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Ten new ed-tech products for June 2014
The penveu device works with any existing content and with both Apple and Microsoft devices, and it requires no calibration, special software, or licensing, the company says. Schools can buy the penveu for $499 for an 8GB model and $599 for a 32GB model.
“This is a product unlike any other currently on the market, and [it] certainly provides a viable alternative to those districts looking for innovative technology solutions that can accommodate all the disparate devices found in the classroom,” said Lynell Burmark, Ph.D. and CEO of educatebetter.org, in a press release. “It’s an especially timely tool for districts wanting to empower students making multimedia presentations as proof of learning under Common Core.”
Exo Labs is coming out with its second-generation microscope camera, which takes advantage of the Lightning connector for new iPads to deliver much higher frame rates than the original device.
Like the company’s original camera, the Model 2 attaches to a microscope, plugs into an iPad or iPhone, and includes an app that lets you stream images from the microscope, annotate them, take time-lapse photos, measure distances with the touch of your finger, and more.
With the original model, images were delivered from the microscope to the device at a rate of 15 frames per second. The Model 2 increases this speed fourfold, to 60 fps (the maximum refresh rate of an iPad screen) at the lowest-resolution setting, so “users won’t experience a lag between moving the slide around and what they see on the screen,” said Chief Technology Officer Jeff Stewart.
The Model 2 also uses a higher-quality image sensor, leading to a larger field of view, Stewart said. The Model 2, which works only with iPads that use a Lightning connector, will be available later this month for $495; Exo Labs will continue to sell its first-generation camera, which works with 30-pin iPads, for $395.
InFocus has introduced a 10-inch Windows Pro tablet with Microsoft Office 2013 and a price point that could be attractive to schools: $299 if purchased through InFocusStore.com.
The InFocus Q Tablet also includes four proprietary apps designed to facilitate sharing, viewing, and controlling content on the company’s Mondopad or an InFocus wireless-enabled projector, enhancing collaboration. These built-in apps include a tool called InFocus BigNote, which adds an interactive whiteboard to the Q Tablet with multi-colored pens and shapes for notes, sketches, and annotations that can be saved and shared.
The Q Tablet “empowers [students] to effectively participate in classroom discussions with the tablet’s annotation, file, and screen sharing from across the room,” said Dave Duncan, InFocus product manager. “It’s powerful, lightweight, [and] can run all the Windows 8.1 apps they need—all on a realistic … budget.”
A new division of SecurityWorks, GORILLAdigital, is focusing on the design and manufacture of creative, ultra-rugged IT support products. Its first such product is the KONGcart 2000 Series, an innovative audio-visual (AV) cart that accommodates a projector, a document camera, a tablet or laptop, and a sound system.
“Three school districts joined with us in a design project to reinvent the AV cart after teachers and administrators concluded that the old-style carts didn’t fit with today’s equipment,” said Christopher Meyer, president of SecurityWorks, in a press release.
All of the equipment on the cart is physically secured, yet fully adjustable and within easy reach, the company says. The KONGcart has built-in cylinders that allow the cart’s work surface to adjust from 29 inches to 42 inches while in use, allowing elementary school teachers to sit down while keeping eye contact with their students during instruction.
The KONGcart “holds up quite nicely in the high school environment, where many other products do not,” says Roxanne Ansolabehere, multimedia director for San Leandro High School in California, where there is a KONGcart in every classroom. “Teachers love the fact that the equipment is right at their fingertips and physically secured to the KONGcart, so they just push a button and get to teaching each morning.”
New curriculum products
An ed-tech startup called Lingua.ly, which offers a cross-platform solution that draws on a user’s environment and interests to create a personalized language learning experience for that user, has released a new web app that helps users learn a language while browsing the web.