FETC 2010: Exhibitor index

Looking for coverage of a specific company from FETC 2010? Then use this handy index to find the information you need. Clicking on each link will take you to the story where that company is featured.

Agilix Labs 

Absolute Software 

American Education Corp. 

Asus 

AutismPro 

Black Box Network Services 

Blonder Tongue Laboratories

Blossom Learning

Brainchild 

Calypso Systems

dataMetrics Software 

Discovery Education 

DreamBox Learning 

eChalk 

F5 Networks 

Florida Virtual School 

Fujitsu 

GradeCam 

Gravic 

HP 

Inspiration Software 

iParadigms

it’s learning

Learn360 

Learning Plans on Demand 

Lightspeed Systems 

Mediatech 

MGT of America 

MIND Research Institute 

NBC Learn 

NComputing

NetSupport 

Nystrom

Pearson School Systems 

Promethean

PublicSchoolWORKS 

Qwizdom 

RoomPro Technologies 

SAFARI Montage 

Samsung 

Sanyo 

School Specialty Intervention 

Skyward 

SMART Technologies 

Texas Instruments 

Texas Instruments DLP 

Turning Technologies 

Vernier Software & Technology 

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TechSmith donating $2M in software to Michigan schools

TechSmith Corp. is donating up to $2 million in software to Michigan schools, reports the Lansing State Journal. The Okemos, Mich.-based company provides computer screen capture and recording software. Accredited Michigan schools that teach kindergarten through 12th grade can apply for free copies of the software. “A lot of our employees, almost 90 percent, are from Michigan, and many of us have kids in Michigan schools,” said Dave McCollom, who works with education clients for the company. TechSmith was founded in 1987 and employs 220, mostly in Okemos. About 30 percent of its business comes from education clients, while the rest comes from a variety of sources. The company posted roughly $35 million in sales last year. Depending on which software the schools request, McCollom said he estimates the company’s offer will supply 13,000 to 20,000 copies of software…

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Wrongful ISP piracy suspension raises questions

If internet service providers are going to become copyright police, then a recent case involving a Colorado woman suggests there’s a need for better safeguards to prevent people from being wrongly accused and cut off from the web, CNET reports. All Cathi Paradiso knew for sure, as she learned that her web access was being shut off, was that she was losing her struggle to stay calm. To Paradiso, the customer-service representative from Qwest Communications could have been speaking Slovenian for all the sense it made. Her internet service was suspended… Hollywood studios accused her of copyright violations… she illegally downloaded 18 films and TV shows…”Zombieland,” “Harry Potter,” “South Park…” South Park? What would a 53-year-old grandmother want with “South Park,” she thought to herself? Paradiso, a technical recruiter who works out of her home, would eventually be cleared. Last week, Qwest had a technician investigate—after CNET began making inquiries—and he discovered that her network had been compromised. So Paradiso is off the hook, but she wants to know what would have happened had she not gone to the media. There was no independent third party to hear her complaint. There was no one to advocate for her. “This goes to show that there’s a problem with due process in these kinds of situations,” said Fred von Lohmann, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “If you’re going to kick somebody off the internet, there’s a lot of procedures that need to be put in place to protect the innocent. It doesn’t look like those were in place here.”

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Blind law student wins computer aid for bar exam

A blind law student can use computer-assisted reading devices in next month’s bar exam, a federal judge has ruled, rejecting the examiners’ arguments that the assistance was too generous and might let someone steal the test questions, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer of San Francisco ordered the National Conference of Bar Examiners on Jan. 29 to accommodate Stephanie Enyart, who suffers from macular degeneration and retinal dystrophy and was declared legally blind at 15. Enyart, 32, graduated last spring from UCLA Law School, where she took tests on a laptop with software that magnified the text and read the words into earbuds. But she has not taken the bar exam because its examiners have refused to allow the same arrangements. Federal disability law “does not require testing organizations to provide disabled examinees with their preferred accommodations,” the examiners’ lawyer, Gregory Tenhoff, said in court papers. He also said putting the test questions on a computer disk would expose them to hackers and thieves. The examiners said Enyart would have to accept the usual accommodations for blind and visually impaired applicants: a pencil-and-paper test with questions displayed on an enlarged screen, a human reader, and twice the usual three-day testing period. In siding with Enyart, Breyer said the bar could provide its own computer for increased security. “A disability should not prevent an individual from pursuing their dream, if that’s what it is, of practicing law,” the judge said…

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Students create site for college journalists to talk about the craft

Two young entrepreneurs have launched an online community where college journalists are sharing ideas on technology, leadership, news judgment, and content, Poynter.org reports. Kelsey A. Schnell and Brandon Martinez built CollegeNewsroom.org in Big Rapids, Mich., the home of Ferris State University. So far, students from about 30 colleges have joined. Schnell, creative developer for CollegeNewsroom.org, is editor-in-chief of the Ferris State Torch. Martinez is web editor for CollegeNewsroom.org and the Torch, which are independent of each other. CollegeNewsroom.org, which launched in November, has featured discussions about college editors’ use of Twitter and, within days of its launch, the iPad. Posts about whether college papers should print the n-word and whether it is OK to take a reporter’s byline off a poorly written story have made for some lively discussions on the site. Other posts include information on how to come up with catchy headlines and how to retain and motivate staff

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Good night moon, hello new rocket technology

President Barack Obama is redirecting America’s space program, killing NASA’s $100 billion plans to return astronauts to the moon and using much of that money for new rocket technology research, reports the Associated Press. The moon mission, which already cost $9.1 billion, was based on old technology and revisiting places astronauts already had been, officials said. “Simply put, we’re putting the science back into the rocket science at NASA,” White House science adviser John Holdren said at a budget briefing Feb. 1. The $4 billion that NASA spends yearly on human space exploration now will be used for what NASA and White House officials called dramatic changes in rocketry, including in-orbit fueling. They said those new technologies eventually would be used to send astronauts to a nearby asteroid, a brief foray back to the moon, or the Martian moons. The White House plan was short on details, such as where astronauts would fly next, on what type of rocket ship, or when. However, officials were quick to point out the failures of the Bush administration’s moon program, called Constellation.

