What’s New - Tech Learning

What’s New

Califone (www.califone.com) has announced its latest Bluetooth keyboard, the KB4, featuring a compact (1/4” thick), lightweight design for easy portability and flexible classroom use.
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software & online

ABSOLUTE MANAGE 6.8
(www.absolute.com)

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Absolute Software has announced the addition of third-party patching capabilities for software applications with the release of Absolute Manage 6.8. The integration of an automated patch engine provides comprehensive coverage and updates for the most prevalent and at-risk third-party applications. With Absolute Manage 6.8, IT administrators can manage operating system patches for Mac and Windows devices, along with a wide range of third-party applications in a fully automated system that detects and downloads missing patches. Once each update receives administrator approval, Absolute Manage deploys and reports on the status of each patch.

AUDIO NOTETAKER
(www.sonocent.com)

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Sonocent has launched version 4 of its Audio Notetaker tool, enabling users to work more effectively with information in text, audio, and visual formats. This latest version offers a range of new features providing more ways to acquire, express, and represent information, accommodating the principals of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and developing vital study skills techniques. New tools include Scribe Feature; automatic speech recognition through integration with Dragon Naturally Speaking, and an Audio Clean Up tool to gain clarity from the audio recordings by removing background noise interference.

BARRACUDA NG FIREWALL
(www.barracuda.com/products/ngfirewall)

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Barracuda has released the latest version of its NG Firewall, offering new features and updates designed to simplify setup, administration, and management. Barracuda NG Firewall now includes self-service configuration for remote end users using MacOS, Windows, and iOS to configure their VPN connection in a few clicks. The latest version also allows administrators to activate SafeSearch and YouTube for Schools enforcement in the firewall rules settings. With the new version, Barracuda released the new Barracuda NG Firewall Remote iOS application, designed for system administrators needing simple access to NG control centers from iOS devices.

CONNECT MASTER
(www.mheducation.com)

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McGraw-Hill Education has launched Connect Master, a personalized, complete course digital solution for college students and instructors. The solution is initially available for math, economics, and composition course, with other subjects to follow. Connect Master provides a highly adaptive environment where students can get real-time feedback at every step of the problem-solving process. By understanding each student’s unique learning style, Connect Master delivers customized, interactive resources to help students build stronger connections and achieve a deeper level of conceptual knowledge.

CURRICULUM FOUNDRY AND GOOGLE DRIVE
(www.learning.com/tools)

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Learning.com has announced that its new solution Curriculum Foundry will integrate with Google Drive in time for back-to-school this fall. Google Drive integration will allow districts using Google Apps for Education to share the lessons, units, and courses they have created in Curriculum Foundry. Students and teachers will be able to launch the content from Google Drive or Google Classroom. Districts will also be able to add content they have created in Google Drive to its district’s library in Curriculum Foundry for future use. Curriculum Foundry makes it easy to access, organize, and share quality digital content with teachers and students. The solution includes a rich repository of vetted, standards-align Open Education Resources (OER) and other quality free content in all subject areas.

CYBERETHICS MODULE
(www.thinkbeforeyoulinkinschool.com/)

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Discovery Education and Intel Security have released an all-new digital safety module for students ages 8-11 focusing on Cyberethics as part of the Intel Security Digital Safety Program, a three-year national education initiative designed to teach children to “Think Before You Link” and make safer decisions when using the Internet. Designed to be curriculum aligned, these modules inform students and their families about how to act responsibly online. This new self-paced, interactive module will explore topics such as cyberbullying, plagiarism, and the importance of creating a positive digital footprint.

DIGITAL COMPASS
(www.commonsensemedia.org/educators)

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Common Sense Education has released Digital Compass, an interactive gaming platform to help 6th through 9th grade students learn critical skills of digital literacy and citizenship. Based on lessons from Common Sense Education’s K-12 Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum, Digital Compass addresses the key issues that kids face in the digital world, such as cyberbullying, privacy and security, creative credit and copyright, information literacy, Internet safety, digital footprint and reputation, self-image and identity, relationships, and communication.

