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
The Netop ProtectOn Pro combines hard-disk protection with remote management and Internet, application, and device controls. Netop built this new solution on the foundation of the popular ProtectOn2, which allowed teachers to automatically roll back virus damage and unwanted changes that students might make to classroom computers. Netop ProtectOn Pro can protect data and system integrity by controlling user access to USB and Wi-Fi devices, hard disks, floppy drives, Web sites, and software applications. It can automatically restore computers and erase damage from viruses and unwanted downloads. Price: U.S. education pricing starts at $19/computer for schools with 25 or more computers. Volume discounts available. Category: remote management
eBeam software for the eBeam interactive whiteboard now allows users to send a wide variety of interactive-whiteboardgenerated content directly to their Amazon Kindles and Kindle DXs. Students can use this feature to review class lessons, and parents can see what children have studied in class. Price: Contact company for pricing. Category: presentation software
Learning.com’s Digital Learning Environment is an online curriculum management tool that coordinates lesson plans to national and some state curriculum guides. Teachers have the ability to share their best lesson plans with other educators, and can interact with students via online journal lessons (interactive web pages). Users can import media for outside resources such as teacher tube, and the program encourages teachers to relate lesson plans to curriculum guidelines as they are being written. Lessons are stored on companies’ servers, eliminating the need for local installations.PROS: The software is an excellent value, since anyone who currently uses a Learning.com product can access it free of charge. This is one of the easiest to use curriculum management tools available. It includes a comprehensive feature set that is robust enough to get the job done, especially for elementary schools. With a crisp and clean user interface, anyone who can use a word processing program can use the Digital Learning Environment. Sharing lesson plans among teachers makes it easy to collaborate with co-workers. CONS: To reach a larger audience, the product needs to be coordinated to more state curriculum guidelines.OVERALL EVALUATION: Schools will benefit from a software tool like Digital Learning Environment, a product that boosts collaboration between teachers and allows for easy student-teacher interaction via interactive web pages.www.learning.comRetail price: Free to current Learning.com customers.—Joe Huber
Remote-Learner.net and Kaltura announced their partnership to offer educational institutions advanced video capabilities integrated with the Moodle Learning Management System. Using the Kaltura module for Moodle, teachers can upload and manage rich-media content, including lectures, demonstrations, photos, and audio recordings. Students can then post video comments, ask questions and create a face-to-face discussion recorded directly from their webcam or other sources. The module also includes Kaltura’s Video-PowerPoint Widget, which presents a video and a slideshow in full synchronization. Price: Contact company for pricing. Category: videoconferencing
SoftChalk, LLC, developer of content-authoring software for eLearning and MERLOT, higher education online learning resources network, today announced a strategic partnership to support the discovery, distribution and sharing of eLearning digital resources.
Surpass Software releases version 6 of its suite of library automation products, bringing a brand-new interface to the company’s publicaccess catalog for desktop and Web. Surpass Safari 6 is available in both a Windows desktop version and a Web-based version that runs on the latest generation of Web browsers. Drag-and-drop features make organizing the page easy. A few of the available widgets are library news and bulletins, a library calendar and events list, a list of links to Web sites, lists of recommended reading lists, and lists of new materials or popular titles that can be configured to scroll the book-jacket images of the selected materials. Surpass Safari 6’s appearance can be customized. Price: Contact company for pricing. Category: library automation