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Instant Chemistry Lab

Mini GC Plus 1Vernier can turn any science room into a chemistry lab with its new Mini GC. A full gas chromatograph, the Mini GC uses air as its carrier gas and offers two levels of sensitivity. It can detect everything from simple alcohols to nitro alkanes and costs $1,800.


Freebee Friday: 57th Inauguration

InuaguralCrowdLooking for a lesson to teach about the upcoming 57-th inauguration? Barack Obama’s big day can be a teachable moment with the help of the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies. There will be an online lesson on Thursday January 10th at 1PM (eastern time) as well as a teacher preview on January 7th at 4PM. In addition to the history, context and details about the inauguration, there will be three 50 minute online classes including question and answer time at the end.

High Powered LAN

AC_family_Do_not_post_until_12-17-12If your school’s wireless LAN isn’t reaching every corner, maybe it need more power. Amped Wireless turns the power to 11 with its 802.11ac family of products. The RTA15 router can work in both 2.4- and 5-GHz equipment, has a 700-milliwatt radio that out powers other routers and adds in the latest WiFi range-extending features. It comes with a USB port for connecting a hard drive and has five wired gigabit ports. The company also sells a matching range-extender and USB client radio.

Stay in Control

BT Smart Pointer - 05The hardest part of running a classroom off of a tablet is teaching and controlling the slate at once. Satechi’s Bluetooth Smart Pointer lets you control the pad while moving around the room and using its laser pointer. Weighing just 1.6-ounces, the $45 Smart Pointer can not only play, pause and stop videos, move presentations along and work with iPad apps.

Connecting with Tablets

Myconnect bBlackboard’s Connect is a great way to keep everyone in a school on the same page and the latest software extends that to tablet users. The free MyConnect app is available for iPads and Android slates and lets users receive a variety of messages as well as review past communications and subscribe to different topics.

Headphones for Little Ears

2800yl-av_lifestyle_13The wrong headphones can damage the hearing of growing children but Califone’s Listening First Headsets can make sure that they never get too loud. Available in blue, red and yellow and aimed at primary school students, the Listening First Headsets have microphones for video conferences and language labs. They come with headphone and microphone jacks or a USB connector and cost either $25.75 or $49.

Bright Lights, Big Classroom

MX520_Regular_Left45With 3,000 lumens at its disposal, BenQ’s MX-520 has the ability to light up even the largest classrooms. Based on the latest DLP chip, the MX-520 creates an XGA image and has a lamp that adjusts its brightness based on what is being shown. It can not only make the lamp last as long as 6,500 hours and can cut its power use but results in a richer image. The MX-520 costs $700.

Freebee Friday: Latest and Greatest

Workspace-Connect-Case-MathIf you use and like eInstruction’s WorkSpace for teaching a class by annotating what’s on the big screen, you’ll love the latest version. Version 9.1 adds a slew of new writing, annotation and drawing tools, including shape recognition software; it’s available on a 45-day free trial. There’re also apps for iPads and Android tablets that are free. 

Twist and Teach

REVOLVE7The latest Windows 8 systems not only have touch screens but can twist into a variety of different positions to make teaching and learning easier. Take HP’s EliteBook Evolve, which has an 11.6-inch touch display that not only responds to up to 10 inputs but can rotate, fold flat to work on a desk or turn into a tablet. A base system weighs in at an enviable 3-pounds, but no word on pricing.

Calculations in Color

Left_AngleIf you thought TI couldn’t outdo the Nspire CX Handheldcolor calculator, the company has an all new TI84 Plus Silver edition coming in the Spring. It’s just the thing for classes that have standardized on the 84 family, but adds a 2.8-inch screen that is not only much more detailed than the current 84 Plus’s display, but can show 16-bit color. It has more than twice the memory as well as a rechargeable battery and the ability to add apps and programs.


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