The Hot New Tech Tools at NECC
The AVerVision SPB350 visualizer offers high-end features at an affordable price. Educators can use the high def 1080p output resolution with HD monitors and projectors, and even the smallest spec shows up with the 20X AVer Optical Zoom. The software (which is included) lets users share over a local area network, annotate, capture images, and record video with audio. The built-in 4" x 3" lightbox lets teachers display slides, negatives, and other transparent documents. www.Avermedia.com
The Senteo just got smarter with the latest upgrade to this interactive response system. Version 2.0 boasts improvements to the tracking, reporting, and analysis functions, and also comes with a new gradebook that keeps a record of each student's results on all in-class assignments. Teachers can tag students with keywords that indicate core attributes, such as gender and language spoken. Version 2.0 integrates with Notebook collaborative learning software (SMART released Notebook 10 last spring) so teachers can easily add Senteo quizzes to their Notebook lessons. Available July 2008. Existing Senteo customers can upgrade to version 2.0 at no charge. Packs of 24 remotes, $1,599 and 32, $1,999 (education pricing).
Science students can build and program real robots using the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT robotics toolset. To complement this program, Vernier is releasing a NXT Sensor Adapter that lets users link Vernier probes to the robots. There are over 30 Vernier sensors to measure everything from temperature, force, light level, UV level, pH, and more.
Bretford introduced some of the industry's first mobile carts back in the 1960sâ€”and schools still have some of these around. To make these carts safe and cost-effective, Bretford announces the 2642NSKIT retrofit kit for their adjustable A2642/CA2642 AV carts, originally designed for reel-to-reel and slide projectors. It includes a pullout notebook shelf to make it more functional and to let educators use it with products like laptops and projectors. The BB Wide Body Cart Retrofit Kits converts Bretford's BB Series CRT-style TV carts so they can be used with flat panels. This kit replaces the existing top shelf with a reinforced steel shelf that accommodates the new weight distribution and will not deform or tear.
Promethean's new version of its flagship Activboard+2 will replace the original solution launched in June 2006. The new Activboard+2 contains a new counterbalance system that lets the teacher adjust the height with one hand at any point during the lesson. Activboard+2 also now contains an integrated Promethean connectivity box and volume control for the audio system, so external devices, like PCs and DVD players, can be used during lessons. Like its predecessor, the Activboard+2 includes an integrated short-throw projector co-developed exclusively for Promethean.
Qwizdom's new Q7 Presenter Tablet, available August 2008, comes with some smart new features. Teachers can view notes, student response data, and private requests for helpâ€”as well as randomly call on a student from her class list. Teachers can use the Q7 Presenter Tablet with the tablet by itself or with a student response system. Pre-orders are being accepted as of June 2008.
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.
An interactive whiteboard is only as good as its content, so mimio offers their enhanced Studio 6.0 software. This new release lets users easily drag-and-drop Flash, video, and audio content from the web as well as PDF, Microsoft Word, and PowerPoint documents. Teachers can edit and customize lesson plans and use the gallery browser and search feature to find ready-to-use content. Also features an improved tool bar. The upgrade, free for existing users, will be available as a download in July 2008 for Windows. Mimio studio software works with mimio interactive hardware.
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.
NBC News' iCue is a free, online, collaborative learning community that incorporates gaming, discussion, and video resources. Created by NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, iCue stands for Immerse, Connect, Understand and Excel. iCue uses the CueCard media player, flash card, note-taking tool, and trading card. The patented "flip card" technology lets users watch streaming videos from NBC News and then "flip" the CueCard over for additional information. Users can "snag" CueCards and store them in personal resource libraries where they can add opinions and exchange comments about content with their iCue friends.
Mum's the word on Teachscape's new product known only by its codename, "PDS2". Built in partnership with researchers at Stanford, Ohio State, Lesley University, and the University of Chicago, PDS2 is an online technology for bringing both research and examples of classroom practice to educators. Teachscape says this product will be a "living and breathing dialogue about practice" that combines tools for coaching, a content-creation application for making your own examples of practice, and terabytes of exceptional predeveloped resources.
ePals will be announcing the Fall In2Books program at NECC. This research-based, curriculum-aligned eMentoring experience matches screened adults with students to read and discuss books from five different genres. Students get to keep the books they read, which are selected by national children's literature experts. Grades 3-5.
SAFARI Montage has added the Managed Home Access feature to permit teachers and students to access SAFARI Montage from their homes for the first time. This not only frees up teachers to create lessons at home, but now schools can upload original video content for parents to watch from their home computers. Schools can now share streaming video from school plays, school board meetings, football games, and more. The Managed Home Access will have virtually the same features as SAFARI Montage.