Back-to-School Software and Web Resources

8/15/2003 By: Michelle Thatcher

The new products described below form a broad cross section of educational software and Web releases for summer and fall 2003. The back-to-basics trend continues this year as publishers unveil a number of programs that teach core math, science, and literacy skills. These new curriculum offerings often include assessment tools to help educators meet the strict reporting requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, and a number of publishers have developed specific products that use technology to assess student learning.

In addition, all members of the school community can stay involved with new Web-based collaboration tools. Read on for the whole scoop.

3Com

TeacherPrep is a Web-based training program that helps teachers incorporate technology into the classroom. The courses comprise audio and slide presentations, electronic learning resources, online meetings, and common desktop applications. (800) 638-3266, ext. 538

ABC-CLIO

The searchable, subscription-based online database Nineteenth Century Short Title Catalog covers materials published in the British Empire and the United States between 1801 and 1919. (800) 368-6868

Achievement Technologies

SkillsTutor and Learning MileStones provide online lessons in 18 subjects for underperforming and learning-disabled students. (888) 391-3245

Adobe Systems

Adobe Photoshop Album for Windows allows users to edit and organize digital photos and share images in PDF slide shows. Adobe Acrobat 6.0 upgrades the industry-standard PDF creation tool with a new task-based interface. (800) 272-3623

Aerisys

The Aerisys Intelligent Community combines school news, calendar, homework, grades, attendance, mail, shared files, and a reference library into one online tool for students and families. (800) 362-6365

American Museum of Natural History

The OLogy Web site for kids will soon have an Archaeology content area. (212) 769-5000

AOL@SCHOOL

An AOL@SCHOOL subscription will now include access to the latest version of Britannica's Concise Encyclopedia. (888) 832-5873

Apex Learning

A new version of the ClassTools for Advanced Placement online curriculum provides multimedia tutorials, visual demonstrations, and diagnostic tests for 14 AP subjects. (800) 453-1454

Apple

The iLife Education site offers educator-created lesson plans that use the iLife suite of digital music, photography, and moviemaking software. (800) 692-7753

APTE

The Digital Photo Activity Kit, with activities that use digital photography to promote literacy for students in grades 2-7, is now available for Macintosh OS X. (800) 494-1112

Aspire Learning Corporation

The updated Aspire instructional suite includes standards-integrated lesson plans, file sharing capabilities, grade books, attendance reports, a report card generator, and more. (888) 335-3788

Astaro

Astaro Security Linux combines a firewall, Virtual Private Network, antivirus, antispam, content filtering, and more into a single program. (781) 229-5880

Atari

New titles for preschool and elementary students include Blues Clues: Blue Takes You to School; Dora the Explorer: Animal Adventures; and Pajama Sam: Life Is Rough When You Lose Your Stuff. (978) 921-3700

Atomic Learning

The company's short online tutorial movies teach educators and students to use popular software programs. (866) 259-6890

Benetech

Subscription-based Bookshare.org allows students with visual or other reading disabilities to share scanned books. The digitized texts can then be converted into Braille or read by a voice synthesizer. (650) 475-5440

BioNet Systems

Net Nanny Chat Monitor filters chat and instant messaging programs, limits time spent chatting, and stops students from giving out personal information. (952) 646-5353

Blackboard

The latest versions of the Blackboard Learning System and Blackboard Community Portal System offer improved content management and sharing, intuitive assessment generation, and simplified portal content development. (202) 463-4860

Chancery

Centralized, Web-based student information system Chancery SMS 4.0 helps educators track, analyze, and report student data. (800) 999-9931

CompassLearning

The new version of the CompassLearning Odyssey suite of management and assessment tools and standards-based curriculum is cross-platform and may be accessed via the Web or hosted on a school's server. (800) 422-4339

Consortium for School Networking

The Total Cost of Ownership Tool can help schools make budgetary allocations, and determine maximum benefit in managing technology. (866) 267-8747

Core Learning

The first of five computer-based courses in math, Fractions: Step by Step uses continual assessment to guide learners through the fractions curriculum. Also, the four-disc Basic Calculation Skills series covers both beginning and advanced addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. (800) 270-4643

Crick Software

Wordbar sits at the bottom of the computer screen, providing writers with point-and-click access to banks of words and phrases. The Penfriend talking word-prediction tool builds students' writing confidence and grammar skills. The Planet Wobble series of literacy materials with integrated Clicker grids motivates kids to read and to write their own stories. (866) 332-2745

CTB/McGraw-Hill

Web-based i-know Progress tracks and reports test results from the i-know assessment system, custom state tests, and third-party assessments. (800) 538-9547

Curriculum Associates

Teachers of pre-K-1 can enter student data into Brigance Screens Online Scoring Service to generate customized reports of at-risk scores, growth indicators, age equivalents, and standardized scores based on school data. (800) 225-0248

