Mac OS X version 10.4 "Tiger"
www.apple.com, Software, Single-user education license $69, Server version $249
Among the more than 200 new features in this updated operating system is Spotlight, which can search for anything stored on the computer, including the contents of Microsoft Office and other documents, e-mails, contacts and images. Spotlight organizes and displays results, as well as automatically updates results when files change. Several third-party developer applications with Spotlight search technology are expected in the coming months.
Also new is Dashboard, which includes accessory applications called widgets that appear to give users immediate access to information like weather forecasts, airline flight tracking and a phone book. Tiger ships with 14 widgets.
Tiger's iChat supports the new H.264 video codec for better picture quality audio and video conferencing. The new Automator workflow application, meanwhile, lets users automate repetitive tasks by selecting from a library of 100-plus customizable actions to create an automated workflow tailored to suit their requirements. Workflows can be saved and shared with colleagues. The Safari Web browser can now bring up the most current information from Web sites and personal Weblogs, and multiple feeds can be merged into one interface to create a personal news clipping service. A new .Mac sync preference enables subscribers to automatically synchronize their Safari bookmarks, iCal appointments, address book contacts, keychain passwords and mail settings across multiple computers.
The first new Apple hardware release with Tiger is the iMac G5 series ($1,199-$1,699). The computers have 2.0 GHz PowerPC G5 processors, built-in Airport Extreme and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. The entire computer, including the power supply and slot-loaded optical drive, is built right into a two-inch thin display. An ATI Radeon 9600 graphics processor with 128MB of dedicated video memory delivers high-performance graphics and provides fast image processing when combined with Tiger's graphics capabilities.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
www.teachmath.org, Internet, free
This new Web site offers information about a career as a math teacher, such as traditional and alternate certification paths, links to each state's or Canadian province's department of education for certification needs and ideas teachers can use to encourage young students to stay interested in math and continue their mathematics studies. Its six headings include why be a math teacher, why certified math teachers are in demand, resources for math teachers, steps students can take right now and NCTM student membership.
www.mathamigo.com, Software, $60/single user- $1,500/grade site license
This standards-based math software was designed for handhelds including Palm OS devices and the AlphaSmart Dana. It features more than 2,500 standards-based activities on topics ranging from counting to pre-algebra for grades K-8. Activities test students' understanding of concepts, offer an engaging platform to practice their knowledge and encourage problem solving.
The PC-based Manager version enables teachers to organize and plan daily math lessons individualize them to each student. Students sync activities to their handhelds and, when completed, the activities are immediately sent to and scored on the teacher's desktop. Teachers can also create formative and summative assessments reports, which illustrate where they must focus their efforts to improve student learning on specific standards.
The system, which aims to save students up to 25 percent of time on task in any lesson, works with any Palm device running Palm OS version 4 or above, the Sony Clio, the Handspring Visor and the AlphaSmart Dana. For schools without handhelds, a classic device is offered.
4GL School Solutions Inc.
www.4glschools.com, Software, Approximately $17,500-$24,000 for district of 5,000 ADA students (first-year cost includes software license, hosting, support and maintenance)
This special education management system now offers a new service deployment model that addresses the needs of districts with student populations of 10,000 and under. It was released this winter in Texas and will be rolled out on a state-by-state basis. Utilizing a combination of pre-customized state forms and service offerings, it contains all the features of the current Web-based system suite, providing smaller districts with a complete solution for managing the administrative complexities and decision-making processes inherent in programs for special populations. The ASP option enables districts to minimize their investment in hardware, infrastructure and related support personnel.
www.sharpusa.com/documents, Hardware, $8,015 and up
These digital imagers deliver documentation reproduction with copy speeds of up to 35 and 45 pages per minute and up to 3,100 sheets of paper capacity. They come equipped with Scan2 technology, which enhances productivity by scanning both sides of a double-sided document in a single pass, and can also become full featured multifunctional peripherals offering network printing, network scanning and Super G3 fax capabilities. Other features include page stamping, job build, ID card shot copy and cover pages. Both models also offer six levels of advanced security, including confidential printing, user authentication and secure scanning.
Also introduced were six configurations of new network-ready, multitasking multifunctional peripherals. The new MFP models, DM3551 and DM-4551, offer advanced network printing, two-sided scanning, fax (walk-up and network), document and network security and consumer replaceable supplies. Both systems have a lower cost-per-copy than printer-based machines and come preassembled.
