BARRicade Visitor Management System
www.barrsecurity.com, Basic System, $5,995;
Additional Software Licenses, $205; Self-serving stand-alone kiosk $9,995
A kiosk used for visitor registration, background checking, recordkeeping, reporting, and creating ID badges is the first product offered by Barr Security. The BARRicade Visitor Management System, designed to be a building's gatekeeper, uses biometric fingerprint technology and a driver's license scan to compare visitor information to the U.S. Department of Justice database of convicted sex offenders and the school's list of unwanted visitors before allowing or denying access. In the event of an identified sex offender, administrators are alerted immediately to the potential threat. The search process takes a few seconds, and then a visitor ID badge is printed for allowed visitors in less than 20 seconds. The badge displays the person's name, picture, title, check-in time, and destination, as well as any other categories defined by the institution.
Software, $600/starter pack
Geared for grades 3-8, this Web-based application uses original narrative and non-fiction texts along with a blend of verbal and visual reading strategies that include interactive visualizations, question generation and constructed responses to open-ended questions. Its proprietary online text-assessment algorithm enables teachers to move beyond multiple-choice assessment. Students receive real-time feedback on constructed responses to open-ended questions and are allowed three tries to construct a correct mental model, receiving feedback at each step.
Copy Master II
The 11-drive unit can provide 1-to-11, 1-to-9, 1-to-7, 1-to-5, 1-to-3 and one-to-one duplication and can burn up to 16X on DVD+R and DVD-R formats and CDs up to 48X. Besides duplicating standard 120mm CDs and DVDs, it can also copy several of the business card shaped discs and mini CD/DVD formats. Another model, the 10-drive Data Safe Copy Master II Pro 10-priced at $1,595-features intuitive, stand-alone operation and a front-bay 160 GB hard drive that can be removed and locked away in a secure location. Both models include the fast copy feature, which opens all trays simultaneously.
www.gateway.com, Hardware, $1,199
Gateway's tool-free PC was designed to minimize the need for lengthy support visits. It integrates all the components of a traditional desktop, including a detachable LCD monitor and stereo quality speakers, in a single unit. Optical and floppy drives can be upgraded without using tools, removing the front bezel, or replacing retaining screws. Other features include single-handed hard drive replacement and tool-free access to full height PCI and PCI Express x 16 expansion slots. Based on Intel's 945g chipset, users can also select from a wide choice of optical drives, SATA II-300 hard drives, and IEEE 1394 ports.
Tutorials, $750/600 users
Atomic Learning, an online library offering QuickTime moves about different hardware and software applications, is offering 45, two-minute tutorials on the various features of the interactive whiteboard and its whiteboarding application. Users can learn about many basic functions ranging from how educators can use their finger as a control tool to navigating with the Page Sorter tool. The tutorials can be found at www.atomiclearning.com.
Microsoft Education Products Group
Learning Essentials Web site
www.microsoft.com/learningessentials, Web site, Free access
This new Web site was designed to help students and teachers complete high-quality work with a task-based interface and education-specific tools for Office applications. It offers academic guidance for students and best practices for teachers from leading educational publishers. Features include templates for Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, educator and student centers, project assistance, checklists, tutorials and toolbars.
Follett Software Company
Destiny Asset Manager
Software, Starts at $20,000/district
A district's fixed and portable assets will be easier to track with this software, which uses a browser-based interface and scanner technology. Site-based staff or administrators can search for items anywhere in their school or district and prepare inventories and reports. The technology enables districts to streamline operations and save dollars by reducing lost and stolen inventory and maximize asset use instead of purchasing duplicate assets or multiple software and labeling systems. User can also generate state and county reports critical for compliance with GASB requirements.
www.studycell.com, Online Tool, Free
The Web site allows teachers and students to create electronic flashcard decks on any subject, download them to their phones and share them with students in their classes or study groups. The decks feature both multiple choice quiz and flip card modes that can be downloaded to Web and Java-enabled cell phones. The site also offers pre-made decks that come in a variety of subjects including Spanish, French, Italian, test preparation, citizenship, math and more. Users can return to the Web site at any time to edit or re-download decks for free.
Biology ProScope Kit
The Biology ProScope Kit includes a USB handheld digital microscope, lenses, adapters, and a mounting stand. It allows students to magnify and examine images of small objects on Macintosh or PC computer screens. The accompanying USB Shot software allows for the capture of still images, time-lapse photography, or the creation of QuickTime movies. The company also introduced a portable, fully functioning visible light spectrometer powered by Ocean Optics for physics and chemistry teachers. Priced at $1,199, it connects directly to computers with a standard USB cable and gives precise measurements. Users save time with a one-step calibration of the full spectrum, and the complete visible light spectrum, 380-950 nm, can be collected in a fraction of a second with a resolution of 2 nm. An open curvette holder allows access to the sample during testing. For math teachers, the company now offers Easy Math Deluxe Package, a data collection kit priced at $488 that enables students to study mathematical relationships in real-world phenomena. The package includes EasyLink Interface, CBR 2 motion detector, EasyTemp temperature probe, gas pressure sensor, TI light probe, voltage probe, pH sensor, dual-range force sensor and TI kickstand slide case.
www.elmousa.com, Hardware, $800
A new visual presenter, the TT-02 weighs less than six pounds, has built in auto focus, and one hand adjustment. Made to project documents and small 3-D objects, it has 5.3x optical zoom, 8x digital zoom, a progressive scan feature, and a removable shooting stage which includes magnetic strips to securely hold papers. Additional features allow it to easily interact with a microscope, send images to a TV or VCR, and interact with a computer.
Learn Big IN24, www.infocus.com, Digital Projector, $699
This new projector, which offers 3,000 hours of lamp life, includes a sleeve-bearing color wheel for quieter performance, a 2000:1 contrast ratio, 1700 lumens, the latest digital light processing chip, and is capable of displaying more than 16 million colors. Weighing 5.75 pounds, it features enhanced digital keystone correction, an LED instant feedback display to communicate with end-users and a recessed lens to protect the most delicate component of the technology. Users can connect it to computers, DVD players, satellite receivers and other devices.
Digital Video-Based Service, $1,495-$1,995/annual site license per building
Over 1,000 video programs have been added to the service. Dozens of episodes from Magic School Bus, I Spy, Dear America and Royal Diaries are now included along with the complete MathMystery series, programs from BBC Worldwide and Channel 4 Learning and a Spanish-language instructional series for elementary and middle grades. Other features include Quiz Center, which allows teachers to create their own tests from a database of more than 16,000 questions associated with specific video clips, and Assignment Builder, which enables teachers to insert Web links into their assignments.