Date Archives July 2012

CRN Magazine Ranks AVI-SPL #47 on Top Solution Providers List

AVI-SPL has landed number 47 on CRN magazine’s 2012 Solution Provider 500, a list recognizing the largest technology integrators, service providers and IT consultants in North America by revenue.

CRN’s Solution Provider 500 is the most up-to-date and comprehensive ranking of solution providers in the market. Formerly known as the VAR500, the name was changed to reflect how VARs (value-added resellers) have extended their reach into integration, solution selling and service providing, becoming increasingly responsible for fulfilling more and more of their customers’ IT requirements. CRN magazine provides news, analysis and perspective on the technology reseller channel, including product resellers, solution providers, product vendors, distributors and customers.

In 2009, AVI-SPL debuted at number 133 on CRN’s list of solution providers and jumped to number 48 in 2011. AVI-SPL joins some esteemed company in making CRN’s Solution Provider 500 top 50, including IBM, Xerox and Dell.

“It means a lot to AVI-SPL to be ranked among such respected IT consultants, technology resellers and service providers,” said AVI-SPL CEO John Zettel. “AVI-SPL has historically been known as the largest AV systems integrator, but in recent years we’ve transformed our business model to encompass wider communications solutions. Now we reach beyond traditional AV integration to offer comprehensive video communications solutions from managed conferencing services, digital content delivery and complete unified communications solutions.”


Register for Webinar on Mobile Video Collaboration by Polycom

Business professionals will want to join us Tuesday, August 14 at 1 p.m. EST for “Video Collaboration for the Mobile User,” presented by Polycom’s Marty Sexton. During this free event, Marty will look at the benefits of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) for companies and their business professionals. Don’t miss this chance to understand how the Polycom RealPresence Platform enables a feature-rich experience to the end user with reliable, easy-to-use, lifelike video on their smartphone and tablet.

On the Agenda

  • Key drivers compelling video collaboration
  • Personalize the video conferencing experience
  • Power of Polycom RealPresence Mobile to scale users

Register for “Video Collaboration for the Mobile User.”

Marty SextonAbout the Presenter

Marty Sexton is the Sr. Solutions Product Marketing Manager for Desktop and Mobility at Polycom. Marty is responsible for global go-to-market of software applications for computer-based, tablet, and smartphone video collaboration. While at Polycom, he has also managed several components of the Polycom RealPresence Platform, user interface design, human factors engineering, and documentation teams. Marty has extensive industry knowledge and experience spanning more than 15 years in video communications. 

Why Today’s Teenagers Are Wired Differently

By Dr. Jennifer Brown King, Florida Southern College:

In his article “Mission Possible: Teachers Can Inspire Today’s Screenagers,” Marc Heller, head of school at Academy at the Lakes in Tampa, Florida, brings to light what is becoming undeniably obvious: Our children are growing up in a world that is very different from the one in which we grew up.  Let’s face it.  Our playground consisted of monkey bars, swing sets, a squeaky merry-go-round, and the see-saw. Do these relics of the 20th century, which bring to mind nostalgic images of those golden hours of freedom after school, still exist for our children?  What is the playground of our children?  Anything with a screen (even a teeny tiny one), including portable gaming systems and home gaming consoles, hand-held tablets, and cell phones (seldom used for talking).  For this reason, Don Tapscott, author of Paradigm Shift (1993) and Growing Up Digital (2000) calls the children of today “screenagers” or “the first generation that has grown up with a computer mouse and the assumption that images on a screen are to be interacted with.” Hence, the term “screenagers.”

Our children may look like us, chips off the ol’ block, but researchers have proof that they are simply wired differently. The wiring difference, discovered through advances in brain research, is a result of the constant bombardment of visual stimuli. Writer Marc Prensky, who coined the terms “digital immigrants” (you and me) and “digital natives” (our children), believes that Millennials or the generation spanning from about 1982 to 2004 will have played more than 10,000 hours of video games, sent and received 200,000 emails and texts, spent 10,000 hours on cell phones, watched more than 20,000 hours of TV, and seen more than 500,000 commercials by the time they reach 21 years of age! I say this is nuts even as I shamefully confess, as a parent of screenagers, to announcing dinner time via text, then finally on FaceBook when no one comes scurrying downstairs to the table!

Heller references Ian Jukes, who indicates that a screenager’s consistent stimuli, like hours spent gaming, texting, and the like, have created new and high-speed pathways in their brain. Consequently, screenagers have learned to process information differently and faster than their parents — and yes, teachers — and excel in visual memory and processing. In fact, their brains are hard-wired to process visual images infinitely faster than text! For humans, in general, research has shown that the memory recall rates for 10 seconds of visual content are significantly higher (90% accuracy) after several days than when information is presented orally (10% accuracy). However, when pictures are added to a traditional oral presentation, memory recall rates skyrocket to 65%. 

