Pacific Metrics Announces New Relationship with Big Ideas Learning

MONTEREY, CALIF, March 31, 2014— Online assessment leader Pacific Metrics Corporation, a research and technology leader serving the learning and education markets, is pleased to announce a new, expansive relationship with Big Ideas Learning, LLC (“BIL”) of Erie, Pennsylvania.

Big Ideas Learning has adopted the new Pacific Metrics UNITY assessment solution, which delivers dynamic, real-time assessments and reports to students, teachers, schools, and districts. This modular and flexible system is the foundation of the BIL learning solution and will serve as a companion to the BIL middle school and high school math curriculum. According to Robert Burwell, Director of Educational Technology at Big Ideas Learning, Pacific Metrics “was selected out of twenty-four vendors” because of its keen understanding of the industry, and the ease of use and flexibility of the UNITY system, which fully conforms to both State and Consortia standards.

Bob Guerin, acting president of Pacific Metrics, commented that “We’re proud to partner with Big Ideas Learning to deliver the first, next-generation assessment solution to BIL clients and its partners. The UNITY platform will support BIL’s long-term formative assessment needs and is designed to streamline assessment development, delivery, and reporting. We look forward to building a successful partnership founded on student learning and academic success.”

“We are very excited to announce our partnership with Pacific Metrics,” said Denise McDowell, VP of Marketing for Big Ideas Learning. “The combination of Ron Larson and Laurie Boswell’s renowned curriculum and the Dynamic Assessment and Progress Monitoring Tool have set Big Ideas Math apart from all other programs on the market.”

For more information about Pacific Metrics or any of their technology-based assessment solutions, email info@pacificmetrics.com or call (831) 646-6403.

About Pacific Metrics
Headquartered in Monterey, California, Pacific Metrics has achieved recognition for leading assessment evolution with the development of innovative, customized, web-based systems for state departments of education and next-generation assessment products using advanced education technology. For more information, visit www.pacificmetrics.com.

About Big Ideas Learning
Big Ideas Learning, LLC, along with its parent company Larson Texts, Inc., was founded by Ron Larson to create instructional materials that provide a coherent curriculum to support world-class mathematics education. Using mathematical and pedagogical research, the Big Ideas Math program focuses on fewer topics at each grade level, providing a narrower and deeper course of study that leads students to mastery of each benchmark as they move from grade to grade. The Big Ideas Math program is distributed exclusively by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. For more information, visit www.bigideaslearning.com

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Epson’s Top Five Things to Know about High-Definition Widescreen WXGA Projectors

LONG BEACH, Calif. – March 31, 2014 – In an age of widescreen laptops and videos being used for presentations, Epson provides a suite of projectors with high-definition widescreen WXGA resolution, designed to deliver larger-than-life images that increase the viewing area with sharper, more detailed image quality. Epson’s high-definition widescreen WXGA projectors offer a native screen resolution of 1280 x 800, making them appropriate for both business and classroom use.

“Our line of high-definition widescreen WXGA projectors – designed for conference rooms, classrooms and large venues – offer better, higher resolutions compared to SVGA and XGA projectors and support the latest widescreen laptop resolutions, providing a sharper and bigger viewing experience, whether presenting or watching,” said Kristi Lanzit, product manager, Epson America, Inc. “Over 1 million pixels are used to create a high-definition widescreen aspect ratio on a WXGA projector – more than twice as many pixels as an SVGA projector –which means much better image detail and clarity as intended by the latest widescreen laptops.”

Following are Epson’s top five things to consider when purchasing a projector and why high-definition widescreen WXGA solutions are ideal:

1. Presentations: Popular presenting solutions such as Microsoft® PowerPoint®, Apple® Keynote® and Prezi™ offer widescreen templates which allow for more content on the screen, providing added flexibility to display more valuable information in meetings, presentations and school lessons.
2. Laptops: Leverage the advanced quality of HD laptops to produce a higher resolution projected image with a high-definition widescreen WXGA projector.
3. Content Support: Be prepared to deliver HD content for videos, movies and anything your presentation may need to include.
4. Pixels: High-definition widescreen WXGA resolution delivers higher image quality than lower resolution projectors because it can display more pixels, increasing the detail of the viewing area without sacrificing picture quality.
5. Future Proofing: Stepping up to the purchase of a high-definition widescreen WXGA projector enables compatibility with future widescreen devices and content.

