake in this work," Cash said.


Gates Foundation


Wondershare PC Health Check Released

November 16th, 2009 —Wondershare Software Co., Ltd, the world leading consuming software provider, gives release of its new system utility Wondershare PC Health Check on its system utility official website ( This is a practical system utility to repair Windows system problems and speed up computer.

Supported operating system includes: Windows 7/ Vista /XP/2000

Key Features of Wondershare PC Health Check:
Wondershare PC Health Check provides simple operations of 3 steps to repair Windows system defects on the computer.

Fully scan security vulnerabilities and system settings that cause potential risks.
Generates system security diagnostics report and guides you to repair Windows.
Repair Windows by fixing vulnerabilities and hazards.
Wondershare PC Health Check builds a backup file for every operation for restoration to the previous status.

What can Wondershare PC Health Check do for you?
Wondershare PC Health Check is a duteous repairer for your system. It does well in repairing Windows, fixing problems such as system vulnerabilities, malicious IE add-ons and system plug-ins, managing startup items and processes, and completely eliminates potential security risks on your system and improves your computer’s performance.

Pricing and Availability
The full version of Wondershare PC Health Check Copy is available for $19.95. Update pricing is free of charge. For more information and get a free trial version, visit

Wondershare Information
Established in 2003, Wondershare has extended its business worldwide. The company owns rich product lines, providing multimedia processing applications, business tools and Mobile software. The products and solutions are adopted and welcomed by world top companies such as Microsoft, Intel, Coca Cola, and IBM and so on. System utility is an important business of Wondershare. It has released Registry Optimizer, Privacy Protector and Disk Cleaner, and many other wonderful system utilities are right on the way.

Official Website:
Phone: +86-755-86117747 ext. 809 (Mon-Fri, 9am to 6pm GMT+8)
Fax: +86-755-86117737
Official Site:


‘Green’ geothermal is core to Indianhead’s revised Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology program

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC), in Superior, Wis., is working to develop a new geothermal heating core course for its Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Technology associate degree program. The geothermal heating course – a unique offering among Wisconsin’s 16 technical colleges – will prepare program graduates and heating venting and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals to install, troubleshoot and repair geothermal heating systems.

“Geothermal energy is an efficient source of heating and cooling because it uses the core temperature of the earth to lower or raise the internal temperature of a building,” said Garry Krause, academic dean-Trade and Technical, at WITC. “We are seeing a very rapid rise in the number of installed geothermal heating/cooling systems in Wisconsin.” The technology, he said, is becoming less expensive and significantly cuts energy usage and utility costs for homeowners and businesses.

A complete program revision to include modern technologies spurred the development of the course, according to Krause. All revised or new curriculum will be completed using Worldwide Instructional Design System (WIDS) software within two years. WIDS, he said, is a non-profit organization providing competency-based curriculum design software, training and consulting. “We are working on the curriculum development as we speak, with help from an advisory committee and an experienced and certified instructor. WIDS provides us with a standard template that helps us meet outcomes and develop assessments and learning activities. It also helps us fill gaps in the curriculum.”

Upon course completion, students will have the competencies required to take the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association certification exam. “This certification provides the homeowner with acceptable installations to meet credits offered by the federal government, state government and utility company,” said Krause. “The credits can save owners of the geothermal systems thousands of dollars.”

The geothermal core course will build upon skills learned in previous program courses, according to Krause. But, it will also be open as a stand-alone course for HVAC professionals – offering them a chance to master the competencies needed for certification.

While Krause isn’t yet certain how the “green” course will be funded, its development follows a significant push by the federal government to “stimulate” the development of training opportunities for the field of “green” energy.

To discover more, visit To find out more about WIDS, visit




Vaddio Records Rock and Roll History

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (November 19, 2009) – It’s the world’s most important rock destination. The multipurpose Foster Theater at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum hosts everything from live performances by rock royalty to intimate interviews. And when the whole world is watching, there are no do-overs. That’s why they chose Vaddio to capture every history-making moment.


