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The Latest Offerings In Hardware, Software and The Internet



Vital Indicators of Progress (VIP), Reading Monitoring Tool, Internet, Free with any reading program purchase

Voyager's VIP reading progress monitoring tool is integrated into each of the company's reading programs and is supported by VPORT, an online data management tool that allows educators to access real-time reports on students' academic progress. It received seven out of seven "demonstrates sufficient evidence to meet the basic standard" ratings on nonsense word fluency and phoneme segmentation measures and six out of seven such ratings on two additional measures after a review by the National Center on Student Progress Monitoring.



PowerLite 400W, Projector, Hardware, $1,399 MSRP

The PowerLite 400W projector is the first three-chip (3LCD) short-throw product that offers true WXGA native resolution (1280x800) for future-proof use with widescreen computers and 16:10 interactive hiteboards. Its high-offset, short-throw esign allows ample space for students and audience members, while reducing shadows from presenters. Features include network monitoring and control via RJ-45 wired LAN connectivity, software to check status or control the projector, a short throw distance of 3.4 feet for an 87-inch 16:10 IWB image, as well as 1.35x zoom ratio and +/-15 degree keystone adjustment.


School Guardian 6, Internet Monitoring, Internet, Starting at $900 for 20 computer licenses

School Guardian is designed to provide K12 administrators with more visibility and control over Internet usage. Advances include support for instant messaging applications and real-time traffic logs and graphs for at-a-glance surfi ng surveillance. The filtering can also be fine-tuned based on the time of day, user privileges or policy.To ensure that blocklists are kept current and legally compliant, it offers automatic daily updates from the Internet Watch Foundation and screens the actual content and construction of Web pages in detail, detecting and blocking objectionable material, dangerous hidden content and proxy sites.



The Learning Bridges System, Instructional Database Links, Internet, Pricing dependent upon district needs

The Learning Bridges System's aligned, instructional database links the most effective research-based instructional strategies to the state standards and assessments of 49 states. It offers the most effective language arts and mathematics teaching practices in rank order of their power to impact learning. Teachers choose the icons for language arts or math and the grade level to display their grade level standards. Beside each standard are icons for teaching practices and vocabulary words. Other features include an online strategy assessment, 44 online courses, and online administrative reports for measuring implementation of instruction that impacts student performance.


Kidspiration 3 Reading, Skill Builder, Software, $69/single copy; $310/five computer licenses

Kidspiration 3 helps K5 students build fundamental skills in reading, writing, math, science and social studies. New capabilities include tools for using visual learning to build math skills, a word guide, an expanded searchable symbol library of more than 3,000 symbols, and additional enhancements for vocabulary building. The visual math tools include color tiles to count, compare and explore number properties and operations and to develop computation strategies. Students also use pattern blocks, or moveable, stackable, geometric shapes, to investigate the properties and attributes of shapes through composition and decomposition.



If You Don't Take Care of Your Body, Where Else Are You Going to Live?, Health Video, Software, $29.99/educator version

This video from Trevor Romain offers a fast-paced story line about practical and easy-to-implement tips for children on how to live a healthy lifestyle. It focuses on moderation, building a game plan, and how physical activity and healthy eating affect the body. The two featured characters participate in a day of outdoor activities at a middle school, learning that physical activity and healthy eating habits are not only good for you but can be fun as well.



Flex Builder 2 Internet, Design and Development, Software, Free download for teachers and students

Flex Builder 2 is part of a toolset for designing and developing rich Internet applications (RIAs). Web 2.0 technologies have spurred the development of RIAs that enable data sharing, collaboration, user participation, social networking and more. Flex Builder 2 is an advanced framework for building cross-operating system RIAs for the Web. Schools can use it to improve students' knowledge of RIA development and become better equipped to harness the power of Web 2.0 and RIAs.



39gs, Graphing Calculator, Hardware, $79.99

HP's 39sg graphing calculator features algebraic entry-system logic, plus it offers users the ability to save and share their work wirelessly. They can create and use aplets to assist in learning, improve problem solving with symbolic, numeric and graphic views, and work with their data using interactive history, notes and sketch capabilities. Other features include a built-in library of 29 constants and easy metric unit conversions for math and science, 1.25 MB of total memory, a linear equation solver and triangle solver, 600 built-in functions, and unique clickand- rotate keys.



CallRex Multi-Media 3.7, Call Center Monitor, Software, $99 per seat

This version of CallRex Multi-Media has been optimized for formal and informal call centers. Enhanced features include desktop computer live monitoring and screenshot recording, e-mail support, and tracking of both browser-based applications and Internet activity on Internet Explorer 7.0. It also scales to support thousands of users across multiple locations and runs within the CallRex distributed services software architecture. Managers can monitor live calls and record and play back comprehensive customer interactions from anywhere on the network based on confi gurable permissions and access rights.


Studywiz Spark, Online Learning Environment, Internet, Pricing ranges from $4 to $9 per student per year

The Studywiz Spark learning environment, or "LearnSpace," for K12 students supports parental participation in learning and gives teachers a place to easily manage, personalize and distribute content and curricula. Educators can elevate instruction through educational content collection, organization and interactivity; collaboration and personalized learning; and real-time feedback and assessment. Integrated teacher guides also provide wizard-style guidance through the process of setting up resources. Teachers can set assignments and post due dates on students' calendars, receive, store and track grades in an automated environment, and create threaded discussions on any topic with other users.



