June 2010 What’s New - Tech Learning

June 2010 What’s New

Online & Software THE ACADEMY OF READING (WWW.INTERVENTION.SCHOOL SPECIALTY.COM/SOLUTIONS) This Web-based environment has added three targeted solutions to help build reading skills.
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Online & Software

THE ACADEMY OF READING
(WWW.INTERVENTION.SCHOOL SPECIALTY.COM/SOLUTIONS)

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This Web-based environment has added three targeted solutions to help build reading skills. School Specialty’s new intervention systems’ blended-media model combines good teacher-led instruction with data-driven online learning and assessment to address students’ readingintervention needs. Each solution provides struggling readers with indepth instruction in the five pillars of reading—phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency— coupled with writing practice. The Academy of READING forms the foundation for the new intervention systems, which are designed specifically for grades 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12.

Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: reading

ACUITY ONLINE COMMUNITY
(WWW.ACUITYFORSCHOOL.COM)

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The Acuity Online Community is a Web-based social-networking forum where users of Acuity InFormative Assessment can collaborate and exchange ideas to improve student achievement using CTB’s Acuity assessment solution. Easily and securely accessible direct from the Acuity application, this online community also includes a portal of CTBcreated resources, including interactive tutorials, white papers, training materials, and videos that are available to all Acuity users.

Price: free
Category: online community

ADOBE CREATIVE SUITE 5
(WWW.ADOBE.COM/EDUCATION/PRODUCTS/CREATIVESUITE)

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This software enables students and faculty to create print, Web, video, audio, and mobile content more easily and incorporate it into their assignments. It lets them work faster, construct stories, collaborate more efficiently, and visually communicate their ideas. The Creative Suite 5 lineup includes Creative Suite 5 Master Collection, Creative Suite 5 Design Premium, Creative Suite 5 Web Premium, Creative Suite 5 Production Premium, and Creative Suite 5 Design Standard. Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection includes all of Adobe’s Creative Suite tools.

Price: Starts at $299.
Category: presentation tools

BLACKBOARD LEARN 9.1
(WWW.BLACKBOARD.COM)

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This release introduces features such as lesson planning and standards alignment and deepens the platform’s ability to integrate collaboration tools like wikis and multimedia Web content. Release 9.1 can also be enabled for interactive mobile learning opportunities through Blackboard Mobile Learn, which lets students choose how they receive course notifications and updates, including by means of messages to their mobile devices.

Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: online learning

CENTRICITY)
(WWW.SCHOOLWIRES.COM

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The new Centricity release allows districts to add social learning capabilities beyond Web 2.0 tools, providing students with a more relevant and engaging learning environment. In addition, Schoolwires has improved Centricity’s ability to integrate, enabling a more individualized user experience. This unifying platform is especially important for strengthening the home-school connection.

Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: Web tools

CLASSMATE WITH NOCTI
(WWW.CLASSLINK.COM)

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ClassLink has added NOCTI assessment data to the ClassLink ClassMate solution. This collaboration lets ClassMate users import and analyze student NOCTI scores and create many different individualized and summary reports. With the new NOCTI score module, CTE schools can now import NOCTI assessment data for even more detail. Reports can be created at the student, class, or school detail. Pie charts, bar graphs, and tables can be made to visually analyze student scores in both the written and the performance components of the test.

Price: Contact company for pricing
Category: assessment

COREL PAINT IT!
(WWW.COREL.COM/PAINTIT)

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This software features a variety of brushes and preset painting styles so users can add painted effects to their photos. Both Windows and Mac users can do this in as little as three mouse clicks. With either a mouse or a tablet, they can use Corel Paint it! to create a work of art from scratch.

Price: $39.99
Category: art

EARLY WORLD OF LEARNING
(WWW.WORLDBOOKONLINE.COM)

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This new online resource helps young learners build vocabulary, comprehension, phonics, and reading fluency. Among the literacy-building features included are story narration by human readers of both sexes and various ethnicities; word-by-word highlighting; educational interactive games for reinforcing comprehension; and printable activities in English or Spanish for use in the classroom or to take home. Additionally, each area of Early World of Learning includes a comprehensive Education Center.

Price: Annual subscriptions to Early World of Learning start at $199
Category: reading, literacy

EXPLORE THE BLUE
(WWW.EXPLORETHEBLUE.DISCOVERYEDUCATION.COM)

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Explore the Blue is an online initiative encouraging youth participation in on-the-water activities and aquatic-conservation efforts. It uses hands-on resources to engage students in a dialogue about the importance of outdoor recreational activities, such as boating and fishing, and the value of clean and healthy natural resources.

