Purdue University Improves On-Campus Experience With Blonder Tongue CATV Equipment

Using a Wide Range of Multiplexers, Encoders, and Amplifiers From Blonder Tongue, University Campus Television Network Optimizes Video Quality and Emergency Alert Delivery

OLD BRIDGE, N.J. — Sept. 30, 2014 — Blonder Tongue Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE MKT:BDR) today announced Purdue University has successfully transitioned its campus television network, Boiler TV, from analog to digital relying on a wide range of solutions from Blonder Tongue. Utilizing a combination of Blonder Tongue’s multiplexers, MPEG-2 SD and HD encoders, and amplifiers, the university can affordably deliver over 100 SD and HD channels to students, faculty, and visitors in residence halls, athletic buildings, and auditoriums as well as the on-campus Union Club Hotel. In addition to enabling Purdue University to deliver better quality video content, Blonder Tongue’s equipment also allows the university to send out timely and reliable emergency alert information.

“When migrating to a digital infrastructure, we needed to deploy CATV equipment that would improve the student experience and the performance of our emergency alert system,” said Michael Beach, manager, Boiler Television Network at Purdue University. “Blonder Tongue’s solutions provide us with maximum reliability and superior video quality, enhancing our ability to deliver entertainment and educational content as well as emergency alert information on-campus. We’ve been especially impressed with the responsiveness and expertise of Blonder Tongue’s technical support team.”

Purdue University uses Blonder Tongue’s MUX-2D-QAM multiplexers, HDE-2H/2S-QAM MPEG-2 HD encoders, SDE-4AV-QAM MPEG-2 SD encoders, and HDE-8C-QAM MPEG-2 HD encoders for video processing before distributing the signals via fiber and RF to Blonder Tongue amplifiers located around campus. Based on a high-density, low-cost, flexible design that reduces the equipment, space, and power needed for QAM distribution, Blonder Tongue’s digital television DTV solutions dramatically lower the university’s capital and operating expenses.

Prior to the digital conversion, Boiler TV found it challenging to deliver crystal-clear video quality. Using Blonder Tongue encoders, which feature optimized motion estimation capabilities, the university can deliver an exceptional quality of experience for all television programming, even those with fast motion such as sports events. Distributing the television programming is simple. All Blonder Tongue equipment features an intuitive Web-based interface through which Boiler TV engineers can easily make on the fly channel changes from any remote location. In addition, Blonder Tongue’s solutions are extremely robust, guaranteeing the integrity of the university’s on-air transmission.

One of the key requirements of the Boiler TV upgrade was to improve the university’s ability to deliver timely emergency alert information. Blonder Tongue’s encoders are one of the only solutions on the market that come equipped with an Emergency Alert System interface, enabling Purdue University to distribute information to students and faculty in a matter of seconds in the event of an emergency or natural disaster. Currently, the university is looking into implementing a one-button emergency alert approach so that Boiler TV can simultaneously send campus-wide emergency alerts via text message, email, and TV programming with the push of a button.

“Blonder Tongue and the Boiler TV at Purdue University have been partners for many years prior to the digital upgrade,” said Emily Nikoo, executive vice president at Blonder Tongue. “Our customers in the educational market have come to trust in Blonder Tongue for optimized solutions providing reliable, high-quality solutions that deliver amazing video quality.”

More information on Blonder Tongue and its products is available at www.blondertongue.com.

# # #

About Boiler TV (www.housing.purdue.edu/BTV)
Boiler TV is Purdue University’s internal campus television network, proudly distributing more than 100 channels including 50 HD channels, a locally inserted movie channel, an electronic bulletin board, and student produced content.

About Blonder Tongue
Blonder Tongue Laboratories Inc. together with R.L. Drake Holdings, LLC — its wholly owned subsidiary — offer customers more than 130 years of combined engineering and manufacturing excellence with solid histories of delivering reliable, quality products. As a leader in the field of cable television communications, the Company provides system operators and integrators serving the cable, broadcast, satellite, IPTV, institutional, and professional video markets with comprehensive solutions for the provision of content contribution, distribution, and video delivery to homes and businesses. The Company designs, manufactures, sells, and supports an equipment portfolio of standard and high-definition digital video solutions, as well as core analog video and high-speed data solutions for distribution over coax, fiber, and IP networks. Additional information on the Company and its products can be found at www.blondertongue.com and www.rldrake.com.


