T&L congratulates the winners of our 34th annual Awards of Excellence program. You can find summaries of these winning products on the following pages, along with comments from our judges.
32-Device AC Charging Cart
Tripp Lite’s 32-Device AC Charging Cart keeps one-to-one device rollouts of Chromebooks and laptops secure, organized, and charged. The locking, split-front doors open a full 180 degrees for unrestricted device and service access while a built-in hasp and user-supplied padlock can supplement the built-in lock. Shelves include charging cord access ports for each stored device. Additional features include flow-through ventilation, adjustable device dividers, wide-grip handle, and locking/swivel casters. Judges found the cart to be easy to use by teachers, students, and tech support staff alike. One judge praised the “sturdy, strong, lightweight” design and found it easy to move between rooms.
3Doodler Start 3D Printing Pen
(www.the3doodler.com/EDU (opens in new tab))
3Doodler Start is a kid-safe 3D printing pen, designed for ages 8+. The pen melts an eco-friendly plastic that cools and hardens instantly. Compact and easy to use, and with no hot parts, the 3Doodler Start allows anyone to draw in the air, whether freestyle 3D sketching or tracing shapes from templates. The 3Doodler Start can be used to help younger students learn and explore the principles of design, building, constructing, spatial understanding, and other skills in a fun and engaging way. Judges loved the ease of use for younger students and called the 3Doodler Start an “innovative use of technology.”
Acer Chromebook 14 for Work
(www.acer.com (opens in new tab))
The Acer Chromebook 14 for Work (CP5-471) delivers business-class performance with military-grade reliability features. The notebook provides enhanced durability features, including a keyboard that can protect against spills of up to 11 fluid ounces, and is compliant with U.S. military standard testing, ensuring extreme reliability and durability including protection from drops from the height of up to 48 inches. The Chromebook 14 for Work is Acer’s first with a 6th Generation Intel Core processor for improved performance. The notebook also features highly durable and scratch-resistant Vibrant Corning Gorilla Glass. Judges were impressed with the professional look as well as the screen size and resolution. They also raved over the powerful specifications.
AceReader Education Edition
AceReader is an instructional Web application designed to assess, improve, and monitor reading speed, fluency, and comprehension. AceReader includes a variety of leveled and themed reading comprehension tests, eye pacing drills, and fun eye exercise games. Judges appreciated being able to access the application anytime and anywhere. They also noted that AceReader is device-and operating system–agnostic.
Achieve3000’s family of Pro literacy solutions (KidBizPro for grades 2-5, TeenBizPro for grades 6-8, and EmpowerPro for grades 9-12) empowers students to succeed in mixed-ability classrooms. By differentiating the same grade-appropriate content, at 12 reading levels in English and 7 in Spanish, Pro extends teachers’ reach without increasing workloads or time demands. The adaptive content system continually monitors each student’s reading performance and automatically increases the level of text complexity when it detects that an individual is ready for more challenge. Judges were impressed with the ease of use, particularly for a large program. They also raved over the searchable resources that they could use for lessons, vocabulary development, and differentiation.
ProCloud.EDU offers a full lifecycle solution for schools to pick and choose the services they need to customize their technology experience. Services include enabling a mobile learning environment with secure, cloud-managed networks; ensuring a protected wireless learning experience using cloud-managed content filtering; capacity planning; free pre-sales design assistance; Internet bandwidth assessment; remote and onsite implementation services; and more. Judges found ProCloud.EDU services easy to deploy and appreciated the granular data in the portal. They were also impressed with the infrastructure features and the high performance in a cloud-managed product.
Air Protect Slim Case for Chromebooks and Laptops and Stage Pro: Interactive Whiteboard and Document Camera
(www.belkin.com (opens in new tab))
The Belkin Air Protect Always-On Slim Case for Chromebooks and Laptops is designed for active learning environments. Users can work directly from the durable, protective case without removing the device. Protective padding and reinforced stiffeners absorb impacts, shielding the Chromebook or laptop from accidents. Judges liked that the case doesn’t interfere with the comfort of using the device, and appreciated the rugged protection that the case offers against daily use of a device. Another winner from Belkin, the Stage Pro: Interactive Whiteboard and Document Camera app allows users to create, collaborate, and demonstrate through the convenience of an iPad. Paired with Airplay, Stage Pro makes wireless sharing quick and easy. Judges liked the versatility of the app, citing its applications as a document or classroom camera – recording video and simultaneously adding text, pictures, and annotations over the recording.
Apex Learning ACT and SAT Tutorials, and Learning Educator Academy
Apex Learning recently released ACT Tutorials and SAT Tutorials that identify gaps in understanding of key concepts and content covered on the exams, helping students master skills. Designed to match the content and concepts for math and English sections of each exam based on the ACT standards and SAT Blueprint, pre-test performance data identifies exact areas of weakness. Judges rated the Tutorials’ lesson content to be high-quality and interactive. Another winning product from Apex Learning, Learning Educator Academy, offers on-demand professional development and training available at no extra cost to educators using Apex Learning digital curriculum. For integrating technology effectively in flipped, blended, or one-to-one settings, Educator Academy provides resources including establishing guidelines for best program outcomes for credit recovery, ELL, RtI, or exam preparation programs. Educator Academy is accessible 24/7 from smartphones, tablets, and other digital devices. Judges found the program to be a good use of both formative learning experiences and assessment.
AVer CC30 Camera and C36i Charging Cart
AVer Information Inc.
The AVer CC30 is a versatile, high-quality HD collaboration camera with wireless audio, designed for classrooms and meeting spaces. Users can plug the USB connector into a computer device or use it standalone, connected to a screen with an HDMI cable. CC30 features built-in omnidirectional microphones with an 8MP sensor that can capture a 120-degree wide angle field of view. Judges were impressed with the quality of the HD camera and its wide angle. Another winner, the C36i charging cart can efficiently and safely charge and store up to 36 mobile devices. The solution includes a cable management system with a concealed cable tract that has a snap-latch lock to secure loose cables. Judges found the cart well constructed and easy to load, and loved the clutter-free cable management system.
