April 2014, What’s New

3/31/2014 By:

SOFTWARE & ONLINE

ABPathFinder
(www.abpathfinder.com)

ABPathfinder, LLC, developer of special education and therapy management solutions, has announced a new group data collection feature for its data management and assessment software, which is now available for both Android and Apple devices. Educators and therapists can now log data and track progress for multiple students simultaneously. By combining this new feature with ABPathfinder’s online/offline input capability, users have the ability to record student data from anywhere.

Amplify ELA Digital Curriculum
(www.amplify.com)

Amplify released its digital curriculum for 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade English Language Arts (ELA) courses. The curriculum for each grade combines a year’s worth of Common Core-aligned lessons with rich digital media from Academy Award-winning studios and stars from both stage and screen. The curriculum will be available in classrooms at the start of the 2014 school year at an introductory price of $45 per student per year. The package will include an e-library stocked with more than 300 works of fiction and nonfiction and more than 40 digital games. In addition to this digital ELA curriculum, the company will also offer a hybrid print and digital curriculum for K-5 ELA courses and supplemental digital curriculum in math and science in time for the start of the 2014 school year.

Atomic Learning iOS 7 Training
(www.atomiclearning.com)

Atomic Learning has also added iOS 7 training on how to use the App Store, Contacts, Maps, and Safari apps. In the App Store training, educators can learn how to browse for, purchase, and install apps, as well as how to manually and automatically update installed apps. The Safari app training series includes how to browse the Internet, navigate around and between pages, create and organize bookmarks, share pages, and use a private mode and the security preferences.

Dragon Dictate for Mac 4.0
(www.nuance.com)

Nuance Communications, Inc. has announced the next generation of its Dragon Dictate intelligent voice recognition software for Mac OS. Dragon Dictate for Mac 4.0 features the latest transcription from any single speaker’s pre-recorded audio file, combining voice recognition and transcription offerings. The latest version also enables higher performance and faster editing with pure 64-bit application and improved memory management capabilities. The software remembers corrections and can be used without data or Wi-Fi connection.

Edgenuity MyPath
(www.Edgenuity.com)

Edgenuity MyPath,available for the 2014-2015 school year, provides students in grades 6-12 with supplemental instruction in math and reading customized to their skill and comprehension level. Students below grade level rebuild foundational skills with instruction and activities that are age-appropriate and engaging. Students working at grade level receive critical reinforcement to keep them on track. Students above grade level are exposed to higher-level mathematics and enriching literature and analysis. Teachers and administrators can use the program’s reporting features to quickly identify student weaknesses and intervene immediately.

Gamesandlearning.org
(www.gamesandlearning.org)

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center has teamed up with the Games and Learning Publishing Council to create the website Gamesandlearning.org. The resource covers key developments in the educational gaming industry, how games are being integrated into classroom, and explanations of the latest learning and market research.

Hooda Math
(www.hoodamath.com)

Hooda Math, a resource of free, Web-based math games, recently added more than 50 non-flash-based educational games, accessible through all browsers and devices. Games include Hooda Stacker, Hooda Dissection, and Hooda Remover.

Mayan Mysteries
(www.dig-itgames.com)

Dig-It! Games has unveiled its newest Mayan Mysteries character, “Anna,” designed by 9th-grade student Michaela M. Students were invited to create a new character to join the Mayan Mysteries team in the newest game, to be released this spring. The Mayan Mysteries games are designed by a former archaeologist and middle school teacher, and encourage students to discover artifacts, decode glyphs, visit ancient cities, and explore other aspects of Mayan culture.

Mobile Learning Essentials Dashboard
(www.lightspeedsystems.com)

Lightspeed Systems’ Mobile Learning Essentials (MLE) combines the company’s Web filter, MDM, and LMS for a complete solution that enables school administrators and teachers to manage devices and use them in the classroom. The new MLE dashboard pulls information from all three solutions and puts them in one place, displaying data that aligns with set learning goals and measurements. Administrators can see how their schools, teachers, and students are using the digital tools and content, and then make learning program decisions based on the data.

myDistrict360
(www.skyward.com/mydistrict360)

Skyward, Inc. has partnered with BravePoint to create myDistrict360, a user-friendly portal for teachers and administrators to analyze critical student and business information. Available for use with the Student Management and School Business Suites, myDistrict360 provides comprehensive analytics without the need for extensive development, professional services, or coding experience. Key features include Web 2.0 reporting and analysis functions, including data visualization tools and customizable security options that enable role-based access and views.

