BETT '99: Snippets from the show

Secure systems at Bett ‘99

Safe Internet connectivity was high on the priority list at the BETT '99 show this year. Hi-Grade offered a complete IT package including secure technology, services and support to meet individual school needs. Hi-Grade is using the N2H2 filtering service after its accuracy in blocking unsuitable material in American schools. Ori Yiassoumis, Sales and Marketing and Managing Director at Hi-Grade believes that their choice of Internet filters is a "cost effective " method.

Hi-Grade's complete package also includes a ‘remote monitoring tool' to check on a pupil's achievements and a "desktop enforcement tool". This application prevents pupils from installing viruses or altering important information in the classroom. The teacher can at any time observe a child's computer screen and intervene through a demonstration tool on the network.

Iansyst launches Quicktionary pen

Iansyst Training products are taking ‘Scan-See-Hear' technology for people with dyslexia and reading difficulties into the 21st century, with the launch of the Quicktionary Reading Pen. Launched at BETT '99, and manufactured by WizCom Technologies, the reading Pen scans a word from printed text, displays the word in upper case characters, reads the word aloud and explains its definition.

With 200,000 dictionary explanations, this portable tool could also prove useful to foreign students with English as their second language. It displays syllables, scans inverted and hyphenated words, and maintains records of scanned words.

The Quicktionary Reading Pen is also available in 19 bilingual versions.

BBC Online helps blind with BETSIE

BBC Online announced at BETT'99 an improved Internet access for visually impaired and blind people. BETSIE, or the BBC Education Text to Speech Internet Enhancer is a new software initiative that will allow improved Internet navigation.

BETSIE re-formats a web page, making it into a concise accessible page of text. The software removes columns on the web page and prioritises the text in order of importance. The most interesting read will appear at the top of the page. The software works on a text-to-speech basis, standardising screen space and speeding up Internet access and navigation for those with sight difficulties.

www.bbc.co.uk/education/betsie

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