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New Products

The Latest Offerings in Hardware, Software and the Internet.



Animation-ish, Animation Program, Software, $59.95/single-user license, $499.95/10-computer license, $999.95/25-computer license

Best-selling children’s book author and illustrator and FableVision founder Peter H. Reynolds teaches students and adults the basics of animation in this new program, created with animation software company Toon Boom. Reynolds encourages students to overcome their reluctance to draw by using his “ish” philosophy, which holds that art does not need to mirror reality to convey ideas, that it can be “perfect-ish” rather than perfect. The software includes over 50 instructional video clips hosted by Reynolds, covers three animation skill levels, and also includes 24 animation lessons written by teachers for teachers, with additional lessons available online.



WA30, Classroom Audio Components, Hardware, $249

NuVo Technologies’ new WA30 is an audio system designed specifically for the classroom. The unit combines a 30-watt amplifier with a volume control in a single wall plate. Two hard-wired source inputs in the rear of the unit allow for source units such as DVD players, VCRs and computers, and two overriding mini stereo source inputs on the front enable quick connections to portable devices such as iPods, other MP3 players or laptop computers. The intuitive controls enable simple source selection, on/off and volume control. The WA30 can be easily coupled with a pair of compact on-wall or in-ceiling speakers, instead of expensive installations of ceiling amplifiers or wall-mounted units.


MPro110, Projector, Hardware, $359

The MPro110, which 3M announced at InfoComm and will introduce in the fourth quarter of 2008, is one of the fi rst of a new class of “micro projectors” just entering the market. This tiny projector is an ultraportable, handheld model that uses battery power, which eliminates the need for electrical cords, and LEDs for light instead of a bulb, which allows for silent operation without any cooling fans. It can project data and video content from laptops or MP3 players such as iPods in image sizes from six to 50 inches. The MPro110’s extreme portability and instant startup time make this tiny projector ideal for travel presentations or impromptu meetings.



Sound Alert series, Classroom Audio Components, Hardware, $37, $44, $148

Califone has expanded its line of audio hardware designed to protect students from irreparable hearing damage due to excessively high volumes with three new Sound Alert products. The Sound Alert Monaural Headphone ($44) has an exterior red warning light that signals when the headphone is playing audio above 85 decibels, the maximum level recommended by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The Sound Alert Jackbox ($37) is a new 10-position model, allowing educators to set and monitor the levels of up to 10 students simultaneously. And the new Sound Alert Listening Center ($148) is a package that includes an 8-position Sound Alert jackbox and gray monaural headphones.



A+nyWhere Learning System: The Sciences I-VIII, Science Program, Software, $1,000 per title (new customers), $750 per title (existing customers)

AEC has added to its A+nyWhere Learning System with the release of these new science courses for grades 1-8. The Sciences I-VIII include a series of significant cosmetic, content and alignment upgrades to existing science coursework, which coincides with the National Science Education Standards (NSES) as well as state standards. The coursework is designed to prepare primary, middle and high school students for the science testing required under NCLB. As with other A+LS courseware, this science curriculum provides four clear steps of assessment, prescription, instruction and reporting to help educators make informed decisions about instruction.



Type to Learn 4: Agents of Information, Keyboarding Program, Software, $699.95 for unlimited site license version

Released this month is Sunburst’s Type to Learn 4, a comprehensive instructional keyboarding program for grades K-12. Built on a proven method of sequential, skills building instruction, the all-new curriculum in this program uses 36 leveled lessons and includes a diagnostic pre-test, reviews, demonstrations, practice exercises and activities, multiple formative assessments, and automatic, personalized remediation. The content engages students with a story line in which they are agents in a futuristic adventure to help save vital information from being lost forever. Type to Learn 4 is available in single license, lab pack, unlimited site license, network and Web versions, for either PC or Mac.



