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Tech Tools

Management

August 2007
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Why fiddle with tapes or backup drives when all of a school’s digital archives and backups can be safely stored online with Storage Elements’ Digitiliti service? Encrypted and compressed backup data travel securely over the Internet when the system isn’t being used, and are digitally stored in a former Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis. These data are then always ready should they be needed to revive a dead machine. http://storageelements.com

By using the latest data-mining techniques, Excelsior’s Pinnacle Analytics can help schools struggling to comply with the testing and analysis portion of the No Child Left Behind Act. The software, which replaces the company’s District Data Analyzer, brings together scores and relevant data from different sources so that administrators can perform analysis, spot trends, and report results. Whether it’s a snapshot of a particular class or a district-wide breakdown, Pinnacle puts it all on-screen. http://excelsiorsoftware.com/

For those who think blogs are creepy and inherently dangerous, ePals’ SchoolBlog makes this increasingly vital part of education safe and sheltered. The company hosts secure online discussion groups that school administrators can monitor and filter, so that students, teachers, and parents are encouraged to share thoughts and work together. In an exciting project, a fourth-grade class at the Windsor Hills Math Science Magnet School, in Los Angeles, is using SchoolBlog to share information, collaborate, and write journals. http://www.epals.com

 Schools can do a lot to prevent computers from getting stolen, but once the hardware has left the building, it’s gone, right? Not always, because Brigadoon Software’s PC PhoneHome can track where the purloined unit ends up, helping to return the machine and, hopefully, catch the thief. As soon as the stolen computer is connected to the Internet, the school gets an e-mail with the machine’s location, and Brigadoon’s technicians can help with its recovery. Districts can try the software for free and license it for about a dollar a computer. http://brigadoonsoftware.com/

Capable of incorporating everything a school does, from attendance and grades to scheduling and exams, Teledata Informatics Limited’s WebEIM for public schools does whatever individual administration apps can do. The difference is that WebEIM puts it all together with a consistent interface and reports. There’s also a version that targets private institutions. http://webeim.com/

By putting the school’s operation securely on the Web, ewebSYS’s Christian School House suite can handle an entire parochial school’s administrative needs. The service includes modules for family, student, and staff information, courses, grading, and books. A 30-day trial is available. http://ewebsys.com/

While classroom-produced videos might seem out of reach for schools struggling to meet a budget, Movavi’s VideoSuite makes them surprisingly easy and inexpensive to create. The $60 application doesn’t require a high-performance PC, and it takes a class from capturing clips through special effects and titling to editing the final product and burning it onto a DVD. A downloadable demo version is available. http://movavi.com/

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