Time is Running Out

Time is Running Out to Upgrade Your Operating System

On April 8, Windows XP will no longer be supported by Microsoft. You need to take action to migrate to a new operating system. Continuing to use Windows XP after April 8th could mean exposing your patient data, financial records and network stability to detrimental risks.

How Are You At Risk?

With Microsoft no longer providing security updates or technical support for Windows XP, those that do not migrate to a new operating system leave themselves open to:

  • Viruses and security vulnerability. Without critical Windows XP security updates, your PC may become vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software which can steal or damage your business data and information. Anti-virus software will also not be able to fully protect you once Windows XP itself is unsupported.
  • Compliance penalties. Credit card industries (PCI) and government regulations (HIPAA) require security patching and protections on computers that house records and personal data. A security audit failure or loss of patient data can result in hefty financial fees and penalties.
  • Revenue loss and practice downtime. When unsecure systems are compromised, malicious software can take control of your computers causing slower workflow, unreliable performance and system crashes. That means significant downtime and low productivity which can drastically affect your bottom line.
  • Loss of AVImark upgrades. AVImark sets recommended hardware and operating system requirements before upgrades are installed. Without continued OS support and protection, you are at risk of losing future AVImark software upgrades until you have migrated to an updated, supported operating system.

Call Today! 410-846-4582. We can help you migrate your practice to a new operating system, easily and efficiently. 

Benefits of Migrating to a New Operating System 

  • AVImark upgrades while on support.Give yourself ample time to upgrade. Time is running out so it is important to plan for dependency issues that may require additional hardware and software upgrades.
  • Higher productivity with a more efficient operating system. New versions of operating systems are released on a regular basis to eliminate bugs, incorporate improvements and user-friendly features, and these can assist performance by enhancing software and hardware compatibility.
  • Operating system support with AVImark’s OS support package.Very often what appears as an application software problem or hardware problem is later diagnosed as an operating system issue, making the Windows OS Coverage segment crucial to ensuring your AVImark investment runs smoothly.  
  • Better security through AVImark’s automated, encrypted Data Backup.Your practice can’t function without protection of your secure data. Data Backup offers automated backup service that stores your data remotely and protects it against loss. Your data is compressed, encrypted, and transmitted to a secure vault off-site with monitored backups to ensure successful completion.
  • More efficient, faster running hardware with AVImark’s PetPC.Staying up-to-date with digital technology sends the right message to your patients and gives you access to first-hand treatment options, improved communication with your patients and new revenue streams. The AVImark Pet PC is ideal for exam rooms, receptions areas, labs or any location where space is limited.

Call to speak with Kevin, our hardware and operating systems specialist with questions or concerns regarding the migration to another operating system and your AVImark performance. Call 410-846-4582.

Recommended ‘New Business’ Resources

There is more opportunity nowadays than there ever has been in the history of western civilization to market and expand our businesses. However, with so many options out there, in regards to services and products that you can utilize to help grow our business, it can sometimes become a little confusing.

I figured it would be a good idea to put together a list of helpful resources that you can come back to regularly for your ‘new business’ needs. Because of this, I anticipate updating it often, so I strongly suggest you create it as a separate bookmark (hit Ctrl+D now!), for easy access in the future.

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you purchase through them, I might earn a commission, or be compensated in some way. However, please note that these are resources, tools, etc, that I’ve either used in the past, or continue to use personally; or come from helpful companies or individuals that I know and trust… That’s why I’m listing them here for you! If you click on any of ’em, thank you!

Support, Management, and Expert Advice

 

Hands of Support – My technology company. Since inception we’ve helped thousands of entrepreneurs and businesses bring calm to small business and technological chaos, by providing customized customer centric, technical solutions. If you’re looking for a solution that provides the technology support management and expert advice, this is where you need to go.

Savings

Freedom WheelsFreedom Wheels provides customers with quality, reliable, low-cost used cars while allowing customers to enjoy an informative, no-pressure, no-haggle, educated, and comfortable buying experience.

North American Power – As my gift to the planet, I switched to using renewable energy! You can too & earn income at the same time.

Building an Online Presence

WordPress -This is the only way to build your blog and business sites, as far as I’m concerned. Everything I do online is based around the WordPress platform. Easy to use, extremely customizable. Enough said.

Email Marketing and List Building

MailChimp More than 4 million people use MailChimp to design and send email marketing campaigns. Join them today.

Entrepreneurial Productivity

Dropbox – The quickest, easiest and most reliable way to share documents (written, photos, audio and video files) with your virtual assistants and co-online buddies and partners. I seriously use this thing almost hourly during my work day!

Evernote – Great note collector that can help you become super productive. Available on the web, iPad, iPhone and everywhere else where you need to make a note, clip something to read later and then move on. I love this thing

 

 


Refurbished Computers Provide Many Benefits

The combined efforts of a network of organizations and members of the Microsoft Refurbished PC programs around the world has helped bring access to computer technology to thousands of people in need.

