StriveComm Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., is a subscription-based internet community that provides novice web users with tools to use the internet effectively.
StriveComm creates and hosts an easy-to-manage web site for your schools. Using an internet template, teachers and administrators can post class schedules, sports scores, messages to parents, and more with no knowledge of hypertext markup language (HTML) necessary. StriveComm does the programming for you.
If your school already has a site, you may still find the service useful. Teachers around the country can participate in StriveComm discussions about topics like curriculum, guidance, technology, and special education. Members also have access to high-quality education links and links to news in the education market.
StriveComm’s annual membership fee is $200.
Fortres 101 4.0
Fortres Grand Corp., a leading developer of desktop access control and reporting software, has released Fortres 101 4.0, the latest version of its security solution for the PC.
With newly integrated support for Windows NT and Novell NetWare, version 4.0 provides varying security levels for any number of user groups–teachers, students, and administrators. In addition, the new version includes N2H2’s BessAM web-filtering service, allowing administrators to intelligently block student access to inappropriate web sites.
“Not only does Fortres 101 speed user profile setup and automate network protection, but it provides administrators and educators with the web-filtering tools they need to give users internet access without the distractions of inappropriate content,” said Mike Magee, marketing manager.
The cost for a 10-user license is $239, while a full site license is $395.
Dell Computer Corp., the No. 2 server vendor in the United States and No. 4 worldwide, has introduced the latest in its PowerEdge series of servers, the PowerEdge 1300. According to Dell, this new server brings the latest in technology to smaller operations, such as schools, at an affordable price.
The PowerEdge 1300 provides additional scalability and management features to customers who previously may have used a desktop computer as a server for shared file, print, or business resource applications. It allows for a central file database as well as intranet, internet, and eMail applications.
The PowerEdge 1300 offers up to 1 GB of memory and 54 GB of internal storage. At $1,699, it costs less than most desktop computers.
Microtest DiscZerver 2.0
The latest version of Microtest’s DiscZerver, a CD-ROM sharing and networking device, is the first in the industry to offer a CD-ROM recording feature, according to Microtest.
DiscZerver is a thin server that slides into a tower to allow the sharing of CDs and DVDs in a networked environment. It supports both 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps Ethernet networks and PC or Macintosh clients. DiscZerver prepares and mounts discs automatically, letting users access them with point-and-click simplicity. It also caches the contents of discs in your tower’s hard drives to speed up access and allow access by multiple users simultaneously.
Version 2.0 of DiscZerver adds a unique recording capability that lets you create your own CDs by selecting the files you want from various locations on a network, publishing them on the unit’s hard drive, and then recording them on the actual CD.
The list price for DiscZerver is $995.
California-based Imagiworks has developed a handheld computer lab that lets students collect and analyze scientific data. With imagiLab, teachers can move science out of the classroom by having students conduct their investigations in the field.
imagiLab consists of software, student activities, and a battery-powered interface that clips neatly to a Palm Computer from 3Com. The interface supports a wide range of probes and sensors to measure temperature, pressure, voltage, light, dissolved oxygen, and acidity.
The software lets students collect and graph data in real time; analyze the data to discover relationships and principles; annotate data with text and sketches; and transfer data to a desktop computer through serial and infrared ports.
The full package, including the handheld computer, sells for less than $600.
Sony’s newest video presentation stand, the VID-P150, is the latest in the company’s complete line of products for use in distance-learning classrooms. The VID-P150 can display flat or three-dimensional objects, negative or positive film, and slides either on a TV monitor or through a video projector. It’s also the only stand with a motorized pan/tilt camera, Sony says.
The camera can be operated by a wireless handheld remote or an eight-direction joystick on the stand’s front panel. The camera’s wide range of motion allows enhanced interactivity between participants–for example, it can be used to zoom in on individual class members as they ask questions or add comments.
A “home position” button automatically returns the camera’s pan/tilt and zoom to a preset position determined by the user.
The VID-P150 is available through authorized Sony resellers at a suggested list price of $3,995.
Larson’s Middle School Math
Larson’s Middle School Math: An Interactive Approach, from Meridian Creative Group, is a self-paced, interactive software program with tutorial components for grades six to eight. This multimedia CD-ROM emphasizes problem-solving, critical thinking skills, and real-life applications.
The program is divided into 20 modules containing 158 topics. The modules can be edited and customized to fit any math curriculum or individual student’s proficiency level. A powerful, user-friendly feature, called the Classroom Management System, allows for student assessment, tracking, customization, editing, and grading.
Meridian says educators who have reviewed Larson’s Middle School Math find it to be an engaging program for classroom use. The content supports National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) standards.
Network site licenses, single-user versions, and lab packs are available.