Universities Select Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions to Enhance the Student Experience


News Summary
Three universities recently selected Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions to modernize their student information systems. Illinois State University, the Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Cincinnati will use the PeopleSoft solution to improve administrative efficiency and enhance the student experience through the entire student lifecycle—from admissions through to graduation.

News Facts
Oracle today announced that three universities—Illinois State University, the Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Cincinnati—have selected Oracle’s PeopleSoft Campus Solutions to modernize their student information systems and enhance the user experience for students, faculty, and staff. With the solution, the institutions will streamline data-driven processes like course registration, financial aid application, grade posting, and student advising. Oracle partners with higher education industry leaders around the world to deliver the most modern technology solution designed specifically for higher education, providing institutions with comprehensive and flexible functionality built on an extensible architecture.

Illinois State University
•Illinois State University (ISU), one of 12 public universities in Illinois, selected PeopleSoft Campus Solutions to improve the university’s academic information environment—including admissions, course registration, and financial aid.
•ISU will replace its mainframe legacy student system, which could no longer meet the needs of the growing university, with a single-source solution with new functionalities—including admissions application auto-evaluation, improved workflows for admissions and financial aid notifications, and near real-time degree requirement information for students—enabling students, faculty, and staff to easily transition to a more mobile work environment.
•ISU will work with Oracle Consulting to deploy PeopleSoft Campus Solutions via Oracle Managed Cloud Services to reduce implementation and ongoing maintenance costs, while freeing IT staff to work on strategic programs that deliver value to constituents.
•ISU will also use PeopleSoft Student Administration Integration Pack to integrate PeopleSoft Campus Solutions with the university’s learning management system. In addition, ISU will work with Oracle University and use Oracle User Productivity Kit to roll out the solution to more than 1,100 users.

The Pennsylvania State University
•The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), one of the largest universities in the nation with more than 90,000 students, selected PeopleSoft Campus Solutions—running on Oracle WebLogic Suite and Oracle Database with Oracle Real Application Clusters—to replace its aging infrastructure, enable integration and flexibility across its 23 campuses, and eliminate ancillary business systems.
•The university will also deploy Oracle Student Information Analytics to provide a reporting repository for student grades, performance, advising, and financial aid data.
•With PeopleSoft Campus Solutions, Penn State will improve service to students, faculty, and staff—including enhanced student admissions and registration, as well as simplified advising and financial aid. The university also plans to expand mobile self-service capabilities. The underpinning Oracle technology foundation will help Penn State make its architecture faster, more secure, and easier to integrate and maintain.
•While the university will deploy a single instance, the software will provide the flexibility to enable each campus to maintain its unique processes.
•Penn State plans to begin the deployment in June 2015 with admissions and continue to roll out features through 2016 to follow the stages of the student lifecycle. The university will work with Sierra-Cedar on the implementation.

University of Cincinnati
•University of Cincinnati (UC), a public research university with more than 43,600 students, will replace its mainframe legacy system with PeopleSoft Campus Solutions to improve communication among students, faculty, and staff; support campus engagement and student retention; and better compete with peer institutions.
•UC also selected a wide range of supporting Oracle solutions, including PeopleSoft Student Administration Integration Pack, Oracle Student Information Analytics, Oracle Exadata Database Machine, Oracle GoldenGate, Oracle Data Integrator, Oracle Service Cloud, and Oracle Marketing Cloud.
•With the full Oracle solution in place, the university expects to improve long-term strategic planning with accurate, readily available data.
•UC began the implementation in March 2014 and is working with Sierra-Cedar on the project, which is expected to conclude in 2016.

Supporting Quotes
•“Deploying PeopleSoft Campus Solutions via Oracle Managed Cloud Services will simplify our IT environment while providing enhanced services to our students, faculty, and staff,” said Nancy Neild, director of enterprise architecture, Illinois State University.
•“Once it is deployed, we will have one of the largest instances of PeopleSoft Campus Solutions in the country. We are looking forward to taking advantage of the software—and the underpinning Oracle technology—to integrate our services and streamline business processes across our 23 campuses,” said Michael Büsges, enterprise project director, The Pennsylvania State University. “We appreciate Oracle’s continued investment in enhancing PeopleSoft Campus Solutions.”
•“Higher education institutions face myriad challenges today—from improving their competitive advantage and recruiting results to enhancing the student experience and driving student performance and retention. We are pleased to work with Illinois State University, Penn State, and the University of Cincinnati as they roll out a wide range of Oracle solutions to help them address these challenges and improve the user experience for all constituents,” said Cole Clark, global vice president of education and research, Oracle.