What are the implications of this brain research for educational technology? Heller says that with the simple addition of supporting visuals and engaging graphical displays provided by interactive technologies, teachers could increase student retention by as much as 650%. When we consider the natural propensity of screenagers to recall visual content (versus oral content) along with the reality that screenagers and their teachers are wired differently, it’s clear that we are facing what Heller deems a “brave new world.”  Simply put, screenagers have different preferences for learning from their parents and teachers.

I agree with Heller.  Screenagers are visual, multimedia learners; however, their schools and classrooms are populated by teachers who are wired differently.  Here are four examples:

  • Screenagers prefer receiving information quickly from multiple multimedia sources. Many teachers prefer a slow and controlled release of information from limited sources.
  • Screenagers prefer processing pictures, sounds, color, and video before text. Many teachers prefer to provide text before pictures, sounds, and video.
  • Screenagers prefer random access to hyperlinked multimedia information. Many teachers prefer to provide information linearly, logically, and sequentially.
  • Screenagers prefer learning that is relevant, active, and instantly useful and fun. Many teachers prefer teaching memorization in preparation for standardized tests.

In the 20th century, teaching with a lot of visuals was very difficult and expensive until the advent of the digital age.  As such, teachers created a very auditory, text-based culture that still exists in many 21st century classrooms. Though wired differently, I encourage teachers to embrace this brave new world of visual learning imbued with rich, graphical, multimedia content.  It is a world to which screenagers can relate!

Editor’s Note

If you are an educator interested in learning how to use video-based technology in your classroom, visit AVI-SPL’s Professional Development Resources and Training for Teachers.

See the Technologies that Are Improving Healthcare at Collaboration Expo 2012

Attend AVI-SPL’s Collaboration Expo 2012 in Chicago,  Thurs., Sept 13, for your opportunity to see the technologies that are streamlining business operations.

Companies including Cisco, Polycom, AMX and Crestron will demonstrate the latest business communication solutions that are helping industries like healthcare, energy, and finance improve their work across the enterprise while lowering operational costs. You’ll have hands-on access to interactive devices that bring remote teams together over HD video conferencing, increase patient access to care, and save on expenses by allowing doctors and nurses to work together from remote locations.

This FREE event includes entry, lunch and a chance to win an iPad2!

Andrew W. Davis, cofounder of Wainhouse Research, will deliver an engaging keynote speech at the Expo, “Beyond ROI: Find Real Value in Collaboration.” Davis will discuss how today’s work environment is changing rapidly with the evolution and adoption of telepresence, unified communications, mobility, videoconferencing, and life in the cloud.

Be sure to like us on Facebook and RSVP to this event to be entered to win an AVI-SPL prize pack.

Register Today!

Register for the Sept. 13 Collaboration Expo event in Chicago, see the full list of exhibitors and find out more about the educational seminars.

This full-day conference is your opportunity to learn about the latest collaboration technologies, so you can make informed decisions on communication investments that benefit your company.

After Chicago, AVI-SPL is bringing this FREE series of events to three more cities throughout the U.S. in 2012:

If you have any questions about any of our upcoming events, visit our Collaboration Expo 2012 FAQ page, email or call 877-440-6205.

Register for AVI-SPL’s Free Webinar on SMART Notebook 11

Join us Thursday, August 9 at 1 p.m. EST for “What’s New in SMART Notebook 11,” presented by AVI-SPL’s Professional Development Curriculum Director Kelly Derushia. SMART Notebook 11 was released in the spring and adds numerous features to engage students. Join us for this webinar on the new features included in Notebook 11 such as: HTML5, new toolbars, Activity Builder, crayon and photo media tools. Learn how to integrate web tools into your SMART Notebook files and how to build interactive games with the Activity Builder. This webinar is geared toward SMART Notebook users that have used Notebook before but now have Notebook version 11 and want to learn what is new and different.

 Register for “What’s New in SMART Notebook 11.”

Kelly DerushiaAbout the Presenter

As Professional Development Curriculum Director for AVI-SPL, Kelly Derushia oversees professional development offerings that help K-12 educators integrate technology within their classrooms. He has over 10 years of teaching experience, and has been recognized Who’s Who Among American Teachers for five years straight. Derushia is a SMART Exemplary Educator and was a facilitator for Dr. Jennifer King’s Summer Technology Institute at Florida Southern College in 2011.