software & online
SEAS Education has announced the Achieve 2.0, a new version of its education plan management software. Updates include a simplified interface that allows teachers to access functions in three clicks or fewer. Achieve 2.0 supports all school district education plan types, including Academic and Behavior RTI, Section 504, English Language Learner, and Gifted. In addition, Achieve 2.0 integrates IEPs, creating a single, unified platform to view and manage education plans. With Achieve 2.0, staff can quickly see where students are in their programs, including any due or past due dates. Achieve 2.0 provides seamless integration between education plan types such as RTI and eventual referral to Special Education.
Assessment for Learning
Triumph Learning has teamed up with edWeb.net to present a free professional learning community, Assessment for Learning. The site is a forum for educators to come together online to engage, innovate, and discuss best practices for the classroom. This collaborative community will host webinars, hosted by assessment experts, and online discussions to help educators connect and collaborate on the topic of using assessments to improve student learning.
BigNote and BigConnect
InFocus Corporation has announced BigNote 1.2 interactive whiteboard software for PC and BigConnect PC video calling software. Both applications help users communicate ideas and capture information wherever they are located. BigNote 1.2 interactive whiteboard software enables users to take notes, sketch, annotate, and share work from their personal Windows device or InFocus BigTouch giant touch PC. With BigConnect software, a Windows PC becomes a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) video-calling device that enables users to participate in video calls with other SIP endpoints, such as Mondopad and MVP100 Video Phone, as well as Skype and Microsoft Lync.
Blackmagic Camera 1.8.2
Blackmagic Design has released a camera software update that adds three new Apple ProRes file formats for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and Blackmagic Production Camera 4K. Camera 1.8.2 update is available now free of charge from the Blackmagic Design Web site. The software update adds the Apple ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT, and ProRes 422 Proxy file formats, enabling significantly smaller video file sizes and longer recording durations on the same media card.
Digital Leader Corps
Discovery Education has launched the Digital Leader Corps (DLC), a professional development service that supports school systems as they develop teacher-leaders to serve as change agents in supporting their district’s digital transition. The service offers a combination of professional learning, pedagogy, and tools to help participating educators learn to integrate educational technologies into classroom instruction.
eCarrot is a rewards-based technology platform that converges parental controls and learn-to-earn behavioral techniques to create a new “parenting strategy” for smart devices. eCarrot is configured to provide kids with an incentive to learn by allowing them to earn time for game play and screen time as a reward for answering educational questions and following instructions. Parents can program the platform according to the individual needs of their children, and as time is earned, kids can use it to play a wide range of their favorite commercial games on their smartphone or tablet.
Edgenuity has released 10 new courses for the 2014-2015 school year. Ranging from Algebra 1 and World History to specialized, career-oriented courses in computing and medicine, these courses are designed to promote student inquiry, engagement, and subject mastery.
School Improvement’s PD 360 is now Edivation, an on-demand, professional learning resource that creates a personalized learning experience for educators. Simple management tools help administrators create individual and system-wide professional learning plans. The resource also offers support in terms of strategic planning workshops, unlimited on-demand training, and ongoing consultation.
Compass Learning has released Hybridge, a differentiated instruction resource for elementary and middle school that is designed to help teachers blend digital learning into classroom practice. Hybridge offers rigorous content, real-time progress monitoring, reporting tools, and the ability to translate nationally normed assessment results into personalized learning paths. Users can access Hybridge anywhere and anytime, from a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.
iboss Network Security has announced the availability of iboss version 7.0 Web security platform, offering full Web stream malware detection along with advanced infection detection and response tools. Updates include signature-less advanced sandboxing for multi-layered protection against infections and data loss, outbound behavioral analysis to bolster protection against data loss and improve visibility across all data movement in and out of the network, and a redesigned user interface, including responsive mobile-ready touch screen functionality. Additionally, users can drag and drop to dynamically create reports, as well as drill down into a graph by clicking on the data points of interest.
