www.inspiration.com, Software, $69/single copy, Licenses available
This K-5 visual learning software now includes Symbol Maker for drawing, unlimited SuperGrouper images, Venn diagram capabilities, the option to see symbols displayed next to words in Writing View, and one-click transfer to word processors. There are also 75 ready-made activities and expanded management tools. Upgrade discounts are available to qualified customers.
The company has also released the book Kidspiration in the Classroom ($29.95) and the CD-ROM Exploring Kidspiration ($24.95) to guide teachers in Kidspiration's use.
Siedle Communications Systems
Siedle MULTI System
www.siedleusa.com, Software/Hardware $2,500 and up
This video/telecommunications system was designed for multiple and simultaneous video monitoring of video cameras. Features include caller ID, call differentiation (distress/alarm), decentralized open bus technology, troubleshooting and system diagnosis. The system is an interior communication system as well as a video monitoring system to oversee hallways, classrooms and public areas. Teachers or staff can make emergency calls from classrooms with voice and video to on-site security people or administrators.
www.alphasmart.com, Hardware, $429
This two-pound laptop alternative is powered by Palm OS with a large screen and integrated full-size keyboard, which users can use to access e-mail and the Internet wirelessly. The product now incorporates built-in Wi-Fi technology (802.11b) and is bundled with DataViz's Documents To Go Professional, allowing mobile users to work with Microsoft Office documents such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Students can use the device inside or outside the classroom.
Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Panther Edition
www.oreilly.com, Books, $29.95
In the new version of this book, The New York Times computer columnist David Pogue features details on the changes in Apple's Mac OS X 10.3, a.k.a. "Panther." The book covers the all-new Finder and iChat AV, Apple's new tool for video conferencing, as well as the Terminal and networking tools.
Another new O'Reilly book: The Best of the Joy of Tech, ($14.95), a collection of works from The Joy of Tech series' author, a technology-centric comic.
www.sonicfoundry.com, Software, $25,000
This real-time rich media presentation system's new capabilities include: high- resolution graphics; auto-indexing of images; Web catalogs that build and transfer content to Web pages; and a database/software platform based on Microsoft.net. The updates allow presentations to be streamed live or played on-demand over the Web to Windows and now Macintosh PCs. They can be downloaded to users' computers or portable media such as CDs.
Gateway Security 5400 Series
www.symantec.com, Hardware, $3,200 and up
This appliance integrates firewall technology, an intrusion prevention and detection engine, URL-based content filtering, antivirus protection and virtual networking technology with encryption. Three models are available.
The Funding Connection Grant Workshops
www.curriculumassociates.com, Workshops, Free
This series of seminars is designed to help schools and districts identify available, but not widely known, sources of school funding. Led by grants specialist Parisa Tahouri, the seminars will help beginner, intermediate and advanced grant seekers increase their chances of success in securing additional dollars for their schools.
In addition, the new Partners in Growth program provides matching grants (of $300) for educators in Pre-K-12 who demonstrate innovative approaches to teaching with Curriculum Associate's research-based instructional and assessment materials. Up to 100 matching grants are awarded quarterly. The company has also compiled a free online database of upcoming state and private grant opportunities for educators.
www.hwilson.com, Hardware, $152
This presentation station features a 17x17-inch shelf with a 2-inch tall metal retaining bar to help keep equipment secure. The shelf has a 15 degree tilt, and the model is adjustable in height from 27to 37 inches.
Also available from H. Wilson is the WPS3 ($189), a unit with three shelves to hold notebook computers, LCD projectors and printers. The unit is 51" high and the middle shelf is adjustable from 13" to 18" in one-inch increments. It also adjusts outward three inches and features four, two-inch casters.
Online Grade Management Solution
www.gradenetwork.com, Internet, $59.99 per year professional membership (single instructor)
This Web application allows teachers to manage all classes, students, assignments and scores from one Web interface. The application features customized assignment categories and complete score management. Students can be given the option to access their grades online, and instructors can choose to limit admission to certain students and add any number of guardians to the student profile, so they can also follow progress. A 30-day free trial and group pricing on purchases are available.
Educational Testing Service
Understanding Standards-Based Assessment
www.ets.org, Workshops, Facilitator kit $295, Participant guide $29
This series of professional workshops and related materials can help teachers understand how to monitor each student's level of achievement and capture feedback needed to shape more effective instruction. Part of ETS's Pathwise professional development program, the series explains how achievement evidence can be used to improve and refine teaching. Materials and training are customized for each state's standards. The series can be purchased as a complete package of four modules or as individual sessions.
Holt, Rinehart and Winston
Holt Elements of Literature
www.hrw.com, Program, Student editions $58.95-$62.70 each
This middle and high school program is claimed to be the first literature program for secondary schools developed by a major textbook publisher since No Child Left Behind was enacted. It uses a sequential skills approach for teaching literary and informational reading skills and writing proficiency. The program allows for differentiated instruction and offers ongoing assessments. Diagnostic tools and activities for use with reluctant/struggling readers are included.
SpectorSoft Professional Edition
www.spectorsoft.com, Software, Approximately $14.95/license, depending on quantity
This filtering alternative can identify everything done on a particular PC. It captures and records e-mails, chat conversations, instant messages and keystrokes typed. Built-in intelligence can pick up on suspicious activities and notify the user via an e-mail alert.
Dukane Mobile Presentation System
www.dukane.com, Hardware, $5,355
This presentation system can be shared among multiple rooms for individual presentations. In addition to other features, it includes a data/video projector, document camera, speakers, DVD/VCR player, electrical power, cable connections and audio switcher in a lockable metal cart that has industrial 5" wheels. Users connect their laptop or desktop PC to the system's VGA and audio input cables. The system can be controlled via remote control, and a document camera allows the user to magnify an image displayed on the screen.
