Nominations Now Open for the 30th Annual SIIA CODiE Awards

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SIIA today opened nominations for the 2015 SIIA CODiE Awards. The 2015 CODiE Awards feature 14 new and updated categories, reflecting the dramatic changes in technology and business models impacting the software and information industries. The CODiE Awards have been the premier award for the software and information industries for 29 years. The awards program has three tracks organized by industry focus: Content, Education and Software.

Content: The SIIA Content CODiE Awards showcase the information industry’s finest products, technology and services created by, or for, media, publishers and information services providers.

Education: The SIIA Education CODiE Awards showcase applications, products and services from developers of educational software, digital content, online learning services, and related technologies across the K-20 sector.

Software: The SIIA Software CODiE Awards showcase applications, products and services that are developed by independent software vendors (ISVs) for use in business, government, academic, or other organizational settings.

“For the past 29 years innovators in the software, education and content industries have showcased what excellence looks like,” said SIIA President Ken Wasch. “We are truly excited to see what they bring to the judges this year.”

Winners will be announced in May and June and celebrated during a special event for each category segment. More information on these events will be posted on the CODiE Awards website as it becomes available.

For more information about the SIIA CODiE Awards, visit http://www.siia.net/codies. To see how some recent CODiE Award winners describe their achievement, watch the Attributions to Success Video Series.


Angel ScottAngel Scott is Awards Program Coordinator at SIIA. Follow the SIIA CODiE Awards on twitter at @CODiEAwards.

SIIA Seeks Education Technology Innovators for Incubator Program

The Education Division of SIIA is accepting applicants for its Innovation Incubator program. Selected developers of promising technologies in the K-12 and postsecondary markets will be invited to participate in the SIIA Innovation Incubator program during the 14th annual SIIA Education Business Forum, December 9-10, at McGraw-Hill Conference Center in New York. The deadline to apply is September 26.

The SIIA Innovation Incubator program identifies and supports entrepreneurs in the development and launch of innovative learning technologies. The program began in 2006, and has helped dozens of companies enrich education through the use of software, digital content and related technologies. The Innovation Incubator program employs a peer-review process to identify the most promising digital education products. Successful industry leaders and peers also provide one-on-one mentorship before, during, and after the Forum to support the growth and success of identified innovators.

All education technology companies with innovations are encouraged to apply – from start-ups to established companies. A panel of SIIA member judges, consisting of prominent education technology industry professionals, will review and score each innovation, and collective scores will determine finalists and an alternate. Scores will be calculated based on:

  • True innovation
  • Market need/ Solving a problem in education
  • Ability to be successful

Finalists will be asked to give webinar presentations to educators and administrators nationwide for the Educators’ Choice and Faculty Choice Awards. Finalists will also present their products in person for Education Business Forum attendees. An additional winner and one runner-up will be chosen for the “Most Innovative” and “Most Likely to Succeed” categories based on the scores submitted by Forum attendees.

For more information about the Innovation Incubator program, or to apply, go to http://www.siia.net/ebf/2014/incubator.asp or contact Karen Billings at kbillings@siia.net.

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Karen BillingsKaren Billings is Vice President for the Education Division at SIIA. Follow the SIIA Education Team on Twitter at @SIIAEducation

What It Takes To Be A CODiE Awards Judge

It’s that time of year again, the CODiE Awards. SIIA’s annual CODiE Awards recognizes excellence in the content, education and software industries. The CODiE Awards remain the only peer-recognized program in the content, education and software industries so each award serves as incredible market validation for a product’s innovation, vision and overall industry impact. This year marks a milestone for the CODiE Awards, celebrating 30 years.

We are officially accepting applications for CODiE Award judges. If you have ever wanted to be a part of the CODiE Awards, this is the year to do it! The CODiE Awards are judged in two phases: a first round review in which each product is assigned to judges for evaluation, and SIIA Member voting on the finalists selected in the first round.

The ranks of first round CODiE Awards judges include industry executives and analysts, representatives of media outlets, bloggers, investors, and, for the education categories, educators and administrators. All it takes is a background that reflects an understanding of the broader market for a specific product type and a willingness to see the latest and greatest the industry has to offer.

Take a look at FreePrint contributor, John DiGilio’s 2014 CODiE Award judging experience.

