Extron’s new WallVault System (www.extron.com) is a family of complete, centralized A/V switching and control systems designed for use with wall-mounted short-throw projectors and flat-panel displays. These economical classroom A/V systems use twisted-pair technology for transmitting signals and include network connectivity for Web-based asset management, monitoring, and control. WallVault Systems take their name from the WMK 100 Wall Mount kit, which securely mounts and conceals system components on the wall.
has unveiled the newest version of its popular soundfield-reinforcement technology, the WCMRF Voice Amplification System. The new WCM-RF features functional enhancements designed to improve sound and increase intelligibility in the classroom. The new WCM-RF system, Calypso’s first voice-amplification product with a 20-band digital equalizer as a standard feature, provides customized sound quality for a variety of environments.(www.calypsocontrol.com)
The SPARK Science Learning System is an all-in-one mobile device that integrates probeware with inquiry-based content and assessment. The SPARK can be used as a standalone science- data-collection tool, or it can be connected to a computer via a USB cable and used as a data-collection terminal for PASCO data-collection software. A teacher can assign the class an experiment, and the students can use their SPARK units and probes to develop hypotheses, collect data to prove or disprove the hypotheses, and then draw conclusions.PROS: The SPARK comes with more than 60 preinstalled experiments. It is rugged enough to be taken outdoors and handled by elementary-, middle-, and high-school students. The SPARKvue software permits the same interface to be displayed on a computer so a teacher can deliver pre-lab instruction to an entire class via a data projector. Additional probes are reasonably priced. The SPARK is battery-powered, so it can be used outside the classroom. It allows students to record their data directly to the device. The experiments included in the SPARK let students collect meaningful data in real time. The device also has helpful online educator-training resources.CONS: It would be nice to have one kit that included all the probes; PASCO does, however, offer kits that provide the probes necessary to perform the labs that are embedded on the SPARK Science Learning System.OVERALL IMPRESSION: Science is not a study of facts and dates; science is a process. The SPARK takes this discovery process into account in a fun, easy-to-use tool.www.pasco.comRetail price: $329
Datamation Systems (www.pc-security.com) has introduced the DS-NETVAULT-M. The new NETVAULT secures, stores, and recharges from 14 to 24 netbooks, notebooks, or tablets, depending on their physical dimension and battery size. The cart’s small footprint is especially important in tight classroom spaces and makes it easy to store. Its three-point locking system protects equipment. The NETVAULT is sized to be compatible with technology from all major manufacturers.
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
Calypso 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.
Calypso Systems (www.calypso systems.com) has unveiled the CB-2000 networked buttonpanel controller. The powerful CB-2000 wall-mounted controller integrates classroom A/V technology, such as projectors, document cameras, and audio amplifiers. The CB-2000 can control all networked and nonnetworked devices in the classroom, eliminating the hassle of separate controls and many steps for each device. Teachers can also use Calypso’s Encore! desktop control software with the CB-2000, thus gaining easy access to A/V controls from their classrooms’ PCs, laptops, wireless slates, interactive whiteboards, and similar networked devices.
(www.technomad.com) provides instant manual playback of up to 99 knobassigned, user-loaded audio files from a frontpanel screen, and allows automatic playback on a user-defined schedule. The audio system adds an internal power-backup option in case power is lost. This option provides a battery for up to 20 minutes of audio and keeps any scheduled playback events on target for approximately 75 minutes.
Five new video titles cover fundamental math, vocabulary, SAT prep, English composition, and U.S. history. Each title offers a comprehensive review of subject matter delivered as an educational video and a digital workbook. The workbook contains lesson plans, multiple-choice and essay questions, an answer key, and assessment tools for teachers. Each subject is based on national academic standards and reviewed by college professors. Price: starting at $49.98 Category: test prep