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Desktop Two-For

ARMDUAL30With Startech’s ARMDUAL30 monitor mounting hardware, you can set up a pair of displays either stacked above and below or side by side. It can handle up to 30-inch monitors side by side or 24-inch ones for stacked set ups, and can accommodate systems with 75- and 100mm VESA mounting screws. The hardware can rotate around the central pipe and can be mounted with a clamp or in a desk grommet. It costs $276.

Hopping onto the Desk

Kangaroo-Mobile-Desktop-Pro-left-angled-2While its new dock makes the Infocus Kangaroo Pro PC grow to roughly twice the size of the original Kangaroo, it’s worth it. That’s because the Pro is still one of the smallest computers around and fits into a shirt pocket or backpack pouch. Powered by the same Intel Atom quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, the new dock give the Kangaroo Pro the luxury of VGA and HDMI video as well as three USB connections and a LAN port. The big pay-off is that it can hold a 2.5-inch hard drive or solid state storage unit. It costs $200, double the original’s price.

Freebee Friday: Making the Diamond Less Expensive

Pitch inIt can cost hundreds of dollars to outfit each baseball player with the equipment they need to be safe and succeed, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Whether it’s a catcher’s mitt, shoes or bats, Pitch In For Baseball donates new and gently used baseball gear to school and amateur teams from its Philadelphia warehouse.

Good as Gold

Ti 84+Forget about white, black or even electric pink, TI’s 84 Plus calculator is now available in two new colors: Bright White and Golden Ratio. About one-third thinner and lighter than the traditional TI-84 calculator, the Plus model still can handle anything a high-school math or science classroom can throw at it. Now, it just has that little extra element of fashion.

The Desk That Has Its Ups and Downs

Focus Desk group workNothing gets kids more productive, particularly after lunch than a standing desk and Marvel’s Focus Desk goes up and down. Made of sturdy steel, the Focus desk has a spring loaded height adjustment that any child can change from a 26- or 36-inch high work surface. The desk has a 28- by 20-inch tabletop and the desk has an optional shelf and screen for test time.


New Age Story Tellers

Product_intro_SNAP_PRO_03_47d7d3eb-fbdc-40ba-8995-91da94a1f7dfRegardless of whether it’s for a teacher training film or student movies, creating, distributing and showing videos is all about storytelling, but few schools are equipped with the right gear to get the most out of the medium. For instance, shooting smartphones can be awkward to shoot with and produce jittery vids that sound like they were shot in a shower, but there are things you can do to clean up the image and audio. Snap! Pro Premium’s case and lens kit can turn an iPhone 6 or 6s into a competent camera. It includes the case with a comfy grip handle and a shutter button as well as a tripod mount. The kit costs $130 and comes with wide-angle and macro lenses and a soft felt bag.

Eos-rebel-t6i-creator-kit-shotgun-microphone_1_xlCanon’s Video Creator Kit takes this to a new level by combining a professional Eos Rebel T6i camera, an 18-to-55 millimeter zoom lens and a high-end Rode Video Mic Go shotgun microphone that snaps onto the camera. The camera can create vivid HD video streams that can be controlled by Canon’s phone app and your smart phone or tablet. The kit comes with a 32GB SD card to store your clips, but the whole thing comes together if you get Canon’s $300 Connect Station CS100. The small base can move your videos without having to plug it into the camera because it connects with the camera using Near Field Communications (NFC) technology and WiFi. Just put the camera on the CS100 and the videos can be sent to the network or displayed on a monitor or projector. All you need to do is say, “Action.”


KD-HD8x8Lite_hBut, video clips are never in the right place and the right time. That’s where Key Digital’s KD-HD8X8 Lite comes in. The video switcher and distribution system can not only switch between video sources and output, but it can handle both HDMI and network-based HD Base T streams. Able to work with HD and Ultra HD resolution clips, it can also integrate 3-D signals. The device can work with eight inputs and 16 outputs, but Key Digital also sells versions that use 4X4 and 6X6 architecture. They all include a lifetime warranty.

MW883UST_WallMountThe final step is in this trail of video is actually showing the videos and there’s nothing like the theatrical experience of a projector. Benq’s $1,500 MW883UST can light up a classroom with 3,300 lumens of light. Based on TI’s digital light processing imaging chip, the ultra-short throw MW883UST delivers 1,280 by 800 resolution and can fill screens as big as 11.7-feet, so it can be used in an auditorium. Everyone can go up to the screen and interact with the projected image by using Benq’s PointWrite pens. Teachers can save and distribute lessons with the company’s QWrite software.



Roll Out the Computers

CSC32USB-FRONT-LGetting tablets and notebooks to the right place at the right time all charged and ready for learning is no easy task, and Tripp-Lite’s CSC32USB can hold and charge 32 systems. With 2.4-amps of charging current ready so that all the batteries are at full, the cart works with the latest iPads, Kindles, Androids and Surface slates as well as anything that’s smaller than 1.5- by 16.5- by 10.5-inches. All the cords are out of sight, the CSC cart can synchronize the systems’ software and its flow-through ventilation can help them keep their cool. While the $1,300 cart weighs a hefty 130-pounds, its 4-inch casters let it glide from room to room.

New Teaching (and Learning) Horizons

Discovery horizonReading Horizons is nothing new but version 7 of its Discovery product takes interactive learning to new levels. To start there’s an iPad app for K-through-third grade students that can put the entire reading program into a child’s hands; it’s free with a subscription to the service. The rest of Discovery hasn’t stood still, either with more Check-Up assessments as well as a tool for pacing the classroom’s lessons.


All in One Video Conferences

PNG 72 dpi (RGB)-Connect bundle 05 silverIf you like the Lifesize ConferenceCam videoconference gear, it has just gotten better with the inclusion of a full computer to control everything. The ConferenceCam Kit has everything that the ConferenceCam has but adds an Intel NUC micro-PC, giving you a self-contained VC setup. The PC has Intel’s Unite software installed that can help make everything connect first time, every time. The $1,500 package includes a Logitech K400 Plus wireless keyboard.

Freebee Friday: Summertime and the Living is Educational

Summer jobs bookThe National Summer Learning Association, Civic Nation and the White House have teamed up to give teachers, parents and administrators some encouragement and help in creating summer learning projects so that what’s learned from September through June isn’t erased during July and August. In addition to advice on how to get the community behind the effort, the report “Expanding Summer Learning, Meals and Jobs for America’s Young People,” helps with four suggested curriculum services. They range from First Book and Scholastic Literacy Partnership to Open eBooks to MyOn.


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