JBL’s EON615 looks like a professional loudspeaker because it is and has been designed to be abused. At $500, it has 1,000 watts of sonic power available and can be overkill. It sends out sound in a 90- by 60-degree pattern and can reproduce audio from 39- to 20,000-Hertz. It not only has handles on the side, which can help with its 39-pound heft, but the EON615 can be set up vertically or horizontally. In addition to wireless Bluetooth, the speaker can be connected the old fashioned way with a pair of XLR jacks. The$500 speaker has a built-in mixer.
Tired of losing the expensive active stylus on any of the recent Surface tablets? Cleanint’s Clean Stylus Holder can make it stay put, something Microsoft never managed to do. Basically a plastic frame that snaps onto the edge of the slate, the Cleanstylus has an open cylinder to slide the stylus right in. If you order through the company’s Web site, you can get it in seven colors and there are models for the Surface 3 and the Pro models for $20, but Microsoft has Pro stylus holders in black or blue for $15.
There are many labs where the action is so fast that a stop watch is useless and you need to automate the motion with sensors, like Vernier’s Dynamics Cart and Track System with Motion Encoder. It lets physics teachers and students monitor and record cart motion for teaching everything from kinematics and dynamics to momentum, friction and gravity. It can handle two carts at once, has a resolution of 1 millimeter and interfaces with Vernier’s graphing and analysis software. The kit costs $384.
Capstone’s MyOn curriculum has just added a library’s worth of classic books and short stories that can all be read on a phone, tablet or notebook. Aimed at middle and high school students, the virtual library has 10,000 items that are now available at no extra cost to MyOn subscribers. The unabridged volumes in MyOn Classics include everything from "Oliver Twist" to “The Scarlet Letter.” There are categories for middle- and high-school classes.
Next Friday is Earth Day, a time we stop and thank mother nature as we try to help clean up our planet. With help from E.O. Wilson’s Biodiversity Foundation, Apple has a lot of content that you can build a lesson around with everything from conserving water and understanding ecosystems to climate change and how important keystone species are. It all comes together with the backyard Bioblitz, an activity where kids investigate and document the fauna and flora all around us.
Learn2Earn’s Whooo’s Reading platform is not only a good way to keep students reading and writing, but for the time being, it’s free for three months. The full-featured trial requires at least three teachers at the school participate
Mastering basic math can be taught as a matter of specific tricks and shortcuts that let you do just about everything in your head, and that’s where Origo One comes in. The company’s YouTube site has five free math videos that show how to do math without a pencil or paper in sight. There are minute-long clips on everything from the doubling strategy for adding numbers to counting by fives. Look for Origo One to add more in the coming weeks.
Adobe Slate is a great way to teach kids how to tell and show stories, but it has suffered from the lack of ability to incorporate videos from YouTube and other online repositories. Well, version 1.3 of Slate can do that as well as put Google photos into a story and has added a Vintage theme to its repertoire of settings. It remains an iPad exclusive with no Android app available, but you can use the online version.
Who says you need bulky cables to connect a projector, tablet or notebook with a sound system so the whole class can hear? Not the makers of wireless speakers that use Bluetooth to connect them to anything from a phone or tablet to a full notebook or desktop computer.
While they can make a classroom look a lot neater these Bluetooth speakers are meant to be carried around, whether that’s to a corner of the classroom or from room to room. While they all have Bluetooth built-in and can connect with the old school way with cables, the best add battery power for when there just isn’t an AC outlet handy.
Alesis Transaction Wireless Portable Powered Bluetooth Speaker System
The Alesis Transaction Bluetooth Speaker System not only has a spot to put an iPad, but there’re XLR and phono input jacks and the system can grab audio from a phone, tablet or notebook via a Bluetooth wireless link. It puts out 50-watts of power through the system’s 8-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter. While you can power the device via a USB power connection, the Alesis speaker set can run for more than a full school day on a charge of its internal battery. Built to last, the system can be mounted on a permanent stand or wheeled around on its recessed wheels. It sells for about $200.
Bose SoundTouch 10
The $200 Bose SoundTouch 10 speakers can not only connect via Bluetooth but can with a school’s WiFi network as well. If you’re stuck on wires, it can use a standard audio input as well as a USB port. At just 8.3- by 5.6- by 3.4-inches and less than three pounds, it’s small and can be carried around, but has a full and rich sound. If it doesn’t get loud enough, any SoundTouch 10 can be linked with other SoundTouch systems and works directly with online services like Pandora and Spotify. It comes with a remote control, can be controlled by a phone or tablet app and comes in black or white.
Performance Teknique’s ICBM-2X12BT
Better known for its monster car stereo gear, Performance Teknique’s ICBM-2X12BT may offer the most sound for the money. At less than $200, the system has a pair of 12-inch speakers and a 3-inch tweeter to pour out the volume. The system has a pair of XLR microphone inputs as well as a phono jack. It can connect to a notebook, tablet or phone with built-in Bluetooth but it has an integrated FM radio. Happily, Performance Teknique includes a wireless microphone, making it an all-around sound system for the classroom or auditorium. The sound system may weigh in at a hefty 58-pounds, but it has a handle and pair of wheels for making it mobile.
Behringer Europort PPA2000BT
While its attributes and $800 price tag make the Europort PPA 2000BT overkill for most school uses, it has a place in the auditorium because of its combination of high-power amps, large speakers and accurate audio. Unlike the others, it includes a carrying case and puts out 2,000 watts of amplified power that’s channeled through its individual right and left speakers that each have a 10-inch woofer and a 1.35- aluminum diaphragm tweeter for excellent reproduction, regardless of volume level. It has an 8-channel mixer that can not only take in Bluetooth streams but the output can be sculpted with the PPA2000BT’s 7-band graphic equalizer. It can work with a wireless microphone, but comes with a wired microphone.
TDK Trek-360 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker
Small and easy to move around the room or the school, TDK’s Trek-360 is a lightweight in size only. It takes a different audio tack that rather than aiming its sound in a particular direction, the Trek-360 sends it out in 360-degrees, so putting it in the middle of the room makes a lot of sense. It can not only stream audio via Bluetooth, but the Trek-360 has an audio input. Inside are a quartet of 2 watt speakers as well as a central subwoofer that combine for rich audio. It’s weatherproof, has a battery that can deliver top audio for a full school day and costs about $150.
560 Degree Solutions’ School Management System can cover a school with 360-degrees of technology with everything from automating admission and registration of new students to payroll and human resources. In addition to tracking student progress, 560 Degree can integrate transportation and create a variety of reports for state officials and parents.