About Oracle

Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center. For more information about Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), visit www.oracle.com.

About Oracle OpenWorld
Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco is the most important business and technology conference of the year for Oracle customers, prospective customers, and partners. This educational conference is dedicated to helping businesses optimize existing systems and understand upcoming industry trends and breakthroughs driven by technology. Oracle OpenWorld offers more than 2,700 educational sessions, hundreds of demos and hands-on labs, and exhibitions from more than 450 partners and customers from around the world showcasing applications, middleware, database, server and storage systems, industries, management, cloud, and infrastructure solutions—all engineered for innovation. Oracle OpenWorld 2014 is being held September 28 through October 2 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. For more information; to register; or to watch Oracle OpenWorld keynotes, sessions, and more, visit www.oracle.com/openworld. Join the Oracle OpenWorld discussion on Twitter, Facebook, and the Oracle OpenWorld blog.

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

# # #

Katie Barron

Janice Clayton
O’Keeffe & Company


New Extron ShareLink 200 Enables Wireless BYOD Presentations

Anaheim, California (September 30, 2014) – Extron Electronics is pleased to introduce the ShareLink 200 Wireless Collaboration Gateway, which enables anyone to present content from a personal device. Supported devices include Windows® and OS X® computers as well as Apple® and Android® smartphones and tablets.

ShareLink technology provides simultaneous display of presentations, images, documents, and other content from up to four different personal devices, eliminating the need to constantly change sources during a session. Content from a single device shows full screen, and content from multiple devices appears simultaneously in four windows on the display. Any user can share content and control the presentation when it is set to collaboration mode. A moderator mode ensures only approved content is displayed.

Designed for professional AV applications, this wireless gateway also includes many integrator-friendly features such as an integrated wireless access point, Power over Ethernet – PoE, and antennas mounted on the front panel. The ShareLink 200 Wireless Collaboration Gateway can be used to create a stand-alone wireless collaboration and presentation system or to add wireless presentation capabilities to a variety of wired AV system designs.

“The trend toward BYOD use in collaborative and presentation spaces has fundamentally changed how we design and build AV systems for meeting rooms, classrooms, and boardrooms,” says Casey Hall, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Extron. “ShareLink 200 is designed to offer our customers a reliable wireless solution that supports a wide range of devices and platforms, enabling flexible content sharing from smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops in virtually any environment.”

The ShareLink 200 can enhance the presentation for audience members. WebShare technology enables content to be sent over the network to a Web browser on each attendee’s personal device. WebShare is useful if the sight line to the display is impaired or when slides need to be saved for future reference. ShareLink technology also allows a Windows or OS X computer to communicate with multiple ShareLink 200 units on a network to send the same content to as many as four displays. This is useful for larger spaces with multiple displays or to support adjacent rooms used for overflow. For easy integration into modern digital and legacy analog systems, ShareLink 200 includes HDMI and VGA video outputs to support a wide variety of display devices and system switchers.

To watch a product introduction video, please visit www.extron.com/sharelink200video.

For more information about the ShareLink 200, please visit www.extron.com/sharelink200pr.


Half a Million Teachers Master Common Core Transition with LearnZillion

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 30, 2014) – LearnZillion, a digital curriculum and professional learning platform, has grown nearly 200 percent since September of last year, with more than 500,000 teachers now registered on the site. Created by two former educators, LearnZillion offers effective, multi-media curricular resources for educators seeking to understand and articulate the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to students and their parents.

Teachers can use LearnZillion’s thousands of free resources to support their individual Common Core planning needs. Schools and districts can leverage LearnZillion Premium to unlock the instructional potential of teachers and prepare every student for the rigorous new assessments with rigorous, yet easy-to-implement curriculum and job-embedded professional learning opportunities proven to drive student outcomes
LearnZillion’s deep curricular resources include short, conceptual videos and rigorous task-based math lessons. A scaffolded close reading and writing program helps all students become confident readers and precise writers. Because the resources are crafted directly from CCSS by LearnZillion’s Dream Team of top educators who work directly with students, they are particularly effective in helping other teachers be successful with the new standards. Designed for use on any Web-connected device, LearnZillion’s offering supports classrooms shifting to digital devices, but can also be used in paper-based settings.