Optoma Technology, Inc.
www.optoma.com, Hardware, $1,495
This digital projector features ultra bright, cinema-quality projection, a built-in DVD player and two five-watt, high performance speakers. The projector is preset from the DVD disc to the projected image, resulting in optimized DVD viewing with guaranteed color accuracy and distortion free pictures. It also offers HDTV compatibility for high definition entertainment from a variety of sources, optical audio output and a sound system that can be connected to an external audio system to give a full 5.1 surround sound experience.
www.icurio.com, Internet, $2,000 per school/year
This shared school supply network enables administrators and teachers in a district to share instruments, books, media, maps and athletic gear with participating school systems in the country. Schools and educators can find a new home for their surplus items without discarding them. There is no bidding, and all items are shared. More than 90 schools are currently participating.
One, Two, Three, Follow Me
www.linworth.com, Book, $16.95
Targeting grades K-1, this book focuses on counting and simple math with creative activities and chants designed to strengthen the key math skills that students need to master at this age. Activities correlate with national standards and reproducible activity pages contain a mix of puzzles, patterns, creativity-boosters and exercises accompanying 32 original response verses.
Other new books include Links to the Past through Genealogy: Curriculum Activities for the Classroom ($19.95) for grades 5-8 and Using Literature in the Middle School Classroom ($24.95).
Disney Educational Productions
Count on Math
www.edustation.disney.com, DVD, $59.95
Designed for teachers in grades 2-4, this closed-caption DVD illustrates abstract concepts with props, parodies and Math Masterson, the program's game show host. Three 12-minute segments cover exploring geometry, solving equations and organizing data, Included are teacher guides with lesson plans, additional resources and hands-on activities that go with relevant clips, clips relating to NCTM standards and scene selection.
www.co-nect.net, Program, Average price $10,000 per school/year
This program builds the capacity of coaches to help teachers use data to effectively plan and differentiate instruction and to promote high quality K-3 literacy instruction district-wide. Training topics include foundations of coaching, scientifically-based reading instruction, analyzing school and student performance, designing instructional interventions, setting goals and monitoring progress formatively, evaluating interventions and adjusting instruction. The program focuses on analyzing key data throughout the year in order for coaches to develop a complete picture of literacy achievement and enable them to implement a system of analysis and progress monitoring.
www.dell.com/latitude, Hardware, $899 and up
This notebook weighs 6.3 pounds and is powered by Intel mobile processors to deliver performance with low power consumption. Educators can choose from Intel Celeron M or Pentium M processors, 14.1- or 15-inch displays, 30GB to 60GB hard drives and a variety of fixed optical drives. Optional integrated wireless capability is available for $29 (802.11b/g) or $49 (802.11a/b/g). A USB port replicator is available for $49 for use as a business desktop. Other technical features include an integrated 10/100 Ethernet and 56K6 V92 modem.
Vernier Software & Technology
www.vernier.com/gomotion, Software, $99
This motion detector software enables students to collect accurate motion data, which helps them better understand advanced concepts, such as position, velocity and acceleration. It directly connects to a computer's USB port and includes a sensitivity switch, a pivoting head and automatic temperature correction.
Also new is the EasyTemp sensor for the TI-84 Plus family of graphing calculators. The sensor ($38) eliminates the need for an additional interface when collecting temperature data. The application comes pre-loaded on the newest graphing calculators--the TI-84 Plus and TI-84 Plus silver edition. Once EasyTemp is plugged in, EasyData automatically launches.
www.learningtoday.com, Internet, $21,500 and up/building
This automated differentiated instruction product aims to alleviate the "wait time" complaint about Internet usage. It's built with Lightening Cache, an advanced file caching technology that increases the speed and reliability of educational content delivery over the Internet. The technology results in more than a 400 percent improvement in curricula delivery speed and a decrease in student wait time of 75 percent, at the same bandwidth levels, compared to similar Web-based curricula produced with the technology.
What's Your Strategy? Children as Constructors: Building Strategies in Math
www.authorhouse.com, Book, $19.95
This resource book presents the authors' expertise in designing, implementing and promoting a valuable elementary school math program. The book begins with how to facilitate students in their learning and construct strategies to help them think mathematically and solve problems. Other sections contain a variety of lessons and math tasks K-5 teachers can use daily and a sample guide for planning and implementing the strategy into a week of math instruction.
Scholastic/Marilyn Burns Education Associates
Marilyn Burns Classroom Math Libraries
www.scholastic.com, Books, $239/grade level
These materials support math instruction for grades K-6. Grade-appropriate collections of classic, contemporary and award-winning children's books that enable teachers to introduce and reinforce important math concepts and skills were selected. Each grade level collection contains 25 titles and a corresponding teacher handbook that offers classroom-tested lessons and activities for each title and will identify the national math standard, topic and math curriculum connection found in each book.