From the TCEA Exhibit Floor: Security software

Centurion Technologies, a producer of hard-drive and configuration-protection solutions, featured its CompuGuard CornerStone software. CornerStone is meant to maintain a computer’s critical configuration settings. The company says CornerStone protects against configuration setting changes by making them disappear upon reboot, enabling users to experiment without doing harm. The process also eliminates a number of maintenance issues, according to the company. It reportedly protects against viruses and enables web surfing that is safe from spyware and other malware designed to intrude upon user privacy and steal information. Centurion says the application takes up only a small amount of hard-drive space and improves workstation performance in the process.

DerbyTech Inc. displayed its CIPAFilter, a network hardware appliance it says filters out unsafe and inappropriate content while still allowing access to legitimate web sites and other materials. DerbyTech claims its CIPAFilter blocks 95 percent or more of pornography, but never blocks informative sites such as a breast cancer research site, for example. The hardware reportedly also offers anti-spam and eMail services, virus protection, web-usage reporting, and other features.

Fortress Grand Corp.’s Clean Slate, designed to protect public-access computers from malicious or inexperienced users, does not restrict users’ activities, but will automatically discard unwanted computer changes upon reboot or log off, the company says. Clean Slate restores the computer to its original configuration, discarding unwanted user changes such as erased files, installed software, and downloaded spyware. …Read More

From the TCEA Exhibit Floor: Virtual learning programs

Learning Upgrade LLC, a provider of online courses, offered its Reading Upgrade and Comprehension Upgrade online courses. The company says Reading Upgrade is a course for struggling readers meant to improve reading skills in learners from grades three to adult in just three to eight weeks. Comprehension Upgrade is meant to help students who have reading skills, but need an increase in comprehension skills to compete in school. It is meant for readers in grades five to adult, and students can learn modern comprehension techniques, improve their vocabulary, and develop critical-thinking skills. Learning Upgrade says both courses feature pop teaching songs, learning videos, and reading games.

Officials from Walden University, an accredited online higher-education institution, were present to discuss program opportunities at the virtual school. Walden offers doctoral and master’s degrees in management, education, psychology, and health and human services, as well as bachelor’s degrees in business administration. Walden says it provides its students with experienced faculty, virtual community, and a challenging curriculum to create an optimal learning environment. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, Walden University says its distance-learning degrees allow students to continue their education by taking advantage of the convenience and flexibility of online learning. The program, according to Walden, makes it possible for busy professionals balancing work, family, and education to earn a respected degree.

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TCEA shows ed tech’s ‘wild side’

Realizing the promise of one-to-one computing and achieving the effective integration of technology into instruction were the foci as more than 13,000 educators, students, and exhibitors–including more than 8,300 paid participants–converged on the Austin Convention Center, Feb. 6-10 for the 26th annual Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) conference.

Taking “Technology Gone Wild” as its theme, TCEA aimed to guide attendees through the “jungle” of educational technology, with special speakers, hundreds of free instructional sessions, and 700 ed-tech exhibits.

Throughout the three-day event, one of the largest annual statewide demonstrations of educational technology in the nation, educators and software vendors alike came together to find solutions to a pressing problem: How to prepare today’s students for success in the new global economy–one where technology will intersect every aspect of their personal and professional lives. …Read More

TCEA speakers address photography, telephony

The Texas Computer Education Association held the second full day of its annual conference at the Austin Convention Center on Thursday, with educators attending plenty of the free sessions offered, taking in some of the featured speakers, and checking out what more than 700 vendors on the showroom floor had to offer.

“Looking at everything here,” said Phyllis Hawkins, a technology media teacher from Texas, “there is not a learning style we can’t address with technology.”

Hawkins attended sessions on digital video editing, web editing in Macromedia Dreamweaver 8, clay animation techniques, and transferring VHS video recordings to DVD formats. …Read More

Live from TCEA: Take a walk on the “wild side”

The 26th annual Texas Computer Education Association began the first full day of its annual conference activities with roughly 13,000 educators, students, and exhibitors– including more than 8,000 paid participants–in attendance at the Austin Convention Center. Taking “Technology Gone Wild,” as its theme in 2006, TCEA offered attendees guidance through the “jungle” of education technology, with special speakers, hundreds of free instructional sessions, and 700 education technology exhibitors.

Principals, superintendents, teachers, technology specialists, and curriculum specialists from across Texas, across the nation, and around the world attended the opening ceremonies on Wednesday morning. Motivational speaker Coach Ken Carter was the featured keynote. Carter’s experiences as the head coach of the Richmond High School basketball team in Richmond, California, became the subject of the movie, Coach Carter. Carter made news when he locked out his undefeated basketball team in order to push them to improve their grades. The team members later went on to be successful in basketball and academics.

In his speech, Carter emphasized accountability, integrity, learning leadership through being a good follower, and teamwork, and his positive attitude generally matched the mood of the morning’s opening proceedings. …Read More

Technology goes wild at the 2006 TCEA

Welcome to the eSchool News Conference Information Center‘s special coverage of the Texas Computer Education Association’s 26th Annual Convention & Exposition, taking place at the Austin Convention Center from Feb. 6-10, 2006.

This year’s theme is “Technology Gone Wild.” Speakers at this year’s conference include Wednesday’s keynote speaker Ken Carter, head coach of Richmond High School in Richmond, California, whose experiences coaching the school’s basketball team became the subject of the movie, “Coach Carter,” starring Samuel L. Jackson. Other speakers include Dr. Arnie Abrams, professor of education technology at Southern Oregon University and author of the Best-selling book “Learn Photoshop Elements in a Day”; Dr. Bernie Dodge, originator of the wildly successful WebQuest, the web-based, inquiry-oriented research activity for students; Kathy Schrock, author of over 100 articles on technology and education and five books dealing with the Internet and educational technology, including Kathy Schrock’s Every Day of the School Year; and David Thornburg, noted public speaker, Senior Fellow of the Congressional Institute for the Future, and author of The New Basics: Education and the Future of Work in the Telematic Age, an in-depth discussion on teaching the skills necessary for success the 21st century workplace and, most recently, Campfires in Cyberspace, a guide to teaching with the web.

This year’s TCEA conference also features over 300 free instructional sessions, including talks on Microsoft MovieMaker software, podcasting, integrating science and technology, digital tools in the classroom, blogging, teaching English-language learners, distance learning, and much more. …Read More