FreePrint Article


New Markey-Hatch Federal Student Privacy Legislation is Unnecessary

SIIA today issued a press release on the introduction of the “Protecting Student Privacy Act” by Sens. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Orin Hatch (R-Utah).

The current framework of robust federal regulations, industry best practices and binding contracts provides strong student privacy protections.  With these three layers of protection, we can give students access to revolutionary learning technology while ensuring that their information is used only for educational purposes. New federal student privacy legislation is not needed at this time.

The Markey-Hatch legislation is well-intended, but it contains provisions, such as a prohibition against the use of student information for targeted advertising, that already exist in current law and regulation. Other provisions, such as those related to data destruction, might not be workable in practice.

We share the privacy protection goals of Senators Markey and Hatch, but it’s critical to ensure that any new rules do not inadvertently create obstacles to the effective use of information. Innovative education technology is essential to improving education for all students and to ensuring U.S. economic strength in an increasingly competitive global environment.


Mark MacCarthy, Vice President, Public Policy at SIIA, directs SIIA’s public policy initiatives in the areas of intellectual property enforcement, information privacy, cybersecurity, cloud computing and the promotion of educational technology.

SIIA at ISTE 2014

Mark, Lindsay, and I were busy during the recent ISTE conference in Atlanta, Georgia! Our time was spent mPearson Exhibit halleeting with members, finding new members, promoting our reports, and learning about new and exciting trends in the Ed Tech Market.

The exhibit hall was packed with all sorts of companies, many of whom received a CODiEs sign to show that they were a finalist or a winner of the 2014 cycle. The exhibit hall was huge and took a team of myself and Lindsay Harman to get all of the signs out to our winners and finalists who represented a sizeable portion of the exhibitors present.

At our press conference on Sunday, the latest Vision K-20 report was released to a great turnout of industry professionals and reporters. The report was presented by Sue Cosuellins of CollinsConsults who help drive the development of the Vision K-20 initiative and Susan Meell of MMS Education who wrote the latest report. The crowd was highly responsive and asked lots of questions about the Vision K-20 report and the sneak peek findings from our upcoming testing and assessment report. John Richards of CS4Ed presented a sneak preview of a new qualitative report on testing and assessment. This report is a follow up to findings in last year’s K-12 Market Survey Report that showed a big increase in testing and assessment dollars in the market.

Most of the interviews we did were on video this year. We highlighted our work at ISTE with the help of C Blohm & Associates and did a summary interview with TouchCast. In between, there were more videos and phone interviews to further explain and clarify all of the results.

We co-sponsored the Ed tech start up pavilion and Pitch Fest competition, (both on the show floor) for the second year, which was very large and noisy. I spent much of Sunday judging the preliminary competition, then the finals early Monday morning. SIIA wants to congratulate the winners K and flexibleof this year’s competition. We were able to speak with all of the Pitch Fest competitors and learn about their companies and how they could leverage SIIA benefits.

Our Member Breakfast and Feedback Forum on Tuesday morning was also a rousing success – even for 7:00 am in the morning. The event was co-hosted with COSN and the Winter Group and drew 50 members who were able to learn from 10 educators who participated in the focus group. The topic at hand was apps in schools and educators from around the country discussed the challenges of using them in the classroom and beyond. We ended the forum by singing Happy Birthday to Charlene Blohm.

ISTE 2014 had both high registration numbers and energetic attendees. We hope to be at ISTE 2015 for another great conference and expect to see even more SIIA member companies there.

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Karen BillingsKaren Billings is Vice President for the Education Division at SIIA. Follow the SIIA Education Team on Twitter at @SIIAEducation

SIIA Releases 2014 Vision K-20 Survey Report

SIIA releases the 2014 Vision K-20 Survey Report, its seventh annual national survey measuring U.S. educational institutions’ self-reported progress toward building a framework that embraces technology and e-learning. The findings were presented at a press event during the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. The report suggests that K-20 education institutions are striving for more digital educational goals, which are increasingly reached through Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies.

