HP announces workstations for the price of a PC

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HP has announced the availability of a new line of AMD quad-core processor-based workstations. Starting at $579, the affordable HP xw4550 workstations were announced as part of the company’s efforts to promote its technology in schools.

HP says: “The xw4550 workstations can run the high-performance applications pertinent to learning advanced subjects such as digital forensics, mechanical computer aided design and video production.

With the HP xw4550, networked learning centers, computer labs and libraries can be equipped with more workstations at a lower cost and provide faculty with easy access to centralized information. In addition, the HP xw4550 workstation is secure, safe, durable and student-proof, with desktop controls and icons that can be locked down. The workstations offer quick initial installation and software upgrades and lower energy usage for additional cost savings.”

As part of its efforts to facilitate the adoption and integration of technology in schools, HP today announced computing products, education solutions and 2008 HP Technology for Teaching Leadership Award winners at the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC).

During a media breakfast at the event, education customers and HP executives discussed the following news:

* Volume deployment of HP Mini-Note PC
* New workstation and mobile calculating offerings
* Web 2.0 and planning tools for technology assimilation
* 2008 HP Technology for Teaching Leadership Award winners

“HP strives to help educators, administrators and students benefit from a 21st century learning environment,” said Brian Becker, director of education, HP.

Volume deployment of HP Mini-Note PC

To help schools offer affordable computers to every student, HP worked with educators to design a full-function Mini-Note PC priced starting under $500.(1) Weighing slightly more than 2.5 pounds, the HP Mini-Note PC is smaller and lighter than many math or science books.

Fresno (Calif.) United School District is deploying more than 7,000 HP Mini-Note PCs to its K-12 students. “The HP Mini-Note is a powerful laptop that is small enough to fit on students’ desks along with their textbooks and papers, allowing them access to the Internet and educational content from around the world without leaving their seats,” said Kurt Madden, chief technology officer, Fresno United School District.

New workstation and mobile calculating offerings

HP also announced the availability of a new AMD quad-core processor-based workstation that offers the power of a workstation for the price of a PC. Starting at $599,(1) the affordable HP xw4550 workstation can run the high-performance applications pertinent to learning advanced subjects such as digital forensics, mechanical computer aided design and video production.

With the HP xw4550, networked learning centers, computer labs and libraries can be equipped with more workstations at a lower cost and provide faculty with easy access to centralized information. In addition, the HP xw4550 workstation is secure, safe, durable and student-proof, with desktop controls and icons that can be locked down. The workstations offer quick initial installation and software upgrades and lower energy usage for additional cost savings.

HP Mobile Calculating Lab (MCL) solutions bring classroom math and science experiments to life. First announced in Europe and now ready for pre-order in the United States, the solutions enable students to better connect mathematical formulas to everyday physical phenomena by easily collecting and analyzing real-world data in real time.

Targeted for middle and high school math and science students, HP MCL solutions are composed of an HP 39gs or 40gs Graphing Calculator, the HP StreamSmart 400, a variety of Fourier scientific sensors and probes, as well as calculator presentation software and classroom instruction materials.

Feature highlights of the low-cost, high-performance MCL solutions include:

* Fast data collection – up to 5,700 samples per second;
* Interactive, real-time data capture – students can pan, zoom in and capture datasets as they happen; and
* Data isolation – export selected data to HP 39/40gs Graphing Calculators for analysis.

Web 2.0 and planning tools for technology assimilation

The HP Professional Development Program was designed to help teachers and administrators bridge the gap between student achievement and technology by training teachers to effectively integrate technology into their classroom curriculum.

HP is partnering with Knowledge Network Solutions and Atomic Learning to deliver four key services that contribute to making technology in the classroom easier to use and understand:

1. Planning and finance – facilitating an instructional technology plan to ensure a successful deployment;
2. Support – helping schools find supplemental funding with grants and writing proposals;
3. Professional development – instructing teachers and administrators in the integration of technology and new techniques into their existing curriculum; and
4. Online professional development – web-based software training for more than 100 software applications that students and educators use every day.

The Teacher Experience Exchange, available at http://www.hp.com/go/TeacherExperience, is a joint HP and Microsoft project that provides educators with resources at no charge to enhance teaching and learning through the use of technology in the classroom. The exchange is an online Web 2.0 community created by teachers to encourage educators not only to search for content, but to organically contribute and rate others’ content.

The exchange already boasts more than 2,000 members and approximately 700 teacher advisors who provided feedback and guidance on the website’s functionality and content. As the site continues to grow, so will its content and features.

As members of Teacher Experience Exchange, educators can do the following:

* Share, find and rank classroom content and lesson plans;
* Create online profiles and virtually network with other educators;
* Create and join community discussion forums and message boards to exchange ideas with peers; and
* Take online courses and browse tutorials, resources and other content 24/7.

“With six free Microsoft applications and many other tools provided on the Teacher Experience Exchange website, teachers will be better prepared to implement the technology students need as preparation for entering a global workforce,” said Anthony Salcito, general manager of education, Microsoft.

2008 HP Technology for Teaching Leadership Award winners

As part of the HP Technology for Teaching program, HP announced the 15 K-12 schools and 10 higher education institutions that will be receiving 2008 HP Technology for Teaching Leadership Awards. The Leadership Awards are additional, higher value grants awarded to previous HP Technology for Teaching grant recipients whose projects demonstrate success in their first year of implementation.

Recipients were selected for reinvestment based on their success integrating HP technology into their classroom curriculum, demonstrating positive results on student achievement and developing innovative plans to expand their programs to have a broader impact on student success. The Leadership Awards are granted to further each school or institution’s use of technology to enhance teaching and improve learning.

In addition to HP products, Leadership Award recipients of the K-12 program receive professional development and a mentor from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE, http://www.iste.org) to help teachers learn how to best integrate HP technology into their teaching practice. The K-12 Leadership Awards, valued at $91,000 each, encourage integration of technology into lesson plans and support student achievement. Higher education recipients receive an award of cash and HP products valued at $131,000 to expand their course redesign efforts.

Since 2004, HP has contributed nearly $60 million in HP Technology for Teaching grants to more than 1,000 schools in 41 countries worldwide. During the past 20 years, HP has contributed more than $1 billion in cash and equipment to schools, universities, community organizations and other nonprofit organizations around the world.

More information on HP education products, services and grant making is available at http://www.hp.com/go/k12 (K-12 education), http://www.hp.com/go/hied (higher education) and http://www.hp.com/go/hpteach (HP Technology for Teaching grant program).

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