REALiS SX80, Projector, Hardware, $3,999

At the leading edge of new projector technologies are models like Canon’s new REALiS SX80, which boasts some of the most advanced technology on the market while maintaining a portable size and an affordable price. This projector uses Canon’s own LCoS (liquid crystal on silicon) chip, a recently developed technology intended to produce higher resolution and more richly colored images than either of the major chip manufacturers, DLP or 3LCD. The SX80 achieves SXGA+ (1400x1050) resolution at a brightness of 3,000 lumens and a contrast ratio of 900:1, and also includes a selection of video and audio inputs including DVI-I and HDMI to support DVD or Bluray disc players. Optional accessories include a folding ceiling attachment to facilitate maintenance and replacement of the projection lamp or filters.



CP-A100/FX Duo 77 Bundle, Interactive Whiteboard System, Hardware, $3,995

Hitachi unveiled this interactive whiteboard package at InfoComm this year. Combining the Hitachi CP-A100 ultra short-throw projector, Hitachi FX Duo 77 interactive whiteboard, and a custom wall mount, this is the company’s all-in-one bundle for the education market, designed to be quick and easy to set up. The CPA100’ s extremely short throw (capable of projecting a 60-inch image from 1.4 feet away) reduces the amount of shadow cast by the presenter. The FX Duo 77 allows two users to work simultaneously on its surface, and since all electronics on the whiteboard are securely contained at the top of the unit and the custom designed wall mount ensures stability, this is a package designed to be durable enough for the education environment.



Charging Up!, Reading Comprehension Program, Books and Materials, $299.95/set

Combining the company’s most popular fi ction and nonfi ction books with self-correcting activity cards, ETA/Cuisenaire’s “Charging Up!” is a supplemental skill reinforcement program enabling students in grades 3-5 to practice key reading comprehension. Each set includes 72 self-correcting strategy cards (3 sets of 24 cards), 24 leveled books (3 copies each of 4 fiction titles and 3 copies each of 4 nonfiction), 8 Hot Dots Power Pens, teacher notes with blackline masters, and a storage case. Students read each book in the set, then use the Hot Dots Power Pens, which provide positive aural and visual feedback, to answer reading comprehension questions. The sets address eight critical reading strategies: monitoring and clarifying, making connections, visualizing, asking and answering questions, inferring, summarizing, predicting, and using text structures and features.

TEACHER EVENTS, Educator Social Networking Site, Internet, free

Following the trend of hugely popular social networking sites, is a social networking Web site specifically for educators that was recently launched in June. After signing up for a free account, teachers can access multiple resources on the site, including a discussion forum, use “gadgets” like games and activities, or join groups, while meeting new fellow educators and networking with colleagues from around the United States and Canada. Users can also stay up-to-date with upcoming education conferences and other events, and utilize a variety of classroom resources. The site is brand new and some features are still in beta.



Fast ForWord Language Series 2, Literacy Program, Software, $750-$900/single use license

Scientific Learning has just launched a redesigned and updated version of its signature Fast ForWord language series. Version 2 includes new content and design features, with an emphasis on addressing the needs of English Language Learners and Tier 3 students. Using a Response to Intervention approach, this software is designed to build and strengthen students’ foundational reading and language skills while improving cognitive skills. Intensive exercises are intended to develop critical brain processing in four key areas: memory, attention, processing rates and sequencing skills. Customer feedback and data analysis informed the design of the more engaging, faster and easier-to-use new user interface, as well as the inclusion of new characters, graphics, themes and animations.



Unifi 45, Projector, Hardware, $2,999,

SMART’s new Unifi 45 is a short-throw projector designed for use with interactive whiteboards, particularly SMART’s models, even including the discontinued 500 series. It offers 2,000 lumens of brightness, XGA resolution, and has a unique wall-mounted boom that protects the projector from damage by slowly collapsing from its installed position and that extends between 37 ? to 47 ? inches, depending on board model. The Unifi 45 includes a control panel mounted below the whiteboards, a one-touch on/off button, and is able to connect to peripheral accessories such as laptops, document cameras and DVD players. It is available alone ($2,999, education price $2,099) or as part of a bundle with the SMART 660 Interactive Whiteboard ($4,399, education price $3,079).


What Are Your Favorite Products? Now is the time to help decide the 2008- 09 Readers’ Choice Top 100 K12 Products! Visit our products database at to use our star rating system or to make a comment about a product. Or, contact our products editor, Kurt Dyrli, at The winning products will be announced in January.



