www.polycom.com, Hardware, $599 and up
This triangular-shaped conference phone offers twice the volume capability and 50 percent better microphone sensitivity than its predecessor. People can talk in a normal voice up to 10 feet away and still be heard clearly. Features include a backlit LCD display to access important call information, such as number called and duration or progress of call, up to seven different languages on the display for international customers, international caller-ID, a 25-entry address book for speed dialing, a cell phone connector, conferencing and mute and hold buttons.
www.apple.com, Hardware, $499-$599
Just two inches tall and weighing 2.9 pounds, the Mac mini desktop computer has either a 1.25 GHz or 1.42 GHz PowerPC G4 processor and ATI Radeon 9200 graphics with 32MB of dedicated DDR memory. Both models come with a slot-load Combo drive for watching DVD movies and burning CDs, and up to an 80GB hard drive for storing digital media creations. A display, keyboard and mouse can be plugged into the Mac mini, which has a built-in 10/100BASE-T Ethernet and a 56K V.92 modem for Internet access.
Mac OS X version 10.3 "Panther" is pre-installed. The computer also features iLife '05, an upgrade to Apple's suite of digital lifestyle applications; it contains major new versions of iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand, as well as the latest version of iTunes.
Environmental Media Corp.
Journey of the Loggerhead
www.envmedia.com, DVD, Multi-site education use $89.95
The plight of sea turtles is a global issue that impacts the environment and our quality of life, yet despite conservation efforts sea turtle populations are declining. Filmed in collaboration with marine turtle researchers and scientists, this interactive DVD covers marine turtle life cycles, worldwide terrestrial and underwater footage, long-distance migrations, threats, research, international conversation efforts, rehabilitation facilities and practices and volunteer programs. It features a 30-minute documentary, plus footage of sea turtles nesting in 1947, a Q&A with marine turtle scientists, a teacher's guide, curriculum correlations, a still image library, Web site links, maps, interview transcripts and more.
Doing Good Science in Middle Schools: A Practical Guide to Inquiry-Based Instruction
www.nsta.org, Book, $24.95
This book combines insights about adolescent learners with what master teachers know about how to shift from passive, textbook-centered instruction to inquiry-based investigations. Designed to be a comprehensive practitioner's guide, the book has ideas for presenting curriculum, strategies for reaching all students and a research basic for justifying classroom practices. Ten "must-do" activities are at the book's core.
NSTA has also recently published Stepping Up to Science and Math: Exploring the Natural Connections ($19.95), a collection of 21 articles compiled from the science teacher organization's elementary school member journal. The articles provide interdisciplinary options for linking inquiry-based activities to mathematics and other K-6 curriculum areas.
Drive Genius for Mac OS X
www.prosofteng.com, Software, $99
Designed as a storage management utility that helps users take control of their hard drive, this software includes: a drive optimizer; a comprehensive repair facility for analyzing, repairing and building volumes; and testing capabilities with media surface scanning, performance benchmarking and data integrity checking. It can be used to initialize drives, create and delete partitions and securely erase them. Other tools can resize and move volumes without reformatting and modify data on any sector of the drive.
Help Me 2 Learn Company
Phonics 3b-Advanced Level II: Sports Edition
www.helpme2learn.com, Software, $32.95 and up/student
This software, which is PC and Mac compatible, primarily targets students in grades 3-8 who need help developing their reading and comprehension skills. Featuring a sports theme, its educational content includes grammar 1, which focuses on nouns, pronouns, verbs and adjectives, and grammar 2, which addresses subject-verb agreement, verb tense, literature, writing, punctuation, capitalization, spelling strategies, reading comprehension strategies and more. Animated graphics and sound effects support its interactive lessons.
AR Summer Reading Program
www.renlearn.com, Software, $20 per student
The Accelerated Reader program is now available to some students during the summer. Students can access the entire AR Renaissance Place subscription package, including the 80,000-plus item quiz library. The program will be available at several locations (call 800-656-6895) and students from area schools can participate.
Science Curriculum Topic Study
www.corwinpress.com, Book, Paperback $39.95, Library edition $79.95
This book aims to provide a systematic professional development strategy that links science standards and research to curriculum, instruction and assessment. The National Science Foundation-funded Curriculum Topic Study process can help educators: improve their understanding of science content; clarify a hierarchy of content and skills in a learning goal from science standards; define formative and summative assessment goals and strategies; and learn to recognize and address learning difficulties.
Facts on File
The New Biology
www.factsonfile.com, Books, List price $210/set
The ability to clone an animal or genetically engineer a plant opens up new areas of biology and raises ethical questions and environmental concerns. This six-volume resource aims to answer questions that middle and high school students have about these topics and provide a clear view of the current field and what's to come. The pre-requisite volume covers the cell; the other titles are on animal cloning, gene therapy, stem cell research, cancer and aging.