We are proud of these efforts that help create and foster foundations for enhanced learning and economic opportunities. We invite you to explore the many stories of success and benefits gained by communities through the simple concept of access to affordable technology as provided by refurbished computers.

Hands of Support joins Dell’s Partnerdirect Program

Baltimore, MD, June 15, 2013 – Hands of Support, a Baltimore based Technology Consulting and Support Company, today announced it has joined Dell’s PartnerDirect program as a Registered Dell Partner. Built on three main tenets of simplifying IT, less complexity, and the advantages offered by the Dell business model, Partner Direct will create a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship between Dell and Hands of Support. 

http://www.1888pressrelease.com/hands-of-support-joins-dell-s-partnerdirect-program-pr-476359.html

What is ConnectEd?

What is ConnectEd?

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

June 06, 2013
12:00 PM EDT
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Ed. note: Today at 3:30 PM ET, we’re holding a virtual “show and tell” with three schools that are embracing technology and digital learning. Tune in to wh.gov/show-and-tell to watch live, or join the discussion on Google+ or Twitter using the hashtag #WHhangout.

20111108 Head Start AnnouncementPresident Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, right, talk with students while visiting a classroom at the Yeadon Regional Head Start Center in Yeadon, Pa., Nov. 8, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Preparing America’s students with the skills they need to get good jobs and compete with countries around the world relies increasingly on interactive, individualized learning experiences driven by new technology.

From digital textbooks that help students visualize and interact with complex concepts, to apps and platforms that adapt to the level of individual student knowledge and help teachers know precisely which lessons or activities are working, many schools are already seeing the benefits of digital learning and connectivity. This technology is real, it is available, and its capacity to improve education is profound.

But today, millions of students lack access to the high-speed broadband internet that supports this sort of learning technology. Fewer than 20 percent of educators across the country say their school’s Internet connection meets their teaching needs.

Although the United States was once a pioneer in connecting schools to the internet, we’re now falling behind while other nations move forward with aggressive investment in digital learning and technology education. In South Korea, for example, all schools have high-speed internet connections, and all teachers are trained in digital learning. Printed textbooks will be phased out by 2016.

The fact is, schools without internet access put our students at a disadvantage.

That’s why President Obama is unveiling a bold, new initiative called ConnectED, which will connect 99 percent of America’s students to the internet through high-speed broadband and high-speed wireless within 5 years.

The President also directed the federal government to make better use of existing funds to get Internet connectivity and educational technology into classrooms, and into the hands of teachers trained on its advantages. And he called on businesses, states, districts, schools and communities to support this vision, which requires no congressional action.

Here’s how ConnectEd works:

Upgrading connectivity

The ConnectED initiative will, within five years, connect 99 percent of America’s students to the digital age through next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless in their schools and libraries. The President is calling on the Federal Communications Commission to modernize and leverage existing programs, as well as the expertise of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to deliver this connectivity.

ConnectED will also provide better broadband access for students in rural areas, by expanding successful efforts to connect parts of the country that typically have trouble attracting investment in broadband infrastructure.

Training teachers

Our teachers are being asked to do more than ever, and they need to be equipped with better tools to help them succeed. Fortunately, technology can play a central role in this.

For example, new digital education tools that allow for real-time assessments of student learning, provide more immediate feedback to drive professional development, and enable the creation of interactive online lessons can empower teachers to understand each student’s strengths and weaknesses and design lessons and activities that better meet their needs.

The ConnectED initiative invests in improving the skills of teachers, ensuring that every educator in America receives support and training in using education technology tools that can improve student learning.

Additionally, ConnectED will lead to new resources for teachers from any school, at any time, to open their classrooms to interactive demonstrations, lessons from world-renowned experts, or the opportunity to build learning communities and to collaborate with other educators across the country or world.

Encouraging private sector innovation

Educational devices supported by high-speed networks are the portal to the world of online earning and interactive content, to personalized education software that adapts to students’ needs, and to breakthrough advances in assessing understanding and mastery.

These devices give students access to more rigorous and engaging classes, new learning resources, rich visualizations of complex concepts, and instruction in any foreign language. They also give students more opportunities to work at their own speed and receive additional one-on-one help they need to develop their knowledge and skills.

Leading technology companies are capable of producing feature-rich educational devices that are price-competitive with basic textbooks.  And a robust market in educational software can unlock the full educational potential of broadband investment, while create American jobs and export opportunities in a global education marketplace of over $1 trillion.

 

Local schools turn iPads into the next teaching tool

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Local schools turn iPads into the next teaching tool

By Laura Barnhardt Cech

It almost sounds like a high school senior’s idea — along with Friday skip days and free vending machine snacks —”iPads for everyone” in schools!

But more and more administrators and teachers at area schools are proposing bringing iPads, the popular tablet electronics into the classroom.

The hope is to add multi-media elements to lessons, equip students with technology they’ll use in college, and lighten backpacks.

“We hope the iPads will become personal learning devices,” says Julia Maxey, instructional technology coordinator and English teacher at Severn School.