FPBBUL Series, Flat Panel TV Carts, Hardware, $785

Technology and media furniture manufacturer Bretford has released new, fully UL-certified flat panel television carts. Designed specifically for flat panel displays and for use in a K12 environment, the FPBBUL Series provides a combination of safety, stability and strength that protects people, particularly small children, from harm and flat panel televisions from damage. A display is mounted on the top shelf using anti-theft screws on a pole that can support any size LCD or plasma model weighing up to 85 pounds. The wheeled cart allows educators to safely and easily move a television, along with a DVD player and speakers, to different locations.



Meaningful Movement GeoMats, Fitness Learning Products, Books and Materials, Packages from $130

Exercise product maker GeoFitness has recently released its Meaningful Movement series, which are exercise mats intended to be used in conjunction with classroom learning for ages 5-8. Each mat is designed to enable students to exercise as they learn content from accompanying DVDs and CDs. Teachers can utilize the comprehensive curriculum guides included with each mat, as students place their feet on the parts of the mats corresponding to the video and music. The GeoMotion mat design incorporates numbers, colors and letters and is focused on teaching the alphabet and spelling. The GeoAction mat is shaped like a clock and can help teach time, numbers, shapes and colors. The GeoNutrition mat is divided into nine food groups and incorporates cards and dice to teach the basics of good nutrition. Each product is available in a wide variety of packages.


Drive Genius 2, Disk Utility, Software, $99

This latest edition of Drive Genius adds new features to enable users to maintain their Mac hard drives. Classic features include disk defragmentation, directory repair and repartition on the fly. This new version now also includes improvements to overall speed and performance, as well as a totally new user interface. Drive Genius 2 is intended to make hard drive maintenance and management, normally a time-consuming, confusing process, into a simple, fast and easy procedure. The program is used in all Apple Store Genius Bars as part of the Apple ProCare program.



EVON, Professional Development Resource, Internet, Pricing varies based on district needs

The Princeton Review and NationalTeacher have partnered to offer a new series of state-specific professional development videos online, intended to be more flexible, convenient and cost-efficient than classroom courses. EVON (Educational Video Online Network) provides training concerning child abuse reporting, sexual harassment and discrimination prevention, disability accommodations and other topics to help comply with state and federally mandated requirements. Each video in the series offers closed-captioning, a table of contents and informative slides, postcourse tests to verify comprehension, and a management reporting system that allows administrators to track participation. Participants also receive certifi cates upon completion of the coursework and online tests.



Content Essentials for Science, Science Program, Books and Materials, $613.92-$779.52

Designed to help K6 students learn science content and science literacy skills, Content Essentials for Science uses a combination of concise handbooks and technology tools to provide strategic instruction through proven techniques. Part 1 includes Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science and Studying Science, and helps students learn basic science ideas and vocabulary. Part 2 includes Reading Science, Comprehension, Understanding language, and Writing for Science to teach students how to read and comprehend content-area text. Every lesson in Parts 1 and 2 is linked to enable students to apply comprehension skills to science text, and each also features an electronic version of the student handbook and teacher guide, along with video and multimedia support online including audio in nine languages, photo library, animations and activities. Classroom sets include 24 student handbooks, a teacher guide, a one-year subscription to online technology tools, a blackline masters book, a poster book and overhead transparencies.



ANGEL Learning, Management Suite 7.3, Course Management Suite, Software, pricing varies

This latest edition of ANGEL’s course management suite is designed to provide an intuitive approach to managing workfl ow for students, educators and administrators. Enhancements include new discussion forum rubrics for measuring learning outcomes, with multiple view modes and search filters to enable educators to find and act on discussion posts. New algorithmic questions help to advance assessment, a CSS-driven site design improves accessibility, and improved documentation reduces support burdens for system administrators.