Net Texts
(www.net-texts.com)

Net Texts, a free library of OER content, has announced a new mobile site that allows students and teachers to access the free Net Texts courses using any smartphone or media player. Users can also now use the Net Texts content management Web site to search for more than 8,000 items that have been tagged with at least one CCSS standard, allowing teachers to quickly add Common Core Standards-aligned open educational resources to their courses. Teachers can search for standards by subject, grade level, and category.

OpenEd Public Courses
(www.opened.io)

OpenEd now offers Public Courses, providing teachers and parents access to courses created by other educators. Users can also create and share their own courses. By using OpenEd’s student apps for PC, iPad, and Android, students can enter a simple code to view a particular course assigned by their teacher or parent.

Pearson Learning Content for Windows 8
(www.pearsoned.com)

Pearson has partnered with Microsoft to deliver Pearson’s personalized learning content, including the Common Core System of Courses, in the Windows 8 touchscreen environment. The Common Core System of Courses is built for a digital personalized learning environment and is aligned with the new standards for college and career readiness. In addition, Pearson’s iLit core reading program has been optimized for the Windows 8 platform. Designed based on the proven instructional model found in the Ramp Up Literacy program, iLit offers students personalized learning support based on their own instructional needs.

Penguin collection for Titlewave
(www.follettsoftware.com)

Follett has launched a collection of nearly 17,000 eBook titles for PreK-12 students from Penguin Group (USA). The collection is available through Titlewave, Follett’s collection development, search, and ordering tool. Popular Penguin titles include “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, “James and the Giant Peach” by Roald Dahl, “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, and “The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini.

Petra’s Planet for Schools
(www.petrasplanetforschools.com)

Petra’s Planet for Schools is a cross-curricular, safe, and controlled online environment designed to help students become active global citizens. It offers inclusive functionality, including the ability to access “twin” classes from other countries to share information and collaborate with teacher guidance. Created in collaboration with teachers, Petra’s Planet for Schools provides a range of activities for online social and community-centered skills, such as learning how to use email, chat, blogging, and games.

PLEx Heredity Unit
(www.filamentgames.com)

Filament Games has released the Heredity Unit of its PLEx Science series (Play, Learn, Experiment). Through the game Crazy Plant Shop, students explore the complex subject of plant genetics by breeding exotic types of plants. Geared toward middle school students, the unit features a comprehensive curriculum. The rest of the PLEx Life Science series will be released later this year.

Prepfoleo
(www.prepfoleo.com)

Prepfoleo is a network that connects students and parents with professionals, enabling them to discover, organize, and share keys to academic success. The free online community offers a catalog of resources curated by top-level professionals, identified as PrepPros. These professionals are selected by the Prepfoleo team based on the individual’s occupation, experience, and the value of the materials they share with the community.

SnapStream 6.2
(www.snapstream.com)

SnapStream has released version 6.2 of its enterprise TV monitoring technology. New features include “one-step clip and share,” integration with YouTube and Amazon S3. It also allows users to restructure specific interface screens to streamline everyday workflows for clipping, sharing, and managing TV content. Administrative controls have been added to delegate permissions and set user groups. SnapStream’s Web Player has also been updated. Users can now perform actions such as ShowSqueeze (i.e., transcoding recordings to a new format) and SmartChapter (i.e., detecting commercials and ads) directly from the Web Player.

SoftChalk eBook Builder
(www.softchalk.com)

SoftChalk, LLC, has released eBook Builder, enabling educators to create their own interactive eBooks, viewable on iPads. The eBooks can be customized to include pop-up annotations, images, video, and interactives such as dragNdrop matching, flashcards, and other SoftChalk supported activities. Students can save the eBook directly onto their iPad and access the content offline. The eBooks support bookmarking, text highlighting, note taking, and feature a built-in dictionary. The company also plans to offer compatibility for other mobile and e-reader devices.

Texthelp Highlighting Tools in Google Add-Ons

As part of Google’s new Add-On area for Google Docs and Sheets, Texthelp has introduced its Highlighting Tools free addon, designed to enable students to identify and group key facts together, collect words to learn, and undertake further research. Students can use the tool to collect notes or research a certain topic by highlighting text in a page that will then automatically be extracted into a new document. Students can also highlight unknown words that can then be shared with their educator, or used with other Google tools to find definitions and learn about later.

