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Satellite Pro Series, Laptop Computers, Hardware, $699-$1,149

Toshiba recently added five new series to this line of Essentials laptops. The Satellite Pro series' screen sizes range from 13.3 inches to 17 inches. All include a DVD SuperMulti drive, TruBrite widescreen display and 1.3 megapixel Webcam with built-in microphone. Users have a wide variety of connectivity options that include wireless LAN, fast Ethernet, modem and ExpressCard slot. Other features include ConfigFree technology, which helps to connect to the most popular types of wired and wireless networks, and embedded support for Computrace in the BIOS firmware.


Schoolwires Synergy, Secure Storage and Monitoring, Internet, Pricing dependent upon district needs

Schoolwires Synergy provides schools with Web-based, secure access to a central repository for safely storing, organizing and sharing digital content. It also enhances teacher collaboration with secure sharing of grade-level or subjectspecific instructional strategies, while offering the ability to read curricula and comments and to establish project areas. Since Expedient monitors the environment 24/7, administrators, teachers, students and others can share files securely anytime from anywhere.



Q7 Presenter, Tablet Presentation Device, Hardware, $429

Qwizdom's new Q7 tablet presenter allows teachers to wirelessly draw, annotate, control computer applications, interact with screen objects, and move around the classroom at the same time. The Q7 can view notes and get private feedback on its LCD screen. The device measures 7.7 in. x 10.6 in. x 1 in., and it weighs less than 1.5 pounds. It has 4,000 lines of resolution, based on 802.15.4 Radio Frequency Standard (2.4 GhZ). It uses a small USB receiver that can be stored in the tablet when not in use. Additionally, the Q7's rechargeable presenter's pen has right and left mouse click options.



2133 Mini-Note PC, Mini Notebook Computer, Hardware, $499

HP's Mini-Note computer, weighing less than three pounds, includes a suite of wireless, multimedia and security capabilities. Housed in a sturdy, anodized aluminum shell, the keyboard is covered with a clear coating that protects the fi nish and the printed letters and characters. It also comes with Wi-Fi-certified WLAN, a 3D DriveGuard, which sends a signal to shut down the hard drive upon sudden movement or shock by using a three-axis digital accelerometer chip, a 8.9-inch diagonal WXGA display, full keyboard and touchpad. Technologies such as Bluetooth and Absolute Software's Computrace are optional.



Thunder Express, Education Collaboration, Software, Pricing dependent upon district needs

Thunder Express collaboration software enables educators to collaborate anywhere, at any time, and to develop ideas, communicate concepts and exchange real-time information. It's designed to be used with Thunder Pro, which uses a multiscreen projected display system and data from any source, such as computer files or video images, to display virtual flipchart pages on the wall of any room. The information can be edited in real time or by remote participants connected from any computer. Data from the session is captured and stored for ongoing development or distributed automatically by e-mail.



Tuff Cam, Student Digital Camera, Hardware, $188

The Tuff Cam is a sturdy 3-megapixel digital movie/still camera designed to be child-friendly. Features include 64MB of internal memory that can be expanded via the SD card slot, built-in flash and self-timer, a high-quality 1.5-inch TFT screen, audio and video recording and playback, a simple trigger for taking pictures, and a docking station for simple PC connection and tripod mount. Students can also download files to either PC or Mac computers.


Learning Impulse, Primary Education Web Site, Internet, Free

The Learning Impulse Web site is designed to help primary school educators reinforce lessons and information taught in the classroom. Teachers can create tests and quizzes disguised as interactive games and can also view reports of students' scores and track student progress. Likewise, students can also set up their own user accounts and check their scores on the games they played. Since the program is easily accessible to teachers with an Internet classroom connection, it can be integrated either into lesson plans or homework. No programming knowledge is required.



USB 2.0 DVR Guardian, Portable Security System, Hardware, $99.99

The DVR Guardian portable system turns any notebook computer into an advanced surveillance system. It plugs directly into any computer's USB port. The DVR supports up to four channels so users can choose to display and record live video--from one to four cameras--at a specified time, set up for motion detection, or auto e-mail a notification to the user's e-mail account upon motion activation. The entire system can be viewed and controlled remotely via the Internet.