EVO ACADEMICS ASSESSMENT PLATFORM
(www.apperson.com/evo-academics-freesignup)

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Apperson, Inc. has made its Evo Academics assessment platform available free of charge to educators. The Free Teacher Edition, which was designed by teachers, allows educators to create online quizzes and tests, share tests with colleagues, build and store rubrics, assign tests to students through a student portal, access assessment results in real time, and generate student proficiency reports for the standards assessed. Teachers can use one platform for both assessment creation and online testing. The platform supports several questions types, including multiple choice, true/false, short answers, and essays. For educators who are using Apperson DataLink Scanners, results can be scanned directly into the Evo Academics module so testing can be online, in paper form, or a combination of the two.

FIRESPHERE THREAT ISOLATOR
(www.iboss.com)

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iboss Cybersecurity has announced the FireSphere Threat Isolator, an integration of its advanced APT defense solution, FireSphere, with HP’s SDN architecture and its SDN VAN controller. This new SDN application extends FireSphere’s perimeter defense capabilities to detect malware once inside the network, then contain the outbreak of the infection, such as the CryptoLocker malware, immediately and automatically. This new application integrates FireSphere’s advanced data protection features, including auto-quarantine of infected machines and baselining anomaly detection, with industry standard Open-Flow supporting switches. By directly targeting the switch to which an infected device is attached, FireSphere automatically isolates and blocks any infected machine.

HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION COURSES
(www.edgenuity.com)

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Edgenuity has released a full suite of Health and Physical Education courses from cFitness Academy, available through Edgenuity’s Instructional Services offering and designed for middle and high school students. Through this partnership, students of Edgenuity schools and districts will have access to cFitness Academy’s full suite of courses including Fitness Fundamentals, Nutrition, Drugs & Alcohol, Physiology, and Life Skills.

MY BIG CAMPUS MOVES TO ITSLEARNING
(www.itslearning.net and www.lightspeedsystems.com)

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itslearning has announced a strategic partnership with Lightspeed Systems, creators of the My Big Campus (MBC) learning management system. Lightspeed Systems is retiring its LMS and has selected the itslearning platform as the preferred alternative for MBC customers. In addition to assisting MBC users as they transition to itslearning’s digital learning environment, the partnership will support seamless content migration from MBC to the itslearning platform. Through the itslearning platform, teachers can share instructional resources, assignments and activities, and assessments with students and parents via personalized dashboards. For students, the platform automatically adapts to support learning styles that offer the best opportunities for success.

LIGHTSAIL ADAPTIVE LITERACY SOLUTION
(www.lightsailed.com)

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LightSail, the adaptive K-12 literacy solution, has announced updates to its personalized learning technology. The LightSail solution matches students to reading materials at the ideal level for reading skill gains. Building on the popularity of gamified learning, the company has added numerous motivation and reward features to incentivize students to appropriately challenge themselves and increase reading volumes. In addition, LightSail has added new scaffolds for below-benchmark readers, in order to actively optimize materials for students reading below grade level.

MINDPLAY VIRTUAL READING COACH
(www.mindplay.com)

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MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach (MVRC) is a CASEendorsed reading solution for K-12 students with special needs. The Web-based program uses personalized, adaptive technology, and direct, explicit instruction to help teach students with dyslexia and other special education students to read. A video coach explains and demonstrates instructions, one language and print concept at a time. MVRC is correlated to “The Dyslexia Handbook,” 2014, which identifies critical components of teaching dyslexic students to read.

ODYSSEYWARE CTE COURSES
(www.odysseyware.com)

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Odysseyware has announced 16 additional Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses for the 2015-16 school year. With these new courses, the company now offers courses in each of the 16 national CTE clusters. Each course is designed by educators and experts in their respective career fields to ensure students acquire core academic and 21st century skills that will prepare them for life after graduation. The new courses cover a broad range of career paths, including Government, Architecture, Communications, and Education.

OPENAPERTURE
(www.lexmark.com)

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Lexmark has announced its hybrid cloud management platform, OpenAperture. Supporting the Perceptive Evolution platform, OpenAperture will deliver all Lexmark enterprise software components to customers quickly and consistently, regardless of location or workload. OpenAperture provides a comprehensive management system to handle the six pillars of cloud management – provisioning, deployment, monitoring, maintenance, security, and metering. OpenAperture is open-source, so customers can benefit from code contributions made by the community.

PRESENCELEARNING ONLINE SPECIAL EDUCATION INSTRUCTION
(www.presencelearning.com)

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PresenceLearning is now offering access to online special education teachers. The company connects schools with fully credentialed and qualified special education teachers located remotely who can deliver special education instruction to students with mild, moderate, and severe needs. PresenceLearning’s online special education instruction services can be used both individually and in small groups.

