TEACHSCAPE XL Review - Tech Learning


The Teachcape XL delivers content to professional-learning communities—from video-based case studies, to instruction by experts, to learning resources, to discussion boards, to interactive learning exercises. Teachers log on individually or in small groups to work on these exercises. After that, they receive a visit from an administrator or team supervisor, who collects data on their instruction and with whom they can discuss their progress. Users can select content from more than 10,000 resources. PROS: The training part of the product shows real teachers using the product in their own classrooms, so the instruction that teachers get is peer instruction. This has proven to be one of the best ways to learn. The instruction decisions are data-driven and collected on small handheld devices, so interruption of the learning process is kept to a minimum. Teachers can access the instruction when they have time, since it is online.CONS: None.OVERALL IMPRESSION: This program solves one of the major problems of professional development: getting experts in front of the classroom teachers. By using the technology in Teachscape XL, classroom teachers can view successful examples of what is being discussed. Using message boards and other technology, they can discuss in real time the problems they may run into with peers and experts.
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The Consortium on Reading Excellence (CORE) has partnered with Teachscape. Together with intensive professional development, on-site support for reading and math, and Teachscape’s online resources, CORE will be able to deliver a 24/7 professional-development program for literacy and math educators. Teachers will be able to study material at their convenience and review the information as many times as necessary to perfect skills relating to a topic or concept.Price: Call for pricing. Category: professional development

Put to the Test: Teachscape XL promo image

Put to the Test: Teachscape XL

The TeachScape XL online professional development product is designed for schools that want to improve the way they educate students. TeacheScape XL delivers content to professional learning communities, from video based case studies, to instruction by experts, to learning resources,

SMART TableST230i

The newly enhanced SMART TableST230i interactive learning center (www.smarttech.com/table) includes a SMART Sync classroom management software license that enables teachers to transfer content between their computer and the SMART Table. They can then monitor and control student activity, and display the SMART Table screen image on a SMART Board interactive whiteboard. Additionally, integration with the SMART Document Camera enables students to capture images directly onto the SMART Table in real time. The SMART Table Toolkit—used by teachers to customize and create content—now provides direct access to thousands of SMART Notebook collaborative learning software Gallery items, and allows teachers to preview SMART Table activities on their computer.


mPOWER 5 Emphasis: Multimedia presentation. Grade level: K-12. Platform(s): Web-based or Mac/Win CD. Price: $79.95; school and district licensing available. Publisher: Multimedia Design Corporation; (800) 921-9493; www.mmdesigncorp.com Multimedia authoring tool mPOWER 5 allows students and teachers to create

Product Review: Teachscape Reflect Live promo image

Product Review: Teachscape Reflect Live

Teachscape Reflect Live is an observation management and reporting system with which observers can schedule classroom observations, collect and organize the observation data, and then store the data on one secure platform.

Put to the Test : Saywire

Saywire is a safe, social learning community that provides access to a single network where teachers, staff, and students can reside and work together. There is no public access. Saywire provides teachers with a platform in which they can safely communicate and collaborate in their traditional and virtual classrooms. PROS: This product is a solution to the problem many districts face regarding the safety of social networking in a school setting. Using Saywire, students and teachers are able to communicate with each other. Teachers can set up pages for classes, offer homework help, organize threaded discussions, give assignments, and check homework.CONS: Our district has had to take away the students' ability to build pages at our junior high school, because it was being abused. [Editor's note: Saywire does include tools that allow administrators to set a plethora of permissionbased controls, based on how that school or district wishes to operate.]OVERALL EVALUATION: I like this product, but I especially like the idea of the product. It was tough to get people on board at our district, but with correct implementation, it can be a powerful tool.https://saywire.com/contact company for pricing


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