What's New(14)

Web Resources

McGraw-Hill Digital Learning has released Yearly ProgressPro Reading/Language Arts for grades 1-8. The online assessment, reporting, and tutorial system consists of two types of tests that can be given to students each week. Reading Maze, a timed assessment of leveled reading passages, is geared toward measuring overall reading ability, fluency, decoding, and comprehension skills. Items in the Language Arts assessment target specific skills and standards.

The International Spy Museum offers seven Educator Spy Guides that draw connections between espionage and various academic subjects such as science and technology, mathematics, and Cold War history. The free downloadable PDFs require Adobe Acrobat 6.0.

Located in Washington D.C., The International Spy Museum also offers online PDFs that tie the history of espionage to subjects such as math and science.

PowerMediaPlus.com is a media-on-demand service that now has 4,000 digital audio files that include children's audio books, foreign language instruction, poetry readings, and more. Users can search for content with keywords or by browsing the site's categories. The site also offers curriculum videos, photographs, illustrations, and other resources.


Apple's line of iBook G4s have new Power PC G4 processors (up to 1.42 GHz), 512 MB of RAM, and built-in AirPort Extreme and Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Each iBook comes with the scrolling TrackPad, the Sudden Motion Sensor, and Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Graphics are handled by an ATI Mobility Radeon 9550 video card with 32 MB of dedicated memory, and each iBook comes with iLife '05, a software suite that includes iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, Garageband, and iTunes. Pricing for the new iBooks starts at $999.

Apple has upgraded its line of ibook G4 laptops with faster processors, more memory and built-in wireless conectivity.

Fujitsu Computer Systems's LifeBook S2000 has AMD Turion 64 mobile technology and enhanced virus protection. Each laptop weighs about 4 pounds, has a 100 GB hard drive, and a 13.3-inch Crystal View XGA display. The LifeBooks start at $1,299.

Geared toward budget purchasing, the VA Series of LCDs from ViewSonic have 1280-by-1024 native resolution and a black bezel design. The 17- and 19-inch displays feature 8-20 ms response times and offer multiple output options. The four VA Series models (VA702b, VA712b, VA902b, and VA912b) cost between $239 and $339.

AG Neovo's E-Series of 17- and 19-inch LCDs have built-in multimedia speakers and folding bases with tilt support. The LCDs can be wall mounted or arm mounted and feature the NeoV optical filter for protecting the screen from scratches and other damage. The 17-inch model retails for $289.99, and the 19-inch version is $399.

AG nuevo's E-Series LCDs support SVGA resolution (1,024 by 1,280 pixels) and have multimedia speakers.


GTCO CalComp's InterWrite PRS 3.2 software has been upgraded for the company's classroom response system. The new version allows Mac users to create and deliver questions in PowerPoint, and a new add-in module lets students register their transmitters when they log in to the Blackboard class site. Version 3.2 also features new reports for lesson questions, session reports, and class rosters.

The StudentsAchieve learning management system offers features such as attendance/behavior and rubric management, integrated grading, report card management, and lesson planning. The system is aligned to state standards and enables educators and administrators to share course content and comment banks.

Students using LearnStar's SmartTrax assessment software register with unique identification numbers for tracking responses to state-aligned questions. Those students can complete activities at their own pace. The program can be installed on Windows and Mac servers and accessed via Windows, Windows Mobile, Mac, and Palm OS devices.

Harmonic Vision's Music Ace Maestro CD-ROM combines 48 lessons from the company's previous products and places them in pedagogical order. The new Maestro Manager suite covers student assessment and curriculum management tools, allowing educators to archive student and group records, export assessment data, and create customized lesson sequences. Pricing ranges from $127.95 for single-computer versions for 240 students to $1,499 for a 30-station network.

Software Shelf International's Print Manager Plus allows district and school IT staff members to monitor printing activity by students and to track toner and paper levels. The program features technical support in 12 languages, and it works on Windows network servers.

Network administrators can use CrossTec Corporation's NetOp Desktop Firewall to restrict what kinds of applications can communicate with the school's network as well as dictate which programs students can use. The firewall is designed to apply computer-specific profiles to devices connected to the network, so a student who could download potentially destructive files at home will not be allowed to use that same application when connected to the school's network. Pricing for the firewall ranges from $59 for individual licenses (volume pricing is available) to $1,950 for a single server license.

The NetOp Desktop stores a local database of all programs that run on the local machine.

Inspiration Software has released Inspiration visual learning software for the Pocket PC. The program includes ready-to-use templates and the RapidFire concept mapping tool. Users can zoom in to review or modify details as well as sync the handheld to a desktop computer or another handheld. Single copies can be downloaded or ordered on CD for $29.95; volume pricing is available.

Ardence 3.3 software is designed to allow school districts to centrally manage operating systems and applications for computers connected to the network. The software comes in three versions-Desktop, Server, and Device-and includes Watch Dog Service, which detects errors and other issues and restarts any service that goes down. Custom client applications-ones that require specific registry settings-are supported by Ardence 3.3.


Teaching with Digital Images: Acquire, Analyze, Create, Communicate, published by ISTE , offers strategies for using digital cameras in the K-8 classroom. The book includes digital photography basics and subject area-specific lesson plans.

TI-89 Graphing Calculator for Dummies, published by Jossey-Bass , describes how to use features of the Texas Instruments TI-89 calculator, including 3-D graphing capabilities, advanced functions, USB connectivity, and 16 preloaded applications.

Linworth Publishing's (www.linworth.com) Copyright Catechism: Practical Answers to Everyday School Dilemmas, offers educators strategies for dealing with copyright issues.

Crash Course: Imagining a Better Future for Public Education, released by Riverhead Books (www.riverheadbooks.com) and written by Chris Whittle, draws on Whittle's experience with Edison Schools, which he founded fifteen years ago.

Vernier's Let's Go! Elementary Science is geared toward elementary school students and includes 33 probeware activities on topics such as temperature, motion, force, and light. The book comes with a bonus CD of activities in Microsoft Word format.