NSBA T+L² — Projectors, presentation systems

More than 200 ed-tech companies exhibited at this year’s T+L² Conference. Here’s a sampling of news from the exhibitors offering projectors and presentations systems:

InFocus Corp., a leading provider of high-end projectors for the education field, was touting two SVGA presentation solutions priced under $1,000. The X1a and X2 both weigh just 6.8 pounds and have a 2,000-to-1 contrast ratio and up to 4,000 hours of lamp life. They enable educators to get multiuse performance with a low total cost of ownership.

“We’ve been able to do some great things with the lamp life,” said InFocus’ Marlene Jowell, director of the company’s Public Sector division. “With 4,000 hours of lamp life, you’re talking about seven years of usage and a huge savings for schools.”

New to the InFocus line is the TD 61 ultra-thin large format display. Jowell said schools are taken by the screen’s ability to provide portable digital signage. It has a 16 x 9 aspect ratio and weighs 62 pounds.

Another one of company’s popular products is the LP 600, a 2000-lumen XGA projector that does not require a computer and runs off data from a small USB thumb drive. This feature-rich projector comes in a slightly more expensive wireless variety, the LP640, which is also network-ready but requires a computer to be hooked up.

Users can operate all InFocus projectors with the same remote control device, Jowell said.
http://www.infocus.com/education

Samsung introduced its new Samsung Digital Presenter UF-80. The presenter features a 42X zoom and is capable of native XGA-quality live images with real-time motion and a split screen and image shift.
http://www.samsungpresenters.com

Educators who use digital whiteboards and other presentation products from SMART Technologies Inc. now can find more than 7,500 classroom-ready digital resources for helping them integrate these products into their instruction on the company’s EDCompass web site. Here, teachers will find 1,600 teacher-created lesson activities; 900 teacher-evaluated interactive resources and classroom-friendly web sites; more than 5,000 curriculum-related clip-art images; and 400 background templates organized by topic. Teachers can edit each lesson activity and search for them by subtopic, key word, subject area, and grade level. “SMART is committed to helping educators make effective use of our products to improve student learning and outcomes,” said Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s president and co-CEO.
http://www.edcompass.smarttech.com

Tandberg USA demonstrated its latest videoconferencing systems, including the Tandberg 1500 MXP, an all-in-one conference and presentation system, and the Tandberg 150, for high-quality desktop videoconferencing. The 1500 MXP features a 17-inch, wide-screen LCD display that can double as a PC monitor to save valuable workspace. It offers wireless capability, embedded security, true CD-quality audio, superior video quality incorporating the H.264 standard, and advanced presentation capabilities. The 150 is a portable desktop system that can be used to place voice and video calls. It contains an integrated, 8.4-inch LCD screen; ergonomically correct camera and screen position; an integrated keypad for both voice and video calls; and optional IM and webconferencing capabilities.
http://www.tandbergusa.com

Exhibitor information compiled and written by Online Editor Dan David, Managing Editor Dennis Pierce, Associate Editor Cara Branigan, Assistant Editor Corey Murray, and Contributing Editor Laura Ascione.

tags

NSBA T+L² — Communication solutions

More than 200 ed-tech companies exhibited at this year’s T+L² Conference. Here’s a sampling of news from the exhibitors offering communication solutions:

The company behind both the NSBA and eSchool News conference blogs was Clarity Innovations Inc. Recognizing that effective change in education comes from the proper and meaningful application of technology, Clarity helps define vision, develop strategy, create instructional resources, and apply emerging technologies.

Experts in professional development and the use of blogs in education, Clarity’s Thor Prichard and Steve Burt were on hand in Denver to conduct workshops on both blogs and wikis–two solutions for improving stakeholder communication. Clarity also supports and trains school staff to increase their understanding of these emerging, web-based teaching tools.

