What's New in March 2009

What's New in March 2009

The latest releases in online, software, hardware and AV, such as the The OKI Data MC860 A3 color multifunction printer (shown here).


The OKI Data MC860 A3 color multifunction printer series delivers A3, wide-format color MFP functionality with flexible media handling and HD color output. The series is also one of the more affordable and compact in this printer category. The series allows schools to create high-quality color-output copies. All models will allow users to print media from 3"x5" cards to tabloid-size media.

Bretford has launched its first cart for mini laptops: the NETBOOK32 Microcomputer Laptop Cart. This cart stores, secures, charges, and transports up to 32 microcomputers and peripherals. The NETBOOK32 cart incorporates two shelves each of which has eight compartments that can hold 16 mini computers, for a total of 32 laptops. The cart has two main sources of power: an automatic timer-charger with two 16-outlet electrical units and an auxiliary four-outlet power strip that is mounted inside the cart to accommodate accessory equipment, such as projectors and document cameras.

Vivitek’s new D735VX projector uses the latest DLP technology and projects at 3,200 ANSI lumens with BrilliantColor technology and a five-segment color wheel. The new unit also has a snap-off keypad that can be removed and stored in a safe location to discourage theft or unauthorized removal of the projector. With a full 3W onboard speaker and zoom lens, the D735VX is perfect for the classroom or auditorium.

Calypso Control Systems has added two configuration options to its ezRoom Classroom Bundle. With the addition of the ezRoom-100 and ezRoom-500 Classroom Bundles, Calypso’s solutions can cost-effectively address the full spectrum of classroom AV integrated multimedia scenarios, from the simplest to the most sophisticated. Leveraging an open-architecture platform, the ezRoom solution enables districts to put in place an integrated multimedia infrastructure that can seamlessly expand to match evolving teaching and technology needs. The ezRoom-100, an entry-level package, offers intuitive, reliable button control and quality audio to classrooms in which projectors, computers, and DVD players are used.

Califone has announced the Hearing Safe line of specially designed hearing-protection gear. Ideal for school industrial-art classes, such as metals and wood-shop courses, all products are designed to block out potentially damaging noises. The line comprises two product categories, providing educators, students, and professionals with a safety tool for managing listening habits.

Sharp has begun shipping two professional projectors: the XGA PG-D4010X (4,200 ANSI lumens) and the WXGA PG-D3750W (3700 ANSI lumens), both among the highest brightness single-lamp DLP BrilliantColor projectors on the market. An on-screen setup guide and “help” function ensure easy setup and operation. A built-in closed-caption decoder enhances legibility, and a wireless remote includes full wireless mouse control when a USB cable is connected between the projector and a PC or when used with the optional AN-MR2 Remote IR Receiver.

RM’s fully assembled, programmable humanoid robot has been developed from the original MechRCTM to provide a solution for engaging and teaching ICT (information and communication technologies) to children aged 14 and up. The robot, which comes with a series of educational-activity guides, was designed with transparent panels to enable easy viewing of the servo motors as it moves. With its programmable software and remote control, it allows teacher-led and small-group activities designed to be used across the curriculum, such as in design technology and engineering.

The Dukane ImagePro 8950P is an LCD data projector with selectable lenses, network control, and the ability to operate in a variety of installations. The projector offers six bayonet-style lens options, enabling users to choose the lens that best fits their needs in terms of throw range. Lenses range from the Ultra Short Throw Lens for projection as close at two feet to the Ultra Long Throw Lens, designed for clear projection in large halls. The 8950P is a bright (7,500 lumens) LCD projector that offers a filter life of 10,000 hours and is backed by a Dukane three-year warranty.

PRC has announced ECOpoint, an integrated eye-gaze system for ECO, PRC’s most advanced Windows XP–compatible communication device. The addition of the ECOpoint eye-gaze module gives users full access to ECO’s robust communication and computing capabilities via eye movements. ECOpoint uses dual high-definition cameras and a dynamic LED array to track the user’s eyes and deliver a large gazing area to accommodate greater head and body movement.

NEC Display has announced two new portable short-throw projectors, the NP500WS and the NP600S. The NP500WS, a wide-aspect ratio projector, features 1,280x800 native resolution at 2,100 lumens, while the NP600S provides a 1,024x768 native resolution at 2,600 lumens. Each has a contrast ratio of 600:1 and provides up to 4,000 hours of lamp life. The NP500WS and NP600S projectors work well with whiteboards and create a 77-inch diagonal image from just three feet, ten inches. In fact, either can be mounted on the wall directly above the screen or whiteboard. The integrated RJ45 connection provides quick connection to the LAN and ECO Mode technology, which increases lamp life to as much as 4,000 hours while lowering power consumption and reducing noise.

