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Akron Public Schools Chooses SAFARI Montage Video-On-Demand and Digital Media Management

-National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s Educational Videos Delivered via SAFARI Montage-

Wynnewood, PA (October 22, 2009) - Akron Public Schools (APS), Akron, OH, has purchased and installed SAFARI Montage servers in all of its 54 schools. APS is the first major district in Ohio – the 5th largest in the state serving 23,000 students – to select SAFARI Montage, the total solution for digital media networks. SAFARI Montage is also being used to digitally deliver the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s rich catalogue of educational videos. APS plans to integrate these in-depth programs into the 8th grade U.S. History curriculum.

Ernest Perry, Chief Innovation Officer for the National Underground Freedom Center said, “The project is anchored by a partnership between Akron Public Schools and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. This partnership will use the power of SAFARI Montage technology to deliver continuous learning about the importance of human relations, as embodied in the historical and contemporary events presented in the Freedom Center's digital media package. Appreciation and respect for diversity, the commonalities of shared experience and how people, working together, have positively changed their communities are themes that will be emphasized throughout the year-long project, which includes visits to the Freedom Center and training across Akron Public Schools.”

“SAFARI Montage provides our schools with access to outstanding, quality video content directly connected to learning goals and tied to Ohio state standards when they need it and at faster speeds,” said Adam Motter, Social Studies Learning Specialist, K-12, Akron Public Schools. “SAFARI Montage is an easy-to-use tool that helps our teachers to deliver not only preloaded video content, but also self-created content to students in an effective way. Our teachers love the fact that these programs come with lesson ideas, quizzes and other teacher’s aides not available via the web, providing for great learning opportunities for our students.”

Mark Bussey, Director of Information Services, Akron Public Schools commented, “Because SAFARI Montage uses WAN/LAN bandwidth, we are not taxing our Internet bandwidth further to play these videos in the classroom. It’s also great because teachers can quickly queue up programs they need to capture teachable moments. I was extremely pleased with the installation of the SAFARI Montage servers throughout our district. Fifty-four T-420A servers were installed and up and running within two days.”

Mr. Bussey continued, “APS is instituting a train-the-trainer model in order to successfully integrate into the curriculum SAFARI Montage’s high quality digital content, including the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s thought-provoking programs. This model will ensure that the 2,000 APS educators will have the right tools to use SAFARI Montage in the most effective way. One teacher in every building will be trained and will then be used as the expert resource on how to create Playlists, upload, meta-tag, apply digital rights management and distribute district-generated content through SAFARI Montage CreationStation®.”

APS is undergoing a massive reconstruction process for all of its buildings. The district wants all schools to be equipped with tools that keep pace with ever-changing technology and 21st-century jobs.

“SAFARI Montage is well-suited for this multi-platform district because it is a flexible and scalable Video-On-Demand and Digital Media Management solution,” said Tim Beekman, President, SAFARI Montage. “We recognize the power of video to engage today’s digital learners and are glad to partner with Akron Public Schools to provide the right technology that will help its teachers to deliver content easily and affordably.”

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center donated a SAFARI Montage WAN 1000 server that is installed at the APS district office.

For more information about SAFARI Montage, the total solution for digital media networks, please visit www.SAFARIMontage.com.

About SAFARI Montage

SAFARI Montage provides K-12 school districts with a comprehensive solution for their digital media networking and visual instruction needs. The full suite of integrated products provides a single interface for accessing all visual resources from inside the school district intranet or from home. The award-winning SAFARI Montage Video-On-Demand and Digital Media Management enterprise solution is designed to cut costs for school districts by utilizing intelligent digital media delivery, while facilitating visual instruction and learning in the classroom. SAFARI Montage servers come preloaded with educational video titles tied to the curriculum from the industry’s leading video publishers. In addition, SAFARI Montage provides the ability for school districts to easily upload and manage their own digital video and other content, and easily disseminate it to all classrooms throughout the district.

About Akron Public Schools

Akron Public Schools is located in Akron, Ohio, in the northeastern part of the state, less than 40 miles south of Cleveland and 30 miles north of Canton. The district includes seven high schools, 10 middle schools and 34 elementary schools. It is the fifth largest district in Ohio, with approximately 23,000 students enrolled.

Community Learning Centers

Akron Public Schools is currently undergoing a massive construction process for all of its buildings. Through a partnership with the City of Akron, every school in the Akron Public Schools' district will be rebuilt or remodeled to become a state-of-the-art community learning center by 2015. CLCs are schools by day and community learning centers by night and on weekends. Fifteen CLCs are complete, and another 11 are in the design or construction stage.

About the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Situated in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the banks of the Ohio River, the Freedom Center celebrates the legacy of courage and multicultural cooperation embodied in the story of the Underground Railroad. The Freedom Center is a recognized leader in using innovative technologies to bridge STEM education and humanities scholarship. For additional information, contact 513.333.7500 or visit www.freedomcenter.org.

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