Oser Communications Group

FETC 2014 EdTech Show Daily Jan29

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E d Te c h S h o w D a i l y 2 3 W e d n e s d a y, J a n u a r y 2 9 , 2 0 1 4 allowing teaching staff to utilize their tablet devices when providing instruc- tion, plus overall improvements to wire- less support and file distribution per- formance. The product evolution is set to continue into 2014 with an added focus on the iOS platform. In addition, we also re-positioned our IT Asset Management solution, NetSupport DNA, to be not just a pre- ferred choice in the corporate space but also as a viable and competitive option for the education segment. ESD: What distinguishes your products from the competition? MK: Aside from offering the broadest feature set, with the continual BYOD focus, NetSupport School also offers the widest level of platform support. With full compatibility for Win, Linux and Mac platforms as well as Terminal Server, Thin / Zero Client, Virtual Desktop and shared resource computing environments, NetSupport School continues to set the standard in classroom management soft- ware, especially now with the added iOS, Android and Chrome support. NetSupport products are also about simplicity. Everything is included as standard with no hidden fees or addition- al components to purchase. You purchase once and own forever. No repeat annual subscriptions, no remote hosting and no sending sensitive student data via third party services. ESD: How do you see the next year in terms of economy, sales, technology and product evolution? MK: In terms of economic forecast, the fiscal challenges will continue, although NetSupport ( Cont'd. from p. 1) we are seeing some marginal improvement in confidence which is positive. For the education market outlook, the BYOD buzz will continue, especially with increasing adoption of the Chrome platform. The hope is that decisions to invest in BYOD are also paired with a suitable medium to long-term strategy to identify how to achieve ROI, as well as how these pro- grams will help influence the attainment of common core principles and similar. ESD: To what do you attribute your com- pany's success? MK: First and foremost, I think we have achieved some measure of success by concentrating only on what we know best. You can't be everything to every- one where sometimes organizations are tempted to seek new revenues streams by entering unrelated market segments before they have mastered their core competencies. We remain committed to mastering the classroom management space with a continued roadmap of prod- uct evolution based on customer and market feedback. We've been leading this space now for over 20 years and are proud to have secured the largest global installation base, yet we still have a long way to go. ESD: How can our readers find out more about your company? MK: Easiest method would be to drop by our booth here at FETC and see the prod- uct in action. Otherwise, visit www.net- supportschool.com for more information, to listen to user feedback and to down- load a free classroom trial license. Visit NetSupport at booth 845. For more information, visit www.net supportschool.com. distinguished him as the father of computer-based essay scoring. Dr. Page believed that computers could score essays as successfully as human readers, and in 1968 his research culmi- nated in the development of the automat- ed scoring solution called Project Essay Grade (PEG). Measurement Incorporated pur- chased PEG in 2002, and with the com- pany's continued development of the software, PEG now uses its advanced, proven statistical techniques to analyze prose by calculating more than 300 measures that reflect the intrinsic char- acteristics of writing (fluency, diction, grammar, construction, etc.), and achieves results that are comparable to those of human scorers in terms of reli- ability and validity. PEG Writing is one of the MI writ- ing assessment sites that uses the PEG technology to score student essays and provide feedback. PEG Writing is PEG Writing ( Cont'd. from p. 1) designed to maximize teacher instruc- tion and to help students develop effec- tive writing skills. Teachers and stu- dents have unlimited access to a variety of tools that encourage writing practice and enhance collaboration. Teachers can take advantage of PEG Writing's pre-packaged prompts, or they can develop custom prompts. Students can view interactive student tutorials to practice specific elements of writing, complete PEG Writing's electronic graphic organizers to organize their essays and solicit feedback from peers using PEG Writing's peer review tool. Together, teachers and students can review writing portfolios and collabo- rate during the revision process using electronic sticky notes and instant mes- saging. PEG Writing provides a com- plete solution for teachers who are looking for additions to their instruc- tional toolkits. For more information, visit PEG Writing at booth 1505 or www.pegwriting.com. integration with the district's student information system. ESD: Can Edsby tie in to a district's 1-to- 1 or BYOD initiatives? JM: Absolutely. Edsby works great on all modern browsers, so for users on lap- tops, netbooks and Chromebooks, Edsby