The Latest Tech for Schools
The latest and greatest education-friendly tech tools
For $200, this waterproof, rugged digital video camera (pictured above) has a 3-inch screen, can create vivid time-lapse sequences (such as of a plant growing for a biology lesson), and comes with software for PCs that can post videos online.
Your iPad can't stand on its own, but Griffin's adjustable aluminum A-Frame can make it sit up at a comfortable viewing angle. The $50 stand works with the iPad in either orientation. The tablet sits in a rubber channel and its dock cable doesn't get in the way. Happily, the whole thing weighs just a little over a pound, has the sleek look of a piece of modern art, and can make your iPad stand up and be noticed.
The Veriton Z410G all-in-one PC has a 21.5-inch screen that can show HD video, a 3GHz Pentium processor, 2GB of RAM, and Intel's GMA X4500 video, yet is only 5 inches thick. For $719, it comes with a three-year warranty.
HP Mini 210
The $330 Mini 210 is available in five colors with matching cases and mice. Inside is Intel's Atom N455 processor and the hardware to display HD video. Bonus: a six-cell battery that can run for a full school day.
For $130, this protective case nearly doubles your iPad's battery life and adds a handy pull-out leg so it can stand upright. There's also an LED battery-level gauge so you'll know when it's time to recharge.
PolyVision eno one
With three configuration options, the eno one combines an eno interactive whiteboard, a short-throw projector, educational software (RM Easiteach Next Generation or WizTeach by Qwizdom), and a stand in a single solution. Prices vary.
This new line of eco-friendly projectors offers lamps with 6,000 hours of use (roughly five years of four hours of use each school day). They don't skimp on power with up to 3,000 lumens, 10-watt speakers, and wired network connections; WiFi is an option. They range from $800 to $900.
A Visit to the Sun
3D Sun by nasa scientist Tony Phillips is our idea of how the iPad can be used to go beyond traditional computing in the classroom. This free application has everything you'd ever want to know about our closest star: how it works and what we know about it. There are fabulous images of solar flares and the northern lights, and the writer will send you an e-mail when there are major solar events to see.
Reading, the Digital Way
Looking for a way to teach reading skills and science content without a room full of books? PebbleGo's online service can provide age-appropriate reading material—both at school and at home—while teachers can track who's reading what. Each database costs $395, plus there are discounts for school- and district-wide purchases and a free demo.
Keeping a School Safe
Norton Internet Security and AntiVirus 2011 were worth the wait. On top of a new reputation engine that checks with the experience that others have had with a piece of software, Norton 2011 has a new way of examining software to ferret out viruses and malware. There are 32- and 64-bit versions for Windows, and Norton should have a new Mac version in a few months.
Next Semester's Schedule
It's never too soon to start thinking about course offerings for the next semester or year. Lantiv's Timetabler lets you plan out what courses will be taught when and where with an easy-to-follow grid system for days of the week and times of the day. The free software is for Windows computers and it lets you try out different course and classroom scenarios and post the results on the school's website.
The Social Studies Pad
Pearson is testing a U.S. and world history curriculum that resides on the iPad at six schools in Virginia that use the state's Beyond Textbooks program. Pearson's textbooks America: History of Our Nation and World History: Volume I have been digitized and adapted for the iPad. The state is spending $120,000 to buy iPads for the trial.