SCHOOL BOND FINDER
(www.schoolbondfinder.com)

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SchoolBondFinder has launched www.SchoolBondFinder.com, a comprehensive, interactive database that tracks school district’s capital improvement projects across the U.S. SchoolBondFinder enables companies to filter funding projects specific to their solutions, providing insight in to current and future needs of districts across the country. The platform provides notifications to its users when something new is entered in to the system, such as a large technology bond just announced.

SWIVL CLOUD LIVE
(www.swivl.com)

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Swivl has added a Live Conferencing feature to its collaborative cloud platform. The new, live video conferencing solution provides teachers with a means to connect with remote viewers, such as chronically homebound students, planned absentees, distance learners, and mentors or coaches. Swivl Cloud Live not only grants remote viewers control over the Swivl Robot during lessons for true telepresence, but also automatically tracks teachers, enables sharing of lesson content presented in class, and simultaneously records both video and content in HD for building online libraries.

TABPILOT TABLET MANAGER MDM SUITE
(www.tabpilot.com)

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TabPilot has expanded the iOS version of its Tablet Manager MDM suite, offering new features for both classroom teachers and IT administrators. Now, teachers can distribute content to iPads for student access through the TabPilot File Locker app. File Locker will display many common file formats internally, or allow the student to choose an external app. Administrators gain the ability to push out global proxy settings and certificates along with the Wi-Fi settings, configure Apple TV passwords, and locate devices. Teachers have easy access to quickly clear passcodes on iPads, allowing students to get back to work quickly. AirPlay features allow teachers to choose a student iPad to start mirroring to a classroom Apple TV device with just a few clicks in the cloudbased Control Tower console. Web Links allow the teacher to place links to websites directly on student iPad home screens and even restrict the browser to only that group of sites if they choose.

TARGET INSTRUCTIONAL NEEDS WITH ATOMIC LEARNING
(www.atomiclearning.com/targetinstructional-needs-atomic-learning)

Atomic Learning recently added an online course on aligning instruction to technology to its library. The course is designed to show educators how to set up a successful technology integration program for their school or district. The course also provides a wealth of resources, including goal templates, interactive forms, and resource lists broken into instructional categories.

TEACHER DASHBOARD
(www.lightspeedsystems.com)

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School network solution provider Lightspeed Systems has launched Teacher Dashboard, a classroom control solution that helps teachers manage devices and student activity from a single dashboard. Teacher Dashboard allows IT departments to share management with educators, giving them access to Lightspeed Systems K-12 network solutions — Web Filter, Mobile Manager, Classroom Orchestrator — plus new content database Campus Library. Available at no additional cost with any Lightspeed Systems solution, Teacher Dashboard allows teachers to manage devices, restrict or expand online access, and share educational content from one easy-to-use panel.

TEACHERMATCH SMART PRACTICES
(www.teachermatch.org)

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Kelly Educational Staffing (KES) has partnered with TeacherMatch to provide access to predictive analytics tools, including research-based TeacherMatch EPI (Educators Professional Inventory) and professional development through the TeacherMatch Smart Practices training series. Each school year, KES substitute teachers staff more than two million classrooms across the U.S. and the company aims to continuously train high quality substitute teachers to foster student achievement.

TEXT SETS
(www.newsela.com/text-sets/featured)

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Newsela has launched Text Sets, a collaborative feature that organizes Newsela articles into collections that share a common theme, topic, or standard. Through Text Sets, teachers can create their own collections of articles that inspire their students, and curate those sets over time. Teachers can keep their Text Sets private or share them, along with notes about how they use each set in their classrooms, with other teachers around the world.

TURNITIN SCORING ENGINE
(www.turnitin.com)

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Turnitin has announced the general availability of Turnitin Scoring Engine, a service that provides instant scoring of student-written texts in online learning environments, or for assessing essays at the district, state, or institutional level. It can also assist in evaluating writing for course placement, matriculation exams, and for writing assessments in large, undergraduate classes, across disciplines. Turnitin Scoring Engine analyzes the lexical, syntactic, and stylistic features of writing, such as word choice and genre conventions, unlike other automated essay scoring programs that rely on simple metrics like word count.

