As Adobe launches CS6 and its cloud dazzlers, Hugh John looks at one of schools' best software deals 
Adobe's Kevin Lynch Adobe's global launch of its new Creative Cloud online service and Creative Suite 6 (CS6) software has turned many heads. There was genuine astonishment at the London demos (see videos below) with the realisation of what can be achieved on desktops and tablets with the new generation of application and apps.

In the rush to embrace the new, however, it would be foolish to overlook what remains one of the outstanding education resources and tremendous value for money into the bargain, namely the Adobe Digital Schools Collection.

A revamped, less-complicated 'Clicker' with word predictor is essential viewing for John Galloway
, from Crick Software, is a program that has been popular for many years, partly because of its usefulness in helping to create more inclusive classrooms. But also because it has continued to develop, each version maintaining the essential elements of the Crick brand and building on them to provide something better.

This sixth iteration is no exception and is a must-see for anyone working in special needs.

After a shaky start with tablets, Toshiba is showing promise for schools
Toshiba AT100You have to respect the design statement on tablet connectivity Toshiba has made with its most recent Android tablet aimed at education – the AT100.

With more than a nod to the undying unease about the iPad's lock-down, Tosh has ensured that you can hook the AT100 to almost anything bar a toaster - and it's just £280 for schools.

Just when they thought Windows phones were finished, along came Mango...
HTC TitanOne of the best, and funniest, technologies that came my way in 2011 was a loan HTC Titan Windows 7.5 Manga phone. Funny because of the looks on the faces of Apple iOS and Android aficionados when: told that respected Microsoft contacts said Mango would be impressive; hands-on experience showed it was true, and Microsoft designers could “think different”.

Maybe a retrospective “How could we have done it differently?” sparked the inspiration, because Mango is fresh, effective and surprising. And it was a challenging brief to come up with something to rival the leading Apple and Android mobile phone benchmarks.

2Simple beat Microsoft to the cloud, and Chris Drage is impressed by the result – Purple Mash
You have to hand it to 2Simple. This small UK creative software publisher has achieved a task that many bigger companies with massive resources have struggled with – made the treats, tricks and triumphs of its lauded 'hard disc' programs available to any teacher and learner using a web browser. It's risen to the cloud!

Welcome to the world of "apptivities" that is Purple Mash, 2Simple’s successful, cross-curricular online space. It's been built on the achievements of programs like 2DIY and the feedback from schools and users, and gives customers even more – to use at school and at home.