Crestron Hosts Second Annual Dealer Conference in Sydney, Australia

ROCKLEIGH, NJ, November 17, 2009 – Crestron today announced that over 130 delegates converged at the Four Points by Sheraton in Sydney, Australia’s picturesque Darling Harbour for the Second Annual Crestron Conference in early November. Along with the local Crestron team, the company’s commitment to this region was clearly demonstrated by the attendance of Randy Klein, Crestron Executive Vice President; Jason Tirado, International Sales Director, and David Silberstein, Global Product Sales Specialist.

"This year’s conference was focused on developing our customers’ practical skills, and helping them grow their businesses with the wide range of Crestron products and solutions," said Jason Lewis, National Manager, Crestron Australia and New Zealand. New product instruction included DigitalMedia™, the only complete, integrated solution for the digital age, and Prodigy™ by Crestron, which delivers affordable, simple to use and easy to install home control.

The Crestron Awards Dinner honored the achievements of local dealers that are embracing Crestron integrated technology solutions, resulting in some of the most spectacular and innovative installations in the industry.

"We are really proud of all the winners – they are all diligent innovators who deserve to be recognized for their success," said Lewis. Randy Klein agreed, "Crestron congratulates each one of the winners in all of the categories, and we applaud their hard work, dedication and innovation in driving our industry forward."

This year Crestron presented awards in eight categories:

Best New Integrator
Harvey Norman Commercial, Adelaide S.A.

Commercial Dealer of the Year
Rutledge Engineering

Residential Dealer of the Year
Integrated Systems QLD

New Zealand Dealer of the Year
Resolution AV

Best Commercial Project
AV Central – Flinders University FMC2 Theatre

Best Residential Project
Visionx AV – Nachabe Residence

Best One Platform Project
Electronic Living QLD – McKennariey Residence

Project of the Year 2009
Sound Advice – Questicon Japan Theatre

About Crestron

For 40 years Crestron has been the world’s leading manufacturer of advanced control and automation systems, innovating technology and reinventing the way people live and work. Offering integrated solutions to control audio, video, computer, IP and environmental systems, Crestron streamlines technology, improving the quality of life for people in corporate boardrooms, conference rooms, classrooms, auditoriums, and in their homes. Crestron’s leadership stems from its dedicated people who are committed to providing the best products, programs and services in the industry.

In addition to its World Headquarters in Rockleigh, New Jersey, Crestron has sales and support offices throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australia.


Vernier and Bio-Rad to Offer Enhanced Solutions for Biotechnology Education

Daylene Long
Vernier Software & Technology                                 
Kati Elliott                                           
KEH Communications
Julie Mathern
Bio-Rad Laboratories
Beaverton, OR – November 18, 2009 – Vernier Software & Technology, a provider of educational science interfaces, sensors, and software and Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc., a multinational manufacturer and distributor of life science research and clinical diagnostics products that include its Biotechnology Explorer™ program, are combining their respective expertise in science education products to offer an enhanced biotechnology curricula for educators as well as students at the high school and
The newly combined curriculum will bring together Vernier’s instructor-friendly data-acquisition equipment with Bio-Rad’s industry-standard Biotechnology Explorer program kits and equipment.  An example of the curriculum being developed features instructional tools that allow teachers to utilize Bio-Rad’s lab activities for bacterial transformation and DNA electrophoresis in conjunction with Vernier’s Blue and White Digital Bioimaging Systems and Logger Pro Software.
“Students need a real-world, high-end lab experience to learn these complex concepts,” said David Vernier, Vernier co-founder and a former physics teacher. “This partnership combines the expertise of both organizations to create lab experiences that are easy for instructors to implement. We believe partnering with Bio-Rad will allow us to better meet the needs of life science instructors at the high school and college levels.”
Vernier and Bio-Rad are currently offering workshops on their new solutions and presented a joint workshop at the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) conference in Denver in November 2009. For more information about these events, visit
About Vernier Software & Technology
Vernier Software & Technology has been an innovator of data-collection technology for 28 years. Creating easy-to-use and affordable science interfaces, sensors, and software, their products can be found in education from elementary school to college. Vernier helps teachers enhance their science curriculum, increase learning, and build students’ critical thinking skills. Vernier’s technologies are in use worldwide in more than 125 countries. For more information visit
Bio-Rad Laboratories
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) has remained at the center of scientific discovery for more than 50 years, manufacturing and distributing a broad range of products for the life science research and clinical diagnostic markets. The company is renowned worldwide among hospitals, universities, major research institutions, as well as biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies for its commitment to quality and customer service. Founded in 1952, Bio-Rad is headquartered in Hercules, California, and serves more than 85,000 research and industry customers worldwide through its global network of operations. The company employs over 6,500 people globally and had revenues exceeding $1.7 billion in 2008. For more information, please visit