WRITING A-Z
(www.writinga-z.com)

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Learning A-Z has enhanced its Writing A-Z Web site by adding three student-facing interactive writing tools, as well as redesigned the site for improved navigation and ease of use. The Writing A-Z site geared toward grades K-6 and delivers a comprehensive collection of writing resources with the goal of personalizing writing instruction and improving students’ writing skills. The interactive, online writing tools encourage students to apply their writing skills and creativity while creating their own books, writing essays, and completing specific process writing tasks.

apps

3 DIGITS
(www.dig-itgames.com)

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Dig-It! Games has released a new app, 3 Digits. 3 Digits turns math skills-building into a fun, fast-paced learning game that encourages players to think outside the box using addition, subtraction, and multiplication. The app, free to download via the iTunes App Store, immerses players in the base-20 Maya number system. Players can choose from four levels of difficulty based on their experience and the age of the player.

ADOBE SLATE
(www.adobe.com/slate)

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The free Adobe Slate iPad app lets students and educators turn words and images into stories that can be published on the Web in minutes. The intuitive interface makes it easy to add text, choose photo layouts, and apply curated looks and motion. Scrolling transitions make words and images move for an engaging read. Teachers can use Slate to create parent newsletters or class portfolios, while students can express their creativity in visual essays, reports, journal entries, and science projects.

HOODA MATH APP
(www.hoodamath.com)

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Hooda Math, a provider of free, Web-based math games, has created a downloadable iOS app that includes over 30 games. The mobile games are accessible via any browser, from any device, along with the more than 500 Web-based games, over 100 of which are optimized for mobile devices, on the Hooda Math Web site. Hooda Math has converted its most popular games--ice cream truck, dublox, multiplication game, and fraction poker--to work on their mobile site, so kids can play anytime.

KODA QUEST
(www.cooltheearth.org)

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Cool the Earth, a nonprofit that encourages kids and families to reduce energy and water use, launched a new “care” game app developed with Fingerprint that helps raise awareness for climate change. Koda Quest combines real-life actions and mobile game play to help teach children earth friendly behaviors. While playing the game, kids are encouraged to perform simple tasks such as turning off unused lights, recycling, and asking their parents to pack a no-waste lunch in order to level up and create a cooler world for Koda, a lovable polar bear.

MAKERBOT PRINTSHOP VERSION 1.5
(www.makerbot.com)

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MakerBot has released an updated version of its free MakerBot PrintShop iOS app, offering a new feature called MakerBot Shape Maker that takes drawings and sketches and turns them into 3D printable files. With the snap of a photo and a touch of a finger, MakerBot PrintShop Shape Maker allows users to easily and quickly transform sketches and drawings into a 3D printable file, without any 3D design experience. Files can be sent via Wi-Fi directly to a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer, MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer, or a MakerBot Replicator Z18 3D Printer.

MOMENTOUS INSTITUTE APPS
(www.momentousinstitute.org)

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Momentous Institute and AT&T, through the AT&T Aspire initiative, have released three mobile apps designed to help children better understand their emotions. The apps use the social emotional health practices developed by Momentous Institute, which serves Dallas students from age three to 5th grade. Settle Your Glitter guides students through a deep breathing exercise to shift their focus back on learning, while Breathing Bubbles helps students reflect on good feelings and release their worries. The last app, Pass the Drop, helps a group of students focus on the work at hand while reducing distractions. The free apps are available for the iPhone, iPad, Samsung Tab 4s, and Note 8s devices.

NETSUPPORT TEACHER APP FOR ANDROID
(www.netsupportschool.com)

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NetSupport has released a Teacher app for Android devices, designed to support its classroom management software, NetSupport School. The app comes loaded with NetSupport School’s core classroom management functionality, including the option to view thumbnails of all student tablets for a real-time view of the classroom; for more detailed monitoring, view a selected student’s device; conduct instant student and peer assessment and interactive questioning with Question & Answer mode; send files to a selected student or multiple student devices in a single action; and more.

ROMAN TOWN
(www.dig-itgames.com)

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Dig-It! Games has launched Roman Town as an iPad app. The app is a social studies-based, problem-solving game that guides players through the ruins of Pompeii to play challenging mini-games, discover clues, and explore the ancient Roman culture. The game engages middle grade students in the ancient civilization through conversations with characters, exploration of the ruins, and artifacts woven into its mini-games.

hardware

Califone (www.califone.com) has announced its latest Bluetooth keyboard, the KB4, featuring a compact (1/4” thick), lightweight design for easy portability and flexible classroom use. The keyboard is compatible with Bluetooth-enabled iOS, Android, and Windows-based systems. The KB4 charges in four hours, and is operational for up to 44 uninterrupted hours. Califone has also introduced its upgraded PA419-02 wireless speaker. Loud enough for 300 people to hear, the PA419-02 connects to devices with Bluetooth, NFC, USB, or an SD card. Additionally, the speaker contains a 3.5mm port for a wired connection to a smartphone.

