Time for School

Product news and trends from the National Educational Computing Conference take center stage in this issue with our comprehensive "New Tools for Schools", which brings you all the latest offerings from education publishers.

Trends this year include more hardware and peripherals, such as the StudentMate from One2OneMate, Califone's My First Keyboard, and the Numonics Intelliboard. Also, assessment and data management tools continue to evolve with NWEA's Map for Primary Grades, the Florida Virtual School's Virtual School Administrator, NetSupport School 8.5, and more.

Generating perhaps the biggest buzz at the event was Nicholas Negroponte's $100 laptop, this month's cover image, which was unveiled for demo for the first time ever. Negroponte's keynote speech prominently featured the evolving prototype, but more as a centerpiece for discussion on bridging the digital divide globally than as a tool in itself.

There was much conversation concerning the very real impact of this initiative, with perspectives ranging from euphoria to skepticism over whether Negroponte could actually pull off his ambitious mission to ship up to 150 million of these units by 2007. Whether Negroponte is successful or not, shining a spotlight on the harshest conditions under which children are living and learning worldwide will most certainly have the positive impact of raising awareness.

Also this issue, we bring you a comprehensive review of Apple's recently released MacBook, as well as expert looks at Carnegie Learning's Bridge to Algebra and Animated Speech's Team Up With Timo. Finally, David Jakes gives you a rundown on the rapidly growing selections in the Wiki tool genre. Stay tuned for more editorial coverage on those in coming months. And welcome back to the new school year!