November 2014, What’s New

Software & Online

Ascend Education is adding new levels of interactivity to all of the instructional videos found in Ascend Math, an intensive math intervention program shown to help struggling students gain two or more grade levels in as little as a semester. Ascend Math includes more than 550 distinct video lessons, each of which will now include multiple points of interactivity that support step-wise learning and encourage students to think and write about math consistent with today’s rigorous state standards. Students will encounter learning prompts in every objective and interact with the instructor throughout the video lesson.



Acronis has released Snap Deploy 5, a tool that increases staff and student productivity by allowing educational institutions to rapidly refresh workstations and provision massive deployment on devices. Acronis Snap Deploy 5 creates an exact system image of any standard configuration that an organization chooses and deploys the image to multiple PCs and servers. The system provides the flexibility to deploy to multiple operating systems including Windows Server, PCs, Microsoft Surface, and Linux.



Aerohive has added new features for ID Manager to provide simple, selfservice onboarding for mobile devices within the enterprise, while providing IT administrators complete application visibility and granular control of exactly what is happening on the network from every device. Users can request a unique key to access the network from any device. Aerohive’s Private Pre-Shared Key technology enables complete, individualized management and control without the hassle of certificates or specialized client configuration. Once the devices are securely connected to the network, Aerohive’s Application Visibility and Control can be used to ensure devices are productive and do not negatively impact business-critical access.



Ascend Education is adding new levels of interactivity to all of the instructional videos found in Ascend Math, an intensive math intervention program shown to help struggling students gain two or more grade levels in as little as a semester. Ascend Math includes more than 550 distinct video lessons, each of which will now include multiple points of interactivity that support step-wise learning and encourage students to think and write about math in ways that are consistent with today’s rigorous state standards. Students will encounter learning prompts in every objective and interact with the instructor throughout the video lesson.



Instructure, the creator of the Canvas LMS for K-12 and higher education, has announced a new platform that will enable educators to tap into the power of crowdsourcing and the social Web. Canvas Commons is a learning object repository (LOR) where users can share ideas, courses, and curriculum. Canvas Commons streamlines the process for teachers to discover lesson plans, assignments, quizzes, and even full courses that are free and easy to incorporate into the Canvas LMS.



Classworks, the online instructional solution for grades K-9, has added several new features: Integrated Reading Activities, Math Resources, LTI and O-Auth Integration, and My Scores Student Dashboard. The new My Scores dashboard allows students to set instructional goals, monitor their own progress, and even share results with parents. The company has also partnered with Clever to seamlessly integrate student information system (SIS) data with the digital learning solution. The collaboration will ensure that educators always have the most updated, accurate information in the Classworks program. Also, through Clever Instant Login, teachers and students will be able to access Classworks with just one username, password, and click.


( has launched Code Studio, its opensource learning platform designed to teach students the basics of computer science, starting as early as kindergarten. Code Studio combines a Web-based learning environment for classrooms with a nationwide network of free professional development workshops to help teachers integrate the system into their curriculum. The platform provides a mix of self-guided, online tutorials, video lectures by tech leaders such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, game-based activities featuring Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, and Flappy Bird, “unplugged” group activities for students in classrooms, and creative outlets for students to create a personal portfolio of apps, animations, and art using code.



SchoolDude has unveiled CrisisManager, a new mobile safety platform. CrisisManager’s safety plans, accessible with or without a Wi-Fi connection, are fully customizable based on an organization’s needs and/or scenario, such as severe weather, school delays or cancellations, or violence, and can be updated any time. The platform offers push notifications and incident reporting, including photos and GPS location, to alert and inform individuals.



iboss Network Security has announced that its MobileEther solution supports single-step device enrollment of Apple devices in the cloud through the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP). MobileEther combines traditional mobile device management (MDM) and advanced Web security to prevent data loss and increase visibility across applications and Web traffic via a single console. Apple DEP streamlines MDM for institutionally owned devices, and integration with iboss MobileEther adds an additional layer of security by transparently binding each device with user-specific Web and application security policies. Integration with Apple DEP eliminates the need for IT to physically touch the device, as the program is managed in the cloud, saving valuable IT resources and ensuring accurate policy enforcement.