“This is a pretty substantial change,” said MIT astronautics professor Ed Crawley, who was on a special panel that looked at the future of spaceflight for the White House. “It is more change than I thought they’d take on.”

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FY11 budget plan folds ed tech into new program

EETT experiences some changes under the proposed FY2011 budget.

Education technology no longer would have a separate line item under Obama's proposed FY2011 budget.

President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2011 calls for sweeping changes to programs within the U.S. Department of Education (ED), including a restructuring of federal education technology grants.

Under Obama’s budget plan, the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program—the largest single source of federal funding for school technology hardware, software, and professional development—would be consolidated along with several other grant programs into a new initiative called Effective Teaching and Learning for a Complete Education.

This new initiative would focus on improving teaching and learning within three areas: Literacy, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and Well-Rounded Education (arts, foreign languages, civics and government, history, geography, economics, financial literacy, and other subjects).

According to ED officials, the new initiative would “include a focus on integrating technology into instruction and using technology to drive improvements in teaching and learning” throughout all three areas.

Most of the money would be awarded through competitive grants to state and local education agencies, but ED also would set aside money for national activities, such as grants to support research and technical assistance, grants to “strengthen the use of technology in the core academic subjects”; and a competitive grant program to encourage the development of “high-quality digital educational content for children.”

The three components of the Effective Teaching and Learning initiative would receive a combined $1.015 billion in FY11 funding under the president’s proposal, an increase of $95 million over what the programs that make up this new initiative received in FY10. But it’s unclear from the plan how much of this $1.015 billion would be spent on education technology in particular.

A reaction to Obama’s proposed budget, posted on the Software and Information Industry Association’s web site, said the plan “would dramatically remake the federal education landscape in the name of flexibility. … Among the changes would be the ‘consolidation’ of the [EETT] program, perhaps ending some 15-plus years of targeted investment in educational innovation and improvement through technology. … While SIIA has been [assured] of the goal to integrate technology throughout, those details to date are not available.”

The statement noted: “Flexibility in using federal funds to meet educational needs through technology is an important principle. … [But this] flexibility is most often taken advantage of by those with the vision, capacity, and existing success. The questions therefore are: What federal leadership teeth will be given to the integration policies to drive technology-based practices that would not otherwise happen? And, what will happen to those many communities and teachers without the vision, capacity, and resources, if targeted investment is no longer provided?”

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History.com offers several resources for commemorating Black History Month

SiteofWeek 020310 bIn celebration of Black History Month, A&E Television Networks’ History Channel and its companion web site, History.com, have compiled several online resources. An interactive timeline of milestones in United States black history ranges from slavery in America in 1619 to President Barack Obama’s inauguration last year; clicking on any of the milestones takes users to video clips and additional information. Short video clips include a portion of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, as well as footage of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier in 1947. Site visitors also will find profiles of 65 African-American icons, as well as interactive maps showing slave trade routes, the Underground Railroad, public school segregation by U.S. state in 1954, and more. http://www.history.com/content/blackhistory

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Apple’s approach to eBooks could be problematic

Even as Apple’s iPad is poised energize electronic reading, the new device is undermining a painstakingly constructed effort by the publishing industry to make it possible to move eBooks between different electronic readers, reports the Associated Press. The iPad will be linked to Apple’s first eBook store when it goes on sale in a few months. The books, however, will not be compatible with Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle or with the major alternative eBook system. Apple’s creation of a third choice is likely to further frustrate and confuse consumers if they accumulate eBooks for one device, then try to go back to read them later on a different one. The effect could be akin to having to buy a new set of CDs every time you get a new stereo system. It also could keep people from buying new eReaders as better models come out, if they aren’t compatible with the books they already have. This could cool consumers’ enthusiasm for eBooks, the way sales of digital music downloads were hampered by a variety of copy-protection schemes…

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Obama to seek sweeping change in NCLB rewrite

The Obama administration is proposing a sweeping overhaul of President Bush’s signature education law, No Child Left Behind, and will call for broad changes in how schools are judged to be succeeding or failing, as well as for the elimination of the law’s 2014 deadline for bringing every American child to proficiency, reports the New York Times. Educators who have been briefed by administration officials said the proposals would eliminate or rework many of the provisions that teachers’ unions and other education groups have found most objectionable. Yet the administration is not planning to abandon the law’s commitments to closing the achievement gap between minority and white students and to encouraging teacher quality. The White House reportedly wants to change federal financing formulas so that a portion of the money is awarded based on academic progress, rather than by formulas that apportion money to districts according to their numbers of students, especially poor students. The current system issues the equivalent of a pass-fail report card for every school each year—an evaluation that administration officials say fails to differentiate among chaotic schools in chronic failure, schools that are helping low-scoring students improve, and high-performing suburban schools that nonetheless appear to be neglecting some low-scoring students. Instead, under the administration’s proposals, a new accountability system would divide schools into more categories, offering recognition to those that are succeeding and providing large new amounts of money to help improve or close failing schools…

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