Financial Literacy Software for Life Skills Education to be Highlighted at National ACTE Conference

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Nov. 18, 2009) – Recent surveys have highlighted the lack of personal finance education among students. In response, a sense of urgency has emerged over the need to revise state curriculum standards to include financial literacy education. To date, 20 states have revised high school graduation requirements to better prepare students for college and the workforce, directing school districts to implement a one-semester personal finance course, or incorporate personal finance into the curricula for other subjects such as economics, social studies, or mathematics.

In an effort to help educators meet these new requirements, Realityworks, Inc., developer of real-life, interactive educational products, announces the availability of TimeMAPS™ Money Management and Life Skills Program, personal finance software that meets state standards. The TimeMAPS software package will be featured at the Association of Career and Technical Education’s (ACTE) Annual Convention and Career Tech Expo to be held Nov. 19-21, 2009, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.

A national evaluation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service revealed that as few as 10 hours of classroom instruction on financial literacy could provide enough knowledge to improve both how teens handle money and their financial behavior in general. These results, published in 2007, have prompted states to include financial literacy as part of the high school curriculum.

Twenty states have adopted personal finance education as a graduation requirement, including:
•    Arizona (Arizona State Standards)
•    Illinois (Illinois Consumer Education Proficiency Test)
•    New Jersey (New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards)
•    New York (New York Social Studies Standards)
•    Ohio (Ohio Academic Content Standards)
•    Oklahoma (Oklahoma Mathematics Content Standards)
•    Texas (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills Standards)
•    Utah (Utah Core Curriculum Standards)

Using the TimeMAPS software, educators have access to 13 themes with 54 lessons and more than 140 interactive examples of personal finance concepts. The program uses the most recent financial data provided by the federal government and is updated annually for all regions in the United States.

TimeMAPS also includes a curriculum CD and online assessment tool that minimize paperwork for educators, allowing more time for instruction.

In addition to the TimeMAPS package, a student resource CD is available to extend learning beyond the classroom. The CD contains worksheets, reviews, quizzes and projects that students can use to reinforce financial literacy lessons being taught from the curriculum.

Realityworks will host two 50-minute workshops during the ACTE conference. “TimeMAPS: Financial Literacy through Digital Technology” will be held from 11-11:50 a.m. and 12-12:50 p.m. in the exhibit area of the Gaylord Opryland.

This will be Realityworks’ sixth year supporting the goals of ACTE, having introduced products such as the RealCare® Baby to educators at previous conferences. Educators can learn more about Realityworks’ interactive, educational products by visiting booths 652 & 653 at the ACTE conference. For more information on the ACTE conference, visit For more information on TimeMAPS, visit

About Realityworks, Inc.
Realityworks, Inc., developer of life-changing, interactive educational products, was founded in 1994. Its award-winning products provide students with realistic learning experiences, and are used by educators in Career and Technical Education, Family and Consumer Science and Health courses, as well as in other instructional settings worldwide. For more information, visit, or call toll free at 1-800-830-1416.