About Epson Widescreen Projectors
Epson® 3LCD projectors deliver three times brighter colors than leading competitive projectors1. Epson offers WXGA projector solutions for small businesses, including the EX7220 and VS335W; the K-12 classroom, including the PowerLite® 955W and interactive BrightLink® 595Wi; corporate meetings, including the PowerLite 1940W and BrightLink Pro 1410Wi; and large venues, including the PowerLite Pro G6050W and PowerLite Pro Z8350WNL.

Color Brightness Specification and Projector Performance
The new color brightness specification (measuring red, green and blue) published by the Society of Information Display (SID) allows consumers to compare projector color performance without conducting a side-by-side shootout. With today’s high-definition content, teachers and students can display content with higher quality in brighter environments. For a truly impressive image, projectors need to offer both high color brightness and high white brightness. High color brightness is important for larger screen sizes and provides flexibility for a variety of screen materials. Without sufficient color brightness, images may be muddy, soft and lose detail, even in a dark room. For more information, visit www.colorlightoutput.com.

About Epson
Epson is a global innovation leader whose product lineup ranges from inkjet printers and printing systems, 3LCD projectors and industrial robots to sensors and other microdevices. Dedicated to exceeding the vision of its customers worldwide, Epson delivers customer value based on compact, energy-saving, and high-precision technologies in markets spanning enterprise and the home to commerce and industry.

Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corporation, the Epson Group comprises more than 73,000 employees in 94 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and the communities in which it operates. Epson America, Inc. based in Long Beach, Calif. is Epson’s regional headquarters for the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. To learn more about Epson, please visit: www.Epson.com.

You may also connect with Epson America on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/EpsonAmerica), Twitter (http://twitter.com/EpsonAmerica) and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/EpsonTV).
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1 Compared to leading 1-chip DLP business and education projectors based on NPD data, July 2011 through June 2012. Color brightness (color light output) measured in accordance with IDMS 15.4. Color brightness will vary depending on usage conditions

Note: EPSON and PowerLite are registered trademarks and EPSON Exceed Your Vision is a registered logomark of Seiko Epson Corporation. BrightLink is a registered trademark of Epson America, Inc. All other product brand names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Epson disclaims any and all rights in these marks.

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Kajeet Recognized by National School Boards Association

Kajeet SmartSpot™ Presents Innovative Approach to Student Broadband Access

MCLEAN, Virginia—Mar. 31, 2014—Kajeet® (www.kajeet.com/education), the wireless service provider dedicated to kids and education, announced it is one of six companies selected to present at the National School Boards Association Technology Innovation Showcase during the NSBA Annual Conference in New Orleans, April 5-7, 2014. Kajeet will be showcasing the Kajeet SmartSpot™ Wi-Fi device that provides safe, affordable and intelligent mobile broadband to students in school districts around the country.

“The Technology Innovation Showcase was created to highlight emerging companies that are using new technologies for products or services in K-12 education in ways that were virtually impossible to deliver otherwise,” said Thomas J. Gentzel, NSBA’s Executive Director. “The 2014 companies serve as a reminder to always look for new approaches to old challenges.”

“Kajeet is honored to present to these educational leaders who are leading the way to leverage technology to provide better educational outcomes for all,” said Daniel Neal, CEO and founder of Kajeet. “In today’s world, learning communities extend far beyond the classroom. We’re excited to make this extension simple, safe and affordable for students anytime, anywhere.”

Kajeet is accompanied in the Technology Innovation Showcase by other innovators such as: BirdBrain Technologies, Books That Grow, Share911, Standard for Success, and TreeRing.

Submissions were solicited from companies providing new approaches to challenges across the K-12 curriculum, administrative operations, and communication channels. Reviewers included educators from NSBA’s “20 to Watch,” a recognition program that honors emerging education technology leaders.

The 2014 class will be featured by NSBA in an exclusive Innovation Showcase Pavilion and Showcase session during the NSBA Annual Conference this week. Later this spring, the participants will be featured in NSBA’s magazine for school leaders, American School Board Journal, and participate in a webinar hosted by NSBA’s Technology Leadership Network (TLN).

TLN, launched in 1985 by NSBA and its state school boards associations, helps advance the wise use of technology in K-12 education to support learning, operations, and communications.

