Districts Embrace On-Demand Software Platform
New system like ‘changing channels on your PC.’
SCHOOL DISTRICTS in New York, Pennsylvania, Maine, and Kentucky are adopting a new paradigm for deploying and managing their software in classrooms, computer labs, and libraries in an effort to deliver centrally managed technology while lowering related costs. The Software-Streaming Platform from Ardence Inc. (www.ardence.com) provides ondemand streaming of both applications and operating systems from networked storage to school-district desktops, servers, and devices running Windows or Linux. The solution essentially turns PCs into appliances that are more dependable and accessible than your typical desktop, according to Jeff Hibbard, Ardence’s VP of marketing. The platform works by storing images for each class in a “suite,” so that when a PC is rebooted, the network delivers a preconfigured image to each student’s desktop with the appropriate curriculum. Hibbard says to think of it as “changing channels on your PC like it was a TV.” The company recently rolled out the Software- Streaming Platform at the district level for an academic price of $125 per seat.
T.H.E. INSTITUTE, AOL@SCHOOL LAUNCH ‘INTERNET LITERACY’ COURSE.
T.H.E. Institute, the research and consulting division of 101communications’ Education Technology Media Group, has partnered with AOL@School (aolatschool.com) to offer an online course to help elementary and secondary school teachers integrate technology into their curricula in order to improve student achievement and meet NCLB requirements. “Internet Literacy—Making the Most of the Web” is a six-hour tutorial for educators of all levels of tech savviness that covers topics such as the differences among search engines, and how to detect and counteract plagiarism from the Web. It also provides activities that enable educators to work hands-on with the latest communications tools such as blogs, Wikis, and instant messaging. In addition, AOL@School and T.H.E. Institute are underwriting 300 scholarships for New Leaders for New Schools, a national nonprofit that trains educators to become urban district principals. For more information on the “Internet Literacy” course, visit www.thejournal.com/institute.
REDROCK REPORTS TO ACQUIRESCHOOL FUNDING SERVICES.
Las Vegasbased RedRock Reports LLC (www.redrockreports.com), the newly formed information services company for the K-12 education market, has announced an agreement to acquire the assets of School Funding Services, an online, federal grant information service that was part of New American Schools, a provider of professional services and investments in K-12 education. RedRock was created to provide on-demand access to critical information and related analyses by subscription, Webcast, and custom licensing arrangements that help educators target and pursue state-based educational funding opportunities. The organization was also set up to help vendors focus and target their sales, marketing, and strategic efforts. The transaction was expected to close by the end of November, and RedRock is scheduled to announce the availability of its subscription- based service by December.
SIIA Announces 2006 Education Division Board Members
The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA; www.siia.net) named the new members of its Education Division’s Board of Directors last month. The board consists of representatives from member companies who are selected by the organization’s combined membership. Board members are responsible for determining the projects, activities, and events to be undertaken by the Education Division each year. The newly elected and re-elected board members serving two-year terms (2006 and 2007) are: • Brenda Barker, IBM Global Education • Ellen Bialo, Interactive Educational Systems Design • Frank Catalano, Pearson Education • Lillian Kellogg, ENA • Alex Mlawsky, McGraw-Hill • Mark Stevens, America Online • Stuart Udell, Kaplan K12 Learning Services The newly appointed board members serving for 2006 are: • Andrew Flanagan, eSchoolMall • Robert Maginn Jr., Jenzabar Inc. • Don Rawitsch, Siboney Learning Group • Steve Ritter, Carnegie Learning • Cynthia Sanner, Thomson Higher Education The following members will join seven board members who will be serving the second year of their two-year terms: • Karen Cator, Apple Computer • Bridget Foster, SchoolNet Inc. • William Kelly, Learning.com • Midian Kurland, Scholastic Education • Pamela Nelson, Nelson Consulting • Iwan Streichenberger, Edusoft (a Houghton Mifflin Co.) • Mona Westhaver, Inspiration Software.
This article originally appeared in the 12/01/2005 issue of THE Journal.