National Film Board of Canada
Aniland, Climate Change
www.nfb.ca, Videos, $399, $159
The five-part video series Aniland captures more than 450 examples of laws, customs and behavior patterns observed in animal communities. Designed to offer students in grades 4-8 an entertaining inventory of animals in their natural environment, the series shows that animals often act similarly to humans. Each video in the series is also available separately for $89.
Climate Change covers the impact of global warming on the environment. Using animations and young actors, the video shows students in grades 4-6 how to responsibly protect the environment through energy saving methods such as choosing alternative travel and reducing power and water consumption.
Horizon DataSys Corp.
Exe Vaccine 3.04
www.exevaccine.com, Software, Free
This real-time executable filter helps address the root causes of identity theft and student productivity. Its monolithic kernel mode driver stops users from installing any untrusted executable files. This release includes a smart system scanner that automatically detects all current executable files on a system and places them in an allowed list while ensuring that the folder and file can't be overwritten by newer executable files. An administrative password allows access to the control panel applet so that users can't see the files and folders that are allowed or denied.
Waves in Motion
www.wmotion.com, Software, $399
This cross platform solution was designed to help users document, troubleshoot and debug their Filemaker 7.0 solutions. It allows them to search for objects, hot-link to them and compare one version of a database against another--identifying any changes as minor as a single-pixel level of accuracy. Users can determine the level of information analysis they require by choosing between detail or summary reports and add a solution or analysis note to any element. They can also trace a script and view script trace reports in two ways--exploded or condensed format.
Westchester Holocaust Education Center
Testimony of the Human Spirit
www.holocausteducationctr.org, DVD, Educator set $99.95
This 117-minute, four-part documentary film was designed for grades 8 and up. It traces the history of the Holocaust through the eyes of six men and women who were children in Europe during the Third Reich. The personal accounts are used to provide a historically accurate overview of the Holocaust, complete with details about the political and social events surrounding their experiences. A teacher's guide is included.
Freedom Scientific, Learning Systems Group
www.freedomscientific.com/lsg, Software, Student 5-pack $249
In addition to English, this software is now available with French and Spanish language capabilities. It was designed to help students have more success with test taking, worksheet completion and studying. The software includes a computerized version of a test, worksheet or form that can talk. It uses the same bimodal approach featured in WYNN, the company's flagship product--simultaneously highlighting words as they are spoken aloud. TestTalker also has a teacher edition that scans pre-printed tests and allows teachers to configure them so students can take tests electronically.
NeoPath File Director
www.neopathnetworks.com, Hardware, $29,995/single unit
This appliance integrates all network file storage to provide global file access, centralized management and transparent auto-migration of live file data. It enables school systems and other organizations to virtualize all file servers and NAS devices in the enterprise by decoupling the physical location of a file from the file's name and path as seen by the application or user. Users no longer need to know which file server holds their data. IT administrators can also consolidate and increase utilization of existing storage and scale performance and capacity on demand.
Pearson Digital Learning
Waterford Early Math & Science, Level Two and Three
www.pearsondigital.com, Software, $210 and up per student/year (volume discounts available)
Designed to foster hands-on exploration and inquiry-based learning and provide a solid foundation in basic math skills, science content and creative problem solving, this adaptive computer-based instruction program has been expanded. Students who complete Level One, for preschool and kindergarten, can now continue to Level Two for first grade and Level Three for second grade. The software adapts to each student's learning pace, providing a full year of daily instructional activities, as well as take-home books, videotapes, CDs and audiocassettes to extend the learning process.
The math portion provides instruction, practice, application, extension activities and review to help students achieve competency in both number skills and abstract thinking before moving to higher math objectives.
Science lessons, based on the idea that all students can be scientists, combine music, art, stories and interactive experiments with virtual science tools.
Pricing includes hardware, service and support.
Horizon Wimba Connector
www.questionmark.com, Software, $1,498
This testing and assessment software has integrated vocal collaboration tools from Horizon Wimba, a provider of vocal solutions for education and online business. Learners can now speak into a microphone and have the computer record their answers to questions. Educators can also author and deliver online questions for people to answer by speaking into a microphone. Spoken responses are stored on the voice server, where they are available for grading.
