BIGUNIVERSE.COM - Tech Learning

BIGUNIVERSE.COM

This software allows users to read, create, and share children’s picture books online. BigUniverse.com currently has more than 1,200 books from publishers and includes quizzes and leveled reading. Products include Big Universe Reader (hundreds of children’s fiction and nonfiction books); Big Universe Author (create, print, and publish animated e-books), and Big Universe Community (safely share your bookshelf, recommendations, and published books with your peers only or with other members). Price: Lite account with three day trial of home, Free; home monthly subscription, $8.95; home 12-month subscription, $79.95Category: reading
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ZULAWORLD.COM

ZulaWorld.com is a new online destination where kids ages six and older can spend hours exploring the galaxies in fun and challenging ways. ZulaWorld.com was developed in collaboration with IBM by the creators of the award-winning TV series The Zula Patrol. Inside ZulaWorld.com, users create their own avatars, fly their own spaceships, and make intriguing discoveries about how things work as they explore the cosmos. Students team up with their peers, parents, and teachers to solve problems, play games, and immerse themselves in the ZulaWorld community. Price: Basic levels are free; subscription unlocks additional levels: $5.99 (one month), $29.99 (six months), and $49.99 (one year). Category: science

mimio Interactive in NC

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GET READY TO READ!

This early-literacy screening tool’s 25 questions help identify which step, on a four-step continuum, a child has reached on the path to becoming a successful reader. The visual and auditory questions allow young learners to demonstrate their skills in print and book knowledge, phonological awareness, and phonics. The enhanced Get Ready to Read!—Revised also includes tools such as skill-building activities and resources for helping students who need extra assistance in becoming literate.Price: Contact company for pricing. Category: reading, assessment

MY PORTFOLIO AND NETTREKKER

Powered by My Portfolio, the K-12 safesearch tool netTrekker d.i. now allows educators to create, organize, and share content for standards-based instruction with fellow teachers within their school or district. Educators can scaffold, save, and share digital content, including resources found in netTrekker d.i. and from third parties. They can add content to their portfolios— templates, time-line and famousperson search results, and images— and then, as with a digital file cabinet, create folders to facilitate organizing. Price: $1,730 per school building Category: content development

PRODUCT: TEXTHELP SYSTEMS FLUENCY TUTOR

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

PROGRESS ZONE

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SMART NOTEBOOK EXPRESS (WWW.SMARTTECH.COM)

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