In addition to its work with schools, Clarity is building the eSchool News Ed-Tech Insider blog, which will enable a select group of educational technology experts to communicate with readers of eSchool News Online on a daily basis.
http://www.clarity-innovations.com

Related items:
  • More exhibitor news
  • NSBA T+L² recap

    ClassWebs.net demonstrated its web site management tool that aims to connect teachers, parents, and students effectively, efficiently, and affordably. ClassWebs.net enables teachers to publish all types of class information–from handouts and lessons to student projects–for easy access from any computer, keeping parents informed and students up to date.
    http://www.classwebs.net

    Edline, which strives to help keep parents informed and save teachers time, offers a set of web site and portal solutions specifically for use in K-12 schools. Working with schools’ existing software, student information systems, gradebooks, and desktop applications, Edline provides a stakeholder portal that ties each of these disparate systems together, allowing administrators to control who has access to what applications and from where. Students and teachers can search school databases for information about classes, assignments, and activities, and parents can access grades, consult child attendance records, read news, keep track of upcoming assignments, and mark events on the school calendar’all through a secure, password-protected online system.
    http://www.edline.com

    Finalsite is offering free eMail service for one year for faculty, students, and administrators of schools that buy the company’s finalsiteCMS (Content Management System) solution by Dec. 12. Reportedly used by more than 400 schools, districts, educational service agencies, colleges, and universities, finalsiteCMS is intended to maximize the potential of school web sites for communicating with stakeholders. Finalsite also is offering a free, one-year subscription to ScheduleStar, a sports scheduling program designed by an athletic director for fellow ADs. This real-time scheduling application allows parents and students to be updated from the practice field automatically if practice is cancelled, for example.
    http://www.finalsite.com

    Megan Stewart, global education director of Macromedia Inc., was in Denver to announce that the Blackboard Content System is now fully integrated with Macromedia Contribute 3, the content development tool released in July. Contribute 3 allows students and teachers to create and edit high-quality web content in a quick and easy way. Stewart said the tools provided by Contribute add a whole new dimension to Blackboard, enabling students to access a wider variety of content.

    Macromedia is also issuing K-6 site licenses (up to 500 computers) of Contribute 3 that come with 10 copies of Macromedia Studio MX 2004. The K-6 license, which also includes teacher training resources, is available for a flat fee of $1,499 per school building.

    Stewart described reaction to Contribute 3 as enthusiastic and said schools are thrilled with a version that works better than ever on a Mac OS.

    Macromedia also promoted the upcoming release of its Captivate software, which enables educators to create video software tutorials. Captivate offers schools new opportunities for professional development, enabling a district’s most tech-savvy educators to train their colleagues. Captivate begins shipping in November.
    http://www.macromedia.com

    StudentsAchieve said it recently was awarded the contract for delivering a new learning management system for the Parkland School Division in Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada, near Edmonton. StudentsAchieve web-based software will be integrated into every school in the district. The system can be accessed from anywhere on the internet, and collaboration tools enable teachers to share content with other users on the system. The software features a learning management system that helps educators manage content and resources, helps improve teacher performance and student motivation, and involves parents in the learning process, the company said. The StudentsAchieve system also enables parents and students to link media and other content to homework, courses, and specific lessons.
    http://corporate.studentsachieve.com/Forms/Home.aspx

    Exhibitor information compiled and written by Online Editor Dan David, Managing Editor Dennis Pierce, Associate Editor Cara Branigan, Assistant Editor Corey Murray, and Contributing Editor Laura Ascione.

    tags

    NSBA T+L² — School library solutions

    More than 200 ed-tech companies exhibited at this year’s T+L² Conference. Here’s a sampling of news from the exhibitors offering school library solutions:

    Questia President and CEO Troy Williams announced that the company’s online library–reportedly the largest online academic library in the world–is now being made available to high school students and educators. With a solid four-year presence in higher education, the company has a growing collection of 50,000 full-text books; 400,000 journal, magazine, and newspaper articles; and a suite of research tools. Its software works as an online companion, allowing students to do their research and build their footnotes and bibliographies on the fly.

    To promote its expansion into K-12 education, Williams said his company is allowing one librarian at every secondary school in America to receive a free, one-year subscription to Questia’s library of digital resources, which are pre-selected by a team of professional librarians. The total donation, reportedly worth $3.7 million, will provide secondary-school librarians and library media specialists with an opportunity to see how the technology can benefit students by expanding their existing library collections. Williams said Questia wants students to benefit from the millions of dollars it has already spent to make its massive library available on the web.

