What’s New: New tools for schools.

6/27/2012 12:00:00 AM
software & online
Blackboard Connect for Teachers and Mobile Learn 3.0

Blackboard has updated two of its popular education tools. Blackboard Connect for Teachers allows teachers to expand one-on-one communication with parents. For example, teachers can remind parents about class assignments. The company has also announced a major update to its Mobile Learn app. Now students can take tests specifically designed for mobile devices and receive push notifications when important updates or changes happen in their classes.

Cloud Workspace

EarthLink, Inc. has launched EarthLink Business IT Services Cloud Workspace, a hosted desktop service. The customized environment allows IT administrators to control business applications and data with secure access for employees from anywhere and from any device with Internet access. This service functions as a virtual office wherever teachers work.

Common Sense Media and Teaching Channel Videos

Common Sense Media and Teaching Channel (TCH) have released a series of videos to help middle school teachers bring important digital literacy and citizenship lessons to their classrooms. The nine-part series includes a broad range of digital topics, including cyberbullying, “fair use” of digital media, and online privacy.

DIAGRAM Poet Application

The Benetech DIAGRAM Center (Digital Image and Graphics Resources for Accessible Materials) has created an application called Poet that makes otherwise inaccessible graphic content available for readers with disabilities. Poet supports writing descriptions in electronic books created in the international DAISY standard for digital talking booksand EPUB3 formats. Schools are welcome to use Poet to write image descriptions. poet.diagramcenter.org.

e2020 World Languages Courses

e2020 Inc. has integrated a robust set of world languages courses into its catalog. Proficiency in world languages rounds out e2020’s solution for preparing students to compete in an increasingly global society.

eBOARD Meetings App 2.0

eBOARDsolutions has updated the Meetings app for the iPad. The new version provides quicker access to meeting agendas and a cleaner, more modern interface. Other new features include an integrated “Help” function and the ability to subscribe to notifications for meetings.

FASTT Math Next Generation

Scholastic Education has upgraded their math fact fluency program, FASTT Math. The new version helps students in Grades 2-9+ build fluency faster. It is also designed to meet Common Core State Standards and features 18 new games and new educator dashboards.

Fragile Earth App

HarperCollins has released its second app, Fragile Earth. The app illustrates the effects of climate change, nature, and man’s impact on the planet from 73 locations across the globe. With the iPad’s swiping capability, users can move between “before and after” images.

Knovation integrates with Youngzine

Knovation has announced that it is partnering with Youngzine, a Web site featuring current news and events presented in a non-sensational format, geared toward children. The content will be integrated into netTrekker Search and iCurio. Categories include “world news,” “science & technology,” “our earth,” and “society & arts.” The site also includes trivia, visuals, and videos, and encourages readers to express their views.

MobilePrint App

Samsung Electronics America has announced the availability of its enhanced “plug & play” MobilePrint App for secure, fast, and easy printing or scanning through a Wi-Fi access point for iOS smart mobile devices. The free download eliminates the need for an external server or PC and allows authorized users to print, scan, review, sign, and share printed documents from their smartphones or tablets.

Odysseyware Courses

Odysseyware has introduced a new slate of courses designed to help students fit into a designated Career Technology Education (CTE) career cluster. The courses are ideal for business management and administration, health science, and hospitality and tourism.

PD 360 Videos

School Improvement Network has released a new series of professional development videos for teachers created from video footage of the Prevent Suicide Hawai’i conference. The content is designed to help teachers identify warning signs of suicide before it occurs, outline available resources for help, and develop an increased understanding of those who survive suicide attempts or who suffer a loss as a result of suicide.

QuestionMark Perception 5.4

QuestionMark has added new tools for analyzing and reporting on assessments to QuestionMark Perception, its onpremise assessment management system. There are also four course evaluation reports, which when combined with the browser-based course evaluation authoring tools in QuestionMark Live, provide solutions for quick creation, distribution, and reporting on course evaluations.

RabbleBrowser 2.5

Float Mobile Learning has released RabbleBrowser 2.5, an iPad app and Web browser for the classroom. The tool allows a teacher to lead an unlimited number of students through a Web browsing session or discussion, connected through a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth network.

ReferencePoint Press Nonfiction Ebooks

Mackin Educational Resources has added ReferencePoint Press nonfiction ebooks to their collection of ebooks. The ebooks present relevant, convenient, and accessible research and learning tools for 6th- to 12thgrade students. Topics covered include technology, health, and current issues.

ReviewLink 1.0

Lectora now includes ReviewLink 1.0, a collaborative e-Learning review tool, in its Inspire and Lectora Publisher e-Learning authoring tools. The tool enables e-Learning teams to quickly, easily, and seamlessly share and review Lectora courses for online training.

