Texas district streams video wirelessly on demand

Keller ISD installed a video-on-demand solution to enable the school district to deliver rich digital educational content to classrooms throughout the school district.

Keller ISD installed a wireless video-on-demand solution to deliver rich digital content to students' mobile devices.

A Texas school system has set up a wireless network infrastructure that is capable of streaming high-quality video to students’ mobile devices—enabling true anytime, anywhere learning to occur with the help of visual media.

The Keller Independent School District recently began using a wireless video streaming solution that supports its effort to put mobile devices in the hands of every student. Using the Video-on-Demand (VOD) and Digital Media Management solution from SAFARI Montage, Keller ISD can stream rich digital content to students throughout the school district wirelessly, which enhances their overall learning experience, said Chief Technology Officer Joe Griffin.

“Our existing wired infrastructure limited where and how users could access the content,” he said. “We needed a cost-effective solution that could provide high-speed, district-wide coverage and ensure seamless delivery of multimedia content to students and teachers, while supporting our efforts to expand these capabilities to all classrooms.”

High-quality multimedia content requires high bandwidth to deliver the content to students through the web, generally causing VOD providers to recommend the content only be delivered over a wired network.

But Motorola’s Wireless LAN (WLAN) solution offers high-performance multimedia streaming through four key capabilities, according to the company: adaptive networking, superior video handling capabilities, high-power access points, and remote network troubleshooting.

To support the high-bandwidth requirements needed to distribute large, high-quality digital video files from the SAFARI Montage system, Keller ISD turned to Motorola’s 802.11n WLAN infrastructure and AirDefense’s wireless security and network assurance solutions.

Motorola’s 802.11n solution supports the SAFARI Montage Selective Video Streaming software and helps manage and ensure seamless delivery of live video streams to the classroom from cable TV, video cameras, and the internet.

“With our plan to move to a digital curriculum, it was crucial to have a reliable and easy-to-use wireless infrastructure in place that would support our one-to-one instructional objectives and enable visual teaching district-wide,” said James Veitenheimer, Keller ISD’s superintendent.

“We also needed a network that could work at a very high level and make it easy for students and teachers to use.”

One reason Keller ISD officials can rest assured that their wireless network will work as promised is the combination of security and advanced troubleshooting they get from AirDefense, which Motorola acquired in 2008.

The company’s Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (WIPS) provides Keller ISD with 24-7 wireless security and network monitoring, ensuring that hackers can’t access the sensitive personal information of students and faculty. An “Advanced Troubleshooting” module allows district IT staff to take a proactive approach to monitoring network performance; the technology reportedly can run a diagnostic test every morning before school starts to make sure each classroom has the capability to stream video reliably, without delays, so there are no surprises for the teachers or their students.

Because the AirDefense system remotely monitors and collects data from the wireless access points and allows for remote servicing as well, district IT staff can spend less time troubleshooting network problems in each building; instead, they can get issues resolved from a central location. Motorola says feedback from its customers suggests this capability can cut down on school site visits by IT staff up to 70 percent.

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Viral eMail roils higher education once again

OSU officials squashed a widespread internet rumors that Robinson would be fired.

OSU officials are trying to squash an internet rumor that basketball coach Craig Robinson's job was saved by stimulus funding.

Have you heard the one about shady White House dealings that saved a college basketball coach’s job? The eMail rumor about Oregon State University coach Craig Robinson—President Obama’s brother-in-law—was read by millions on the web in March, serving as the latest example of how viral internet gossip can catch university officials off guard.

An eMail message charging that the Obama administration had pledged $17 million in stimulus funds to Oregon State as long as the university retained Robinson spread to web sites, blogs, and in-boxes under the subject lines “Stimulus Does Work” or “Stimulus Money…One Job Saved.” The message claimed that Robinson’s job was in danger, so the White House dispatched a Department of Education official to arrange a special stimulus award as part of an unreported quid pro quo.

