software & online
Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has announced plans to unify its extensive digital humanities collections on one platform, creating an online, curated, primary source and literary collection. The new research experience, Artemis, will offer users the ability to search across both primary and secondary materials, as well as different subjects and genres. It also adds term clusters and term-graphing tools to allow users to conduct new kinds of analyses on familiar content sets, thematic subject indexing to aid in content discovery, and interface updates that will include sharing and collaboration tools.
Blackboard Collaborate Software Update
Blackboard Collaborate now supports IMS Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) specifications, making the platform available to institutions using any learning management system (LMS) compliant with LTI industry standards. Instructors will be able to use Blackboard Collaborate to schedule and deliver live online classes, upload multimedia and presentation content, and store lecture recordings. All of these functions will be accessible from within the LMS without having to log into more than one system. Blackboard has also announced integration updates specific to the open-source Moodle LMS. Blackboard Collaborate’s Web conferencing, enterprise instant messaging, and voice authoring capabilities are now compatible with Moodle 2.3.
Bring Science Alive!
TCI has created a new K-8 science curriculum, “Bring Science Alive!,” which is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and informed by leading science education experts. TCI invites science teachers to help with the development of the program, which is expected to launch at the end of 2014.
Common Core Assessment & Remediation Tool
Odysseyware recently released the Common Core Assessment & Remediation Tool, a new set of assessment tools and instructional materials to support the mastery of Common Core State Standards. The tool helps teachers identify student competency levels in relation to CCSS and provides supplemental materials for targeted skills remediation and practice to help students in grades K-8 achieve mastery.
Follett has updated its Destiny platform with improvements to help create an interactive, digital learning environment with Follett eBooks. Destiny 11.0 includes a Destiny Quest mobile app for Kindle Fire devices. The company has also implemented Resource Description and Access (RDA ) cataloging to support the new industry standards. Finally, Destiny 11.0 includes a new dashboard for Destiny Library Manager, offering quick access to circulation statistics, overdue notices, and hold requests in a user-friendly graphical representation.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12
Nuance Communications, Inc. has updated its speech recognition software, Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Dragon 12 features seamless integration with Microsoft Windows 8, as well as enhanced support for Microsoft Office 2013 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 10. It also offers new features like Smart Format Rules that make Dragon more productive and personal.
Edgenuity New Platform
Edgenuity (formerly E2020) introduced a new platform to help schools realize the full potential of their online and blended learning models. Key features include: eNotes, allowing students to take notes; Lesson Glossary, so students can review and define vocabulary; and Transcripts, giving students access to transcripts of the direct instruction videos. Edgenuity courses are also now tabletcompatible.
eInstruction Wave LMS
eInstruction has released Wave, a centralized, online solution designed for higher education that extends the functionality of an institution’s learning management system (LMS). Wave makes it easier to increase student participation, take attendance, and capture feedback within Blackboard or Moodle LMS environments, with additional platforms planned for the future. Wave does not require roster import and records student results directly into the LMS grade book.
ePals LEARN 365
ePals introduces LEARN365, a powerful new email and collaboration platform. LEARN365 integrates ePals’ safety and security system with Google’s Gmail interface and enables schools and districts to maintain CIPA, COPPA, and FERPA compliance. The solution is bolstered by a robust collaborative learning platform, including access to Google productivity apps and the ePals K-12 social learning network of millions of students and teachers.
Everyday Learning Fun
School Specialty has partnered with Curriculum Concepts International to introduce Everyday Learning Fun, an early reading program. Everyday Learning Fun teaches students in Pre-K through 2nd grade the core reading skills that have been proven to be critical across subject areas, grade levels, and beyond the academic arena. Students learn at their own pace, and teachers can track their progress through placement assessments, progress monitoring, and pre-and postlevel assessments.
HMH Digital Textbooks with Kno Features
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) and Kno have partnered to enhance student access to interactive digital textbooks. Districts can purchase curriculum directly from HMH that is enhanced with Kno’s interactive features, social sharing capabilities, and learning analytics to promote student engagement. The content is available on all the leading platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows 7 and 8, and Web browsers.
EPS Literacy and Intervention and CSL Associates, Inc. are teaming up to help students in grades K–5 master the Common Core State Standards for math. MathCoach offers practice so students learn based on their individual needs and skill levels. MathCoach works on a range of classroom technology platforms, including interactive whiteboards, computers, and mobile devices.
Microsoft Office Specialist 2013 Certification
Certiport has announced the availability of the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) 2013 certification, an industry-recognized, standards-based credential for validating Microsoft Office 2013 skills. The new 2013 exams improve upon the previous live-in-the-application testing environment by enabling even more realworld functionality and project testing.
Meru Networks, Inc. has announced the availability of the Meru MobileFLEX architecture, featuring Meru’s new Context-aware Application Layers (CALs), Apple Bonjour support, enhanced multi-vendor policy enforcement, cloud support, and 802.11ac readiness. The solution offers flexibility through multi-channel, single channel, virtual cell, and CAL deployment modes to tackle the density and mobility issues brought on by BYOD environments.