PaperToolsPro online version,Writing Program, Software, $75 per teacher plus $1 per student

PaperToolsPro, a research management software program designed to help students write research papers and combat plagiarism, is now available entirely online. The program enables middle or high school students to organize notes; gather information including text, audio and video; enter publication information for bibliography entries and citations; and identify information with descriptors and keywords. The features are intended to address the root causes of plagiarism: inadequate reading, writing and researching skills, inaccurate documentation, and poor time management. This new online version includes updates to the Note Editor page, larger text boxes in the Quotation and Summary/Paraphrase section, easier bibliographic information entry, additional buttons for viewing and organizing notes, and added teacher-monitoring tools. Now that the program is available online, students can access their work from any Internet connected computer.



BidAdvantage for Schools, Online Bidding System, Internet, $895 annually

Focused on the K12 food service sector, BidAdvantage for Schools is an online competitive bidding system that streamlines the bid process by improving the communications between food manufacturers, distributors and brokers. Designed to save valuable time when building bids, it offers a simplified process to standardize and issue bids, maintain a vendor database, analyze vendor responses, and award bids. By using this secure, Web-based system, administrators can tabulate vendor quotes and award food service bids while meeting governmental regulations and eliminating paperwork.



alio 8.3, Administrative Program, Software, $10,000 and up

Weidenhammer has just released the latest version of alio, its scalable, complete software suite designed to run all administrative tasks including payroll, human resources and finance management, particularly for school districts. Version 8.3 includes the same functionalities that allow administrators to budget, monitor and control their finances, but the company has also made alio fully Web-based for the first time, allowing 24/7 access via a secure browser. Another new feature is the Bank Reconciliation Process, which performs all banking functions, from reconciling checks and deposits to fees and other transactions on the bank statement. Weidenhammer’s ongoing training and support ensure that users’ needs and skills can evolve with future upgrades, and the annual Weidenhammer National Users conference and local user group meetings ensure client knowledge is up-to-date.


PD 360 v.2, Professional Development Resource, Internet, pricing varies

School Improvement Network has updated and improved its Web-based professional development resource, PD 360, with version 2, released this month. The original version included over 110 hours of research-based video content presenting best-practice classroom examples through hundreds of indexed and searchable video segments featuring respected education experts. The new version builds on the original and integrates client feedback and the new innovations available via Web 2.0 technologies, including a new utility to enable teachers to interact with one another and share video segments through e-mail. Version 2 also offers a wide variety of on-demand courses that enable districts to provide teachers with a structured learning experience following a specific order of learning modules in conjunction with a facilitator. A scalable pricing structure also gives districts the flexibility to meet specific needs and plan according to their budgetary resources.



ResponseCard AnyWhere, Audience Response System Hardware, $199 and up

Turning Technologies’ new audience response system provides a highly portable, preparation-free polling solution that does not require a projector, computer, or even electrical outlets. The battery-powered ResponseCard AnyWhere system incorporates a handheld presenter unit, which can store up to 5,000 votes or 100 polls, and displays results on an LCD screen. Up to 250 individual compact, handheld user keypads can then be used within a range of 400 feet to assess learning, increase student feedback, or spark impromptu discussions via multiple choice questions in the classroom, auditorium, or on field trips. The system can be rented or purchased in a variety of configurations from 6 to 250 keypads to fit different budgets and applications. Packages also include companion software, USB cable and carrying case.



Serif Design Suite, Graphic Design Program, Software, $2,200 to $4,900 for unlimited site license

Serif, maker of graphic design software focused on the professional and consumer market, has just released a package intended for education: the Design Suite, which includes its four leading applications and free teacher resources to accompany each program. PagePlus X3 is a document and slide-show editing tool, intended for magazine, flyer, poster or presentation design. DrawPlus X2 includes professional design tools for vector drawing, stop-frame and keyframe animation. WebPlus X2 is a Web site design program enabling students to create their own sites via templates or from scratch. And PhotoPlus X2 includes a wide range of photo editing tools and in intuitive interface. Several licensing packages are available: Elementary at $2,200, Secondary Level 1 for up to 50 users at $3,400, or Secondary Level 2 for an unlimited site license at $4,900.

Rate your favorite new products at Read Kurt O. Dyrli's Product Posts at blogs.districtadministration .com/productsblog Kurt O. Dyrli is products editor (