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission both through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.


The Foster Theater

During the recently completed renovation of the 14-year-old theater on the Museum’s fourth floor, the wall fabrics, lights and seats weren’t the only components revamped. With a generous grant from Gregg and Madelyn Foster, the $1 million upgrade to the 4th-floor theater now includes a remote high-definition camera system in the design.


Events held in the Foster Theater include live concerts, educational programs, artist interviews, panel discussions and video screenings. Artists such as Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, Al Green and The Staple Singers have performed in the theater. Before her Grammy nomination Taylor Swift played in this theater to an intimate crowd of just 30 people, which now boasts three Vaddio WallVIEW HD-18 CCU high-definition camera systems to record and capture these historic moments.

Text Box: Figure 2: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Rear Skyline

Although NPi Audiovisual Solutions installed the Vaddio camera systems mainly for archiving purposes, they will also be used for webcasting, videoconferencing and eventually live streaming of the theater’s daily events.


“Archiving has always been done,” revealed Rob Weil, Director of Production for the Rock Hall, “but now we can provide a much better product with the shift from standard-definition to high-definition.” And good timing too.


Opening its doors in late 2010 is the Rock Hall’s new Library and Archives building, a 22,500-square-foot facility located in downtown Cleveland. Built to house the Rock Hall’s research collection of written and audiovisual materials relating to rock and roll history, Vaddio’s camera systems will play a key role in the audiovisual element of the new library.


Design and Execution

Jim Madden of NPi was the chief integrator for the AV overhaul. “Rob and his crew wanted a one-man control situation and they were interested in high-definition, however they had a price.” Madden adds, “Using Vaddio cameras and CCU’s we were able to come in at a realistic price range.”


For the past 14 years multiple cameras would be piled in the theater for a three-man shoot. Weil added, “They would take up valuable real estate and we wouldn’t get particularly good shots. There would be heads in the way and the cross shots wouldn’t be at the right angles, so when we got the Fosters on board, one of the first things we discussed was installing a camera system.” After looking at several different options, Weil and Madden decided on Vaddio WallVIEW CCU HD-18 robotic PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) camera systems controlled by Vaddio’s Precision Camera Controller.


Vaddio’s ClearVIEW HD-18 high definition PTZ cameras come equipped with a 1/3?, 1.3 megapixel CCD imaging sensor, a glass multi-element wide dynamic zoom lens (18x optical), tally light and 1.8-lux rating. In Weil’s case, they are converting the HD signal to HD-SDI. “When Vaddio releases the new HD-SDI card we will then take the native HD-SDI signal straight from the camera,” added Weil.


For total robotic control the cameras are paired with the WallVIEW CCU systems, featuring cutting edge High Speed Differential Signaling (HSDSÔ) technology and fingertip control of iris, gain, color, pedestal, gamma, chroma, knee and detail. 


Controlling each WallVIEW CCU system is Vaddio’s Precision Camera Controller, a broadcast-quality joystick controller. The Precision Camera Controller operates extremely smooth and accurate pan, tilt and zoom. Located in the control room behind the theater, the Precision Camera Controller is used in conjunction with the Panasonic AV-HS400 multi-format live switcher for a complete system that easily integrates with the WallVIEW CCU HD-18 systems.


Ultimately, having a one-man camera operating system will prove to be a significant cost savings for the Rock Hall.  “Having the three shooters before, we now only need one,” adds Weil.


What’s Next?

With the new theater completed, the Rock Hall can now concentrate on completing its estimated $35 million capital campaign, which included the Foster Theater, as well as the redesign of the Rock Hall’s galleries and the new Library and Archive. Everything is on schedule for the Rock Hall’s 15th anniversary approaching in 2010. It only makes sense that the event be recorded in high definition.


“We now have American-made, cutting-edge technology,” says Weil. “Sometimes you have to look outside the box, beyond the large vendors, and Vaddio has really stepped up to the plate for us.”



