T&L News(156)

Put to the Test: T&L Reviewer Joe Huber reviews the Pure Digital Flip Mino Video Camera; Cybersafety woefully lacking for students says new study; New Mexico picks Wimba for its collaborative learning platform; Visionary Administrators' bridge digital disconnect in schools; NetSupport Manager Version 10.5
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Week of: November 24, 2008

  • Put to the Test: T&L Reviewer Joe Huber reviews the Pure Digital Flip Mino Video Camera
    www.theflip.com
    Retail price: $179.00
    Description: Digital video camera
    How to use in the classroom: The size and ease of use of this camera make it ideal for classroom use. It could be used in motion so one can observe the effects of the experiment at a speed that is easier to see. It could be used in physical education class to record how one performs an activity then played back so one could improve ones performance. It could be used in a language arts class with animation software to produce a video. Any teacher could record a lesson and post in on a web page as a media file.
  • Cybersafety woefully lacking for students says new study
    Less than 25 percent of educators feel comfortable teaching students how to protect themselves from online cyber predators, cyber bullies and identity theft, according to a recent study by The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Educational Technology, Policy Research and Outreach (ETPRO).
  • New Mexico picks Wimba for its collaborative learning platform
    Wimba®, Inc., the education technology company that helps people teach people, today announced that New Mexico's Innovative Digital Education and Learning program (IDEAL-NM) has selected the Wimba Collaboration Suite™, the education industry's leading multi-modal solution for virtual and blended learning, to pilot as its statewide collaborative learning platform. IDEAL-NM will deploy Wimba's comprehensive solution across its statewide network of higher education and K-12 institutions, which includes 89 districts and 22 college campuses, to enhance student engagement and collaboration and increase learning outcomes.
  • Visionary Administrators' bridge digital disconnect in schools
    Blackboard, a leading provider of educational enterprise technology and Project Tomorrow, a national nonprofit group, today released a report highlighting the emergence of "visionary administrators," a new breed of school superintendents and principals who are leveraging new technologies to meet the learning goals and preferences of increasingly tech-savvy students.
  • NetSupport Manager Version 10.5
    The latest update to the NetSupport Manager PC remote control software offers the ability to view, as expandable thumbnails, all connected computer screens in a single action. The latest version now includes a virtual whiteboard during chat sessions to provide greater flexibility and opportunity for collaboration during support calls. NetSupport Manager 10.5 also includes NetSupport School training and instruction software. NetSupport Manager provides platform support allowing seamless remote control of Windows 2008, Vista, XP, 2003, 2000, ME and 9x systems as well as Linux, Solaris, Mac, Pocket PC, CE, Windows Mobile, Terminal Server and Embedded systems. Support for Remote Control from CE and Pocket PC devices is also included as standard. www.netsupport-inc.com

Put to the Test: T&L Reviewer Joe Huber reviews the Pure Digital Flip Mino Video Camera

www.theflip.com

Retail price: $179.00

Description: Digital video camera

How to use in the classroom: The size and ease of use of this camera make it ideal for classroom use. It could be used in motion so one can observe the effects of the experiment at a speed that is easier to see.

It could be used in physical education class to record how one performs an activity then played back so one could improve ones performance. It could be used in a language arts class with animation software to produce a video. Any teacher could record a lesson and post in on a web page as a media file.

Pros: The camera, is small lightweight and easy to use. It really needs no instruction. The image quality is excellent and the display is viewable in all but bright sunlight.

Cons: The digital zoom is ineffective at distances over 50 yards (images are not as crisp as one would like).

Overall Impression: This camera has many features that make it very educator friendly. It is basically point-and-shoot with little or no instruction, any frame in a movie can be converted to a still photo, and the built-in software is both Mac and PC compatible. The software also allows the user to add music to any video and publish your video to the web. You can even go to the Flip Web site and design the "skin" of your Flip Mino to be in your school colors with your school logo on it.

Cybersafety woefully lacking for students says new study

Less than 25 percent of educators feel comfortable teaching students how to protect themselves from online cyber predators, cyber bullies and identity theft, according to a recent study by The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and Educational Technology, Policy Research and Outreach (ETPRO).

At a time when children ages 10-to-14 spend more time on the Internet than watching television, the study found that only the Commonwealth of Virginia has education curriculum requirements that include information on how students can protect themselves online. Since completion of this study, several more states including Georgia, Illinois and Tennessee, have passed legislation requiring online safety education in the classroom. In addition, 90 percent of educators have received less than six hours of professional development on cyber security in the past year.

The 2008 National Cyberethics, Cybersafety, Cybersecurity Baseline Study was conducted to explore educational awareness policies, initiatives, curriculum, and practices currently taking place in the U.S. public and private K-12 educational settings. The survey was administered online. 1,569 public and private U.S. K-12 educators and 94 technology coordinators took the survey and local and state technology directors and 219 educators participated in focus groups for the survey.