Also new is the Questionmark Scoring Tool to help individual or multiple graders maintain consistency in marking essays and other open-ended assignments. It enables instructors to annotate and grade essay questions within assessments by using customized rubrics. Up to 12 scoring dimensions are allowed within each rubric, with a place for individual scoring comments for each dimension of the rubric.
www.lightspeedsystems.com, Software, $10,000
Developed specifically for the education market, this software offers multiple levels of security to create a comprehensive E-rate eligible firewall. It detects and prevents intrusions, controls network applications, inventories applications and usage, optionally blocks spyware, instant messaging and peer-to-peer traffic, resolves usernames for policy enforcement and monitors network activity and user activity. It also helps administrators allow or deny traffic according to security policies, thwart denial-of-service attacks and mask internal network structure.
Health for Children
www.schlessinger.com, DVD/Video Series, $29.95 each
This eight-volume series for students in grades K-4 covers the importance of making good choices about health and wellness. Students model real-life scenarios and determine how to respond in healthy and positive ways at home, school and beyond. Each close-captioned program is 23 minutes. DVD features include English and Spanish language tracks, chapter selects and discussion questions and activities. A teacher's guide accompanies each title.
Also new from Schlessinger is the eight-part Eyewitness series for grades 4-9, exploring natural disasters, the rainforest, planets, prehistoric life and other topics.
www.studentsachieve.com, Software, $10,000 and up, based on 3,000 students
This learning management system was created to help K-12 teachers develop a collaborative network for educational success by helping them manage content and resources, improve classroom performance and increase student motivation. Every aspect of the education process, such as lesson planning, task completion, marks tracking, behavior management, attendance, effort and automatic notification of deadlines and events, is accessible through the system. Key features include standards and curriculum alignment, behavior management utilizing a customizable rubric, an intra/inter schoolteacher collaboration wizard and a gradebook mode that automatically creates lesson templates.
StudentsAchieve has different interfaces for teachers/administrators and students/parents, and it can be integrated with a district's existing student information system.
www.google.com/mini, Hardware, $4,995
This search appliance helps small- to medium-sized organizations access and manage their information while using a Google search. The device indexes all content within an organization's Intranet or public Web site so users can search content as they do on Google.com. It searches up to 50,000 documents and across more than 220 file types.
The company has also announced enhancements to its search appliance designed for larger organizations with up to 15 million documents. Features include a unified search across structured and unstructured data and it now enables non-Web accessible content to be pushed into the search appliance with an XML conversion.
Palm OS 5 tutorials
www.atomiclearning.com, Software, Free
Through a partnership with palmOne, Atomic Learning now offers one- to three-minute tutorials covering fundamental uses of Palm OS 5 personal information management applications, such as Calendar, Date Book, Memo Pad, Note Pad and HotSync operation. The initial series of 49 tutorials are free and can be accessed online. Additional tutorials covering advanced topics, such as security options and beaming in Note Pad, are available to subscribers.
Also new to the online library are 20 tutorials for Pinnacle Studio Plus video editing software, also available free of charge.
Discovery Health Connection
www.discoveryed.com, Internet, $995 per school/year
This online library offers health and prevention content for K-12 students. It includes fitness, nutrition, alcohol and drug abuse, violence prevention and physical activity. The service takes traditional health and prevention curriculum kits online so that school-wide distribution and quick access to health topics is available to teachers. Teachers can access everything--the curriculum, teachers' guides, worksheets, videos and extension exercises--online. Programs include integrated literacy lessons to facilitate cross-curricular instruction while improving students' reading comprehension and writing skills.
In addition to content developed by Discovery Education, the service includes curricula from the Comprehensive Health Education Foundation and the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. These programs include a K-12 substance abuse program, a K-12 bullying and teasing prevention program and a nutrition program for pregnant and new mothers.
Discovery Education has also introduced more than 470 new full-length titles and weekly video clips (with related lesson plans and activities) in its Unitedstreaming educational video-on-demand service, and 250 new video, DVD and CD-ROM titles in its Discovery School product line.
Meeting Maker Millennium 8.5
www.meetingmaker.com, Software, $95 and up per user, plus server and maintenance fees
This tool provides collaborative personal and group scheduling capabilities for school districts. Before scheduling meetings with individuals or groups, users can view the available times of their colleagues, and then reserve needed resources. The software's add-on modules for connectivity with Microsoft Outlook helps users collaborate with others and better manage their calendars. Enhanced lightweight directory access protocol integration provides schools with central user authentication capabilities for simplified user account management and security. Other features include the ability for users to access their calendar from almost anywhere by using a standard Web browser, while the Intellisync module provides the capability to synch calendars to a variety of devices, including Blackberrys, Treos, Palms and pocket PCs. This release can run on Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Solaris platforms.
WebEvent View 2.0, a Web-based event calendar management solution designed to help school districts cut costs and increase revenues, is also new. It integrates event calendaring and scheduling into one enterprise-wide system, enabling educators to communicate public event information to external audiences via a Web site. License fees starts at $18,750 for up to 1,000 users.