D2L Makes ‘Smart List’

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

Congratulations to our client D2L on being named to the Getting Smart ‘Smart List’. The education outlet recently compiled a list of the top 30 learning platforms that “deserve a round of applause”.

Getting Smart says, “These tools can help EdLeaders, administrators and educators accomplish a variety of challenging tasks, such as powering and tracking personal learning plans, managing assignments and dynamic grouping, supporting the development of standards-aligned projects, combining formative assessment in a standards-based grade book, and connecting students, parents and teachers anywhere on any device.”

D2L was listed in the Next-Gen Learning Platforms category for it’s “simple, well-designed interface”.

Is Kopin (KOPN) Turning Into an AR/VR Stock?

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

2016 saw an explosion in virtual reality. Funding to VR and augmented reality startups hit an all-time high of $1.8 billion last year. Some market prognosticators are saying the AR/VR market could be worth upwards of $120 billion by the end of the decade.

Could our client Massachusetts-based Kopin Corp. (NASDAQ:KOPN) be the next big AR/VR stock? That’s the question Nanalyze explored in its latest article about Kopin’s past, present and future.

Kopin  has been around for more than 30 years—25 trading on the NASDAQ—and is shifting its business towards AR and VR.

Nanalyze reports Kopin’s core business today is in super-shrinking LCDs and other high-resolution micro-displays and developing optics and other components for wearable technology, particularly for military and government customers. Kopin also recently released a consumer AR sportswearable and has developed the best speech recognition system on the market.

To learn more about Nanalyze’s predictions for Kopin, read the full story here. And, if you’d like to learn more about how Lightspeed PR lands placements like this for clients, click here to contact us.

Built In Chicago Names NextCapital Top Employer

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

Built In Chicago, Chicago’s hub for startups and tech, compiled a list of the top employers in Chicago based on the cultural and financial perks that those companies offer. With several clients in the “Windy City” tech hub, Lightspeed PR has forged strong relationships with outlets like Built In Chicago. As a result, we were able to secure this top placement for our client NextCapital.

NextCapital was featured at the top of Built In Chicago’s list of top employers because of the wide array o perks it offers employees. NextCapital makes financial software used by investors to create personalized retirement investment plans and track how all the investments in their portfolios are performing from a single location. The company has a laid-back work environment that emphasizes work-life balance. They have fun social activities like a company-sponsored cornhole league, after-hours social outings, hackathons and fantasy football leagues. Plus, at work, they give employees 120 degree sit/stand desks and local coffee, espresso and beer. Yes, beer!

On the financial side, employees at NextCapital get a 401(k) with matching and employer-subsidized health, dental and vision coverage.

Want to learn more about how we help clients win top features? Contact us here or call us at 917-770-9435.

Kopin Unveils Elf VR

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

VR Focus reported that our client Kopin showcased a new VR head-mounted display (HMD) called Elf VR at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). This year, the show featured more virtual reality (VR) exhibitors, and Kopin VR was one of those.

The Elf VR headset is equipped with Kopin “Lightning” OLED microdisplay panels and features 2048 x 2048 resolution of each panel, to provide binocular 4K image resolution at 120Hz refresh rate. Elf VR was created in partnership Goertek Inc.

To learn more about this revolutionary new headset, check out the full report from VR Focus.

View Post

The Fear and AWE of Techno-Utopia

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

Technology is evolving at a mind blowing pace. Huffington Post contributor Maya Zuckerman says that “the rate of change that would happen in an age or a lifetime is now happening on a daily basis”.

To explore just what this age of virtual reality, augmented humans and super AI means for the evolution of humans, Zuckerman spent some time at the 8th Augmented World Expo. AWE, a Lightspeed client, was held in early June 2017 with over 4500 participants, 351 speakers, and 212 exhibitors.

In her article, Zuckerman asks and explores questions like “Is this Techno-Utopia all it’s cracked up to be?” and  “In a world where we have developed machines smarter, faster and more evolved than humans – how do we protect the rights of humanity?”. Zuckerman also delves into the ethics of robotics and AI.