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Lakeland School District Saves Time and Money by Launching Free District-Wide Websites from School Loop

Kati Elliott   
Brooke MacDonald
KEH Communications    

San Francisco, CA –– November 18, 2009 – Less than two weeks after signing up to use School Loop’s free website system, School Loop Standard, Lakeland already had its brand new district website up and running. 

“We wanted websites that were easy for staff to create and update without having to take up precious professional learning time to learn HTML coding. We also knew that the improved sites would allow for better interaction between teachers, parents and students,” said Chad Parson, Technology Support Manager for Lakeland School District.

The user-friendly nature of School Loop’s content management system meant that Lakeland was able to avoid long delays and to make their site available to the public quickly. The software uses drag-and-drop functionality for placement and organization of page elements such as tables, directories, news, blogs, images, and more. The software also utilizes “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) technology to allow any user to create web content, even if they don’t have formal web design training. A variety of professionally-designed page templates allows districts like Lakeland to quickly create a consistent look and feel across all schools in the district.

School Loop also lightens the load on school IT departments by providing unlimited bandwidth and storage, high-speed networking and full automatic backup all at no cost. Unlike other free services of its kind, School Loop does not inundate its users with ads—in fact, the system is totally free of any advertisements.

“Schools have struggled to maintain professional websites because learning HTML programming can be extremely time consuming and hiring outside vendors to maintain sites for the district is expensive.  With School Loop Standard, we take all of the logistical issues away and provide a great platform that makes it easier for districts to build their web presence,” said Mark Gross, founder and CEO of School Loop and a former social studies teacher.

Under the new system, Lakeland’s district office and schools can assign publishing rights to as many individuals as needed to avoid “information bottlenecks,” situations wherein the webmaster has more content to post than time to post it.  Educators can even provide publishing rights to students, allowing them to gain experience in the 21st century skill of managing web content while simultaneously lightening the workload of school staff.
Lakeland School District’s new web address is

A full list of School Loop products is available at:

About Lakeland School District
Lakeland School District was formed by consolidating thirteen smaller school districts in 1949. 4,491 students are enrolled district-wide, with 2,276 students in the elementary schools and 2,215 secondary students. Lakeland School District employs a total of 452 regular employees, 287 certificated staff and 165 support staff. The mission of Lakeland Joint School District is to provide a quality education, empowering all students to achieve success. Visit the district site at

About School Loop
Founded by a teacher in 2004, School Loop powers websites that deliver information across all divides. School Loop Plus offers next-generation tools for collaboration and communication among school administrators, teachers, parents and students.  School Loop Standard allows schools to create custom, professional public websites that publish school news, events and course information. School Loop helps everyone stay in the loop so students get the chance they deserve. For additional information, visit School Loop on the web at

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Common Sense Media Introduces Your School Profile, and a chance to win a Flip!

Common Sense Media has a smart new way for parents and educators to stay in touch on the issues affecting kids in today’s digital world. It’s called Your School Profile, and it lets parents and educators keep track of the media education activities taking place at their schools.  Plus, they can find and share Common Sense Media reviews and other activities from the parents and educators in their community. Plus, get 25 or more of your fellow parents and educators to join Your School Profile and your school will be entered to win 30 Flip video cameras—a $4,500 value!

Here’s what to do:

1. Register or log in to Common Sense Media (, find and add your school to your profile

2. Invite other parents or educators to join Your School Profile.

3. Keep an eye on Your School Profile. Watch your school’s membership grow, or invite more people to join.

4. All schools with 25 or more parents or educators will be entered to win the Flip video cameras.

Hurry! Offer ends December 31, 2009.