“With LearnZillion, I am a part of a community of educators who are trying to create some inspiration for learning, and that’s the greatest thing in the world,” said Lorenzo Dale Robinson, a 2014 Dream Team teacher and math instructional coach from Fairburn, GA. “I work with teachers who are just trying to figure out one element in a standard, and trying to get a visual representation of it — what does it look like, sound like, feel like. To be able to create something that gives them a jump start on what they want to do – not to take away their thinking and creativity – but to provide a sense for what’s possible – that’s powerful.”

“One of the biggest problems for educators today is the lack of quality and reliable Common Core resources,” said Eric Westendorf, LearnZillion CEO and former principal and teacher. “LearnZillion solves this problem by offering consistent, top-notch resources that give teachers, students and parents the clarity and support they need to foster learning—whether in the classroom, or at the kitchen table.”

To learn more about the LearnZillion story, visit www.learnzillion.com/about.

About LearnZillion
LearnZillion champions teachers and provides schools and districts with an effective bridge to the Common Core. LearnZillion Premium’s math curricular resources and close reading/writing program are built by a Dream Team of top educators directly from the standards to unlock the instructional potential of teachers and prepare every student for the rigorous new assessments. A flexible learning platform allows schools and districts to develop teacher leaders as they customize a high-quality curriculum for every building. Over 500,000 teachers now use the LearnZillion platform. Customers include District of Columbia Public Schools, Syracuse City Public Schools, the Delaware Department of Education, the Connecticut State Department of Education and hundreds of individual schools throughout the United States. Founded in 2011 by two former teachers, LearnZillion is on Fast Company’s World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Education and a recipient of eSchool News’ 2014-15 Readers Choice Award. Connect online at @LearnZillion and www.LearnZillion.com.

Media Contacts
• Claire Alexander, LearnZillion, Inc., 415-496-5316, clairealexander@learnzillion.com
• Lauren West, C. Blohm & Associates, 608-216-7300 x26, lauren@cblohm.com


Teachers Name Triumph Learning’s Coach as Top Classroom Tool

Company receives three Teachers’ Choice Awards from Learning Magazine

NEW YORK, NY – Sept. 30, 2014 – Triumph Learning, producer of critically acclaimed K-12 texts and interactive digital tools, earned three 2015 Teachers’ Choice Awards in the classroom category for its inclusive curriculum programs, Support Coach and Common Core Coach. Presented by Learning Magazine, the annual awards program honors products of exceptional quality and outstanding performance in the classroom and at home.

“For more than 20 years, the Teachers’ Choice Awards have recognized the best in classroom-tested, teacher-recommended products, said Anne Sumpter, publisher of Learning Magazine. “We are excited to include Triumph Learning on the list of top classroom tools for 2015.”

Every year, a panel of judges from across the county selects the most notable books, classroom supplies, educational games, software and websites in the education industry. Triumph Learning received the Classroom Award for three products in its acclaimed Coach series: Support Coach Foundational Mathematics, Support Coach Target–Reading Comprehension and English Language Arts Common Core Coach.

“Triumph Learning is dedicated to helping students acquire skills and succeed, and we are honored to receive the Teacher’s Choice Awards for Support Coach and Common Core Coach,” said Mike Morley, publisher for Triumph Learning. “Through our Coach learning programs, teachers are able to adjust content based on each student’s needs.”

Developed for teachers whose students need additional support with Common Core content, Common Core Support Coach helps identify gaps in student understanding and support their areas of need in key foundational skills. Common Core Coach also helps prepare students for assessments by providing direct instruction on key comprehension strategies and Common Core State Standards requirements.

About Triumph Learning
Triumph Learning, LLC, is a leading educational content company and publisher of print and digital K-12 resources, standards-aligned instructional materials and effective literacy programs, serving more than 6 million students in 36,000 schools in 2013. Triumph Learning offers unique student solutions, robust teacher support, and professional development opportunities. Triumph Learning is committed to serving all students with a mix of interactive digital tools and innovative student texts with products such as Coach, Buckle Down, and Waggle. For more information, visit www.triumphlearning.com.


COPIA Releases Next Generation of COPIA CLASS e-Learning Platform to Take Teaching and Learning to the Next Level

Cloud-based, device-friendly system provides a broad range of features and tools in an easy-to-use format to prepare learners

COPIA Interactive, the innovative company devoted to applying the latest and best tech tools to learning, is once again breaking new ground with the next generation of COPIA CLASS™, an advanced e-learning platform that combines all the features classrooms rely on to make digital teaching and learning simple and effective.

