Cream of the Crop
2008 Florida Educational Technology Conference Report
Activexpression Student Response System
Promethean introduces its Activexpression student response system.
With 8 intelligent hot buttons, 4 navigation controls, and a 12-key texting pad, the small wireless handheld lets students respond not only with the expected yes/no, ordering, and multiple choice answers, but also with short phrases, symbols, and numbers. Teachers can message individuals or the entire class, and the device dovetails with Promethean’s interactive boards.
SAFARI Montage’s video-on-demand digital media management system now integrates with the Promethean Activboard.
Users can freeze-frame video and annotate over it by using the Activboard’s pen to write notes and highlight information. SAFARI Montage lets users save, meta tag, and share Promethean lessons, stored as flip charts, on their district’s central server. These saved lessons and annotated images can then be easily shared with teachers throughout a school or district, who can search through them online and incorporate them into their own lesson plans.
HP offers its first mobile thin client computer, the compaq 6720. Everything on this laptop is actually stored on the school’s network, making the Mobile Thin Client more secure, easy to update, and green—since it requires less energy than a traditional notebook. You’ll need IT to get these up and running, but with a little training, teachers and admins will love these devices.
Voyager releases the Passport Reading Intervention Program.
Voyager’s reading intervention program for K–5 students adds a reading technology component called Ticket to Read, a Web site designed to increase reading speed, comprehension, and vocabulary. Students read high-interest passages at increasing levels of difficulty and take quizzes to demonstrate their comprehension—all while earning points to use in customizing their personal clubhouse.
SMART makes Four big announcements.
The SMART Board 600i interactive whiteboard system combines the SMART Board 680 with the new Unifi 45 projector—and costs 25 percent less than the original. Notebook 10, the latest release of this collaborative learning software, offers over 30 new features. Teachers who previewed it especially liked its ability to make tables, record pages, use a “magic” shape pen to create spotlights, and create animation. The SMART Board 685 interactive whiteboard—featuring a widescreen 16:10 aspect ratio—gives teachers more work space. And finally, the SMART classroom audio system includes teacher and student microphones, an amplifier, speakers, and more.
Adaptive Curriculum online learning system debuts.
The system offers a library of Math and Science Activity Objects aligned to national and state standards, enabling students to participate in virtual experiments, simulations, scientific inquiry, and problem-based learning. www.adaptivecurriculum.com
Christine Weiser is a writer and editor who has reported on K-12 education technology for more than 15 years.