Oser Communications Group

EdTech Show Daily Jan 21, 2015

Issue link: http://osercommunicationsgroup.uberflip.com/i/446927

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E d Te c h S h o w D a i l y 9 W e d n e s d a y, J a n u a r y 2 1 , 2 0 1 5 WHY CHOOSE WI-FI NETWORK CLOCKS? Wi-Fi clocks are configured to receive a precise time signal from your school's network time server. This means that all of your clocks within your building are synchronized, which promotes responsi- bility, encourages punctuality and reduces tardiness because students and staff see the same time throughout your campus. And with a five-year battery life and the ability to automatically adjust for daylight saving time changes, Wi-Fi clocks present a huge opportunity to save on maintenance time and cost. Wi-Fi clocks are battery operated and portable, and use existing 802.11b Wi-Fi network infrastructure to receive the time signal, rather than a signal from a master clock. This means there is no need for a system controller, license fees, managed services or other costs. At installation, the clocks arrive pre- configured and automatically adjust to the correct time. They will continue dis- playing the accurate time without manu- al adjustments of any kind. In fact, there isn't a manual adjustment button or knob on the back of the clock, which prevents tampering with the clock's accuracy. In addition, the technology's staggered wake times mean that you will not notice any extra load or slow-down of your existing Wi-Fi system. Are Wi-Fi Clocks Right for Your School? Whether Wi-Fi clocks are right for your school depends on your needs and budget. The lower cost of entry for a synchronized timekeeping system is a huge benefit for organi- zations that may not require, or have the resources for, a more robust wired or wireless system. Without the need for additional infrastructure or equip- ment, you can easily expand your Wi- Fi clock presence simply by purchasing additional clocks. Consider the Benefits All clocks within a school are precisely synchronized. Clocks rely on the existing Wi-Fi network and come pre-configured from the manufacturer. There is no need for a system controller, license fees, man- aged services or other costs. Clocks are battery-operated and portable, and clocks have a five-year battery life. Staggered wake times mean unnoticeable network load, and they are Wi-Fi, FCC and ICC certified, and RoHS compliant with SNTP time reference. Wi-Fi Clocks in Action Teachers in the Cook County School District in Minnesota were tired of inaccurate clocks that displayed differing times throughout the school and led to punctuality problems for everyone. Two days after learning the benefits of American Time's Wi-Fi network clocks, including the five-year battery life, the district placed an order for its building that housed grades K–12. The district engineer was particularly impressed with the plug-and-play installation process, which allowed the clocks to get up and running quickly. The same precise time is now displayed on each clock, improving punctuality and time management for everyone. For more information, visit www.atsclock.com, call 800.328.8996, email theclockexperts@atsclock.com or stop by booth #558. DIGITAL PORTFOLIO FROM NUREVA ENCOURAGES LIFELONG LEARNING Nureva is a new company, founded in 2014 by the founders of SMART Technologies. Nancy Knowlton, Co- founder and now President of Nureva, is at the Florida Educational Technology Conference to launch Nureva™ Troove™ digital portfolio, an easy-to-use tool for building portfolios of K–12 student work that encourage lifelong learning. "Other portfolio products are on the market, many of which are targeted at higher edu- cation. Nureva Troove is specifically tar- geted at K–12," Knowlton said. The portfolios that students build with Troove can include text, audio, video and a wide variety of multimedia artifacts. Troove is an authentic assess- ment tool that gives students an opportu- nity to show what they know and reflect on their learning beyond the standardized assessment. "We provide an alternate form of assessment to the typical assess- ment schemes that have often been the primary mode – the true-false and multi- ple choice. Nureva Troove allows for a more holistic assessment of students' progress and can be used in combination with other assessment methodologies," Knowlton said. Nureva Troove digital portfolio sup- ports both academic and personal portfo- lios, providing students with the opportu- nity to create a more fulsome picture of learning both in and out of school. A stu- dent's academic portfolio could include a video interview documenting her par- ents' immigration experience, images and step-by-step instructions for building a robot or a multimedia presentation on plans for a school-wide service project such as supporting a local shelter. The student's personal portfolio could contain an audio clip from her recent band con- cert, a link to an article in the local paper about the basketball game where she made the game- winning basket, photos from her family reunion or reviews of her favorite books. As they collect the mate- rial, students have the opportunity to reflect in a meaningful way on what they're learning and why and even how they learn