February 2012, What’s New

February 2012, What’s New

software & online


Promethean has also launched its next generation Learner Response System, ActivExpression2. The wireless, handheld device allows students to individually contribute to a lesson by answering a question posed by the teacher or other students, or by offering an idea. Equipped with a QWERTY keyboard, the device also has full text capability, allowing students to answer in full text or multiple choice as well as a number of other input modes. The larger screen accommodates both questions and answers, and the inclusion of a mathematical equation editor adds to the devices’ use in the classroom.

Adobe Digital School Collection

Adobe’s latest edition of Digital School Collection for K-12 students and educators incorporates Photoshop Elements 10 and Premiere Elements 10 software, as well as Acrobat X Pro. The package allows students to create projects and presentations that include photos and photo books, movies with professional effects, and media-rich documents and ePortfolios.

BenQ’s SmartEco Technology

BenQ has announced the development of its proprietary SmartEco lamp technology to maximize energy savings. This technology combines energy efficiency for longer lamp life with optimized image contrast. The company’s Web site offers a “SmartEco Savings Calculator” to help educators determine their current consumption levels.

Classroom Video On Demand

Infobase Learning has announced major platform enhancements to Classroom Video On Demand, its streaming video product for high schools. Among the key enhancements are a redesigned interface with improved navigation, a new video player with dynamic bit-rate switching for optimum viewing, iPad compatibility, improved search and browse options, special collections for key producers, and an enhanced administrative portal.

CollegeSolved CollegiateChat

CollegeSolved.com has released a new service, CollegiateChat, designed to help prospective students connect with current college students and learn about their experiences. High school students can ask CollegiateChat ambassadors about all aspects of college life, from the application process to academic strengths, nightlife, housing, financial aid, and more.

CoreLink Services

CTB/McGraw- Hill has launched CoreLink Services, a research-based test item bank and set of services designed to help states transition to the Common Core State Standards. CoreLink Services offers states measurable feedback on student performance toward the new standards.

Destiny 10.0

Follett Software Company has released Destiny 10.0, featuring a mobile app and over 50 user-requested enhancements. The Apple or Android mobile app for Destiny Quest, a K-12 studentfriendly searching interface included with Destiny Library Manager, allows students, librarians and teachers to search, navigate and access their school library catalog from their mobile and tablet devices.

Don Johnston Inc. Accessible Computer Books

Don Johnston Incorporated has released a new package of Start-to-Finish accessible computer books and teaching materials for special education classrooms. The collection includes 10 computer “chapter” books on CD, designed to provide a multi-sensory reading experience for those students who read below grade level. The “retold” classic chapter books are written and edited by speech and language pathologists and are professionally narrated.

Insight 360

eInstruction has released Insight 360, a formative instruction system. Insight 360 helps teachers get instant feedback on student learning through a suite of mobile devices, software, and instructional material that’s interoperable with existing technology and systems. The system combines instructional tools, student feedback, and progress tracking to help teachers lead instruction from anywhere in the classroom, using a Mobi 360 device or the iPad.

Kinetic Media Video Vocabulary

Kinetic Media offers nearly 900 vocabulary videos that help middle school students visualize words, like “nevertheless,” in a fun format such as rap songs. Each video includes the definition and usage of the word as well as a short skit or activity showing how the word is used.

Letters alive

Letters alive is a supplemental reading curriculum that uses augmented reality to create an interactive learning experience with 3D animals and letters. Aligned with Common Core State Standards, Letters alive includes 26 augmented reality letter/animal cards, 94 sight word cards, and a year of lessons, stories, and student activities to teach elementary level students the fundamentals of reading.

M86 Web Filtering and Reporting Suite 4.2

M86 Security has announced version 4.2 of its Web Filtering and Reporting (WFR) Suite. With the new version, schools can monitor activity and filter all mobile tablet devices running on Android or iOS operating systems while on-site, helping enforce regulatory compliance, customize user access time limits, and maintain productivity. Includes additional user identification and improvements to reporting.

Mediasite 6

Sonic Foundry offers several enhancements to the Mediasite lecture capture platform. New capabilities include live or on-demand streaming of any Mediasite presentation to iOS or Android devices using HTML5, and a system-wide search for words and phrases either in a single presentation, a presentation catalog, or across a user’s entire Mediasite library.


