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New desktop, laptop and MP3 device make learning faster and easier. (new products).

Apple,, hardware, iMac and iBook: $1,299 and up, iPod: $399

The more schools use computers, the more educators need and expect from those machines. Apple has several new products aimed to meet these needs.

"Schools are asking for it," says Stephanie Hamilton, Apple's manager of K-12 marketing. "They want to have more power. They're doing more digital media that requires faster and more hard drive space."

The most recent debut is the new iMac, a desktop computer with a 15-inch LCD flat screen that's brighter, sharper and easier on the eyes than traditional CRT displays. Ideal for computer labs, which serve different classes all day, the iMac's display can be easily adjusted by height or angle. The three new iMac models are also faster--with a 700 to 800 MHz PowerPC G4 processor; a SuperDrive for CDs and DVDs is available.

The iMac also offers students multimedia authoring. Using a FireWire-equipped digital video camcorder and the included iMovie software, assignments can include DV footage from field trips, video reports, virtual tours and class presentations with narration.

For students and educators on-the-go, Apple has enhanced its iBook line of notebook computers with faster PowerPC G3 processors up to 600 MHz, a new system bus running up to 100 MHz, larger hard drives up to 20GB and 128MB of RAM. The most advanced model, featuring a DVD-ROM/CD-RW "combo" drive, is now priced $100 lower at $1,699. Mac OS X version and Mac OS 9.2.1 come pre-installed.

As with previous iBooks, the new notebooks weigh 4.9 pounds and measure 11.2 inches wide, 9.1 inches deep and 1.325 inches thick to fit in a backpack or briefcase.

Besides the ability to pack up to 1,000 songs into its portable, 6.5-ounce design, Apple's new iPod device has a number of educational uses. Hamilton says some school districts are collecting teachers' reflections on classroom techniques with MP3 files for take-anywhere professional development. "The iPod offers the same capability and much more than tapes," Hamilton says. "We also have teachers talking about using it for foreign language--as a language lab-to-go."

School administrators are using the iPod to store presentations when traveling, preventing the need to bring along a laptop. The bonus? The iPod also provides a source of entertainment--a traveler can download an entire music collection onto the device, which fits into even the smallest carry-on bags.


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Copyright 2002, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:District Administration
Date:Mar 1, 2002
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