Copia Interactive is pleased to share the news of this latest digital platform at the EdNet 2014 Conference. The improved version makes interoperability with media even easier and has expanded its platform support, making it truly device agnostic.

“As a technology company we’re constantly working to take advantage of the latest and best features available to provide the most up-to-date, interactive and collaborative learning platform that gives students and teachers boundless access to content,” said Ben Lowinger, Executive Vice President of COPIA Interactive.

COPIA CLASS™ works with dozens of publishers to provide teachers unlimited access to books, texts, novels and multimedia. It then elevates what teachers could normally do with a printed text, to an interactive, multimedia learning experience. It is a digital platform with everything in one place. With COPIA CLASS™, teachers can align their instruction to learning standards and increase the rigor of their classrooms. The e-learning platform places content at the center of instruction and enables teachers to capitalize on the power of technology, providing a centralized location for a digitally enhanced classroom.

“COPIA CLASS™ is what true 21st-Century learning is intended to be. It’s anytime, anywhere collaborative learning at its best,” said Lowinger. “With one tool, students have all the content for their classes at their fingertips and can interact with that content, with their classmates and with their teachers.”

COPIA CLASS™ can hold an array of textbook subjects from multiple publishers, customized to a teacher, school or district’s needs. Lesson modules allow students to view teachers’ lesson objectives. Teachers can add links and images connected to the lesson in the margins of the readings to avoid interrupting students’ concentration on the reading. Within the links and images teachers also can pose critical-thinking questions or short quizzes to ensure that students not only understand the reading, but can make connections and inferences.

Students can highlight and ask questions about sections of a reading they don’t understand. They can write notes in the margins, view the selected vocabulary words for the lesson or even have the text read aloud to them. Students also can share links to additional information related to readings with the class and have discussions between their classmates and their teachers based on that information. Student can see their own progress over time throughout the class as well as on the short exams embedded in the lessons.

“Textbooks are a one-size-fits-all solution,” Lowinger said. “COPIA CLASS™ gives teachers and students a lot of ways to approach a problem. For many students, COPIA CLASS™ is helping to infuse a new sense of excitement into reading and learning, and a greater sense of confidence.”

This next generation COPIA CLASS™ release is scheduled for January 2015, to coincide with the start of the Australian school year. COPIA’s implementation in Australia has rapidly expanded from 10,000 to 40,000 students in its first year of use. COPIA CLASS™ can be used on all devices, including iPad, Kindle Fire, Google Chrome and Samsung Tablet as well as smartphones, Macs and PCs.


Since it started in 2010, COPIA Interactive has stayed at the forefront of the changes in technology and multimedia to create a product that is truly driving 21st-Century teaching and learning in the K-20 arena. COPIA is a socially-driven digital content platform that helps educators, publishers and students unlock the power of digital and non-digital educational material through the use of an integrated platform that unifies people and content. COPIA reaches over 900 college campuses world-wide and K-12 schools across the U.S and abroad. Its growing international presence includes the U.S., Brazil, Australia and Spain. Copia Interactive, LLC is wholly-owned subsidiary of DMC Capital Funding, LLC. For more information, call 212-229-8400 or visit www.edu.thecopia.com and www.dmccapitalfunding.com.


COPIA Adds Seven Major Publishers to Growing List of Higher-Ed Content

Digital platform launched for hundreds of colleges expands its cadre of publishers and content with Pearson, McGraw Hill, Cengage, Wiley and other significant providers to create an ideal digital campus learning experience

COPIA Interactive, creator of one of the most robust, independent, full-featured digital content platforms and college digital bookstore sites, today announced relationships with seven additional publishers of higher-education textbooks and content.

COPIA partners with major global publishers to combine their vast content libraries and deliver them to students. The content is personalized to address the needs of each of the countries in which COPIA operates, thus ensuring that the publishers’ content can be best used no matter the language or format.

COPIA’s latest partnerships include material from top-named publishers, including Pearson, McGraw Hill, Macmillan Higher Ed, Cengage, Wiley and Lippincott and Wolters Kluwer Health. COPIA is pleased to share this news at the EDUCAUSE 2014 Conference.