Central findings from this year’s report include:

  • Respondents expect an increase in the use of BYOD technology.
  • Both the current and ideal level of technology integration has shown a directional increase for K-12 and postsecondary institutions, compared to 2013.
  • There is a need for increased technology integration in K-20 education.
  • Educators recognize that there is a large gap between current and ideal levels of implementation, which they aspire to fill.
  • Only 40 percent of K-12 education institutions feel prepared for upcoming online assessments.

The survey, which transitioned to a seven-point benchmarking scale this year, was distributed to nearly 1,000 educators and administrators with the help of many partner organizations – edWeb.com being the most prolific recruiter. SIIA also recognizes its lead partner, MMS Education, for its work on the Vision K-20 Survey analysis and report.

To view the Executive Summary of the 2014 Vision K-20 Survey Report, visit http://siia.net/visionk20/2014_VK20-ES.pdf.

To download the full report, visit http://siia.net/visionk20/2014_VK20.pdf.

For more information on the 2014 Vision K-20 Survey results, contact lharman@siia.net.

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Karen BillingsKaren Billings is Vice President for the Education Division at SIIA. Follow the SIIA Education Team on Twitter at @SIIAEducation

Digital Policy Roundup

SIIA Testifies at Joint Congressional Subcommittee Hearing on Student Privacy

SIIA’s Mark MacCarthy delivered testimony on the issue of student data privacy in a joint hearing Wednesday before subcommittees of the Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Committee on Homeland Security. The hearing titled “How Data Mining Threatens Student Privacy” featured three witnesses in addition to SIIA: Fordham University’s Professor Joel R. Reidenberg, Idaho Department of Education CIO Joyce Popp, and Alliance for Excellent Education’s Digital Learning Director Thomas Murray. SIIA advised committee members that “no new federal legislation is necessary at this time,” citing a three part system of protection – federal law (FERPA, COPPA), contracts, and industry best practices.

Alice Corp v. CLS Bank Ruling

On June 19th, the Supreme Court decided the business method patent case of Alice Corp v. CLS Bank Corp, unanimously holding that implementing an abstract idea through a general purpose computer is Ineligible for patent protection under section 101 if the Patent Act. The case involved a method for reducing the risk that the parties to a transaction will not pay what they owe. The Court has long held that abstract ideas are not patentable subject matter. Writing for the Court, Justice Thomas said that “merely requiring generic computer implementation… fails to transform the abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.” The decision would seem to have limited applicability to software patents as the term “software” does not appear in the decision and Justice Thomas acknowledges in the decision that “many computer-implemented claims are formally addressed to patent-eligible subject matter.”

OECD Committee for Digital Economy Policy (CDEP) Meets June 16-20 in Paris

CDEP is of interest because its work on digital economy issues is influential. For instance, the OECD’s 2011 Internet Policymaking Principles (IPP) and the revised 2013 OECD Privacy Guidelines are documents that are often consulted in other fora and are considered generally helpful by industry, including SIIA. The CDEP also works on Internet governance, big data, measuring the digital economy, the relationship between technology and jobs, and intellectual property. The work on intellectual property is often considered more controversial, and SIIA works to make it balanced.

Last week’s meeting focused particularly on the 2016 OECD Ministerial which will be held in April or May of 2016 in Cancun, Mexico. The Ministerial is important to the head of the organization, Angel Gurria, who is Mexican and reportedly interested in seeking a third term as Secretary-General of the OECD. The CDEP is currently considering “Digital Innovation Transforming our Societies” as the title for the Ministerial. The OECD has ambitious plans for the Ministerial and hopes to attract ministers responsible for labor and education, as well as ministers responsible for the ICT sector. The OECD has five themes for the Ministerial:

  1. Fostering new sources of growth spurred by converging networks, services and data analytics.
  2. Analyzing the effects of the digital economy on growth, jobs and skills.
  3. Developing recommendations and building evidence for Internet policy and governance.
  4. Managing the digital risks and enabling trust for continued prosperity.
  5. Looking to the future.

SIIA will be engaged in advocacy with a view to influencing work documents and the 2016 Ministerial, especially in the areas of growth, jobs and skills: Internet governance; privacy; and data analytics.


David LeDuc is Senior Director, Public Policy at SIIA. He focuses on e-commerce, privacy, cyber security, cloud computing, open standards, e-government and information policy. Follow the SIIA public policy team on Twitter at @SIIAPolicy.

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