"Children are integrating technology into their lives at lightning speed. Our schools need to find ways to introduce cyber security education as a fully integrated part of the K-12 curriculum," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA. "We take the time to teach our children how to safely cross the street. Given the amount of time children spend online, the continuously emerging role of the technology in everyday life, and the risks that young people face, we are obligated to ensure that every child learns about safety, security and responsible use of the internet; yet we are not yet to the point of teaching children how to 'look both ways' to avoid the 'accidents' that can occur online."

"Schools are not alone. Nonprofit groups, government, the private sector and parents all play critical roles in ensuring children's safety online. However, educators and school systems will need to make the issue a priority if we can expect to see widespread adoption of cyber safety curricula in the classroom."

As part of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, all students are required to be digitally literate by the 8th grade but half of the survey's respondents said there were no clear methods chosen by their school or school district to convey information on cyber safety and cyber security to students. Despite feeling unprepared or uncomfortable discussing C3 topics with students, more than 60 percent of educators are interested in learning more about C3 issues in general and in many cases the percentage increased on specific topics such as cyber safety, which was rated their highest priority.

"Policies need to be updated regularly and reviewed to ensure that teachers, students and parents understand the basics of cyber security. We must ensure our teachers are given the training necessary for them to inform their students on these topics," said Davina Pruitt-Mentle, PhD, Executive Director and Senior Research Analyst for ETPRO.

"However, the burden cannot be placed solely on our education system. From media to corporate America to our federal, state and local governments, a variety of partnerships need to be formed to protect our children."

For the full results of the study, visit http://www.staysafeonline.org/.

New Mexico picks Wimba for its collaborative learning platform

Wimba®, Inc., the education technology company that helps people teach people, today announced that New Mexico's Innovative Digital Education and Learning program (IDEAL-NM) has selected the Wimba Collaboration Suite™, the education industry's leading multi-modal solution for virtual and blended learning, to pilot as its statewide collaborative learning platform. IDEAL-NM will deploy Wimba's comprehensive solution across its statewide network of higher education and K-12 institutions, which includes 89 districts and 22 college campuses, to enhance student engagement and collaboration and increase learning outcomes.

New Mexico was the first state in the nation to create a statewide eLearning system that, from its inception, encompasses all aspects of learning from traditional public and higher education environments to teacher professional development, continuing education and workforce education. This partnership with Wimba will enable IDEAL-NM to offer Wimba's Collaboration Suite across its network of institutions, facilitating the use of online video, voice, instant messaging, content authoring, application sharing and white boarding throughout the state.

"With a scope as large as ours, communication and collaboration are crucial," said Donna Harrington, eLearning Technology Director for IDEAL-NM. "The Wimba Collaboration Suite will enable us to bring our statewide community of users together online, so that we can collaborate, brainstorm, develop, and implement best practices that will help our students to succeed."

The Wimba Collaboration Suite of products, which includes—the Wimba Classroom(TM) virtual learning environment, the Wimba Pronto(TM) instant messenger, the Wimba Voice(TM) audio solution, and the Wimba Create(TM) content authoring tool—enables institutions to bridge the gap between technology and pedagogy by supplementing course management systems with the proven disciplines of in-person learning environments. Designed to work seamlessly within the existing Blackboard online course management system selected by the State of New Mexico, the Wimba Collaboration Suite enables convenient single sign-on and access to Wimba tools directly from the online course environments with which teachers and students are already familiar.

"This partnership with IDEAL-NM is a testament to Wimba's power to engage students and instructors in lifelong learning," said Tommaso Trionfi, CEO of Wimba. "We are very proud of the comprehensive and collaborative learning environments that the Wimba Collaboration Suite fosters, and we look forward to working closely with IDEAL-NM to bring students and faculty together for learning."

Visionary Administrators' bridge digital disconnect in schools

Blackboard, a leading provider of educational enterprise technology and Project Tomorrow, a national nonprofit group, today released a report highlighting the emergence of "visionary administrators," a new breed of school superintendents and principals who are leveraging new technologies to meet the learning goals and preferences of increasingly tech-savvy students.

A 2007 survey by Project Tomorrow found that while 74 percent of sixth through 12th-grade students believe that good technology skills are important to future success, about half say that their school is not adequately preparing them for 21st century jobs.

To better understand administrator attitudes about technology and learning, Project Tomorrow surveyed school leaders in 2007. While responses generally confirmed the digital disconnect, one group seemed to be bridging the gap. Like the students they serve, visionary administrators championed the use of technology, including Web 2.0 tools, blogs and wiki entries, to expand the reach of the classroom and more effectively engage students.

The report, Leadership in the 21st Century: The New Visionary Administrator, contains profiles of nine education leaders representing four school districts and three schools to highlight their success in leveraging technology in the classroom.

"Technology has long held the promise of transforming education for all children, in the same way that it has catalyzed innovation in business," said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow. "This report identifies a new breed of education leader who develops and executes a 21st century vision for leveraging a wide range of technology tools to enhance student achievement. We hope that this report will shine a bright light on these new leaders as models of excellence for all."

