April 2011, What’s New

April 2011, What’s New

Online & SoftwareAspen 3.1

Follett Software Company has released version 3.1 of Aspen, a student-information system. Upgrades include improved navigation, scheduling, health management, conduct, and special-education features. Guided tasks offers a detailed workflow procedure that guides a user through multistep processes, such as rolling over the school year.
Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: student-information system

Atomic Learning iPad Content

Atomic Learning has added new content to its site that includes iPad and iPod Touch series tutorials on videos, music, and iTunes. Twenty new videos highlight basic features and functions of the iPad, including Access and VoiceOver features.
Price: Free to subscribers.
Category: professional development

Bretford Collections App

Bretford Manufacturing recently launched its first iPad app, which helps educators and administrators choose facility furniture that meets their needs. The app can help users visualize how products are being used in classrooms, meeting rooms, cafeterias, and other areas.
Price: free
Category: furniture, apps

Campus Mail

Lightspeed Systems has announced an addition to its suite of K–12 solutions. Campus Mail encourages communication between students, staff, and parents through safe, monitored email accounts. It also provides file storage in the cloud and archives all messages in compliance with eDiscovery and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requirements.
Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: filtering

CourseSites by Blackboard

Blackboard has launched a free fully hosted and supported online course system that provides K–12 instructors with a cloud-based option for hosting online courses or incorporating Web-based components into their curriculums. CourseSites features a variety of social learning, collaboration, assessment, and other tools.
Price: free
Category: management

Creately Desktop

This diagramming application is built on the Adobe Air platform and works on all major operating systems. Users can create just about any type of diagram, including flowcharts, UML diagrams, mockups, and mind maps. The desktop version features a Diagrams Anywhere feature that lets users work on diagrams offline while the system syncs the work online at creately.com.
Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: management

DataLink 4

Apperson’s newest release of its popular test-scoring and reporting DataLink software features new enhancements. DataLink 4 instantly downloads state and Common Core standards in the software, allowing you to tie them to individual test questions to generate item analysis and proficiency reports. The software works with all data-enabled Apperson scanners.
Price: free to Apperson scanner users
Category: assessment

dataMetrics Software

The TestWiz system now comes preloaded with the Common Core standards in English and math. The integration helps teachers view the results of their instruction through the new standards.
Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: Common Core

Ignite! Learning On line

Ignite! Learning has introduced an online program based on its middleschool digital-content platform. Teachers will be able to quickly create and customize assignments using Ignite! multimedia and use new forms of summative assessments, among other tools.
Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: digital curriculum

M86 VuSafe

M86 Security will offer the M86 VuSafe Web site free to K–12 educators in April. The site makes sharing and viewing approved videos and streaming video content easy and safer, thanks to real-time protection against threats to the Web and email.
Price: free
Category: filtering

Poser Debut

Smith Micro Software, Inc. has launched a global animation software package that helps educators explore 3-D art and animation. Poser Debut provides step-by-step project guide tutorial videos and gets students started with 70 premade animated characters.
Price: $49.99
Category: art, animation

Rosetta Stone Version 4 TOTALe

Rosetta Stone now offers its language solutions in an entirely online experience with Version 4 TOTAL e. The activities encourage students to interact and use their new language skills. Users can now also access the speech-recognition technology online.
Price: Full 5-level set, $749. Level 1 product, $249. See site for more details.
Category: language instruction

Route 66

Bookshare/Benetech has introduced an online instructional literacy program for beginning readers. Route 66 pairs readers with teacher-tutors who guide the computer interaction. The program’s features include books grouped by age, interest, and ability.
Price: $140
Category: reading

SAFARI Montage Digital Curriculum Presenter Platform

This teaching platform helps teachers in K–12 schools prepare a completely digital curriculum. It employs SAFARI Montage architecture to utilize a school’s existing wide area network rather than the Internet.
Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: digital curriculum

SoftChalk ScoreCenter

SoftChalk ScoreCenter for Blackboard eliminates the need to use SCORM to track scoring data when utilizing SoftChalk content in the Blackboard Learning System 9.x. The company is working on making the ScoreCenter available for Moodle and other learning management systems.
Price: ScoreCenter is included with the purchase of SoftChalk, which is $595 per license for educational pricing. Volume discounts available.
Category: assessment

TriCaster Virtual Set Editor

NewTek has released an editor that allows TriCaster TCX 850 and TCXD 300 users to customize HD virtual sets to fit their production needs. It lets them replace background images, change the color and tone of set elements, and apply custom logos, among other features.
Price: retail, $995
Category: video production

Turning Technologies and BrainPOP Integration

Turning Technologies has announced an alliance with BrainPOP to enable that company’s animated content to operate with Turning Technologies’ student-response systems for quick assessment of students’ learning. Teachers can ask students interactive formative-assessment questions, and students can use ResponseCard keypads that integrate with the system to provide immediate feedback.
Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: assessment


AVS GEAR (www.avsgear.com) recently announced a new LED backlight keyboard, the ZIPPY BL-741. It has a 512-color level and allows students to adjust colors while providing brightness. The ergonomically designed keyboard also offers low power consumption and features triple-color LED s.

