What's New(5)

Hardware

Aspire 2000, from Acer America, is a light notebook PC that features Intel Centrino mobile technology, five hours of battery life, and a 15.4" panoramic WXGA LCD screen. It also includes Aspire Arcade, a software feature that plays movies and music, records and edits videos, and burns CD/DVD media. Prices for Aspire 2000 notebooks start at $1,849.

Acer America; 2641 Orchard Parkway, San Jose, CA 95134; (800) 733-2237;www.acer.com/us

Lindows.com has unveiled the KooBox for Kids, an all-in-one computer solution designed for children. The computer includes a 14" flat panel monitor, speakers, keyboard, and mouse, and comes preloaded with LindowsKids, a Linux-based operating system, and a wide range of applications, such as a Web browser, a full office suite, an e-mail utility, and multimedia tools. The KooBox for Kids computer start at $489; support options are also available.

Lindows.com, Inc., 9333 Genesee Ave., 3rd Flr., San Diego, CA 92121; (858) 587-6700;www.lindows.com

USB Devices

Forward Solutions recently launched Migo, a USB device that allows the users to carry a customized desktop. In addition to flash storage, it allows you to send and check Outlook e-mail, edit files, and browse the Web using the desktop settings from your home computer. The device comes in 128MB and 256MB sizes and is currently only available for Windows. 128MB: $149.99. 256 MB: $199.95.

FWD Solutions, Inc., 2694 Bishop Dr., Ste. 270, San Ramon, CA 94583; (650) 328-1100;www.4migo.com

USB Server, a new product from Keyspan, connects to Macs and PCs via a wired or wireless Ethernet-based LAN. It provides 4 ports and allows USB devices, such as printers and scanners, to be used and shared by client PCs. The USB Server also makes such devices available for Wi-Fi-based laptops. Client PCs must be running Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Mac OS X 10.2.8 or higher. $129.

Keyspan, 3095 Richmond Parkway, #207, Richmond, CA 94806; (510) 222-0131;www.keyspan.com

Software

Science

A new interactive genetics education program from Roche lets high school students see how genetics applies to their daily lives. The Genetic Education Program, which consists of the Roche Genetics CD-ROM and Teacher's Manual, is available at no cost. The CD-ROM is organized into self-guided tours with animation and streaming video with voice-over narration. Topics include an introduction to genetics, an overview of genetics in healthcare, discussions of ethical, legal, and social issues, and examples of careers in the field.

Roche Palo Alto, 3431 Hillview Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94304; (650) 855-5050;paloalto.roche.com

IT and Networking

NetSupport has released NetSupport DNA, a new asset management software that allows IT professionals to monitor an organization's technology assets. Some features of DNA include hardware and software inventory, software distribution, application and Web metering, remote control functionality, and a help desk component. A 30-day free trial is available at www.netsupport-inc.com

NetSupport, Inc., 6815 Shiloh Road, Ste. A-7, Alpharetta, GA 30005; (770) 205-4456;www.netsupport-inc.com

The VBrick EtherneTV Media Distribution System delivers live and stored media on both TVs and desktops. Based on open MPEG standards and comprised of fully integrated VBrick video components that are controlled by a common user interface, the system features portable components, a Video on Demand server, and a user-friendly TV set-top box that can be used to access live streams and the Web. Contact company for pricing information.

VBrick Systems, Inc., 12 Beaumont Rd., Wallingford, CT 06492; (203) 265-0044;www.VBrick.com

Pearl Echo 6.0 Internet management software from Pearl Software allows districts to manage users' Web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging, and other forms of Net communications. The new version offers a variety of traffic and usage reports as well as an improved method to save, print, and distribute reports. $79.

Pearl Software, 64 East Uwchlan Ave., Ste. 230; Exton, PA 19341; (800) 732-7596;www.pearlsoftware.com

Multimedia

Animated Communications has launched 3d Choreographer 3.0, a new version of its Windows-based animation software. Its easy-to-use interface features one-click buttons with pull-down menu options. The software also offers a selection of 300 characters, all defined in 3-D. Students can create an assortment of movements for the characters and modify their attributes by manipulating their body parts and features. 3d Choreographer is available for $262. Volume discounts available.

Animated Communications, P.O. Box 16907, Chapel Hill, NC 27516; (800) 949.4559;www.3dchor.com

Kidspiration 2, the newest version of the visual learning software from Inspiration Software, offers more ways for students to improve early literacy skills. New features include Symbol Maker for drawing, SuperGrouper images, and 75 ready-made activities. $69; multi-seat licenses, volume discounts, and upgade pricing available.

