What's New(40)

from Tech&Learning

New on the Market
Projectors, Doc Cams, Back Office Software, and More

Maps101 online has over 4,000 up-to-date outline, history, earth science, and interactive maps, all optimized for printing or projecting. Maps101 includes 200+ K-12 lesson plans and activities, a geographical dictionary, and breaking geography news (apparently there is such a thing) with Geography and Maps in The News. Detailed atlases provide the latest stats continents, people, governments, and traditions using. Still see a few glazed eyeballs? Wake them up with interactive games and GeoQuizes or have students create their own maps.

Mark-My-Time digital bookmark tracks reading time, allowing kids to take responsibility for their own reading and focus on what they are reading without the distraction of watching a clock. The product features a countdown timer so kids are alerted when reading time is up. Or, there's a cumulative timer, ideal for multi-session reading. Available in bright neon colors, the digital bookmark fits conveniently between the pages of any book.

The SCP7403M projection system from 3M is a new super close projector that makes a perfect match for interactive whiteboards. The new projector features a six-segment color wheel and DVI-I connection that lets teachers easily create wide video images. A wind tunnel attachment reduces distracting fan noise. Other handy components include RGB computer inputs and output, and Ethernet connections.

Dell announces a new line of Latitude and Dell Precision laptops, ranging from the lightest ultra-portable in the company's history to the most powerful mobile workstation. The new Latitude systems provide breakthrough battery life, new design and style, including a choice of five colors. The new Latitude is a 12.1-inch laptop that starts at just 2.2 pounds. The 13.3-inch Latitude E4300 has a starting weight of 3.3 pounds.1 Along with the release of these new laptops, the company launched a new community site called Digital Nomads. Community members can come together to read about other digital nomads and share ideas, tips, tricks and best practices.

SynthaSite is unveiling new, free templates for teachers to quickly and easily build and host Web sites. SynthaSite's free Web site builder allows anyone with little or no programming skills to create and publish a Web site. With the new templates for preschool, and K-12, educators can easily populate lesson plans, schedules, helpful tips and much more into an easy-to-navigate Web site. SynthaSite's user interface allows teachers to quickly update and refresh their pages. Whether it's sharing math worksheets with colleagues around the world or helping parents prepare for an upcoming field trip, teachers now have a tool to do it quickly and for free.

The new AVerVision SPB350 Visual Presenter (www.avermedia-usa.com) combines a 5 megapixel camera sensor and 1080p HD output with 20X AVer OpticalTM Zoom, interactive software, network sharing capability, and more. The 5 mega pixel sensor produces extremely clear, sharp, live images. A high-speed, full-motion frame rate ensures moving objects can be viewed with little or no distortion. The 20X exclusive AVer Optical Zoom provides exceptional clarity when zooming on small details or text, with a total zoom capability of 160X. The networking capability of the SPB350 allows users to connect to and view a live presentation through a location's local area network. Presenters even have the option of allowing the features of the document camera, such as annotation, zoom, or image capture, to be controlled by remote LAN participants.

Ability USA features all the functionality of traditional office suite software like Microsoft Office, at a fraction of the cost. It is now available for purchase in three different suites: Ability Office Business, Ability Office Home, and Ability Graphics. The Ability Office Suite updates include fresh icons, toolbar styles, and task panes in keeping with the Vista operating system. It maintains a small footprint once installed, meaning its consumption of system resources is light. The application can read .doc files, for instance, and save them back as .doc files using Ability's Write module. Since the layout is similar to that of Microsoft Office modules, the learning curve is very short. The graphics module goes further than just Microsoft's Paint, as it is similar to Adobe Photoshop.

Vivitek announced its first products for the projector market—the D326MX and the D326WX. Both units use the latest DLP technology from Texas Instruments, projecting sharp displays with good image quality. The 720p HDTV format brings 720 lines of vertical resolution transmitted at one time, so the HD projectors produce more clarity for fast-motion events such as sports events. The D326MX and D326WX DLP projectors are dust- and filter-free design, minimizing maintenance and replacement needs and keeping the projector running at top energy efficient levels. Both projectors also have an Eco-Mode lamp setting enabling up to 4,000 hours of lower-energy performance.

The new eBeam Interact v.2.1 (www.luidia.com) provides improved functionality, such as Screen Recording and Scrapbook Image Writer, and allows teachers to access easily an extensive online image gallery. The upgraded screen recording feature allows users to: record everything that happens on the desktop and include voice tracks from the computer's microphone, playback instantly in the eBeam movie player, and then save the recordings as .avi, .wmv, or .swf (Flash) movies. The Scrapbook Image Writer allows users to export documents into Scrapbook from any application, such as AutoCad or Adobe Acrobat, with the print function. Teachers and students can access an impressive online library of photographic images from the eBeam Gallery.

Follett Educational Services introduces the FES Online State Standards Alignment Tool, a new collection development feature that aligns supplemental materials to state standards in every core content area, and across all major publishers. Educators can use the tool to search relevant standards and related benchmarks by selecting their state, interest level, subject, and grade. Educators can then purchase the titles directly from FES online at significant savings off publisher prices.

School Loop Standard helps school districts create professional-looking Web sites. School Loop Standard uses drag-and-drop capabilities and WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) technology, so that any user can design page layouts and navigation even if they don't know HTML. A variety of professionally designed page templates and color schemes allows districts to provide recommendations for a consistent look and feel across all schools in the district. School Loop Standard provides unlimited bandwidth and storage, high-speed networking, and full automatic backup.

Atlas Sound's ControlKom IP-based paging system can be integrated with almost any existing phone system. Users can simultaneously send an audio stream and/or text message to IP loudspeakers, computer screens, and overhead paging systems. ControlKom can be deployed within a single building, throughout an entire campus, or even through multiple campuses. Working in conjunction with IP loudspeakers, the ControlKom platform supervises and controls loudspeakers, digital clocks, bells, and zone controllers that facilitate the transmission of audio and text messaging to one or multiple zones within a system.

Faronics is releasing a new version of its popular software, Insight, this fall. Insight is a classroom management system that enables teachers to share their screen with students, provide remote assistance to students from a central console, and monitor classroom screens to ensure students are on task. New features include: Keystroke & Application Monitoring (monitor ALL applications & keystrokes that have been pressed on a computer by any user), Student Question Enhancements (students can now type in a question to the teacher), and Change Student Channel from the Console (lets teachers change student channels from the console).