COPIA is the only platform that delivers a complete turnkey solution, providing a single portal for all of a user’s digital content and social class activity, creating an interactive, collaborative and unified teaching and learning experience that is unrivaled in the market. By creating a vehicle for the delivery of everything from required course materials to digital access codes, COPIA’s able to support universities’ efforts to provide students with a single-point of access for all of their coursework needs.

COPIA helps faculty enhance their courses while preserving the unique nature of their curriculum. It also partners with hundreds of college bookstores, helping eliminate the stress associated with getting all materials necessary for their course catalogs. Instead, by harnessing COPIA’s platform, students have access to any content they need or want from the university’s bookstore.

COPIA’s embedded communication tools and assessment capabilities allow students to communicate with classmates and instructors within the context of the course’s content.

“COPIA is the only company that offers such interactivity with content and the rich faculty-student connection,” said Ben Lowinger, Executive Vice President of COPIA Interactive. “Ours is a complete end-to-end solution that combines the latest in digital technology with relevant social components. Plus, our vendor-neutral platform and suite of downloadable apps makes COPIA a one-stop solution: it’s easy to use and accessible from any device, any time and anywhere.”

With COPIA, students can access professors’ pages to access anything from literature readings, sociology course packets, or assignments for philosophy. Professors’ pages provide direct links to all textbooks at the campus bookstore’s COPIA site, and instructors can post links to interactive content for students. COPIA also allows students to watch video as part of the syllabus selected by the professors.

In a class, the library, or a café, students can find professors’ lecture notes in the margins of their assigned texts, and can also share notes with classmates or communicate with professors or project partners. No books or notes are lost because all of the information is stored in the cloud. With its anytime, anywhere accessibility and interactive features, COPIA is an ideal tool for blended learning environments.

“COPIA takes the headaches and hassles out of college course materials and provides a more interactive and on-demand way to study,” said Lowinger. “It delivers the ultimate online college class collaborative experience.”


Since it started in 2010, COPIA Interactive has stayed at the forefront of the changes in technology and multimedia to create a product that is truly driving 21st-Century teaching and learning in the K-20 arena. COPIA is a socially-driven digital content platform that helps educators, publishers and students unlock the power of digital and non-digital educational material through the use of an integrated platform that unifies people and content. COPIA reaches over 900 college campuses world-wide and K-12 schools across the U.S and abroad. Its growing international presence includes the U.S., Brazil, Australia and Spain. COPIA Interactive, LLC is wholly-owned subsidiary of DMC Capital Funding, LLC. For more information, call 212-229-8400 or visit www.copiaedu.com.



–Offers Students Grades 6-12 a Behind the Scenes Look Into World of Advanced Manufacturing–

SILVER SPRING, Md. (September 30, 2014) – Alcoa Foundation, one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, will celebrate National Manufacturing Day on October 3, 2014, with an interactive virtual field trip. The Manufacture Your Future LIVE Virtual Field Trip will be hosted from an Alcoa facility as part of Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education’s overall “Manufacture Your Future” program, which provides middle and high school students with an inside look at careers in advanced manufacturing.

The Manufacture Your Future LIVE Virtual Field Trip will occur at a high-tech aluminum manufacturing facility, which has produced lightweight metal and other materials for every American space vehicle, helping to make many milestones possible, including the first moon landing. During the Virtual Field Trip, students will have the exclusive opportunity to tour Alcoa’s Davenport facility to see how products for major aircrafts are manufactured, including the wings of Air Force One. The tour will also showcase the company’s new revolutionary Auto Treatment Line, which enables mass production of aluminum for cars—a growing trend in reducing vehicle weight for increased fuel efficiency.

“Giving students the opportunity to look inside a facility makes manufacturing come to life,” said Mark Case, teacher at Southern Guilford High School, Guilford County Schools, NC. “An event like this creates a stronger impression than getting the information from a textbook. Students can see how information we provide in the classroom translates into a career path.”

“According to The Manufacturing Institute, more than one in seven U.S. private sector jobs depend on the U.S. manufacturing base,” said Esra Ozer, President, Alcoa Foundation. “We are thrilled to showcase several of these jobs, which are held by talented members of Alcoa’s Davenport team — a Metallurgical Engineer, Electrical Engineer and Process Specialist. Their passion and enthusiasm for their manufacturing careers will be inspiring for tomorrow’s workforce.”

