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Disney Educational Productions


Disneynature Series, Nature films


Books and Materials, $49.95 each


 

WindStreet Energy

Green Card Series, Fund-raising program

Books & Materials, $25-$29 for each card

An increasing number of K12 districts are beginning to install digital signs—for displaying announcements, weather conditions, welcome messages, event information and more—in their lobbies, hallways, libraries or cafeterias. Digital signage can also play an important role as part of an emergency notification system, as administrators can immediately display crisis response information on every connected monitor throughout a school building or district.


It’s been a busy time for new education technology, with not only many new releases at two large conferences—InfoComm and NECC, both in June—but also updated or entirely new products announced in anticipation of district purchasing decisions for the new school year. But the past few months have also been unique because of the federal funds available to schools from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Notification systems—which use the Internet to enable school administrators to make and send thousands of automated phone calls, text messages and e-mails in minutes—are expanding in popularity in school districts across the country.

Luidia

eBeam Edge

Interactive Whiteboard System

Hardware, $899.95

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 14.2 million computers were in schools across the country in 2005-2006, a ratio of one for every four students and more than 20 times the number in schools in 1984-1985. Along with the tremendous opportunities for student learning afforded by this trend comes the risk of distraction and inappropriate use of computers and the Internet by students. Classroom management software was developed to address these concerns and to help teachers maximize the instructive capabilities of classroom computers.

Dozens of notification systems are on the market. Here are some of the fully hosted online services designed specifically for K12 education.

AlertNow

www.alertnow.com

The development of the first personal computer in 1971 began a process that has led to a computer reduced in size, weight and cost, which makes it increasingly popular in education—the netbook. Initially caught flat-footed by the concept, major manufacturers are scrambling to produce their own models, sometimes working with district leaders to test them.







 

TEXAS INSTRUMENTS


Algebra Nspired, Geometry Nspired Math Resources


Internet, Free


Even with stimulus dollars flowing nationwide, districts are still facing large budget deficits and are looking for ways to save money. Some are investigating free and open source software (FOSS ) as a result.

FOSS applications are the work of communities of developers, usually volunteers, who keep the source code open and allow the software to be distributed for free. Any user can customize it, add to it, and fix its bugs. Although FOSS has been around for decades and used in many industries, school districts have generally been slow to embrace it.

 

INTEGO

VirusBarrier X5 v.10.5.7

Mac Virus Protection, Software, $69.95

While some districts have been making use of surveillance cameras for years, today's camera technology is less expensive and easier to maintain and operate. These factors, combined with concerns about violence, vandalism, theft and other security issues, have led to a rise in the use of school surveillance. Early privacy concerns about the use of cameras in schools, while not having completely vanished, are beginning to recede, as the average American has begun to accept that surveillance cameras are in use in most public places, from the gas station to the grocery store to the highway.

Destiny

?Follett Software

Follett offers several products in its Destiny software suite, including asset, media, library and textbook managers. Destiny Asset Manager is designed to track inventory and audits, as well as the condition of everything from furniture to computers, projectors and laptops. Destiny is also available as a hosted version, which does not require on-site servers or maintenance. www.follettsoftware.com

GlobalViewer Enterprise

? Extron

 

APPLE

iWork ’09 and iLife ’09 Office and Multimedia Suites,

Software, $79 each

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