software & online
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Absolute Software has announced that it will extend its products to use Google Maps to provide improved device geolocation tracking in its Absolute Computrace product. This partnership will provide Absolute customers with improved global coverage and more accurate geolocations. The geolocation capabilities of Absolute Computrace include recent and historical location information for a device, as well as the ability to build geofences to contain devices within a specific geographical area.
CREATING DIGITAL PORTFOLIOS
Atomic Learning recently added Career Skills training on Creating Digital Portfolios to its training library. Now, users can learn how to use popular Web platforms to compile their digital portfolios, including Google Sites, Weebly, Silk, and Google Drive. The introductory training topics cover the definition of a digital portfolio, what to include, and tips on getting started.
DISCOVERY EDUCATION MATH TECHBOOK
Discovery Education has unveiled Math Techbook, a dynamic digital textbook designed to promote lasting student proficiency. Math Techbook promotes inquiry-based learning, and features engaging instructional strategies and real-world problems that motivate students with diverse learning styles. Math Techbook supports middle school math (sixth, seventh, and eighth grade), high school math (Algebra I, Algebra II, and Geometry), and Integrated Math (Math I, II, and III) instruction.
EPIPHANY LEARNING APP
Epiphany Learning is a personalized learning software application that utilizes student-directed feedback to create Learner Profiles, allowing teachers to generate customized, dynamic Learning Paths and Skills Paths for each student. The Web-based app gathers each learner’s perspective and supporting information, centralizes lesson plans, incorporates any curriculum, provides intelligent, bi-directional data, and increases communication between students, teachers, and parents/guardians.
IROBOT CREATE 2
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iRobot Corp. has announced updates to its STEM outreach program, including the launch of Create 2—a preassembled robot platform, based on the company’s Roomba, that gives educators, students, and developers firsthand robotic programming experience. iRobot has also unveiled online resources, including 3D printable files for new parts, a faceplate drilling template, and educational projects and instructions.
itslearning has created a mobile app for iPhones and Android phones. Available for free download from the Apple App Store and Google Play, the itslearning app gives students a quick overview of their upcoming tasks and events and also lets them send and receive messages. Once the app is installed on their smartphones, students automatically receive notifications of upcoming events and tasks, such as homework and tests, as soon as their teacher posts the information within the itslearning platform.
JumpStart has launched a new Web site to house all of its Web and mobile offerings, including all of the company’s learning-based games and game-themed worlds. This new site will also host JumpStart’s newest 3D online world, based on DreamWorks Animation’s most recent Penguins of Madagascar film, which offers grade-specific, learning-based gameplay for kids.
Mobiliya has launched Mobiliya Edvelop, a Windows 8.1 and Android-based learning and content management system for emerging markets. Powered by Microsoft’s Office 365 and leveraging the capabilities of Microsoft SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, and OneDrive, Mobiliya Edvelop is an easy-to-use, cloud-based learning platform that brings together all of the digital tools and resources teachers and students use in one place—enabling them to remotely connect and communicate in digital classrooms with pre-packaged and customizable workflows.
Panopto has upgraded its video capture and management system. The update introduces an end-to-end HLS media pipeline for broadcasting, recording, and streaming HTML5 video to any device, as well as new snap-ins for embedding video recording and searchable playlists into existing websites. The company also announced a new Panopto-certified video capture appliance through a partnership with Seneca Data and Datapath.
BoomWriter has released ProjectWriter, a nonfiction version of its collaborative writing platform. Teachers can conduct nonfiction group-writing projects focusing on key unit concepts and terms. ProjectWriter is ideal for dissecting whole units of study into smaller sections, letting students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. For each section, teachers can incorporate a new set of vocabulary words, as well as new guidance notes for their students to focus on for that specific unit concept.
SCIENCE4US IPAD APP
Science4Us recently released an iPad app of its kindergarten, first, and second grade science curriculum. The curriculum includes interactive activities and simulations, educational science songs, learning games, and other science learning activities. The free app is available on the Apple iTunes store to students who are paid members of Science4Us. com. The program can also be used on Chromebooks, computers, and many other mobile devices.
McGraw-Hill Education has introduced the newest version of its adaptive reading platform, SmartBook, which offers students a personalized study experience that continually adapts to their needs and focuses on what they most need to learn. The latest version of SmartBook introduces students to personalized learning resources at the moment of need. The software is available for tablets through a native mobile app, as well as PC and Mac devices via a Web browser.