Barracuda Essentials for Office 365
Barracuda Essentials provides multi-layer security, archiving, and backup for Office 365, delivering protection from email-borne attacks, spam, and viruses. It includes advanced security features like attachment sandboxing and phishing and typosquatted links protection to secure against sophisticated targeted attacks. Judges rated it an excellent companion for schools using Office 365, and appreciated the archiving and filtering capabilities, particularly in aligning with their schools’ safety and security measures.
Blackmagic Duplicator 4K
The Blackmagic Duplicator 4K SD card duplicator lets users sell or distribute video at live events the moment the event is finished. Blackmagic Duplicator 4K has built-in real-time H.265 encoding, the new standard for delivering Ultra HD. The multi-rate 12G-SDI connections let users record in all SD, HD, and Ultra HD formats, up to 2160p60. The H.265 encoding gives users higher quality video in smaller files so they can use smaller and cheaper SD cards. Judges were wowed by the instant availability of their video recordings, and liked the ability to improve on lower quality video sources.
Career and Technology Courses – Business Management and Administration
As part of its ongoing commitment to helping all students prepare for post-high school success, Connections Learning added more than 20 new Career Technical Education (CTE) courses to its course catalog. The new curriculum gives students the opportunity to develop more effective programs of study and increase graduation rates, and offers more choices to attract students and teachers. Judges gave the CTE courses high scores across the board.
Connect+ Children’s Wired Headphones
The Connect+ children’s wired headphones feature SharePort, enabling multiple headphones to connect to one device without the use of splitters. The Connect+ is sized for children ages 2-8, and is compact and foldable, with a cable covered in a nylon braided fabric to increase durability and decrease tangles. The Connect+ is also volume-limited to protect children’s hearing while delivering clear performance. Judges were impressed with the lightweight yet solidly constructed design. They also liked that the headphones collapse for easy storage.
Cranium Chromebook Protector
(www.educabana.weebly.com/products (opens in new tab))
An educator created the Cranium Chromebook Protector specifically to protect Chromebooks against typical student abuse, the weight of textbooks in a backpack, being stepped on when left on the ground, and to eliminate the flex in the screen when students whip the Chromebook around. When not in use, the Cranium doubles as a whiteboard. Judges raved over the level of protection, and found it easy to install. They also appreciated the easy-to-erase whiteboard surface.
Discovery Education Science Techbook for NGSS and EA SPORTS Madden NFL: Football by the Numbers
Discovery Education’s new NGSS-aligned Science Techbook fully supports the instructional shifts that the new standards require, embraces the philosophy of three-dimensional learning, and is designed to help educators adapt their classroom practice to meet the standards. Judges gave top marks to the high-quality interactive content and appropriate assessment. Judges also loved Discovery Education’s EA SPORTS Madden NFL: Football by the Numbers, a comprehensive educational initiative for grades 5-9 that taps into children’s excitement about football and video games to ignite a passion for math and science. The program offers a digital learning game that teaches math and science concepts – such as angles, force, probability and velocity – using famous Madden NFL highlights. Judges were impressed with the high-quality multimedia and the game-like interface, and deemed it a great supplement to other learning activities.
The Complete Spanish E-Book Library
Benchmark Education’s “The Complete Spanish E-Book Leveled Library” subscription offers teachers and students a wide and growing variety of over 400 ebooks in every Pre-K—6 content area and reading level. The ebooks address Common Core and new state standards, and encourage students to practice reading skills, help them improve their reading levels and reading comprehension, and provide a number of new technical features to address rigorous academic standards. Titles work on any device. Teachers can view and save notes, customize pages for each student, write instructions in the margins, and add sticky notes to customize lesson plans. Judges commented on the ease of use, and appreciated the way that content was laid out methodically, with one concept building upon another.
Curriculum Foundry provides districts access to a single content repository of vetted Open Educational Resources (OER), other free digital content, and the district’s own premium digital content. The repository includes standards-aligned learning objects for K-12 in the four core subject areas: math, ELA, science, and social studies. Search functionality makes it easy to find content by keyword, standard, grade, subject, and item type. The single sign-on feature allows students to easily access digital content from multiple sources. Customized professional development and implementation support helps districts learn to easily build custom curriculum and make the most of open education resources. Judges loved the ability to create a custom, digital curriculum – as well as the opportunity to create personalized instruction to meet district goals.
Dremel 3D Idea Builder (3D20)
The Dremel 3D Idea Builder printer is made specifically for education, with easy-to-use software and lesson plans. Written by interdisciplinary curriculum experts, the 3D printer’s comprehensive teaching and learning kits integrate with existing STEM curriculum. Students can use the 3D printer to design and build their own digital models and then interact with their models in the physical space to improve retention of abstract concepts. Judges rated the printer as easy to set up and use, and gave top scores to the resources available for teachers and students.
DynEd Plus is a free, introductory English conversations app that can be used for self-study or as supplementary listening content for any English course, including the DynEd Pro line of courses. Because DynEd Plus is carefully designed to build a user’s language skills a little each day, new and more challenging levels become available as learners earn points for their study efforts. Judges found it easy to navigate the interface, and said it works smoothly on a touchscreen. They also liked that students could share their results through social media, such as Twitter.
DropTech for Surface Pro 4 and Softshell for Dell Chromebook 11
The DropTech case for Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a rugged and reliable solution that protects the Pro 4 from impacts, falls, and bad luck. The low-profile and easy-to-apply design fully integrates with the kickstand, ports, and keyboard. Judges liked that the keyboard side of the case easily detaches or folds, so that the Surface can be used as a tablet with the stylus docked in the case. Dell’s Softshell for Chromebook 11 case also earned top scores – it provides always-on drop protection and can withstand a 6-foot fall. Judges called the case sturdy, sleek, and elegant, with no buttons, levers, or corners that could potentially break off.
Epiphany Learning K-12 Learning Relationship Management (LRM) Solution
Bridge Street Branding
Epiphany Learning is a student-centric K-12 Learning Relationship Management (LRM) solution designed to maximize learner achievement and outcomes while building a foundation for students’ long-term success. Students create learner profiles, own their individualized learning paths, select and complete assignments, and provide real-time feedback to their teachers. The solution links to LMS and integrates with SIS and state standards and/or Common Core. Judges noted that students can examine their learning preferences, strengths, and weaknesses, and set personal goals within teacher parameters. Judges were impressed with the ability to provide input at multiple levels – district, teacher, student, and parent.
