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VIEWSONIC

GENERAL-PURPOSE: ViewSonic’s PJD6220 (list price, $1,199; street price, about $900) is a lightweight DLP projector utilizing BrilliantColor technology. Its high brightness and contrast ratios make it suitable for many lighting situations. This projector features closed captioning for the hearingimpaired.SHORT-THROW: ViewSonic PJD5351’s short-throw ratio produces a 50-inch image at a distance of three feet; it weighs just 5.1 pounds.HIGH-DEFINITION: The company’s Precision Pro8100 Home Theater projector delivers full 1,080p HD resolution, and a C2Fine liquid crystal panel and “HQV Hollywood Quality Video” processor produce crisp HD images.

Sharp PG-F255W

GENERAL-PURPOSE: The Sharp PG-F255W ($1,495) offers 2,500 lumens, WXGA 1,280x800 native resolution, RJ-45 LAN connectivity and built-in closed captioning. Its lamp life is 2,000 to 4,000 hours.SHORT-THROW: The Sharp PG-F267X ($2,100) short-throw DLP 2,500-lumen projector throws a 100-inch diagonal image that can be projected from a distance of 51.2 inches from the screen. Lamp life is 2,000 to 4,000 hours.HIGH-DEFINITION: The new DLP PG-D3750W ($2,650) projector features 3,700 lumens and a 2,200:1 contrast ratio. It offers Wide XGA (WXGA) resolution (1,280x800). The PG-D3750W includes an HDMI connection, RGB and component inputs, S-video, composite video and stereo audio (five watts per channel). Lamp life is 2,000 to 3,000 hours.

The new Schedulon audio system from Technomad

(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.

Califone International, Inc.

Califone International, Inc. (www.califone.com) has upgraded and expanded its line of monaural and stereo listening centers. Designed for use with computers, the learning centers are now available with six positions in addition to the existing four-position listening center, which includes six or eight stereo headphones (2924AVPS). Each center can expand to accommodate additional students with the 10-position jack box with volume control (1210AVPS). Monaural listening centers are available with six positions, which include six or eight stereo headphones (2924AVP) and an eight-position jack box with volume control (1218AVPY). The 1218AVPY is now standard on all monaural centers and replaces the 1208AVPY, which did not feature individual volume controls.

Samsung Opto-Electronics

Samsung Opto-Electronics America (www.samsung uf-130.com) announces the Samsung UF-130DX Presentation Station, a high-definition digital presenter with an onboard processor running Windows CE. The ability to work with several memory devices, such as compact flash cards, SD cards, and even USB flash drives, allows users not only to save their presentations but also to upload their files to the UF-130DX for playback. The UF-130DX is also networkable (via Ethernet 10/100). Attach any USB keyboard and mouse to access the Internet directly from the document camera. If a presentation was left behind on another system, use the UF-130DX Remote Desktop Control to access a remote PC via a campus network to download the file. Also unique to the UF- 130DX is the ability to provide live dual outputs from the document camera as well as the input source. These live displays can be sent to several monitors for side-by-side viewing or overlaid on a single display for picture-in-picture viewing.

SOFTCHALK V5 (WWW.SOFTCHALK.COM)

SoftChalk, a developer of content-authoring software, has released SoftChalk V5. New features include a digital repository. Users can now perform keyword searches across several media repositories and embed widgets, so blogs, polls, surveys, widgets, wikis, and videos can easily be inserted to create dynamic lessons. The eCourseBuilder tool combines several lessons into larger eCourse modules with automatic calculation and tracking of score information between and within lessons.Price: $550 for single education license, volume discounts offered Category: content-authoring software

NETSUPPORT DNA HELPDESK

www.netsupportdna.com Price: $1750 for 3 operatorsWhen teachers have a problem with a piece of equipment or software, they can use the NetSupport DNA Helpdesk online program to submit a trouble ticket to tech support. DNA Helpdesk notifies the tech via e-mail that he or she has a ticket. The tech can use the program to check the machine’s latest hardware and software configuration and to see a report of other tickets coming in, all of which can aid in troubleshooting, reduce downtime, and cut costs.PROS: Helpdesk gives an up-to-the minute inventory of the hardware and software installed on a machine reporting a trouble ticket. The program can set customizable rules so that specific kinds of tickets are delivered to specific techs. Helpdesk can be accessed from handheld devices; the pages on handhelds are easy to read, and the tech can add customizable fields. User data can be imported from third-party sources. Ticket escalation can be automated, and reports can be viewed online.CONS: None.OVERALL EVALUATION: While this is similar to other help-desk products on the market, three things make it unique and exceptional: the up-to-date hardware and software inventory, full handheld functionality, and a customizable knowledge base. 

CERTIPORT INTERNET AND COMPUTING CORE CERTIFICATION (IC3) (WWW.CERTIPORT.COM)

Certiport has launched the latest version of the worldwide digital-literacy certification program. This version emphasizes communication and collaboration modes such as instant messaging, Web conferencing, social networking, wikis, and blogs. IC3 certification is achieved by passing three component exams: Computing Fundamentals, Key Applications, and Living Online. Price: exams retail for $33 apiece ($25 each for academic institutions) Category: training

Put to the Test : Discovery Software Principalm+

allows administrators to transfer student-information-system (SIS) data to a handheld device. Because data can be accessed from a handheld immediately, the information may be used for everyday discipline, student-conduct incidents and histories, emergency preparedness, and security. Each user is issued his or her own passkey, and data can be synchronized as often as needed.PROS: The Principalm+ transfers information without using a third-party server. The software transfers data to most handhelds, including smartphones, BlackBerry smartphones, and PDAs, and soon to Apple iPhones. Users can add customizable fields. The data-download sets can be customized, such as downloading just phone numbers and health information for a teacher going on a field trip.CONS: None.OVERALL EVALUATION: One of the biggest problems administrators have is that all the student data we collect are never where we need them when we need them. Principalm+ solves this problem. Administrators can use Principalm+ to check the discipline record of a student at the site of an incident rather than having to wait until they get back to the office. They can look up a locker combination on the spot, or even a parent’s phone number. This type of application is long overdue.www.discoverysoftware.comRetail price: Based on per-student, per-module model.