PROFESSIONAL LEARNING MAPS
Amplify recently unveiled Professional Learning Maps, a new approach for personalizing educator professional development that uses smart technology. Professional Learning Maps starts with a diagnostic survey during which educators analyze their instructional practices. Interactive maps instantly show each educator their areas of strength and need. At the district level, administrators can filter survey results by school and/or grade level to understand the strengths and needs throughout the district. Educators are then provided with a series of tutorials tailored to their individual needs, while administrators can access a host of resources to guide targeted support.
TECHNOLOGY LITERACY ASSESSMENT FOR TEXAS STUDENTS
A partnership between TCEA and Learning.com provides all Texas districts with a free technology literacy assessment for eighth grade students. The online assessment is based on the Technology Application TEKS (TA-TEKS) and will provide districts with the data they need to understand how well students grasp critical 21st-century skills.
Performance Matters has teamed up with Key Data Systems (KDS) to offer new Common Core items and assessments as part of the Unify next generation assessment platform. Unify is a social platform designed for educators to collaboratively develop, administer, and share assessments aligned to all standards. Through this partnership, Performance Matters customers can now subscribe to the KDS INSPECT Assessment Solution, which includes a formative assessment item bank and a suite of over 200 pre-built assessments, including interim and end-of-year assessments.
D-Link (www.dlink.com) has announced its latest Unified Wireless Controller (DWC-2000), a centralized Wireless LAN manager designed to provide the security and scalability needed for enterprise-scale wireless networks. The DWC-2000 can support up to 256 access points per controller, and up to 1,024 access points in a controller peer group. In addition, the DWC-2000 offers self-organizing, self-optimizing, and self-healing network capabilities to increase the stability of the entire wireless network.
Lumens Integration Inc. (www.mylumens.com) has announced its new product family of charging, sync, and storage carts, designed for the educational technology market. The RHINO CT-C50 Charging Cart, along with the RHINO CT-S30 and CT-S50 Sync Carts, support customers who use multiple portable devices in a 1:1 learning environment. The new carts are compact, energy-efficient, and lightweight, and feature ventilated panels and a smooth working surface. The RHINO CT-S30 Sync Cart can sync information across 32 portable devices and the RHINO CT-S50 can sync 48 devices while storing them securely.
Toshiba (www.toshiba.com) has announced the Portégé Z20t, a 2-in-1 detachable PC with pen input, 17.4 hours of battery life, and advanced security features, such as a Kensington lock port. The PC features a 12.5” diagonal touch, full HD IPS display and an M.2 SSD interface, configurable with a 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB solid-state drive.
OKI Data Americas (www.okidata.com) has released several enhanced monochrome single function and multifunction printers. The B412dn, B432dn, B512dn, MB472w (top), MB492 (bottom), and MB562w models combine a powerful feature set with high print volumes, large paper capacity, Wi-Fi print capabilities, increased memory, and low total cost of ownership (TCO). Each of the new devices offers mobile printing capabilities for tablets and smartphones by providing Apple AirPrint for iOS devices and Google Cloud Print and OKI Mobile Print application for Android devices.
HP (www.hp.com (opens in new tab)) has unveiled the HP ZBook 14 and 15u Workstation Ultrabooks, offering professional 3D graphics and high performance for even the most demanding applications. The second-generation ZBook 14 and 15u have 14-inch and 15.6-inch diagonal screen sizes, respectively, and are customizable workstations equipped with Microsoft Windows 8.1, 5th-generation Intel Core processors, and professional AMD FirePro 3D graphics. The ZBook 14 has optional touch display and intuitive 10-point multi-touch full HD screen options.
Focus on: The Newest Displays and Projectors for Education
BOXLIGHT (www.boxlight.com) has released the ProjectoWrite10 WX35NXT, the latest addition to its interactive projector series. The P10 is a wall-mounted ultra-short-throw finger-touch interactive projector—allowing up to 10 different interaction points via finger or interactive pen. A light curtain module located above the displayed image, in combination with a new interactive camera, uses IR light to detect interaction at the screen. The P10 has a contrast ratio of 10,000:1 and is rated at 3500 lumens.
Canon introduced five portable projectors utilizing DLP BrilliantColor display technology to deliver realistic color, 3000 lumens of brightness, a 2,300:1 contrast ratio for crisp blacks with depth and dimension, filter-free operation, and up to 6,000 hours of lamp life when in Economy mode. Designed for education, these competitively priced compact projectors weigh approximately six pounds and are backed by Canon’s three-year parts and labor limited warranty and Projector Protection Program (Triple P).