David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art

The SmARTkids Web site includes Art Studio, Look & Share, Art Detective, and Art Speak sections to help kids ages 7-12 analyze and interpret visual art. (773) 702-0200

Disney

The Wiggles: Wiggles Bay involves preschool students in puzzles, music, and games with characters from the Disney Channel series The Wiggles. (800) 328-0368

Duke TIP/Eduscreen

Through the video segments and interactive exercises in Switched on Sound: Movements in 20th Century Music, students explore the important art, history, and composers that shaped music through the 20th century. (888) 825-3643

E-Book Systems

With FlipPublisher, educators and students can create dynamic, 3-D digital flip books that include text, audio, video, photographs, and music. (408) 625-8000

EduCatalyst

EduCatalyst 1.0 is a suite of online research-based decision-support tools to help teachers and administrators identify, explore, select, plan, implement, and evaluate new ways to improve student performance. (617) 769-9500

eHelp Corporation

RoboDemo eLearning Edition allows educators to create Flash-based e-learning simulations with quizzing and scoring capabilities. Simulations can be enhanced with captions, audio, hyperlinks, and more. (800) 388-4332

Encore

Each volume of the Advantage 2004 series covers 10 core subject areas with interactive tutorials, reference materials, multimedia presentations, and more. (310) 768-1800

Encyclopedia Britannica

The online Enciclopedia Universal en Español covers the world and all academic subjects, plus extensive materials on the peoples, cultures, and histories of Spain and Latin America. (800) 621-3900

EyeCues

Open source Assessa PSP is a fully customizable version of the company's online testing and scoring system. (619) 299-2255

Facts on File

Science Online has been updated to include 13 science-related Facts on File print titles, including biographical dictionaries, dictionaries, and encyclopedias. (800) 322-8755

Follett Software

Running from district servers over intranet, Internet, or both, the Destiny library management solution combines circulation, cataloging, and inventory management with 24-hour access to the district library catalog. (800) 323-3397

Funds for Learning

The E-Rate Manager helps schools monitor the status of funding requests and generate necessary E-rate forms. (703) 351-5070

iAssessment

The GPS Smart Portal provides a single online location for administrators, educators, students, and parents to share information. (866) 422-6252

Ignite Learning

The company's Early American History courseware covers the years 1492-1877, with 15 units aligned to national and state standards. A new assessment engine allows teachers to zero in on entire class or individual student performance. (866) 464-4648, ext. 105

Inspiration Software

Kidspiration, the graphic organizer software for K-5 students, has been optimized for Macintosh OS X. Current Kidspiration owners can upgrade their software free of charge. (800) 877-4292

Intel

The Design and Discovery Web site provides an inquiry-based curriculum and resources to teach fundamental design and engineering concepts to students ages 11-14. (800) 538-3373

Interactive Solutions

Multimedia authoring tool MovieWorks Deluxe 6.0 now supports MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 formats and has enhanced media sequencing, previewing, playback, navigation, and text editing applications. (925) 734-0730

InterVideo

Analog and digital video clips can be combined into new videos and burned as a DVD with WinDVD Creator Plus AVDV. (510) 651-0888

IntelliTools

ReadyMade standards-based curriculum activities can be used alone or with IntelliTools classroom tools. The latest title, Lewis & Clark, incorporates reading, writing, map work, time lines, and more into a social studies unit for grades 3-5. (800) 899-6687

Kaplan K12 Learning Services

The Kaplan Achievement Planner 3.0 allows educators to analyze data from state tests and ongoing assessments. New features include benchmark assessments, baseline tests, and more detailed performance reports. (888) 527-5268

LCSI

With MicroWorlds EX, students in grades 4 and up can generate science simulations, mathematical explorations, interactive multimedia stories, and more. (800) 321-5646

LeapFrog SchoolHouse

A new release of the LeapTrack Assessment & Instruction System, which allows K-5 teachers to assess students and prescribe individual instruction, adds reporting capabilities and options for school- or district-wide implementations. The interactive Phonemic Awareness program includes six interactive LeapPad books to help pre-readers develop key skills. (800) 883-7430

Learning.com

The new version of the EasyTech online technology curriculum includes lessons on visual mapping software, databases, graphics, desktop publishing, and other technologies. (800) 580-4640

LearnStar

A new Art and Music module for the LearnStar interactive system teaches K-6 students art and music appreciation, history, and trivia. (800) 292-1505

Lightspeed Systems

Total Traffic Control 4.0 provides network traffic monitoring and reporting, spam blocking and content filtering, bandwidth management, and firewall security. (877) 447-6244

Linworth Publishing

The Computer Activities series for grades 4 through 8 teaches students to become proficient in programs for word processing, spreadsheets, slide shows, and Web building. (800) 786-5017

