About this blog Subscribe to this blog

Stand Up for Tablets

Tpt_rearviewWhen it’s time to deploy tablets to classroom, the needed stand is often forgotten, leaving kids and teachers and students holding the slate. No more, because Califone’s Smartphone and Tablet Stand can firmly hold just about any phone or slate, leaving your hands free for scrolling, tapping or typing. It folds up small and only costs $11.

Get that Key Code

Magic jellybeansWhat’s generally missing when inventorying or upgrading computers? For me, it’s the Windows Key Code that is required to finish the installation. Magical Jelly Bean’s Key Finder can not only lift it out of a system, but find the codes for roughly 300 common apps. It takes a few seconds to extract the code and you can print it with the free software, but if you shell out $30 for the Recover Keys version, it can be fed into a spreadsheet. What if you have a school full of Macs? You can use One Up’s Mac Product Key Finder, which – thankfully – is also free.

Fabulous Phablet

IMG_20150813_114641Samsung’s Note5 straddles the worlds of large phones and small tablets with a super-portable device that puts the emphasis on the pen. That’s because the Note5 comes with the latest version of Samsung’s S-Pen, which not only allows teachers to mark-up items on the device’s 5.7-inch display, but it feels great in the hand. Its super-sharp quad-HD screen is bright and very rich, yet the Note5 is smaller, and at 6-ounces, is lighter than its predecessor. It not only comes with 4GB of RAM and the latest LTE mobile data abilities but can record and show 4K videos. The wild card for the Note5 is that there’s an optional snap on keyboard that puts it in the same class as RIM Blackberry phones. It’ll be available in a week.

Freebee Friday: Windows Central

Ms edNeed info on how to upgrade to Windows 10, some ideas on creatively using OneNote or the latest on Office 365’s Class Dashboard and School Information Sync? Your first stop should be the Microsoft in Education Blog. Although it’s not updated every day, it has a lot of good information, ideas and model transformation schools to see how others are changing the way we teach and learn.

Press to Connect

02_TAP-R3_main_front_stand_3000Tired of trying to figure out a router’s details with a less-than-intuitive Web page? Amped Wireless’s TAP-R3 router has a 4-inch touch screen that shows a variety of details and lets you change them by tapping on its colorful icons. Inside, the TAP-R3 has a dozen high-gain amplifiers and its three antennas can help fill in a school’s WiFi dead zones. Based on the 802.11ac WiFi standard, it is capable of moving up to 1.75Gbps of data. Plus, while it’s idle, the screen shows the time and date.

Print with Android

MX7 - K7600GX Right PerspectiveToo many printers use obscure internal programming languages that make it hard to figure out what to do when something goes wrong. Not Samsung’s MultiXpress MX7 Series K7600GX, which speaks Android in an effort to make its abilities easier to fathom and use. The monochrome printer can pump out as many as 60 pages per minute, has a 10.1-inch color screen and in addition to printing, it faxes, scans and copies items. The print engine creates sharp 1,200- by 1,200 dot per inch documents and the first sheet comes out in as little as 7.5 seconds.

Gen 4 Savings

IPadAir2-iPadMini3-Lockscreen-PRINT2You’re ready, your students are (reluctantly) ready, but are your tablets ready for school? Mac to School has reconditioned iPad 4 tablets ready to ship out at between 25- and 50-percent less than what new ones go for. All have been cleaned up with all worn or broken parts replaced so they are as close to new as possible. At $300 for a 16GB iPad 4, your school could save a bundle.

Fly Through Lessons

MuvoMUV Interactive’s Bird has the power to turn any display device, be it projector or screen into an interactive learning experience. Just put the Bird on a finger as if it were a large ring and go and interact with the images, pointing out items, rotating a figure or zooming-in and -out. You can flip pages of an ebook as easily as annotating the screen’s contents. The good news for collaborative classrooms is that as many as 10 can use Birds at the same time.

Ultra Deep Storage

Image001Even with inexpensive online storage, there’s still a place for a school-wide storage area network. D-Link’s DSN-6510 array can hold up to 12 drives for a raw capacity of 72GB with 6GB iSCSI drives. With larger capacity drives coming, the sky’s the limit. It all fits into a 2U size chassis that can work with a 10Gbps network for fast access via a pair of SFP+ ports per controller and the ability to use a variety of RAID or disk spanning techniques. It costs about $7,000 with no drives.

Whiteboard Plus

GynzyWhat’s missing from your expensive new interactive whiteboard? The missing element for teaching with new technology is often software that can turn it from a piece of hardware into a teaching machine. Gynzy has a wide assortment of common-core aligned lesson plans and activities for both classroom work as well as for professional development. As you’d expect, everything can be marked up with a stylus and there are a slew of images and widgets available to help any class run smoother. It’s free to try it out and the service costs $100 per teacher or $1,000 per school to license the service.





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