The findings of Leadership in the 21st Century are based upon data collected as part of the Speak Up 2007, a survey of more than 365,000 students, teachers, parents and administrators representing nearly 3,800 public and private K-12 schools in the United States. Highlights from the Speak Up data and subsequent interviews with visionary administrators include:

— Almost all visionary administrators (93 percent) believe that using technology improves student achievement.

— Over half of all visionary administrators say that they would provide or expand online courses to keep students engaged in school. Seventy-three percent of visionary administrators report that integrating mobile devices will increase student engagement.

— On average, visionary administrators are 40 percent more likely than their peers to select student response systems, Web 2.0 tools, school portals and games/virtual simulations as important features of a 21st century classroom.

"Visionary school leaders, parents and students understand that 21st century skills are required to succeed in today's knowledge economy, in school, and in life," said Jessie Woolley-Wilson, President of K-12 at Blackboard. "Administrators, teachers, and parents are working together to increase the use of emerging technologies in the learning environment. The seamless integration of these technologies helps to create a connected and engaged educational experience that inspires students to achieve."

Leadership in the 21st Century is the latest in a series of in-depth reports based on the Speak Up data findings and supported by Blackboard. Since 2003, more than 1 million students have participated in Speak Up surveys. Currently, students, teachers, parents and school leaders are participating in the Speak Up 2008 survey that will run through December 19.

Leadership in the 21st Century is available for download at http://www.blackboard.com.

NetSupport Manager Version 10.5

The latest update to the NetSupport Manager PC remote control software offers the ability to view, as expandable thumbnails, all connected computer screens in a single action. The latest version now includes a virtual whiteboard during chat sessions to provide greater flexibility and opportunity for collaboration during support calls. NetSupport Manager 10.5 also includes NetSupport School training and instruction software. NetSupport Manager provides platform support allowing seamless remote control of Windows 2008, Vista, XP, 2003, 2000, ME and 9x systems as well as Linux, Solaris, Mac, Pocket PC, CE, Windows Mobile, Terminal Server and Embedded systems. Support for Remote Control from CE and Pocket PC devices is also included as standard. www.netsupport-inc.com

New projectors announced from InFocus, Sanyo, and Casio

Casio released of four new Super Slim projector models featuring DLP® projection technology. These new additions to the Super Slim line feature enhanced brightness and RS-232 connectivity while still incorporating a thin body design only 1.69" high. The XJ-S32, XJ-S37, XJ-S42 and XJ-S47 models are part of Casio's Ultra Bright Series A with 2300-2700 ANSI lumens output brightness and 2X power zoom lens. In addition, the USB-equipped XJ-S37 and XJ-S47 models enable users to make PowerPoint and other presentations without a PC or wirelessly. For portable applications, the USB port also supports PC-less presentations with a USB thumb drive, and through Casio's EZ-Converter Pro software users can convert and present PDF, PPT, EXCEL,and WORD documents. JPEG, BMP, and AVI (compatible with MPEG4/Motion JPEG) file formats can be presented without conversion. The Super Bright models will be available through Casio's authorized Pro AV Dealers, Resellers and retail. Planned pricing will start from $899 - $1,199 MSRP.

InFocus Corporation introduced the latest addition to its IN3100 series, the IN3104EP, an education-specific meeting room multimedia projector. As part of the Company's line-up exclusively for education institutions, the IN3104EP is the world's first projector for classrooms to feature DisplayLink technology, using a standard mini-USB cable to instantly synchronize laptop with projector. DisplayLink eliminates the guesswork and saves valuable instruction time. In addition, the IN3104EP also features InFocus' new LiteTouch keypad that is visible only when needed—replacing standard button controls with an exclusive backlit touch-sensitive keypad. This projector also features 3500 lumens, XGA resolution and 2000:1 contrast. Additionally, the IN3104EP supports HDMI and LiteShow II wireless connectivity.

SANYO introduces the PLC-XW57, an ultra-portable 3LCD projector. The PLC-XW57 is completely portable, weighing a mere 6.4 lbs., and takes up a minimal amount of space with a small footprint of 13" W x 3.15" H x 9.3" D. Rated at 2000 lumens, the PLC-XW57 is outfitted with a 200-watt UHP lamp for outstanding brightness and well-balanced color reproduction. A 3D Automatic Uniformity Correction Control circuit ensures uniformity, balancing uneven color and brightness gradations for a more natural image. Installation and operation is quick and fast due to the 1/4x to 16x digital zoom, which makes it possible to project an image as large as 100" (diagonally) from a range of 11 to 14 feet. To compensate for keystone (trapezoidal) picture distortion, the PLC-XW57 provides a vertical keystone correction with a range of +/- 20-degrees. The blackboard (green color) mode allows the use of a classroom blackboard to be used as a projection screen. This projector offers a full suite of inputs and is compatible with UXGA / WXGA / SXGA+ / XGA / SVGA / VGA / MAC analog computer inputs. www.sanyo.com

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