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Last Updated: Tuesday January 18 2005 10:52 GMT

New gadgets for schools go on show

Flash new technology that's coming to UK schools has been on show in a special exhibition in London. Teachers from all over the world have been to see it.

Newsround went along to check it out, so here's what could be coming your way soon:

3D scanners and printers

3D scan of a walnut
If you don't fancy getting your hands dirty in DT, you can always do your design on a computer and then print it out.

But imagine if your printer produced a three dimensional object made of plastic. Well that's what the 3D printer can do.

It recreates your computer design in molten plastic, building it up layer by layer.

And if you're not so hot at computer design, you can always place a real object inside the 3D scanner. The scanner will copy the object exactly and recreate it in molten plastic.

Racing ahead

Model racers on the starting line
You have to be 17-years-old before you can get a driving licence, but if you can't wait that long, you can make your own racing car and race it against your class mates.

There are now machines available which cut out your design of a racing car, done on a computer, in balsa wood.

The skill lies in designing a shape which is aerodynamic and making wheels which run smoothly on the track.

Pupils all round the country race their cars, which are powered by a small carbon dioxide canister, against their classmates and other schools.

Fingerprint scanners

Fingerprint scanner
Skipping school will be impossible if your school decide to put fingerprint scanners in every classroom.

If you don't place your fingertip on the screen during morning, afternoon and lesson registration, you will automatically get a late mark.

If you are not in class, the school office will know within two minutes and staff will have the choice of phoning, texting or emailing your parents to ask where you are.

Cashless canteens

The same scanners can be used in the dinner queue. After collecting your sandwich and drink, you scan your fingertip and the computer knows how much money you owe.

This can be paid later, which means you don't have to carry cash on you and no-one can bully you for your money.

Have you ever thought about getting a brainy friend to sit your exam? Think again! That would never happen if you had to scan your fingertip before a test.

You can vote by remote

Voting handsets for whiteboards
Eighty per cent of your schools now have an interactive white board, but how many of them mark your answers?

You can now get voting handsets, like the audience in Who Wants to be a Millionaire, which let you chose answer A, B, C or D.

This is good news for those of you who hate putting your hand up in class.

More video link-ups

Interactive white boards with web cams can also be linked up together by video. This means you could watch a lesson taking place in another school.

This is great news if you are a sixth former and want to study a course which isn't offered at your school just find out where it is being offered and link up.

But what if you could see and take part in lessons from home? Some people think future pupils won't need to go to school at all!

School of rock

Recording music on a PC
Have you ever dreamed of getting your hands on all the gadgets in a recording studio? Well now you can with the latest in school music equipment.

It's the same quality as the equipment used by professionals but so much more easy to use. You could become a musical genius over night!

Blue screen technology

Green screen technology
Films like Lord of the Rings use a lot of blue screen technology. That's where the actor is filmed in front of a blue screen and the background is edited in later.

This technology is now cheap enough to be available in schools. You can film yourself in front of a green screen, then add a jungle background and fool your friends that you've been to South America.


In a few years time, you and your classmates may be watching videos on pocket sized screens in the playground.

That's because equipment you don't need to plug in, wireless technology, is becoming more popular.

George Auckland, a BBC technical expert predicted that in three to five years time many pupils would be using wireless pocket sized computers.

He said: "They'll be smaller than a lap top, perhaps a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) or something a bit like a mobile phone with a slightly larger screen."

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