Chief (www.chiefmfg.com) has announced a partnership with Luidia, Inc., a developer of interactive solutions, allowing Luidia’s eBeam technology to be integrated into Chief’s line of short-throw projector mounts. Any Chief short-throw projector can now be upgraded to perform many functions by installing the interactive wall mount. The solution works on Luidia’s eBeam interactive-whiteboard system.

Hitachi’s (www.hitachi-america.us/digitalmedia) first interactive projector, the iPJ-AW250N, has all the functionality of an interactive whiteboard but needs no additional hardware. The projector allows any suitable wall or surface to be converted into an interactive display without the user’s having to mount a separate whiteboard, so it’s a great addition to any classroom.

Calypso Systems (www.calypsosystems.com) has introduced SoundPost, an outstanding completely portable classroom A/V solution that was designed as a wireless microphone system and integrates additional audio inputs to provide excellent sound in the classroom. SoundPost also enables wireless projector control directly from the teacher’s desktop.

HP (www.palm.com) has released several new products that provide users such as educators with the webOS user interface. The HP TouchPad (pictured), the first webOS slate, applies the benefits of the platform on a larger scale. The HP Pre3 is a webOS smartphone designed to increase mobile productivity and connectivity, and the HP Veer is the smallest webOS phone to date, about the size of a credit card.

PolyVision (www.polyvision.com) launched a multi-surface interactive whiteboard solution at TCEA . eno flex can be configured to include dry erase, tack/bulletin board surface and map rails with an eno interactive whiteboard. With this solution, a school can implement one interactive board in different ways to meet many classroom needs. The eno flex is easy to incorporate and can be purchased using building capital funds for new-school and renovation projects; it contains no power and comes with a lifetime warranty on the eno interactive surface.

Epson (www.epson.com/brighterfutures) now offers a bright yet budget-friendly projector that’s ideal for classroom use, the PowerLite X9. The projector costs $599 and features 2,500 lumens of color and white light output and XGA resolution. Additional benefits include USB Plug ’n Play instant setup and the latest 3LCD technology.

ELMO USA Corporation (www.elmousa.com) has announced the release of the CRC-1 Switcher, a solution that helps teachers provide centralized control of classroom audio and visual equipment through bidirectional infrared or RS -232C signals with a single device. The user-friendly switcher can be mounted on a wall or placed on a desktop or other surface.

Samsung Electronics America Inc. (www.samsung.com) has announced its newest lines of network duplex printers, which help educators simplify their classroom solutions. The multifunction SCX-4835FR, SCX-5639FR, and wireless SCX- 5739FW (pictured) printer series provides added security, while the ML-3312ND, ML-3712ND, and ML-3712DW models enable faster output and lower total cost of ownership.

Luidia, Inc. (www.e-beam.com) has announced that its e-Beam technology is being used in the new HP Pocket Whiteboard and HP Digital Sketch Wireless Tablet. The Pocket Whiteboard can be used as a projector to transform a flat surface into an interactive workspace. The Digital Sketch allows users to interact with the projected workspace.

Hitachi Solutions America (www.hitachisolutions-us.com/starboard) has created StarboardLink to provide educators with an easy way to turn their classroom dry erase boards into interactive whiteboards. The finger-driven, multi-touch solution also offers free content-sharing Web space, free PD tracking and reporting, and unlimited teacher training.

Vernier Software & Technology (www.vernier.com) has created new probes and sensors for the LabQuest family of handheld interfaces. The Anemometer, High Current Sensor, 30-Volt Voltage Probe, and Melt Station measure and collect scientific data, such as wind speed and melting temperatures, and are easy for students and educators to use.

Intelitek (www.intelitek.com) now offers the latest Cortex controller technology for VEX teams and classrooms. Its “Introduction to Competitive Robotics” curriculum uses the VEX Cortex microcontroller and easyC for Cortex robotic programming software to introduce students to robotics, competitions, and engineering. The controller has built-in bidirectional communication and wireless capabilities.

Vaddio (www.vaddio.com) has launched the Squiggle Video Whiteboard Kit with educators in mind. The Squiggle can be installed alongside almost any whiteboard and converts whiteboard notes into an HD or SD video signal. It requires no dedicated PC, and the video signal can be connected to any videoconferencing or video-distribution system.