what’s new

what’s new

Software & Online


3rd Quote, an online community and marketplace that facilitates EdTech product discovery, research, evaluation, and purchasing has announced two new features: Report Card and Budget Planner. The Report Card is a collaborative evaluation tool that gives all school stakeholders a voice in the decision-making process of EdTech providers or solutions. The Budget Tool is designed for the Director of Technology, Technology Coordinator, and/or Network Manager, and offers linking to existing proposals and new proposals, as well as the ability to download data as a CSV file.


Absolute Software Corporation has launched a new employee self-service portal with the release of Absolute Manage 6.7.1. Users can access the Web-based portal to view device information and perform remote actions on any of their devices that are under management, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones – even personally-owned devices. The first phase of the portal includes functionality such as resetting a device passcode, displaying a message on a missing device, and locking it. Users can also remotely wipe the device to erase all the data it contains.


Filament Games has launched Backyard Engineers, a game that’s designed to teach engineering concepts and problem solving skills to middle and high school students. Players engage in a water balloon battle with the kids next door. By designing and adjusting catapults to launch water balloons, students learn how manipulating mechanical components affects their catapult’s range and accuracy. Each level of the game challenges players to find the fastest and most efficient way to soak their neighbors.


Mayer-Johnson has released Boardmaker Instructional Solutions (BIS), curricular programs designed to offer engaging, research-based instruction for students with special needs. Delivered through Boardmaker Online, the solutions give each student, regardless of ability, access to the same content as their peers, and provide educators with the tools and time they need to help their students succeed. Each offering comes with instruction and lesson plans that are easy to implement, and support Results-Driven Accountability (RDA).


Citelighter, a writing platform for administrators, teachers, and students used, now offers its premium customers access to Britannica School from a single sign-on. Additionally, Citelighter has integrated standards-based lessons with Britannica School, enabling teachers to assign multimedia-writing assignments to students. Britannica School on Citelighter includes a comprehensive collection of articles on three different reading levels, and provides read-aloud functionality. The content also includes Merriam-Webster dictionaries and STEM resources.


Neverware has launched CloudReady, a browser-based operating system that provides a new pathway to the world of Google Apps for Education, without abandoning existing hardware. After one easy installation a PC, running CloudReady, can be used in a classroom together with Chromebooks under a single Google Admin console, creating a unified and consistent Google Apps for Education experience.


3D Robotics (3DR) has launched its new DroneEDU program, offering free and discounted drone hardware, along with sponsorships, classroom support, and partnerships, to assist students, teachers, and schools in deploying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for advanced learning and exploration in STEM disciplines. The program is designed to provide access to versatile tools for STEM education to students at all levels of education, from grade school through post-graduate study.


Austin ISD has teamed up with Edgenuity to expand support for all high school students by offering free test preparation services for college entrance exams, including the SAT.AISD students may enroll in the Web-based courses, which will allow them to complete lessons at their own pace. Edgenuity’s on-screen teachers help students prepare for the SAT, ACT, and TSI exams and offer test-taking strategies. Courses include video-based instruction, interactive assignments, and frequent assessment opportunities to track progress.


Apperson has introduced Evo Social-Emotional, a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) assessment system that lets educators and parents rate the frequency of student behavior over time to screen and monitor the progress of SEL skill development. By combining academic assessment results with Apperson’s platform, educators develop a complete view of a student that includes both strengths and areas of opportunity.


Follett Corporation has invested in Vocabulary.com, a global, online adaptive learning platform that takes a personalized approach toward driving vocabulary proficiency and literacy development. Vocabulary.com’s adaptive learning platform uses a “big data” approach to make intelligent choices about what words a particular user needs to master, what questions to ask about those words, and when to ask the questions


Knovation has partnered with Lightspeed Systems to provide My Big Campus student and educator users with access to netTrekker’s digital resources. netTrekker offers over 360,000 digital Open Educational Resources (OER) that are curated, contextualized, tagged, and standards-aligned to support personalized learning. My Big Campus safely brings together all the tools students and educators need in a collaborative community built around a learning management system.


myON has added digital books from National Geographic Kids to its online, personalized literacy environment. With the addition of National Geographic Kids, myON provides a broader wealth of resources around geography, archaeology, and natural science to schools nationwide using myON. The 30 titles are geared toward further engaging middle school students in reading, and include “Stubby the War Dog,” “Spies of the Mississippi,” and “How to Get Rich on a Texas Cattle Drive.”


