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FETC 2012: Sound Off

SMART-AudioEducation only works when every child can hear and see the teacher, and SMART’s Audio 360 can make sure everything comes in loud and clear. The key is the system’s 3-ounce wireless microphone that does away with wires that can cramp a teacher’s style that comes with a lanyard for teachers who like to roam. There’re four ceiling- or wall-mounted speakers that can be strategically placed throughout the classroom and the control unit has inputs for a computer or digital audio player. The system sells for between $950 and $1,350 and will be available this summer.


FETC 2012: Learning, the Virtual Way

PBSTeacherLineBlackInterested in a partial or total online teaching option for kids? PBS TeacherLine’s "TECH 570: Fundamentals of Virtual K-12 Teaching,” can be a good way to get started. The six week online class not only covers the basics of virtual education, but is meant to ease the transition from face-to-face instruction and develop the needed skills that can last a teaching career. The course costs $525.



FETC 2012: iPad Inspiration

Inspiration ipadLook for an Inspiration iPad app, which can make creating the company’s distinctive visual mind mapping diagrams easier, quicker and more finger friendly. Aimed at students in 6th through 12th grades, the app is a great way to get kids to brainstorm ideas, collaborate as a group or plan out a project. The final version of the software should be available soon.

FETC 2012: The Learning Wiz

4ColumnThe latest from Mimio’s ever-expanding library of online curriculum is The Activity Wizard, which can turn an idea into an interactive lesson plan. The latest part of the company’s Studio 9 software, the Activity Wizard can set up classroom activities based on age and grade level as well as integrate elements from the company’s MimioTeach, MimioVote, MimioView, MimioCapture and MimioPad. It works with PCs, Macs and Linux computers, and can be downloaded.



FETC 2012: Sensing a Change

OscilloscopeWhen it comes to science, there’s no substitute for doing, and School Specialty’s uLog sensor technology and software gets the kids in on the action. With nearly four-dozen sensors available that can measure everything from acceleration to voltage, they fit nicely into a chemistry or physics lab-based curriculum. The sensors come into their own with the company’s LogIT SensorLab Plus software, which not only collects the data, but can teach kids valuable analysis skills.

FETC 2012: Read Along

Reading assistantIf putting early reader books in front of children and hoping for the best isn’t working, Scientific Learning’s Reading Assistant takes this to a new level by highlighting the word while it reads the passage to the student before she tries it herself. After silently reading the passage, the student records a reading as the program corrects any words that are misspoken. Finally, the student takes a content quiz, and the program compiles the class’s scores.



FETC 2012: iPad Flashes

Iswifter michael jacksonDespite two generations of hardware and hundreds of thousands of apps, the iPad still has a chink in its educational armor: the tablet can’t work with Flash media of any sort. That is until now, with the introduction of youweb’s iSwifter. The app is a cloud based service that converts Flash media, including social networking, into a format that the iPad can understand. It requires a WiFi connection and can be tried for 10 minutes for free. After that, the app costs $5.



FETC 2012: A Lot of Projector for a Little

PL93+_RT_ANGEpson’s PowerLite 93+ may not be the cheapest projector around, but it is as great way to put a lesson on the screen for the class to see. That’s because the PL 93+ can put 2,600 lumens of light and includes such amenities as a network connection and a 16-watt speaker. The projector uses a trio of LCD panels to create 1,024 by 768 resolution and its lamp has been designed to run for up to 6,000 hours, reducing its operating expenses. It’ll go on sale this spring for $700.


FETC 2012: Bandwidth Beckons

Comcast bizIs your school suffering from bandwidth starvation where classrooms aren’t able to get data when they need it for lessons? Comcast Business Class can help get schools into the data fast lane without it costing a fortune because schools are eligible for eRate funds and discounts. It should be more than enough to play online videos, monitor surveillance cameras and run video conferences with parents. There’s a white paper that explains the technology and how it fits into the digital classroom.


FETC 2012: Hear and Speak

3065av_lifestyle_12Headphones with microphones are usually heavy affairs that fall off of the heads of small children while they’re trying to do their school work. Califone has a new stereo headset that is light and adjustable so it stays on their heads. It has soft ear cushions, a 6-foot long non-coiled connection cord and a unidirectional microphone. It cost $17 each or $153 for ten.




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