Send Word Now (SWN) Alert Service, Emergency Notification System, Internet, Pricing varies

Sonitrol has added Send Word Now (SWN), an emergency notification service, to its Safe Schools portfolio. The system is designed to reach anyone, anywhere, anytime with any device over any type of connection. Individuals select the best ways they can be reached, such as mobile, home or office phones, e-mail, pagers, BlackBerry devices or PDAs. School administrators initiate an alert from the Web or a device such as a phone or BlackBerry and can verify and track whether the alert was received and whether a response was made.



iNSIGHT 30T, Desktop Scanner, Hardware, $1,400-$1,700

The iNSIGHT 30T desktop scanner combines high-speed, full-color document imaging technology with the proven data capture capabilities of grayscale mark recognition. It supports education scanning applications, such as testing, attendance, grading, surveys, student portfolios, personnel records and back office file conversions. It scans at speeds of up to 75 pages per minute and enables users to simultaneously feed a broad range of document sizes and weights through the system. Its automatic bottom feed pick mechanism allows operators to continuously feed documents and collect document batches in the same order they were scanned.


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



Games of Math 3-Multiplication, Software, $32.95/Student Edition

Games of Math 3 offers more controls in the Teachers and Parents and Student Management sections. They include game locks, which allow teachers to open or lock any or all games. Once students complete some of the games, other games will be unlocked as they progress through the program. The system is also designed to help special needs students be more successful and allow a greater level of challenge for the higher-level student by changing the points needed to pass to the next level.



Essentials for Algebra, Intervention Program, Software, Priced from $68 to $90 per student

The Esssentials for Algebra intervention program is now available to help underperforming students in grades 7-12. The highly structured lessons in the yearlong course help students master essential pre-algebra content and prepare for high school exit exams. The program was shaped and revised through field testing, which found that students entering algebra often lack necessary knowledge and skills they should have acquired in earlier grades. These are the skills and knowledge that took the most time to teach, and the deficiencies were the most difficult to remedy and plagued students in later lessons.



8101 MP3 Player and Recorder, Hardware, $148

Califone's MP3 player/recorder offers integrated volume control for safety, dual headphone jacks for multiple listeners and a microphone for podcasting. It is ideal for testing, nurturing language learning and reading skills, ELL and ELD applications, and listening to recorded books and music. It accommodates up to a 2GB SD card. The right-angle plug also resists accidental pullout. Its built-in mic records podcasts and vocal responses and tracks student progress. The LCD screen displays the current track status, track number, total tracks and track time.


CourseCast Lecture-Capture Technology, Software, Free

The CourseCast lecture-capture technology enables educators to capture, edit, index, archive, and stream video and audio over the Internet. It gives students ondemand access to indexed lectures and course material, enabling them to revisit entire lectures or focus on specifi c segments. The company has created the Socrates Project to distribute the technology free of charge to qualifi ed colleges, universities and K12 schools. In exchange, educators will participate in ongoing beta and developer programs designed to enhance the technology.



Control Center Software, Network Video Recorders, Software, Pricing varies

Control Center's software and Network Video Recorders (NVRs) allow users to implement advanced redundancy strategies for CCTV recording. The software enables NVRs to work as failover backups and mirrors for primary NVRs. The backup NVR can continuously record the same video in parallel with the primary NVR (mirroring) or automatically take over recording if the primary NVR fails. The backup NVRs can be located at a different physical location to the primary NVRs. The latest upgrade to Control Center also includes video bookmarks and advanced IRIS control for PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) cameras.


Early Childhood Series, Professional Development, Software, Pricing dependent upon district needs

The Early Childhood professional study programs help teachers boost emerging literacy in preschool students. They offer a blend of face-to-face and online training, facilitated by access to training content and communication, data, reporting and other work management applications within their online program manager. In each program, educators have access to a library of video case studies, publications and research articles. They can also practice modeled approaches, collect data and samples of student work, and learn how to promote children's independent mastery.



Adaptive Curriculum, Online Learning Environment, Internet, Starts at $10 per student

Adaptive Curriculum is designed to enhance learning in math and science for students in grades 4-9, and this system offers a rich library of math and science "Activity Objects" via a flexible online learning environment called MyAdaptiveSpace. There are more than 200 math and science Activity Objects that include student and teacher edition activity sheets, realistic and engaging visuals, and assessments at the end of each activity. MyAdaptiveSpace also provides teachers with additional information about each Activity Object, an indexing tool, and the ability to assign lesson plans via e-mail to a class, group of students or individual student.


Global Education Program, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Software, Training time donated by Battelle, Districts underwrite training fees

Battelle, a global science and technology company, has incorporated this program into its enterprise-wide education initiatives dedicated to advancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. The program offers free licenses of Pro/ENGINEER Schools Edition design software, curriculum and projects to middle and secondary schools upon completion of teacher training and certifi cation. Battelle trained some of its own engineering staff to conduct educational workshops for teachers, established after-school STEM clubs for students and teachers, and created the Battelle Engineering Experience, which offers ongoing teacher training, student mentorship, curriculum development and exposure to industry tools.



