BLACKBOARD CONNECT FOR TEACHERS - Tech Learning

BLACKBOARD CONNECT FOR TEACHERS

Blackboard Connect for Teachers is used as a platform for outreach to parents concerning urgent situations and academic issues regarding their children. Now teachers can harness that same capability to better involve parents in their child’s classroom performance. Using the service, teachers can reach parents wherever they are with phone messages, and parents no longer have to wait for a quarterly report card to discover that they need to intervene in their child’s academic performance or behavior. Price: Contact company for pricing. Category: teaching tools
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PREPARING FOR STANDARDIZED TESTS

The Preparing for Standardized Tests program is designed to improve student performance on the reading and math sections of the PSAT, ACT, and SAT exams. The program is a collection of interactivewhiteboard lessons that engages students in mastering essential college readiness and provides them with advanced test preparation. Students can practice answering questions with standardized tests and the guided practice lessons and learning tools of Promethean’s ActivClassroom. Price: Contact company for pricing. Category: test prep

HELP MATH FOR ELL AND SPECIAL NEEDS

Digital Directions International has significantly enhanced their HELP Math for ELL and Special Needs program by integrating a diagnostic-prescriptive tool. This comprehensive and adaptive tool allows the teacher to pretest students to better individualize instruction. The grade-level and adaptive pretests save teachers time by auto-generating custom learning pathways to provide a seamless link between diagnostic assessments and prescriptive interventions. The new assessments not only target grade-level deficiencies, but also identify and help remediate gaps in students’ foundational/prerequisite skills. Price: Contact company for pricing. Category: assessment

UBOOST VERSION 2.0 (WWW.UBOOST.COM)

Used in tandem with schooldistrict learning-management systems, uBoost helps educators reward positive student behavior with points and performance- based honor badges. Points can be used for charitable causes or can be redeemed for merchandise or gift cards. uBoost Version 2.0 includes new parental-notification features. uBoost sends daily email notification to parents regarding the points their children receive, as well as the accomplishments and behaviors for which they have been rewarded. Price: Contact company for pricing. Category: behavior monitoring

Put to the Test : Discovery Software Principalm+

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.

KODU FOR THE PC (WWW.MICROSOFT.COM/KODU)

Microsoft released a technical preview of Kodu for the PC, an online game creation technology that enables children to design, build, and play their own games. The core of the Kodu project is the programming user interface. The language is simple and entirely icon-based. Programs are composed of pages, which are broken down into rules, which are further divided into conditions and actions. Price: Contact company for pricing. Category: gaming softwar

IMPULSE SAFE•CONNECT NAC

The Impulse Safe•Connect NAC system, powered by Dell Enterprise Servers or VMware virtual appliances, provides a network-access-control solution that easily integrates into diverse network environments. The Safe•Connect Policy Management Console provides real-time and historical status reporting for insight into group or individual policy compliance. The health of the system is continuously monitored from the Impulse Support Center.Price: Tier-based according to the number of end user devices, starting at 500. Category: network access control

NETSUPPORT NOTIFY

A school would install the NetSupport Notify network (LAN, WAN) messaging system program to communicate any message to the staff as a group or to small groups of staff members. This short message is then displayed on a designated staff member’s computer screen (either PC or Mac). With the acknowledgement feature, the sender can confirm who has received the message. Pros: The program can issue an audible alert. Messages can be classified as critical, alert, technical, message, or news. The messages can be set up so they only go to specific people or to the entire school, so teachers could send messages requesting urgent help back to the security officer or to the main office. The program can be password-protected to block unauthorized users. NetSupport Notify requires no special equipment and has a distribution module so all the computers in the school can be installed from one location. Cons: None.Overall Impression: This is a good tool to increase the security of our schools and to improve communication between the administration, technical staff, and the instructional staff. As long as this type of communication tool is used responsibly, it would make a great fit for schools.  Retail Price: $180 for a 75-user pack

DREAMBOX LEARNING K-2 MATH

DreamBox Learning K-2 Math is an interactive math curriculum for grades K-2 that is built on a standards-based mathematics curriculum and presented in a fun, adventure-style interactive game. The program presents in-depth math lessons that develop computational fluency, conceptual understanding, and problem-solving ability. DreamBox analyzes a student's individual responses and dynamically customizes the content and sequence for each child. The program keeps track of the student’s progress and remediates and accelerates the student as needed.Pros: The graphics and audio are attractive enough to hold students’ attention for the intended grade level. The vocabulary is also age-level appropriate. The action on the screen will hold the student’s attention, but does not distract from the lesson. The program readily adapts itself  to the individual student’s learning style and pace. The areas covered are based on NCTM standards. Students are given continual positive reinforcement as they move through the tasks. The online dashboard is a great standards-based report card on the students progress through the program. Online support provides teachers and parents with tips on how to transfer math skills to everyday life. Progress emails are automatically sent to parents every time the student uses the program.Cons: The program would benefit from some type of administrative module that handled  security and reporting for classroom use.Overall Impression: This is a great example of one of the many Web-based learning tools out there. Because it is Web-based, updates can be done automatically so schools can ensure the curriculum is linked to the latest standards.Retail Price: $12.95 per month per student, volume discounts available