In addition to the virtual field trip, Alcoa Foundation and Discovery Education’s Manufacture Your Future program provides middle and high school educators, guidance counselors, students and families with a comprehensive online site that includes hands-on resources to build excitement around post-secondary manufacturing career opportunities. Manufacture Your Future encourages the development of critical thinking skills through real-world application, offers dynamic standards-based, Science Technology Engineering and Math-focused lesson plans, career guides, family discussion starters and other online resources that provide insight into today’s advanced manufacturing careers and highlight the crucial role that manufacturing plays in day-to-day life. Hope Street Group, The Manufacturing Institute, and SME Education Foundation provided expertise.

For more information about the virtual field trip or Manufacture Your Future’s program and free resources, visit: www.manufactureyourfuture.com.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Available in over half of all U.S. schools and primary schools in England, community colleges and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that accelerate academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

About Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $470 million. Founded 62 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $590 million. In 2013, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $22 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow’s leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the Company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2013, a record 62 percent of Alcoa employees took part in nearly 1,300 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 505,000 people and 1,900 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit www.alcoafoundation.com and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

About Alcoa
A global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing, Alcoa innovates multi-material solutions that advance our world. Our technologies enhance transportation, from automotive and commercial transport to air and space travel, and improve industrial and consumer electronics products. We enable smart buildings, sustainable food and beverage packaging, high-performance defense vehicles across air, land and sea, deeper oil and gas drilling and more efficient power generation. We pioneered the aluminum industry over 125 years ago, and today, our 60,000 people in 30 countries deliver value-add products made of titanium, nickel and aluminum, and produce best-in-class bauxite, alumina and primary aluminum products. For more information, visit www.alcoa.com, follow @Alcoa on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Alcoa and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Alcoa.


New TETRIX® PRIME system headlines Robotics catalog from Pitsco

PITTSBURG, KS (September 29, 2014) – How can two products fill an entire catalog? With the TETRIX® PRIME and MAX Building Systems for robotics, it’s no problem at all.

The 40-page 2014-15 Robotics Catalog introduces Pitsco Education’s new TETRIX PRIME Building System, which is designed for ages 12 and up. Simple and intuitive, the system features a quick-rivet fastening system that makes for easy prototyping and building. The Starter Set, Gripper Kit, individual elements, servos, and more are featured in the catalog.

Pitsco’s original building system, TETRIX MAX, is the preferred building system for the FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) competition and is ideal for large-scale robots. MAX’s full range of sets, metal gears, wheel and tank tread options, tools, storage, and curriculum build on the introductory offerings for PRIME.

Best of all, PRIME and MAX can be used together to provide even more flexibility and building options. Both systems offer high-grade aluminum pieces and work out of the box with an R/C controller or can be used with various programming platforms such as LEGO® Education’s NXT and EV3, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi. Both can also be used in national and international robotics competitions such as FTC, SkillsUSA Robotics: Urban Search & Rescue, and World Robot Olympiad.

Request a free copy of the 2014-15 Robotics Catalog at www.pitsco.com/catalogrequest, where you also may download a PDF file of the catalog. Visit the updated www.tetrixrobotics.com website, which features the online TETRIX store as well as competition information, example robot builds, and more.

• Catalog request link: www.pitsco.com/catalogrequest
• Learn more about TETRIX PRIME: http://www.pitsco.com/About/?art=7534
• View videos of TETRIX: www.youtube.com/TETRIXbyPitsco
• Other TETRIX social media: plus.google.com/+Tetrixrobotics/, www.facebook.com/TETRIXbyPitsco, and https://twitter.com/TETRIXrobotics
• Images: For high-resolution images, e-mail Publicrelations@pitsco.com.

Pitsco Education is the leading provider of age-appropriate, student-centered K-12 STEM learning solutions. Our standards-based curriculum, products, equipment, and materials promote student success through positive and challenging learning experiences, and our hands-on solutions teach core concepts and career skills in science, technology, engineering, and math.


ASCD Announces Virtual Learning Network Schedule for 2014–15

Alexandria, VA (9/25/2014)—ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, is pleased to announce the 2014–15 ASCD Virtual Learning Network (VLN) webinar schedule. Funded by a two-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, the VLN webinars are in their second year. They are designed to assist educators with curriculum, assessment, and instruction that align with Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

The ASCD Virtual Learning Network covers four content areas: mathematics, English language arts, science, and social studies. The webinars are led by ASCD Faculty members Nanci Smith, Andrew Miller, Jason Flom, and Krista Rundell. In addition to offering the webinars, the VLN allows participants from each VLN cohort to engage with and learn from one another through virtual professional learning communities (PLCs) on the ASCD EDge® social network. These moderated communities allow educators to study Common Core topics in greater depth with ASCD experts and share comments and resources with other network members. All webinars are also archived at www.ascd.org/vln.

