16th December 2010

Working To Improve The Learning Experience

UserfulCalgary’s Userful and California-based DisplayLink have announced a software/hardware partnership that will allow schools to deploy large numbers of Linux-based computer stations in the classroom for very low cost. Working in conjunction with DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology, the Userful MultiSeat Linux 2011 software turns one Linux-based computer into 11 high-performance independent computer stations, ultimately giving students the features and computing experience of a full PC, but at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, Userful is running a special promotion, offering every DisplayLink USB docking station customers a free two-user version of their MultiSeat Linux 2011 software.

“We have enjoyed great success deploying our Linux-based zero client solutions in developing regions such as Latin America and Asia because of the low cost of implementation and the growing awareness of the long term economic benefits of deploying Linux desktops in education,” said Tim Griffin, president of Userful. “Regardless of region, however, over 50,000 schools around the world have adopted Userful MultiSeat Linux not only because of the cost-effectiveness, but also the ease of configurability, and the high-quality computing experience that it provides students.”
userful stations
The combined solution reduces hardware costs by up to 80 percent, and reduces required infrastructure (power plugs, cabling, etc.) by a factor of 10 as compared to a traditional PC-per-seat solution. It also reduces energy costs by up to 90 percent, enabling organizations to recover the cost of their computers through electricity cost savings over a few years. On average, customers report saving 60 percent in up-front costs, and 80 percent in annual power savings as compared to their previous PC-per-station solutions. The significant savings could bring computing to millions of people without access today.

“We are excited to work with Userful on the development of drivers and MultiSeat Linux software solutions that enable the use of our USB virtual graphics on a robust open-source platform,” said Dennis Crespo, executive vice president of marketing and business development at DisplayLink. “Now schools can spend less time and money configuring systems, and more time providing students with practical computing experience.”

Currently, the Userful software solution and their high-performance DisplayLink Linux driver is compatible with the full line of DisplayLink chips, allowing plug and play graphics over standard USB cables. DisplayLink USB virtual graphics technology has been widely adopted and can be found in devices like adapters, docking stations, monitors and projectors from leading PC accessory and monitor OEMs.

staples canadaThere is only one week left to enter the Staples Canada Recycle For Education Computer Lab Contest – rewarding the country’s most eco-responsible school with a $50,000 computer lab.

“We have received a tremendous amount of support from schools throughout the country, and delighted to learn about the environmental programs that our young people are taking part in,” says Steve Matyas, President of Staples Canada.

The Computer Lab contest is the first of its kind for the office supply retailer, who will determine the top five schools in January before declaring its winner in the spring.

“This is a chance for schools to improve both their community, and their school by winning this contest. We also feel this will get more people motivated to start eco-responsible programs if they haven’t already done so,” says Matyas.

Entries will be accepted until December 23, and will consist of a 500-word essay on a school’s environmental activities which have been in existence for at least one calendar year.

Teaching With TechnologyCDW Canada, a leading provider of technology solutions for Canadian organizations in the public and private sectors, today launched its third annual Teaching with Technology™ Story Contest and Sweepstakes, offering Canadian educators and administrators opportunities to win information technology (IT) for their classrooms and schools by entering a three-tiered contest. With a total prize value of over $20,000 this year, the contest begins today and runs until Monday, February 28, 2011. The Contest is open to legal residents of (who are currently living in) Canada. Residents of (who are currently living in) Quebec are not eligible to enter the Contest.

Educators and administrators can enter the Teaching with Technology contest in three ways:

  • The ‘Story Contest’ asks entrants to describe how incorporating IT into school classrooms enhances the learning experience for their students.
  • The ‘Tweet UR Tech Tale’ contest asks teachers to submit their technology story via Twitter in no more than 140 characters.
  • A ‘Sweepstakes’ is open to all Canadian educators, administrators and — new this year — IT managers/staff at school boards.

“Inspired by the many terrific technology stories from devoted educators during the first two years of the Teaching with Technology contest, CDW Canada is proud to include IT managers at school boards for the first time this year,” said Mary Ann Yule, General Manager, CDW Canada. “Educating students is a process that requires dedication from those in all levels of education, from the classroom, where committed teachers and administrators fill young minds with knowledge, to the school boards that provide the technology and infrastructure policies for imparting that knowledge. We appreciate the value that technology adds to this process and are excited to keep bringing this contest to Canadians.”

Entering its third year, the contest has received exceptional support from a number of CDW Canada’s technology partners. Sponsors of this year’s contest include the following: premier sponsors HP and AMD; gold sponsors Epson, Lenovo and Microsoft; silver sponsors BenQ, Cables To Go, Cisco, InFocus, Kodak, Netgear, OKI Data, Polycom, PolyVision and Watchguard; and bronze sponsors Sony, Targus and Xerox.

CDW Canada developed the Teaching with Technology contest in recognition of the need for educational institutions to have the best available IT tools to enhance students’ education. Each year the contest presents an opportunity for Canadian educators and administrators of K-12 schools to win partial or complete IT packages to enrich the learning environments of their students. Started in 2008, the contest features three tiers of prizing each with a different entry method. Participation is easy and incorporates interactive elements providing an in-depth look at the contributions of technology to the education system.

“These tools will help me improve students’ safe social networking skills by demonstrating responsible Internet behaviour and creating positive learning-based communities online,” said Richmond, B.C. teacher Grace Ho, a grand-prize winner in last year’s contest. “They will also enable me to hold video conferences with students across the globe, opening my classroom to the world, giving students an authentic experience and stimulating their interest in language.”

Story contest submissions – Story contest submissions must be between 200-500 words and describe the role technology plays in that entrant’s school or classroom.

For example:

  • How have students been more engaged in the learning process since the introduction of IT equipment into the classroom?
  • Discuss the role technology will play once integrated into lessons and how it will enhance the learning experience.

Stories can be submitted online, via email or via postal mail. Online and e-mail entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, February 28, 2011. Mail entries must be postmarked no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, February 28, 2011. Entrants must provide their full name and contact information along with title, school and board of current employment.

A panel of IT experts will judge entries according to educational value and distinctiveness of the described technology solution. Three winners will be selected from all entries to receive one of three prize bundles. Each bundle includes a desktop computer, laptop computer, projector, printer, pocket video camera, e-reader, digital camera, document camera and hardware and laptop accessories.

A random draw will select the five winners. Each will receive a prize consisting of either a printer, hardware bundle, e-reader, projector or netbook.

Tweet UR Tech Tale Contest Entry – Submissions must be made through Twitter, within the 140-character limit and include the hashtag #twtcda. The tweet must describe how the technology has been, or will be, used in the classroom or school. Tweets must be posted by 11:59 p.m. ET on Monday, February 28, 2011. The winner will be selected by a panel of judges based on the creativity, relevance and educational value of their tweet. One winner will receive an interactive whiteboard.

New this year, six sweepstakes prizes will be awarded to IT managers at Canadian school boards. Complete rules and regulations for all three contests are available online.

For holiday lesson ideas and to read the article 12 Holiday Websites that bring the Spirit of the Season into your Classroom.

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 16th, 2010 at 11:43 am and is filed under Business News, Contests, Digital Products, Education, National News, Software. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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