WHAT’S NEW: NEW TOOLS FOR SCHOOLS

3/31/2017 5:54:00 AM

Software & Online

7 MINDSETS ACADEMY
(www.7mindsets.com)

7 Mindsets offers an award-winning online gateway for social emotional learning, combined with an immersive professional development program for teachers that explores how to teach the mindsets and apply them in everyday life. Uniquely focused on whole school culture and climate, each new school is paired with a partner school that helps with leadership application, instructional integration, and overall resource sharing. Ongoing coaching and training is then provided on how to use 7 Mindsets Academy’s lessons and online content portal with students in classrooms. School administrators are also trained on best practices for implementation, focusing on structural integration of the 7 Mindsets into day-to-day campus activities, applying the 7 Mindsets as a “language” that aligns teachers, students, staff, and parents. Lesson themes include foundational concepts for raising expectations, developing meaningful relationships, embracing accountability, practicing gratitude, managing setbacks, and learning from mistakes.

ACHIEVE3000 IN MICROSOFT’S EDUCATION GTM PROGRAM
(www.achieve3000.com)

Achieve3000, the leading literacy platform in blended learning programs for students in grades Pre-K through 12, has joined Microsoft’s Education GTM program. Achieve3000’s differentiated literacy solutions are now integrated with Azure, the open, flexible, enterprise-grade cloud computing service from Microsoft. Achieve3000’s patented model of research-based differentiated instruction for school-aged youth as well as adult learners delivers daily instruction for nonfiction reading and writing that’s precisely tailored to each student’s Lexile reading level. The proprietary adaptive content system continually monitors each student’s reading performance and automatically increases the level of text complexity when it detects that an individual is ready for more challenge, steadily moving students up level by level.

A HELPFUL GUIDE TO INTERACTIVE SOLUTIONS IN THE CLASSROOM
(http://news.mimio.boxlight.com/wholeclass-guide)

Boxlight has published A Helpful Guide to Interactive Solutions in the Classroom, available as a free, downloadable eBook from the company’s website. The 14-page eBook provides guidance for selecting interactive learning solutions. For example, it reviews the top factors to consider when preparing to select front-of-classroom technology for schools. Readers will find an in-depth overview of a variety of solutions with pros and cons to help them select the technology that best aligns with their needs and learning goals. The guide also includes a list of resources designed to help educators make the best use of interactive technologies such as lessons, tips, activities, training, and Boxlight’s online educator community.

BLACKBOARD WEB COMMUNITY MANAGER
(www.chalk.com/blackboard)

Blackboard Inc. and Chalk.com announced a partnership to deliver a digital gradebook for K-12 educators, providing teachers and parents with deeper insights into student performance. The Chalk.com platform will complement Blackboard’s existing offerings designed to enhance learning and will integrate with Blackboard Web Community Manager (WCM), Blackboard’s community engagement platform. Chalk.com’s offering provides teachers access to new formative and summative assessment tracking tools, while giving parents and students access to grades, assignments, and other classroom information. This allows teachers to provide context to a student’s grade, helping them create a learning portfolio aligned with academic standards.

BLOOMZ
(www.bloomz.net/childcare)

The parenting mobile app Bloomz announced a set of features tailored to childcare centers, including check-in/check-out attendance and daily sheets to keep parents on top of their kids’ everyday activities. To further its mission to connect parents with their kids’ world, Bloomz is also partnering with the Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to educate parents across the country – through the Bloomz app – on a variety of topics relevant to raising children.

BULB
(www.bulbapp.com)

bulb digital portfolios empower students to create original content and publish/organize/manage work in one convenient place, promoting peer collaboration, teacher feedback/evaluation, and the opportunity for one’s work to reach a larger audience. Most importantly, students’ work is always accessible, whether the student moves grades, schools, or graduates. The consistent layout and intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows students to easily upload experiments, reports, and art projects created with other tools or build them from scratch directly in bulb using composition, image, video, and embedded content tools. New features allow students to embed document files such as PDFs and Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files for the first time. An anticipated, robust commenting tool will support more targeted feedback and a tightened permissions system will give students control over who can view and comment on their content.