Facts On File
American History Online
www.factsonfile.com, Software, $650 and up, depending on enrollment
This database spanning more than 500 years includes both Facts On File's 11-volume Encyclopedia of American History and the Landmark Documents in American History database (updated through 2003). It features thousands of biographies, subject and chronology entries, primary source documents, maps and images. Users can browse by content standards.
www.usa.canon.com, Hardware, $1,299
This microportable projector weighs 4.9 pounds and features SVGA native resolution. Users can opt for the quiet-operation in Silent Mode, which decreases the unit's noise level to 32dB. The projector also features 1250 ANSI lumens, as well as the 1.2X Genuine Canon Optical Zoom lens that projects 100" theater-sized images from 10.4 feet away. The equipment has flexible connectivity for presentations from a laptop, digital camcorder, digital camera, DVD player, HDTV or VCR. Included is the Presentation Kit, a remote control with USB Remote Receiver that can be used as a wireless mouse and can control key projector functions.
Charter Schools Resource Kit
National Association of State Boards of Education
www.nasbe.org, Software, $12.50
This resource kit for state and local decision-makers includes the latest information on charter school policies related to school goals, accountability, authorization and oversight, equity and access, funding and emerging issues. The kit provides active Internet links to research and information resources, such as each state's charter school office and national evaluation studies of charter schools. The CD is the result of a yearlong examination of charter school laws and policies in various states by a task force of state board of education members from across the country.
Unitedstreaming Network Manager
www.unitedlearning.com, Software, $299 per school building
This application aims to help system administrators better manage the Unitedstreaming digital video-on-demand service by scheduling specific video download times and eliminating much of the stress on school network bandwidth.
The software only needs to reside on one Internet-connected computer on a school's network. Students or teachers can download video clips at night. Once saved on the computer, they can be accessed by any network computer via the unitedstreaming web interface. A color-coding system also lets users know the status of each video clip.
Discounts are available for multi-building purchases.
powerOne Graph 4.0
www.infinitysw.com, Software, $59.99
This Palm OS-based application lets users convert their handheld computers into graphing scientific calculators. The software presents users with a touch screen to enhance interactive learning, and calculation templates show all variables on the screen at one time. Users can select from advanced statistics, conversions and others. More than 100 add-on templates can be downloaded from the company's Web site. Updates include scatter plots and histograms, inferential statistics such as z and t tests, RPN input mode, sequence graphing and advanced regression, distribution and probability models.
For $15, educators and school administrators can purchase a personal evaluation copy.
Toshiba American Business Solutions
www.tabs.toshiba.com, Hardware, $11,895
This fully featured monochrome copier, printer, scanner and fax also copies and prints in color. It produces a rate of 35 monochrome printed or copied pages-per-minute with a black-and-white resolution of 2,400 dpi x 600 dpi. In addition, it produces color documents at a rate of 11 PPM with a matte color finish that is easier to write on than glossy prints. The machine delivers a first-copy-out time of 6.8 seconds for monochrome and 16.2 seconds for color, and it offers a paper capacity of up to 3,700 sheets, with two 550-sheet drawers and a 100-sheet Stack Fee Bypass.
Also available is the e-STUDIO4511 ($14,325), with a rate of 45 monochrome PPM.
What Does It Mean to Be Well Educated?
www.beacon.org, Books, $16
This collection of essays from former teacher Alfie Kohn looks at issues facing modern education, such as the "accountability fad," which Kohn argues is part of a large effort by conservatives to dismantle public education. The book focuses on the goals of education and why current education trends don't reflect what people seem to want. It also examines the difficulty of changing classroom practice, the costs of overemphasizing achievement and the education lessons that can be drawn from the Columbine High School and September 11, 2001 tragedies.
The New SAT SparkNote
www.sparknotes.com, Book, Free
This guide aims to clear up confusion that students, parents or teachers may have about the new SAT. The booklet breaks down all the changes in the exam, including the new essay section, and it details each modification made to the new test. It can be picked up in print at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide and is available for free download at www.sparknotes.com/newsat.
www.jacksoncorp.com, Software, Approximately $500 per school
This software enables administrators to assign state standards and skills to teachers in their district by subject and grade level. It's designed to be used with the GradeQuick electronic gradebook. The appropriate state standards are bundled into the software. Administrators can add, delete or modify other standards that may be unique to their district. Highlighted courses and associated standards and skills are automatically posted into teacher gradebooks.
First Virtual Communications
Click to Meet Express 2.1
www.fvc.com, Software, $7,400 and up
The updated version of this software-based web conferencing system enables audio, video and data communication within a single, browser-based user interface. The system provides support in its browser-based software client and administration application for eight languages in addition to English. In addition, conference participants can now conduct a web conference with data, audio and real-time interactive video through firewalls.
Phenix & Phenix
Sidewalk Strategies: Seven Winning Steps for Candidates, Causes and Communities
www.bookpros.com, Book, $16.95
Author Larry Tramutola shares strategies for educational leaders in winning elections and campaigns and in making a difference in their communities.
Tramutola, who is responsible for 34 percent of the bonds passed by California voters since 1988, breaks down the practical lessons he learned working alongside union leader Cesar Chavez, consulting for Bill Clinton in his first Presidential election and from other leaders. Each of the seven sections explains one strategy and has three or four chapters with titles such as, "Why do you want to win?," "Learn by keeping your mouth shut," and "Finding and keeping a good staff."