Hardware, Software and The Internet
WEB DESIGN Like The Pros
www.macromedia.com Software, $199/single user, $2,000- $3,000/site license
Educators are discovering that integrating multimedia and Internet development tools into the curriculum can help students hone communication, problem-solving and collaboration skills, says Pat Brogan, vice president of education and learning at Macromedia. The Macromedia Studio MX kit includes everything educators need to help students create a full spectrum of Internet solutions, from Web sites to Web applications and Rich Internet Applications.
Included in the Studio MX package are:
Dreamweaver MX, which allows users to produce and manage Web sites seamlessly
Macromedia Flash MX, to give sites animation, interactivity and sound (includes Macromedia HomeSite+)
Fireworks MX, to create, edit and optimize graphics
FreeHand 10, to design and illustrate Web site concepts
ColdFusion MX Server Developer Edition, which allows Windows users to build rich Internet applications that integrate with databases, XML, Macromedia Flash and more.
Site licenses include a sample curriculum to help teachers start teaching Web design courses or integrate Web projects into academic courses, as well as teacher training through online courses at Macromedia University (www.macromedia.com/university, $99 per person per year). Free online training on how to build a Web site is available at www.trainingcafe.com.
"The K-12 site license solution gives schools the opportunity to use Studio MX products beyond classes primarily involved in Internet development," Brogan says.
Purchases made before the end of October offer educators access to a variety of resources and special discounts from the Macromedia Back-to-School Resource Center. These include: a Macromedia training package; free Dreamweaver MX templates to help design a resume, yearbook, school Web site and more; choosing one of six audio books free from Audible.com; and career resources for students. CIRCLE #525 FOR INFORMATION
WORKSTATION IN A POCKET
Vartek, www.vartek.com, Hardware, $702 and $1,012
New from the Ultra-Small Workstation product line are Pocket PC and Book PC, both of which allow for more workspace for students, teachers or administrators. The devices require less electricity and space than normal PCs and include free drive imaging.
The Pocket PC is 150 mm x 106mm x 32 mm and comes with a carrying case. With an Intel Celeron 700 MHz processor, 256 megabytes of memory and a 10 gigabyte hard drive, all it needs is a monitor and a keyboard to be ready to use.
The somewhat larger "Book PC" has more power and capability. This unit has USB ports, a built-in CD-ROM and a modem. Book PCs come in 800 or 1000 MHz Intel Pentium III models and 10 to 20 gigabyte hard drives. CIRCLE #526 FOR INFORMATION
PALM IN A LAPTOP
AlphaSmart Inc., www.alphasmart.com, Hardware, $399 (bulk pricing available)
Dana is a laptop alternative device created to combine the affordability of a handheld with the ergonomic benefits of a notebook computer. It includes a full-size keyboard and a screen 3.5 times wider than the typical handheld screen. Users can type on the keyboard or write with the Dana stylus directly onto the screen. It features Palm OS 4.1, and all Palm applications are compatible with Dana.
The device can print directly to a USB or IrDA-enabled printer. A MultiMediaCard or SD (Secure Digital) card can fit on Dana's two expansion slots. File exchange between many popular PC applications, such as Microsoft Word and Excel, is also possible. The unit, which weighs two pounds, is approximately 12 inches wide, nine inches deep and one inch high. Dana comes with eight megabytes of memory and a CD-ROM with Palm software optimized for Dana's wide screen. CIRCLE #527 FOR INFORMATION
Cablevision, www.powertolearn.com, Internet, Free (charge for customized content)
The Powertolearn Web site has lesson plans, news, articles and expert chat