CAREER READINESS PATHWAYS
(www.fueleducation.com/careerpathways)

Fuel Education has expanded its Career Readiness Pathways online and blended learning program. Students can choose to follow one of 24 distinct Career Pathways in six Career Clusters, which provide a comprehensive approach to career and technical education (CTE). These Career Clusters include manufacturing, agriculture, business management and administration, health science, hospitality and tourism, and information technology. Each of the pathways within the Career Clusters contain a progression of rigorous courses that help students build a foundation of knowledge in their field of choice. Career Readiness Pathways also offers supporting services, including a career exploration platform, workforce readiness and pathway certification exam preparation, business skill development opportunities, and referrals to set up career and technical student organizations for added extracurricular involvement and support.

CATCHON
(http://getcatchon.com)

CatchOn launched a free 60-day trial (as part of a public beta at SXSWedu) of its accountability platform, delivering data-driven evidence about which apps are being used, how often they’re being used, and where they’re being used within a district. CatchOn is an application management and reporting platform that presents a granular analysis, which district leaders can examine when making decisions about app use, cost, and ROI. The platform analyzes data by showing a percentage of the budget per app and compares it with consumption across the district. CatchOn measures the financial impact of edtech investments and gives recommendations on new apps to implement based on student and teacher habits.

CEV MULTIMEDIA FORENSIC SCIENCE
(www.icevonline.com)

CEV Multimedia released a new forensic science course that introduces high school students to complex scientific and mathematical concepts of forensics in an engaging and practical way. Using the framework of solving crimes, students explore advanced biology, chemistry, physics, and trigonometry. Delivered through the iCEV online learning platform, teachers have access to an extensive playlist of videos, presentations, lab activities, assessments, lesson plans, and more to teach topics related to forensic science.

CLASSHUB
(www.classhub.com)

ClassHub is a new classroom operations platform from Squirrels LLC that combines collaboration, device management, and device monitoring into a single dashboard for teachers and is ideal in a BYOD environment. Teachers simply open ClassHub on their computer at the start of class and see a view of every student device in the classroom. From there, teachers can see student device screens, push content to devices, lock devices into a specific app, initiate screen-sharing, and install and remove apps across all devices. ClassHub is compatible with 97% of commonly deployed classroom devices, including Chromebook, iPhone, iPad, Surface Pro, Mac, and Windows computers.

CLASSLINK AND BRAINPOP
(www.classlink.com and www.brainpop.com)

ClassLink has added the online learning provider BrainPOP to the list of edtech companies with which it integrates. ClassLink OneClick delivers secure, single sign-on access to Windows, Google, and web applications like BrainPOP, as well as instant access to files at school and in the cloud. The ClassLink integration will provide an easy path to BrainPOP’s personalized learning features, including: concept mapping and other student creation tools, creative reflection and playful assessment options, customizable quizzes, and other cross-curricular features.

DREAMBOX NATION
(www.dreambox.com)

DreamBox Learning launched DreamBox Nation, an online community designed for educators who use DreamBox to collaborate on ways to improve student learning and expand their professional skillsets. DreamBox Nation lets educators participate in discussions with educators across North America to share ideas and strategies; find answers to challenging DreamBox questions; receive early access to new features; and have a direct line to the DreamBox team to help shape the future of the platform.

ESSA READY
(www.essaready.com)

In early March 2017, Allovue launched ESSA Ready, a website to support K-12 school leaders as they prepare their financial reports for compliance under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Created for district and school-level leaders, the site is a guide for meeting the new financial reporting requirements in the statute. Under ESSA, school districts must now demonstrate greater transparency with their financial data, including showing per-pupil expenditures by school based on actual expenses. ESSA Ready features both original content from Allovue’s team such as: blog posts, webinars and other supports for districts moving toward data transparency, targeted improvement and fiscal equity. The website also provides links to external resources authored by the U.S. Department of Education, the Foundation for Excellence in Education, the Council for Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the Aspen Education and Society Program, Chiefs for Change, and Education Resource Strategies (ERS).

EXAMVIEW
(www.turningtechnologies.com/examview)

Turning Technologies released ExamView v11. The complete assessment solution has been updated with a fresh new appearance, expanded learning management system integrations, synchronous and asynchronous assessment potential, comprehensive clicker support, and the ability to upgrade to online testing capabilities that will change the way assessments are administered and taken in the ExamView classroom. With ExamView Premium, tests can be administered online with users responding to questions through an application on any web-enabled device. Assessments are automatically graded for efficient student monitoring and evaluation.

