Dukane Audio Visual (www.dukcorp.com/ audiovisual) released its Convey Solutions software, which enables schools to gather and analyze data on student progress as well as control all their audiovisual resources from a central location. The Convey product group includes the Convey AClick studentresponse system and Convey Enterprise 4.3 software, which allows schools to aggregate data and lets teachers share formative and summative assessment curricula to meet learning standards.
The SPARK Science Learning System is an all-in-one mobile device that integrates probeware with inquiry-based content and assessment. The SPARK can be used as a standalone science- data-collection tool, or it can be connected to a computer via a USB cable and used as a data-collection terminal for PASCO data-collection software. A teacher can assign the class an experiment, and the students can use their SPARK units and probes to develop hypotheses, collect data to prove or disprove the hypotheses, and then draw conclusions.PROS: The SPARK comes with more than 60 preinstalled experiments. It is rugged enough to be taken outdoors and handled by elementary-, middle-, and high-school students. The SPARKvue software permits the same interface to be displayed on a computer so a teacher can deliver pre-lab instruction to an entire class via a data projector. Additional probes are reasonably priced. The SPARK is battery-powered, so it can be used outside the classroom. It allows students to record their data directly to the device. The experiments included in the SPARK let students collect meaningful data in real time. The device also has helpful online educator-training resources.CONS: It would be nice to have one kit that included all the probes; PASCO does, however, offer kits that provide the probes necessary to perform the labs that are embedded on the SPARK Science Learning System.OVERALL IMPRESSION: Science is not a study of facts and dates; science is a process. The SPARK takes this discovery process into account in a fun, easy-to-use tool.www.pasco.comRetail price: $329
allows administrators to transfer student-information-system (SIS) data to a handheld device. Because data can be accessed from a handheld immediately, the information may be used for everyday discipline, student-conduct incidents and histories, emergency preparedness, and security. Each user is issued his or her own passkey, and data can be synchronized as often as needed.PROS: The Principalm+ transfers information without using a third-party server. The software transfers data to most handhelds, including smartphones, BlackBerry smartphones, and PDAs, and soon to Apple iPhones. Users can add customizable fields. The data-download sets can be customized, such as downloading just phone numbers and health information for a teacher going on a field trip.CONS: None.OVERALL EVALUATION: One of the biggest problems administrators have is that all the student data we collect are never where we need them when we need them. Principalm+ solves this problem. Administrators can use Principalm+ to check the discipline record of a student at the site of an incident rather than having to wait until they get back to the office. They can look up a locker combination on the spot, or even a parent’s phone number. This type of application is long overdue.www.discoverysoftware.comRetail price: Based on per-student, per-module model.
The GradeSpeed SIS allows districts to easily manage and track all their school data, including schedules, student data, and parent communications. GradeSpeed SIS lets administrators submit state reports and design school schedules while it allows teachers to manage grades and provide progress reports to parents. In addition, parents and students have real-time access to assignments, grades, and teacher communication tools. Price: Contact company for pricing. Category: student information system
Fluency Tutor is an online software solution for students developing, and teachers assessing, oral reading fluency. The product incorporates passages that align to MetaMetrics Lexile Framework for Reading and includes tools for practicing, assessing, and measuring fluency. Students listen to passages being read aloud with textto- speech voices and practice their own reading. When ready, they record assessments for teachers to listen to and mark. Several graphical reports are available to show students’ progress. PROS: The software allows teachers to select exercises of the right difficulty for each pupil and to record his or her progress. Teachers can evaluate the fluency errors made, words correct per minute, and level of prosody (expression of reading) for every student. The system is also available to teachers and students at home. CONS: To be truly effective, the product requires complete buy-in from all reading teachers. A school must also have enough computers available for students to practice and take assessments. OVERALL EVALUATION: Every school should have a program like this Fluency Tutor to help students learn to read. This one is as good as, or better than, most I have seen.www.texthelp.comRetail price: Starting at $2,245 per school, first year; $745, each year after. Discounts available for multi-year purchase.—Joe Huber
SMART Response XE (www.smarttech.com) is a new addition to the growing SMART Response product line. SMART Response XE includes keyboard-style handheld wireless remotes (or clickers), a receiver, and powerful assessment software that enables teachers to easily conduct assessments and gauge understanding quickly and efficiently. The product allows teachers to ask as many as 100 questions in a single lesson file. The full QWERTY keyboard gives them the flexibility to ask more types of questions and enables students to submit advanced math and science equations as well as text answers. As with all SMART Response interactive response systems, SMART Response XE lets teachers create quizzes and tests for formative and summative assessment or ask spontaneous questions to gain ongoing insight into student comprehension.
TestWiz software makes it possible to track and diagnose all the types of assessments given in the K-12 environment. National, state, and local tests are all supported with the same user interface. TestWiz allows teachers and administrators to view, customize, and generate more than 40 types of reports. It also enables them to associate several data elements with each student, such as teacher assignments, numerous demographics, and intervention details. TestWiz templates range from student and item details to graphical summaries. Educators can disaggregate test results by sub-tests, strands, cut scores, demographics, and more.Price: Starts at $3 per student per year; minimum district purchase, $1,500Category: assessment
This image-recognition software, paired with an inexpensive Web or document camera, delivers a low-cost software alternative to expensive OMR scanning machines. GradeCam instantly grades multiple-choice tests and automatically records the scores in a teacher’s existing electronic grade book. GradeCam allows teachers to enter scores for all student work—graded tests, quizzes, and credit/no credit assignments, for example—by swiping papers under a camera instead of entering the data by hand. GradeCam forms can be printed from the software and reproduced, and may be filled in with any pen or pencil. Price: $3/student for school license; $2/student for district license Category: assessment
Apperson Education Products has partnered with Northrop Grumman Corporation to provide the Aspire Assessment System. Apperson will provide a test scanner that will score students’ tests and allow educators to immediately upload the test data to the Aspire software.Price: N/ACategory: assessment