Sunday, November 8, 2009
Two New Products from Mayer-Johnson
Mayer-Johnson has two new ways to bring the power of Boardmaker Plus.
The Boardmaker Plus Player Subscription allows teachers and therapists (and families) to access the Boardmaker Plus content by through an online membership. Costing $39.00 a year this is an alternative to the Boardmaker Player Disc at $125.00. You can install the subscription version of Boardmaker Plus Player on as many computers as you would like, but only one location can be logged in at a time (unless you buy multiple subscriptions).
This seems like a great solution for school and communities that have great internet access, but for those of us in schools with limited internet access or communities where families may not have a fast internet connection (yes, people still use dial up), I think we are STILL holding out for Boardmaker Player on a Flashdrive. You know what else? It seems to me that if you buy a Boardmaker Plus Player disc it should come free with one online subscription.
The next product is the Mobile Activity Player. This is a portable net book pre-installed with Boardmaker Plus Player either three or six of the Curriculum Companion series of activities. The net book has a touchscreen that rotates so it can be used as a laptop or tablet, and has a nifty handle. It is WiFi enabled (and can connect via wires) so you can download activies via AdaptedLearning.Com. The netbook has an Intel®Atom™ N270 1.6 GHz Processor, 1 GB RAM, and a 60 GB Hard Drive. For connections it has an Ethernet Port, USB Ports, Headphone Jack, Speakers, VGA port, and a 2-in-1 SD/MMC memory card reader. No word on how loud the speakers are (meaning if you could use the device as an AAC device in a loud place). Battery life is 5 hours. If you want to install anything else, such as pre-made board sets you already own you will need to either buy an external DVD or CD-ROM, put everything on a flashdrive to move it over or move things over via the internet. You will need to purchase a switch interface or use one you already have for your switch users - the netbook does not have switch ports.
The Mobile Activity Player retails for $749.00 to $949.00 including Boardmaker Plus Player depending on how many Curriculum Companion activities you choose to have pre-installed. Given that many school can't afford paper, books or the endless supply of H1N1 preventing Purell right now (not to mention teachers/aide having pay freezes, 2% pay cuts and the state of Hawaii having nearly every Friday as a unpaid Furlough day) I don't know how a product just under a thousand dollars is going to sell, but perhaps some (rich) schools/districts/parents can afford a Mobile Activity Player or they will use the illusive "stimulus money" we all hear about and never see in our classrooms.