Inspiration Software, Inc., 7412 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy, Ste. 102, Portland, OR 97225; (800) 877-4292;www.inspiration.com

activePDF announced the launch of activePDF Maestro, a PDF editor and viewer for Windows. Features include a document merge function, a full-document search, and a highlighting, strikethrough, and underline text tool. activePDF Maestro is $25 for a single license; activePDF Symphony, which includes Maestro and Composer, is $95.

activePDF, Inc., 27405 Puerta Real, Ste. 100, Mission Viejo, CA 92691; (866) 468-6733;www.activePDF.com

DVD MovieFactory 3 Disc Creator from Ulead Software offers an integrated suite of DVD creation tools for Windows. The software allows users to create DVD movies, slide shows, and music and data CDs. Features new to the upgrade include motion menus and chapter buttons with real-time preview, new audio features, and enhanced video editing tools. $99.95.

Ulead Systems, 20000 Mariner Ave, Ste. 200, Torrance, CA 90503; (800) 85-ULEAD;www.ulead.com

Macromedia announced Macromedia Director MX 2004, the latest version of the multimedia authoring software. The upgrade incorporates most major media formats, including DVD-Video, Windows Media, Real Media, and more; supports Java and Lingo; and allows users to create projector files from both Mac and Windows platforms. $499; volume discounts are available.

Macromedia, Inc., 600 Townsend St., San Francisco, CA 94103; (800) 470-7211;www.macromedia.com

Presentation

TalkingSlide by Reallusion transforms simple slide shows into animated presentations, using digital photos, Macromedia Flash, video, and more. An interactive talking guide adds narration, and the resulting multimedia presentation can be published on the Internet or a CD. TalkingSlide is available only for Windows and costs $39.95.

Reallusion Inc., 171 Branham Lane, Ste. 10, San Jose, CA 95136; (408) 350-1693;www.reallusion.com/talkingslide

SMART Technologies has released SMART Board software version 8.2 for Mac OS X. This free upgrade supports the latest operating systems from Apple, including Panther. Upgrade features include image management systems for templates; Notebook for interactive lessons and brainstorming; and QuickTime Player. Download the free upgrade at www.smarttech.com/support/software.

SMART Technologies, Inc., 1177 11th Ave. SW, Ste. 600, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2R 1K9; (888) 42-SMART;www.smarttech.com

Assessment

The GradeNetwork offers complete online grade management, allowing instructors to manage their classes, students, assignments, and scores from one interface. The Web-based application features customized assignment categories, complete score management, detailed reporting features, and optional student access with secure login tracking. A free 30-day trial membership is available; professional subscription rates range from $39.99 to $59.99.

The GradeNetwork, P.O. Box 120467, San Diego, CA 92112-0467; (888) 237-1256;www.gradenetwork.com

Web Sites

The Center for Media Literacy has developed CML MediaLit Kit, an educational framework and curriculum guide "designed to help children and young people critique and challenge the thousands of media messages that bombard them daily." The kit can be downloaded for free at www.medialit.org.

Center for Media Literacy, 3101 Ocean Park Blvd. #200, Santa Monica, CA 90405; (310) 581-0260;www.medialit.org

Students can keep up with the latest news of the upcoming election on Scholastic News Online. The site includes interactive activities, quizzes, maps, and photographs, as well as news articles. It also features reporting from Scholastic Kids Press Corps, student reporters ages 10-14 who are covering the election from their hometowns across the country.

Scholastic Corporation, 557 Broadway, New York, NY, 10012; (866) 888-5392;www.scholastic.com/news

Professional Development

Teachers can now access Digital Content in the Classroom, a free online tool kit from CAST. The site provides information about software tools and model lessons, and allows users to search for digital text, images, and sound and video clips appropriate for their classroom needs. The tool kit can be accessed at www.cast.org/digitalcontenttoolkit.

CAST, Inc., 40 Harvard Mills Square, Ste. 3, Wakefield, MA 01880; (781) 245-2212;www.cast.org/digitalcontenttoolkit

Books

Hello Linux! from Lancom Technologies provides an introduction to the Linux operating system. Enhanced by 300 pages of hands-on exercises and hundreds of study review questions, the book includes a copy of the Linux OS. $99.95.

Lancom Technologies, (800) 718-7318;www.lancom-tech.com

Digital Cameras in the Classroom, published by Linworth Publishing, provides step-by-step guidelines for making digital imagery an active, experiential part of standards-based instruction. Written by two experienced educators, the book can be ordered alone or bundled with five-packs and 10-packs of iClick digital cameras.

Linworth Publishing, 480 E. Wilson Bridge Rd., Ste. L, Worthington, OH 43085; (800) 786-5017;www.linworth.com

Dates & Events

March 1-6: Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference, Atlanta, Ga. www.aace.org/conf/site

March 15-17: Microcomputers in Education Conference, Tempe, Ariz. mec.asu.edu

March 20-22: ASCD 59th Annual Conference and Exhibit, New Orleans, La. www.ascd.org

Read other articles from the February Issue

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