Weighing in at less than 2 lbs., simpler than a computer, and less expensive than a PC, the AlphaSmart 3000 allows students to enter and edit text, then send it to any computer for formatting or directly to a printer. AlphaSmart offers a classroom bundle of 30, with a printer and accessories, all in a rolling cabinet that transforms a classroom in a computer lab in five minutes.
Even fourth- and fifth-graders have no difficulty producing projects using digital cameras and iMovie from Apple. They develop their stories, write storyboards, create characters and scenery, then take their photos and create their action with iMovie. Math and science teachers are using iMovie to teach a series of lessons about geometry, pond water and a host of other topics. Says former teacher Dave Warlick, “I had no knowledge of video production. But I purchased the program, read the instructions and was up and running in about 15 minutes.” Excellent examples of what’s possible at: edweb.sdsu.edu/sciencetg/ie/
INTEL PLAYQX3 COMPUTER MICROSCOPE
Mattel joined with computer chip giant Intel to create the Intel Play QX3 Computer Microscope. Costing about $100, this electronic video device brings optics, digital imaging and the latest computer technology to science education. Taking advantage of state-of-the-art video imaging and computer technology, this inexpensive microscope permits students to explore their environment with optical microscopy at magnifications up to 200x, and project what they’re seeing on to a computer screen via a USB cable.
JUMP START SERIES
Knowledge Adventure www.jumpstart.com
Jump Start Reading for Kindergartners is a children’s game that teaches verbal and written reading skills using interactive computer games, oral phonics lessons and written workbook activities. Knowledge Adventure has a variety of programs that are entertaining and provide age-appropriate activities for children to extend and reinforce basic skills such as reading and math.
LeapFrog SchoolHouse www.leapfrogschoolhouse.com
This company offers an extensive line of products that teach by seeing, touching and hearing for reading, language arts, math, science and social studies. The LeapTrack Assessment and Instruction System provides individualized instruction across all major subject areas for grades K-5.
MATH BLASTER SERIES
Vivendi Universal www.vugames.com
Kids join Blaster and G.C. as they dare to feed the animals at the intergalactic zoo, chase them down and wake them up from their snoozing. A SmartPoints reward system motivates kids to learn; the game includes different learning levels as kids advance. Key skills include addition and subtraction, weight, length and temperature, recognizing and counting money, greater than and less than, problem solving and logic, sorting by attributes and learning to tell time. The Math Blaster series goes from grades one to eight.
The National Scrabble Association and Hasbro toys teamed up to create the National School Scrabble Program. Since 1992, the number of classrooms using Scrabble has grown to about 15,000. The School Scrabble Kit includes six modified Deluxe SCRABBLE Brand Crossword Games, a comprehensive teacher’s guide, an Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary, and tips for improving student skills.