Excent, provider of Special Education software, has announced a new mobile app designed to help parents manage their student’s Individualized Education Plan. myIEPmeeting allows parents to organize IEP documents, maintain team contacts, prepare for meetings and track their student’s behavior. All files, including meeting recordings, photos and videos, can be created and managed within the app or online.

NEC Interactive Software application

NEC Display Solutions of America has announced the release of its interactive software. Compatible with the iPad and NEC projectors with networking capabilities, the software enables lesson creation and collaboration in new ways, allowing students to work directly on iPads. Users can control their computers, draw and annotate over computer files, and create lesson plans for playback during a class or meeting.

netTrekker Search and CCSS

netTrekker Search now includes access to digital resources and information aligned to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Math. Users can now find safe, educator-vetted resources— from games to lesson plans and more—aligned to the CCSS.

NovaStor Server and Virtual Machine Backup

Data protection company NovaStor has launched version 12.5 of its server and virtual machine backup products. The new products offer support for the latest virtual technology, including VMwareESX(i)/vSphere 5.0, while increasing performance to reduce backup windows for virtual machines. The company has also introduced an enhanced backup of critical data to NAS devices for easy compliance with corporate security policies.

ParentLink iPhone applications

ParentLink has announced the release of its newest iPhone applications for K-12 users of the ParentLink communication service. The Mobile Parent and Mobile Admin apps now give users access to grades, assignments, attendance, and more. With the Mobile Parent app, parents can access information related to their child’s education as well as view or hear messages in a single location. They can also instantly contact teachers or view a school directory and set up alerts to be notified when their child has missed an assignment or received a low score.

PBS KIDS new games

The company has announced 60 new cross-platform games that help children aged two through eight build critical math skills. Available free on the PBS KIDS Lab Web site, the games feature a colorful cast of characters, from Curious George to the Cat in the Hat. Each game suite links to a set of games that are accessible through computers, mobile devices, and interactive whiteboards.

PD 360 Mobile App and MyPortfolio

PD 360 has released a Mobile application, available for any iOS or Android mobile device. The app gives teachers and administrators access to the content of the online PD training library, including 1,800 video segments. The app synchronizes with an educator’s account so all content can be viewed on a mobile device. The company has also released My Portfolio, a function within the PD 360 platform that helps educators create, share, and implement personalized professional learning plans.

Pearson’s Social Studies Apps

Pearson offers a growing collection of social studies apps to engage students in learning about history, geography, economics, and civics. The Games apps for American and World History each feature over 100 arcade games, puzzles, and interactive word games covering dozens of topics such as the Civil War, the Civil Rights Era, Ancient Rome, and the Industrial Revolution.

PLATO Learning New Courses and Support

PLATO Learning has announced new physics, precalculus, and integrated physics and chemistry courses that allow high schools to offer a full 4x4 curriculum. The courses are included in the PLATO Secondary Academic Library. A new simulated test also helps high school students prepare for the writing portions of tests like the ACT.

Portals Platform

Evan-Moor Education Publishers has released Portals, a free learning platform that provides teachers with access to Daily Practice interactive apps, including over 150 interactive lessons to support core language arts and math skills for grades 1-8. The apps offer interactive, collaborative learning experiences in an easy-to-use digital platform that engages students.

Revolution K12 Geometry

Revolution K12, a Web-based adaptive software division of Revolution Prep, has released a new Geometry program that diagnoses students’ deficiencies with geometry topics. The targeted program moves from standardized questions tied to standards to diagnostic questions to tutorials on specific skills if students continue to answer questions incorrectly.

Rover for Classrooms

iSwifter has partnered with Discovery Education to announce Rover for classrooms. The free app enables educators to stream Flash videos to iPads, through a CIPA-compliant browser. The companies will also deliver Flashbased learning apps, lesson plans, and materials for teachers and students.


SAFARI Montage has unveiled its next generation of interactive videoconferencing systems, SAFARI Montage Live-5! (SML5). The conferencing system offers new features such as enhanced screen sharing capabilities, higher quality video and audio, the ability to play video recordings from the host’s desktop, and more.

Shmoop AP Biology

Shmoop has launched the test prep guide for AP Biology. Students can learn about the “colorful building blocks of life” through interesting pop culture references, such as Legos. Shmoop organizes biology subjects from botany to molecular genetics into an easy-to-navigate structure.

