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SMART Notebook SE Bracelets Bridge Home-School Divide

In only their second year in operation, Nantucket Elementary School has quickly grown a reputation for being one of the most technologically-savvy in the area. AVI-SPL’s Education Market Manager, Erin Minich, has nurtured the relationship, working with them to integrate SMART interactive whiteboards in every classroom and launch their status as a SMART showcase school.

So when she informed Nantucket of the exciting technology behind SMART bracelets, school administrators were eager to introduce this new resource SMART braceletto their students. Equipped with a 2GB hard drive within their bands, the bracelets have easily become one of the most popular items within the SMART Notebook Student Edition (SE) package. At 50 bracelets for only $50 each, Nantucket Principal Diana Strohecker sees it as an invaluable investment for her fifth graders.

As a true plug-n-play innovation, students using the bracelets have the ability to create assignments in school and take it home to work on, or even at the library. Once plugged into any USB port – regardless of platform – students can use the bracelets’ pre-packaged software to create presentations that featured embedded videos, links, images and more.

“As I tell our educators, the SMART bracelet is almost like a ‘digital binder’ that they can take with them anywhere they go, easily putting control in the hands of the students,” says Minich. “There’s so much technology available in the schools, but students can be at a disadvantage if they don’t have that same level of technology at home,” she adds. “These bracelets are a wonderful tool, greatly helping to bridge the home-school divide when it comes to educational technology.”

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Click here for an overview of AVI-SPL’s line of SMART products»

AV Trends in Higher Education

Sophisticated AV technology for classrooms, especially in higher education, is becoming a standard. With so much AV equipment being marketed to schools, it is easy to get confused by the options. ArchiTech recently published a terrific summary of the newest trends and tools for AV in the classroom.

Click here to read the full article on the ArchiTech site. 

For more information about the educational tools available from AVI-SPL, click here.

Cisco Acquisition Accepted by TANDBERG Shareholders

In looking back, the news of an impending Cisco-TANDBERG acquisition broke on October 1, immediately shaking up the landscape of the video communications industry. After a little more than two months of negotiations, 91% of TANDBERG shareholders have now accepted Cisco’s offer, exceeding the 90% condition outlined for the deal to go through.

When the initial proposition was made, only 30% of shareholders were in favor of the $3B offer, with percentages jumping to 40% when the figures increased to approximately $3.4B in late November.

As the second largest producer of video conferencing equipment, TANDBERG has reported an increase in momentum since October, introducing new endpoints and infrastructure products. With the acquisition, Cisco will now have the leverage to successfully sell lower-cost products to a wide range of markets.

Among the industry feedback:

  • “Tandberg has very strong sales partners in videoconferencing that Cisco will benefit from.” – Wainhouse Research
  • “The merger of the two companies will likely create an unstoppable force…This acquisition validates that video communications is well on its way to becoming a key enterprise communications application all the way from desktop to telepresence.”  – Frost & Sullivan
  • This development continues to validate that video communications is quickly becoming a critical application for companies, and is a key component of any enterprise’s Unified Communications strategy.  – Michael Brandofino, Executive Vice President of Video Communications and Unified Collaboration, AVI-SPL

What are your thoughts on the acquisition?

View AVI-SPL’s videoconferencing and audio conferencing solutions »

New Split-Screen InFocus Projectors for Classrooms

InFocus announced two new additions to its projector line specifically for the education market. The projectors (IN5534 and IN5504) both have a new split-screen option, which will virtually eliminate the need for multiple projectors in classrooms. Both projectors, specified at WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200) resolution, are network/wireless ready and feature analog and HD video connectivity. The two models are easy to camouflage in nearly any environment thanks to InFocus’ custom case parts available in multiple colors, including white, black, walnut, and ready to paint.

For more information about AVI-SPL’s line of InFocus projectors, click here »

Cisco Ups Offer for TANDBERG

The financial badminton match between Cisco and TANDBERG seems to be drawing to a close. Cisco has once again revised its offer (which is now up to around $3.4B) to purchase the videoconferencing leader, placing the birdie back in TANDBERG shareholders’ court. In addition to increasing the cash offer, Cisco has also offered to increase the interest payable on the offer price to a rate of 3.00% from its previous offer of 1.75%. According to a news release by Cisco, “this revised offer represents Cisco’s final price for this transaction.”

A total of more than 30% of shareholders have pre-accepted this offer based on the new price. These, combined with the previously announced acceptances, push the total to more than 40% acceptance of the sale. The rest of TANDBERG’s shareholders have until Dec. 1 to make a final decision.

Like many others in the AV industry, we’ll be watching from the sidelines, waiting for the birdie to fall.

To read Cisco’s full release, click here.