FAST FORWORD
(www.scilearn.com)

Scientific Learning announced that its FastForWord online reading intervention program will now feature Reading Assistant patented speech recognition technology, as well as hundreds of reading selections and new teacher-directed lessons. Fast ForWord was developed by neuroscientists to intensively target working memory, attention, and processing speed in the context of language and reading exercises. Reading Assistant uses advanced speech recognition to rapidly build reading fluency and comprehension by “listening” to students as they read aloud, correcting and guiding them just like a reading tutor. By combining the two solutions into one FastForWord supports one-on-one guided oral reading.

FREEPHONICS
(www.primaryconcepts.com)

Primary Concepts, producer of PreK-3 products and curriculum, released FREEPhonics, a new, comprehensive word building curriculum. Delivered as an eBook, the curriculum is available as a free download for teachers. It offers 82 step-by-step lessons, beginning with the simplest CVC words and progressing sequentially through blends, digraphs, diphthongs, consonant and vowel pairs, and r-controlled vowels. The program introduces the building blocks of reading with sequential, hands-on lessons. The program includes built-in, printable assessments for each unit of instruction and a free teacher app for projecting and demonstrating lessons to groups of students.

HMH KIDS DISCOVER SOCIAL STUDIES 2018
(www.hmhco.com/kids-discover-socialstudies)

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) announced the release of HMH Kids Discover Social Studies 2018, its social studies curricula for grades K - 6. The standards-based program includes a range of history and geography materials that encourage the development of active inquiry skills. Presented in a student-friendly, magazine-style format, the program combines hands-on lessons with digital assets. Built in partnership with Kids Discover, this next generation curricula series supports both ELA and Social Studies requirements for reading, critical thinking, and skills support so teachers can implement cross-curricular instruction while preparing students for the future. HMH Kids Discover Social Studies is available via Ed: Your Friend in Learning, the online learning system that personalizes the teaching and learning experience for teachers and students by combining technology, HMH content, and instruction.

IXL LANGUAGE ARTS
(www.ixl.com)

IXL Learning, a K-12 learning program, announced expanded phonics content for pre-K through 1st grade. With adaptive technology, insightful analytics, and a playful student experience, IXL Language Arts is designed to support the teaching of early literacy. IXL breaks every topic down into specific and scaffolded skills, allowing educators to target each step of the reading process and help students build up to fluency. Within each skill, IXL’s adaptive content challenges every student at just the right level so they can build language abilities at their own pace. Teachers can access IXL Analytics to analyze trouble spots, group students working on the same level of difficulty in a skill, receive alerts when students may need help, and more. IXL also offers math, science, and social studies content.

KICKBOARD
(www.kickboardforschools.com)

Kickboard has expanded its school culture system to include a full complement of collaborative, research-based, professional development services. Ideal for Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS), Social Emotional Learning, and other culture-oriented programs, Kickboard’s total solution gives educational leaders and staff access to the tools and the professional support they need to plan for a successful school culture, establish school-wide systems to capture and use real-time culture data, and improve support systems for teachers and students.

MYON NEWS POWERED BY NEWS-O-MATIC
(http://about.myon.com/myon-news)

myON introduced myON News Powered by News-O-Matic as their first complementary product of myON and first of its kind digital news program aligned to digital books. The digital multimedia platform will serve as an interactive and fun introduction to daily news and current events, written for kids and reviewed by education experts and child psychologists. myON News will engage K–8 students to help them become informed global citizens, connected to digital fiction and nonfiction books. myON News publishes five original news articles designed for students every weekday, 52 weeks a year and are available in English and Spanish and at three personalized reading levels. In addition, myON News allows educators to assign articles, monitor student activity, and leverage real-time reporting and usage reports to guide and evaluate their students’ progress every step of the way.

QWERTYTOWN 2.0
(www.qwertytown.com)

QwertyTown 2.0 brings several upgrades and new features to the original, web-based keyboarding app that teaches typing, digital literacy, and online communication skills. Students are driven to succeed by QwertyTown’s gamification features, social motivation, and engaging lessons and challenges. Students are socially motivated to progress through QwertyTown because it helps them understand how meaningful keyboarding skills are to their lives in and out of school. QwertyTown 2.0 features more teacher resources, including video tutorials and webinars, support features, customer reviews, and white papers. The platform has also been rebuilt in HTML5, making it compatible on any device. Additionally, the student, teacher, and admin dashboards offer new features in an intuitive design. The company also recently launched a new game in QwertyTown as well as a new Chrome app, Head 2 Head – a real-time typing challenge in which students face off and test their typing skills in a duel against classmates, friends, and even their teachers.