About Kajeet®
Kajeet, the only wireless service provider dedicated to kids and education, is solving the digital divide in schools and improving educational outcomes. Kajeet for Education provides intelligent portable Wi-Fi hotspots with school-managed off-campus Internet connectivity. Giving teachers or administrators the ability to set access hours and filter out non-educational content, the Kajeet Sentinel® platform connects students to essential academic resources on the Internet anytime, anywhere. The Kajeet SmartSpot™ is compatible with all devices students use today and is 100 percent compliant with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). For more information, please visit us at www.kajeet.com/education.

About the National School Boards Association
The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is the leading advocate for public education and supports equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. NSBA represents state school boards associations and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S. Learn more at: www.nsba.org.

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EDTECH DIGEST NAMES KICKBOARD INSTRUCTIONAL MANAGEMENT SOLUTION A WINNER IN ITS ANNUAL AWARDS RECOGNITION PROGRAM

NEW ORLEANS — March 26, 2014 — The Kickboard instructional management solution won the Cool Tool Award in the Student Academic Tracking Solution category of the 2014 EdTech Digest Awards Recognition Program. Now in its fourth year, the awards program honors tools, trendsetters and leaders in the education and technology sector.

Kickboard was chosen from among seven finalists in the Student Academic Tracking Solution category. Evaluations for the 2014 awards were conducted by a distinguished panel of education technology industry influencers and veterans.

“The Kickboard system is based on research which shows that classroom management is rated first in impact on student achievement. The key to this is giving teachers all the data they need – academic and behavior alike — in an understandable, easy to use format. That’s where Kickboard excels, and we are gratified that the EdTech Digest Awards judges agree,” said Kickboard CEO Jen Medbury.

“The mission of the annual awards program is to get workable technology solutions for education widely known about and well thought of with the purpose of reshaping the education culture and creating a new and better future for students. Over the years, the best products and brightest minds have been featured helping millions of students, teachers, parents, administrators and others in and around education,” said Victor Rivero, who oversees the program as editor in chief of EdTech Digest. “We’re very excited to recognize these cool tools, leaders and trendsetters in the education technology space.”

The Kickboard instructional management solution gives educators a configurable framework to develop 360-degree profiles of student performance, including grades, standards mastery, reading growth, prescribed interventions, rubric observations, attendance and, most uniquely, student behavior and character strengths. The web-based platform’s teacher-centric design and dashboards provide easy-to-understand, actionable information to drive instructional decisions. With real-time data and a global, holistic view of each child, teachers can directly impact students’ academic performance and behavior, and create more effective, engaged learning environments.

About Kickboard
The Kickboard solution gives K-12 educators the tools to quickly establish consistent practices for effective classroom management school- and district-wide. Using the highly configurable, web-based platform, educators can create a performance-based culture that leads to sustainable school improvement and long-term student success. For information, visit www.kickboardforteachers.com.

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15 spring and summer PD opportunities

Summer PD registration is open now—which opportunity interests you most?

PD-oppsSchool may last a little longer for some districts than others, depending on how many snow days some parts of the country experienced. But as schools close for the summer, many educators use their “free” time to enroll in professional development (PD) to prepare for the next school year.

For educators who may be seeking spring or summer PD opportunities in subject areas, Common Core implementation, technology integration, and more, options are plentiful.

Here, we’ve gathered a number of PD opportunities that span the spring and summer months. This is just a sampling, though, and if you know of a great PD opportunity, leave it in the comments section below.

(Next page: PD opportunities, seminars, and more)

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Another brick in the wall: Will states mandate job skills?

Do businesses want state-specified mandates for students to know certain skills which other states would be expected to follow?

states-mandate-skills

Faceless children in Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” Credit: Wen’s Language World.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, we have all heard by now how Massachusetts leads the nation in public school academic achievement.

So much so that the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study report found that if Massachusetts were a separate nation, its 8th grade science students would rank second in the world only after Singapore.

Great news, right?

Apparently not for certain employment opportunities.

So what specifically has businesses up in arms over the Massachusetts public school system?

(Next page: Businesses say students excel in testing, fail in interpersonal skills)

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Schools must adapt to innovative changes

Teaching techniques in schools must adapt as new information technologies are introduced and their impact on society is better understood

innovative-technology-schoolsIt’s “back to the future” in education today.

