The Latest in Hardware, Software, Books & Materials, Facilities and the Internet
Notebook PC 3000
www.hp.com, Hardware, $1,799
Sometimes you need the power of a desktop but being chained to the desk just won't do. With the Compaq Presario 3000, a 16-inch monitor offers the same viewable area as a 17-inch desktop monitor-which you'll need if you're using multimedia while on the road.
The notebook features up to a 2.4 gigahertz Intel Pentium 4 processor and M650 4X AGP graphics controller with 32 MB or 64 MB of shared video memory. An IEEE-1394 digital video port and four USB 2.0 ports are included. The notebook's weight is slightly more than eight pounds.
George Warren, director of K-12 for the HP public sector organization, says that this is the kind of notebook districts might want to recommend to parents if their children often dial into the school infrastructure, such as to get homework. Administrators or teachers taking online courses with video streaming may also benefit from this model.
The newest HP notebook suitable for a lab environment where powerful graphics technology is needed is the Compaq Evo Mobile Workstation N800w, which costs $3,899 and up. The notebook is ideal for classes in computer-aided design, digital content creation and geographic information systems.
Also new from HP is the Education Enterprise solution, which incorporates a learning portal providing access to content, learning management and communication tools. Based on the Microsoft Windows 2000 server platform, it was designed for interoperability between systems where districts and state departments of education want to create a unified data model to share student information.
www.scantron.com, Software, $1,900 and up
A new version of this tool for testing, analyzing and reporting results has been released. The software offers a single process to set up courses, score tests, review results across schools within the district and generate multiple reports.
The system includes three components: ParTEST allows teachers to create tests aligned to specific curriculum objectives; ParTEST Online lets users take tests on a network or on the Internet; and ParSCORE lets educators develop and manage student records, test information, analyze test outcomes and report scores.
Administrators can manage district-wide assessment with Quick Builder, which allows users to set up and administer courses for large numbers of students. The software's Democratic Data field helps users comply with the reporting required by No Child Left Behind. Data can be sorted and reported based on gender, socio-economic status, English as a Second Language and ethnicity, for example.
ParSYSTEM 6.0 is fully integrated with Scantron's Classroom Wizard assessment product, which has two new attendance tracking modules. Instructor Attendance allows teachers to mark attendance on a handheld and then sync the information with attendance records in the Web application. Student Attendance allows students to sign in via their handhelds, streamlining the attendance-taking process.
ParSYSTEM pricing depends on scope of purchase, from a single school workstation to a district-wide, unlimited user network.
www.ael.org, Book, $50
This second volume of the annual journal about emerging technologies in education features research and perspectives from an array of education and technology experts.
Among the topics explored are: biometric technology in schools; the invention of an American Sign Language finger-speller translator; the use of handheld computers to support diagnostic instruction; and the effects of multimedia games on reading disorders in children with ADHD and dyslexia. Article authors include Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Apple Distinguished Educator Janet Copenhaven, who discuss issues related to using the Internet and biometrics in schools.
Brigance Screens Online Scoring Service
www.brigance.com, Internet, Starting at $10/student per class of 20 students; volume discounts available
This Web-based service lets educators run customized developmental and early academic skills reports on students from preschool through first grade. The service includes free online training and contains point-and-click data sheets that compute chronological ages and scores of students being assessed.
Users input data, and the system generates or updates reports detailing at-risk cutoff scores, growth indicators, age equivalents and evidence-based standardized scores. It also gives districts secure data management capabilities to sort program-wide data based on demographics or to generate custom reports for district- or program-wide analysis.
Collaborating to Meet Standards: Teacher/Librarian Partnerships for 7-12
www.linworth.com, Book, $39.95
School librarians and educators can use this book to learn collaborative planning to meet standards. This 224-page book, which joins the same title formerly published for K-6, provides a history of collaboration and cooperation in school libraries, as well as a template for use in planning collaborative units. Written by library media specialist Toni Buzzeo, the book also features 17 standards-based units to help students master content and information literacy skills.
www.corel.com, Internet, $59-$499 per student
This Web-based instruction system offers online training for students and staff in products from Corel and other vendors. The service is supported by the Corel Training Services team and can be customized to the needs of a school or district. It offers training in products including CorelDRAW 11 and Procreate Painter 7, as well as media and Web workflow software. Each course is project-based, allowing students to learn by doing.
www.adhaero.com, Software, $245 (more than 100 users)-$299 (less than 10 users)
This Windows-based system encrypts and controls the use of Microsoft Office documents and e-mails. The software assigns digital access rights to documents during their creation, eliminating the need to reformat or save documents into third-party applications prior to distribution.
Security is attached to the document rather than a hard disk or server. Users can prevent documents from being cut, copied, pasted, forwarded or printed without permission.
Macromedia K-12 Staff Development Guide
www.macromedia.com, Book, $399
This new curriculum guide is designed to provide educators with basic Web design workshops using Macromedia tools. The trainer materials for each workshop include lesson plans and printed preview versions of presentations.
The guide includes four one-day workshops. Topics include building Web graphics, electronic portfolios, interactive animation and consistency in Web sites. Each workshop features lessons in specific Web tools in the context of cross-curricular classroom projects.
Another new Macromedia curriculum guide is Digital Design: Foundations of Web Design, which teaches the full process of professional Web design and development. The guide includes teacher activity plans, introductory presentations, student concept guides, technical "how-to" guides, assessment guidelines and standards correlations. Available online for $304, the curriculum was designed for a year-long course.
The company also has a new release on the software side. Macromedia Contribute, a desktop application that enables users to update, add and publish Web content to existing Web sites, doesn't require technical skills beyond basic word processing. Education site licenses start at $999, and single copy introductory pricing is $79.
Curriculum Mobile Labs
www.apple.com, Hardware, $12,499-$23,499
Five Curriculum Mobile Labs are available from Apple in K-12 reading, math and science. Each mobile lab features the iBook Mobile Wireless Lab, which includes curriculum programs and wireless networked iBooks running Mac OS X to meet standards.
Available are: Early Literacy Curriculum Mobile Lab (Pre-K); Language Curriculum Mobile Lab (K-Adult); Math Curriculum Mobile Lab (K-6 and 6-12); and Science Curriculum Mobile Lab
(6-12). The labs include curriculum s
oftware from Riverdeep, Fairfield Language Technologies, Future's Channel, Vernier, Bodelin and Wolfram Research.
www.linkonlearning.com, Internet, $20,000 (typical district set-up fee), plus license costs ($5-$20 per student/month)
This Web-based system can be used as an additional teaching aid or implemented in computer labs as a supplemental resource. It allows pre-K-8 students to access more than 10,000 lessons designed to appeal to auditory, visual and tactile learners. Lessons are available at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. Teachers can create lessons and directly input them into the program.
The system also provides report cards, a personalized classroom for each student, a recess and library area and an online chat for students and teachers.