Epson DC-21 Document Camera and PowerLite 97H
(www.epson.com (opens in new tab))
The Epson DC-21 document camera has a large, highly efficient imaging sensor that captures more light per pixel to deliver bright images with high quality with 10x digital zoom and 12x optical zoom. Teachers can rotate the camera 90 degrees vertically and horizontally to use it as a Webcam to record classroom activities or for video-conferencing – all of which can be stored on an SD card. Judges appreciated the portable design with its sturdy base, clearly labeled buttons, and easy-to-connect outlets. The Epson PowerLite 97H also won over our judges thanks to its advanced connectivity and premium audio. The projector features two HDMI ports – one with MHL for connecting multiple digital devices, including mobile phones, tablets, and other portable devices. Educators can wirelessly connect up to 50 devices and share students’ work from up to four device screens simultaneously using the Multi PC Projection with Moderator device management software, and can display two separate sources side by side on the same screen using the Split Screen function. Judges found the projector lightweight and easy to use, and found that it delivered reliable, crisp images.
PASCO ErgoBot, Smart Cart, and Wireless Temperature Sensor
The PASCO ErgoBot Programming & Robotics system is a unique combination of hardware and software that offers 23 lessons and projects covering introductory and intermediate programming, robotics, sensors, code development, variables, loops, logic structures, autonomous operation, design, engineering, optimization, and performance testing. Students write easy code that gets the ErgoBot moving in less than 20 minutes. Judges loved the variety of sensor capabilities, as well as the documentation and online modules. Another winner from PASCO, the Smart Cart serves as a tool for studying kinematics, dynamics, and more. It features built-in sensors that measure force, position, velocity, and six degrees of freedom in acceleration. And the Smart Cart can make these measurements on or off a dynamics track and transmit the data wirelessly over Bluetooth. Judges gave top scores to the rugged, lightweight construction. Judges were also wowed by PASCO’s Wireless Temperature Sensor, which gives students access to instant temperature readings but also lets them continuously monitor, log, and plot temperature data in SPARKvue on PCs, Macs, cellphones, iPads, Android tablets, or Chromebooks. Judges cited the dust-proof and water-resistant construction as a top feature.
Exploros Digital Collaboration Tool for FOSS Next Generation
FOSS Next Generation is an active learning science program for grades K-8, with modules featuring comprehensive teacher support materials, informative student books, class access to online multimedia, and durable student equipment. Exploros for FOSS Next Generation is a digital collaborative learning tool that is a companion to the hands-on investigations in the FOSS program. Each investigation part in a FOSS Next Generation module contains one Exploros experience. Judges loved the all-inclusive modules, and stated that Exploros meets a need for digital lessons and curriculum that teachers can use and adjust.
FRAME for CB-22p Classroom Ceiling Enclosure
FSR’s FRAME is designed to easily mount the company’s CB-22/CB-22P Classroom Ceiling Enclosures in drywall. The mounting frame can be installed in the ceiling opening using threaded rod, stranded wire cable, or screws through specific holes in the sides of the unit. The ceiling box can then be hung vertically, via the included cables, while the equipment is mounted and wired allowing convenient access to the components and cables. The CB-22P, designed for rooms with projectors and control equipment, has ample room for two full rack pieces of equipment or four half-rack pieces on built-in shelves. It includes an external AC receptacle and a switch/circuit breaker on the ceiling surface, and five AC outlets ergonomically spaced to allow for internal wall warts. Judges called the FSR frame and CB-22p classroom ceiling enclosure an elegant, rugged, recessed solution for projection and sound, and liked that it is hidden when not in use.
GoGuardian for Teachers
GoGuardian for Teachers is designed to drive student success, focus, and engagement in the classroom. The solution offers a robust and growing set of coaching, communication, and planning tools. Judges remarked that GoGuardian allows teachers to monitor students on their devices, redirect them when necessary, and send private messages if students appear to be struggling. They found it incredibly easy to install, and to get up and running.
HMH Marketplace (beta)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
HMH Marketplace (beta) is a new online hub for educators that offers a wide variety of solutions, applications, and resources for the classroom from many providers, ranging from experienced teachers to edtech innovators such as Education.com and the independent game developer Muzzy Lane, to established companies such as Microsoft and the iconic children’s magazine Highlights. Customers can browse and navigate through a single gateway to easily locate and purchase education applications, digital learning tools, games, resources for classroom management, and original content made by teachers for teachers, such as lesson plans and instructional materials. Judges found the HMH Marketplace a great resource for lesson planning.
Ideaphora offers a concept-mapping tool that seamlessly integrates with digital content. Its semantic analysis engine deconstructs content for learners by identifying key concepts found in digital materials, then weighs the importance of key concepts and presents them accordingly. Learners can drag and drop key concepts into their maps as they assimilate information from one or more digital sources. The Ideaphora learning environment presents the content and concept map on one screen. Ideaphora also provides an underlying database and platform to allow teachers to manage content available to their students, and for students to submit work to their teachers for formative assessment. Judges found the software easy to use, and liked that Ideaphora matches vocabulary with materials and gives students concrete ideas.
iSPIRE, powered by Exploros
iSPIRE leverages new technology to deliver the teacher-led instruction in S.P.I.R.E. to more students. This robust program incorporates phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency in a dynamic 10-Step Lesson Plan. iSPIRE is systematically structured to ensure students experience continuous and visible success. Judges said iSPIRE provides a digital crossover for what has typically been an analog activity, and appreciated the instant access of student performance and feedback.
Hummingbird Duo Premium Kit
BirdBrain Technologies LLC
The Hummingbird Duo robotics kit allows students to create and program robots built from electronic components and craft materials. Hummingbird Duo features intentionally designed learning levels, where mastering each level leads to learning the skills and concepts required to begin the next level. Hummingbird kits have been used by tens of thousands of students to create robotic poetry dioramas, explore computer programming, host robot petting zoos, create combined physical and virtual games, and more. Judges rated the kit as well made and easy to expand upon, and they liked the unique opportunity for students to use their creativity beyond coding to make robots.
