By Sally McKeown
Kudlian Software's 'Weather Studio'Kudlian Software's 'Weather Studio'Snow blanketed the whole of the UK in the first weeks of January. While this was a nuisance for many visitors to the annual BETT show at Olympia, it provided a good opportunity for Warwickshire software publisher Kudlian Software to publicise its latest product.

Weather Studio is a nice simple program that lets children record a weather forecast or details of sporting fixtures and make them look and sound totally professional.

By George Cole
This year’s BETT Show was a touching experience in more ways than one. A number of exhibitors were showing devices that used a touch interface. Touch-technology isn’t new and touch-screens for children with special educational needs have been around for years. But the advent of products like the Apple iPhone has propelled touch technology into the mainstream.

One of this year’s themes was multi-touch technology, which is ideal for collaborative work. Microsoft’s Surface and Smart Technologies’ Smart Table are multi-touch computers that look like coffee tables. Small groups of students can sit around them and work together on a task or project at the same time, touching different parts of the computer’s touch-screen surface to input information or solve problems.

Chris Drage checks out a stunningly fast digital camera from Casio
The Casio Exilim EX-FH20The Casio Exilim EX-FH20The Casio Exilim EX-FH20 is a typical ‘bridge’ camera – it fits between digital compact cameras and DSLRs and attempts to offer the best of both. Bridge cameras are a good choice for school users who prefer the simplicity of a compact camera, but occasionally find it restrictive in terms of lens quality and range and picture-taking features, yet find a DSLR camera too expensive or daunting.

The 'bridge' models offer a useful compromise, and this Exilim in particular specialises in high-speed photography that could be a boon for science and for anyone who wants to analyse performance.

Logitech Squeezebox RadioLogitech Squeezebox Radio: Techmas revelationNo point looking at me like that; you're on your way out. My kitchen radio, occupying the most important music position in the house for leisure or work, is going to some other place. Sorry Maureen, it was a great Christmas present four years ago but DAB radio has had its chance and internet radio, courtesy of Logitech, is in.

Techmas came early in 2009. You know, that time of year when the PR push is on for seasonal purchases that might just be useful for work too. Events by Logitech, Asus and journalist poacher-turned-PR-gamekeeper David Fanning (Digital Winter) turned up treats. Like Elgato's incredibly clever Eye TV devices that bring TV to Apple computers (watch out for Windows versions) Logitech's Squeezebox Radio and the sensationally good value Ultimate Ears MetroFi 170i/220vi (best value hands-free yet for iPhone/iPod Touch), and cool new mobile computing courtesy of Asus.

UK Schools - Windows 7 Early AdoptersWith all the razzmatazz surrounding the worldwide launch of Windows 7 it would be easy to miss out on the implications for schools. But Microsoft UK has been busy working with early adopters in schools and has issued a new white paper, "UK Schools - Windows 7 Early Adopters", by education journalist Gerald Haigh (download here).

While ease of use may be the most obvious improvement, those with an eye on sustainability will not fail to miss the startling feedback from Twynham School in Christchurch, Dorset, which is anticipating annual energy savings of £22,000. “Enough to pay for a newly qualified teacher,” says assistant headteacher Mike Herrity.