The viral message stirred up so many questions that Oregon State officials had to debunk the rumor with an official statement released March 23.

Read the full story on eCampus News

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Win up to $2.6 million for using telecom in instruction

The Ready to Teach program (RTT) supports the use of telecommunications to improve teaching by assisting elementary school and secondary school teachers to prepare all students to achieve challenging state academic content and student academic achievement standards in core curriculum areas.

Date of Meeting for Prospective Applicants: April 15, 2010.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 24, 2010.

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Win up to $15 million for the development of high-quality charter schools

The purpose of the Charter Schools Program (CSP) is to increase national understanding of the charter school model and to expand the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the nation by providing financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools, and to evaluate the effects of charter schools, including their effects on students, student academic achievement, staff, and parents.

SEAs use their CSP funds to award subgrants to non-SEA eligible applicants for planning, program design, and initial implementation of a charter school, and to support the dissemination of information about charter schools, including successful practices in charter schools.

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Win up to $5,000 for educational video programming

The Ready-to-Learn Television Program is designed to: (1) Facilitate student academic achievement by supporting the development and distribution of educational video programming for preschool and elementary school children and their parents; and (2) develop and disseminate educational outreach materials and programs that are designed to promote school readiness, are interactive, and use multiple innovative technologies and digital media platforms.

Date of Meeting for Prospective Applicants: April 8, 2010.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 21, 2010.

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Up to $500,000 to California schools working to improve student achievement

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) authorizes funds to help local educational agencies address the needs of California schools in improvement, corrective action, and restructuring in order to improve student achievement. An LEA must have a school participating in Quality Education Investment Act in order to qualify for funding.

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Win an allocation of high-performance computer time

Scientists, engineers and other U.S. researchers may apply for the next quarterly review of requests for free allocations of high-performance computer time, advanced user support, and storage resources that are available through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Office of Cyberinfrastructure’s (OCI) TeraGrid.

Each quarter, a panel of computational experts known as the TeraGrid Resource Allocations Committee (TRAC) evaluates requests primarily on the appropriateness and technical aspects of using TeraGrid resources. Applications received by the April 15 deadline will be considered at the June 2010 TRAC meeting and awards will be available from July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011.

For the next round of awards, researchers can request time on 12 systems, including TeraGrid’s two largest, which were funded under NSF OCI’s Track 2 Program—Ranger at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), and Kraken at the National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS)—and the newest TeraGrid resource, the Longhorn remote visualization and data analysis system at TACC.

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Share why technology is a good investment for schools and win a $1,000 scholarship

Samsung Techwin America is asking high-school students across America to write a 300-word essay on the topic of technology as an investment in education. Samsung wants to hear what high-school students think about the ramifications of spending on education technology as well as alternative ways to invest a school district’s limited budget.

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Receive discounts on the CCC! Core Curriculum Content Package

Since educational video content is not eligible under the e-Rate Program, New Dimension Media, is offering the CCC!-Rate Discount Program.

The CCC!-Rate Discount Program provides the CCC! Core Curriculum Content package at a discount rate equal to a school district’s or private school’s e-Rate discount percentage rate. Now, schools can get CCC!’s library of educational programming designed for the classroom to improve learning, at a price as if it were eligible under the E-rate program.

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Win $10,000 by sharing an internet safety story

Trend Micro launched the “What’s Your Story” campaign and is calling everyone over the age of 13 to submit their videos on internet safety.

The campaign, which is sponsored and supported by the Trend Micro Internet Safety for Kids & Families initiative and its partners, is designed to help parents, teachers and youth become more aware of internet safety issues so young people can be smart and safe when it comes to using the internet.

Videos should address one of the following topics: keeping a good rep online; staying clear of unwanted contact; accessing (legal) content that’s age appropriate; and keeping the cybercriminals out. The grand prize winner will receive $10,000 with four category winners winning $500 each.

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