Kensington AC12 Security Charging Cabinet
(www.kensington.com (opens in new tab))
The Kensington AC12 Security Charging Cabinet features slide-out drawers for 12 devices up to 14 inches. Since it runs on AC power, it can easily handle charging all 12 devices at the same time. The cart also features a tamper-resistant door, pre-installed, free-spinning wheels, and dual-wheel locks. Judges gave it high marks overall.
LampFree XJF210WN Advanced Series Casio Projector
Casio’s LampFree XJ-F210WN Advanced Series Projector combines a laser, a fluorescent element, and an LED light to deliver a mercury-free hybrid light source that provides high brightness, 3500 ANSI lumens, in WXGA resolution. Two HDMI inputs and an RGB input provide connectivity with all current display technology without the need for switching cables. A high-power USB port provides power for USB stick devices, eliminating the need for a separate power supply. The projector features a 20,000-hour estimated operating life, dust-resistant design, direct light control, and 16-watt speaker. Judges were impressed with the bright and clear picture as well as the wireless capability.
KidWind Solar Energy Exploration Kit and Investigating Solar Energy Lab Book
Vernier Software & Technology
The KidWind Solar Energy Exploration Kit helps students investigate energy transformations, discover how the angle of photovoltaic panels relative to the sun affects power output, and experiment with basic circuits. The accompanying Investigating Solar Energy lab book contains nine hands-on experiments and two culminating engineering projects that utilize the kit and allow K-8 students to learn about solar energy and develop solutions to real-world problems. One judge suggested that the kit could help students investigate energy transformations and experiment with basic circuits. The judge found the lab book to be clearly written, with helpful step-by-step instructions and easy-to-understand illustrations.
LearnFit Sit-Stand Desk
(www.ergotron.com (opens in new tab))
Ergotron’s LearnFit Sit-Stand Desk helps transform traditional classrooms into active learning environments. With on-demand height-adjustable desks, students simply squeeze a hand lever on the edge of the work surface to change the height of their desktops to their preferred level, sitting or standing. The desk is optimized to provide sit-stand adjustment for students in grades 7 and up when using standard classroom chairs for seating, and for elementary-school students ages six and above, it is an adjustable standing desk. Judges liked the unique, mobile option and found it easy to assemble as well as to change the height of the desk. They also gave high scores to the durable construction.
Lexia RAPID Assessment
The Lexia RAPID Assessment measures skills highly predictive of reading success — word recognition, academic language, and reading comprehension — in a short amount of time. Designed for group administration in the fall, winter, and spring for grades 3-12, RAPID is a computer-adaptive screener and diagnostic tool that identifies and monitors reading and language skills to provide actionable, norm-referenced data for instructional planning. Judges raved over the adaptive assessment, and liked that the program assesses a variety of reading skills as well as making recommendations on where students need additional support.
Lightspeed Systems Management Bundle for Windows
The Lightspeed Systems Management Bundle for Windows is a solution for saving instruction time and IT resources in K-12 schools, with delegated management options, personalized dashboards, and one-click policies. The Management Bundle for Windows helps teachers and administrators to ensure students are on task; easily lock devices into online testing mode; set (and then forget) temporary class policies; lock devices for eyes up front; find, add, and share resources; ensure off-network CIPA compliance and security; monitor activity with comprehensive reports; centrally control all device features; and remotely locate or wipe devices. Judges appreciated the ability for teachers to have control over certain features, and found it up to date in terms of meeting technology needs, from the IT department down to the classroom.
littleBits STEAM Student Set
The littleBits STEAM Student Set engages a student’s natural love of play and curiosity through invention-based learning. Easy to scaffold, the toolbox supports learners in grades 3-8 with 19 Bits—littleBits’ electronic building blocks—and 38 accessories. The littleBits Teacher’s Guide provides hours of detailed companion lessons, curricular connections, implementation strategies, and helpful tips, while the mobile app provides thousands of additional ideas. The Student Invention Guide contains guided invention challenges with step-by-step instructions. Judges loved the visually rich instructions, and found the Bits themselves to be ruggedly constructed and easy to snap together. One judge added that it was a unique way to show students how circuits work – students’ inventions can blink, move, make noise, and rotate.
MAX Cases Extreme Shell
The MAX Cases Extreme Shell for MacBook and Chromebook offers an extreme dual-layer protective shell designed from co-molded polycarbonate with premium shock-absorbing TPU/TPE edge protection. The case also integrates pop-up feet to provide for an ergonomic typing angle. Judges commented on the sleek design of the case, and found it easy to attach and remove the case.
NetSupport DNA (Education Edition)
NetSupport DNA contains a wealth of features designed to simplify School IT management. Highlights include: automatic discovery of devices; hardware and software inventory; change tracking; and software license management. Building on the flexibility of a single solution for schools, NetSupport DNA also includes energy monitoring; power management; USB endpoint security; printer monitoring; application and Internet metering; a flexible alerting suite; and an easy-to-use software distribution module. Judges appreciated that the solution addresses the specific needs of education users. One judge added that the schoolwide monitoring and reporting features offer teachers and IT administrators the tools they need to make informed decisions about IT needs and usage.
Ogment is a curriculum creation and management system (CCMS) that captures and facilitates the process of curriculum development through delivery. From Standards and Goals; Curriculum Mapping; Course and Lesson Planning; Lesson/Assessment Development; Lesson Presentation/Delivery; and Progress Monitoring through Continuous Improvement, Ogment is designed to make each step of the process easier and more efficient. Judges found that Ogment goes beyond a typical lesson planner by bringing in state standards and offering the ability to integrate with a district curriculum map. They found that the drag-anddrop interface, along with easy resource-clipping, simplified lesson planning.
EXO U Inc.
Ormiboard brings student and teacher closer together by providing a shared creation platform with universal tools. Sharing and classroom management are enabled via Web browser, enabling students to easily connect and collaborate with mobile devices. Teachers can create just about any kind of teaching activity, or give students the control to design and play learning games with Ormiboard. Judges appreciated Ormiboard’s OS-and device–agnostic nature, and found it easy to use and integrate into their classrooms.
