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Maine State Library Network Breaks Communication Barriers

June 21, 2012 at 10:20 am PST

With the radically changing technology landscape and evolution of e-readers, tablets and notebooks, the traditional city or county library has been forced to move beyond “checking-out books” to become a center of resource for entire communities. It has truly been exciting to see the transformations taking place.

To meet new resource demands, libraries have been increasingly making efforts to have state-of-the-art technology in place. The Maine State Library Network (MSLN), which works with 269 public libraries throughout Maine, has taken great strides to ensure it is keeping up with the times. Read More »

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Florida Mentoring Program Connects Gator Athletes with Elementary Students

June 5, 2012 at 5:09 pm PST

Throughout its 106-year history, the University of Florida’s (UF) intercollegiate sports teams, commonly referred to as “Florida Gators,” have won 27 national team championships and Gator athletes have won 241 individual national championships.

According to an article in the Gainesville Times, UF is now extending its good fortune to a small group of Oakwood Elementary School students located 375 miles away from the university’s campus. Through video conferencing, the lucky group of students gets to spend around 30 minutes each week with its athlete mentors, including Gray Horn (track and field), Jeff Demps (track and field/football) and Tahnai Annis (soccer).  Read More »

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Connected Justice Translates Into Time and Cost Savings for Florida County

May 4, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

Interpreters are extremely important in the judicial system, and they are increasingly in high demand. Costs for interpreter services continue to rise in courtrooms across the country, but technology is helping cut those costs while improving quality of life for the interpreters themselves.

Orange County is currently using a Cisco Connected Justice solution for Florida’s first high-tech interpreter system. The system instantly connects interpreters to 67 courtrooms through high definition, live, interactive video. From their desks, interpreters have the ability to control camera angles and audio levels in the courtroom, speak directly to any of the parties participating in a hearing and can appear in real-time on a monitor in the courtroom. Read More »

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Texas Schools Build New Learning Models for STEM Subjects

April 27, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

You probably saw the headlines about the devastating tornadoes that swept through the Dallas, Texas metropolitan area a few weeks ago. Our hearts go out to those who suffered damage.

As the Lancaster area of the storm-hit region undergoes its recovery, I recently read that at least its public school students have much to look forward to in the months ahead. Lancaster schools recently announced a plan to create a “STEM District”—a union of schools committed to systematically changing teaching practices to promote state-of-the-art education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects. It’s an exciting opportunity for the historically economically disadvantaged district to become a national model for teaching these critical topics. Read More »

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Are You Ready for Some Football? Students Access NFL Inner World through Telepresence

April 12, 2012 at 8:26 am PST

Let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. As a child, did you dream of making it as a professional athlete? Or, perhaps, as you grew a little older and your own athletic prowess gave way to other skills, you wished to someday work among the sports stars you so loved and admired?

Thanks to the extensive education outreach programs provided by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, today’s youngsters who aspire to careers in professional football can learn how to make these dreams into realities. Using telepresence, the Hall of Fame reaches students in all 50 states with virtual fieldtrips to National Football League (NFL) offices and museum collections and archives. The in-person, real-time telepresence connections let participating students speak directly with NFL doctors, accountants, public relations leaders, sales staff, and more, enabling them to learn how these employees earned their positions and what it takes to succeed. The telepresence links also let the Hall of Fame use special document cameras and computers to bring some of its 15,000 football artifacts “directly” into classrooms. Read More »

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