CDW-G Inc. , a provider of direct computing solutions to academic and government institutions, released the results of its third annual study on the use of technology in schools–and the results are encouraging for advocates of educational technology. The study, “Teachers Talk Tech,” was carried out in partnership with the research firm Quality Education Data, a subsidiary of Scholastic Inc. According to the study, three-quarters of teachers surveyed say computers are effective teaching tools. Sixty-eight percent of teachers believe technology actually improves academic performance. More than half of those surveyed said technology has changed how they teach “a great deal,” an increase of 40 percent over the prior year. Also, 17 percent of the study’s 1,000 respondents label themselves “advanced/expert” users of technology. Last year, only 6 percent of respondents defined themselves as “advanced” tech users. In addition, 93 percent of teachers surveyed believe their school administration supports technology.

Dell Inc. , the Texas-based PC and hardware solutions provider, promoted its next generation of Dell Intelligent Classrooms–a collection of computers, technology devices, content, and professional development intended to transform classrooms into integrated teaching and learning environments–in two curriculum-specific modules: (1) math and science, and (2) English, foreign language, and social sciences.

Tangent Computer featured its VITA all-in-one, LCD-display PC at the conference. Hidden inside the back panel of each VITA is a complete computer, standard with Windows XP Pro, Intel Pentium 4 processor, DVD/CD-RW combo drive, media reader, integrated speakers, Ethernet connectivity, and more, according to the company. Tangent says optional features such as touch screen, TV tuner, WiFi, cordless keyboard and mouse, and the many display mount options transform VITA into a special-purpose solution to help meet space limitations and mobility requirements in education. The company also demonstrated its Packet Hawk anti-spyware security solution, which Tangent says features easy central management to control distributed scans, real-time monitor rules management, and scheduling and reporting options from one interface. The company’s Web Hawk content filtering solution also was featured at TCEA. Web Hawk reportedly can inspect internet traffic on the local network, log traffic data, and enforce the internet access policy established by the institution.