The new Library of Congress Student Discovery Sets bring together historical artifacts and rare documents on a wide range of topics, from history to science to literature. Interactive tools let students zoom in for close examination, draw to highlight interesting details, and make notes about what they discover. The first six Student Discovery Sets are available for the iPad, and can be downloaded for free on iBooks. These sets cover the U.S. Constitution, Symbols of the United States, Immigration, the Dust Bowl, the Harlem Renaissance, and Understanding the Cosmos.



Microsoft has updated its Office 365 ProPlus program (formerly Student Advantage) to provide eligible students a free copy of Office 365 from their school. The offer includes the latest versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher; installation on up to 5 PCs or Macs and 5 tablets, 1 Terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage, Office Online, and 60 Skype world minutes per month.



MonkeyLearn is a customizable and affordable artificial intelligence (AI) technology platform for text mining. Its algorithm creation engine allows developers in any industry to quickly and easily create and incorporate text mining capabilities into their own platforms, applications, and Web sites, regardless of their experience with AI technologies. The platform could be used in conjunction with education technology platforms or tools to classify users based on levels, speed, proficiency, etc., to better recommend courses.



Naiku has added adaptive learning resources to its cloud-based classroom assessment platform. The new tools are designed to help teachers accelerate and further personalize student learning through better assessment. Resources selected by the teacher are automatically recommended to students based on individual proficiency achieved and criteria previously set by the teacher. The company has also added a curriculum mapping capability to help teachers plan for and track proficiency of learning standards. Now, teachers can use Naiku to comprehensively plan for the standards, as well as track performance against those standards throughout the term to personalize instruction.



PBS LearningMedia has released a new student Web site, as well as a new suite of teacher tools and Spanish-language content. PBS LearningMedia for Students lets students of all ages search for, save, and share their favorite resources, as well as download for offline viewing. New productivity tools for PBS LearningMedia include a Lesson Builder, Storyboard tool, and Quiz Maker to offer deeper engagement with content and allow educators to create personalized, interactive activities for students that can be used in the classroom or as homework assignments. Educators can track results at the individual level as well as for the entire class.



Pearson has teamed up with NBC Learn to offer over 17,000 premium education videos from NBC Learn through Pearson’s Realize, a next generation learning management system, as well as through its Online Learning Exchange (OLE) platform, a K-12 digital library of standards-based learning resources. The video collections include Chemistry Now, Changing Planet, Science of NFL Football, and Science of the Winter Olympic Games.



To help educators teach science concepts to students in grades K-5, EdTechLens created Rainforest Journey, a subscription-based and standards-aligned online curriculum. Rainforest Journey uses high-resolution original photographs and videos that correlate with the written text to illustrate scientific concepts, such as adaptation, the water and life cycles, and predators and prey, in ways that foster curiosity about science. Rainforest Journey also contains leveled reading content, and offers a number of features that aid teaching and learning, such as captions to identify photographs and videos and vocabulary definitions that appear when students hover over a word. An audio component that accompanies all lessons is available.



SRC Solutions, Inc., creators of the Registration Gateway Online Enrollment solution, have integrated GuideK12’s geo-visual location technology to simplify the school selection process for parents. Parents registering their students will now be able to enter an address to quickly determine their assigned school and visualize the school’s details in relation to their home on a map.



Sasa Software has released a new desktop version of its enterprise security software, Gate Scanner, featuring a range of management capabilities as well as increased scanning and cleaning abilities. The Gate Scanner blocks, scans, and cleans all files, and ensures that data is exchanged within the network in a controlled and secure way. Encryption and verification systems allow managers to monitor and verify all activity. The three different versions of Gate Scanner—ST D, PRO and Kiosk—are tailored to large or small-sized, networked or unconnected, stand-alone systems.