best. "We have provided a solution that can hold any type of file that the student and teacher feel is appropri- ate. This is a very flexible tool, allowing students to use what they think is the best mode of expression," Knowlton said. The finished portfolio is not just a demonstration that allows the teacher to assess their learning – it's also a presen- tation that's accessible to parents and per- haps other members of the school com- munity. "It matters to a lot of people for accountability purposes," Knowlton observed. "Teachers and whole school systems are being held today to very high standards of accountability – it's a signif- icant issue. And when you look at it from a parent's perspective, children have only one chance at a great education. When you talk to parents, they look at their child from a holistic perspective, and we look at this as one piece in a whole meaningful education equation." Adoption of the portfolio as an authentic assessment tool is easy with Nureva Troove digital portfolio. "User- friendliness is at the core of the applica- tion. We have a team of people working on user experience and design, and that group is focused on ease of use. How easy is it for the teacher to use? How easy is it for the student to navigate to artifacts of learning? That is the core upon which the application is built," Knowlton said. "Teachers are overwhelmed with responsibilities, but they're very open to things that will help them do their job better. We think that teachers will find that their students find using Nureva Troove digital portfolio to be an energizing and positive experience that helps encourage lifelong learning." For more information, visit Nureva in booth #1401 during FETC. After the show, visit www.nureva.com. ABBYY FINEREADER DELIVERS ACCURATE TEXTBOOK CONVERSIONS FOR TRUE ACCESSIBILITY How accurate are your school's textbook conversions? As you know, educational institutions are required by law to offer digital ver- sions of the textbooks they use so that stu- dents with learning exceptionalities and visual impairments can access the content using text-to-speech technologies. However, as many students have found, not all textbook conversions are equal. That's because there are a number of optical character recognition (OCR) software products on the market, and their text recognition capabilities vary. When OCR software can't recognize par- ticular words, phrases or formatting stan- dards in a scanned document, the result- ing digital version will include errors. Those errors will make it difficult for stu- dents to understand and benefit from the content when accessing it using text-to- speech software. So how can you ensure that your school is providing truly accessible learning materials to all students? By using the most accurate OCR software available – ABBYY ® FineReader ® . FineReader converts paper and digi- tal documents into searchable, editable text with a recognition accuracy of up to 99.8 percent. (According to internal ABBYY tests. Accuracy, speed and for- matting may vary depending on document quality and scanner settings.) It recognizes more than 180 languages in any language combination, and it offers an intuitive interface that makes it simple to use. PC Magazine Declares FineReader the OCR Accuracy Leader In a September 2014 review that named FineReader the Editor's Choice for OCR, PC Magazine had this to say: "FineReader Professional 12 is the only app you need to handle any OCR task…all the way to produc- ing a searchable PDF from scanned images of a thousand- page book printed in multiple lan- guages…Adobe's homegrown OCR can't begin to approach FineReader's accuracy." Educators Lift Limits on Learning with FineReader And what do educators have to say about using FineReader? John Bouchard, mem- ber of the Ontario College of Teachers, faced the challenge of helping students with learning exceptionalities and read- ing difficulties keep up in class. Not only did he need to make textbooks and other materials available via text-to-speech, but he also needed a faster way to create engaging assignments and study materi- als. To unlock printed content for his stu- dents, Bouchard turned to FineReader. "Accurate and reliable OCR is a key requirement for text-to-speech," he said. "ABBYY FineReader excels in both areas." He's also using the software in ways he never thought possible. "I don't have to retype text any- more – just scan, convert, edit. FineReader makes it almost effortless to create three ver- sions of the same test. Plus, the ability to combine text and graphics from different resources into a single docu- ment is incredibly useful." To see how Bouchard uses FineReader in his classroom, watch his short videos on assistive technology, cre- ating custom resources and creating graphic organizers. Three Editions and Special Pricing for Education FineReader is available in three editions: FineReader 12 Professional for Windows, FineReader Pro for Mac and FineReader 12 Corporate, which offers batch processing and other tools ideal for large school departments or workgroups. To learn more, view education pricing and download free trials of FineReader, visit www.abbyyusa.com. Stop by booth #370 for more information.

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