    “We are giving credible content from real sources,” said Williams. “With so much on the internet, it’s important to students to know they are using legitimate research materials.”

    Related items:
  • More exhibitor news
  • NSBA T+L² recap

    Questia’s fully searchable library is XML-based and allows students to read only one page at a time, and there is a cap on the number of pages that can be sent to a printer–a key reason more publishers make their books available to Questia. The cost to districts is roughly $20 per student per year but can drop to under $10 per student based on a district’s size. A pilot version of Questia’s secondary-school program was tested in 44 schools in Texas, and Williams said 93 percent renewed their licenses.
    http://www.questia.com

    Sagebrush Corp. demonstrated its latest software solutions for schools: Pinpoint, a smart research tool that helps students find and use the best resources for learning, and Analytics, which enables teachers and administrators to access, analyze, and share information from multiple sources to help drive data-driven decision making and monitor the progress that students and schools are making toward achieving their goals. Sagebrush also profiled the newest releases of its library automation programs–Accent, Athena, and Spectrum–as well as MARC Source, a new, online MARC database that provides access to hundreds of thousands of high-quality, professionally cataloged MARC records that can be copied directly into a school’s library collection.
    http://www.sagebrushcorp.com

    Exhibitor information compiled and written by Online Editor Dan David, Managing Editor Dennis Pierce, Associate Editor Cara Branigan, Assistant Editor Corey Murray, and Contributing Editor Laura Ascione.

    tags

    NSBA T+L² — Online learning

    More than 200 ed-tech companies exhibited at this year’s T+L² Conference. Here’s a sampling of news from the exhibitors offering online learning products and services:

    eClassroom, the K-12 division of eCollege, highlighted its suite of computer-based support services for virtual schools, including resources to aid in the development of online courses, delivering instruction, and maintaining online support. An array of administrative tools help new eLearning institutions chart a path toward success, the company said, and eClassroom also offers a proprietary content-management system designed to help administrators create, store, manage, retrieve, and publish content for both online and offline delivery.
    http://www.eclassroom.com

    Related items:
  • More exhibitor news
  • NSBA T+L² recap

    Nova Southeastern University offers a way for the students in the school’s master of science (M.S.) program to earn a doctoral degree in a shorter time. If students have completed 24 credits in the M.S. program, have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and have completed specific master’s courses, they are eligible to apply. If accepted, students complete the remaining 12 master’s credits in the doctoral program. The Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences offers five M.S. and five Ph.D. programs and offers online programs for both degrees. The M.S. degree requires 36 credit hours and can be completed in 12 to 18 months. There are four terms a year, each one 12 weeks long.
    http://www.nova.edu

    Exhibitor information compiled and written by Online Editor Dan David, Managing Editor Dennis Pierce, Associate Editor Cara Branigan, Assistant Editor Corey Murray, and Contributing Editor Laura Ascione.

    tags

    NSBA T+L² — Professional development

    More than 200 ed-tech companies exhibited at this year’s T+L² Conference. Here’s a sampling of news from the exhibitors offering professional development products and services:

    Atomic Learning announced that it has added 20 tutorials for Promethean Corp.‘s ACTIVBoard Collaborative Classroom System to its library of award-winning, affordable, web-based software training videos. Atomic Learning has made these Promethean tutorials available free of charge at its web site. The tutorials also can be found on Promethean’s complimentary online resource center. Atomic Learning’s library of online tutorials has now grown to more than 12,000 movies covering more than 70 software and hardware products commonly used by educators. The company was formed four years ago by technology educators looking to provide schools with quick and easy answers to often vexing questions.
    http://www.atomiclearning.com

    Related items:
  • More exhibitor news
  • NSBA T+L² recap

    The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), a nonprofit organization that supports the use of technology in schools, highlighted several initiatives during this year’s show, including its Cyber Security for the Digital District program, which is intended to provide educational technology leaders and policy makers with strategies, tools, and a web site they can consult to help ensure the privacy of important student data and the safe operation of their networks. CoSN also held separate events to help guide schools through the concept of Total Cost of Ownership, as well as a seminar to help schools navigate the competitive-bidding process for new technology purchases. The group also continued pushing educators to be more active on Capitol Hill, urging stakeholders to contact their members of Congress and make the case for increased federal ed-tech spending.
    http://www.cosn.org