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5eBoard (www.5eboard.com) is a new, K-12 education and DIY platform in modern electronics. Similar to LEGO, the new system uses building blocks for constructing electronic circuits, so students can easily follow and replicate any type of circuits. As a solderless system, all parts are reusable, interchangeable, and individually replaceable. Multiple color combinations facilitate circuit virtualization, debugging, modification, and testing. All parts are reusable, interchangeable, and individually replaceable.

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The Marvel Group (www.marvelfocusdesk.com) has introduced The Focus Desk, a re-imagining of the typical classroom desk that enables children to easily and silently adjust the height of their desk from a sitting to standing mode, without adult assistance or class disruption. Marvel developed prototypes that students had the chance to try for a week, then used the feedback to improve the design. In response, Marvel developed the FeatherTouch lift system that silently lifts or lowers the desk surface with minimal effort.

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Casio America (www.casiolampfree.com) has announced the addition of a new introductory model to its portfolio of projector offerings. The EcoLite XJ-V1 projector provides educators and business professionals with the ability to enjoy many of the benefits of Casio’s LampFree projectors in a budget friendly package. EcoLite is powered by Casio’s 5th generation LASER & LED Hybrid Light Source technology. This LampFree light source combines a laser, fluorescent element, and LEDs to generate high brightness and a 20,000 hour estimated lifespan with minimal brightness degradation and continuous operation. The EcoLite XJ-V1 projector features a throw ratio of 1.54-1.71: 1, produces 2700 lumens of brightness, and boasts XGA (1024 x 768) resolution which is suitable for displaying content from video and computer sources.

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Canon (www.usa.canon.com/projectors) has introduced the REALiS WUX500 Pro AV Compact Installation LCOS Projector (left), a high performance projector that combines WUXGA resolution (1920 x 1200), 5000 lumens of brightness and up to a 2000:1 contrast ratio, built-in HDBaseT, an advanced lens and optical system, and Canon’s LCOS technology with AISYS-enhancement to help deliver high image quality and user flexibility. Canon has also unveiled the REALiS WUX6000 Pro AV Installation LCOS Projector (right), designed to deliver bright, 6000-lumen high-resolution WUXGA (1920 x 1200) widescreen video and still images in a variety of environments. Equipped with a new advanced image processing engine, the projector displays images with clear detail, accurate color, crisp contrast, sharp blacks, and blur-free motion.

MXL Microphones (www.mxlmics.com) introduces the MXL MM-131 Mic Mate Mobile, a portable dynamic XLR-to-USB interface that works with computers and mobile devices. The Mic Mate Mobile is compatible with iOS products via the Apple camera kit. The Mic Mate Mobile turns a single dynamic microphone into a USB mic and a Mobile Media microphone, creating three distinct applications. The user can monitor audio with zero latency whether he is recording into an iPhone, iPad or a PC. The Mic Mate Mobile is part of the Mobile Media line of microphones and accessories for mobile devices.

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SMART Technologies Inc. (www.smarttech.com) has upgraded its line of interactive whiteboard systems. One of the newest products is the ultra-short throw SMART U100w projector. The U100w offers a bright, HD widescreen image, measured at 3,600 lumens in standard mode and a long-lasting lamp that provides up to 5,000 hours in standard mode and 6,500 hours in economy mode. Educators and administrators will find the U100w easier to use and maintain as it features easy boom adjustments with a new centralized dial system, onboard quality diagnostics, and improved user alerts. With dual HDMI and USB connectivity, the U100w is also wireless-ready.

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Epson America, Inc. (www.epson.com) has introduced the Epson Expression Home XP-420 Small-in-One, available for under $100. The printer offers a complete wireless solution with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n and Wi-Fi Direct, and comes equipped with Epson Connect for the ability to print and scan from a tablet, smartphone, or computer from virtually anywhere. The Expression Home XP-420 offers a large, high-resolution 2.5-inch color LCD and touch panel, plus a built-in memory card slot for easy PC-free photo and document printing, scanning, and copying. 

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