The latest and greatest education-friendly tech tools.
If your school power bills have got you down, this high-def monitor uses half the power of other similar-size models. It has built-in speakers and a stand that can be adjusted vertically by more than five inches. $259.
The stand-alone PS406U scanner is a bargain at $1,300 because it features two-sided scanning, a 100-sheet feeder, and can handle 40 pages a minute. Try that with your multifunction printer.
This high-def camcorder captures 1080p video and, with two mics, records in stereo. It can hold up to seven hours of footage, features a 2.4-inch screen, and comes with editing software. $299.
Quirky Contort USB Hub
The four-port USB hub is also a spool for wrapping up the excess cables from your mouse, keyboard, and other peripherals. The neck can rotate 360 degrees so that it can fit in almost any configuration. $30.
The packaged combination of the versatile and reliable ResponseCard NXT clicker and customizable Turning Key software make for a problem-free response system. Test results can be individually or by class. Prices vary.
Hate changing batteries on wireless keyboards? The K750 keyboard puts an end to the exercise. Along the top is a row of solar cells that charge an internal battery so that it will always be ready for a day of work, as long as it's left in a lighted room. Priced at $80, it works with recent Windows PCs.
AViiQ Notebook Stand
Even the best notebook will never be as comfortable as a desktop to use. Enter AViiQ, a portable laptop stand that can get the system to sit at a comfortable 12-degree angle, let cooling air flow all around it, and look good while doing it. It works with up to 17-inch notebooks, yet folds up small enough to fit into a bag at a weight of less than six ounces. $80.
Finally, a graphing calculator with a 3.2-inch color display! The $110 fx-CG10 can show how the graphs of two functions relate, create pie charts, or put graphs on top of downloadable photos to help comprehension.
This inexpensive security camera has a mic, can be remotely tilted and panned, connects via Wi-Fi network, captures MPEG-4 video, and can send e-mails if the image under surveillance changes. $70.
ViewSonic ViewPad 10
These 7- or 10-inch-screen slates feature Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi networking, dual cameras for video conferencing, and use Windows 7 slate or Android software. Prices start at $479 and $629.
Discovery iPad Apps
While there are some innovative educational apps for the iPad, because the tablet isn't compatible with Flash, apps with videos have been limited. But Discovery Education has now made more than 30,000 movies available for the iPad, and is continuing to add new videos, audio files, reading examples, and other curriculum items.
A New Classroom Vision
Netop has revamped its MyVision classroom program to work with Microsoft's Active Directory so teachers can monitor student work wherever they are. The new version works with Macs and 32- or 64-bit PCs. It's a free upgrade for existing MyVision schools. One program costs $200 for a year, with licensing options available. There's a free trial, too.
Last Resort for Virus Cleaning
Even schools that have protected their digital infrastructure can get computers so bogged down with viruses they won't even boot up. But don't grab that operating system disk to wipe the machines clean and start fresh. Norton Power Eraser is a free-albeit aggressive-program that Symantec has designed as a last resort for infected PCs. It just might save you starting from scratch.
MS Office Tour
We all know that MS Office 2010 is out and ready for schools to use, but who's going to show you how to get the most out of this huge and complex program? ClipTraining has an online course for Office 2010 that can help figure out how it fits into your school's curriculum. ClipTraining focuses on 25 new features with short videos that show how to use them. Single-user cost: $75 per year; free trial.
New phonemic awareness tests added to MindPlay's raps 360 (Reading Analysis & Prescription System) help K-1 teachers identify early literacy skill issues and recognize whether students are hearing sounds correctly. Licensing prices vary; upgrade is free for current raps 360 customers.