PassagePoint EDU, Security ID System, Software, $1,685

With PassagePoint EDU, school personnel can log in, track and badge school visitors, pre-register as well as scan business cards, drivers' licenses, passports or other forms of ID for easy data entry. For added security, sex offender watch lists can be imported for instant notification and entry denial, or connections can be created in real time to national and local sex offender lists with photos to help take preventive security measures. Other features include customized entry screens and reports, such as the total number or types of monthly visitors.



Campus Secure, Personal Alarm Locator, Hardware, $50 per user

With Campus Secure, each student receives a small key fob with a panic button or personal alarm locator (PAL). When the button is pressed, a uniquely coded signal is transmitted through strategically placed receivers linked to a central computer in a security or campus police office. Security then knows the location of the PAL's owner and can immediately dispatch help. The device is small enough to fit on a key ring. The system also activates a blue warning light system throughout campus, alerting all students that an emergency situation has been reported.


Remark Web Survey 4, Online Survey and Forms Solution, Software, $250/Standard Version, $995/Professional Version

Remark Web Survey 4 is based on the framework of previous versions, and users can now design and publish online forms with multiple columns of questions, headers and footers. Other new features include an e-mail center for sending survey invitations, and reminders to better track respondents and answer piping to show data entered by the respondent to help expedite completion of future questions and labels. It also offers the ability to provide additional information with popup information pages, control the number of respondents with respondent capping, and randomize answer choices and view live respondent statistics online with Remark Live Stats.



PicoCricket, Inventor's Kit, Hardware, $250

This PicoCricket kit is designed to help elementary school students make artistic creations with lights, sound, music and motion. Students can plug in lights, motors, sensors and other devices, and then program them to react, interact and communicate. Students can create their own musical sculptures, interactive jewelry, dancing creatures and other playful inventions. For example, they can make a cat and program it to purr when someone pets it. But the real benefit is that the kit provides students with new ways to express themselves creatively while learning important science and engineering ideas.


Rate Your Favorite Products!

Now that DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION has named the Readers' Choice Top 100 K12 Products of 2007-08, we're preparing for our next winners. Use our star rating system to select your favorites from our products database. Visit or contact our products editor, Kurt Dyrli, at



AMC Anywhere, Mathematics Curriculum Assessment, Software, $200-$400 per classroom implementation

AMC Anywhere is based on Assessing Math Concepts, a series of nine books that provide a formative math assessment for students in grades K-3. It adapts the series to a Palm handheld device, allowing teachers the fl exibility to assess students anywhere and capture powerful results. The results automatically summarize, which helps teachers target student instruction, and offers onscreen prompts in both English and Spanish, ensuring that teachers accurately refl ect students' understanding.



Datacove OS 4.0, E-mail and Storage Solution, Software, Starts at $4,000/Datacove 320, $1,995/IM80, and $995 for annual license updates

Designed for e-mail archiving, this latest version of Datacove offers search and retrieval of both e-mail and IM, redundant disk and tape archiving, a fully searchable database with intuitive Web-based menus and automatic archival to WORM media for cost-effective, long-term data archival. Other features include an upgraded database for faster searches with lower server loads, LDAP Active Directory authentication with single sign-on and a wizard for easy setup, and new permissions system with tree-structure for user-selectability, granularity and duplication, which minimizes the amount of space used for storage attachments.



Link Balancers, Internet Administration, Internet, Pricing starts at $2,495

Link Balancers enable schools to add more Internet links as needed. Internet administrators can choose from any type of links, ensuring that bandwidth for critical applications is allocated to preferred links. Up to half of a user's bandwidth can be allocated for voice traffic on the first link, and up to 70 percent can be reserved for Web surfi ng on the second link. It can also be used to reduce the use of less desirable traffic, such as peer-to-peer traffic.



LifeSkills Training/Interactive Drug Prevention, Social Skills and Drug Resistance, Software, $49.95 per computer

The LifeSkills interactive software program targeted to third- and fourth-grade students teaches critical self-management skills, general social skills and drug resistant skills in the context of everyday experiences familiar to elementary school children. Each unit is broken into sections that introduce skills, provide interactive activities, and then summarizes critical aspects of the lesson. In addition to the classroom, the program can be used after school or at home.