KnowRe Algebra 2
KnowRe, a cloud-based, secondary math program, has released its Algebra 2 curriculum, adding to Pre-Algebra and Algebra 1 content currently in the KnowRe library. The Algebra 2 curriculum is aligned to Common Core state standards and many state-specific standards. It covers the complete course through 13 chapters and nearly 80 interactive lessons. KnowRe’s gamified features engage students, and the step-by-step guidance and 800+ concept videos provide continuous support and instruction.
Kurzweil Education, Inc. has announced Kurzweil 3000— firefly literacy software that helps students read and understand content, and then demonstrate what they have learned. The latest version includes nearly 40 updates to Kurzweil 3000 for Windows, Mac, and the Web-based “firefly.” Built-in multisensory tools foster active participation throughout the full learning process, while anytime, anywhere access to curricula promotes independent learning at home and in the classroom. Major updates include Acapela text-to-speech voices, updates to the built-in American heritage dictionaries, and new teacher templates, including a UDL Lesson with Kurzweil 3000–firefly and a Common Core state standards lesson plan.
Lenovo Scholar Network
Lenovo has teamed up with the National Academy Foundation (NAF), a leading non-profit organization in education, to provide high school students with a mobile app development curriculum and delivery program, known as the Lenovo Scholar Network. The program was created to address the skills gap in the STEM subjects and motivate students to pursue a career in these fields. The program consists of rigorous coursework tailored towards mobile app development and a competition where students will create a mobile application using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s MIT App Inventor service.
Math Upgrade 8
Learning Upgrade has released Math Upgrade 8. The course uses engaging videos and songs to help students in 8th grade master Common Core math standards. Each course covers every standard for one grade level with 60 interactive lessons. Teachers can quickly integrate the lessons into their classes using a simple one-page alignment, and track every student’s progress on standards with a graphical student monitor. Learning Upgrade is also offering 20 complimentary student licenses to U.S. schools with 300 or more students.
SMART Visual Collaboration Solution
SMART Technologies has teamed up with UC Point AG to enhance the user experience for SMART Visual Collaboration Solutions (VCS). UC Point AG will provide pre-deployment consulting, proactive monitoring, proactive maintenance, and usage reporting to all SMART VCS customers, including those with SMART Room System (SRS) for Microsoft Lync. Advanced usage reporting will provide customers with a clear picture of how and when their SMART solution is being used, helping them quantify their return on investment.
Triumph Learning and Clever
Triumph Learning has expanded its partnership with Clever to include integration with district student information systems and seamless single sign-on with Instant Log-in, without additional charges. This allows users to access Waggle with one click, and relieves teachers of extra data management tasks. The partnership also includes a secure connection to student information systems that will sync student enrollment rosters in real-time.
Bytes of Learning Inc. has updated its keyboarding instruction software, UltraKey. Version 6 includes new human voice instruction, introduction videos, posture graphics, and animated stretch videos. UltraKey includes 12 instructional themes, each designed to accommodate users from 8 to 88, and it will also address special learning needs, such as ADHD and visual impairment.
Drawp for School
Drawp for School has launched the Android version of its classroom management tool. The creative tablet app is COPPA-compliant, can be used with multiple subjects, and saves teachers classroom time by automatically collecting, organizing, and storing assignments in the secure Drawp cloud. Drawp’s interactive whiteboard lets users enhance content with drawing, painting, voice stickers, and text. SimpleShare technology allows real-time collaboration between teachers and students—all with a single swipe. The tool is ideal for students in grades K-8.
SAS Reading Records
SAS Curriculum Pathways has added Reading Records to its family of free mobile education apps. The app lets students practice reading skills in or out of the classroom and enables teachers to monitor results from anywhere. Educators can assign, evaluate, and analyze reading performance without being one-on-one with a student. And the student interface lets young readers complete assignments, view their results, and monitor their progress from anywhere. The app is currently available for iOS devices and on the Web.