NanoSpace Online Science Theme Park
The Molecularium Project, led by scientists from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, announces a new online resource, NanoSpace, to promote science literacy in children of all interests and backgrounds. The online “theme park” environment offers over 25 games and animations that entice kids to learn more about atoms and molecules in NanoSpace.
NComputing Desktop Virtualization Platform
NComputing has announced enhancements to its fullyintegrated, end-to-end vSpace desktop and application virtualization platform. NComputing’s vSpace Virtualization Platform is inclusive of vSpace Server v7.0 for Windows and the new Web-based vSpace Management Center, now supporting vSpace environments. Adopters can expect lower overall costs, better technology manageability, increased scalability, and a richer user experience.
Readiness for Common Core Library
Triumph Learning’s Readiness for Common Core online library of resources has been updated with new content and functionality to enhance student learning and support differentiated instruction. The updates include new lessons, assessments, and instructional support, reporting features for teachers, and parent logins for smooth home-toschool communication.
Reading Assistant Summer School Package
Scientific Learning Corp. introduces the Reading Assistant Summer School Package. Reading Assistant serves as a personal reading coach, using speech recognition technology to “listen” to students as they read out loud and offering decoding support when they need it. The new Summer School Package offers schools an array of easyto- implement options, including 30 or 60 student licenses or a full site license, and teacher training. The package can also be customized for any school or district.
Room to Remote
Blue Jeans Network has announced enhancements to its Room to Remote cloud-based conferencing platform. New features include a mobile app for the iPad and iPhone, extended video conferencing, content sharing capabilities for mobile devices, and dual HD streams for interactive video and content sharing. The platform also allows users to have a “slider” for layout control, which enables each meeting participant to control their own video and content.
SLO Management Tool
Community Training and Assistance Center’s (CTA C) in-depth SLO training and process within Truenorthlogic’s software portal creates a powerful, online SLO management tool for K-12 school districts and state education agencies. SLOs are carefully planned goals for what a student will learn over a given time period and can be written for both tested and non-tested subjects. Each phase of the SLO model—preparation, development, implementation, and analysis—is embedded within the online portal, providing easy access to evaluation and professional development data.
Edmentum has updated its Study Island learning solution to support teachers and students as they prepare for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR ) assessment. Teachers can now assign the 30-question diagnostic test at any time of the year to provide a high-level measure of where students stand in relation to the gradelevel academic content. The program then provides teachers with immediate feedback through actionable, real-time progress reports that can be used to differentiate instruction.
Autodesk Digital STEAM apps
Autodesk has released a series of digital STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) iPad apps. The series includes apps on Mechanics, Visual Design, and Measurement. Each app, developed with educator feedback, uses game-based learning techniques to teach students the basic principles of design engineering, and delivers the content in easily understandable and fun ways.
Backupify has launched FreeSpace, a free Gmail storage management tool that monitors and manages the storage space for Gmail accounts. Users receive notification when they are nearing their maximum storage capacity on their Gmail accounts.
iReadWrite iPad App
Texthelp Inc. has released an iReadWrite app for the iPad. The easy-to-use reading and writing app helps struggling readers and writers of all ages, especially those with dyslexia or other learning difficulties. Support features include a text-to-speech function with dual-color highlighting, word prediction, phonetic spell checker, dictionary, and picture dictionary. iReadWrite can run without Internet access directly on the iPad.
Kids’ Vocab App
MindSnacks has just released its latest language acquisition and test preparation app, Kids’ Vocab. The app, designed for ages 7-12, serves as a comprehensive vocabulary tool that teaches definitions, spelling, pronunciation, contextual usage, and parts of speech through challenging, fun gameplay.
Net Texts, Inc. and Icreon Tech developed an app called Net Texts for iPad and Android devices. The app provides an easy way to access free online education material by giving teachers access to digital course materials, such as e-books, multimedia, and audio files. Teachers use a compatible Web application to select course material. The accompanying app for students provides access to selected slide shows, documentaries, and PDFs.
Number Pieces App
Number Pieces, a free elementary education math app from The Math Learning Center (MLC) and Clarity Innovations, helps students improve their computational skills with multi-digit numbers. Young learners manipulate virtual base 10 pieces to learn how to work with multi-digit numbers and gain skills to practice regrouping, adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. Number Pieces also offers a drawing tool to label multidigit representations.
Newton’s Second Law App
Polyhedron Learning has introduced Newton’s Second Law App for physics students. The app uses a laboratory cart to investigate the relationships between force, mass, and acceleration for objects in motion. The app is part of High School Virtual Physics Lab, a set of 24 iPad apps for classroom use.
SAS Math Stretch iPad App
The SAS Math Stretch App, designed for grades K-5, teaches students how to think about numbers in new ways. This app helps students to achieve success with higherorder math skills, such as algebra. SAS Math Stretch promotes understanding numeracy, learning how to reason, and applying simple numerical concepts. The activities in the app offer both practice and quiz modes, while the settings allow students, parents, and teachers to control the difficulty level of each activity independently.
