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The Eyes Have It

Ipela_sncrz25n_z Over the years, I’ve noticed that schools with video cameras have less graffiti and vandalism than those that don’t. Sony’s SNCRZ25N video surveillance camera can keep an eye on things whether there’s someone watching or not. The small camera can cover the territory with an 18X zoom lens, the ability to pan 170 degrees each way and tilt up and down. It even works in low light. Because the SNCRZ25N sends its video to a server over the school’s network, you don’t have to add expensive video cables to the school.

Check it out at Sony’s security Web site.

eInstruction Buys Interwrite Learning

An interesting development in the K-12 interactive world: eInstruction has announced that they will purchase Interwrite Learning. This acquisition doubles the size of eInstruction, known primarily for their student response systems, and adds Interwrite’s family of interactive whiteboards, mobile teacher slates, and content to their offerings. Darrell Ward, eInstruction’s founder, will remain as chief executive officer and Steve Kaye, Interwrite’s co-president and chief operating officer, will become president. Read the announcement on eInstruction's site.

Throw That Sharpie Away

Cwe60_multi That’s right, with Casio’s CW-E60 disc printer you can stop scribbling cryptic titles onto discs and create labels directly on the surface of any CD or DVD. With 200 dot-per-inch resolution, the thermally-printed text stands out from the disc’s surface and doesn’t fade over time. The $60 printer can use any of five different color ribbons and connects with a PC via an included USB cable.   
More info about the printer can be found at Casio's Web site.

A Clean Start

MacshieldinstallCenturion Technologies’ DriveShield and MacShield can take the worries out of a protecting every school computer from intruders and accidental digital damage. The program works by staying in the background, but when a student or teacher deletes key data or downloads a virus, DriveShield has the power to wipe the machine clean. All you need to do is reboot the system to make all the changes vanish, restoring the drive to its original condition. The Orange County Department of Education uses the software to protect its PCs.

Check out what the software has to offer at www.centuriontech.com

Media Carts Offer 12-Year Warranty

Bretford_2 Your librarians might want to check out the new Wire Frame Book & Utility Truck from Bretford. It's easy to maneuver heavy loads of books, DVDs, CDs, and other library media and actually comes with a 12-year standard warranty -- pretty impressive in the taxing world of school environments. The new model has a small enough footprint to navigate tight corners, and the wire frame means users can push around heavy loads and let students see the loaded material from any angle. Lists for $330. See Bretford for more specs and shipping details.

Filtering by Proxy

Net-savvy students can whiz their way around proxies to bypass school web filters, so these filters have to keep getting smarter. Distribution giant CDW-G has gotten into the game by offering 8e6 Technologies’ Internet filter as part of an overall cyber security solution. The new combined offering includes three security packages: 8e6 Professional Edition, 8e6 Standard Edition, or the 8e6 ProxyBlocker that works with other Internet filters to detect and block Web-based proxies and instant messaging applications. See CDW-G for more details.

Scan Fan

Artixscan_m1_holders Microtek’s ArtixScan M1 can turn any art room into a digital darkroom capable of creating high quality images out of anything from photos and slides to magazine pages and student artwork. Capable of creating 4,800 dot-per-inch resolution digital images, the scanner features an 8.5-by 14-inch scanning bed and automatic focusing so every scan is perfect. The Artix Scan M1 connects with a PC or Mac via a USB cable and costs $650.
If you want more info about the scanner, go to www.microtek.com

Lost and Found

Whether you’re after computers, printers, digital cameras or wireless gear, Retrevo can help pick the right Retrevo equipment for a class, school or district. Forget about sifting through hundreds of search engine entries because Retrevo’s Product Advisor uses artificial intelligence to find what you’re after. The site continually updates product specs and prices for 40 categories of digital items and assigns each device a value rating that is plotted on an easy-to-read scatter graph. Just click on the thumbnail photos of the devices at the bottom to get the unit’s details and pricing. For those who feel out of their depth, the site also provides buying guides and help with figuring out what you actually need.
For more info about the online service, go to www.retrevo.com

The Big Board

Mimio_board_photo With the addition of a 111-inch model, Mimio’s Board HD 110 provides the largest digital workspace available for classrooms. Made of porcelain-coated steel, the board’s surface is impervious to everything from coffee stains to children’s fingerprints, and comes with an unrivaled 50-year warranty. Our favorite is Mimio’s Studio software, which puts the emphasis on multimedia instruction while the company’s Capture kit allows teachers to save a lesson digitally to share with the class, administrators or parents online. With discounts for schools, the Mimio Board HD 110 sells for $2,000.
You can get more info about the board at www.mimio.com

Dell Flips Over Tablets

Lat_xtAfter reselling a variety of tablets made by others for years, Dell introduces its Latitude XT Tablet PC, which sets the standard for schools in terms of size, weight and abilities. Weighing less than four pounds and barely 1-inch thick, the XT works well as a keyboard-centric notebook but flip the screen around and it is transformed into a capable slate computer. Based on Intel Core 2 Solo or Duo processors, the XT has a 12.1-inch wide screen, full-size keyboard and either a 120GB hard drive or 64GB of rugged flash memory. The XT is still only an inch thick, weighs less than four pounds and can be ordered with either Windows XP or Vista. Pricing starts at about $2,500 for this laptop. If you would like more info check out the Dell website.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Tech Tools are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.