    Digital Media Academy (DMA), which provides digital media professional development courses for K-20 educators, teenagers, and creative professionals, demonstrated its latest course offerings for teachers, including video and motion graphics classes, 3-D animation and game design courses, and web design and Flash units, among other offerings. Aside from holding summer programs at nationally accredited universities, DMA also offers its courses through local county offices of education. What’s more, its “DMA on the Road” service offers on-site training to teachers and professionals.
    http://www.digitalmediaacademy.org

    The PBS television station WGBH in Boston has created a series of online courses for K-12 educators, called Teachers’ Domain Professional Development, that encourages teachers to integrate multimedia–such as streaming video and interactive simulations–into their science teaching with the hope of inspiring students. Participating teachers will expand their science knowledge using content from award-winning public television science programs and web sites, including NOVA, Zoom, and A Science Odyssey. “The courses are designed to assist teachers in two ways–to expand their knowledge of science concepts and to provide a range of effective strategies for use in teaching those concepts,” said Ted Sicker, executive producer of WGBH. Three courses are available so far: Teaching Elementary Life Science, Teaching Elementary Physical Science, and Teaching Middle School Life Science. Additional courses, including those for high school teachers, are expected to launch in 2005.
    http://www.teachersdomain.org/courses

    Exhibitor information compiled and written by Online Editor Dan David, Managing Editor Dennis Pierce, Associate Editor Cara Branigan, Assistant Editor Corey Murray, and Contributing Editor Laura Ascione.

    tags

    NSBA T+L² — Research

    More than 200 ed-tech companies exhibited at this year’s T+L&#178l;; Conference. Here’s a sampling of news from the exhibitors offering research information and services:

    The nonprofit Corporation for Public Broadcasting used T+L² to disseminate the results of a recent report called “Television Goes to School: The Impact of Video on Student Learning in Formal Education.” The report focuses on the relationship of television to learning and gives examples from current research that show the positive effects of television on student achievement. The report also provides a list of recommendations intended to help teachers integrate effective video-based learning applications into to classroom. Fueled by the research-based provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the report calls for more scientific evidence to support the continued use of video-based instruction in America’s schools.
    http://www.cpb.org

    Related items:
  • More exhibitor news
  • NSBA T+L² recap

    Market Data Retrieval (MDR) recently released its “Technology in Education 2004” report, which keeps educators and vendors up to date on K-12 technology trends and provides details on district spending.
    http://www.schooldata.com

    Exhibitor information compiled and written by Online Editor Dan David, Managing Editor Dennis Pierce, Associate Editor Cara Branigan, Assistant Editor Corey Murray, and Contributing Editor Laura Ascione.

    tags

    Copyright law at odds with the internet’s international nature

    The New York Times reports that Australia’s Project Gutenberg, which makes classic texts available on the web, had to take down a link to Gone With the Wind after Margaret Mitchell’s estate said the posting violated copyright law. The dispute raises questions about intellectual propery rights when different countries have different standards. Gone With the Wind retains its U.S. copyright until 2031, even though it has already entered the public domain in Australia. (Note: This site requires registration.)

    tags

    BitTorrent file-sharing program causes new bandwidth headaches

    Reuters reports that the wildly popular file-sharing program BitTorrent has been monopolizing internet bandwidth. The underground network allows people to illegally download copyrighted music, video games, TV shows and movies. A British study found that BitTorrent accounts for 35 percent of all internet traffic.

    tags

    Louisiana high school teaching students to build own computers

    WBRZ-TV of Baton Rouge, La., reports that a local high school opened a new technology center that includes a classroom and two computer labs. Among the school’s course offerings is a popular elective class in which students learn to build, repair and service computers.

    tags

    Abundance of online degrees might not be best for all involved

    The Boston Globe reports that online education is booming in the U.S., and more students are willing to earn degrees at schools whose campuses they have never even visited. Some higher-ed administrators are concerned that this large number of choices is making it harder to distinguish the legitimate academic programs from diploma mills.

    tags