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Tech Tools

The Latest Look at Education-Friendly Tech Tools

September/October 2009

Tech Tools Software

Stat Planet’s Interactive Data and Visualization
Ever wanted to enter your own set of demographic info on a map? Ever wished teachers could do it as a learning tool? The wait’s over. Used by UNESCO, this updated version of Stat Planet’s program not only displays the latest array of countries, it also tracks 250 economic, demographic, and ethnic indicators for each. Rather than listing raw information, Stat Planet presents everything in colorful graphs. Best of all, it’s free and continually updated with new stats.

International Baccalaureate Program
A new collaboration promises more cross-cultural learning. IB has selected ePals to implement and manage a custom hosted learning community for IB students, educators, and alumni. The innovative site will use safe communication tools to create learning exchange on a global scale. The rollout will include 2,600 schools and more than 130 countries to connect, share, and collaborate.


Geometer’s Sketchpad
Students at more than half of the nation’s high schools use the Geometer’s Sketchpad, an application that supports an easy and engaging, hands-on visual approach to mathematics. Version 5 expands the rich graphics and intuitive interface with enhanced capabilities, teacher support, and an online resource center. Ten-user package is $250.

Educational Video Library
While YouTube hosts great educational videos, it also houses unsuitable info and can threaten a district’s network. To allow access to approved videos while maintaining network security, more than 250 districts have turned to Lightspeed Systems software. Its comprehensive URL database has more than one billion entries. Annual license is $10 per workstation.

Genius Maker Scienceware
If you have a small budget but have to teach everything from graphing to atomic weight, Golden K Star has the free math, chemistry, and physics software you need. The 3.5MB file contains nine mini-apps that range from curve fitting to light refraction and molecular weight along with 25 trial programs. The apps are interactive and guaranteed to grab the imagination of high school scientists.



Tech Tools Hardware
X550 virtual desktops
NComputing ’s new series offers the chance to share a single PC among multiple users. Each user has shared multimedia applications, but their own peripherals, screens, and settings. The kit converts one PC into six. $399.

NEC np4100

With a wide range of connectivity options, and designed to work in large areas with high ambient light, np4100 works in classes large and small. It has 2 lamps for up to 6200 lumens, 500 inches of viewing space, and costs under $5,500.

StudioDock 3i.
For use with iPods, the StudioDock makes sound available to a small group or the entire class. The speakers have a 30-watt amplifier as well as an enhanced woofer and tweeter. The set has a front volume knob and easily connects via standard USB. $150.

Samsung Go Netbook.
With slim, rounded edges and award-winning design, this netbook has a pebbled keyboard that makes typing easier. It has the necessary amenities and, important for users on the go, extended battery life of up to nine hours! $480.

OKI C3530
Enjoy multifunctionality with one of the fastest MFPs, but control your print costs with the Color Access Policy Manager. You get quick convenience on a compact, all-in-one machine, along with high-definition color. $599, with educational pricing available.

Elite Panaboard
This 77-inch interactive whiteboard has all the engaging assets of a traditional whiteboard, but includes a set of integrated speakers for either a lesson’s audio material or a teacher’s microphone. $1,675, with education pricing available.

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