Following in the big footsteps of the 19th century educational pioneers who worked to create public schools fit for the new, disruptive Industrial Age, America’s most visionary educational leaders are striving to revitalize America’s public schools for our new globalized, disruptive Information Age.

Charter public schools are, of course, an innovative approach at the very forefront of these efforts. Yet charter schools today account for just about 6 percent of all public schools. Those who are quick to criticize charter schools seem to forget that they are still a relatively new model of public schooling — only about 25 years old.

And precisely because charter schools are, inherently, so much more flexible than traditional public schools, they are that much more capable of learning well from failures of the past — by adapting new techniques to create successes in the future.  That is an attribute that will likely grow in importance in the years ahead.

The job market of the Information Age will increasingly demand critical thinking skills, creativity and flexibility, and the capacity to adjust and adapt to change.  Our schools will need the same characteristics — because the Information Age’s digital technology may be affecting learning, or the lack thereof, in unexpected ways.

(Next page: Studies say technologies reduce attention span)

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App of the Week: Digital Citizenship

This app helps students navigate the often-tricky world of digital citizenship

LDC-app

Name: Learning.com Digital Citizenship App

What is it? This app provides students with information and instruction on online safety, ethical use of digital resources, and cyberbullying.

Best for: Middle and high school students and teachers.

Price: Learning.com is enlisting districts to pilot the app for free in mid-April; full availability, including pricing, will be announced in the fall of 2014.

Requirements: iOS or Android

Features:

The app:

  • Provides an easy-to-implement curriculum about online safety, cyberbullying, and the ethical use of digital resources.
  • Available on tablet and mobile devices for both iOS and Android.
  • Interface, content, lessons, and activities are specifically geared towards middle and high school students.
  • The app self-guided, yet ensures that students have a strong grasp of instructional objectives by requiring students to complete a quiz.
  • Instructional objectives are aligned to Digital Citizenship Standards, part of the ISTE Standards for Students.
  • Helps districts address the online safety and cyberbullying instruction requirement of eRate, and provides reports to show compliance.
  • Supports BYOD and 1:1 programs by helping districts ensure that students know how to use devices safely and ethically.

Link: http://www.learning.com/digital-citizenship/

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POSNACK FIRST BROWARD SCHOOL TO ADOPT LIGHTSPEED’S REDCAT® TECHNOLOGY

New System Extends Teachers’ Natural Voice Throughout Classroom
Enhances Audibility, Intelligibility, Learning

David Posnack Jewish Day School announced today that is has chosen Redcat® from Lightspeed Technologies, Inc. for use in all Lower School classrooms. The system, which has been installed as of today, uses proprietary technology to extend a teacher’s natural voice to every part of the classroom equally through the use of a wireless microphone. By eliminating variations in volume and “dead zones,” Redcat® improves audibility and intelligibility.

Research conducted by Lightspeed has demonstrated that enabling students to hear every word no matter where they sit in the classroom improves teacher-student connection and maximizes learning. The company refers to the system as an “exciter technology” because of the way Redcat® “excites” voice signals, radiating sounds evenly throughout the classroom. Of the new system, Dr. Richard Cuenca, Posnack’s Head of School, said: “This is just one important example of how our school uses technology in meaningful ways to improve learning outcomes for our students.” David Posnack Jewish Day School is the first and only school in Broward County to utilize the Redcat® technology in every K-5 classroom.

About David Posnack Jewish Day School
David Posnack Jewish Day School is the premier K-12 dual-curriculum college preparatory academy in Broward County. Posnack offers a vibrant school community that nurtures each child’s individual potential. With exceptional facilities—including state of the art science labs—outstanding faculty, incredible programming, and cutting edge technology, Posnack equips students for success in a complex and interdependent world. Our graduates rank in the top 5% of college applicants nationwide and are admitted to the finest colleges and universities in the United States and around the world. For more information go to: http://posnackschool.org/

About Lightspeed Technologies, Inc.
Established in 1990, Lightspeed Technologies, Inc. manufactured aviation headsets and later professional wireless microphones used in the entertainment industry. In 1994 Lightspeed introduced a line of high-quality classroom audio systems and made a total commitment to improve the learning environment for students. Lightspeed continues investing in research and development to provide the best technology and most reliable products in the industry. For more information go to: https://www.lightspeed-tek.com

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Three Rivers Systems Degree Audit features on display at centennial meeting of college registrars, admissions officers

Denver — March 28, 2014 — As the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers 100th annual meeting kicks off in Denver this weekend at the Colorado Convention Center, recruitment, retention and student success continue to be top-of-mind priorities at member higher education institutions.