Atomic Training 2.0, Publishing and Training Platform, Internet, Starts at $2,500

Atomic Learning's training and publishing platform is used by schools to manage and deliver training videos, procedures and other essential information that needs to be easily accessed and shared throughout the school or district, such as employee orientation or safety and emergency response training. In this latest release, schools will be able to designate users to specifi c groups that will determine what that user will have the ability to access. Also included are enhancements to make organizing information and operating the platform easier.



ThinkPad X61 Tablet, Convertible Laptop, $2,188

The Lenovo ThinkPad X61 tablet, with Intel Core 2 Duo processors, is an ultralight laptop/tablet with a unique square design. Its 12.1"-high resolution screen with SuperView can be viewed even in direct sunlight. Its serial ATA hard drive can be upgraded from 60GB to 160GB for the 5400rpm model and up to 100GB for the 7200rpm. Memory can also be upgraded to 4GB PC2- 5300/677MHz. The MultiView/MultiTouch screen is very responsive to the digitizer pen, which has true eraser functionality. The X61 comes with ThinkVantage Client Security solution, a bidirectional fingerprint reader and the ability to disable ports. The keyboard is comfortable, there is a palm rest, and the TrackPoint pointing device is "Press to Select." Battery choices include 4-cell, 8-cell, and extended life for up to 9.5 hours. The ThinkPad X6 Tablet Ultrabase is optional for docking and takes up very little space.



Acuity, Exam, Preparation Materials, Materials, Pricing varies

The Acuity exam preparation materials were designed for math (including algebra) and reading for grades 3-8. Available on the Web and in hard copy, they align to state standards and deliver targeted instructional content to help prepare students for NCLB exams. The company also offers other products, such as an online version of its TerraNova assessment series, which helps teachers identify student needs, measure progress and determine readiness for state NCLB assessments in reading, language and mathematics, and Classroom Connections to TerraNova, a series of binders designed for teachers to use as reference resources.


Aesop, Substitute Calling Solution, Internet, Pricing based on district needs

Aesop, unlike traditional sub calling systems, is an integrated telephone and Internet system that isn't installed at the school district. Instead, the company maintains and automatically updates the system while users log in via the Web or phone anytime, from anywhere. Features include real-time absence data analysis and reporting, substitute teacher performance reporting, and payroll interface-ready reports. Teachers use it to register their absences by calling a toll-free number or logging on to the Web. It also helps administrators know in real time which employees are absent, why, and who is substituting for them.



Learn Big IN2100 EP, Projector, Hardware, Starting at $599 for SVGA, $749 for XGA, and $999 for WXGA

The Learn Big IN2100 EP series Projectors from InFocus uses DPL technology from Texas Instruments, featuring BrilliantColor and 2,500 lumens, making them bright enough to operate in high ambient light situations. Lamps have a life of 2,500 hours, making them economical for classroom use. Technology leaders will appreciate that these projectors are fi lter-free. The IN2100 series is offered in SVGA, XGA and WXGA resolutions. The Work Big series is also available for meeting and conference centers. Easy-to-use menus and new remote control capabilities make the Learn Big and Work Big series good education choices.


How to Short-Circuit Reading Intervention, Materials, $30 (electronic version may be available for free)

This book introduces a reading intervention program that connects struggling middle school and high school students to core textbooks while dramatically improving their reading. The author, Matthew Glavach, explains how students at different reading levels worked in the same instructional program on the same lesson and how the program motivated students who were overwhelmed by the high school curriculum. The program is based on reading research, music research and new fi ndings in brain research. Classroom lessons are included.



KDS, Professional Development, Internet, $150-$550/graduate credit courses

Knowledge Delivery Systems offers educators a variety of self-paced courses for continuing education or in-service or graduate credits that can apply toward salary differentials and career advancement. Popular courses include Differentiated Instruction, Classroom Management, School Leadership, Anger Management, Literacy, and Mathematics. The courses are presented by nationally renowned educators such as Jay McTighe and Carol Ann Tomlinson. The online classroom hosts video- and audio-based lectures with synchronized PowerPoint slideshows and incorporates intercommunication through blogs and discussion forums, assessment activities and evaluation features. Pricing for the courses varies from state to state.



NetSupport School 9, Software, Starts at $49.35 each, $1,233/list price for a lab of 25

NetSupport School 9 allows teachers to lead computer-based classes with better control over what appears on student screens, as well as more control over printing. This classroom instruction and monitoring system can make sure students are on task and using the right application. Additionally, enhanced security features give teachers the ability to prevent students from accessing or copying data to or from USB or CD/DVE devices. Teachers can also configure safe search settings regardless of individual computer setups, as well as enable or disable audio output for an entire class. All teachers using NetSupport School get free access to an online resource exchange where they can sharecurriculum content, questions and exams. Educational pricing is available.

Rate your favorite New Products at Products Editor Kurt dyrli ( Carol Patton is a contributing editor.