New software and online schools tools for March 09

New software and online schools tools for March 09

Financial education programs, language learning, interactive whiteboard software, assessment and more.

Price: $99 for purchases made on or before June 30th, 2009
ActivInspire is Promethean’s next generation of teaching and learning software. It combines cross-platform functionality that works on Windows, Mac and Linux with two interface options–ActivPrimary, ActivStudio–to create a complete educational software solution. The product team used social media globally to drive the beta process by inviting teachers to give critical feedback. Instead of a private beta community, the entire world had free access to the software. In just 3 months, Promethean engaged over a thousand teacher/bloggers for user reviews and built a twitter audience of Promethean and competition product users who would tweet their feedback. For every criticism raised went to engineering. Between the beta launch and the official launch, Promethean made hundreds of changes to the software and credited the users.

Rosetta Stone Classroom Levels 4 and 5
These new levels, initially available in Spanish and English for K-12 and higher education, will include extended, more complex conversations and grammar, expanded vocabulary, and additional opportunities for speaking that prepare the learner for everyday interactions in their language of study. Rosetta Stone Classroom Levels 4 and 5 will deepen students’ understanding and command of the language as they strengthen the skills acquired in Levels 1–3.

Wall Street Survivor
Price: Free
Wall Street Survivor lets users navigate the stock market without investing any real money. Players are given a fictional $100,000 cash portfolio to start trading real stocks in real-time, providing the foundation for individuals to learn how to take control of actual investment portfolios and retirement savings.

Price: $179
An innovative software program to help children with autism, Aspergers and developmental deficiencies learn how to recognize facial expressions that display the emotions of surprise, fear, disgust, anger, sadness and happiness.

Reading Assistant
The Reading Assistant reading intervention software combines advanced speech recognition technology with scientifically-based interventions to help elementary and secondary students strengthen their reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

NES® (National Evaluation Series)
NES teacher certification tests provide states with comprehensive exams aligned to professionally accepted national
learning standards, covering areas such as essential academic skills, professional knowledge and commonly taught elementary, middle and secondary grade-level subjects.

PD In Focus
PD In Focus provides searchable, streaming video content of research-based teaching practices in action. The video content is organized into four themed channels (Best Practices in Action, Differentiated Instruction, English Language Learners, and Literacy Strategies) and draws from the best of ASCD’s rich professional development library and authoritative sources.

Burst: Reading
Burst:Reading applies a sophisticated algorithm that analyzes current and past reading assessment data for a given class, groups students with similar skill needs, and then creates a customized 10-day sequence of lessons arranged at the right pace and intensity for each group. The teacher downloads the lessons, and uses them to teach. At the end of the 10 days, the teacher evaluates students’ progress using Wireless Generation’s mCLASS® handheld computer-based reading assessment, uploads students’ results to the mCLASS Web site, and Burst:Reading repeats the process.

SkypeCap for Mac 1.3
Price: $39.95 for a Single License
SkypeCap for Mac is a resource for capturing and recording Skype audio sessions in real time.

PBwiki Campus Edition
Price: $799 per year
With PBwiki Campus Edition, a school can roll out an unlimited number of PBwikis for its classes, clubs, and other student activities. Campus Edition includes PBwiki's market-leading ease-of-use and customer service, making it an ideal choice to introduce students, teachers, parents, and guardians to the benefits of hosted collaboration. Educators have used PBwiki for everything from classroom collaboration and publicly-accessible student projects to open-source textbooks.

Large Software
Price: $29.95; PC tune-up added on for $9.95
LargeSofrware has announced price special that will provide customers a discount on the popular PC Tune-Up™ 2.0 software when combined with the purchase of the company’s Password Manager. The PC Tune-Up 2.0 product, which optimizes user’s computers and improves computer speed by up to 55-percent, does the following and more: system and registry backup, smart scan, automatic repairs, complete defrag, magic button, optimizing tools and active X protection.

Digitial Scrapbook Artist
Price: $34.99 (single copy), $399 for elementary schools, $599 for high schools
Serif has introduced special pricing for educators on Digital Scrapbook Artist, its one-of-a-kind photorealistic digital scrapbooking software program. The program enables students to enhance their understanding of a variety of subject areas through the creation of imaginative albums. Features include high-resolution images, built-in photo editing tools and digital versions of traditional scrapbooking and crafting tools like stickers, glitter and stylized scissors.

Progress Zone
Progress Zone from Discovery Education is the first formative assessment service enabling educators to monitor student academic progress through teacher-created diagnostic tests linked to state curriculum/assessment standards. Progress Zone helps educators use assessment results to prescribe digital media for individualized instruction. Progress Zone allows educators to quickly create, share and administer custom academic probes using a bank of more than 35,000 unique assessment items. All items are aligned to state standards with skill/sub-skill definitions. The Progress Zone item bank contains reading, math, science, and U.S. history questions for grades 1-12.

Scholastic’s Economic Recovery
Economic Recovery is an online resource that help educators access up-to-date information about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The information portal, which will be updated as new details become available, provides educators with: requently asked questions about how ARRA will directly impact their schools and districts, fast facts about ARRA and how it will directly improve student achievement, quick links to resources around the web that provide clear and useful explanations of ARRA, and programs and resources that align to funding for Title I (Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged), IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), EETT (Enhancing Education through Technology) and other categories.