Casio America’s EcoLite XJ-V1 projector provides educators with the ability to enjoy many of the benefits of Casio’s LampFree projectors in a budget-friendly package. EcoLite is powered by Casio’s 5th generation laser & LED Hybrid Light Source technology. This LampFree light source combines a laser, fluorescent element, and LEDs to generate high brightness and a 20,000 hour estimated lifespan with minimal brightness degradation and continuous operation. Casio’s EcoLite XJ-V1 projector features a throw ratio of 1.54-1.7: 1, produces 2700 lumens of brightness, and boasts XGA (1024 x 768) resolution.
The new Christie GS Series of laser phosphor projectors uses laser phosphor illumination, provides 20,000 hours of operation and eliminates the need for lamp and filter replacements. The solid-state illumination, high-resolution, 1-chip DLP laser-diode projectors come in WXGA, HD and WUXGA resolutions and provide a cost-effective solution with color matching and optional blending and warping for curved surfaces. Christie GS Series is perfect for fixed installation applications. Features include wireless connectivity and a suite of optional lenses for greater installation flexibility. Input options include Display Port, HDMI, DVI, and HDBaseT. Christie GS Series provides clean, radiant images with up to 5400 ANSI lumens with Picture-in-Picture functionality.
Epson introduced the PowerLite 520, 525W, 530, and 535W short-throw projectors. Offering Moderator device management software, the new projectors allow teachers to wirelessly connect up to 50 devices and share students’ work from up to four device screens simultaneously, including computers and iOS and Android tablets and phones. The new PowerLite short-throw projectors allow teachers to project images up to 116 inches from four feet away with minimal shadows or glare, and enable flexible installation with an optional wall mount. The new models deliver increased color brightness and white brightness over predecessors and a range of resolutions to fit educators' needs, trends, and budgets.
InFocus Corporation is bringing the giant interactive touchscreen experience to even the most budget-conscious schools with its $1,999 65-inch JTouch display. Like the rest of the 1080p JTouch models, the 65-inch mirrors the content of a connected PC or Mac and makes the teacher’s computer content responsive to touch. Teachers can push content to the giant touchscreen from any HDMI, VGA, USB Type-A-enabled device or wirelessly with the InFocus LiteShow 4 adapter. It also has USB ports on the device for quick display from thumb drives, document cameras, or other devices.
This LG SW3000 projector lets users enjoy up to a 110” class screen. WiDi and HD DivX make sharing content from other compatible devices simple. And with 3300 ANSI and 35,000:1 contrast ratio, bright and vibrant images are displayed to bring any presentation to life.
The Panasonic PT-RZ470 and PT-RZ370 (pictured) Series are 1080p lamp-free projectors that feature HDBaseT technology. The new LED/laser diodes light source offers more than 3,000 lumens while delivering up to 20,000 hours of virtually maintenance-free operation. The 1-Chip DLP PT-RZ470 and PT-RZ370 Series will be made available in two different resolutions: 1080p (1920 x 1080) and WXGA (1280 x 800). The projectors offer flexible installation features—including lens shift capability—and deliver professional grade features, including Edge Blending and Color Matching.
Promethean has expanded its ActivPanel line, which transforms front-of-theclassroom instructional displays into interactive, digital spaces for both whole-class instruction and small team engagement. The ActivPanel simultaneously enables up to 10 unique touches for whole-class, individual, one-to-one, and small team learning. With the growing use of multimedia content in the classroom, the ActivPanel includes built-in stereo speakers to enhance the delivery of lessons and group activities that include video and audio.
Samsung’s new DM Series of LED-lit LCD commercial displays serve as visually impactful and interactive centerpieces for the classroom. The DM Series displays offer 700nit brightness, eliminating the need to dim lights or change expensive bulbs. Built-in Wi-Fi enables easy mobile integration, including mirroring of content to the display, and integrated speakers provide support for easy play of video and audio. Available in sizes ranging from 32 to 82 inches, DM Series displays are also compatible with the Samsung touch overlay. This accessory converts a standard Samsung display into a dynamic touchscreen that enables realistic writing similar to that of using a conventional whiteboard.
The SMART Board 6065 interactive flat panel features Ultra HD 4K imagery to display detailed and crisp images, premium touch experience that leverages SMART’s 20 years of experience in touch technology, Pen and object ID, and seamless collaboration that allows two students to simultaneously use touch gestures on the display.