Inspiration 8 and Kidspiration 2.1
[Inspiration (503) 297-3004); Multi-level

Most educators don't need much motivation to upgrade their Inspiration or Kidspiration if they've been using them for awhile.  But just in case, here's what's new in both:

Inspiration 8 has 11 new features including a starter screen, symbol keyword search, video and sound integration, 60 new templates, better export and transfer, an integrated dictionary and thesaurus called Word Guide, automatic spell checker, an enhanced brainstorming tool, and more.

Kidspiration 2.1 has added a new drawing tool, unlimited grouping images, a Venn diagram option, one-click transfer to word processors, many more activities and management tools, as well as the ability to draw and write directly on interactive whiteboards and Tablet PCs, and sync with Inspiration for Palm OS (see this year's EDDIES winner list).

Inspiration products are an important part of any classroom's toolbox, and we are pleased they are, once again, EDDIES winners.

CompTIA A+ Certification
(LearnKey (800) 865-0165); Post-Secondary

We've seen any number of A+ Certification programs and books, but LearnKey's CompTIA A+ Certification Featuring Expert Mike Meyers is, by far, the best.

A+ Certification is the entry-level certification test for computer technicians. It covers computer construction and repair, as well as every Windows system since Windows 95.  LearnKey has come up with a well-constructed, easy-to-understand and comprehensive solution for this daunting course of study.

Featuring affable host and expert, Mike Meyers (the "Alphageek" of IT certifications), LearnKey has added very clear video, a long-awaited explanation of what the A+ Certification Test is and how it works, and a step-by-step system of instruction which is a vast improvement over previous books (Meyers' included) and CD-based programs.

While we'd like to see this program on DVD, these 11 CDs are so comprehensive, any motivated student could well bypass seat time in a classroom and go right to certification.

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ComputED Gazette