READY CENTRAL AND I-READY IDEAS
(www.readycentral.com and www.ireadycentral.com/ideas)

Curriculum Associates recently launched Ready Central to help educators implement Ready Mathematics as part of their core mathematics program. The online portal offers over 600 resources, including training videos, implementation tips, planning tools, and best practice examples for using Ready Mathematics together with i-Ready, the online assessment and instruction platform, as a blended core learning program. The resources help educators get up and running quickly, plan and pace their lessons, learn instructional best practices, and leverage i-Ready data to guide their instruction. Curriculum Associates also launched i-Ready Ideas to provide teachers with an online, community-driven forum where they can view and share best-practice tips and resources for using i-Ready. The forum offers images, videos, and downloadable resources to help teachers engage students, explore the use of data, and use i-Ready in their Reading and Mathematics classrooms.

ZEEMEE
(www.zeemee.com)

ZeeMee has created a social media platform and mobile app that lets students bring their stories to life by uploading images, videos, and photos of themselves to their ZeeMee profile. Over 200 colleges and universities partner with ZeeMee and provide a space on their application for the ZeeMee link. Alternatively, students can simply email their profile to the college to which they’re applying. The profiles can be uploaded online as well as via Android and iOS devices. To date, the company claims 13,000 high schools in 150 countries have used the platform.

Hardware

Spectrum Industries, Inc. (www.spectrumfurniture.com) introduced the Optio Collaboration Table, available in a variety of table sizes ranging from 60 to 96 inches long and in heights from 27 to 42 inches. The table is available with fixed legs or electric lift legs allowing for the sit to stand functionality. Casters are also available, so the tables are easy to move around the room for group collaborations. The Optio Table is also ADA compliant with at least one location being handicap accessible.

NEC Display Solutions of America (www.necdisplay.com) announced the NP-PA653UL filter-free, LCD laser installation projector. The projector’s laser light sources and sealed optical engines prevent the accumulation of dust particles and give users 20,000 hours of maintenance-free performance. Delivering 6,500 lumens of brightness, the projector gives schools clear, readable images and consistent light output. The projector also offers a variety of inputs and outputs, including Dual HDMI, DisplayPort with HDCP, and HDBaseT with HDCP.

littleBits (www.littlebits.cc/code-kit) announced the littleBits Code Kit, designed to help students learn the foundations of coding and engineering. With the Code Kit, students build hands-on games with electronic building blocks and code them, using block programming based on Google’s Blockly, on the littleBits Code Kit app. The game-based design of the kit is supported by resources to make it easy for educators to teach coding right out of the box. The Code Kit includes over 100 activities and lessons for grades 3-8 tied to NGSS and computer science standards, 16 Bits, a rechargeable battery and 30 accessories, and the littleBits Code Kit app, as well as a variety of support resources.

Acer (www.acer.com) added the Chromebook C731 to its 11.6-inch line. The device meets U.S. Military Standard (MIL-STD 810G) and features a spill-resistant keyboard as well as an option for a touchscreen display. It provides up to 12 hours of battery life, so it is ideal for multi-day school usage for cart programs, or for all-day (and homework) battery life. The Chromebook also has a quiet, fan-less design, as well as a 180-degree hinge so students can open it up to collaborate on projects.

Epson (www.epson.com) announced the PowerLite 675W, 680, and 685W ultra short-throw presentation displays for K-12. The displays enable individualized instruction with wireless content sharing and offer bright images up to 100-inches with minimal shadows and glare. The PowerLite series now enable instructors to share content between the big screen and wirelessly connected mobile devices for individualized learning. Epson also announced the latest BrightLink interactive ultra short-throw presentation displays for education, including the BrightLink 685Wi, 695Wi, 696Ui, and 697Ui. These enhanced displays enable individualized instruction with wireless content sharing and deliver crisp image quality with up to full HD resolution 1 and a bright, readable interactive image up to 100-inches—3x as big as a 60-inch flat panel.

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