If Apple sells an iPod stocked with nursery rhymes and kids songs, I haven’t heard about it, but Califone’s MP3 player now has these items already loaded on them. The digital music player includes material from Twin Sisters Productions, including songs about phonics, speech, nursery rhymes and an album about sea life. The device costs $161 or $273 with four headphones and a hard case.
Notebooks and especially the latest netbooks just haven’t been built for the daily abuse they’ll get at a school. Failures of screens, hard drives and mechanical things like the case are the result, which adds to the cost of outfitting students and teachers with notebooks. EarthWalk’s eBuddy 14RY is a good alternative with a shock-mounted screen and hard drive as well as magnesium case, reinforced hinges and rubberized corner bumpers. The 6-pound system is built around an Intel Celeron, Core Duo and Core 2 Duo processer, 14-inch screen and up to a 320GB hard drive.
Why use static images or hand drawn images for teaching science when you can use mini animation sequences to show how things actually work. EduMedia has hundreds of interactive clips that show everything from how Tsunamis happen and how CAT scans work to the different geometric figures. Each has an age range and are just as good for students to work with individually as when shown to the class with a projector or large screen monitor. There’s a free trial to try it out, and the system sells for $5 per month for an individual to $400 for a year-long subscription for an entire middle or high school.
With calculators of all sizes and abilities filtering into math classrooms, why not get one that can interactively test whether kids have mastered their math facts? That’s exactly what FlashMaster does, and at $50 each, they’re an inexpensive technology that most schools can afford. About the size of a portable game machine, the 11-ounce FlashMaster is appropriate for second through sixth grades and can test kids on adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Each math problem comes up on the unit’s small screen and kids answer it with keys along the bottom. About the only thing it can’t help with is word problems.