K-12 Tech Trends :: February 28, 2007



Blackboard Patent: USPTO Grants Desire2Learn's Reexamination Request

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) this week granted for the second time a reexamination of Blackboard Inc.'s e-learning technology patent. Desire2Learn is currently the defendant in a patent-infringement case filed against it by Blackboard. The news, while not unexpected, adds to the growing debate over the legitimacy of the Blackboard patent. But in the meantime, the lawsuit against Desire2Learn continues.

The results of both the patent-infringement suit and the USPTO reexamination could have a major impact on the development of course management and learning management software. We have all the coverage of the latest events, plus links to exclusive commentary from the major players in the ever-intensifying rama, including Blackboard itself, as well as Sakai and the Software Freedom Law Center....

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News Briefs

Autodesk Outlines Education Support

Autodesk, the developer of CAD, post-production, and 3D animation tools, has laid out plans for its support of education in the coming year. The company announced several initiatives impacting K-12 education, in particular investments supporting STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math)....

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Wyoming District Rolls Out Anonymous Reporting

Sweetwater County School District No. 2 in Wyoming is launching a new service to help deal with students' personal problems, such as threats and bullying. The service, "Talk About It," from AnComm, lets students report their problems anonymously to school personnel via the Internet. Sweetwater becomes the first district in Wyoming to implement Talk About It....

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Angel LMS Integrates with Horizon Wimba

Angel Learning has released enhancements to its Angel Learning Management Suite (LMS), enabling it to integrate with Horizon Wimba's Live Classroom and Wimba Voice Boards....

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GACE Expands Faculty Resources

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission has expanded its resources for teacher certification. The new resources, developed by National Evaluation Systems, a unit of Pearson Education, have been added to the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) Web site....

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Louisiana Districts Get Software Grants from UGS

Three school districts in the Baton Rouge area in Louisiana will receive an in kind software grant through UGS Corp. The grants come as a result of a partnership between UGS and East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President Melvin L. "Kip" Holden and are meant to benefit schools impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita....

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Pennsylvania DOE Adopts Real-Time Collaboration Tools

The Pennsylvania Department of Education will implement new real-time collaboration capabilities using LiveAccess from Vemics Inc., a developer of collaboration and learning tools. Live Access combines multipoint video, voice, and data technologies with content, consulting, and customer support....

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Canadian District To Expand Fast ForWord Implementation

School District 16 in New Brunswick, Canada has adopted Fast ForWord from Scientific Learning Corp. (SLC). Fast Forward is a family of digital learning tools designed to develop "the neurocognitive skills required to read and learn effectively." The district said the program boosted early reading skills dramatically and that it will use Fast ForWord with more students in the future....

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Chapel Hill Adopts Scantron Achievement Series

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) in North Carolina has adopted Scantron's Achievement Series (AS) assessment tools. The district will use AS for standards-based formative testing in 15 schools, covering grades 3 through 12....

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Grants & Awards

2007 Sylvia Charp Awards

T.H.E. Journal and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) are pleased to announce the 4th annual award program in honor of Dr. Sylvia Charp and her groundbreaking contributions and extended service to the education technology community....

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Extricom Offers $1 Million to Schools

Extricom, a manufacturer of WLAN technologies, announced the start of its 2007 Education Grant program for higher education and K-12 schools. The grant will award a total of $1 million worth of wireless local area network (WLAN) equipment and discounts to schools....

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SchoolSpan Reopens Safe Schools Grant

SchoolSpan will once again offer its Safe School Grant to K-12 schools this spring. A Grant award includes five years of free service of the company's anonymous reporting module....

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Omvox Offers $500,000 for K-12 Schools

Omvox Telecom has launched a new grant allowance program for K-12 schools in the United States, offering a total of $500,000. Schools can receive up to $2,500, which can be used to fund Omvox's Alertify mass notification system....

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Products & Services

ProProfs Launches Free Online Quiz Service

Online learning resource provider ProProfs.com has launched a new service called ProProfs Quiz School, which allows teachers to generate custom quizzes online. The new service is available free for educators and students....

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SheerVideo Goes Universal Binary

BitJazz has released a new version of its SheerVideo codec, now supporting Intel-based Macs natively. SheerVideo is a lossless codec that allows users to store video at uncompressed quality at half the size of uncompressed video....

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Blackboard Connects Faculty and Students with Scholar

Blackboard has launched a new, free service for users of its CMS technologies: Scholar, a "social bookmarking" service designed to connect faculty and students across institutions. Scholar is the first product released from the Blackboard Beyond Initiative, which focuses on centrally hosted Web services....

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Tangent Debuts All in One Touchscreen Systems

Tangent earlier this month unveiled new models in two of its line of desktop computers, including two Mini Pro models and a line of all in one VITA touchscreen systems, all running on Microsoft Vista....

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Coming Up

  • MARCH 27-29, 2007
    CTIA Wireless 2007
    Annual Convention of the CTIA Wireless Association
    Orlando, FL

  • JUNE 18-20, 2007
    Lexile National Reading Conference
    Fourth-Annual Event Hosted by MetaMetrics
    Lake Buena Vista, FL

  • JUNE 24-27, 2007
    NECC 2007
    28th-Annual National Educational Computing Conference
    Atlanta, GA

THE Journal Opportunities

Share Your Best Practices

T.H.E. Journal is currently looking for the following types of articles for future issues and for our eNewsletter, T.H.E. SmartClassroom:

  • School Perspectives - discuss a specific topic, trend, or concern about education technology.
  • Case Studies – have you implemented technology and learned a lot from the experience? If so, share your efforts about what worked -- and what didn't.

If you have a potential article, or questions about the above topics, please e-mail [email protected]

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