CDI Computers, which describes itself as North America’s largest distributor of refurbished computers, says it has seen demand skyrocket during the economic recession as schools and universities look for high-quality computers at reasonable prices. More than 250,000 schools in the U.S. and Canada buy computers from CDI, said the company, which purchases used computers from many Fortune 500 companies and refurbishes them before selling them to schools at discounted prices.
Dell unveiled a Mobile Computing Station for its Latitude 2100 netbooks, designed to make implementation of a one-to-one computing program easier for schools. The Mobile Computing Station stores, charges, and networks up to 24 Latitude 2100 netbooks with just one Ethernet cord and one power cord, Dell says. It also lets administrators deliver system updates remotely while the netbooks are charging and locked in the Station during class breaks or overnight. Dell also announced a partnership with Stoneware, through which it will provide Stoneware’s webNetwork “private” cloud-computing solution to Dell education customers who request it.
HP touted its small and ultra-portable Mini Notebook PCs as a practical solution to schools’ one-to-one computing needs. HP announced that the North Kansas City, Mo., School District is deploying 6,000 HP Mini 2140 Notebook PCs to its students, and the company demonstrated its latest addition to the Mini Notebook family, the HP Mini 5101, which offers a fully integrated 2-megapixel webcam and an ergonomic design that the company says places the mouse in a more natural position for children. HP also has teamed up with Knowledge Network Solutions to expand its professional development offerings for educators, and the company recently announced $6.7 million in grants to school districts through its HP Innovations in Education program.
Intel and Nokia announced a long-term relationship to develop a new class of Intel architecture-based mobile computing devices and chipsets that will combine the performance of powerful computers with high-bandwidth mobile broadband communications and ubiquitous internet connectivity.
One2OneMate showcased its StudentMate, a low-cost, K-8 specific notebook computer. The StudentMate features a color touch screen, wireless and Ethernet connectivity, a Flash-enabled web browser, Word and Excel compatible applications, eMail software, and other features. One2OneMate also highlighted its new Mini Projector, which won the 2009 Teacher’s Pick from Instructor Magazine.
Toshiba’s Digital Products Division, a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, showcased a wide range of educational products at NECC. Toshiba’s mobile offerings for education include its newest mini NB205 for note taking and laptop training in early grades, which starts at $349. Other offerings range from high-performance thin and light laptops, such as the Tecra R10 and Portégé R600, to the Portégé M750 Tablet PC. Along with educational reseller CDW-G, Toshiba has donated more than $150,000 worth of ed-tech products to three selected schools through the companies’ Laptops for Schools initiative, including Toshiba TDP-TW100U wireless projectors and Portégé Tablet PCs. This year’s recipients of the Laptops for Schools donations were Antwerp Local School in Antwerp, Ohio; Watauga High School in Boone, N.C.; and Kilgore Independent School District in Kilgore, Texas.
Unite Private Networks promoted its high-bandwidth Fiber Optic WAN service, which is Priority One e-Rate eligible and can be custom designed to meet user-specific goals and requirements. The service includes 24-7 monitoring and management, and users can reconfigure the solution to increase their bandwidth on the fly, without having to wait for lengthy implementation, the company says.
Wyse Technology reported successful implementations of its thin-client architecture at two California school districts: the Clovis Unified School District in California’s San Joaquin Valley, as well as the River Delta Unified School District, located south of Sacramento. Through the introduction of Wyse thin-client machines, which are less expensive and easier to maintain than full-powered desktop computers, Clovis and River Delta are finding ways to leverage limited funds while still expanding their technology services, Wyse said.