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Product Focus

Few technologies in the education industry have grown at the pace of video or data projectors. Over the past several years, what was once an expensive luxury has become commonplace in schools as this technology has become increasingly affordable. Today, nearly every major projector manufacturer has a K12 education division, with district level purchases constituting a significant portion of the industry overall.

While school administrators have access to more data than ever before to analyze and monitor the status and progress of their districts, they need sophisticated tools to organize and make sense of it to make the most informed, data-driven decisions. A wealth of information is available, from student test scores to demographic, discipline and immunization reports and a variety of other data.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Among the many effects of the U.S. economic crisis is one that may not immediately come to mind: an increase in computer virus attacks. As economic conditions have worsened, cybercriminals have become increasingly aggressive and have explored new tactics for accessing or damaging information, or simply wreaking havoc. The last three months of 2008 saw a boom in various types of cyberthreats, which include viruses, spam and other forms of disruptive or damaging programs.

Student Video Cameras

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.

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