January 2013, What’s New

January 2013, What’s New

software & online

Acuity Performance Task System

CTB/ McGraw-Hill has launched the Acuity Performance Task System, a performance assessment authoring system and item bank, which enables teachers to evaluate project-based learning across multiple subjects using researchbased assessment methods. The Acuity Performance Task System allows teachers to create their own performance tasks, which they can assign based on skill level or content area.

Atomic Learning Windows 8 Training

Atomic Learning now offers Windows 8 training in its library of online tutorials. The training series covers several new features of the Windows 8 environment to help teachers transition to the new software.

Blackboard Learn and Blackboard xpLor

Blackboard has unveiled a major new release for its LMS Blackboard Learn by bringing a fresh approach to the user interface, creating an emphasis on social learning, and significantly improving the value for educators working to improve student retention. Additionally, the company has released a beta version of xpLor, a cloud-based, learning object repository that will support multiple learning management systems and allow educators to collaborate on the development of course materials.

Bloxx Web Browser for iOS6

Bloxx, Inc. has introduced its latest Bloxx Web Browser for iOS6 to help schools manage their Web content by filtering Internet-access policies on the Apple devices they make available to students and teachers. The new browser lets an organization extend the protection of its Bloxx Web Filter or Bloxx SecureWeb Gateway by enforcing Web-access policies for iPads, iPhones, and other Apple devices used on and off the network.

Career Pathways Curriculum

E2020 has launched Career Pathways Curriculum, a new suite of engaging, interactive courses to prepare students for success in the workplace. The courses are currently available in the Business, Health Science, and IT fields, and offer practical career training that leads to industry-recognized certifications in fields with the greatest hiring needs.

Class Link BYOD Guidebook and Library

The new BYOD Guidebook by ClassLink helps schools with their BYOD initiatives, such as infrastructure, equity concerns, curriculum questions, instruction, communication, and policy. The company has also created a BYOD library that provides sample documents, such as acceptable use policies.

Faronics Deep Freeze 8

Faronics has released a version of Deep Freeze, its system-restore software, for Windows 8. The software enables computers running on Windows 8 to operate constantly at full capacity without restricting user access.

Flipped Learning PD Course

Pearson and the Flipped Learning Network have teamed up to offer a comprehensive professional development course for educators looking to switch to the new “flipped learning” teaching model. The course features highly skilled trainers from both Pearson and the Flipped Learning Network to personalize professional development training for teachers. The course uses a blended-learning approach to address multiple methods of implementing flipped learning.


GoStrengths! an online social and emotional learning program, helps kids bounce back from challenges, deal with bullies, set achievable goals, develop character strengths, and boost overall happiness. Teachers access hundreds of animated movies, lesson plans, assessments, and other activities to keep kids motivated and engaged.


eInstruction has released a new edition of the Insight360 classroom instruction system, enabling seamless integration with existing classroom technologies. Now districts can bring best practices into the classroom, bridge the gap to higher level learning, and meet new digital assessment requirements, regardless of the technology being used.

Learning.com EasyTech Digital Literacy Curriculum

In an ongoing effort to better prepare educators and their students for the Common Core assessments, Learning.com announces EasyTech for PARCC/Smarter Balanced. The EasyTech curriculum has been reorganized to align with the material found on the new assessments, which include fundamental computer skills, keyboarding, word processing, charts and graphs, communicating and presenting, and research and evaluation.

LearnPad Tablet

Educational Resources has introduced the LearnPad, a customized, school-based tablet solution that supports a wide range of curriculum resources, including apps, Web sites, and Flash-based learning content. It features an easy-to-use operating system, designed around both teacher and student, and offers a variety of tools that support outof- the-box utility.

Lights peed Systems Mobile Device Management Solution

Developed specifically for K-12 students, the Lightspeed Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution features hierarchical policy settings, education-specific tools, and a user-friendly interface that allows IT staff to efficiently manage mobile devices. MDM also features application controls, integration with the Apple Volume Purchasing Plan, remote wiping, and centralized inventory, reporting, updates, and installs.

myON Reader Early Childhood Reading Content

Capstone Digital has introduced an expanded collection of early childhood reading content for myON reader. The personalized literacy environment now offers a booklist featuring hundreds of children’s titles from eight additional publishers that address the needs of early learners.

Netop Response

Netop Response is a student response system that turns any smart device into a clicker, enabling teachers to engage and assess students in real time on iPads, PCs, smartphones, and other Web-enabled devices. It comes with the Netop Vision mobile app, which allows teachers to move about their classrooms by giving them access to all of the resources in their PCs on their tablets.

PEAK12 Library

K12, Inc. has launched the PEAK12 Library, a new tool that enables instructors to personalize online courses for individual students, groups, classes, schools, or districts. The PEAK12 Library includes over 5,500 lessons from the A+nyWhere Learning System (A+LS) by K12, which provides content and assessment tools individualized to match skill levels and learning needs of all students.

