The market is awash with active loudspeakers, which means there are bargains to be had. Hugh John reports 
Spinnaker“Edifier. Big in China”. Is it just me, or does this marteting phrase sound like some sort of eighties heavy metal band (only in those days it was Japan)? Edifier in fact, is a Chinese manufacturer of audio equipment that is big – well, massive – in China though relatively unknown in the UK. It is also developing a reptation for its ethical production and employment conditions.

If the products the company was demonstrating at the Digital Winter technology preview event were any indication, its UK profile could be about to change.

Audio Notetaker'Audio Notetaker' allows you to view audio on screen in 'block' form to make for easier ediing and transcription

Sal McKeown's first clicks with 'Audio Notetaker 3' reveal 'a great product, soon to be even better'
The claim is bold: Sonocent's software solves the four problems of audio:

  • Finding the important parts of a recording;
  • Annotating your audio for future reference or to share thoughts;
  • Concentrating on listening;
  • Organising your audio files.

Stop-frame animation spurs creativity. Chris Drage explores two expert options, one a startling debut, the other a favourite aiming for homes

Zu3d screenNewcomer 'Zu3d': 'intuitive and surprisingly powerful'Without the splendour of stop-motion animation there wouldn’t have been any life in The Corpse Bride and no grand days out for Wallace & Gromit.

More than mere mechanics, this funky old art form is the miracle ingredient that can be used to challenge children to build, invent and explore and, as film director Tim Burton, who is a master of stop-motion says, “To give life to something that doesn’t have it is cool.”

It's not on digital pads and wasn't at BETT, but science teachers will love the new 'Insight' – Roger Frost 
Insight iLOG VideoLab'Insight iLOG VideoLab': a 'broadminded approach to collecting data'How many of the software programs commonly used on computers in the 1990s are still being used on them today? One favourite, called Datalogging Insight, lives on and a new version for 2013 has just arrived.

Insight is a family of primary and secondary school software that grew out of the University of Leicester in 1992. The family includes tools that record readings from sensors, let you model the heat lost from a house, or coax a control box into actuating motors and lamps.

Jack Kenny encounters a school's essential companion to exploring and making movies – 'Making Movies Make Sense'
Making Movies Make SenseThere is a powerful case to be made for teaching all students about video and film: collaborative working; encouraging logical thought; revealing the pervasive and persuasive power of technology; culturally rich; universal language; motivating. And it gives an understanding of the most powerful medium in most of our lives.  

Video technology is now available in most phones and every tablet: shouldn’t  we encourage students to go well beyond point and shoot? Six seconds on Vine is not enough. Creating intelligent, well structured video is extremely relevant to the lives of most students. Isn’t that the real literacy now?