About Vaddio:

Vaddio is the leading manufacturer and OEM distributor of specialty PTZ cameras and high-end camera control systems used in the broadcasting, audio/visual and videoconferencing industries. Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Vaddio also has operations throughout the Americas, as well as sales and support partners throughout the world. More information can be found on the Vaddio website, or at (800) 572.2011.




Black Box introduces cutting-edge network access control security solution.

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA, November19, 2009 – Black Box Corporation (NASDAQ:BBOX), an industry-leading provider of voice communications, data infrastructure, and product solutions, announced today its entry into the NAC market with the introduction of the Veri-NAC™ network access control appliance family. The Veri-NAC is designed to prevent the kind of costly and dangerous network security breaches that have recently dominated headlines.

Veri-NAC only lets authorized computers and devices onto a defined network. It also checks to make sure each connected machine complies with specified standards, including up-to-date operating system, patch management, and hardened configurations. If a device is deemed to contain vulnerabilities, it can be locked out of the network except for the resources the user needs to bring the computer into compliance.

The Veri-NAC solution doesn’t require the installation of software agents on connected machines. It also works with existing network and legacy infrastructure, so there’s no need for expensive upgrades. Plus, Veri-NAC requires no training and minimal installation time, so even organizations with a limited IT staff can easily add it to their network security plan without straining resources. Not only is the up-front cost for Veri-NAC substantially lower than most other solutions, installation and ongoing maintenance costs are lower, too—its simplified architecture dramatically reduces the cost of network access control.

“We’re very excited about our new Veri-NAC offering because its simplified agentless architecture means it’s both highly secure and much more cost-effective compared to traditional NAC solutions,” said Josh Whitney, Black Box product manager. “This is the NAC solution for organizations that haven’t been able to implement solid network security because of the high costs and complicated configurations previously associated with NAC technologies.”

Veri-NAC is just one of many products in Black Box’s extensive line of networking solutions that includes Optinet™ bandwidth shaping and content management, Intelli-Pass™ biometric security, media converters, extenders, terminal servers, and switches. All products are backed by free, live, 24/7 Tech Support, which customers can reach at 724-746-5500 or at
For more information on the Veri-NAC product line, visit


E-Transcript Support Reaches Tipping Point; Docufide Now Servicing over 4,000 Schools Nationwide

What started with only a handful of high schools and colleges exchanging electronic transcripts in early 2003 has now evolved into the nation’s largest e-transcript exchange network, servicing ten statewide contracts and thousands of high schools and colleges in every state and over fifty countries, with over one thousand of those colleges electronically receiving Docufide’s Secure TranscriptsTM. 

2009 brought with it unprecedented acceptance and growth in the adoption of electronic transcripts.  Docufide doubled the number of sending schools while expanding its receiver services to include electronic delivery to all Common Application Organization’s 391 member institutions. 

Docufide’s tenth statewide project launched in October with the Kansas Department of Education joining Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Indiana, South Carolina, Utah, Alaska, and Arizona.  Five of these states are utilizing prior State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) grants to fund three year initiatives for their public and private schools.  With $245 million in SLDS funds due to be available in May 2010, and Race to the Top funding close behind, Docufide anticipates several more states will pursue e-transcript related services in the coming months.

John Reese, Docufide’s CEO, added that, “the benefits seen by our current statewide partners appear to serve as a catalyst for the larger than ever number of additional states and higher education institutions embracing the electronic transcript process.  We’ve had a number of our current states also include additional services, such as K-12 record exchange, course standards mapping, and statewide transcript repositories into their grant applications for 2010”.

Docufide’s services allow any college or university to register and receive transcripts for free.  Being a full service provider, Docufide delivers documents to any destination worldwide electronically or by mail. Initially nearly 100% of the transcripts went through the mail.  Now, six years later, Docufide has witnessed the tipping point of acceptance and adoption of electronic transcripts through their direct and statewide activities.  The company now delivers over 70% of all college admissions transcripts electronically, with an increasing number now receiving them in the Post Secondary Electronic Council’s (PESC) XML standard, furthering the ease of enrollment eligibility processing.