Understanding that many schools take a phased approach to Chromebook conversion, Samsung and Neverware’s Convert to Chrome OS Solution is designed to help schools leverage existing hardware during the transition. Offered in sets of 200, schools receive 100 new Samsung Chromebook 3 devices and 100 Neverware CloudReady licenses to install on the school’s existing set of legacy PC devices, which transform those devices into virtual Chromebooks. The solution also includes 200 Google Device Management licenses so educators can manage all 200 devices from a single Web-based console. Judges found the solution easy to use, and reported that Google Apps work well with it.
Smithsonian Learning Lab
Smithsonian Center for Learning & Digital Access
The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a free digital destination for teachers, students, and lifelong learners to discover more than a million authentic museum resources such as artworks, artifacts, specimens, and recordings, along with thousands of standards-aligned teaching materials and hundreds of model learning collections. Users create personalized learning experiences and share their creativity and knowledge with others. The Learning Lab can ease users’ transition from consumption to creation and foster critical thinking, deep learning, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Judges were impressed with the wealth of resources, and found it easy to create classroom rosters and assign resources to students.
TechGuard Charging Lockers
Bretford Manufacturing, Inc.
The TechGuard Charging Lockers offer a secure place to charge and store devices. Available in 1-, 5- or 10-bay configurations, each locker is equipped to hold a 15.5-inch laptop, a 10-inch tablet and a cellphone, with the ability to charge them all at once. Judges gave top scores to the quality of construction, and liked the internal lights as well as the quantity and variety of charging ports. One judge rated the ability for students to set their own PIN to lock the device, and the ability for school officials to unlock devices with a master key card, as standout features.
Developed by the editors of TIME and TIME For Kids, TIME Edge is a digital tool that brings current events and credible primary sources to middle school classrooms. The content is specifically tied to 7th and 8th grade English Language Arts standards, and the platform includes Common Core-aligned quizzes on each feature article, tools for students to explore the content more deeply, paired texts and Spanish translations, and a wealth of resources for teachers. TIME Edge can be used in any middle school classroom, on any device, with articles on a variety of topics including science, social studies, and more. Judges loved the selection of graphic organizers, and found it easy to set up classes with students in TIME Edge as well as to assess their learning.
Total Motivation California – ELA
Total Motivation California - ELA is a rigorous and comprehensive supplemental resource that integrates critical thinking into English Language Arts instruction. Designed from the ground up to address 100% of the California Common Core State Standards, Total Motivation unpacks each standard and helps teachers fill the gaps in student learning. By incorporating both print and online components, Total Motivation provides the flexibility needed to differentiate instruction in the classroom. Judges found the resource easy to use and gave it top scores overall.
Turnitin Revision Assistant
Turnitin Revision Assistant helps students improve their writing by giving them instant, specific feedback on responses to document-based or open-ended prompts. Signal Checks instantly give qualitative and visual feedback using standards-aligned rubrics. Actionable, direct comments appear tied to specific highlighted sentences. Judges were impressed with Revision Assistant and found it ideal for middle and high school.
Unlock by FLVS
FLVS provides digital courseware, training, and expertise to a variety of online and blended learning programs in all 50 states and more than 65 countries. Unlock by FLVS is about opening access to tens of thousands of online FLVS K-12 standards-aligned lessons, while retaining control of the publishing mechanism and copyright. Previously, LTI-delivered content remained static and contained within the confines of the prescribed scope and sequence of the publisher. Unlock breaks those chains and allows for customized in-content navigation, removal of numbering and lesson sequencing, delivery of state-specific content, a cleaner look and feel for the enduser, and the enablement of personal curriculum plug-ins within the content. Judges appreciated the flexibility that this new solution offers.
With advanced collaboration and engagement tools, VIA Campus maximizes the learning experience by making education and corporate training environments more interactive. With any laptop or mobile device, students and teachers can view the main display, edit documents together in real time, turn the main display into a digital whiteboard, share any size file, and more. VIA Campus also lets teachers use e-polling and e-exams to easily and instantly measure how much students are actually learning. Judges liked that the solution is device-agnostic, and raved over the features for collaboration and polling.
Wisewire is a learning experience design company that seeks to improve access to high-quality digital learning materials to engage students of all ages. The Wisewire Marketplace houses nearly 50,000 learning and teaching tools as well as a publishing platform for the creation, customization, sharing, and selling of new and existing assessments. Judges found Wisewire easy to use, and appreciated the wealth of resources.
EasyPass is a suite of services that manages mobile device connections to wi-fi networks with minimal IT involvement. The EasyPass Suite of services includes: EasyPass Onboarding, EasyPass Personal, EasyPass Voucher, and EasyPass Guest. The EasyPass Suite supports any type of device and operating system, including mobile phones, tablets, and laptops operating with iOS, Android, Windows, and Apple OS X. Judges commended it for its easy onboarding of any device, regardless of the operating system. They ranked it as being an excellent, full-featured, cloud management solution.
ABC-CLIO Solutions is an online resource that offers authoritative, up-to-date coverage of topics in American history and government, world history, geography, and a range of multicultural and popular culture subjects. Created for students in middle and high school, higher education, and public library settings, the suite of 15 online databases provides comprehensive, authoritative reference content and gives students a deeper understanding of coursework. Judges appreciated that the resource provides avenues for critical thinking and analysis, and thought it would be particularly useful in multiple language classrooms.
Designed for teachers, coaches, and school leaders, ADVANCEfeedback is a growth-centered, cloud-based platform that empowers participants to engage in robust self-reflection, peer feedback, observation, and professional learning processes. Including both live and video-based observations, evidence and artifact integration, coaching, reporting, and scheduling, ADVANCEfeedback makes high-quality feedback easier to provide and access. Judges regarded the opportunity to align teaching practice with established rubrics as a powerful feature of the platform. Overall, they commended the product’s selection and variety of tools and learning options.
AQUOS BOARD PN-L703W Wireless Interactive Display System
Sharp Electronics Corporation
(www.sharpusa.com (opens in new tab))
The AQUOS BOARD interactive display system has built-in wireless capability, allowing for secure collaboration. Users can present content directly from their mobile devices. It can broadcast a wireless hotspot and works with all major mobile platforms to insure cross-platform independence. A Split-Screen mode lets up to four people transmit from their devices. The Direct Drawing function and the Overlay tool allow users to create notes over outside documents. Judges noted that the board can accommodate up to ten simultaneous pen and touch inputs. They were also impressed with the split-screen feature, which works without preloading data or installing additional software.