“Eventually, they’ll be replacing binders, notepads, and, one day, textbooks.”

iPads replace textbooks

Severn School in Severna Park is one of several local schools that will be distributing iPads to each student this fall. At the Key School in Annapolis, all incoming freshman will receive iPads.

Earlier this year, 137 eighth-graders at Chesapeake Math and IT Academy, a public charter school in Laurel, received iPads to use for the rest of the year. And 120 iPads are used by students in sixth and seventh grades at Meade Middle School in Anne Arundel County as part of a program that administrators are working to expand to all students.

“The applications are endless,” says Beth Shaken, a school performance coach at Meade.

Teachers particularly like that many iPad educational apps have beginning, intermediate and advanced text levels. It allows them to tailor content to the students’ needs. “Which is what education is all about these days,” Shaken says.

The educational apps — literally hundreds of thousands of them — are one of several advantages that iPads have over laptops, according to teachers and students, who also like that they are portable and versatile.

“You can carry iPads anywhere,” says Meade Middle School sixth grader Star Scott. “You can project what you’re doing on a large screen… You can make podcasts.”

Students also say they help with organization. There’s no more lost homework. It’s on the iPad.

“You don’t have to worry about e-mailing your work to yourself, or printing it and losing it,” says Julian Bartholomee, a sophomore at Severn School from Pasadena.

Bartholomee uses his iPad to watch movies, play games and read books. But, mostly, he says, he uses it for schoolwork.
At the Key School, administrators and teachers also liked that iPads don’t have screens that block eye contact the way laptops do. “We don’t want anything to get in the way of face to face discussion,” Meyerson says.

iTeaching tools

The Key School already has mobile iPad carts that are shared by classes. During a lesson on the civil war, humanities teacher Laurel Lennon found them to be helpful when students were looking at photographs at the National Archives. “You could zoom in and see the details,” she says. “The resolution was so great.”

In preparation for next year’s switch, Severn School teachers have been experimenting with iPads, Maxey says. In science, they’ll be used with plug-in probes to analyze the atmosphere and water quality, to create charts and diagrams and, with apps, to simulate some labs. In English class, they’ll be used to highlight text, edit as a group and download books. In history and art, they’ll give instant access to source materials. However, Maxey says they won’t replace all science experiments, field trips and sculpture.

“It’s to enhance what we do,” she says. “It’s not everything we do.”

Jane Zanger, a Key School humanities teacher, agrees it’s just a tool. Teachers should develop their lesson plans, thinking about what they want to accomplish, and then ask if there is a way technology can help, Zanger says.

Downloading textbooks to an iPad could eventually be a cost-saver for schools, but many administrators have found the digital textbooks currently available to be lacking.

“We’re watching the textbook industry closely,” says Marilyn Meyerson, Library and Technology Department Head at the Key School.

While the school likes the idea of replacing heavy textbooks that eventually become outdated, Meyerson says they also want textbooks that are an interactive experience.

So, for now, they’re waiting.

At a school like Meade Middle, where not all students have access to the Internet at home, iPads allow teachers to download videos and other resources for their students and parents, principal William Goodman says.

“It levels the playing field,” he says.

iCost and logistics

The addition of iPads doesn’t come cheap. They’re a minimum of $500 a piece which schools are paying for with discretionary funds, fundraising, grants and tuition increases. And there are many logistics as well: schools must have extensive wifi networks, charging stations and superior Internet filters. There has to be a policy for lost and broken devices and places where they can be stored securely.

It also takes time to transition to using them. For many, typing on an iPad for long periods is uncomfortable. But, Bruce Schwartz, middle and upper school technology integrator at Key School, says schools that have purchased external keyboards for iPads find that students quickly abandon them. “Within a month’s time, they’re all typing on the iPads. They get used to it.”

Still, Schwartz says, the iPads aren’t meant to be used to type 10-page research papers. They’re for taking notes, writing short essays, scheduling assignments, and doing research.

“It extends the classroom experience,” he says. “It provides for in-the-moment, important research.”

A conversation in class might take a turn, says Schwartz. “That’s when we’ll pull out the iPads and say, ‘Let’s do some research.'”

The built-in camera and microphone also allow students to make videos and podcasts, and take photos.

At the Key School, iPads have been used in classrooms for several years, beginning with preschool students. Early literacy apps are especially great, Meyerson says. Students might think they’re just playing games, but they’re also learning words, letter recognition, phonics and more.

Inevitably, some older students will try to play non-educational games on their new devices during class. But, administrators say, it’s not that much different than kids who sneak out phones to play games or send text messages. If they didn’t have electronics, they’d be passing notes on folded pieces of paper, Maxey says.

“I honestly expect most of that will die down in a few weeks,” she says.

Maxey, Goodman and other administrators want students to experiment with iPads, becoming so proficient that eventually they can create their own applications.

“We believe we should prepare students for the future,” says Maxey. “This is the future.”