“We love Docufide—it is such a great service for the students and it allows us an opportunity to process their applications much faster. I hope more schools will get on board,” stated Linda Templeton, Director of Admissions, Indiana University Northwest.

Docufide’s network now spans thousands of high school and college clients in 35 states, in addition to 10 statewide initiatives, a region-wide exchange initiative in the Midwest (through the Midwestern Higher Education Compact – MHEC), and a e-transcript initiative recently launched with the Career College Association consisting of 1,400 member colleges.

About Docufide
Docufide is the leading provider of Educational Records Management services. Its flagship service, Secure Transcript, manages the ordering, processing, and secure delivery of student transcripts for secondary and postsecondary institutions nationwide. Secure Transcript saves schools money, frees up staff time, and improves student satisfaction. Docufide, Inc. is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, with representatives throughout the United States. For more information please visit or call 310.309.3722.


West Virginia Adopts Carnegie Learning Custom State Editions for Grade 8-12 Mathematics

PITTSBURGH, PA, November 19, 2009 – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has approved Carnegie Learning® Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II Curricula, including Carnegie Learning® West Virginia Edition Textbooks, for use as Primary Instructional Materials in the state. WVDE also approved Carnegie Learning® West Virginia 8th Grade Math software and Cognitive Tutor® Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II software for use as Supplemental Instructional Materials.

The West Virginia Instructional Materials Review and Advisory Committees evaluated submitted materials and then conducted hearings with publishers over a year-long process. The Official State Multiple List of Instructional Materials K-12 recommends programs for West Virginia public schools to implement from fall 2010 through June 2016.

Carnegie Learning® West Virginia Edition math textbooks, collaborative classrooms, and Cognitive Tutor® Software provide differentiated instruction correlated to The 21st Century Mathematics Content Standards and Objectives for West Virginia Schools. This blended curricula pedagogy:

• Encourages a collaborative, student-centered classroom by engaging students in problem solving, communication, and reasoning while making connections using multiple representations

• Promotes relevant instruction and contextual problem solving using real-world scenarios

• Delivers new, clean textbooks every year. The consumable textbooks allow students to make notes and use their books as a workbook while saving money and time by reducing copying and lowering replacement costs

Carnegie Learning® instructional materials are currently used in Boone County, Kanawha County, Marshall County, Mingo County, and Wayne County Schools, among other West Virginia districts.

Carnegie Learning® Curricula are aligned to state and most district standards and to the five content strands of the standards set by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Carnegie Learning also develops custom mathematics programs in response to individual state and districts math requirements. Carnegie Learning® Custom Math Curricula are currently available in Georgia, West Virginia, and the Hamilton County Schools in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Carnegie Learning® Math Curricula are adopted in thirteen states: Alaska, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and in Georgia where one third of the state’s school districts have adopted Carnegie Learning® Programs.

About Carnegie Learning (
Carnegie Learning, Inc. is a leading publisher of innovative, research-based math curricula for middle school, high school, and post-secondary students. Our curricula – Bridge to Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Integrated Math programs – provide differentiated instruction that helps 500,000 students in nearly 2600 schools throughout the U.S. to succeed in math as a gateway to graduation and the 21st century workforce. Carnegie Learning® Blended Math Curricula integrate interactive software, text, and collaborative classroom activity for core, full-year math instruction. Carnegie Learning® Adaptive Math Curricula Solutions feature Cognitive Tutor® Software that may be customized for Response to Intervention programs. All solutions are supported by Carnegie Learning® Professional Development Services. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Learning was founded in 1999 by cognitive and computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University in conjunction with veteran mathematics teachers.

