Google's Chromebooks hold advantages for schools, but are they getting the message?
Chromebooks prove their worth at St Ursula's AcademySchools wanting to purchase class sets of Google’s low-cost Chromebook laptops have just one day to register and qualify for a free charger trolley worth £1,700. The offer runs out at the start of September.

Chromebooks, which operate on wireless networks, have the potential to make huge savings on schools’ ICT bills. Thirty Samsung Series 5 Chromebooks plus a charging trolley and the Chrome Management Console cost a school £7,980 (£266 each).

You can do anything with Photoshop? Not quite. Hugh John checks out 'Exposure' 

ExposureExposure: infinitely configurable set of modifiersDoes any company produce Photoshop filters as well as Alien Skin Software? The US company has produced Photoshop plug-ins for almost 20 years and now boasts a range of products that includes enlargement (Blow Up), retouching (Image Doctor), focusing (Bokeh), painterly effects (Snap Art) and photographic effects (Exposure).

Even in this exalted company, however, Exposure still commands attention. It’s both a powerful, easily applied filter and an excellent learning tool for any student wishing to discover and learn more about analogue photographic effects. You know, that old-school stuff’ where enthusiasts locked themselves in a dark room with a red light and paddled about in trays of whiffy chemicals for hours on end.

Roamer was a long-time classroom favourite. Chris Drage welcomes its successor
Roamer-TooRoamer-Too: with age-specific keypad overlaysThe reintroduction of programming in the ICT curriculum can be achieved far more effectively by integrating pedagogy that we know works. Instead of focusing on programming games and on-screen applications, a far better approach is to combine the auditory, visual and kinaesthetic learning that hands-on control technology offers.

And a device which provides the perfect vehicle for doing just that for early years and primary school children is Roamer-Too. It can help struggling students or challenge the gifted and talented. It really is that versatile.

Hugh John checks out the new SX535WD all-in-one that comes with an impressive price tag
epson sx535wdEpson’s reputation as a printer manufacturer was founded on quality; build quality and print quality. You might pay more for their printers – and significantly more for their cartridges – but when you compared the quality of Epson prints with those from other printers, well, the extra dosh was worth it.

Times change. In education, schools are cutting back on printing not just because of the huge cost of paper and cartridges but because images are increasingly being viewed on high-quality televisions, monitors and, more recently, tablets where Apple’s new iPad with retina display is setting the standard.

Read&Write Tutor screen

Pupils learning English need help to hand. That's the 'Read&Write Tutor' toolbar, writes Chris Pim 

Read&Write Tutor is a customisable toolbar that integrates with common 'office' software and Internet browsers, providing a variety of powerful tools to support the development of speaking, listening, reading and writing.

The software offers tremendous potential for supporting learners of English as an additional language (EAL) who are at different levels in their acquisition of oracy and literacy.