ThingLink
(www.thinglink.com)

ThingLink has released a significant update for education users. Teachers can now register new students on their behalf, without the need for students’ email addresses. School districts can now also apply for ThingLink Educational status, enabling students to sign up with their own accounts and receive teacher and student privileges. The update also offers a safe browsing environment. If the logged-in user is assigned student status, they can only see images created by other people with student status, teacher status, or images curated by ThingLink Staff.

Woodcock-Johnson Assessment Suite IV
(www.hmhco.com/educators)

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has announced the next generation of its Woodcock-Johnson Assessment Suite for individually administered assessments. The Woodcock-Johnson IV includes a comprehensive measure of oral language, providing insights into student strengths and highlighting potential language disorders.

APPS

Common Sense Media Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum
(www.commonsensemedia.org)

Common Sense Media has released its K-12 Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum as a set of eight free, interactive, multimedia iBooks textbooks. The curriculum addresses 21st-century skills such as Internet safety, recognizing and preventing cyberbullying, and online privacy and reputation. The iBooks feature multimedia activities, videos, and interactive assessments.

Ken Burns iPad App
(www.pbs.org/kenburns)

PBS has launched the Ken Burns App, offering selected excerpts from the entire library of Ken Burns and Florentine Films programs as seen on PBS stations nationwide. The app integrates with other platforms to let users further explore specific films they discover. Each scene is also linked directly to dedicated pages on the newly launched PBS website, Ken Burns America, which offers in-depth information about each film.

Learning.com App
(www.learning.com)

Learning. com has been updated to offer curriculum and lessons, as well as tablet-ready assessments. The assessments help educators identify learning gaps, understand student needs, and improve 21st-century teaching skills. The app, available on iTunes and Google Play, provides access to tablet-ready EasyTech lessons, a 21st-Century Skills assessment, WayFind Teacher assessment, and the TechLiteracy assessment.

Quick Clocks
(www.getshinythings.com)

Quick Clocks transforms an iOS device into a time-teaching tool that allows children to practice and develop time-telling skills. Quick Clocks launches with features that allow users to track progress, measure statistics, and unlock hidden avatars. Built with a handwriting engine that recognizes users answers when written on the screen, Quick Clocks is a relevant learning tool for 7-11 year olds. Built in consultation with teachers and education experts, Quick Clocks promotes the development of a concrete understanding of time through a variety of activities and games.

Roxio MediaBook for iPad
(www.roxio.com)

Roxio has introduced MediaBook for iPad, enabling users to create multimedia eBooks with their own photos and videos. The standard Roxio MediaBook is available as a free app with a selection of introductory features, including eBook templates. The final products can be viewed on iOS devices with Apple’s iBooks app, and on Android devices with the free Roxio MediaBook Reader for Windows 8 and Android.

SAS Curriculum Pathways
(www.sascurriculumpathways.com)

SAS is working to integrate SAS Curriculum Pathways’ Web-based resources with related mobile education apps. Soon, SAS Curriculum Pathways logins will give users seamless access to SAS Flash Cards and SAS Read Aloud. SAS Flash Cards features over 100,000 flash cards plus tools to create custom decks. SAS Read Aloud provides three reading modes: Read to Me, Help Me Read, and Read by Myself. Parents, teachers, and students can record themselves reading the book of their choice, and readers will see words highlighted as the familiar voice speaks them.

Tales2Go iOS App
(www.tales2go.com)

Tales2Go Inc. has released version 4.0 of its app, offering new features that school and parent users have requested, such as seamless bookmarks and multi-variable search. Tales2Go is a Netflix-like subscription service that streams audio book titles from popular publishers to desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. Now, teachers can assign the same audio book to an entire class or grade.

HARDWARE

NEC Display Solutions of America (www.necdisplay.com) has announced the newest addition to its mobile lineup, the L102W LED projector. The 1000-lumen projector has no lamp and is mercury-free. At 3.1 pounds and the size of a hardcover novel, it’s easily portable. The projector has 1 GB of internal memory and supports common Microsoft Office file formats. The company has also added two products to its M Series short-throw digital projectors, the 3300-lumen M332XS and 3500-lumen M352WS. The models deliver high-contrast images (10,000:1), are filter free, and have 0.6:1 and 0.48:1 throw ratios.

