The SPARK Science Learning System is an all-in-one mobile device that integrates probeware with inquiry-based content and assessment. The SPARK can be used as a standalone science- data-collection tool, or it can be connected to a computer via a USB cable and used as a data-collection terminal for PASCO data-collection software. A teacher can assign the class an experiment, and the students can use their SPARK units and probes to develop hypotheses, collect data to prove or disprove the hypotheses, and then draw conclusions.PROS: The SPARK comes with more than 60 preinstalled experiments. It is rugged enough to be taken outdoors and handled by elementary-, middle-, and high-school students. The SPARKvue software permits the same interface to be displayed on a computer so a teacher can deliver pre-lab instruction to an entire class via a data projector. Additional probes are reasonably priced. The SPARK is battery-powered, so it can be used outside the classroom. It allows students to record their data directly to the device. The experiments included in the SPARK let students collect meaningful data in real time. The device also has helpful online educator-training resources.CONS: It would be nice to have one kit that included all the probes; PASCO does, however, offer kits that provide the probes necessary to perform the labs that are embedded on the SPARK Science Learning System.OVERALL IMPRESSION: Science is not a study of facts and dates; science is a process. The SPARK takes this discovery process into account in a fun, easy-to-use tool.www.pasco.comRetail price: $329
This system complements Peoples Education’s print and online educational products. The ePath Knowledge series consists of three distinct offerings: ePath Assess provides focused progress-monitoring assessments customized to state standards; ePath Discovery supplies targeted, standards-based intervention delivered online; and Practice Path provides studentguided skill building and test practice with motivational games to promote student success. Price: Contact company for pricing. Category: assessment
Adobe released a new exclusive feature for Adobe Spark.
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
HP SchoolCloud provides students and teachers 24/7, anywhere access to all their school applications and data. It also allows IT professionals to manage their resources more efficiently by maintaining applications and data on servers rather than on individual computers. HP SchoolCloud solution combines infrastructure; software; and on-site, instructor-led professional development for teachers. It is a scalable solution that lets schools manage from 200 students up to 200,000 students all from a central location.Price: Contact company for pricing. Category: data management
TEL.A.VISION has relaunched its curriculum with a focus on special-education and at-risk students. Schools can now purchase a yearly subscription for each special-education student that includes group accounts for all other classrooms at no additional charge. This new site-license program covers use by all students, teachers, and administrators at a school. The site license includes a curriculum guide, lesson plans, and online media so that each lesson can be taught with a computer and a projector and/or an interactive whiteboard. Price: Contact company for pricing. Category: special education, video production