Happy New Year! & a new blog category, since I love gadgets so much and haven't noticed many EduBlogs entering the dangerous waters of blatant consumerism. Note to readers: I'm not being paid/bribed or rewarded in any way for promoting these products, nor am I related to anyone (that I know of) who could benefit from any sales generated. In future, I'll declare any interests, although I'm not overly hopeful that I'll be inundated with free EdTech related stuff to play with.
I'm kicking off with a couple of products from Digital Blue Inc. I know - a really unfortunate sounding name, and one that probably won't inspire much confidence in an educational setting. Tell your finance department to fear not.
First Up is the QX5 computer microscope. Perfect for hooking up to your electronic whiteboard, the QX5 was recently (December 30th) featured in the Wall Street Journal Online for being popular not only with children, but with scientists, doctors, researchers and patients suffering from rare skin disease Morgellons. Thanks to BoingBoing for reminding me about it! Retails for around $89 US. In the UK, you can pick one up from Amazon for £71.99 (although the exchange rate suggests you can get it for less from somewhere - check out BETT on January 12th-15th).
The other product I'd recommend (if you don't already have this - I've seen Colleges where the editing software is installed across the campus) is Digital Blue's Digital Movie Creator II. Techo-shy adults and really young children will be able to pick up the editing system within ten minutes. It's great for simple, fast results - learners of all ages love it. Good for reflective work, classroom performance, group work - I can think of a hundred applications. I first came across this at last years Ferl Conference, when Johannes Cronje, Professor of e-Learning at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, used one to great effect in one of his master classes.
I got mine at last year's BETT for about £55 - they retail at Amazon for around £99.