announced the newest addition to its ResponseCard keypad product line, ResponseCard RF LCD. The new “clicker” device provides students with additional feedback during interactive polling via a small LCD screen. The LCD screen offers visual confirmation of selected response, channel setting, and battery life.www.turningtech nologies.com
ThinkHelpDesk.com is an online ASP help desk that can be used to track service requests. The service sends an email to the appropriate tech when the client files the request and sends the client emails whenever the tech updates or closes the service ticket. PROS: The solution is simple to use; it requires little if any training. Messages can be posted to the staff. A mass-email wizard allows users to send out mass emails about problems or outages. Many useful hard-wire reports are included, such as the ability to print open and closed service tickets. The program also tracks assets if they are entered into the program. Because this is an ASP-type program, it requires no local server space, and backup and program maintenance are performed by ThinkHelpDesk.com. All the data from the help desk can be exported to Excel.CONS: If the district Internet connection is down, users do not have access to the program. However, because it is an ASP solution, the school can still access the help desk from any functioning alternate Internet connection.OVERALL EVALUATION: The program’s price structure makes it fair to both large and small districts: You are charged by the number of buildings you use it in. Most districts use a help-desk program of some type; some are more expensive than ThinkHelpDesk.com, and not many are less. This simple-to-use help desk flows the way educators think, reducing the need for training and maximizing the effect this program will have on a school’s efficiency.www.thinkhelpdesk.comRetail price: $59 a month for the first location (school in a district) and $7.99 for each additional location (school in a district)—Joe Huber
released a standard- aspect desktop display. The energyefficient 17-inch MultiSync LCD175M monitor features an EPEAT Gold rating, as well as ENERGY STAR 5.0 and TCO 5.0 compliance. Its eco-mode technology allows users to maneuver between two energy-saving modes and enables the calculation of power-consumption savings for the monitor’s carbon-footprint meter. Additionally, the monitor boasts a new power-circuit design that achieves 0.4W power in power-savings mode and in power off.www.necdisplay.com
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)
Ginger Software, a program for spelling and grammar correction, now works with Internet Explorer. In addition, the new version of Ginger is more accessible, providing customizable interface settings and progress reporting to track mistakes and illustrate student progress. Students can change display attributes such as background color and font style to complement their abilities and preferences. Price: Subscriptions start at $145 for three workstations, with volume and multiple-year subscription discounts available.Category: language arts, assistive tech
Vernier Software & Technology (www.vernier.com) has updated its SpectroVis Plus, an diode array spectrophotometer. The updated SpectroVis Plus has an improved range of 350 to 950 nanometers, enhanced optical resolution, and new support for fluorescence, all for hundreds of dollars less than traditional spectrometers. This sensor is ideal for high school and higher-education chemistry and biology classes and can be used with either a computer or a LabQuest interface.
The CP-D10+FX-77GII Bundle (www.hitachi.com), named the Stimulus Bundle, combines the Hitachi CP-D10 short-throw projector, the Hitachi StarBoard FX-77GII 77-inch interactive whiteboard, and a custom-designed Premier Mounts wall mount. When the CP-D10 is mounted on the wall arm, its short-throw capability reduces the shadow cast by the presenter on the FX- 77GII and offers a better viewing experience. The FX-77GII has all the capabilities that have been revolutionized by Hitachi but includes interaction, which is enabled by the use of an electronic pen. The wireless two-button pen device, included with the StarBoard, functions as a mouse that operates and annotates on the board.
Sharp (www.sharpusa.com) has entered the 3D presentation market with the introduction of six 3D Ready DLP BrilliantColor professional projectors, which offer excellent 3D projection from a single projector. These projectors offer 3D support with both 60 Hz and 120 Hz XGA (1,024 x 768) and SVGA (800 x 600) sources. All six models provide analog RGB and component inputs, S-video, and composite video, as well as RGB loop-through, an RS-232C port, and a USB input for mouse control. The projectors also offer 10-watt stereo audio on the PGD45X3D and PG-D40W3D and seven watts on the other models in the lineup. The projectors also have a built-in network connection.