If you want to read more about these concepts and the future impact of AI on our species, read the full story from the Huffington Post.

District Administration Rounds Up Top LMS

In Lightspeed PR by Ethan Rasiel

K-12 educators are under pressure to find learning management systems that easily identify content based on individual student needs. LMS platforms can pinpoint specific concepts students don’t understand, allowing instructors to help struggling learners more effectively by focusing on the areas that need extra attention. Some systems can even identify gifted and talented learners who aren’t challenged enough, allowing them to skip subjects they already understand.

District Administration recently put together a round-up of the best LMS for educators. Our client D2L made it on the short list. Why?

D2L’s Brightspace allows districts can meet ESSA’s family engagement requirements, which call for parents to be involved and consulted in education planning. Brightspace allows parents can access their children’s work, and communicate with teachers on a new activity feed. The feed allows teachers to share activities and information using attachments, Google Drive, web links and school activities. Students can also access an ePortfolio, where they can share completed projects, assessments, links and media.

To learn more about Brightspace’s features and see the full list of LMS, read the full story from District Administration.

Using Technology For Parental Engagement

In Lightspeed PR by Ethan Rasiel

Involving parents in their children’s progress in the classroom is proven to increase student outcomes. In his eSchool News article, Kenneth Chapman – the vice president of Market Research for our client D2L – explained why learning management systems like D2L can help in this process.

First, learning management system is the potential time savings it offers to teachers in reaching out to parents. Chapman explains that an LMS can include a number of built-in tools that make it easier for teachers to perform common daily activities on a single platform. Taking time to train teachers on efficient use of the LMS platform can pay off in better outreach.

Chapman also says that an LMS also helps in communicating with parents in the way that’s best for them. Some parents prefer emails while others like notifications on their phone.

Finally, Chapman talks about the importance of video conferencing tools on an LMS.

“With the advent of free, easy-to-use conferencing apps like Google Hangouts and Adobe Connect, it’s helpful to train and encourage teachers to use those tools to meet with busy parents,” explained Chapman. “By using video as well as voice, they can help teachers establish relationships in ways that mere phone calls can’t.”

For the full story in eSchool News, click here.

DOL Fiduciary Rule Finally Takes Effect

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

Despite a delay and speculation around outright repeal, the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule is now applicable. It’s taken the better part of a decade for the DOL to make this happen.

Rob Foregger, co-founder of our client NextCapital, shared his reaction and insights with Wealth Management.

“Think of it like the Hippocratic Oath for retirement investing,” Foregger said. “When you go to the doctor, you expect to receive nonconflicted medical advice, which is always in your best interest. When you seek retirement advice from a financial professional, you should also expect the advice to be in your best interest.”

For more industry reactions, read the full story from Wealth Management.

Apple Revises Developer Program License Agreement

In Client News by Ethan Rasiel

Apple has relaxed its ban on apps fetching and running extra code.

The Register reports that many companies, including our client Rollout.io, suffered from Apple’s restrictions. Rollout.io offered a hot-patching service that allowed developers to inject code into approved apps, to revise interfaces, fix bugs, and implement other changes. Back in March, Apple cracked down on hot-patching. This forced Rollout.io to abandon that particular approach and start a brand new service called Rox.

So, will Rollout.io be going back to the old incarnation of Rollout? CEO of Rollout.io Erez Rusovsky told The Register that it’s still uncertain.

“This is a difficult question to answer because the changes are open to interpretation, and because Apple has not made itself available to us to clarify its policies,” said Rusovsky. “In fact, we felt that the policy always did allow Rollout and other hot patching solutions, and still should. Apple did not change its guidelines in March when it notified Rollout customers that apps built on our framework would not be allowed in the App Store. In fact, it only reinterpreted the guidelines already in place. The portion of the guidelines that most directly impacts Rollout [Section 3.3.2, along with separate App Store Guidelines, Section 2.5.2] did not change then, or now.”

To learn more about Apple’s friendlier rules for development tools and what it means for companies like Rollout.io, read the full story from The Register.