SAS Curriculum Pathways can now integrate with Clever Instant Login, enabling administrators to log in with one user ID and password. Teachers no longer need to manually add students to SAS Curriculum Pathways rosters, since Clever automatically maps class rosters to a teacher. SAS Curriculum Pathways has also joined the growing resource library within SchoolCity’s STARS Assessment and Data Management software. If a student takes an assessment, and performs poorly in a certain area, SchoolCity’s STARS Suite provides teachers with immediate access to SAS Curriculum Pathways and other resources that address the subject, helping them to assist the student instantly.



Turning Technologies has teamed up with Pearson to seamlessly integrate Schoolnet, the provider of Web-based assessment solutions, with Turning Technologies’ Insight 360 software, an interactive, mobile instructional platform for teachers and students that creates collaborative classroom environments. Insight 360 can now be used to deliver Schoolnet assessments, as well as collect and transfer results seamlessly into the Schoolnet platform. The integration will be available with Insight 360 version 2.6 and Schoolnet version 16.1.



Schoology has announced a new vision for digital portfolios for students to store and manage their own customizable, portable digital profiles, attaching research papers, certificates, endorsements, test results, and other learning projects. Portfolios in Schoology, launching in 2015, will act as an extension of a user’s profile, highlighting a user’s academic and extracurricular achievements, and following them throughout their educational career. Portfolios will be portable and can be private or public and shareable with peers, faculty, and potential employers. Other recent Schoology releases include in-app native iOS mobile annotations, improved mobile grading, and numerous improvements to course management, workflow, and user experience.



Shmoop recently launched Shmooping Shakespeare, a place where all Shakespeare resources come together in a fun and interactive format. The resource contains original, in-depth analysis of Shakespeare’s plays, covering everything from plot summary to character analysis, themes, and symbolism. In sections devoted to Shakespeare’s Words and Shakespeare’s Quotes, Shmoop provides explanations of hundreds of words and idioms coined by the Bard.



Splashtop has announced new Chromebook support and features for its Splashtop Classroom and Splashtop Mirroring360 education technology solutions. Splashtop Classroom now allows teachers to share their lesson content and apps to student Chromebooks in addition to iPads, Android devices, Windows PCs, and Macs. Mirroring360 lets teachers display their iOS screens wirelessly to a projector via their PC or Mac. Now, students can mirror content and even stream live video from their Chromebooks to classroom PCs and Macs.



Syntonic On-Ramp Education Services combines cellular data connectivity with online class assignments, learning tools and other digital educational content to provide students with equal access to school approved content—anywhere and anytime. On-Ramp Education Services gives students access to school-approved applications, web sites and online content over a mobile connection. This saves the school money, because the school only pays for the mobile access used for approved education materials. It’s an efficient use of school funds. On-Ramp Education Services provides administrators specific application feedback and live accounting to determine how effective the school is in achieving its educational goals. School administrators and teachers are provided tools to administer, manage, analyze, and assess student achievement.



Turnitin has acquired LightSide Labs, a Gates Foundationsupported start-up that uses machine learning algorithms to provide automated feedback on student writing. LightSide Labs’ flagship product, Revision Assistant, learns the type of feedback instructors leave on assignments and then can emulate that feedback with a high degree of accuracy. Turnitin plans to integrate Revision Assistant into the Turnitin service, enabling instructors to not only evaluate and grade students but also help them develop stronger writing skills before they are assessed.

Zoozil promotes early and ongoing adolescent literacy development for students in grades 3-8 with a series of innovative books where reader interaction drives the story. Zoozil's books use fictional characters in non-fictional events, presenting choices to readers that place them in the driver's seat of history. By empowering students to change the course of the story and combining their books with digital technology, Zoozil engages children in reading and history in brand new ways. Meanwhile, teachers can use Zoozil's powerful data tools to see patterns showing where their students are struggling and which topics are challenging them the most.