The four webinar sessions in each VLN content area will focus on different topics throughout the 2014–15 school year and are designed to address problems of practice from the field. Highlighted topics this year will include…

• Improving instructional effectiveness and student engagement.

• Creating CCSS-aligned lessons.

• Designing rigorous performance tasks.

• Using protocols to examine student work.

“ASCD is proud of the many accessible, easy-to-use resources we offer to assist educators with Common Core implementation,” said Judy Seltz, ASCD executive director. “We are excited to begin the second year of Virtual Learning Network webinars and see the ways educators across the nation are using these lessons to transform their practice and engage their students.”


ASCD Faculty member Nanci Smith will present the mathematics webinars.

“The Virtual Learning Network is a powerful tool for uniting math teachers and leaders across the country as we undertake the implementation of the Common Core and other rigorous state standards with new instructional methods and intents,” said Smith. “We need to lean on each other as we strive to reach deep understanding and determine effective strategies and practical applications for mathematics instruction. The VLN webinars and ASCD EDge discussion groups enable peer-to-peer support and connected professional learning across the country.”

2014–15 schedule (all sessions begin at 6 p.m. eastern time):

Session 1: October 14, 2014
Session 2: November 12, 2014
Session 3: January 14, 2015
Session 4: March 12, 2015

English Language Arts

ASCD Faculty member Andrew Miller will present the English language arts webinars.

“We look forward to addressing more of the problems of practice that educators in the field are encountering,” said Miller. “In the ELA cohort, we will continue to confront issues around complex text, ensuring our assignments align to the Common Core standards and using student work and formative assessment to adjust our instruction.”

2014–15 schedule (all sessions begin at 6 p.m. eastern time):

Session 1: October 15, 2014
Session 2: November 10, 2014
Session 3: January 12, 2015
Session 4: March 9, 2015

Social Studies

ASCD Faculty member Krista Rundell, a new addition to the Virtual Learning Network, will present the social studies webinars.

“I’m excited to get started with the new VLN sessions and build on the progress this group made in the inaugural year,” said Rundell. “The social studies cohort will be a place to focus on high-quality instructional practices that integrate pivotal social studies content with critical literacy standards and higher-order thinking skills. It is our goal to create a collaborative professional learning environment in which teachers unite and support one another in developing best practices to move student engagement and achievement beyond challenging standards.”

2014–15 schedule (all sessions begin at 6 p.m. eastern time):

Session 1: October 13, 2014
Session 2: November 13, 2014
Session 3: January 15, 2015
Session 4: March 10, 2015


ASCD Faculty member Jason Flom will present the science webinars.

“The VLN is an opportunity to work with other educators and develop a shared understanding of teaching and learning in the sciences as they relate to the Common Core,” said Flom. “This year, we want to deepen our understanding of how the standards can enhance practices that reflect the work of scientists in the professional world and shift instruction to make learning more interactive and intellectually engaging. While student achievement is always a goal, this group is about professional learning and building our capacity to enrich and empower student learning.”

2014–15 schedule (all sessions begin at 6 p.m. eastern time):

Session 1: October 16, 2014
Session 2: November 11, 2014
Session 3: January 13, 2015
Session 4: March 11, 2015

For educators seeking additional resources beyond the Virtual Learning Network, the ASCD EduCore® tool is a virtual showcase of digital and CCSS-aligned professional development opportunities from ASCD, the Literacy Design Collaborative, Student Achievement Partners, the Math Design Collaborative, and other partners. EduCore’s resources include videos, articles, and example lessons to help educators and instructional leaders keep up with the most recent trends and instructional shifts in CCSS implementation.

Visit the Virtual Learning Network site at www.ascd.org/vln or the EduCore tool at http://educore.ascd.org. More information on ASCD’s suite of CCSS implementation resources is available at www.ascd.org/commoncore. You can also learn about ASCD’s other programs, products, services, and memberships at www.ascd.org.

Contact Information
Ross Romano, publicist, 1-703-575-5607 or ross.romano@ascd.org
Katie Test, communications manager, 1-703-575-5608 or ktest@ascd.org