NECC 2007 Product Reviews
The SAFARI Montage WAN Manager
Atlanta, Georgia was the site of the 28th annual National Educational Computing Conference, the largest education and technology conference in the United States. More than 18,000 teachers, technology coordinators, library media specialists, and administrators gathered at the Georgia World Congress Center to get a sneak peek at the classrooms of the future. here are a few of the best new products.
As part of its Activclassroom offerings, Promethean is releasing a number of new tools for student engagement and assessment. A new student-contribution system called Activexprexion will enable teachers to apply a host of higher-order teaching approaches that are unattainable with traditional “clicker” systems. For maximum efficiency, teachers can immediately administer ad hoc assessments and adapt instruction instantly to meet student needs during the learning experience.
SAFARI Montage WAN Manager
This digital-media-on-demand system is unveiling new product add-ons. EdCast Network enables districts, regional media centers, state departments of education, educational TV stations, and museums to share and manage educational video resources. SAFARI Montage LIVE! is a software-based videoconferencing solution adjustable for low Internet bandwidth situations or high bandwidth K–12 WANs. Selective video streaming (SVS) enables cable TV channels to be streamed selectively through one IP-based interface. SVS also streams live video from digital cameras and is ideal for school news.
For years, educators at all levels have known that quiz bowl competitions are one of the ways to motivate students. At NECC this year, Educational Insights will introduce their newest wireless technology product, GeoSafari Quiz Bowl, which can turn any classroom into a quiz bowl arena. The basic unit comes with everything needed for two teams to test their knowledge: two scoreboards, a wireless host controller, 10 wireless player remotes, cables, software, and guide.
Indigo Learning System is a combination student-response system and handheld computer. The new web-browsing feature allows students to visit any teacher-allowed web domain (e.g., Google, Dictionary.com, Wikipedia) from their Indigo handhelds. Pages are optimized for best viewing, navigation, and data entry on the handhelds. Additionally, the new podcasting feature allows teachers to search for any RSS podcast and send it to student handhelds. Students can then listen to the podcasts using the Indigo handheld’s built-in speaker or headphones.
Knowledge Adventure School
The company is launching Knowledge Adventure School—Early Literacy, a program that is designed to help teachers manage individual literacy needs among younger students. Lessons are customizable and emphasize skill building in the areas of alphabetic principles, phonemic awareness, phonics, word building, spelling, and decoding. Additionally, they will introduce Knowledge Adventure School—Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension, which focuses on addressing the vocabulary gap and reading-proficiency decline among students today. This program also takes an individual-path approach to student learning.
Learners Online will be introducing WebLessons for Science, an e-learning application that provides online lessons by combining web pages with engaging learning activities. Students and teachers at both elementary and secondary levels can now use WebLessons to guide instruction in biology and Earth, life, and physical science.
The company will unveil three new products: QuestionPoint is a comprehensive data-bank of state-aligned content questions that loads easily into TurningPoint question slides; TestingPoint is a Microsoft Word add-in that allows teachers to develop paper-based assignments and tests quickly; And VantagePoint is a web-based, data assessment management system for K-12 teachers and school administrators.
The new InFocus LiteShow II is the next generation of wireless adapter. It enables educational facilities to interact and present static or multimedia content on any InFocus Learn Big projector. The device supports various wireless multimedia formats, including static, audio, and video content. It allows teachers to wirelessly access all available network resources, and helps save on the cost of installing additional access point hardware.
Vernier Software & Technology
The new LabQuest handheld device places data collection and analysis at the fingertips of science students and educators, whether they are in the lab or in the field. Students can use more than 50 different sensors with the LabQuest, and can view and analyze data on a meter, in a data table, or in a graph.