‘BRIGANCE CIBS II’ Offers Effective and Individualized Diagnosis for Special Education Students

Kati Elliott                             Jaime Schepici
KEH Communications     Curriculum Associates
410-975-9638                    1-800-225-0248, ext. 270
NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., November 18, 2009 – The BRIGANCE Comprehensive Inventory of Basic Skills II (CIBS II) provides special education teachers and administrators with the means to easily assess and monitor the needs of special education students. Created by Curriculum Associates®, the new CIBS II Reading/ELA Inventory and CIBS II Math Inventory measures students’ present level of performance, provides ongoing assessment of academic skills at Pre-K through grade 9 levels, guides instructional planning, and offers instructional objectives for writing IEPs.
Each CIBS II Inventory meets IDEA and NCLB requirements while providing a simple and efficient set of assessments that align to state standards. The CIBS II measures academic achievement, identifies students’ strengths and weaknesses, serves as a resource for state alternate assessments, and, used with the BRIGANCE Online Management System, accurately documents and tracks student progress. The BRIGANCE Online Management System allows teachers to manage student data, meet reporting requirements, and generate teacher, parent, and administrator reports including progress reports and content for IEPs.
The Reading/ELA Inventory includes reading and writing assessments that correlate to commonly tested reading and ELA skills and strategies found in many state standards. The reading comprehension section contains longer, grade-leveled passages for fluency with follow up questions to test students’ knowledge of facts/details, compare/contrast, cause/effect, sequence, drawing conclusions/making inferences, fact/opinion, and figurative language skills. 
The Math Inventory is organized around the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Focal Points, including algebra, number sense, geometry, measurement, and data collection. Also included are expanded math grade-placement tests to allow teachers to see at which grade level a student is performing.
The CIBS II Standardized Inventory combines newly re-standardized reading, writing, and math assessments into one convenient all-in-one resource. The CIBS II standardized assessments are supported by a 2010 standardization and validation study (for grades Pre-K-grade 6.) Each standardized kit includes the Standardization and Validation Manual and 20 record books.
Each BRIGANCE system comes with 24/7 online training and optional live workshops for fast and easy implementation.
Pricing and Availability
The CIBS-II Reading/ELA Inventory, CIBS II Math Inventory, and CIBS II Standardized Inventory are currently available. Complete pricing and ordering information is available online at
About Curriculum Associates
Founded in 1969, privately-owned Curriculum Associates is dedicated to designing research-based instructional materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools. The company’s products and outstanding customer services provide teachers and administrators with the resources necessary for teaching a diverse student population and fostering learning for all students. For company and product information visit Curriculum Associates on the Web at or call 1-800-225-0248.

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USDA: Reward schools serving healthy food

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said schools that serve more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to pupils should see higher federal support rates than those serving less-healthier meals loaded with high fats and sugar, reports the Associated Press. Child nutrition programs, which include school lunch and breakfast, are due for an overhaul, but Congress is not expected to act before 2010. The government has targeted improving the nutritional quality and access to school meals amid rising child obesity rates. "It is important for us to reward top performers," Vilsack told the Senate Agriculture Committee Nov. 17. "We would encourage this committee and the Congress to take a look at reimbursement rates that would be linked directly to increased nutritional values." School meal programs provide an estimated 40 million meals daily–and more than half a student’s food intake during the school day. Obesity rates among U.S. children have doubled in the last 20 years, and almost a third of American children are either overweight or obese. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Blanche Lincoln told Vilsack she was willing to pay more to serve healthier foods. "I’m certainly sympathetic to the concept of higher reimbursement rates. Common sense does tell us that as we improve that quality it also increases the cost," she said…

