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
PINE VALLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Wilmington, NC; serving 560 K-5 studentsType Of Whiteboard: mimio (mimio Interactive: $549), www.mimio.comWhy whiteboards?“We had funding to catch up with other schools technologically, and learned through talking with them that whiteboards let you pull in from outside sources and use the Internet,” says second-grade teacher Tara Jarman.We chose these whiteboards because ...Jarman, who could buy only one board per grade, liked mimio’s affordability. The teachers needed to share boards, and Jarman found the mimios easily transferable between classes.What do you like about the whiteboards?Jarman has several students with ADD and learning disabilities. “Students love coming up to the board and being involved in the lessons. It is colorful and exciting, even for the kids who can’t read.”What don’t you like about the whiteboards?“That’s a hard question. There are a few more tools they could add to the gallery, but there is already a lot of stuff.”Have teachers integrated the whiteboards successfully?“They have. I have a monthly meeting with mimio teachers where we share ideas. We share lessons on our wiki, too. Teachers—even the older ones—tell me all the time what they’re doing.”Any advice for schools that are considering whiteboards?Jarman recommends using the training and resources the company provides. “Install the software on your home computer, so if you think of a lesson at night or on the weekend, you can work on it.”
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
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
Children’s digital book publisher Antares Reading today announced it has published an additional 350 new fiction titles for young readers, bringing its total library of texts to 1,200.
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 from Discovery Education is the first formative assessment service enabling educators to monitor student academic progress through teacher-created diagnostic tests linked to standards- aligned digital media. Progress Zone allows educators to quickly create, share and administer custom academic probes using a bank of more than 35,000 unique assessment items. All items are aligned to state standards with skill/sub-skill definitions. The Progress Zone item bank contains reading, math, science and U.S. history questions for grades 1 through 12.Price: $5 per student Category: assessment
The beta version of SMART Notebook Express software is a lightweight Web-based application that lets anyone, anywhere download, edit, and share files created in SMART Notebook software. SMART Notebook Express enables educators who do not have SMART Notebook software installed on their computers to access and customize SMART Notebook content for their teaching needs. SMART Notebook Express incorporates popular features of SMART Notebook software, including the textediting tool, the pen tool, single-object selection, move and delete, basic Adobe Flash support, and the option of adding a page.Price: free Category: presentation