Gateway Micro Server
Gateway has introduced a Linux-based server appliance designed to simplify set-up and administration of standards-based tasks such as shared internet service, eMail, web publishing, and cross-platform file sharing. The Micro Server is a turnkey device intended for small business or education clients who don’t have the resources typically needed to install, maintain, and administer a larger server. The scaled-down device, which comes with an estimated starting price of $1,299, can be up and running in as little as 30 minutes, according to Gateway.
Texas Instruments TI-15 Explorer calculator
Texas Instruments’ TI-15 Explorer calculator, created for students in grades 3-6, combines the utility of a calculator with a unique problem-solving tool. In the calculator’s problem solving mode, which provides enhanced problem solving abilities without immediately providing the answers, students can choose to let the calculator give them a problem, or they can enter their own. Students then figure out a solution, review the hints the calculator has provided to check their guess, then guess again. Students are given up to three hints before the calculator provides them with the solution. There are three levels of difficulty and four operations to choose from. Students also benefit from a two-line display, which lets them view the entire problem and answer at the same time, complete with operation symbols. The TI-15 also features a scrolling mechanism and previous entry key that lets students review past entries to look for patterns or errors. Results from division problems can be featured in three ways: as remainders, fractions, or decimals, depending on which is appropriate for the curriculum. A demonstration of the calculator and its functions can be found on the company’s web site.
When it comes to putting up a district-wide Web site, the most important issues faced by school administrators and technical coordinators are security, flexibility, simplicity, and control. School Center addresses all of these issuesand more.
“With School Center, every school, team, club, and classroom in a district can have their own site within the district’s main site,” says C. Robert Leininger, former state superintendent of education for the state of Illinois, and now School Center director of corporate relations. “That helps bring everyone together, including parents, teachers, and the community as a whole.”
In addition to being extremely flexible and inclusive, School Center is also very secure. Only authorized personnel can give people the access needed to make changes.
School Center is also completely free of advertising. The only promotional elements on the site would be ones the district decided to put up.
And lastly, School Center is extremely easy to license. While other sites have complex licensing agreements, just one School Center agreement covers your entire district.
Digital Innovations’ DataDoctor
With the explosion of compact discs and digital video discs, many technology users are experiencing problems with damaged and scratched discs. After more than five years of research, Digital Innovations has released DataDoctor, the first CD and DVD scratch repair kit, according to the company. Intended to save users money on replacing damaged discs, DataDoctor was designed by a former NASA scientist and an experienced consumer products engineer and has won the prestigious “Design Distinction” award from ID Magazine. DataDoctor’s machine-provided control makes it easy even for novices to repair discs without risk of damaging the CD further or dealing with messy paste repair kits, according to Digital Innovations. The company offers a lifetime warranty: if DataDoctor fails to perform to specifications for any reason, the consumer can return it to the company for free repair or replacement. Units carry a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $34.99, and certified retailers can be identified on the company’s web site.
ATI Technologies All-In-Wonder 128
Educators wondering how to incorporate multimedia elements seamlessly into the curriculum have a powerful new tool with ATI’s All-In-Wonder PC upgrade card. The All-In-Wonder product can be installed easily into any Pentium computer. It enables teachers to output video from the computer to a video screen, capture stills of live motion video from the web or television, and edit footage for use in the classroom.
All-In-Wonder 128 includes an intelligent TV-tuner with a digital VCR, 128 bit 3-D graphics acceleration, true color gaming, video output to a TV or VCR, still image and MPEG-2 motion video capture, video editing, hardware DVD video playback, and up to 32 MB of memory.
A number of educational applications for the device already have been tested in the classroom. For example, a high school physics teacher in Schenectady, N.Y., helps his students learn by incorporating video footage of everyday physics principles into his class. He uses a camcorder to shoot video of a garden hose being held at different angles depending on where the water is supposed to fall, then downloads the video to the computer in his classroom using All-In-Wonder and outputs the video to a LCD screen for display.
The upgrade card requires Windows 95 or 98, a Pentium chip, a sound card supported by Windows 95 or 98, a CD-ROM drive, and a DVD-ROM drive for DVD playback.