Click here for the full story


Wikipedia co-founder launches YouTube-like web site for children

Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia, has launched a new web site designed to gather and organize educational videos for students ages 3 to 18. The site,, currently features more than 11,000 videos across 2,000 categories on subjects such as math, science, and history. The nonprofit site features new software, developed specifically for the site by Sanger, that allows wiki-style collaboration among users. “Think of it as YouTube meets Wikipedia, filtering out everything but quality educational videos,” Sanger said. “ links together content from traditional sites, and also allows users of the site to improve the organization of the video categories, which makes finding the video you need much easier.” The site, which features videos from National Geographic, YouTube, and Google Videos, among other sources, is intended to complement and enhance the learning experience for students as they study concepts that are traditionally hard to learn. “Many of our country’s educators are unaware of the enormous amount of good video content available for free online,” said Chareen Snelson, an advisory committee member and professor at Boise State specializing in online educational videos. “Having a central repository of organized, quality videos is a blessing for busy teachers and students.” is funded by the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, which has set the goal of offering more than 50,000 videos on the site by the end of 2010. The site offers tips for video searching, separate pages for students, parents, and teachers, and a guide for contributors.





Pittsburgh, Pa., November 18, 2009 – Panopto, Inc., a leading provider of rich media presentation capture solutions for the corporate, education, government and healthcare markets, today announced that Ivy Tech Community CollegeNortheast, the Fort Wayne, Ind., region of the Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana system, is deploying CourseCast across its campus to provide students with multiple chances to review and learn important course material.
“Traditionally in the education arena, students have one chance to learn critical course material. They go to a lecture, take notes and move on, even if they do not fully understand the information,” said Andaz Ahmad, director of instructional technology who manages Instructional Technology, Distance Education for faculty/staff and Media Services, for Ivy TechNortheast. “With Panopto, students now have multiple chances to really master course objectives. They can revisit lectures at their convenience, zero in on segments of interest, and watch classes they may have missed due to an illness or other obligation.”
Ivy TechNortheast selected Panopto CourseCast as its lecture capture solution based on its ability to capture all facets of a lecture, including video, audio and PowerPoint slides.  By integrating all types of material into one digital recording, CourseCast allows students and faculty to review past lectures to increase student success as well as help professors evaluate their teaching styles.
Ivy TechNortheast noted that another selling point was Panopto’s ability to allow professors to record lectures from any location. Since Panopto can capture rich media lectures using just a simple Web cam, Ivy TechNortheast decided Panopto should be a critical component of the college’s pandemic H1N1 preparedness and disaster recovery plans, as it would allow classes to continue even in the case of a campus closure.
“Panopto is committed to increasing student achievement by helping students and faculty review and present critical information, even when they cannot physically be in the classroom,” said Brad Winney, chief executive officer of Panopto. “We are excited that Ivy TechNortheast has deployed Panopto CourseCast to increase student learning opportunities, improve faculty teaching styles and prepare its campus for absences from illnesses, campus closures and other unplanned events.”
After a competitive evaluation, Ivy TechNortheast chose CourseCast over leading lecture capture solutions due to its low total cost of ownership and ease of use, noting that recently it took less than 15 minutes of training for a new faculty member to begin recording high-quality rich media lectures.
Learn More – Ivy Tech Community College–Northeast Case Study
To learn more about how Panopto CourseCast is revolutionizing the way Ivy TechNortheast reaches out to its students, please view the entire case study at  
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public post-secondary institution and the nation’s largest singly-accredited statewide community college system with more than 130,000 students enrolled annually. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

About Panopto
Panopto, Inc. is a leading provider of media-rich knowledge casting and management solutions for the corporate, education, government and healthcare markets. Founded in 2007 by professors at Carnegie Mellon University, Panopto’s innovative solutions are the result of years of advanced research in scalable media systems that harness the advantages of today’s video, capture, stream, search and archival technologies. Its flagship product, CourseCast, is used by thousands of students across the globe, while its Panopto Hosted solutions provide users with a cost-effective option for streaming and recorded video capture. For additional information about Panopto and its comprehensive suite of video capture solutions, please visit



CoSN seeks more ICT lessons from abroad

As part of the organization’s latest effort to learn from colleagues abroad, a delegation of U.S. education technology leaders from the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) visited Scotland and the Netherlands last week to learn more about the world’s first national intranet for education, international approaches to online safety, and more.