Macromedia

Educators can develop accessible rich-media e-learning applications with Authorware 7.0. Contribute allows educators to update school Web sites without HTML. Breeze Live combines PowerPoint content with live interactions for effective online presentations. "Building a Town Web Site," a free project-based curriculum project, teaches students Dreamweaver MX. (800) 457-1774

MathRealm

Featuring interactive, research-based lessons, graphing tools, and enrichment activities, the MathRealm Algebra I curriculum introduces equations and graphs to students. The MathRealm Management System allows educators to customize multimedia instruction, create standards-based lesson plans, and monitor student performance. (800) 736-9851

Merit Software

Developing Critical Thinking Skills for Effective Reading provides kids ages 10 and up with hands-on reading instruction. The newest version includes a tutorial section. (800) 753-6488

Microsoft

Edit and enhance photos, create projects, and share images with Microsoft Digital Image Suite 9. Organizational tools such as a rating system, photo tagging, and archives help users easily find their images.

National Study of School Evaluation

DataPoint enables schools and districts to manage, analyze, report, and apply data to school improvement efforts. Optional professional development and on-site training are available. (800) 843-6773

Neal-Schuman Publishers

Hooking Teens with the Net shows educators how to use the most popular young adult sites on the Web to teach core curriculum subjects and information literacy. (212) 925-8650

NetSupport

NetSupport School v7.0 combines instruction capabilities with testing and polling modules, application and Internet monitoring, and remote control of student workstations. (888) 665-0808

NewTech Infosystems

NTI CD/DVD Maker allows Windows users to enhance recordings with professional effects and burn CDs and DVDs. DragonBurn allows Macintosh OS X users to produce audio, data, and MP3 CDs and DVDs. (949) 421-0720

Online Solutions for Educators

Teachers can quickly build a class Web site with 30-Minute Web Sites for Teachers. Sites can be customized with school colors, photos, calendars, assignments, resource materials, and news. (888) 203-4704

Oracle

Think.com, the free service that provides non-HTML Web sites and protected e-mail accounts for students and teachers, is now available in Spanish, Thai, and Mandarin. Also, the product has new district management functionality for all languages.

Pearson Learning Group

Based on the research-based QuickReads fluency program, QuickReads Technology Edition combines speech recognition technology with science and social studies content to help students develop reading fluency and comprehension. (800) 321-3106

Pinnacle Systems

Pinnacle InstantCopy allows users to create, copy, and store any type of unencrypted video, audio, photo, or data disc. With Pinnacle InstantCD/DVD, users can author and burn CD or DVD content. (650) 526-1600

ProQuest

The eLibrary Curriculum Edition delivers periodical and digital media content to K-12 schools and libraries. The History Study Center provides primary and secondary historical reference material covering 14 centuries. ProQuest Historical Newspapers reproduces the back files of major U.S. newspapers in full-page digital images. (800) 521-0600

Reading A-Z

The subscription-based provider of downloadable readers for K-5 has expanded its collection to include poetry and nursery rhyme books, high-frequency-word books, and flash cards.

Riverdeep

Products in the Skill Navigator series diagnose students' skills and offer a curriculum customized to prepare students for state exams. The Skill Detective series targets more than 75 math, language arts, reading, and critical thinking skills. (888) 242-6747

Sagebrush

Web-based Sagebrush Analytics allows district staff to access multiple data sources to monitor and assess school and student progress. The Pinpoint integrated research tool gathers, evaluates, ranks, and reports the most relevant search results from multiple sources. (800) 533-5430

SAS inSchool

SAS inSchool expands its subscription-based InterActivities for grades 8-12 with English Literature, Modern European History, and Physical Science curricula. Lessons include audio, video, images, and online organizational tools. (888) 760-2515

Scantron

Classroom Wizard 4.0, which allows students to take tests on Palm OS devices, features 802.11b wireless connectivity, graphics capabilities, and a wide-screen version for the AlphaSmart Dana. (800) 722-6876

Scholastic

The newest version of the Scholastic Reading Inventory Interactive low-stakes assessment tool allows educators to monitor and analyze individual student performance over time and sort student data into specific demographics and subgroups. (800) 724-6527

School Zone Interactive

Based on a traditional flash card approach, Flash Action Phonics Made Easy teaches first- and second-grade students beginning and ending letter sounds, vowel sounds, rhyming families, and more.