Verso Learning has announced the U.S. launch of its formative assessment tool, Verso App, which is already used by 1,700 K-12 schools in 95 countries. Teachers can use the app to see students’ questions, ideas, and what they have identified as individual learning needs. For students, the app fosters originality—students must submit their own responses to challenges before being allowed to see their classmates’ original ideas.
Califone (www.califone.com) has released the 901 Wireless Headphone. Featuring a 20-foot range, the rechargeable headphone and separate 3.5 mm transmitter connect students to listening activities on computers, laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices to support Common Core goals. It also enables multiple users to listen to one device with a single transmitter, giving educators the ability to group students with like abilities for a smaller differentiated learning community.
Fluke Networks (www.linksprinter.com) has released LinkSprinter, a pocket-sized network tester that identifies Ethernet problems in under nine seconds. With its one-button auto-test design, smartphone integration, and automatic cloud storage of test data, LinkSprinter helps the PC technician, system integrator, home networking enthusiast, and other consumers identify, document, store, and remedy Ethernet problems.
Promethean (www.prometheanworld.com) has introduced new ActivBoard Touch interactive whiteboards that support up to six simultaneous unique touches for enhanced flexibility in classroom instruction and activities. With functionality similar to today’s mobile devices, the design of the ActivBoard Touch eliminates the technology learning curve. Intuitive gestures such as swipe, pinch, and zoom manage the surface and content display. The six-touch model is also compatible with Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux operating systems.
Kensington (www.kensington.com) has released the Trapper Keeper and Pee-Chee universal tablet cases, which fit all 7-8” or 9-10” tablets. Inspired by the original Mead designs from the ‘80s, the cases offer rugged protection for student tablets in a design that never goes out of style.
Full Compass Systems (www.fullcompass.com/events/steadicam) is hosting a two-day Steadicam Zephyr/Scout/Pilot Workshop instructed by Dan Ikeda, a videographer and Steadicam expert. This workshop covers all fundamentals of Steadicam operating, including work on stairs, running shots, composition, and low-mode operation. Students are trained for 1-1/2 days and then each student performs a test shot during the afternoon on Day 2.
SchoolZone (www.schoolzone.com) has released the Little Scholar tablet, which retails for $199 and includes 150 educational apps, including videos, songs, and e-books. Little Scholar provides users with lessons based on all of the core curriculum subjects for pre-schoolers, kindergartners, and first graders, including math, reading, spelling, logic, creativity, and geography. Parents can use an App management tool to choose the apps, music, and e-books that are active on Little Scholar, so they can tailor the content to fit their children’s learning needs. Little Scholar features an 8-inch screen and runs a Google Android 4.2.2 operating system.
Vernier Software & Technology (www.vernier.com) has introduced the Renewable Energy with Vernier lab book and the Vernier Energy Sensor to help students explore renewable energy concepts through hands-on investigations. The lab book, which was written and aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, contains 26 experiments that use the Vernier Energy Sensor, as well as KidWind Experiment Kits. The Vernier Energy Sensor provides an easy way for students to quantify voltage, current, power, and energy output. Data-collection and analysis software, such as Logger Pro 3 or LabQuest App, then calculates the power and energy output.
NEC Display Solutions of America (www.necdisplay.com) has added two new models to its PA Series projectors—the 6,700-lumen PA672W and 7,200-lumen PA722X (pictured). With built-in, HDBaseT connectivity technology, PA Series projectors simplify installations by running uncompressed, full-HD digital video, audio, Ethernet, power, and various other controls through one cable. Both projectors offer portrait mode or tilt-free options to project an image toward the floor or ceiling without needing a mirror. Up to four projectors can be stacked horizontally or vertically, boosting brightness up to nearly 28,800 lumens.
D-Link (www.dlink.com) has announced the DAP- 2660, a high-power, 802.11ac wireless access point designed to support increased device densities with advanced processing power. The DAP-2660 delivers high-speed, wireless performance, with maximum wireless signal rates of up to 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. The device is also designed to support advanced radio management features, such as band steering, airtime fairness, and load balancing to ensure optimal network performance. The access point can be ceiling or wall-mounted.