Last year, a CoSN delegation toured Scandinavia in search of answers for how students in that region of the world were able to score so high on a recent international test of math and science skills. (Read “U.S. educators seek lessons from Scandinavia.”)

This year, the delegation hoped to learn more about international practices for integrating information and communication technology (ICT) into instruction, as well as how data-driven decision making influences initiatives and strategies in Scotland and the Netherlands.

The six-day visit, which began Nov. 8th, marked CoSN’s fourth international delegation. While abroad, the delegation held high-level meetings with both public and private-sector officials.

“Across the globe, technology is being leveraged to enhance learning and boost administrative efficiency in schools,” said Keith Krueger, CoSN’s chief executive, in a statement. “U.S. educators and policy makers need to look at best practices from around the world if they hope to use technology to transform learning and enable the enterprise of education. CoSN is dedicated to uncovering and exploring innovative approaches wherever they are being employed to ensure that North American educators and policy makers can devise practices and enact policies that lead to the successful use of technology in schools.”

Specifically, the delegation hoped to learn how strategic investments in ICT by Scotland and the Netherlands are preparing their students for higher achievement and success in a global economy; explore innovative uses of technology, including Web 2.0 collaborative tools, national learning platforms, and other cutting-edge applications; and discover common challenges in using ICT to transform learning.

In Scotland, the delegation met with senior staff at Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS), the lead government-funded organization for the development of Scottish ICT initiatives, and heard about the Glow Network, the world’s first national intranet for education.

Funded and managed by LTS and delivered by Research Machines (RM), Glow is a safe online environment for students, teachers, and parents, as well as an area to create personalized work spaces and share curricular resources.
Glow also provides a variety of online tools to help students communicate and collaborate across the network.

Click below to learn about Glow on eSN.TV


“The most profound thing about the current version of Glow is that it represents the successful scaling–by an administrative entity, no less–of an environment that provides more or less all teachers with basic social media tools,” said Graig Wacker, program officer for the MacArthur Foundation and a CoSN delegate.

Wacker’s comments are part of CoSN’s multimedia blog describing the delegation’s visit, which can be found here. Besides meaningful commentary, CoSN’s blog provides video interviews with delegates and foreign officials, as well as videos of schools visited, the Glow Network, and more.

Along with Glow, the delegation’s blog also highlights an internet voucher initiative that Becta (the British Educational Communications & Technology Authority) started several years ago to help low-income families access the internet. The vouchers also can be used to help buy personal home computers.

According to Krueger, Doug Brown, an international consultant to Becta, told the delegation that putting technology into the hands of poor families has had a huge economic impact. It has allowed entire families to use the technology for a range of social and economic purposes, including finding jobs, paying bills online, and bringing family members into an increasingly digital world. “And, of course, their kids are now able to compete on an equitable basis with their peers,” said Krueger on CoSN’s blog.

During its visit to the Netherlands, the delegation met with officials from Kennisnet, a leading public ICT support organization, as well as with members of the European Schoolnet and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and a senior member of the Dutch Parliament.

The delegation also presented U.S. lessons at Onderwijsdagen (Netherland’s Education Day) on Nov. 9.

According to Irene Spero, chief operating officer for CoSN, the most significant point of difference between U.S. schools and Dutch schools is that Dutch schools do not block any of the social media tools that are often banned in the U.S.

“It is clear that the educators we have met here and in Scotland share common problems, but the approaches and the solutions in addressing these problems are unique,” explained Spero on CoSN’s blog.

Krueger said major findings from the delegation will be analyzed and compiled into a report that he expects will be available in January.


Consortium for School Networking

International delegation’s blog



Note to readers:

Don’t forget to visit the Education 3.0 resource center. In some forward-thinking schools, technology isn’t just layered on top of traditional processes. Instead, it is woven seamlessly through all aspects of education, from building security to lesson plans and student collaboration — interconnecting all facets of school life, and truly revolutionizing the education experience. Go to: Education 3.0