is perfect. In addition, Edsby has a free app for iOS and Android smartphones and tablet devices, so it works great as a mobile solution. Edsby's key value for district-wide device initiatives is in the way it provides a great 'backbone' that enables student-teacher communications and student-student collaboration. Edsby delivers benefits far beyond running standalone apps on a device. ESD: How does Edsby differ from other social learning platforms? JM: One key differentiator is our inte- gration into the district's IT infrastruc- ture. This wasn't easy to build, but it is crucial to the success of the rollout of this kind of technology across a district. It is true that some teachers will jump through hoops to configure up a self-serve web service to get access to some social learn- ing tools, but districts need a way to roll Edsby ( Cont'd. from p. 1) this out to 100 percent of the teachers. Edsby makes that happen. A second key differentiator is Edsby's ability to be customized to meet the unique needs of a district. There is no single universal approach for tracking assessment data and reporting results. This often changes state by state, or even district by district. Edsby is easily cus- tomizable to fit in with a district's approach to assessment so it works the way they need it to. ESD: What is the parent experience like? JM: Parents love how Edsby provides them with such convenient real time access to the latest information about their child and their progress at school. Dad can check whether or not his son has homework or an upcoming test on his smartphone right at the soccer field to know whether his son should be heading home to do homework. Mom can use a tablet at a café to easily find a good day to take her daughter out of school for a dentist appointment. Edsby provides the same sort of fast and convenient access to information that we've come to expect in this modern world. For more information, or to arrange for a trial of Edsby in your district, visit Edsby in booth 211. IN THE MOBILE SPACE RACE, COMPRESSION WINS By Ned Averill-Snell, Product Specialist, Accusoft There's a race underway in the mobile computing arena, between network band- width and file size. Just as more customers are moving up from 3G to 4G, everything traveling through those networks has got- ten bigger, keeping performance at a standstill just when mobile user patience is reaching an all-time minimum. Messages from mobile devices are getting bigger, with more multimedia content attached and carrier limits on MMS file size expanding. Apps are doing more, so their program files are getting heavier, as well. Fat Photo Files Crush Networks Worst of all, digital photo file sizes are exploding, thanks to the manufacturer battle for the title of "Most Megapixels." Photos snapped by early smartphones rarely topped a few hundred kilobytes. Today's typical 12-megapixel phone can crank out 2.5-megabyte photo files, and the 41-megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020 can generate single images approach- ing 5 megabytes. Smartphone shutterbugs now pile up half a gigabyte of photo files in a single day at the beach, and run out of mobile storage long before the trip is over. When users transmit these giant photo files as email attachments or social media posts, the delay is excru- ciating, and costly 4G data plans burn up in a hurry. Devices short on disk space, like the non-expandable iPhone, reach their "storage almost full" status in record time. The solution is simple: make the files smaller, so they move through the network faster and take up less space. The trick is shrinking the files without degrading the image quality—and that's when you need an expert. The Answer: Better Compression Accusoft's imaging scientists have developed and patented some of the best, fastest JPEG compression tech- nology in the world. Accusoft markets that technology in tools for building sophisticated applications that com- press and edit images, in software and services for boosting website perform- ance by making page images small (and fast!), and even in a mobile app for everyone, ThinPic (www.thinpic.com), that shrinks digital photo files on iOS and Android devices. The JPEG files produced by ThinPic and other products based on Accusoft's technology are as little as one-third the size, but retain the resolution, full dis- play/print dimensions and quality of the original, even if you zoom in close. They look just as good as the originals, but move through the network in less than half the time, and take up two-thirds less storage space. Drop those pictures in a web page, and that page displays far more quickly than it could have with pre-ThinPic photo files. (There's a free cloud service, www.prizmimage.com, where you can tap Accusoft's technology to shrink photo files for your website, no phone app required.) Send them to subscription storage, like Dropbox, and you can fit far more photos in far less space, saving cash every month. The mobile space race may never end, but you don't have to take part in it. With Accusoft's compression technolo- gy, you and your quicker photo files can jump ahead to the finish line.

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