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Magazines > MultiMedia Schools > May/June 2003
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Vol. 10 No. 3 — May/June 2003
News of the Latest Products and Technology for K-12
NewsWatch
by Kathie Felix, News Editor

News of the latest products and technology for K-12 may be sent directly to Kathie Felix at 5746 Union Mill Rd., PMB 605, Clifton, VA 20124 or to kfelix@infotoday.com.

News

HP Funds ISTE Institute

Hewlett Packard will donate approximately $1.5 million in resources to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) to develop training for educators with the goal of maximizing the benefits of technology to increase student success. The HP grant will fund the development of the ISTE Institute: Leading with NETS, a professional development program for educators based on ISTE's National Education Technology Standards (NETS). At the Institute, school teams will meet for 2 days of face-to-face interactive training, followed by a 10-week mentored online course and a concluding 1-day face-to-face session, usually in conjunction with participation in a major technology education conference. The participants will work to improve learning in the classroom and gain understanding about opportunities and challenges related to technology integration. In addition, HP will fund the development of ISTE's online community for educators. HP also will sponsor the Student Technology Leadership Symposium at ISTE's National Education Computing Conference (NECC) in June. ISTE will support these efforts by training HP grant recipients during 2003 and evaluating the effect of the grants on ISTE Institute participants and the Institute itself. ISTE, 800/336-5191 or http://www.iste.org/.


Library News

YALSA's Top DVD/Video List

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has announced its list of top DVDs and Videos for Young Adults for 2003. The annual DVD/Video list recognizes productions for technical merit, content, and use with and interest to youth ages 12-18. The items were selected, screened, and discussed by the YALSA Selected DVD and Video committee with input from young adults around the country. The 10 titles on the list are "Bloodhag: The Faster You Go Deaf, the More Time You Have to Read," "Body Image for Boys," "Condition Black," "Escuela," "Reel Grrls," "Scouts Honor," "True Stories," "What Do You Believe?," "When Words Hurt," and "Reality Matters Series." A list with complete title and producer information appears on the ALA Web site. YALSA/ALA, 800/545-2433 or http://www.ala.org/yalsa/.

School Library Media Specialist SIG

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has created a new Special Interest Group for Media Specialists (SIGMS) to provide a support network to school library media specialists working to integrate instructional technology into the curriculum. Communication among group members will take place through an e-mail list and on the SIGMS Web site [www.iste.org/sigms]. The first face-to-face meeting of SIGMS will take place during ISTE's 2003 National Educational Computing Conference (NECC), to be held in Seattle from June 29 through July 2. SIGMS membership is open to ISTE members. A standard ISTE membership costs $65 per year. Details of membership types and benefits are available online. ISTE, 800/336-5191 or http://www.iste.org/.


Useful Tools

Dell School Architecture

Dell School Architecture, offered through Dell Professional Services (DPS), provides a portfolio of services tailored to help school districts aggregate and report the yearly progress of students and provide teachers with professional development. The program offers educators a program of support, deployment, and training offerings designed to address the needs of each school, district, or state government agency—from classroom administration to the behind-the-scenes networking and infrastructure that connects them together. Dell, 800/727-4241 or http://www.dell.com/k12/evolution/.

Gateway 450 Notebook

The Gateway 450 notebook equipped with Centrino mobile technology features an extended battery life of 8 or more hours on a single charge of the main battery and optional modular battery. The notebook also includes Intel Pentium-M processors, integrated Intel PRO/Wireless Network Connection 802.11b, a modular design, and 15-inch high resolution display. The Gateway 450 is initially available in two configurations: The 450X (priced at $1,599) includes a Pentium-M processor, 1.30 GHz, 15-inch SXGA+ TFT display, 256 MB DDR RAM, 30 GB hard drive, and DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive. The 450XL (priced at $1999) includes a Pentium-M processor, 1.50 GHz, 15-inch SXGA+ TFT display, 512 MB DDR RAM, 40 GB hard drive, and DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive. Both systems include Microsoft Windows XP Professional and Microsoft Works Suite. The optional Gateway port replicator supports the latest technology, including Gigabit Ethernet-readiness and USB 2.0 support. The notebook ranges in weight from 5.79 to 6.13 pounds and measures less than 1.5 inches thick. Gateway, 800/846-2106 or http://www.gateway.com/.

SMART Touch Technology

SMART Technologies has developed Digital Vision Touch (DViT) technology, a new platform for touch-sensitive displays. The technology uses proprietary digital cameras and software to determine the contact of a finger, stylus, pointer, or other object on a display. Cameras situated in each corner of the display communicate position information back to a digital signal processor that determines the exact point of contact. No special pens or tools are required to interact with the display and special materials are not required on the touch screen, making the image crystal clear. The DViT technology is being introduced on two of SMART's premium products—the Rear Projection SMART Board 3000i and the SMART Board for Plasma Displays interactive whiteboards. By replacing analog resistive technology with DViT technology, SMART has improved the brightness of the 3000i by 34 percent, while the contrast ratio has increased by 133 percent. On the SMART Board for Plasma Displays interactive overlay, DViT technology makes the image 21 percent brighter, and the contrast 15 percent better. The technology improvements have not increased the price of the products. The 3000i remains priced at $16,000; the SMART Board for Plasma Displays interactive overlay ranges from $3,299 to $4,999. SMART Technologies, Inc., 888/42SMART or http://www.smarttech.com/.


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