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Tech Favorites

The Latest and Greatest in Ed-Friendly Technology Products

Fujitsu Life-Book T5010.
Fujitsu’s convertible tablet boasts a bright screen and can go from a keyboard-based notebook to a pen-based computer; a dual-digitizer screen makes it really exciting for classrooms. The $100 option is a 13.3-inch WXGA resolution display, allowing writing with either an active pen or fingertip. The 4.5-pound system with the new screen is $1,859.

NEC MultiSync EA231WMi.

With a carbon footprint indicator, the EA231WMi easily pops into power-saving ECO Mode, with a sensor that adjusts to the room’s lighting level. Beyond traditional VGA and DVI connections, the 23-inch EA231WMi can also work with DisplayPort technology and has a 4-port USB hub built in. $379 with a three-year warranty.

Asus uBoom Speakers.
Asus’s uBoom notebook speakers can pump out big sound from a small tube. Based on port reflex technology, the uBoom gets its signal and power from a USB cable and has 2.0-inch right and left speakers, as well as a 2.5-inch subwoofer. They should go on sale later this year

HP Pavilion All-in-One MS214.
If notebooks are too small and desktops too big, HP’s MS214 may be just right. It’s compact, with a 18.5-inch screen, a 1.5GHz AMD Athlon X2 processor, 2GB of memory, and a 320GB hard drive. It has built-in wired/wireless networking, keyboard, and mouse and retails for $599.

Lenovo ThinkPad X200.
SimpleTap is the X200 mini-tablet’s new software. Like the LifeBook, it uses a dual digitizer, for writing with a pen or a finger, but it weighs just 3.5 pounds and uses a 12.1-inch screen. The X200 starts at $1,654.

InFocus DisplayLink.
Spending time plugging in wires? InFocus undoes the tangle with new wireless technology. It uses Wisair’s ultra-wide-band USB chip to beam from PC to projector up to about 30 feet, and is high-res, with 128-bit encryption. A great $159 add-on, but only for InFocus projectors.

HP Media-Smart Server.
Using little space and an easy hardware and software setup, this powerful server really manages the systems on your network and all attendant files. It’s easy to add storage as needed; expanded features via third-party software. At $749, you’ll get a good deal of controlled storage in nicely designed hardware.

ViewSonic VPC100.
Less than an inch and a half thick, this all-in-one PC is suited for places with minimal desk space. With a 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB of system memory, a 160GB hard drive and an 18.5-inch screen, it’s got wired and wireless networking and a Super Multi DVD. Best aspect? It uses only 60 watts and costs $600.

Lenovo ThinkPad X200.
SimpleTap is the X200 mini-tablet’s new software. Like the LifeBook, it uses a dual digitizer, for writing with a pen or a finger, but it weighs just 3.5 pounds and uses a 12.1-inch screen. The X200 starts at $1,654.

Our Fresh Software Picks

Numonics Intellislate.
With K–12 classrooms in mind, Numonics took the best aspects of some other, more expensive slates and put them into this budget-friendly tablet. With an 8-by-6-inch area for a teacher to write or draw on, it connects to a PC via a 2.4GHz wireless link. A small display shows its connection status as well as battery life. The best part is that rather than getting a couple of hours of classroom work out of a charge, the Intellislate can run for several school days between charges. It sells for $450.

Zoom Birds From Enchanted Learning
This program offers a flock of avian lessons ranging from migration and evolution to bird names in foreign languages and even a page of bird jokes. The company’s 20,000 webpages are chock full of ideas, and there is online curriculum, too. The service costs $20 per month or $125 per year for a school.

Sibelius’s Groovy City
With 128 different instruments, this 21st- century music lab gives elementary and middle schools a taste of creating digital music. The $69 City program runs on Mac and Windows, with free teacher tips. Students interact with the program’s deep audio library to create anything from hip-hop or jazz to the blues or some new form of music. Once done, students can share their songs with the class or upload them to Groovy Music’s website.

Sylvan Learning offers a free service to help kids in grades 7–12 with math. The site contains 2,000 videos, 750 structured lessons, and a multitude of practice examples. The program is aligned with standards, and is searchable by keyword or concept. Registered teachers have free access during school hours.

Norton Internet Security
The 2010 version protects against hackers and viruses, and improves computer speed; and the protection uses fewer PC resources (a Mac version is on the way). It can also track how new applications affect performance. The program costs $69 and volume discounts are available.

AbleNet’s Equals
This program is a first in math instructionals: It’s a preK–12 math curriculum for kids with a variety of abilities, including special needs students. The site’s lesson topics range from simple math to algebra and geometry to estimating and data analysis, and each area has three levels of instructional strategies: for mild, moderate, and severe disabilities. It runs $250, with educational discounts available.



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