Odysseyware and Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) have announced a partnership that enables educators to leverage NWEA’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment data together with targeted Odysseyware ELA and Math lessons. The combination results in dynamically generated, data-informed learning paths that can be even further customized to meet the needs of each student.


Panopto has released a major update to its video capture and management software, introducing a new SharePoint app for creating, managing, and searching enterprise video; 60fps video streaming; live webcasting to iOS devices; search federation with a range of applications using the OpenSearch standard; and support for content approval workflows. The SharePoint app provides Microsoft SharePoint users with enterprise-grade video content management capabilities, and supports the upload and management of videos of any size from within SharePoint.


Pitsco Education has released a robotics video gallery, featuring videos about the Pitsco TETRIX PRIME and MAX systems, different TETRIX parts, and robotics competitions. The RoboBench video series includes videos such as Buggee Bot, Connecting MAX & PRIME, and Using PRIME Quick Rivets & Thumbscrews. Designed to both inform and inspire, the videos are filmed in the same area where Tim Lankford works on TETRIX robots.


Knowledge Delivery Systems, Inc. (KDS) (www.kdsi.org) and Insight Education Group (www.insighteducationgroup.com) have developed an online course that helps educators align instruction to College- and Career- Readiness Standards (CCRS) and prepare students for success beyond graduation. The course, Shifting Instruction with the Five Core Practices, is based on the Insight Core Framework and strategies proven by research to promote the deeper thinking and reasoning called for in the CCRS. Offering educators an in-depth, self-paced professional learning opportunity, the course includes video of the Core Practices in action, expert commentary, engaging exercises, and resources that can be applied directly to instruction.


Skyward has released its Test Bank Management Solution, which supports in-district test bank management, collaboration with Skyward customers, and integration with online test bank providers. Educators can easily select questions that most appropriately reflect curriculum, student population, and the time of year the test is given. Questions created through Skyward’s Test Bank Management Solution align with state and Common Core State Standards for analytical reporting, and allow districts to secure those questions to only be used on summative assessments.


SMART Technologies Inc. has announced the April 2015 release of SMART Notebook 2015 collaborative learning software, offering new features such as a lesson activity builder and concept mapping. The lesson builder enables teachers to create learning games and activities in under five minutes. Concept mapping encourages discovery and allows visual organization of concepts to promote a deeper level of understanding.


The Audio Publishers Association (APA) has released Sound Learning, a literacy toolkit that provides educators and librarians with resources for fully integrating audiobooks into their curriculum. The online toolkit includes an overview of the benefits of audiobooks for literacy and features lesson plans, activities, and annotated lists of recommended titles appropriate for grades K-12. Educators can find tips for enhancing literacy skills via audiobooks across a variety of subject matters including language arts, social studies, science, mathematics, fine arts, and foreign language.


TabPilot Learning Systems has announced that its Tablet Manager for iOS will now be free for all public and private K-12 schools with 25 or more iPads through the end of the school year. TabPilot Tablet Manager is a combination mobile device management (MDM) and classroom management system for Android and iOS. The company has also created an ASUS-Enhanced version of Tablet Manager software, and is selling the special edition as part of a bundle that includes the ASUS Transformer Pad TF103C tablet and keyboard. The ASUS-Enhanced edition of TabPilot ensures the highest level of TabPilot features will be available on the device. Features include remote, silent app distribution, the ability for teachers to monitor or freeze student screens, and the ability to restrict students to a single app.


Grade Anything is a new functionality in Turnitin that allows instructors across the curriculum to check student submissions for originality and provide rich, meaningful feedback on virtually any type of assignment. This helps educators who increasingly are assigning student projects beyond the traditional written paper, such as presentations, spreadsheets, visual designs and calculations, as well as instructors who need to evaluate student work that does not require a file submission, such as a live dance performance or musical recital.



Autodesk has launched 123D Sculpt+, a new app that lets students create 3D sculptures and bring them to life with an in-app 3D print ordering option. 123D Sculpt+ is available on iOS and Android. Features include a “pose tool,” which allows users to add poseable joints on sculptures, and texture brushes for enhanced surface detail. Users can also view sculptures on the community in full 3D without needing to download them, thanks to a preview functionality.