Tinkercad is a browser-based 3D design and modeling tool as well as a 3D printing companion, ideal for designers, hobbyists, teachers, and kids to make toys, prototypes, home decor, Minecraft models, and more. For teachers, Tinkercad comes complete with content, support, and easy approval of classrooms to get started quickly. Judges raved over the free, Web-based CAD software and found it user-friendly for teachers and students alike. One judge noted that the product has the CARU seal, making it fully compliant with legal guidelines for child safety.
Barracuda Backup, NextGen Firewall F-Series, and Web Security Gateway
Barracuda Backup is a unified, cost-effective data protection solution for protecting physical, virtual, and SaaS environments. Simple to deploy and easy to manage, Barracuda Backup supports scalable retention and offsite disaster recovery to the Barracuda Cloud with Unlimited Cloud Storage or between sites for private replication. Judges loved the cloud-to-cloud backup capability. Another winner from Barracuda, the NextGen Firewall F-Series is purpose-built to help organizations adopt cloud-based business applications and improve user productivity across highly distributed networks. In addition to next-generation firewall protection, the F-Series Firewall provides industry-leading operational efficiency and added business value by safeguarding network traffic against line outages and link quality degradation. Judges liked the ability to deploy as a hardware, virtual, or cloud solution and appreciated the advanced threat detection. Last but not least, the Web Security Gateway lets organizations benefit from online applications and tools without exposure to Web-borne malware and viruses, lost user productivity, and misused bandwidth. As a comprehensive solution for Web security and management, it unites spyware, malware, and virus protection with a powerful policy and reporting engine. Judges commended the Gateway’s full inspection of traffic, including SSL-encrypted and social network scanning.
Boxlight’s MimioMobile app with MimioStudio Software
Boxlight’s MimioMobile collaboration and assessment app helps schools get the most from the mobile devices they already have by using them for collaborative learning and ongoing summative and formative assessment. Schools and students benefit from collaborative group instruction, which encourages student participation and idea-sharing, and supports the requirement of CCSS for more student-centric learning environments. Teachers can show any combination of the students’ work on the front-of-the-class display, creating greater collaborative learning and providing more in-depth understanding of the students’ comprehension. The MimioMobile app is compatible with Apple and Android phones and tablets, as well as any device with a supported Web browser. Judges gave the app high scores for its versatility and ease of use.
ClassLink OneClick enables single sign-on access to Web and Windows applications, and instant access to files at school and in the cloud. Accessible from any device, ClassLink is ideal for one-to-one and BYOD initiatives. Judges cited the upgraded Intel processor as a standout feature, and gave OneClick high scores across the board.
ClassFlow is a free, cloud-based collaborative learning application that lets educators create lessons, deliver interactive content across a variety of devices, and assess student understanding. The newly enhanced version of ClassFlow also includes thousands of teacher-approved interactive lessons and student badges to reward behavior and encourage students to participate. Educators can use real-time student responses to instantly customize and differentiate any lesson plan. Judges commented on ClassFlow’s ease of use, and liked that it’s Web-based. They were also impressed with the interactive resources.
Dell Latitude 11 3160 Touch Version
(www.dell.com (opens in new tab))
The Dell Latitude 11 3160 features touchscreen capabilities in a secure, manageable, and reliable education solution. Updates to the model include anywhere, anytime access, all-day learning power, an interactive learning environment, and a scratch-resistant screen. In addition, Dell Latitude 11 users will find simplified hardware management with Dell Client Suite compatibility and Dell KACE appliances. A network activity light notifies educators when students are online, and a spill-proof design with fully-sealed keyboard and touchpad provides best-in-class protection against liquid spills. Judges commented on the lightweight yet durable nature of the laptop, and found it to be ruggedly designed, with students in mind.
DreamBox Learning Math
DreamBox Learning Math offers a rigorous, K–8 standards-aligned curriculum with innovative digital manipulatives so students need to demonstrate that they understand how to solve the problem, not just compute the answer. Age-appropriate graphics and gaming protocols—driven by adaptive learning—motivate kids to persist and progress to build deep conceptual understanding. The program provides teachers with actionable insights that enable them to monitor learning trends, differentiate instruction, and maximize student growth. Judges raved over the advanced analytics capabilities. They also lauded the administrator dashboard, which offers quick access to specific classes, teachers, students, standards, and more.
Edgenuity’s Learning Management System Version 5
The Edgenuity LMS is ideal for online and blended learning, offering interactive, up-to-date content that caters to modern students. The comprehensive online system provides integrated assessments that provide continuous feedback to students, as well as real-time data that teachers can use to closely monitor progress. Judges loved the ability to add personalized materials in any course, as well as the access to coaches for students – ensuring students get human interaction in an online learning experience.
Edmentum’s Plato Courseware and Study Island
Edmentum’s Plato Courseware is a digital learning solution that includes courses aligned to state and national standards. The program’s rigorous and engaging online content is designed to meet each student at his or her proficiency level through the use of media-rich and interactive experiences. Judges found it easy to navigate and use, as well as to track student progress and facilitate communication between teachers and students. Judges also loved Study Island, a robust, rigorous, and dynamic formative solution that not only prepares students for end-of-year assessments but also gives teachers a way to individualize instruction, pinpoint student difficulties, and monitor student progress. Study Island’s interface is designed to support self-paced, individualized learning as well as teacher-led, whole-class instruction. Reporting capabilities and the large variety of subject areas and grade levels ranked among the top features that won over our judges.
Edsby is a cloud-based LMS for K-12 school districts that uses Web and mobile technologies to connect teachers, students, parents, and administrators in new ways. Among its tightly integrated features are social learning, assessment and reporting, approvals, workflows, group collaboration, course planning, parent communication, and analytics. To simplify rollouts and minimize ongoing administration, it integrates with existing systems, leveraging data and security policies that already exist. Judges commended the powerful reporting features that enable teachers, parents, and students to be on the same page about student performance at all times. One judge even called Edsby a “one-stop shop” for productivity and assessment tools for teachers.