Slated for March 30 through April 4, the centennial meeting will address challenges that did not exist just a decade ago. According to AACRAO, today’s colleges and universities face opportunities and challenges from the growing presence of social media and its many uses in recruitment and retention, to the need to adapt quickly to rapidly evolving technology and innovation on campuses, coupled with the expanding global scale of higher education.
As recruitment costs spiral upward, colleges and universities also face daily challenges to demonstrate their value, making student retention and appropriate outcomes critically important.

Degree audits are an essential tool in raising retention and student-success rates but are time-consuming and onerous when using most enterprise resources planning — ERP — or academic management systems. With CAMS® Enterprise academic ERP from Three Rivers Systems Inc., however, degree audits are built in and easily configured.

“We’re demonstrating CAMS Enterprise Degree Audit functionality and offering a case study in which one of our clients set up a complex auditing program in a few days,” said Jami Morshed, Three Rivers Systems’ vice president of global sales and marketing.

CAMS excels at all types of reporting because it is built on a secure, single shared Microsoft SQL database that serves all major departments and portals. So, all system-wide data is always available in real-time for any report. Thanks to CAMS Enterprise’s simplified yet “disruptive” architecture institutions using CAMS enjoy quick and widespread adoption by students, faculty and staff.

“Higher education is bracing for intense scrutiny, more reporting and greater attention to metrics related to successful student outcomes,” Morshed said. “Achieving maximum efficiency and productivity that helps deliver the ultimate student learning experience is every institution’s goal.”

According to Morshed, CAMS Enterprise Business Analytics, its sophisticated business-intelligence feature, empowers faculty, administrators, department heads and others to get the on-demand data they need in attractive easy-to-use dashboards that simplify and enhance the strategic decision-making process so necessary in today’s unforgiving environment of cost-consciousness and accountability.

Colleges and universities around the world are working more efficiently and effectively with CAMS Enterprise while their huge increases in productivity allow them to focus their resources on better serving students.

CAMS Enterprise is uniquely capable of meeting the special requirements of online programs as well. Whether it’s having the flexibility to offer semesters, trimesters, serial or concurrent terms all with variable start and end dates, CAMS can be readily configured. CAMS provides everything colleges and universities need to manage the entire student lifecycle, including recruitment; marketing; online applications; block-and-sequence registration; registration and payment; integrated financial aid; built-in degree audit; outcome tracking; built-in portals; mandated reports and much more, all integrated with medical applications.

About AACRAO
AACRAO is a nonprofit, voluntary, professional association of more than 11,000 higher education admissions and registration professionals who represent more than 2,600 institutions and agencies in the United States and in over 40 countries around the world. The mission of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers is to serve and advance higher education by providing leadership in academic and enrollment services.

About CAMS Enterprise
CAMS Enterprise’s disruptive technology makes it a fundamentally different academic ERP unlike all others that were designed for the past and are incapable of operating efficiently in the modern world. CAMS Enterprise is an easy-to-use and implement, totally integrated, Web-native management system with everything in one place — admissions; student information; financial aid; student services; fiscal management with HR and payroll; fund-raising; alumni relations; document management, learning management, a full suite of portals, and more for managing the entire student life cycle. With an out-of-the-box configuration and self-service customization, CAMS Enterprise removes all barriers to success seen with conventional systems. CAMS’ affordable licensing, off-the-shelf configuration and easy implementation translate into the lowest total cost of ownership of any academic ERP while yielding the quickest and highest ROI.

About Three Rivers Systems Inc.
Three Rivers Systems Inc. is the only privately held, independent, debt-free, one-stop company focused solely on high-quality academic ERP solutions exclusively for higher education. For more than 25 years from its St. Louis headquarters, the company is keenly focused on innovation and service to its worldwide customers. Always innovating, the company invests significant revenues back into product R&D to improve existing products while developing new ones so users always get the exact functionality, industry experience and accurate project management they need. Its business model and products are designed to ensure institutional effectiveness, more-efficient business processes, student success and satisfaction.

Contact: Ron Kalb, Three Rivers Systems Inc., Director of Communications, 702-498-8916 (cell), ronk@threerivers-cams.com

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