Tech Watch: Aleph still favorite library software

Tech Watch takes a closer look at some of the country's "educationally-minded" companies.

baby phone 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
baby phone 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Following the recent Ra'anana Conference for National High Tech Policy, a major focus of which was the importance of providing the proper "high-tech" education to today's high school students, this week's tech watch is taking a closer look at some of the country's "educationally-minded" companies. Ex Libris Group announced late last month that sales of the Aleph integrated library system continue to thrive around the world. Some of the key institutions that have recently joined the Aleph community are Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University, both in China; the Universite du Quebec a Montreal, in Canada, while the National Library of the Dominican Republic became the 35th national library to choose one or more Ex Libris solutions. Features such as flexible, open architecture and support for large, sophisticated consortial models are among the requirements that national libraries worldwide are seeking and that Aleph can deliver. Mr. Nelson Muniz, director of the National Library of the Dominican Republic, noted, "We carried out a very thorough selection process for choosing a new system for the National Library, and Aleph was best suited to our needs. We hold books in several languages, but of course our interface needs to be in Spanish, and Aleph provides us with perfect multilingual support." Aleph continues to flourish in Europe, with the recent sales to Southampton Solent University, the Garrigues law firm, and the Universite de Bretagne Occidentale-another institution migrating to Aleph from Horizon. Ex Libris, headquartered in Jerusalem, is a leading provider of automation solutions for academic libraries. Offering the only comprehensive product suite for electronic, digital, and print materials, Ex Libris provides efficient, user-friendly products that serve the needs of libraries today and will enable them to transition into the future. Ex Libris maintains an impressive customer base consisting of thousands of sites in more than 70 countries on six continents. Yehud-based Tegrity, provider of the leading class capture web service for higher education, announced late last month the winners of the Tegrity Innovation Awards Program, which recognizes outstanding achievements in higher education technology on campuses throughout the United States. These awards honor leading institutions whose innovative uses of the technology have impacted student achievement and reinforced their institutional missions during the 2007-2008 academic year. The Tegrity Innovation Awards program debuted at the Tegrity Annual User Conference. Honorees were chosen from a broad spectrum of colleges and universities and honored last week at a special awards luncheon at the Disney Swan Resort in Orlando, Florida. Awards were presented to both individuals and institutions, indicative of performance milestones achieved during the 2007-2008 academic year. Tegrity Campus 2.0 is the leading web service class capture system, impacting learning, student satisfaction and retention across the entire institution. Requiring no hardware or software installation, Tegrity Campus 2.0 makes class time available all the time by automatically capturing, storing and indexing every class on campus for replay by every student. Turning to a slightly younger age group, Ramat Gan-based Comfy introduced its Comfy Keyboard system with its unique keyboard and a range of software, earlier this year. With Comfy, young children can enjoy an error-free encounter of fun play and rich learning experiences through the computer's platform. The Comfy Keyboard System has been tested in kindergartens and schools for children with special needs including children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, children with autism spectrum and pervasive developmental disorders (ASD & PDD), children with speech and language impairment, children who are developmentally delayed, and children with learning disabilities. Finally, Kfar Saba-based Orad Hi-Tec Systems Limited, a leading provider of virtual sets, on-air graphics systems, and sports production and enhancement solutions for the global broadcast market, announced last month that Kent State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Office of Student Media have implemented the company's SmartSet 3-D virtual set system as a key component of a new HD facility for TV2, its student-operated broadcaster. The TV2 team, which comprises more than 100 students every semester, produces two newscasts each weekday, a weekly sports show, and a weekly dating show. TV2 airs on Time Warner Cable in the surrounding communities. Orad's SmartSet is a turnkey virtual set solution that accommodates up to four cameras for any type of broadcast. With SmartSet, a studio as small as 10x10 square feet can be transformed into a broad virtual set, giving productions a sophisticated, big-market look. A plug-and-play solution, SmartSet is easy to set up and use and requires no third-party integration. [email protected]