Radi-X, Lighting Solution, Hardware, Pricing dependent upon district needs

The Radi-X lighting solution, designed with classrooms in mind, combines a traditional steel fixture body with an exclusive new baffle material called the LiteCycle resin, which consists of 50 percent recycled content that can be completely recycled when removed from the building. The fixtures come available with features that permit energy savings and design flexibility. The two or three lamp option allows for A/V mode, while an integrated daylight harvesting system helps meet CHPS and LEED program standards and energy codes required by some schools. It's also Cradle to Cradle Silver certified.


Learning Bridges, Web-Based Professional Development, Internet, Pricing dependent upon district needs

After five years of research and development, significant changes have been made to the Learning Bridges online professional development program. It now consists of a Web-based suite of tools designed to improve the quality of teaching and instruction. They include a teaching practices guide, synthesis system, strategy assessment, teacher basic skills assessment system, parent activities, and professional development system. The program is aligned to states' language arts and math standards and assessments for grades K-12.



Early Simple Machines Set III, Science Kit, Books and Materials, $99.95

While working in teams of two or three with Early Simple Machines Set 111, elementary students can explore energy, buoyancy and balance by manipulating simple models of seesaws, rolling vehicles, spinning tops and rafts. They end up discovering wheels, axles, pulleys, levers and gears. The kit comes with a set of color activity cards with pictorial instructions for eight different models, a plastic punch-out sheet with eyes, sails, scales and wings, and a plastic bin for easy cleanup and storage.



SNC-DM110/SNC-CM120/SNC-DM160, Megapixel Security Cameras, Hardware, Starting at $995

Released in May, each of Sony's new megapixel cameras feature advanced complementary color progressive scan CCDs with ExwavePRO technology. This color filter technology provides increased levels of light sensitivity needed to achieve optimal performance from fixedtype megapixel systems. Features include Light Funnel technology, which combines image data gathered from multiple horizontally and vertically aligned pixels to provide extremely bright images even when monitoring moving objects. The DM110 ($995) includes a normal minidome, a 2.8-9.5mm, 3.4x varifocal auto iris lens and more. The CM120 comes with a mount day/night mini-dome, and the DM160 ($1,295) includes a rugged day/night mini-dome.



Mathematica Player Pro, Mathematics Software, System, $195

Mathematica Player Pro is the professional platform for running Wolfram's interactive Mathematica applications and documents. Used either as a personal tool or as a high-level engine built in by application developers, it provides the power of Mathematica for a fraction of the cost. Although a single runtime, it supports the functionality of Mathematica, giving users easy and cost-effective access to Mathematica applications. It can also be bundled to make a stand-alone application or to deliver tools to existing users.



Compass KidZ Medallions, Cultural Literacy, Books and Materials, $65-$199

Kidz Medallions are collectible incentives for students using the Compass Kidz Treazure Quest Web site. The medallions encouragestudents to explore world cultures and learn more about famous landmarks. They support state and national standards for secondto sixth-grade geography, economic and cultural literacy. Each classroom set includes an assortment of passports, which introduce countries through a child's eyes, and medallion/FactZ cards that include interesting facts about five countries and cultures-Egypt, Italy, Mexico, India and China. The set can be easily integrated into social studies, history, geography, writing and research projects.


Math and Science CAVS (Content Academic Vocabulary Systems), Math and Science Curriculum Materials, Books and Materials, $1,699 for entire K5 science or math systems

Math and Science CAVS materials are focused on the needs of struggling students. They deliver standards-based, hands-on interactive lessons designed to help K5 students learn essential math and science concepts and terms. Teachers help students make connections to the things they know using support materials ranging from concept posters to vocabulary cards. Also offered are illustrated flip books and reader cards, as well as reinforcement tools and interactive materials to review, reinforce and assess vocabulary and concept knowledge.



IP7 Series, Intercom Solution, Hardware, Pricing varies

The IP7 series of intercoms is designed to operate with TalkMasterT. This new line includes five new productsoffering basic intercom functionality to high-powered IP audio amplifiers. They deliver voice-quality audio over wired, wireless and fiber in local area or wide area networks and can convert analog call stations and speakers into IP-based, two-way communicating devices. Other features include a DIN rail mount and an onboard relay and sensor for access control and management, which are Power-over-Ethernet enabled. With this technology, schools can immediately issue campuswide voice messages by classrooms, groups of rooms, by building or across the entire campus.

Rate your favorite new products at Kurt O. Dyrli is products editor ( Carol Patton is a contributing editor.

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