Price: free
Category: science

INSPIRATION TRAINING VIDEOS
(WWW.INSPIRATION.COM/INSPIRATION9TRAINING)

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Inspiration Software has announced that more than 70 training videos are now available to teachers who have purchased volume licenses for the newest version of the Inspiration 9. The library of online videos, developed in collaboration with Atomic Learning, provides teachers with training tools for learning to use all the visual learning software’s capabilities at their own pace. Beginning with a series of overview videos that introduce the use of both visual learning in the classroom and the tools in Inspiration, these short online tutorials provide step-by-step instructions for using the software.

Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: professional development

KURZWEIL 3000 VERSION 12
(WWW.KURZWEILEDU.COM)

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Students with learning disabilities; those who are cognitively able but who don’t read well enough to learn from gradelevel content; and second-language learners are among the many populations that benefit from the use of Kurzweil 3000. Version 12 for Windows features expanded writing support, including text translation on the fly with Google Translate; the ability to read MathML through a partnership with Design Science; expanded eContent support through Internet Explorer; additional digital file support for PDF, Daisy 2, Daisy 3, and NIMAS; a Picture Dictionary containing 1,300+ images and supporting English and Spanish; audible pronunciations for more than 64,000 words from the American Heritage Dictionary; and a comprehensive set of brainstorming and outline-writing templates.

Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: special needs

MICROSOFT MOUSE MISCHIEF
(WWW.MICROSOFT.COM/MULTIPOINT/MOUSE-MISCHIEF)

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The product integrates with PowerPoint 2010 and 2007, allowing teachers to create multiple-choice, matching, and drawing question slides that students, each with their own computer mouse, can answer on a shared screen. Mouse Mischief also gives teachers the option of having students answer questions individually or as part of a team.

Price: free
Category: presentation tools

NES PRACTICE
(WWW.PEARSON.COM)

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Pearson’s series of online interactive practice tests for the NES (National Evaluation Series) educator certification testing program is designed to help states ensure that the educators they certify are prepared to teach effectively in 21st-century classrooms. NES tests provide states with comprehensive exams aligned to professionally accepted national learning standards and covering areas such as essential academic skills, professional knowledge, reading instruction, and commonly taught elementary, middle, and secondary grade-level subjects. Each NES Practice allows candidates to take a full-length practice test online, simulating the experience of taking an NES test.

Price: $17.50 per test
Category: professional development

NUANCE SPEAK & SEE
(WWW.NUANCE.COM)

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The Nuance Speak & See suite combines speech recognition, a screen reader and a magnifier, a reading and writing toolbar, and a language learning assistant. It allows students with learning difficulties to grasp the relationship between the spoken and the written word through a combination of speech recognition and text-to-speech. Students who have other physical challenges or who generally struggle with using a keyboard and a mouse can take advantage of Speak & See to view their screens more clearly and navigate their PCs quickly and easily. Speak & See is also a useful solution for students who are learning English as a second language. Through its text-to-speech capability and bilingual dictionaries, the software makes it easier to learn English by letting people hear spoken words in context, helping them distinguish between different pronunciations and meanings.

Price: $249.99(educational discounts available)
Category: reading, special needs, ESL

ONE-CLICK AUDIO ACADEMIC COLLECTION
(WWW.RECORDEDBOOKS.COM)

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With One-Click Audio, public and private K–12 schools can offer teachers and students access to a wide collection of downloadable e-audiobooks. The One-Click Audio Academic Collection has more than 800 downloadable titles, including 320 that are iPod compatible. Each month, seven new titles are added to the collection, and an additional 130 titles are available for individual purchase.

Price: annual subscription starts at $600.
Category: reading, audiobooks

RECORDED BOOKS K-12/TRANSPARENT LANGUAGE PREMIUM EDITION
(WWW.RECORDEDBOOKS.COM)

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Recorded Books K-12, in partnership with Transparent Language, has introduced three foreign-language- learning systems for K–12 schools. Transparent Language Premium Edition offers 16 languages. Byki Online for Education builds vocabulary with interactive rapid flash card interface. Transparent Language KidSpeak, geared to younger students, combines fun animations with interactive games, puzzles, and songs.

Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: language

RM EASITEACH NEXT GENERATION
(WWW.EASITEACH.COM/USA)

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RM Easiteach Next Generation offers more than thirty new features including Easiteach widgets, the first “apps” for interactive whiteboards and slates; “.iwb” file support, a common file format for use with any interactive whiteboard software; and over 250 interactive lessons and graphic organizers. RM Easiteach NG presents a new design, providing intuitive navigation and easy access to its toolbars and widgets, which facilitate the creation of whole-class teaching activities to fit specific learning objectives. Built-in content packs provide a range of ready-made lessons in a range of topic areas, or teachers can use the array of tool sets to create their own.

Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: Interactive whiteboard software

SCHOOL LOOP
(WWW.SCHOOLLOOP.COM)

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School Loop enables schools to upload data from other software applications in order to share this information with parents and staff. Parents can view any data that districts or individual schools choose to share from their various systems, including standardized test scores, textbook fines, and parent contact information. Any data tied to a student’s ID number can be uploaded and shared within the School Loop system. The data are placed on the student record page for staff to access, and parents can view them on their dashboard on their portal page. The data displayed are customizable for every user according to preferences or needs. There is also an option to send these notifications to parents via a daily email.

Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: organizational tools

SCHOOLNET’S RESPONSE TO INTERVENTION
(WWW.SCHOOLNET.COM)

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When combined with the Schoolnet Instructional Management Suite (IMS), Response to Intervention provides a supplement to the general education process. Leveraging the student information available in the Schoolnet IMS, RtI makes it easy for district- and school-level staff to define thresholds for at-risk students and systematically refer them for RtI programs. The program brings the creation and management of instructional and behavioral interventions and assessments together in a single online location and identifies at-risk students by establishing performance thresholds for selected standardized and benchmark assessments.

Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: assessment

SMART RESPONSE 2010 SOFTWARE UPGRADE
(WWW.SMARTTECH.COM)

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This upgrade allows EXAMVIEW questions, quizzes, and assessments to be integrated into SMART Notebook software and delivered through SMART Response. It enables results to be exported in text format for further analysis or uploaded into third-party grade books.

Price: Contact company for pricing
Category: assessment

SPIRAL UNIVERSE
(WWW.SPIRAL.COM)

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Spiral Universe is an integrated software suite used by schools to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve management and administration. The road map includes more than 30 modules that cover all facets of a school’s administrative and educational processes. These modules can easily be customized to meet unique needs, languages, and requirements. Spiral comes with detailed help guides and tutorials, but most users need minimal or no training to take full advantage of its potential.

Price: free
Category: administrative tools

TOUCHMATH
(WWW.TOUCHMATH.COM/KINDERGARTEN)

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The company announces the release of a new kindergarten math curriculum. It includes four kits covering counting/ readiness, addition, backward counting, subtraction, geometry, algebra, fractions, money, time, measurement, and graphing/data. The interactive software complements the print product and provides multisensory activities for students who are beginning to use TouchMath or who need review.

Price: Contact company for pricing.
Category: math

21ST CENTURY-EXPLORER
(WWW.EXPLORER.EB.COM)

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Britannica’s site includes encyclopedias, an atlas, historic time lines, a dictionary, news, and other learning tools. 21st-Century Explorer is also ideal for reluctant readers and ELL, ESL, and adult-literacy students. The site also features learning games and activities that promote skills in language arts, math, science, and social studies. Interactive games allow students to practice and test themselves on what they have learned in the classroom.

Price: starts at $0.60 per student.
Category: reference

Hardware/AV

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Canon has advanced and expanded its line of LCD multimedia projectors (www.usa.canon.com/projectors) with two new WXGA resolution (1,280 x 800) wide-screen and four new XGA resolution (1,024 x 768) models. The six new models share several new features, such as an improved Lamp Lighting System; a carbon Reduction Meter to calculate and display the amount of CO2 emissions saved by operating in Quiet Mode; an Auto Energy Saver; and power-saving Stand-By Mode, in which overall power consumption can be reduced to less than 1W by setting the standby mode to Power Saving. Each projector also has several inputs for a wide variety of computer, video, and control sources and functions.