Scientific Learning

Fast ForWord to Reading builds phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and other essential reading skills through 15-minute animated exercises. (888) 665-9707

SIRS Publishing

The Interactive Citizenship online program consists of three electronic books with dynamic links to applicable state standards and to the SIRS database of primary and secondary sources. (800) 232-7477

Sleek Software

Two new titles in the Incredible Tutor series for grades 9-11 teach test-specific skills based on Texas state standards. Social Studies covers world geography, U.S. history, and government; Science covers integrated physics and chemistry as well as biology. (800) 337-5335

SMART Technologies

Version 4.0 of SynchronEyes allows teachers to monitor students' computer screens, broadcast their own screen to student workstations, distribute handouts and assignments electronically, and create computer-based quizzes. (888) 427-6278

SmartSound Software

The latest of the company's tools for creating high-quality soundtracks for digital movies, Sonicfire Pro 3.0 allows users to automatically fit selected songs to the length of the video clip. (800) 454-1900

Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies

The new SmithsonianEducation.org provides relevant resources for specific audiences: lesson plans for educators, topic-based exhibits for students, and a resource library for families. (202) 357-2425

Software Kids

The Time Engineers 3-D adventure game teaches middle and high school students fundamental engineering principles as well as math, science, physics, and history. Players build pyramids, irrigate farmlands, operate drawbridges, and more. (219) 462-1102

Software Technology, Inc.

With STI Professional Development, managers can track employee training, credentials, and salary points. Employees can enroll in classes, manage credentials, and share best practices. (800) 844-0884

Sonic Foundry

Mediasite Live 3.0 Web presentation system allows real-time Webcasting, distance education, and online training. The new version features improved workflow, scaling functions for large-scale deployments, mobile application options, and Macintosh compatibility. (800) 577-6642

Stagecast Software

Spanish-speaking students can now use Stagecast Creator, the multidisciplinary tool that enables K-12 students to create their own interactive games, stories, and simulations, via a new Spanish-language tutorial. (650) 599-0399

StudyDog

Internet-based StudyDog Reading for struggling K-6 readers presents standards-based reading lessons in a game-like environment. (503) 643-4449

SurfControl

SurfControl Instant Message Filter blocks and manages leading instant messaging and file-sharing protocols to increase network security and optimize resources. (800) 368-3366

Symantec

Provide help desk and server support with pcAnywhere 11.0's remote control, remote management, and file transfer capabilities. (800) 631-8118

textHELP Systems

PDFAloud add-on toolbar for Adobe Acrobat renders PDF text accessible for speech feedback. (888) 333-9907

Tom Snyder Productions

This fall Tom Snyder will be distributing four new software titles for preschool and elementary students: Clifford Phonics, I SPY Fantasy, Math Missions: The Race to Spectacle City, and Math Missions: The Amazing Arcade Adventure. (800) 342-0236

Tool Factory

The two-title SuperSpell Grammar Series features more than 190 systematic, focused exercises to teach grammar to elementary, middle school, and ESL students. Also from Tool Factory, The Flying Carpet sharpens elementary math skills on a virtual tour of Egypt. (800) 220-8386

Vantage Learning

With support for assistive entry devices, voice selection, text highlighting, and text-to-speech capabilities, VanKey online assessment tools allow students with disabilities greater access to high-stakes tests. (267) 759-1199

Vision Ventures

School staff can use scheduleUs to create and publish activity calendars online; parents can view, print, or synch the calendars to their Palm OS handhelds. (877) 724-3387

Viva Media

In Learn to Play Chess with Fritz and Chesster, kids play animated games and contests with Prince Fritz as he tries to save his kingdom from the evil King Black. (212) 431-4420

WebEx Communications

Schools and districts can host online events with streaming media, Flash content, 3-D animation, and live video using WebEx Event Center. (877) 509-3239

New Professional Development Courses
American Museum of Natural History

New fall and winter courses in the Seminars on Science online professional development series include "Frontiers in Physical Science," "Genetics, Genethics, and Genomics," and "How to Think about Life in the Universe." The OLogy Web site for kids will soon have an Archaeology content area, and sections on meteorites and archaeology will be available in the Resources for Learning online database. (212) 769-5000

Classroom Connect

Connected Educator Reading interactive professional development course covers phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension for K-6 reading teachers. (800) 638-1639

FutureKids

The six-hour professional development course Infusing PDA Technology into the Curriculum examines the features and functionality of the Pocket PC for education. Instruction, demonstrations, and activities familiarize educators with the handheld computer and guide them through the lesson creation and student assessment processes. (562) 296-1111

Holt, Rinehart & Winston

Web-based Holt Professional Development courses for reading teach literacy instruction through presentations by experts, model lessons, and links to resources. The online version of Holt Middle School Math provides interactive instruction and assessment for algebra readiness. (800) 992-1627

Pace Learning

The self-paced ParaPrep Learning System provides print- and software-based lessons and assessments to help paraprofessionals prepare for certification exams. PaceWare 4.0 courseware helps struggling learners in reading, language, and math. (800) 826-7223

Riverdeep

The Teacher Universe Promoting Pre-K-3 Literacy course provides information on research-based pedagogy mandated by Reading First. (888) 242-6747


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