S.P.I.R.E. eBooks

EPS, a division of School Specialty, has launched its first eBooks for reading intervention. All 120 Illustrated Decodable Readers in its S.P.I.R.E. (Specialized Program Individualizing Reading Excellence) reading intervention program are now available for use on iPad, Kindle and NOOK. S.P.I.R.E. is a comprehensive and multisensory reading intervention program that integrates phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, spelling, and comprehension in a 10-step lesson plan especially designed for struggling readers


TabPilot Learning Systems officially launched version 1.0 of their TabPilot Tablet Manager, allowing teachers to lock down a whole group of tablets by choosing the specific apps that students may access during class. The company now offers a free version for managing a limited number of tablets in addition to their paid offering. The Launch & Lock tablet interface is available in the Google Play store and schools can sign up for their free account on the company’s Web site.

Teachscape Framework for Teaching 2013

In response to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, Charlotte Danielson has updated her Framework for Teaching (FFT) Evaluation Instrument with the 2013 Edition. The 2013 Edition incorporates the instructional implications of CCSS and includes language refinements to further improve scoring accuracy when using the Framework for evaluations and observations.

Virtual Set Editor 2

NewTek has launched Virtual Set Editor 2, a companion application to TriCaster. This program enables the creation and customization of virtual studio environments and visual effects for video production without the need for professional studio space. It offers stand-alone capability on any Microsoft Windows workstation and total customization, including high-quality animation transitions.

vSpace Desktop and Application Virtualizat ion Platform

NComputing announced multiple new offerings for its vSpace Desktop and Application Virtualization Platform. Applying new innovation in its vSpace platform, NComputing introduces vSpace Server version 7, vSpace Management Center for vSpace and vSpace premium support and services. A fully integrated, endto- end virtualization platform, vSpace brings desktop virtualization reduces and simplifies deployment and ongoing management.

HMH Reader

HMH Reader, is a new iPad app for K-6 students that’s designed to enhance and reinforce critical literacy skills. The app, available for use in the classroom or as an after-school supplement, augments reading instruction with bookmarking, audio functionality, and highlighting.

Mobile Print

Samsung Electronics’ “plug & play” MobilePrint App now sends faxes directly from the app and prints directly from the cloud with Google Drive. Teachers and students can send documents directly from a smartphone or tablet to any Samsung printer on a local-area network with a secure Wi-Fi access point.


The new version of Nearpod, an all-in-one solution for the synchronized use of iPads, is fully compatible with iOS 6 and unifies the teacher and student apps to simplify the user experience. More new Nearpod features include Web Share, which lets teachers share Web sites with students in a safe browser environment, and SlideShow, which allows students to move through lessons at their own pace.


Benesse has launched a new self-tutoring service called StraightAce, designed for struggling math students in grades 6 through 8. Students can use the app on a smartphone or tablet and collect in-game rewards for their study achievements. Each StraightAce session includes a CCSSaligned lesson and 10 math problems with further explanations offered for each question.

Virtual Human Body App

QA International has announced that its Virtual Human Body app has been optimized for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app allows students to explore the human anatomy from head to toe and from skin to bones, with a life-like, 3D human model combined with an anatomical dictionary.


Print Manager has released WebPrint, an iPad app that offers the security of managing and controlling iPad printing within a network or remotely. Users on a network can remotely print their documents once they are authenticated within an active directory. The app can be used in conjunction with Print Manager Plus and the WebAdvantage Suite.


Ematic (www.ematic.us) has introduced the FunTab, a 7-inch, Android 4.0 tablet. The tablet teaches early elementary school students about various subjects, sparks their creativity, and keeps them entertained with access to thousands of parent-approved apps and features. Designed for comfort, the FunTab sports a durable and rubberized texture for easy gripping. It guarantees a safe online environment, and offers a parent dashboard to track educational progress.

EliteScreens (www.elitescreens.com) has released the Insta-DE2, a dry-erase whiteboard and projection screen wall covering. It allows an entire classroom wall to be covered, transforming the space into an aesthetically pleasing, multi-purpose “writing and projection” surface.

SMART Technologies (www.smarttech.com) has launched the SMART LightRaise 60wi interactive projector, an integrated, touch enabled interactive projector. It turns any space into an interactive learning environment with zero-force touch and the ability to support multiple touches.

ViewSonic (www.viewsonic.com) has launched the Pro9000 laser LED hybrid projector. LED light and lasers combine to create a single light source, resulting in a vibrant display of color that exceeds a normal mercury light projector. The projector delivers full HD 1920x1080p native resolution and comes with TI DarkChip technology and dual HDMI ports.

BenQ (www.benq.us) has introduced the VW30 Series of vertical alignment LED monitors. With full MacBook compatibility, LED backlighting, and VA panel technology, the all-white series offers high picture quality in a simple design. The new Reading Mode enables the monitors to adjust their settings automatically to simulate the warmth of reading paper.

Kanex (www.kanexlive.com) has released the ATV Pro, an HDMI to VGA adapter. It allows anyone with an iOS device to mirror and stream content directly to a VGA projector via an Apple TV without any additional power, equipment, or infrastructure.