Best New Software

12/19/2012 12:00:00 AM
AVer Academy Document Camera Suite
AVer Information Inc.
www.averusa.com

With the AVer Academy Suite, AVer doc cams flawlessly integrate into existing classroom technologies. One of the judges didn’t even need a manual to set up and begin using the program, as deployment and navigation were straightforward. The judge also said that the suite combines several technologies, including Web and document cameras, as well as mark-up tools, into one cohesive application.

Curriculum Associates’ BRIGANCE IED II Record Book for the iPad
Curriculum Associates
www.curriculumassociates.com

The BRIGANCE IED II Record Book for the iPad makes it easy for educators to assess the educational strengths and needs of students functioning below the developmental age of seven. When paired with the Inventory of Early Development II (IED II) and BRIGANCE Online Management System (OMS), the app allows educators to quickly record assessment data and observations. Judges thought the record book was “innovative and useful,” with nothing else like it on the market. The judges agreed that there is a great need for a tool like this, making it an excellent addition to the classroom.

Common Core 360
School Improvement Network
www.schoolimprovement.com

Common Core 360 gives educators access to innovative videos, interactive tools, in-class videos with footage of real Common Core lessons, and an online community. Judges found it easy to use and “graphically easy on the eyes, not overly cluttered.” One judge cited the appeal of having a “Web 2.0 social media interface with content and resources that are easy to find, use, and interact with.”

Curriculum Associates’ STAAR i-Ready
Curriculum Associates
www.curriculumassociates.com

Curriculum Associates’ STAAR i-Ready is fully aligned to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) to help students in grades 3-8 prepare for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test. Judges called it a “very solid site,” offering a nice balance of focus and playfulness on the student side. Another judge said it was an engaging online program that provides excellent teacher support.

CyberBully Hotline
SchoolReach
www.schoolreach.com

The CyberBully Hotline provides a two-way communications tool that allows students to instantly send text messages or voicemails, anonymously, to school officials. One judge liked the simple user interface, since it allows for a wide range of users to use the application. Judges raved over the multiple modes of communications, such as SMS and voice.

eBeam Connect
Luidia Inc.
www.e-beam.com

eBeam Connect is a cloud-based whiteboard application that transforms any Web-enabled device into a collaborative learning environment. Teachers can engage students, in class and remotely, with interactive exercises accessed from computers or tablets. One judge pointed out the helpful capability for students to view the teacher presentation mode on their device, and then add their own notes. Another praised the online collaboration tools for presentations and other work.

ExploreLearning Reflex
ExploreLearning
www.explorelearning.com

ExploreLearning Reflex helps students recall math facts in all four operations. With 100% online access, students and teachers can access the system from anywhere with an Internet connection. Judges said Reflex has much to offer elementary students: avatars, tokens, certificates and other rewards, friendly and supportive animal guides and coaches, games, and more. One judge said it seemed to be thoughtfully designed, with children in mind.

DyKnow Monitor CP
DyKnow
www.dyknow.com

DyKnow Monitor CP provides teachers with essential classroom management functionality to oversee mixed OS (Mac and PC) classrooms. One judge recommended the product for teachers who worry about what students are doing while they should be learning. The judge added that the navigation of the teacher console was straightforward and user-friendly, with a clean interface and many “how-to” videos.

GameUp
BrainPop
www.brainpop.com

GameUp offers lesson plans, webinars, video tutorials, research, and best practices to support game-based learning in the classroom. Judges recommended that teachers use the program as an enrichment activity, or for after-school programs. They found it easy to navigate for both teachers and students.

Insight 360- Mobi 360
einstruction
www.einstruction.com

The Insight 360 classroom instruction system helps teachers measure the success of what they already do in the classroom. The system integrates classroom content and provides live feedback. One of our judges loved the ability to track student data, and to interact with students via response clickers. Another judge believed Mobi 360 would turn students into active participants in the classroom, thanks to the interactivity.

Insight 360- Mobi 360 for iPad app
einstruction
www.einstruction.com

One of the benefits, a judge noted, is that teachers don’t need additional hardware to run the software—they can just use their iPads. Another judge pointed out that the app is excellent for class mobility.

Inspiration Maps
Inspiration Software
www.inspiration.com

With the Inspiration Maps App, students use proven visual learning methodologies to develop and demonstrate the critical thinking, literacy and writing skills delineated in the Common Core State Standards. One judge said there are many seamless ways it can be used to support high-level learning. Judges also found it easy to use, especially if teachers have used other Inspiration products.

Learning.com Marketplace
Learning.com
www.learning.com/marketplace

The Learning.com Marketplace offers a single, searchable resource of standards-aligned, peer-reviewed content. The library now has over 300,000 free and fee-based digital learning objects. According to our judges, Marketplace was easier to navigate than similar products. One judge thought that Marketplace could serve as “one-stop shopping” for school districts, since it also includes professional development tools.

LiveBook
School Improvement Network
www.schoolimprovement.com

LiveBook 360 is a cloud-based publishing platform that connects authors and readers in an online collaborative reading and learning environment. Judges found the LiveBook to be a nice option for staff PD, citing its “ease of use for non-technical people.” They said it could be very effective if the staff is willing to read online—for instance, through the Nook or through Kindle for PC.

Math Teachlets Geometry and Algebra
Connections Education
www.connectionseducation.com

Connections Education’s Teachlet tutorials are online instructional modules that help students understand challenging topics by presenting them in fresh and engaging ways. Judges admired the powerful reporting tools. They also thought it had an interesting presentation of content, adding something unique to math classes.