Edthena helps teachers analyze teaching using classroom video and online collaboration. A teacher uploads a video of instruction, shares it with colleagues, and people on the other end can provide feedback at specific moments in time. Edthena works with many types of organizations, from schools to school districts to whole states. Judges found the use of video for coaching to be a powerful tool, and appreciated the ability to allow multiple collaborators to work on videos together.
ExploreLearning Gizmos are research-based interactive online simulations that help students develop a deep understanding of challenging science and math concepts through inquiry and exploration. The library has over 400 Gizmos aligned to the latest standards. Gizmos are great for small group work, flipped classrooms, individual exploration on iPads or computers, and whole class instruction using a projector or interactive whiteboard. With a new responsive HTML5 design, Gizmos run on most PC, Mac, Chromebook, iPad, and Android devices. Judges loved the ability to connect simulations with standards and concepts, and found the lessons to be engaging, thanks to their game-like format.
Global PD is a comprehensive professional learning community tool that educators can rely on to improve schoolwide practices. Teachers can also access hundreds of videos and resources for job-embedded professional development. Judges found it useful to be able to analyze student performance by class, student, standard, and even by the answer selected on a common assessment. One judge added that the powerful curriculum-mapping features enable teachers to work together to create common assessments.
GuideK12 Explorer is Web-based SaaS software that gives administrators the ability to visualize student data on an interactive map for real-time scenario planning. Users can filter and query on any characteristic to instantly understand the impact of a new idea. Applications range from boundary changes, referendum planning, resource placement, and emergency preparedness, to school choice tracking or academic performance analysis. The ability to analyze demographic, socio-economic, academic, and other publicly available data sets in one system saves time and allows deeper understanding on key issues. Judges found the software easy to use, and gave it high marks for its unique capabilities.
Designed specifically for the K-12 sector, itslearning is a next-generation, cloud-based learning LMS that allows educators to easily plan and manage their curriculum. An interactive and flexible digital learning planner coupled with a searchable learning objective repository is designed to help educators reach their curriculum management goals. In addition, as a student-centered learning environment, itslearning gives teachers, students, and parents access to course materials, assignments, communities for collaboration, professional development tools, and student progress reports. Judges liked that they could use itslearning on any device, and appreciated the wealth of materials in the LMS, including assessments, teacher plans, and student documents for further understanding.
Mackin Educational Resources
MackinVIA is a free digital management system that offers easy access to ebooks, audiobooks, educational databases, and videos. With just one log-in, users can view, utilize, and manage all of their digital resources in one student-friendly interface. Furthermore, MackinVIA allows simultaneous, unlimited access to multiple users and is mobile-friendly (iOS and Android). Judges raved over the comprehensive catalogue of resources. They also cited the ability to create notebooks and save them to Google Drive as a unique feature.
Lexia Reading Core5
Lexia Reading Core5 provides explicit, systematic, personalized learning in the six areas of reading instruction, and delivers norm-referenced performance data and analysis without interrupting the flow of instruction to administer a test. Designed to meet the Common Core and the most rigorous state standards, this technology-based approach accelerates reading skills development, predicts students’ year-end performance, and provides teachers data-driven action plans to help differentiate instruction. Judges commended the program’s reading skills practice and guided instruction for students, and found it to be delivered in an engaging manner. They also loved new features, such as the ability to track student use and provide instructions only when a student has not interacted with a particular task before.
Measures of Academic Progress (MAP)
Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA)
Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) from Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) provides interim assessments that create personalized test experiences for every student, while also ensuring stable scales and data. Judges liked that reports are detailed and broken down in many different ways, making it easier for teachers to create differentiated instruction. They also appreciated the program’s numerous accommodation and accessibility features, including color contrast, magnification, highlighting, keyboard navigation, screen reader compatibility, and refreshable braille assistive technologies.
MyEconLab, Q-interactive, and WriteToLearn
Digital Interactives in MyEconLab promote critical thinking and application of economic principles. Many include real-time data from FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data), allowing professors and students to display, in graphs and tables, up-to-the-minute data on key macro variables. One judge suggested that MyEconLab’s combination of digital interactions and real-time data could help instructors create cutting-edge lessons. Judges were equally impressed with Pearson’s Q-interactive, a digital system used by psychologists, speech-language pathologists, and special education teachers to administer tests via two iPads connected with Bluetooth. Q-interactive improves accuracy, reduces testing time, increases flexibility, and allows for more personalized assessment through features including real-time scoring, audio recording, and on-the-fly editing of tests. Judges found it easy to navigate, and loved the administrative dashboard for viewing data across devices within the same organization. Another Pearson winner, WriteToLearn, is a complete literacy tool for implementing rigorous learning goals, providing essay writing to build writing skills, summary writing to develop reading comprehension, and vocabulary exercises in selected reading passages to expand students’ word knowledge. Judges were impressed with the update, citing the clear student and teacher dashboards as helpful tools.
myON Reader is a personalized digital literacy platform that creates collaborative learning opportunities. myON expands the classroom for teachers and students by providing unlimited access to a collection of more than 10,000 enhanced digital books with multimedia supports, real-time assessments, and close reading tools. myON empowers students and teachers with real-time, actionable data—number and type of books opened and read, time spent reading, results of regular benchmark assessments, and more—based on embedded Lexile assessments that measure student reading growth. Judges found that myON Reader makes literature easily available, and loved the tools that help enhance the reading process, prompting students to consider the deeper meaning of each book.
NetSupport School lets instructors observe and interact with students’ computers while continuously evaluating students’ progress. Features include quiz and multimedia testing tools, application and Internet controls, audio monitoring, and a technician console that allows remote support and problem resolution. NetSupport School combines support for multiple environments including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Chrome environments for true “any platform BYOD” support. Judges loved the student tools that help students see their lesson objectives, as well as the controls for teachers and IT support.
NewsMaker is a tool that lets users create video news very easily with its set of rich features. For example, users can simply read a script from the teleprompter and then add voiceover videos and images. NewsMaker also lets users add animated trailer videos (from its library) as an opening to their news, and overlay background music. Users can even don a virtual hat and glasses. Best of all, they can collaborate remotely with peers to produce video news together. Judges liked the application of NewsMaker as an online platform that lets students have their own news channel to share their video news privately with anyone. They also thought it’d be ideal for creating the school morning news.