The Hitachi CP-A52 3LCD projector offers ultrashort throw capability, easy maintenance, and the ability to project an 80-inch image from a 25-inch distance. This means that teachers no longer have to worry about obstructing the projected image by standing in front of the screen. Additionally, there are no shadows to interfere with the image or any light in the presenter’s face. The CP-A52 also has a hybrid filter that requires maintenance only every 2,000 hours. The projector’s saving mode reduces power consumption to less than 5W by disabling RS-232C control except for power-on command, monitor-out, and audio capability.


Personal Financial Literacy
Pearson’s new Personal Financial Literacy program provides the basic tools that high school students need to make informed financial decisions. Personal Financial Literacy, which combines textbooks with online tools, is fully correlated to all relevant national and state standards, and meets state and local standards for personal financial literacy education as defined by the Jump$tart Coalition and the National Business Education Association Standards.
Category: financial literacy
Cost: ranges from $19.97-$64.97

PBwiki Campus Edition
The new PBwiki Campus Edition makes PBwiki's hosted collaboration suite affordable for schools with up to 1,000 students, faculty, and staff. With PBwiki Campus Edition, a school can roll out an unlimited number of PBwikis for its classes, clubs, and other student activities. Previously, schools had to purchase wikis individually.
Category: collaborative tools
Cost: Varies

Apex Learning State-Specific Math Courses
Apex Learning released new online math courses tailored to the academic standards in Georgia, Florida, and California. These state-specific additions to Apex Learning’s suite of digital curriculum integrate multimedia—in the form of animations, charts, graphs, images, and interactive manipulatives—with instructional text.
Cost: Pricing varies depending on the implementation
Category: Math

Aspire Assessment System
Apperson Education Products Partnership with Northrop Grumman
Price: Apperson Education Products has partnered with Northrop Grumman Corporation to provide the Aspire Assessment System. Apperson will provide a test scanner that will score students’ tests and allow educators to immediately upload the test data to the Aspire software.
Price: N/A
Category: assessment

System 44
System 44 helps students who never mastered basic phonics and decoding skills in the primary grades learn the 44 sounds and 26 letters of the English language and get on track as readers and learners. The program’s adaptive software presents phonics in a unique way specifically designed for older students who are able to grasp complex systems even as they struggle with reading. System 44 includes the new Scholastic Phonics Inventory to help identify students who lack basic phonics skills.
Price: Pricing for the program, which includes perpetual software licenses, varies
Category: reading intervention

ANGEL Learning Management Suite, v7.4

The ANGEL LMS 7.4 mashup makes it easier to incorporate rich media content from sources such as YouTube and Picasa into courses. The new release also enables incorporating RSS feeds into courses. With ANGEL LMS 7.4, several schools can be managed from a central location through a new institutional directory.
Price: Varies
Category: management system

My Web Lockers
My Web Lockers offers 24/7 access to student and teacher data from any Internet location. The system provides each user with a secure, password-protected Web locker, or digital drop box. Students and teachers can start their work on one computer at school, then stash it in their Web lockers to finish at home.
Price: $5 per user per year, no setup fees
Category: file sharing and storage

The BRAVO! software suite features four customizable training game templates that offer a dynamic way to present any content. The suite is available in three formats (classroom, Web, and LMS) and comprises the following games: Quiz Show, Billionaire, ShowDown, and Spin Off. BRAVO! works with any instructional content and allows trainers to present in any language.
Cost: Call for pricing
Category: game builder

Extreme Intervention
Extreme Intervention from STI Achievement Services is a customized professional coaching service that helps schools develop and implement response-to-intervention programs. Response to intervention is a systemic reform process that takes a multitiered approach to instructing students with, or at risk for, learning disabilities.
Price: Price varies
Category: training

Sketchpad LessonLink
This online searchable library helps teachers integrate the Geometer’s Sketchpad into their math curricula with more than 500 Sketchpad activities designed for students in grades three through 12.
Price: one-year school site subscriptions, $119 per teacher
Category: content development

My Portfolio and netTrekker d.i.
Powered by My Portfolio,” the K–12 safe-search tool netTrekker d.i. now allows educators to create, organize, and share content for standards-based instruction with fellow teachers within their school or district. Educators can scaffold, save, and share digital content, including resources found in netTrekker d.i. and from third parties. They can add content to their portfolios—templates, time-line and famous-person search results, and images—and then, as with a digital file cabinet, create folders to facilitate organizing.
Price: $1,730 per school building
Category: content development

SpeakQ plugs into WordQ and adds simple speech recognition. Conventional speech-recognition systems are designed primarily as a productivity tool for persons who have no trouble writing (and dictating) or as an alternative hands-free access tool for those with physical disabilities. WordQ/SpeakQ is for those who can type but have trouble reading and writing in the first place.
Price: SpeakQ 1.4 Plug-in software, $99 (requires preinstallation of WordQ 2 or higher, $199)
Category: speech recognition