Flow - Tech Learning


Emphasis: Data Sharing Grade level: Secondary, collegiate, also administrativePlatform: Mac (OS X Panther or later) Price: 1-10, $49.90 each; 11-100, $39.95 each; more than 100, call for pricing Publisher: Near-Time, (919) 612-8003; www.near-time.com Educators are becoming increasingly dependent on technology to
Publish date:

Emphasis: Data Sharing
Grade level: Secondary, collegiate, also administrative
Platform: Mac (OS X Panther or later)
Price: 1-10, $49.90 each; 11-100, $39.95 each; more than 100, call for pricing
Publisher: Near-Time, (919) 612-8003; www.near-time.com

Educators are becoming increasingly dependent on technology to share information, and Near-Time has been paying attention. Flow, its collaborative server-based program, is a powerful tool that lets the user create content, search the Web, organize information, and publish work online in a multi-user environment. Flow’s common workspace makes it a catalyst for a collaborative, which could be the solution for educators wanting to streamline the exchange of information with students.

Flow’s common workspace, or Folios, let teachers create and share class documents and Web sites in real time with students. The program’s hypertext environment allows users to link their work to other documents or to Web sites with a simple drag and drop, therefore eliminating the need to know any programming language. Flow’s numerous authoring capabilities make the feedback process easier, too. The Comment feature lets teachers make notes on a student’s document without changing the original work. Teachers who encourage peer review will also enjoy Flow’s Smart Copy feature The program remembers information that is copied and pasted from Folio’s document to another and creates a link to its original source—a perfect solution for students when quoting another classmate’s work.

Flow shows much promise for schools developing distance education programs or those that want to improve workflow and project management for administrators and staff. However, being robust and edgy has its downsides. The latest version is designed for Mac OS X Panther or later. Non-Flow users can access the content made available on Flow’s user’s Web sites and blogs, but fully integrating the tool might be frustrating for schools running multiple platforms.

Robyn Viloria is an instructional technology specialist.



Mac OS X Tiger

Emphasis: Special Education Grade level: 4-12 Platform: Mac OS X System Requirements: G3, G4, or G5 processor; built-in FireWire; 256 MB RAM; 3GB hard-disk space; DVD drive Price: 1-9, $69 each; 10-99, $59 each; volume licensing available; Lab packs and site licenses are available. Publisher: Apple Computer, (800)

Talking FingersWordy Qwerty

Company: Talking Fingers; www.talkingfingers.com System Requirements: PC: Windows 98 or later; Mac: OS 9 with CarbonLib or Mac OS X Price/Grade: $55 for School Edition (with two sets of CDs)/ 2-4 Pros: Multimedia-rich, game-like activities; assessment module; bonus audio CD Cons: Too much talking, not enough visual

Read&Write Gold

Company: Texthelp Systems; www.texthelp.com System Requirements: Mac: OS X 10.2.8, 800 MHz processor, 512 MB RAM. PC: Windows 98, 350 MHz processor, 256 MB RAM Price/Grade: $645, Grades 3-12 Pros: Integrated application suite features electronic highlighters, word prediction, dictionary, spell checker, PDF read

Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard

from Technology & Learning Apple's new OS offers cool tools for educators. Company: Apple System Requirements: Mac computer with an Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor; 512MB; DVD drive for installation. Price: $69 (single copy with education discount); volume licensing

Microsoft Office 2008 for Macintosh

from Technology & Learning Intel Mac–savvy at last. In a very welcome move, Microsoft Office 2008 has finally been optimized for both legacy PowerPC and newer Intel-based Macs. Able to take advantage of Mac OS X features without having to run in Rosetta (the technology that translates PowerPC machine


Focus Reading and Language Program Emphasis: Phonics, vocabulary, and early literacy. Grade level: K-3. Platform: Mac/Win. Price: Based on volume; contact publisher. Publisher: PLATO Learning, Inc.; (800) 447-5286; www.plato.com Plato Focus Reading and Language Program is a highly inventive, research-based early

Online Readers for Macs

Tip: With Mac OS X (10.3.1) or later Go under the Finder menu (apple on far left) Select System Preferences. Click on Speech. Select Spoken User Interface in the box. Choose the Set Key command in order to select the key combination that will result in selected text being read.  (Command

FileMaker Pro 8

A versatile database tool grows up. Company: FileMaker; www.filemaker.com System Requirements: Mac: G3 with 256 MB RAM, Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher; PC: Pentium III 500 MHz, 256 MB RAM, Windows 2000 SP4 or XP SP2. Price/Grade: $149 for the standard package (educators' pricing); educator tool Pros: Useful new features

SketchUp 5.0

Company: @Last Software; www.sketchup.com System Requirements: Windows NT4 (Service Pack 3), 2000, XP or Mac OS X 10.3 Price/Grade: $495, academic pricing available; middle and high school Pros: Intuitive and deep 3-D designer; academic pricing makes program affordable; free trial download Cons: Advanced features may