Samsung (www.samsung.com) has launched the Chromebook 2 series. The new models, available in 11.6” and 13.3” configurations, offer faster performance, longer battery life, and a slimmer and lighter build as compared to the previous series. The 13.3” model also features a full HD (1920x1080) resolution screen. Additional features include rapid start times, an 8.5-hour battery life, and an easy-to-grip design for classroom use.

RobotsLAB (www.robotslab.com), an educational robotics company, has launched STEM BOT 3D, a program that enables students to create a 3D-printed robot. The program introduces students to programming the robot, 3D printing and designing the skeleton, working on the electronics, and helping students understand the whole life cycle of creating a product. Students can customize and print the parts, and then program the robot using Scratch, a drag-and- drop interface.

MultiTouch (www.multitacion.com) has introduced the MultiTaction iWall, a 16” x 8” interactive video wall with 24 megapixel resolution. The iWall features playback support for multiple concurrent 4K videos, and it enables users to collaborate and communicate in a large space.

Vernier (www.vernier.com) has introduced new sensors for high school and college-level instruction. The Motion Encoder System (pictured), UV-VIS Spectrophotometer, Emissions Spectrometer, Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR) Sensor, and Potassium Ion-Selective Electrode can be used across multiple science disciplines. Based on Vernier’s Dynamics System, the Vernier Motion Encoder System is a complete system for studying dynamics. It includes carts, a track, and associated hardware, in addition to a new optical motion encoder to record cart positions.

BenQ (www.benq.us) has announced the availability of the latest addition to its mini-projector series: the Ultra-Lite GP20. The GP20 offers 700 ANSI lumens of brightness and native WXGA (1280x800) resolution, with support for resolutions up to UXGA (1600x1200). Features include mirroring for MHL-equipped devices, which allows small-screen content to be sent directly to the projector from any portable device.

Crestron (www.crestron.com) has released the Crestron Connect It (TT- 110), a simple-to-use presentation interface that delivers versatile connectivity, cable management, and one-touch control in one tabletop device. The 4” round cubbyhole neatly stores HDMI, VGA, audio, and Ethernet cables, and connects directly to the display. The cables are weighted for smooth retraction into the storage compartment.

Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. (www.bretford.com) has released a series of app-enabled charge and sync products for iOS devices. The PowerSync Cart 40, PowerSync Cart 20, and PowerSync Station 20 for iPad and iPad mini allow users to remotely check connected devices. With the companion PowerSync+ app, users can be notified when their iOS devices are fully charged and when devices are disconnected after hours.

Dell (www.dell.com) announced the Latitude 13 Education Series laptop, Dell Mobile Computing Cart upgrade kit, and Dell Interactive Projector S520. These new additions join the recently introduced Dell Chromebook 11 and Dell Venue tablets. With powerful processors, the Latitude 13 Education Series features a 13.3” display and a full-size keyboard. The Dell Mobile Computing Cart—available managed or unmanaged—holds up to 30 netbooks, Ultrabooks, laptops and/or tablets of most brands up to 14”. The Dell Interactive Projector-S520, features multi-touch capabilities, Intel Wireless Display (Intel WiDi) + Miracast technology and advanced wireless functions for classrooms and conference rooms of nearly any size.

N-trig’s (www.n-trig.com) Intel Education Tablet now features a DuoSense controller chipset, for integrated active pen and multi-touch capabilities. The Android tablet features N-trig’s thin active pen, designed to sit within the 10.1” screen. DuoSense technology offers a smoother writing, illustrating, and annotating experience.

AmpliVox Sound Systems (www.ampli.com) has released a new line of multimedia presentation furniture, helping presenters stay organized and keep all their technology devices at their fingertips. The Visionary Lectern features a lockable front and easy-access rear cabinet to simplify connections. The compact Multimedia Work Station includes drop-leaf shelves for projectors and other tools. The Visionary Lectern’s integrated front panel screen displays graphics directly from the speaker’s laptop.

Califone (www.califone.com) has introduced the Listening First stereo headsets, designed for early elementary language activities and mobile-based learning initiatives. Slotted earcup baffles protect the internal speakers against accidental perforation by sharp objects, and noise-reducing earcups rest around the ears to provide maximum protection against ambient noise. The rugged ABS plastic earcups won’t shatter and can withstand the rigors of daily use. The headsets can be used with smartphones, tablets, computers, and other audio sources.

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