T&L News(133)

What's New; Which Tech Companies Rule?; Science Educators Can Win Prizes Worth $3000; CoSN Launches New Broadband Knowledge Center; Excelsior Announces New Grants Program
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Week of: June 16, 2008

  • What's New

    New products released to the edtech market for the week of June 16-20
  • Which Tech Companies Rule?
    Which companies are faring best in today's tricky economy? Business Week just released their "Top 100" Infotech companies, and there were sorry few US companies on this list—just 33 companies on this list were US-based, compared to 75 of 10 in 1998. Amazon and Apple rank numbers one and two, with Google and IBM trailing behind in 11th and 13th place respectively. Microsoft sank to 23 on the list.
  • Science Educators Can Win Prizes Worth $3000
    Do you have a winning science activity? Send it in by October 15 to have it considered for the Vernier Software & Technology/NSTA Technology Award.
  • CoSN Launches New Broadband Knowledge Center
    Network administrators know all to well that insufficient bandwidth leads to repeated network crashes. Unfortunately, many schools don't always have a complete understanding of what they need to run their networks efficiently.
  • Excelsior Announces New Grants Program
    It's no surprise that teachers who have a grasp on the overall achievement pictures in their classrooms perform better. These teachers don't just teach to the test, but use achievement results to inform their instruction and meet individual learning needs.

What's New

Samsung Opto-Electronics America, Inc. has released the Samsung UF-130DX Presentation Station—a high def digital presenter with an onboard processor running Windows CE, which lets users upload their presentations directly to the digital presenter. The UF-130DX delivers 30-frames-per-second video at 720P HD output, as well as standard XGA and SXGA resolutions. Users can save their presentations onto compact flash cards, SD cards, USB flash drives, or upload their files to the UF-130DX for playback. Any standard Windows file can be played back directly from the UF-130DX to any display.

Sunburst Technology's staple program, Type to Learn, has a new title called Type to Learn4: Agents of Information. More than just a keyboarding program, this program uses slick 3-D animation to engage students in a futuristic world of adventure and information, where they are recruited as agents to help save vital information from being lost forever. Type to Learn 4 has 36 leveled lessons that include diagnostic pre-test, review, demonstration, practice exercises and activities, and more. Available for preorder now; expected to ship September 2008. Unlimited site license, $699.95.

The new LanSchool v7.1 classroom management system still monitors student activities while limiting access to the Internet, IM, and games, but the latest version includes thumbnails that can be arranged to look like the classroom. Extra- small thumbnail sizes allow teachers to see up to 80 screens without scrolling. Teachers can now also limit the use of student USB thumb drives.

To help schools in the unending quest to improve math scores, Curriculum Associates adds another math intervention tool to their cadre. enableMATH 360 lets students master skills through practice using interactive visualization of concepts and step-by-step examples. Progress reports are available for students, groups, classes, schools and districts. enableMATH 360 includes 30,000+ problems, examples, and concepts for 300+ assignments. Grades 3 through algebra. Available fall 2008.

The MIND Research Institute announces a new Algebra Readiness program developed by this neuroscience and education-research-based publisher. This one-year intervention program can be used to prepare struggling middle and high school students for success in Algebra I. The curriculum includes an updated version of its ST Math software that helps students visualize and practice math concepts, which is integrated with a fully-featured textbook.

SchoolPulse.com is a new online resource that lets parents, teachers, and administrators manage everything from school lunch menus to sports schedules. The site is organized around local schools and provides community news feeds, calendars, a bulletin board for posting forms, files, and flyers, and a place to get advice from other local parents. The focus is on making daily off-line life easier to manage. A pilot is running in New England before a national roll-out planned for back-to-school 2008.

Which Tech Companies Rule?

Which companies are faring best in today's tricky economy? Business Week just released their "Top 100" Infotech companies, and there were sorry few US companies on this list—just 33 companies on this list were US-based, compared to 75 of 10 in 1998. Amazon and Apple rank numbers one and two, with Google and IBM trailing behind in 11th and 13th place respectively. Microsoft sank to 23 on the list.

All the more reason to get students ready for tough business climates through programs like the Teens in Technology conference (see post: LINK TO CONFERENCE SUMMARY ON SITE). Here, young entrepreneurs like Daniel Brusilovsky showed businesses his podcast, Apple Universe, that has attracted paying advertisers. Brusilovsky credits the technology club at Borel Middle School in San Mateo for giving him a start when he was a sixth grader. He advises schools to support their tech clubs and to make technology a high priority in funding decisions. Other students wished that all their teachers would use a single web service to post class agendas, homework, handouts and even lectures.

Science Educators Can Win Prizes Worth $3000

Do you have a winning science activity? Send it in by October 15 to have it considered for the Vernier Software & Technology/NSTA Technology Award.

The awards, worth $3000 each, will be given to seven educators judged to have created the best inquiry-based, hands-on learning activities that use data-collection technology interfaced with computers, graphing calculators, and other handheld devices. Up to one elementary teacher, two middle school teachers, three high school teachers, and one college-level educator will receive the technology awards.

Each award consists of $1000 in cash, $1000 in Vernier equipment, and $1000 toward travel and expenses for attending NSTA's 2009 National Convention.

Deadline: Entries are due by October 15, 2008.
Details: Activities will be judged by a panel of experts appointed by NSTA. Downloadable applications and guidelines are available at www.vernier.com/grants. Educators can be nominated or self-nominate for the awards.

CoSN Launches New Broadband Knowledge Center

Network administrators know all to well that insufficient bandwidth leads to repeated network crashes. Unfortunately, many schools don't always have a complete understanding of what they need to run their networks efficiently.

To help schools better understand their bandwidth needs, as well as the learning potential that sufficient broadband brings to the classroom, CoSN launches a new Broadband Knowledge Center.

This new site has loads of helpful articles about the importance of investing in broadband in classrooms, as well as information on the challenges schools may face if broadband deployment is not made a national public policy priority. There's also a survey from The Greaves Group and The Hayes Connection of several hundred school CTOs regarding their projected bandwidth needs over the next five years. The report, America's Digital Schools 2006, identifies a "Bandwidth Crisis" and highlights the importance of schools planning ahead and budgeting for bandwidth needs to prevent slow bandwidth in the future.

See more at: http://www.cosn.org/broadband/index.php

Excelsior Announces New Grants Program

It's no surprise that teachers who have a grasp on the overall achievement pictures in their classrooms perform better. These teachers don't just teach to the test, but use achievement results to inform their instruction and meet individual learning needs.

To support these educators, Excelsior Software announces a new Grants and Funding Program. The company will work with schools and districts to access the funding required to build successful achievement-based programs and to provide the training needed to sustain those programs. This includes developing strong proposals for state, federal, and foundation-based resources—a valuable resource for schools without grant-writing support.

The program will be managed by Ferdi Serim, who has served as a board member of ISTE, CoSN, and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. He's also been the Ed Tech Director for the New Mexico Public Education Department and a classroom teacher.

For more information about the Excelsior grants program, visit http://www.excelsiorsoftware.com

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