Product Spotlight

Grab these new handheld computers from PalmOne

PalmOne (formerly Palm Inc.) has announced several new handheld computers suitable for students, teachers, and school administrators.

The Zire 21 handheld is a $99, entry-level Palm that features 8 megabytes of memory, a rechargeable battery, a faster processor, and the latest version of the Palm operating system. While this device displays in black and white only, it does feature four times as much memory as its predecessor.

The Tungsten E handheld is a steal. For only $199, it features PalmOne’s most readable color screen, 32 megabytes of memory, and it now supports Microsoft Office files. Users can create and edit Microsoft Word, Execl, and PowerPoint files without doing any conversion. With an expansion card, the Tungsten E plays MP3 files, video clips, and still photographs.

The Tungsten T3 is PalmOne’s most innovative handheld yet. The bottom part of the device slides down to expose an extra inch of screen space, and users have the option of viewing in portrait or landscape formats. The Tungsten T3 also supports wireless access, records voice memos, and comes with a full 64 megabytes of memory.

The Tungsten line can run thousands of Java-based applications, now that these handhelds include IBM’s WebSphere Micro Environment software. PalmOne also has redesigned its portable keyboard to support the new Tungsten T3’s viewing options. The handhelds connect to the new keyboard through an infrared port and can be arranged either vertically or horizontally. Education pricing is available.

(888) 223-4817

Adobe’s new Creative Suite is a sweet deal for schools

Publishing and graphic design software maker Adobe Systems has introduced a complete package of its products at a price that’s very attractive for schools.

The new Adobe Creative Suite boasts upgraded versions of four Adobe software titles, plus two other programs and a design guide, all for just $399 for educators. The suite, which normally sells for $1,229, includes the latest versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and GoLive, as well as Acrobat 6.0 Professional, a design guide, and a new program called Version Cue.

The tools in this package are integrated as never before, Adobe says, making it easier than ever to move files between applications or people. Although this functionality is most advantageous for magazines and ad agencies, Adobe says yearbook committees and graphic design classes also will benefit. Version Cue, the tool that enables this seamless file transferal among programs, is only available in the Adobe Creative Suite. Version Cue also keeps track of every file iteration, allowing individuals or members of working groups to access the various versions easily.

All titles feature enhancements. For example, Photoshop has improved file management capabilities, and Illustrator has enhanced support of three-dimensional images.

(800) 833-6687

Engage students’ interest with these digital curriculum tools from SAS inSchool

SAS inSchool, the education division of Cary, N.C.-based SAS Institute, has added new digital curriculum tools to its teacher planning product Curriculum Pathways, which is geared toward students and teachers in grades eight to 12.

The new Student InterActivities for English literature and modern European history offer interactive lessons that combine audio, images, and video. For example, the English Literature InterActivities intertwine literary passages with audiovisual files to teach literature topics such as Old English, Middle English, Renaissance, Shakespeare, and more. Students have a space to write their own interpretations, and they can scroll over words to learn their definitions.

Modern European History InterActivities are available for topics such as Renaissance and the Reformation, Exploration and Colonization, Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, and more. Students view short movies on the people, issues, and events related to a key historical question, then using an online organizational tool they review primary-source documents and audio clips, save passages that support either side of the question, and develop their own analysis.

The new content also features additional teacher planning materials for physical science, including lessons about changes in matter, electricity, energy, forces, motion, waves, and more. All materials are linked to state and national standards through Curriculum Pathways, a teacher planning environment with resources for English, mathematics, science, social studies, and Spanish. A subscription to Curriculum Pathways costs $2.50 per student, per year.

(888) 760-2515

Sample this new school lunch solution from COMPanion Corp.

eLunchroom, from COMPanion Corp., is a new point-of-sale automation solution for K-12 school cafeterias that builds upon the company’s Macintosh-based predecessor, MacLunchroom.

The new eLunchroom supports both Windows and Macintosh operating systems. It’s also web-based, enabling parents to log in, view their child’s account balance, and add money to their child’s account from any internet-connected computer.

eLunchroom currently works with bar-code scanners, and the company expects to add fingerprint scanning capability by the end of 2003. The software also generates a variety of reports necessary for government compliance and other needs. Reports can be customized and edited with the software’s built-in word processor.

eLunchroom’s database can be managed at each school building or at one central location that services an entire district. A single checkout license costs $1,495, and a site license with unlimited checkout points costs $2,495.

(800) 347-6439

Keep an eye on this security system from Sony

Sony’s e-Surveillance System is a new digital video security system that allows school administrators and law enforcement officials to observe emergency situations in real time via the internet.

Sony’s system consists of both fixed and pan-tilt-zoom-enabled, internet protocol (IP)-addressable cameras with built-in web servers and Ethernet ports; Sony Real Shot camera recording and video management software; and network servers for video storage and retrieval. The software runs on Cisco infrastructure.

The cameras produce JPEG data files that can be accessed, monitored, recorded, and printed through a network connection by authorized personnel. The system’s 720-gigabyte storage capacity can store 30 days worth of images. The cameras are equipped with motion sensors that can notify school officials on call by eMail or telephone automatically.

Sony’s e-Surveillance System was developed and first used at a San Diego County district made up of 11 high schools. After experiencing two separate shootings in a two-week period in 2001, the Grossmont Union School District searched for an economical way to protect its schools. In addition to securing its campus, school officials use the surveillance system to capture school sporting events and teachers’ best practices. The district also is renegotiating with its insurance company for lower rates to reflect its use of the new security system.

(800) 686-SONY

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