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


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.

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.



Algebra Nspired, Geometry Nspired Math Resources

Internet, Free



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.


?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.

GlobalViewer Enterprise

? Extron



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

Software, $79 each

Edugaming is in the midst of a resurgence. After the initial successes of the 1970s and 1980s, intense competition from console game systems from companies such as Nintendo, Sega and later Sony severely cut into demand for PC-based educational games, which often paled in comparison. As a result, many edugame companies were quickly outpaced and outspent and were either sold, downsized or forced out of business.


Tapping into technology for foreign language learning is important, given that such learning is increasingly being seen as vital to the nation’s economic and cultural well-being.



VideoStudio Pro X2

Video Editing Program, Software, $99

Student Video Cameras



Got It!

Student Response System, Hardware, $1,350/set of 24, $1,785/set of 40

When the first analog document cameras were invented in the late 1970,s, they provided an easier way to display documents to a class by using a television screen or video projector instead of overhead projectors and transparency sheets. Today’s digital document cameras are so versatile they are often referred to more accurately as “visual presenters,” because their high-resolution, high-magnification zoom digital cameras, internal memory, full-motion video capture, network connectivity and other features enable much more than documents to be part of a presentation.