The new GradeCam Online gives districts a tool for teachers to conduct assessments and to collect usable information in time to affect the learning in progress. When a paper-based test is scanned by a document or web camera, GradeCam Online compresses the image and sends it to a server for analysis by its proprietary image recognition code. Item-by-item results are displayed immediately and stored for generating real-time reports, and any reports needed in the future. GradeCam Online also integrates with all electronic grade books. Price: Available at $1.50 per student per year.Category: assessment
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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

Product: Datametrics Testwiz

TestWiz.Net is a Web-based test-processing and -analysis tool that supports a variety of assessments. Test data are stored in a SQL server database, so results can be tracked over several years and across many assessments. The reports are numerous and can be customized.PROS: Data are easily imported from various sources to update student records and teacher assignments. Educators can easily and quickly create custom reports from more than 40 templates. Data can be disaggregated by subtest, strands, cut scores, demographics, and more. TestWiz.Net accommodates state, local, and norm-referenced assessments. Because it includes numerous student-toteacher associations, report results can be viewed by various subject-level teachers, past years’ teachers, and current teachers. The program’s consistent look and feel across various assessments make it easy to learn and use.CONS: Creating a hand-scanned form for a local assessment can be tedious. Like all data analytics tools, TestWiz.Net takes considerable training; and as with others, entering all the data is time-consuming. This program is more intuitive than most, however, so the learning curve is not as steep.OVERALL EVALUATION: The customizable templates make this a very good value. This is by far one of the easiest data analytics tools I have used.www.testwiz.comPrice: Pricing starts at $3 per student per year with a minimum district purchase of $1,500. Tiered pricing based on the number of students in the district is also available.


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


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


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 


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


The Online Applied SMART Board Course is the first in a series of online applied training courses being developed by a group of former teachers and AV presentation professionals. The course, hosted by avatar “Mrs. Blossom,” comes with built-in LMS administrative facilities that allow school districts to facilitate purchases, allocate courses to teachers, and track individual teacher progress toward completion. The course is priced low enough to allow individual teachers to purchase it on their own as well as administrators to purchase it for their entire school district. Price: $69.95 Category: professional development