Schools and other organizations that tap the federal E-rate program are leaving about a quarter of all committed funds unused, according to a new report released this week by Funds For Learning, a firm that provides consulting services to E-rate applicants. The analysis showed that this amounts to "tens of millions of dollars" in unused funding annually.
Florida's Leon County Public Schools has activated an emergency warning system from viaRadio Corp. The viaRadio receivers, known as HEARO, are now in the county's 24 elementary schools, nine middle schools, six high schools, six special/alternative schools, five charter schools, and various administrative offices. The school district plans to use the warning system to inform the schools' administration of lock downs, weather emergencies, and other pertinent information. It can also be used for internal communication among employees.
- By Dian Schaffhauser
SMobile Systems has released an antivirus program for phones running Android, the Google-developed operating system. The company already offers similar solutions for BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, Palm, and iPhone devices.
- By Dian Schaffhauser
Pembina Trails School Division in Winnipeg, Canada is moving to a unified communication solution that was the result of a partnership between Objectworld Communications and Grandstream Networks.
Joshua Independent School District in Texas is rolling out a new emergency communications system across its campuses. The deployment is aimed specifically at addressing emergency situations by providing first responders with school information.
The Mobile County Public School System is getting ready to implement a district-wide parent notification system that will help reach the families of more than 63,000 students at 98 schools throughout the county. The district plans to use the system, SchoolMessenger, to increase annual yearly progress (AYP) funding, streamline emergency contact, and enhance general home-school communication.
During the company's presentation at DEMOfall 08, Alerts.com announced the launch of its free school alert notification and messaging system, MySchoolAlerts.
Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) has announced plans to install Prepared Response's Rapid Responder crisis management system for use during emergencies in the district's 78 schools.
Bio-Key International has announced the release of two new emergency alert and management solutions for the education market. MobileSRO is designed specifically for the K-12 environment, while MobileCampus caters to higher education and other campus-based organizations.
For schools that rely on E-rate funding for telecommunications and Internet access, changes are afoot that could impact planning as soon as funding year 2009. The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comments on potential changes to the E-rate Eligible Services List that in some cases would narrow the list of eligible technologies and in some cases expand it. The notice was filed in the Federal Register Aug. 18, so comments are due in less than a month.