AMX has introduced two new resources for universities: the new AMX Campus Explorer Education App and a redesigned AMX Education Web site. Using the Campus Explorer App, users are able to experience technology management firsthand from traditional and collaborative learning facilities to wider-reaching campus venues like sporting complexes, student housing, and administration buildings. Users can choose from a variety of components and systems to customize a technology management solution for each location and a range of user interfaces to make managing the experience simple. The Campus Explorer App is available to support online users via the AMX Education Web site as well as offline planning via a new iPad App. Additionally, the new AMX Education Web site shows how technology can best be used and most easily managed in the university setting.



Texthelp’s Fluency Tutor for Google is a leveled reading and assessment tool for the Google Apps for Education environment, designed to help teachers support and assess emerging or struggling readers. Texthelp recently released a new student interface designed for Android tablets, letting students practice reading at their own pace. Students can also tap and hold to learn more about a word with a talking dictionary, picture dictionary, and translate tools. Premium features, such as teacher feedback and the ability to stream recordings during teacher scoring, are available through a subscription service.



The SchoolReach Community App provides schools with a customizable, easyto- manage mobile app solution. Through the SchoolReach solution, schools receive custombranded iPhone and Android apps that feature modules such as school calendars, staff directories, homework info, lunch menus, school social media accounts, and more. Through a non-technical and secure app management Web site, school personnel can add, remove, or edit content from their apps at any time.



Amplify and Bossa Studios have created “Twelve a Dozen,” a new adventure game for the iPad that helps students learn and master the order of operations in a fun and engaging way. “Twelve a Dozen” uses game mechanics to introduce students to thought processes that they will need to solve longer, more challenging algebraic equations later on in life. The game starts with basic calculations and introduces complex mathematical operations gradually to increase the challenge. “Twelve a Dozen” also features a rewind button, so players are encouraged to try again without fear of failure.


HP ( has released the HP Z Desktops and ZBook Mobile Workstations, offering increased system expandability, higher-speed memory, and multicore updates. The new HP Z840, Z640, and Z440 desktop workstations feature the latest Intel Xeon processor product family, and NVIDIA and AMD professional graphics options. The new HP ZBook 15 G2 and 17 G2 Mobile Workstations take advantage of powerful processing, including optional Intel quad-core processors and NVIDIA Quadro and AMD FirePro professional graphics that are ISV-certified.

BenQ America Corp. ( has unveiled the newest generation of M5 Series projectors. Consisting of the MX525, (pictured) MS524, and MW526, the line now features 3,200 ANSI lumens, 10,000 hours of lamp life, and cinema-like image quality. By combining native SVGA (MS524), XGA (MX525), and WXGA (MW526) resolutions with a 13,000:1 contrast ratio, the series is the company’s most accurate small-to-medium-space projector family to date. Using DLP technology, the projectors also enable a 96-percent fill factor that eliminates the thick, dark bezels around individual pixels, which can harm both color quality and image detailing.

Kramer Electronics ( has introduced the WP-577VH, a wall plate CAT x switcher transmitter (2-gang Decora), for HDMI, VGA, and stereo audio with support for RS-232 data and control. The unit automatically switches to the last connected input and transmits the signals to a compatible DGKat twisted pair receiver (such as the TP-578H). Stereo audio can be either embedded into the signal (HDMI or VGA) or transmitted over blank video. The WP-577VH includes optional remote power over CAT x cable (Power Connect Plus). K-Link compatibility gives wide flexibility to RS-232 to control remote devices, be controlled by Kramer Protocol 3000, or send data to remote, external RS-232 devices. The DGKat technology allows for easy installation—up to 70m (230ft) at 1080p60 over CAT x cables. These automatic switching features make the WP-577VH an ideal solution for a BYOD environment.

BlackMagic Design ( has released the MultiView 16, a native Ultra HD multiviewer. With full frame re-sync in each input, it supports the display of up to 16 mixed SD, HD and Ultra HD video sources all at the same time.