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Featuring the Intel Atom processor and a 10.1-inch LCD monitor, the new classmate PC (www.classmatepc.com) includes increased memory and storage for running education applications. The new design can change from a clamshell to a tablet PC, allowing students to naturally switch form factors as they move between activities and locations in the classroom. The new, convertible classmate PC features a touch screen with a user interface optimized for eReading applications, a water-resistant keyboard, a touch pad, improved ruggedness, and an optional antimicrobial keyboard. It also includes integrated wireless connectivity with Wi-Fi and provides the options of 3G, GPS, and WiMAX for easy network and Internet connections.

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Intel Corporation has announced the Intel Reader (www.intel.com), which is designed to increase independence for the estimated 55 million people in the United States who have dyslexia or other specific learning disabilities, or vision problems such as low vision and blindness. The Intel Reader, about the size of a paperback book, converts printed text to digital text, then reads it aloud to the user. Its design combines a high-resolution camera and the power of an Intel Atom processor, so users can point, shoot, and listen to printed text. When the Intel Reader is used with the Intel® Portable Capture Station, large amounts of text, such as a chapter and an entire book, can be captured for reading later.

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Hitachi America introduces the CP-X3011 3LCD projector (www.hitachi-america.us), which offers a brightness of 3,200 lumens and a 2,000:1 contrast ratio. The CP-X3011 features 16 watts of built-in audio while maintaining a low noise rating of 29 dBA in eco mode. It also has a long lamp life of 3,000 hours in standard mode and 6,000 hours in eco mode. The CP-X3011 offers Hitachi’s proprietary My Buttons functionality, which enables two programmable buttons on the projector to execute any command.

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Crestron has announced QuickPacks (www.crestron.com), new all-in-one presentation solutions for classrooms. Each QuickPack features a basic system controller with AV switching, an audio amplifier, speakers, wall plates, mounting hardware, and cables. Just add the video projector, the projection screen, and AV sources and the software wizard guides you through setup, with no system design required. There are three QuickPack systems to fit any classroom application. The QP-200 (shown) provides connectivity to a laptop and a video source, such as a DVD player; the QP- 300 adds a room PC; and the QP-400 provides connectivity for two computers and two video sources.

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The HP All-in-One 200 (www.hp.com) features a traditional tower and monitor in one sleek, integrated design. It is simple to set up and has an integrated Webcam, a built-in wireless LAN, and HP’s MediaSmart software suite. Additional features include a 21.5-inch diagonal high-definition LED display that is mercury free, uses less energy than previousgeneration displays, and is ENERGY STAR 5.0 qualified. The All-in-One 200 is the first desktop to include some BFR/PVC-free components.

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The TI-Nspire with Touchpad (www.ti.com) graphing calculator handheld adds new touchpad navigation and computing functions. Some of these are a streamlined touchpad keypad that gives the handheld the feel and function of a laptop; an alphabetical keyboard at the bottom of the keypad for easier text creation; an enhanced home screen that makes it simpler to access files and applications; and extended battery life. The handheld is compatible with the TI-Nspire Navigator, the TI-Nspire Teacher Software, and the TI-Nspire Student Software.

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The new Wacom DTU models’ (www. wacom.com/pendisplays) direct pen-onscreen input is designed to make presentations as proficient and interactive as possible. The 1,920 x 1,080 resolution of the DTU-2331’s 21.5-inch wide-screen HD display matches those of modern large displays and projectors. Each model boasts an internal USB hub, so it can connect a flash drive, a Web camera, or another USB device. The video pass-through feature lets the work done on the pen display be shared directly with a secondary display. Both the DTU-2231 and the DTU-1631 integrate into existing AV infrastructures.

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Viewsonic (www.viewsonic.com) announced that the VOT125 PC Mini —the latest in compact and energy-efficient computing solutions. With a green-centric design, this compact and sleek PC mini uses up to 90% less plastic and consumes up to 90% less energy than traditional tower PCs. With an Intel ULV processor and 0.6L form factor specifically designed for less power usage, less plastic and less cables, the VOT125 allows green-conscious users to reduce their carbon footprint. The VOT125 PC Mini ships with Windows 7.

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InFocus (www.infocus.com ) announced the availability of a wide range of 3D projectors ideal for teaching complex visual subjects. The IN100 series, the IN2116 and the IN3116 3D projectors, are specifically designed for educational environments and feature native resolutions from SVGA to WXGA, a full range of input and output connection options including wireless and networking, high brightness from 2,500 to 3,500 lumens, and long-life lamps for years of maintenance- free, reliable operation. Costing no more than a standard 2D projector, these projectors can switch easily between normal 2D projection and 3D.

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