The GradeCam system quickly scores multiple-choice tests without an expensive optical scanner. It also records each student’s score automatically and allows for easy individual tracking. $98 with a site license.
LaCie 2big Quadra
With enough space for a pair of hard drives, this storage device can hold up to 4TB of data. If that’s not enough room, several units can be stacked and connected together for a nearly unlimited capacity. $320–$700.
Epson PowerLite 825
Balancing power and longevity, the PowerlLite 825 light bulb puts out 3,000 lumens and lasts up to 6,000 hours, or about six years of normal use. $1,000.
The easy-to-use Auto Capture memory key takes files from transfer to display in less than a minute. A versatile remote can point, highlight, freeze, zoom, and page images back and forth. $2,400.
An infrared camera remembers everything the Pulse Smartpen writes, while its flash drive simultaneously captures sound. Plug it into a laptop and Livescribe’s software puts the two together so that not a syllable is lost. $150.
Dell Studio 14 z.
Available in six vivid colors, this bold laptop has a 14-inch hi-def screen and a 500GB hard drive with a 2.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It weighs in at a lean 4.3 lbs. $650–$750.
New Developments in Software
Read&Write 3 Gold for Mac
Texthelp Systems’ Read&Write 3 Gold for Mac helps struggling readers and ESL students master English. Text-to-speech, online-translation, and graphic-organizer functions are instantly accessible through a floating toolbar, whether students are on Word, Safari, Adobe Reader, or other common programs for Macs.
Create professional-looking bibliographies for free online. Just select the source type from the drop-down list and enter the relevant info, and EasyBib creates an MLA-style bibliography that can be exported to Word. There’s even a handy citation guide.
Bottom Line: A great way to quickly create an MLA-style bibliography.
Free World U
Tap into Free World U, a free online school, for curriculum-building ideas. Each section, from elementary to high school, has a slew of complete lesson plans built around fill-in flash cards, making it perfect for group and individual work. Give a donation if you like.
Bottom Line: Free World U has an amazing assortment of lessons.
HTML Calendar Maker Pro
In minutes, HTML Calendar Maker Pro can help you create a customizable monthly online grid calendar. While other programs of this type can cost upwards of $300, this one costs $27 for a single copy or as little as $19 each for 30 or more copies, for PC and Mac.
Bottom Line: Create fully featured calendars without a degree in programming.
With School Loop, a district of any size can have an expansive online presence. You don’t need to speak HTML, Flash, or Acrobat—just grab the items you want and drop them in place. On top of using your school’s photographs and videos, School Loop can create directories, calendars, tables, and news sections.
Bottom Line: Anybody can be a Web designer with School Loop’s design program.