Chris Drage steps out with an i-gotU GT120 GPS Travel Logger

i-gotUData Harvest's i-gotU travel loggerI had hoped to write a feature comparing the latest GPS travel logging devices that are becoming popular in schools but sadly, one of the main contenders, the Trackstick, appears to be no longer available in the UK. However, Data Harvest came to my rescue with its i-gotU  GT120 GPS Travel Logger which must be the smallest of these devices, weighing in at just 21 grammes and measuring a diminutive 44.5mm x 28.5mm x 13mm!

What is a travel logger? Let me explain. These devices are handheld GPS satellite receivers and loggers. They can automatically take a GPS reading and remember it. So if you’re out on a hike for example, or a school field trip (or, in my case, walking the dog), as long as the logger has clear access to the sky it will happily store all the GPS readings that will record your journey until you tell it to stop.

TI-NspireLearning with TI-NspiresChris Drage reviews the TI-Nspire handheld

To confuse the Texas Instruments TI-Nspire handheld with the company’s TI-84 or any other graphing calculator is to completely miss the point. Much more than a calculator, the TI-Nspire is an in-your-hand computer for learning mathematics from pre-algebra to calculus including geometry. You can even add written notes.

In a nutshell, its key feature is the ability to display multiple representations of a mathematical expression and to link up to four of these together on one screen for comparison. This, as any teacher of maths knows, helps students to visualise concepts in different ways, strengthens their critical thinking skills and assists them in making cognitive connections.

memory4teachersEvery UK teacher can now get a free 2GB memory stick pre-loaded with resources like lesson plans, worksheets, timetable, calculator and links to useful educational websites courtesy of Memory4Teachers. It's a clever marketing idea and there's no apparent down side apart from the fact that it will already have company material on it (that cannot be deleted) from a range of "partners”, some of whom teachers will be more than happy to discover. These include the National Literacy Trust, English Heritage, Comic Relief and the Royal Society of Chemistry who provide additional educational content and easy access to their own websites via the devices.

2DIY screenChris Drage reviews 2Simple's 2Do It Yourself
I was introduced to 2Do It Yourself (2DiY) on the first day of the BETT 2009 educational technology show in London in January when its author Max Wainwright took me to one side and gave me a quick run through. I remember my last words to him: “If 2DIY is not a best seller this year, I will donate a crisp ‘Charles Darwin’ [£10 note] to the 2Simple staff comfort fund.” Max had come up trumps again.

What a breath of fresh air to find software that puts the creative steering wheel firmly back in children’s own hands. With 2DIY, children of all ages can create activities, games, puzzles and quizzes - totally cross-curricular and personal to each author.

CosmoBotBETT welcome for CosmoBotNo less than four robots vied for attention at BETT 2009. There was the update to the original Roamer floor robot for primary schools from Valiant Technology (the clever Roamer-Too), RM’s new break-dancing ED-E, the award winning Wowwee range with powerful new software from Q4 Technologies, and new bot on the block CosmoBot from US firm AnthroTronix.

While ED-E the humanoid biped can be programmed to perform dance routines and the Wowwee robots like Feminsapien and RoboSapien and Roamer allow children, even those of primary age, to use and write control programs these interactive robots are not just designed to teach robotics.