Acer ( has announced the Iconia Tab 8 W (pictured) and Iconia One 8 tablets, featuring a larger 8-inch screen size and faster processing with an Intel Atom Z3725G quad-core processor. The Iconia Tab 8 W is an 8-inch tablet that runs on the newest Windows 8.1 with Bing, and comes with a one-year complimentary subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal for full access to applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. The Iconia One 8 tablet weighs only 0.7 pounds, and its 8-inch, 1280x800 HD display with IPS technology is great for viewing games, videos, and apps, and even comes with an anti-fingerprint coating technology. It runs on Android 4.4.

SMART Technologies ( has announced an addition to its award-winning line of integrated interactive whiteboard systems. The SMART Board M680Viv2 interactive whiteboard system pairs the 77-inch SMART Board M680V with the new V30 projector for a complete and affordable integrated system. The combination produces a bright, high definition image (measuring 3,000 lumens in standard mode). Additionally, the new V30 projector provides excellent lamp life of at least four school years (or 6,500 hours) and is backed by a three-year projector and bulb warranty. The SMART Board M680Viv2 comes with a one-year subscription to Notebook Advantage, which enables schools and districts to access the new features in SMART Notebook, along with a comprehensive suite of plug-ins, widgets, learning content, and subject-specific add-ons.

Epson America, Inc. ( has announced the Epson Photo XP-860, and the Epson Expression Premium XP-820 (pictured), XP-620, and XP-520 Small-in-One printers, featuring excellent photo quality and crisp text. The printers also work seamlessly with the Mopria Print Service and the built-in Printing Framework in Android V4.4 (KitKat) or later versions, and can print from Google apps such as Chrome, Gmail, Drive, and QuickOffice, as well as the Adobe Reader and Kingsoft WPS Office App. Epson also offers the Epson Connect Solutions Finder to help mobile users navigate and compare the numerous mobile printing solutions and apps currently available to best meet specific mobile printing needs.

The NAO robot from Aldebaran Robotics ( can now be found behind the wheel of a BMW Z4 electric car, exclusively available from RobotsLAB. The NAO Car by RobotsLAB has been designed with developers in mind as an additional offer of its STEM-U program, a curriculum for STEM subjects from pre-K to higher education that makes use of robots and other visual tools. Under the STEM-U umbrella, RobotsLAB offers standards-aligned curricula using drones, rovers, robots, Cubelets, 3D printers, and even basketballs.

LocknCharge ( has launched two new syncing and charging carts designed for iPads, including the iPad Air and iPad Mini. Schools can store, sync, charge, secure, and transport as many as 30 devices in the iQ 30 Cart and 40 devices in the larger EVO 40 Cart. Using iTunes or Apple Configurator on a Mac, both the iQ 30 and the EVO 40 Cart can sync devices simultaneously. Both carts are modular and mobile featuring LocknCharge’s removable iQ 16 Sync Charge Boxes, allowing syncing and charging to be done almost anywhere, independently of the Cart. The iQ 16 Sync Charge Box also prevents the potential of overloading the circuit, protecting the school’s devices.

HP ( has released the HP Z Desktops and ZBook Mobile Workstations, offering increased system expandability, higher-speed memory, and multicore updates. The new HP Z840, Z640, and Z440 desktop workstations feature the latest Intel Xeon processor product family, and NVIDIA and AMD professional graphics options. The new HP ZBook 15 G2 and 17 G2 Mobile Workstations (pictured) take advantage of powerful processing, including optional Intel quad-core processors and NVIDIA Quadro and AMD FirePro professional graphics that are ISV-certified.

NEC Display Solutions of America ( has announced its latest generation of PA Series projectors, the PA521U (1920x1200 resolution), PA571W (1280x800), and PA621X (1024x768) models. These powerful LCD projectors offer bright images transmitted from laptops, tablets, smartphones, and local area networks, making them ideal for classroom environments. The projectors also offer tilt-free and portrait mode technology that can be used in unique installations.