MCI

EPS LITERACY AND INTERVENTION

EPS.SCHOOLSPECIALTY.COM

MCI (Making Connections Intervention) is a blended learning solution that provides targeted literacy instruction for struggling readers in middle and high school. One of our judges thought it would appeal to middle school students in particular. Another said it would be a great resource to help struggling readers, blending class lessons with online support and lessons and actual reading.

Miller & Levine Biology iBook
Pearson
www.millerandlevine.com

The Miller & Levine Biology iBook lets students interact with their textbook—pinching, stretching, tapping, and dragging beautiful illustrations, animations, content, video, and photos. Judges raved over the design of the text as well as the interactive elements that enhance students’ understanding of key concepts. One judge noted that the quick formative assessment would be a great way to keep content fresh for classes.

Middle School STEM
Learning.com
www.leaning.com

Middle School STEM blends digital experiences and projectbased learning to engage students in the STEM subjects. Judges liked its organization and navigation, which make the program easy to navigate and launch. One judge said it would be most appropriate for a school that wants to integrate Project-Based Learning, but it could also be used as an enrichment program for gifted students.

PBS KIDS PLAY! Classroom Edition
Tribal Nova, Inc.
www.pbskidsplay.org

PBS KIDS PLAY! is an online, cross-curricular program for Pre-K to 1st grade. It contains hundreds of interactive activities aligned to Common Core and McREL standards in math, science, language, creativity and more. One judge said it would be a great add-on program to complement curriculum in preschool, and grades 1 and 2. Others said the activities are well-designed, and believe that the use of PBS characters will engage children right away.

Online Learning Exchange
Pearson
www.onlinelearningexchange.com

Pearson Online Learning Exchange is a Web and mobile-ready platform that allows teachers and students to exchange ideas, collaborate, and enhance the current curriculum with high-quality content. As one judge put it, the Online Learning Exchange has social network-like functionality for teachers. Its visually appealing user interface was another plus.

Pearson Algebra 1 Common Core Edition iBook
Pearson
www.pearsonschool.com

Pearson’s Algebra 1 Common Core Edition, in iBook format, features educational content brought to life with video, audio, assessments, interactive images, and 3D animations. Judges found it easy to navigate between pages and chapters, and liked the ability to preview and review sections. One judge commented upon the high-quality video and self-assessment features.

Pearson Geometry Common Core Edition iBook
Pearson
www.pearsonschool.com

The Pearson Geometry Common Core Edition iBook fully addresses the Common Core Content Standards and infuses the Standards for Mathematical Practice throughout every lesson. One judge recommended that teachers use the in-print edition in the classroom, offering the iBook format to students for supplemental use at home. The judge also praised the iBook’s “fully graphical and colorful features.”

PresenceLearning
PresenceLearning
www.presencelearning.com

PresenceLearning offers live, online speech therapy, through a nationwide network of hundreds of highly-qualified, fully-licensed therapists. One judge called its use of webinar type technology “groundbreaking,” and thought it was a refreshing use of technology to solve a common problem in schools. As one judge put it, “schools can save time and money, while still supporting student growth,” through outsourcing SLP services.

Splashtop Whiteboard
Splashtop Inc.
www.splashtop.com

Splashtop Whiteboard allows teachers and students to turn their iPad, Android tablet, Amazon Kindle Fire, or B&N Nook into an interactive whiteboard. Judges found it easy to load onto the iPad, and appreciated the set-up introduction. One judge suggested that it could help instructors teach untethered to their projectors.

State Signature Courses
Connections Education
www.connectionslearning.com

In State Signature Courses, students meet “The Guild of Inquisitive Robots” that guides elementary students through their state histories. Content is aligned to state history standards and uses an inquiry-based approach to online instruction. One judge said the video vignettes would definitely engage students. The judge also thought that the use of forums was a very creative way to build a learning community.

Science of Disney Imagineering: Roller Coaster Ride Builder Computer & Whiteboard App
Disney
http://dep.disney.go.com/imagineering.html

In the Roller Coaster Ride Builder App, designed for students in grades 4-8, checkpoint challenges reinforce science principles while students build and share their ideal roller coaster. The app highlights the principles of trajectory, gravity, conservation of energy, Newton’s Three Laws of Motion, and friction. One judge remarked upon the app’s engagement with the use of physics, and another cited the app as being very innovative. One judge commented on its similarity to gaming software, making the app an excellent way to help students learn complex concepts.

Talk About It
School Messenger
www.ancomm.com

Talk About It is an anonymous communication service that allows students to get the help they need to be safe and successful. By engaging with trusted school staff members via text messages or email, Talk About It encourages students to “speak up.” Judges said this was a much-needed product, offering a way to bring bullying to the forefront of discussions. They said it was easy for both students and staff to use.

TriCaster 455
NewTek, Inc.
www.newtek.com

The NewTek TriCaster 455 delivers network-quality, professional production value for facilities with small, multiple, or roving production teams. One judge said that its ease of use makes it “ideal for schools.” The judge pointed out that the way the technology is presented makes it quick to deploy—it even includes a backlit keyboard and mouse, making it ready to go, out of the box.

Voyager Online Algebra
Cambium Learning Group/Voyager
www.voyagerlearning.com

Voyager Online Algebra, intended for students in grades 8–12, is designed for those who have failed, or are at risk of failing, algebra, as well as students in need of an algebra refresher course before taking College Algebra after high school graduation. Our judges appreciated the thorough lesson introductions and video offerings, which tie math concepts to real-world applications. One judge saw many possibilities for students in need of support, and for students who benefit from accelerated learning.

Wixie
Tech4Learning
www.wixie.com

Wixie is an online authoring tool that students can use to paint pictures, write stories, and record their voices. Judges liked the interface, as well as the option to “create assignments and assign them to particular students or groups.” Moreover, they appreciated its ability to be used with an interactive whiteboard as well as through an iPad app.

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