SMART Notebook iPad App

SMART Technologies Inc. has released a notebook app, which allows students to use SMART Notebook collaborative learning software on their iPads. The app supports whole-class, small-group, and personalized learning.

Start-to-Finish Online Accessible Library

Don Johnston Incorporated has released the Start-to-Finish Online Accessible Library. Students can use their iPads, mobile devices, and laptop computers to read books from school or home. Each school only needs one license to use the program.


Designed to get students excited about reading, Tales2Go is a new Web site that streams audio books and stories to mobile devices in the classroom and beyond. Students and teachers can instantly access a large library of titles from publishers and storytellers.

Turnitin Voice Comments

Turnitin has released a beta version of Voice Comments, a simple and efficient way for instructors to offer feedback on student writing using the GradeMark online grading tool. The new Voice Comments feature engages students in the writing process by providing them with clear, personalized, and substantive feedback. It also saves teachers time, by eliminating the need to type comments.


Upclique is a free, online, college recruitment network that connects students with schools of interest and guides them in the search process. The site lets students find their dream school based on criteria such as major, location, and campus life. It also gives school counselors one central place to manage all of their students’ search needs.

Word Dynamo for iPad

Dictionary.com has created an iPad app version of its popular Word Dynamo program. The program combines proven study techniques with engaging games to help students understand language at their own pace, complete homework faster, and improve overall academic performance.

YourTeacher Algebra 1 iBook

YourTeacher, a provider of online and appbased math tutoring and test prep, has released its first math iBook for schools titled Algebra 1. The textbook is designed to “flip the classroom,” with repetitive core instruction done outside of class. This app allows teachers to focus higher-level concepts and one-on-one instruction.

Zui Social Network

Zui.com recently launched a new site for kids, offering sharing features similar to Facebook and YouTube, but in a safe environment. Students can build an avatar and their own “My Zui Page.” They can also “like” and “favorite” items and share content within and outside of the Zui community. To keep kids engaged, the site generates suggested content based on user interaction.


Acer (www.us.acer.com) has released a new 24-inch ergonomic display, the B243PWL. Integrated IPS technology allows the display to deliver images at wide angles, up to 178 degrees horizontally and vertically, making it a great solution for multi-monitor set-ups. The LED-backlit display also reduces energy costs, by consuming up to 68 percent less power than standard CCFL-backlit displays.

eInstruction (www.einstruction.com) has released the new Mobi Case for iPad. This sturdy case is designed to meet the needs of teachers using iPads for classroom instruction. The case has grips on the side and top, allowing teachers to control their iPads in a variety of positions.

Mitsubishi Electric Visual Solutions America (www.mitsubishielectric.com) has added two new DLP models to their highbrightness portable projector line. The wide-resolution WD 720U and the XGA-resolution XD700U both offer flexibility, easy set-up, and a low operating cost.

Optoma (www.optoma.com) has expanded its EcoBright line of lamp-free projectors with two LED projectors, the 300-lumen LK30W, and the 500-lumen TL50W. Both projectors offer wireless connectivity to PCs and mobile devices and come with a built-in MS Office Viewer for PC-free operation.

Numonics (www.numonics.com) announced CLEVERTOUCH, its newest interactive optical touchscreen overlay designed for easy installation over commercial flat panel displays or TV, creating an interactive environment with a connected computer. CLEVERTOUCH uses Optical Sensing technology integrated in a custom bezel that installs over the display.

Hitachi America (www.hitachi-america.us) has announced the next generation of its Classroom and Conference Room 3LCD projectors: the CP-X2015WN, CP -WX2515WN, CP-X2515WN, CP -X3015WN, CP-X4015WN, and CP -WX3015WN. The new models offer networking capability, two USB ports and new ImageCare functionality.

Samsung Electronics America (www.samsung.com) has also introduced two new Citrix-dedicated zero client monitors, the SyncMaster S-series and B-series cloud stations. Three new S-series models (TS190C, TS220C, and TS240C) include an embedded Citrix zero client, and the new B-series model (TB-CH) is designed to be used in conjunction with a customer’s legacy monitors. Users can access their own apps and data through a tablet PC, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Phoenix Audio Technologies (www.phnxaudio.com) has released the Quattro3 (Q3) family of tabletop conference speakerphones. All members of the Q3 family, which includes the USB MT301, PSTN MT302, Smart MT303, Power MT304, and IP Phone MT305 interface models, can be daisy-chained and powered from a single source using a standard Ethernet cable. There is no need to install proprietary cables or designated units.

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