Performance Matters PD with Mobile App
The Performance Matters PD – Mobile App makes it easy to track attendance at professional learning events. Available free of charge with a Performance Matters PD subscription, the iOS and Android app provides course instructors and participants with instant access to relevant information about upcoming registered courses, from anywhere, at any time. Judges thought it would be a useful tool for large districts to bring management of PD to scale. They also rated it effective for tracking employee PD, both from a district and individual teacher’s perspective.
Prepworks ACT Online Adaptive Civics Course
Prepworks Civics combines the essential elements of assessment, curriculum, and test preparation solutions to help ensure success on the EOC exam. Prepworks Civics offers an adaptive, personalized learning experience based on each student’s foundational knowledge. The course combines animated HD videos and hundreds of practice questions with step-by-step solutions, which are specifically designed to meet the requirements of state standards, benchmarks, assessment limits, and test item specifications. Prepworks Civics employs predictive analytics and diagnostic assessments on both a formative and summative level to gauge each student’s performance level in realtime, as well as each student’s potential performance. Judges rated the program as straightforward and easy to follow for students, and were impressed with the activities for each type of test.
PresenceLearning’s Lightyear Online Therapy Environment
PresenceLearning’s Lightyear is a newly designed therapy environment that delivers high fidelity, live telehealth sessions with significantly lower bandwidth requirements. These performance improvements make it easier for even more schools to provide students with consistent, high-quality therapy services. With the new features, clinicians can zoom in to see the student’s mouth, hands, and important structures clearly. It includes built-in flashcard-based activities, custom animations, and newly designed activities and games that online therapists can use to create individualized therapy sessions. Judges were impressed with the offering and liked the interactive activities.
Samsung Chromebook 3
Samsung Electronics America
(www.samsung.com (opens in new tab))
The Samsung Chromebook 3 weighs just over 2.5 pounds, and its slim and lightweight frame was designed for improved grip. If a student accidentally drops the device, its reinforced metal body provides increased durability, and it passes a 48-inch military standard drop test. Chromebook 3 offers up to 11 hours of battery life so teachers and students can stay powered throughout the school day. If a student forgets to plug in their device when the day is over, a quick 15-minute charge gives them 2.5 hours of use. For better student collaboration, a large 11.6” anti-glare display with 180-degree hinge makes seeing and sharing ideas easy. Judges found the solution affordable at $199, and loved the touchscreen capability as well as the rugged build.
Schoology is a platform that connects people, content, and systems. Schoology aims to personalize learning and foster collaboration with its built-in network of educators. It can integrate apps, systems, and content, including course and content management. It also offers features for personalization, faculty and student collaboration, resource-sharing, assessment, and analytics. There are two versions of Schoology—Schoology Basic and Schoology Enterprise. Schoology Basic is free for any educator to use for as long as they wish. Schoology Enterprise is for entire K-12, corporate, and higher ed institutions. It includes extra features and functionality as well as administrative permissions and control. Judges rated it a useful tool for student assessment, and appreciated the custom grading feature, which lets teachers give student feedback before their official submissions.
Securly is a cloud-based Web filter built for K-12 schools that can filter any device both within and outside of a school. The system detects and alerts parents and administrators about social posts that indicate self-harm and bullying. The parent portal and email alerts help boost parent engagement in 1:1 programs by giving parents insight into their child’s school-owned device usage. Judges raved over the parent portal, as well as the comprehensive filtering capabilities. They also liked that results are provided in realtime.
Shmoop Subscription (Test Prep, Online Courses, Teaching Guides, Learning Guides, and Study Tools)
Shmoop University, Inc.
(www.shmoop.com (opens in new tab))
Shmoop is a digital publishing company that offers a variety of products, such as Shmoop Learning Guides, Shmoop College Readiness, Shmoop Test Prep, and Shmoop Online Courses. The offerings balance a teen-friendly, approachable style with academically rigorous materials to help students understand how subjects relate to their daily lives. Judges commented on Shmoop’s comprehensive selection of topics, and were wowed by the upgraded, user-friendly interface. They also loved the interactive overlay feature, enabling students and teachers to annotate, draw on, and highlight most file types.
TenMarks is a cloud-based math program for grades 1-12 that’s been designed from the ground up for the new math standards. It offers teachers a platform to reinforce, differentiate, and engage students by providing access to effective, Web-based resources. TenMarks includes simplified assignments and automatic grading, and drives student learning through interactive lessons. It also features video lessons and hints to give students refreshers on what they know and to help them learn what they don’t, along with interventions that help guide students through complex topics one step at a time. Judges rated the ease of use and flexibility as standout features, and they found it simple for teachers to create their own lessons in TenMarks.
Think Through Math
Think Through Learning
Think Through Math’s Web-based instructional system provides rigorous lessons built upon each state’s learning standards, fostering deep conceptual understanding and sustainable gains in proficiency. The system features live, online math teachers who provide one-to-one tutoring for struggling students in realtime. Judges praised the program’s motivation system, which helps encourage students to complete math problems by incorporating personal goals, donations to charity, theme-based competitions, and a badging system. They also appreciated the powerful reporting capabilities.
Turnitin Feedback Studio
Turnitin Feedback Studio is a formative feedback and originality checking service that promotes critical thinking, ensures academic integrity, and helps students improve their writing. A redesigned user interface brings plagiarism prevention, feedback, and grading into a unified view that helps educators mark faster while making it easier for students to engage with their instructors’ comments. Judges suggested that the service facilitates more teacher-student interaction, while reducing the use and need for paper. They also found the interface to be very user-friendly.
zSpace All-In-One for Education STEAM Lab
The zSpace All-In-One for Education STEAM Lab is a virtual reality learning experience that provides students with a realistic learning environment and a personalized learning experience that aligns to NGSS, Common Core, and state standards. Virtual holographic images can be “lifted” from the screen and manipulated with the stylus. zSpace empowers students, particularly those at risk, to “learn by doing” in a safe virtual environment where it is easy to undo mistakes, iterate, and collaborate with other students and teachers. Judges were impressed with the clear and responsive VR simulations, and appreciated the standards-aligned learning experiences that the program could offer to students.