Mary Murrin
Carnegie Learning, Inc.
(412) 690-2442 X176


New SMART Slate features enhance portability and ease of use

CALGARY, Alberta — November 12, 2009 — SMART Technologies announces the SMART Slate WS200 wireless slate. SMART Slate enables teachers and students to interact with digital lessons projected on a screen, interactive whiteboard, interactive display or interactive pen display from anywhere in the classroom. SMART Slate was developed with extensive user feedback, resulting in the addition of several features, such as improved ergonomics, convenient charging via the USB cable and support for 10 languages, including Simplified Chinese, Castilian Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. The WS200 replaces the WS100 (formerly AirLiner WS100 wireless slate) and begins shipping to North American customers on November 23, 2009, and globally on December 23.

Each point on the SMART Slate’s 6.8" x 4.26" (17.3 cm x 10.8 cm) active pen area corresponds to a point on a connected computer display. Wireless Bluetooth® enables teachers and students to control on-screen learning applications, write and draw in digital ink, or open and view files on the connected computer or SMART Board interactive whiteboard from anywhere in the room. Ergonomic improvements have made the SMART Slate smaller, lighter and easier to hold. The addition of a third programmable button enables customization and the eraser function on the battery-free, tethered pen makes annotating with digital ink even more intuitive than it was on the WS100. The SMART Slate integrates seamlessly with a broad range of SMART products, including the SMART Podium interactive pen display and SMART Board interactive whiteboard, but can also be used with just a computer and projector.

"In today’s differentiated classrooms, both teachers and students appreciate the flexibility of movement provided by the SMART Slate," says Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s CEO. "It gives all users the option to interact with digital content on a SMART Board interactive whiteboard or other display from anywhere in the room."

Wireless technology – Bluetooth 2.1 provides a reliable, wireless connection with a range of 30 feet (9.1 meters) and low power draw

Accurate and precise writing – The battery-free, tethered pen provides smooth and precise writing, enabling rapid and accurate remote interaction with projected content

Ergonomic and portable – Weighs 21 oz (612 g) and features improved ergonomic style for comfortable grip and portability

Slim profile – 10.5" x 8.5" x 1" (26.6 cm x 21.6 cm x 2.6 cm) with a 6.8" x 4.26" (17.3 cm x 10.8 cm) active pen area

Programmable buttons – Three programmable buttons can be customized with user-determined shortcuts to enhance ease of use

Multiple language support – Supports 10 languages, including English (US and UK), Brazilian Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, French, German, Mexican Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Castilian (European) Spanish

Convenient charging – Charges over a USB cable in 6.5 hours to provide at least 24 hours of continuous use

Improved battery – Physical power switch reduces discharge over prolonged periods of nonuse

Kensington security lock – Provides a simple way to attach a lock-and-cable apparatus

SMART product integration – Fully compatible with SMART products, including SMART Notebook software; ships with product driver software that ensures compatibility with customers’ existing

Pricing and availability
The SMART Slate will be available in North America on November 23 and globally on December 23, 2009. The suggested education list price for the SMART Slate wireless slate is US$349. The suggested list price in all other regions incorporates applicable taxes, duties and import costs. Information on suggested list price or special pricing for educators, where applicable, is available from local authorized SMART resellers. For purchasing information, specifications and a list of SMART authorized resellers, visit or call 1.888.42.SMART.

To download an image of the SMART Slate wireless slate, please go to SMART Slate image.

About SMART 
SMART Technologies introduced the world’s first interactive whiteboard in 1991 and today remains the global interactive whiteboard category leader, providing easy-to-use, integrated hardware, software and services that improve the way the world collaborates and learns. For more than 20 years, innovation and commitment to excellence have been at the core of its business. SMART revolutionized the education market with products that empower educators to improve student outcomes by effectively implementing technology products that support all learning styles and environments. The company helps business people achieve better results with products that enable more productive meetings and collaborative work. Its success is driven by a deep commitment to and engagement with both the education and business communities. SMART offers products, resources and services that positively transform the way people learn and work.

For more information, please contact:
Christine Roulston
Public Relations Specialist
SMART Technologies
Phone +1.403.407.5084
Fax +1.403.228.2500

© 2009 SMART Technologies ULC. AirLiner, SMART Board, smarttech and the SMART logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of SMART Technologies ULC in the U.S. and/or other countries. All third-party company names and products are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.