Solutions in Action

Blackboard has partnered with NBC to launch Solutions in Action, an online video series that focuses on innovative and successful uses of technology in education. The videos are produced by NBC Learn and are available on Blackboard.com and NBCLearn.com. They explore topics ranging from new systems to better measure student progress to virtual platforms that expand access to new subjects in the classroom.


On Udemy.com, students can take classes in product development with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, entrepreneurship courses with Marissa Mayer of Google, and language courses with Ivy League professors. Ninety percent of these courses are free. The company’s model shifts educational power distribution to a more open, shared-knowledge model, fostering learning beyond the classroom.

Vidyo for Education

Vidyo is working with schools to offer virtual classes and field trips that supplement the curriculum with realworld interactions via videoconferencing. The virtual field trips give students access to people across the globe. Vidyo for Education products, which help teachers incorporate video and documents into lessons, also are now eligible for discounts through eRate.

“You’re Going to Love This Kid!” Professional Development Package

Paula Kluth, Ph.D., an expert on autism and inclusion, has created a professionaldevelopment package DVD to prepare teachers for educating students with autism. The 55-minute video expands key lessons found in her professional books and presentations and walks viewers through the process of supporting all learners.

YouTube for Schools

YouTube has launched YouTube for Schools, a network setting that allows school administrators to grant access only to the educational content from YouTube EDU. Teachers can choose from thousands of videos created by over 600 partners like the Smithsonian and TED. There are also over 300 playlists organized by subject and grade level, accessible at www.youtube. com/teachers.


Lenovo (www.lenovo.com) has announced its ThinkPad X130e, a rugged laptop designed for the K-12 environment. It can handle bumps, drops, and spills, thanks to a top cover rubber bumper and stronger corners that absorb impacts and reduce the chance of damage when dropped. The laptop also offers stronger hinges to outlast heavy opening and closing of the lid, and reinforced, recessed ports to decrease the effects of wear and tear. The laptop is available with either the latest Intel or AMD processors.

Akitio (www.akitio.com) offers a new storage solution that helps teachers manage valuable data. The SK-3501 Super-S3 has a combination interface including eSATA, FireWire 800, and SuperSpeed USB 3.0. The solution, featuring a fanless aluminum enclosure, is ideal for use as a content creator, video editor, and music producer, providing fast file transfer and reliable backup of valuable data

Panasonic (www.panasonic.com) has announced the AW-HE120, a pan/tilt/zoom camera that supports full HD video capture and produces great video quality in a range of shooting conditions. The camera supports direct and Web-based IP remote control, and features a built-in Web server to enable secure control and setup from any PC with a browser. The camera is smaller and lighter compared to its predecessor, and uses nearly 50% less power at a mere 21 Watts at 12 VDC.

Bretford (www.bretford.com) has released four new mobile device carts to support classroom environments. The new MDMLAP30 30-unit laptop/netbook carts and MDMTAB36 36-unit tablet carts feature an advanced power management system and a desktop cord management system. The Power Manager system is designed to continuously charge mobile devices, and uses a “Round Robin” charging cycle that evaluates the demand for power and concentrates on the devices that need it most. Each new cart has two shelves with full-access doors in the front for students and a choice of a panel or full-access door in the back for the person operating the cart.

Olympus (www.olympusamerica.com) has announced the LS-100 live recorder, which also serves as a complete toolbox for working and practicing musicians, music teachers, or music enthusiasts. It includes two internal 90-degree directional stereo condenser microphones, two quarter-inch XLR/standard phone combination inputs, and multi-tracking with two-channel simultaneous recording and eightchannel playback.

CRU-DataPort (www.cru-dataport.com) has released the new Drive eRazer Ultra, a device that erases all data from 3.5” or 2.5” IDE/PATA and SATA hard drives faster and more securely than software solutions. The Drive eRazer Ultra writes over the entire drive with new data, leaving nothing left to recover. Users can connect the drive and follow directions on the LCD menu, eliminating the need for a computer.

Hitachi America, Ltd. (www.hitachi-america.us) has announced the CP-RX94 3LCD projector. At 5 pounds and measuring 12 x 8.7 x 3 inches, the projector is great for the classroom and combines ease of operation with HDMI connectivity and other features. The projector includes Hitachi’s Intelligent Eco function, which changes the brightness of the lamp according to the brightness level of the image to save energy.