BenQ America Corp. (www.benq.us) has introduced its new M6 Series of advanced business, education, and home projectors. The product line comprises the MS616ST, MX618ST, MX662, and MW663 models, which feature contrast ratios of 13,000:1, up to 3,500 ANSI lumens of brightness, and BenQ’s SmartEco technology to cut energy consumption by up to 70%. In addition to their high-performance features, the projectors include wireless connectivity options, mobile device integration when paired with BenQ’s Qpresenter app for the iPhone and iPad, and short-throw capabilities (MS616ST & MX618ST(pictured)) for flexible setup.
Casio America Inc. (www.casio.com) has announced its latest addition to the ClassPad series of graphing scientific calculators, the fx-CP400. With a 4.8-inch, color touchpanel, LCD display, and slightly oval shape, the fx-CP400 fits comfortably in a user’s hand. Users can input all their mathematical data using the keyboard below the screen, and then use the stylus on the touch screen to drag and drop the formulas into graphs and charts.
Hitachi America, Ltd., (www.hitachi-america.us) has introduced the CP-X3030WN and the CP-X2530WN LCD projectors, which offer iPad compatibility for the classroom. The CP-X3030WN delivers 3,200 lumens and the CP-X2530WN provides 2,700 lumens, while both incorporate Hitachi’s Intelligent Eco ImageCare energy-saving technology, delivering less power to the lamp during darker scenes and more light during brighter scenes to extend lamp life. The CP-X3030WN and CP-X2530WN deliver up to a 4,000:1 contrast ratio for bright, vivid colors and sharp images.
Crestron (www.crestron.com) has released the 5-inch TSW - 550, the newest and smallest addition to its TSW line of smartphone and tablet-style touch screens. The TSW-550 features an ultra-bright display, capacitive touch screen technology, PoE, H.264 streaming video, and edge-to-edge glass.
Acer (www.acer.com) has introduced new models in the C7 line of Chromebooks for education, including the C710-2055 that provides up to six hours of battery life for all-day student learning. The Acer C7 features an 11.6-inch, HD, widescreen, LED-backlit LCD that weighs only 3.2 pounds, is 1-inch thin, and ensures easy mobility between classrooms and outside projects. The C7 incorporates an HD, 1.3MP webcam, and a full-sized keyboard for Web browsing, creating presentations, and running educational apps. The Acer C7 has three USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI port for sharing video and content to external displays for presentations.
Elite Screens (www.elitescreens.com) announced the Kestrel Stage Series, a portable, free standing floor rising motorized front projection screen. The motorized screen is integrated into a sturdy wheeled stage case that has handles for easy transport and set-up. The initial screen sizes are 100 or 120 diagonal inches in a 16:9 (HDTV) aspect ratio. The material is Elite’s GREENGUARD certified MaxWhite FG 1.1 gain material that has wide diffusion uniformity for added performance versatility. A matching roadie flight-case with detachable velvet skirt is included to complete the arrangement.
Lenovo (www.lenovo.com) has unveiled its latest all-in-one PC, the ThinkCentre Edge 62z, with features designed specifically for education. Its 18.5-inch display offers a compact AIO, perfect for confined workspaces. It can also be mounted on the wall to encourage interactive lessons in the classroom.
Optoma (www.optoma.com) has introduced two new EcoBright solid state illumination (SSI) short-throw projectors, the 2,500 lumen ZW212ST and the 2,300 lumen ZX212ST. Offering a 100,000:1 contrast ratio, both the WXGA resolution ZW212ST and the XGA resolution ZX212ST use all the latest command and control technologies, ensuring easy system integration and operation.
Bretford Manufacturing (www.bretford.com) has announced six new product additions to its EDU 2.0 line of mobile and powered education furniture. The Bretford MOTIV Soft Seating Stool, EXPLORE Counter Height Stool, EXPLORE Hand Truck and Cart, EXPLORE Accessory Speaker, and EXPLORE Snap-On Cord Minder Clip are all made for use in learning environments such as classrooms, libraries, lounges, and café spaces. All of the new seating products feature the oval steel tube leg design unique to the EDU 2.0 line of furniture.
CurriculumLoft (www.curriculumloft.com) has launched the KUNO 4 tablet, its latest version of the purpose-built student learning device. Upgrades to the new design include the Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” operating system, a 1.6 Ghz Dual Core processor, Dual Band wireless, and an extended battery life with up to 14 hours of continuous video playback.
Lightspeed Technologies (www.lightspeedtek.com) has unveiled FLEXCAT, a multi-function, flexible, group audio system, with a headset for the teacher and simple tabletop speakers for student group use throughout a classroom. Teachers can use FLEXCAT to monitor multiple groups, redirect off-task behaviors, encourage student collaboration, and provide differentiated instruction.