Curriculum Associates has launched Door 24 Plus, a free educational game for the iPad. Expanding upon the Door 24 app, Door 24 Plus establishes a foundation based on fact fluency and then builds computational fluency by providing practice that requires students to solve problems using basic facts, number sense, and algebraic thinking. Door 24 Plus features two games: Snargg Splatt to develop fact fluency, and Victor Fixer to develop computational fluency. After completing an assessment to identify skill gaps and growth areas, the app assigns students to the appropriate game.


Vernier Software & Technology recently released its free Graphical Analysis for Chrome app. Developed for Chrome OS, the app makes it easy to collect and share scientific data using Chromebooks. By spring of 2015, updates to the app will provide teachers and students with the ability to connect a Vernier Go!Temp, Go!Motion, or Go! Link to Chromebook’s USB port for data collection. Using Go!Link, a single-channel interface, students can collect data using Vernier sensors. Teachers can also link multiple Chromebooks with a single LabQuest 2 and use the data-collection device to wirelessly collect and stream data to each student’s Chromebook in a lab group.


Kiko Labs has announced Kiko’s Thinking Time for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The program offers an adaptive suite of games that’s based on neuropsychological exercises to challenge foundational skills for ages 3-7. Kiko Labs collaborated with neuroscientists from Harvard and UC Berkeley, and with support from the U.S. Department of Education, to design Kiko’s Thinking Time from behaviors and evidence-based techniques drawn from scientific studies that have shown promise in improving the critical cognitive skills related to learning capacity.


The Shutterfly Photo Story iPad app offers students of all grade levels an interactive way to demonstrate their knowledge in English language arts, social studies, math, and science, through self-published books. Students use the app to create a story book that applies what they’ve learned in the classroom through a hands-on, project-based experience. Students tell their stories through text, photos, audio, and Doodle, a new feature that lets users write and draw on any page in the book.


Lenovo (www.lenovo.com) has announced the latest ThinkPad 11e series, available as a traditional laptop or Lenovo’s YOGA multimode form with its four iconic modes – Laptop, Stand, Tent, and Tablet. The ThinkPad 11e series with Windows provides the ruggedized build of Think-branded products paired with upgraded technical specifications such as a more efficient fan blade and latest generation processors. The ThinkPad 11e series is also available with an optional ActivePen, which accurately mimics a user’s actual handwriting on paper.

Epson America, Inc. (www.imageway.goepson.com) has teamed up with Print Audit, a provider of device and print management solutions. Epson’s certification of Print Audit applies to the entire line of Epson WorkForce Pro commercial printers, including models powered by PrecisionCore technology, Epson’s next generation printing technology. The partnership enables IT network professionals to utilize Print Audit tools designed to automate supplies and services management for increased profitability and a more streamlined approach to data management.

AVer Information Inc. (www.aver.com) is now offering upgrades to the EVC300 (shown) video conferencing system as well as the EZMeetup remote access software. The EVC300 is an HD room-based video conferencing system with an embedded 4-way MCU with content sharing. Existing EVC300 users can now purchase licenses to upgrade the MCU to connect 6, 8, or 10 parties. The latest EVC300 and EVC900 firmware also includes face detection for auto focusing. AVer’s EZMeetup remote access software and app allows remote users on virtually any device to join AVer EVC300 or EVC900 video conference meetings. The new PC upgrade now allows users to share content from their PC as well as video and audio. AVer’s EZMeetup is available on Mac OSX, iOS, and Android. All AVer Video Conferencing systems include a 3-year warranty with 1-year advanced replacement at no additional cost.

Crestron (www.crestron.com) has released the DM 3.0 4K family of products. The 4K DigitalMedia Receiver & Room Controller w/Scaler (DM-RMC-4K-SCALER-C) (shown) can convert any resolution and frame rate to any other resolution and frame rate, up to 4096x2160 at 60 Hz. Both the Wall Plate 4K DigitalMedia Transmitter (DM-TX1-4K-C-1G) and Wall Plate 4K DigitalMedia Receiver (DM-RX1-4K-C-1G) are powered over DM, so all you need is a single cable. Both devices utilize a standard electrical box for discreet installation. The 4K DigitalMedia Input Card for DM Switchers (DMC-4K-C) and 4K DigitalMedia Input Card w/Downmixing for DM Switchers (DMC-4K-C-DSP ) provide a single DM or HDBaseT input for any DM switcher with modular input card slots, and handles 4K and Ultra HD video resolutions. Other new products include the 4K HDMI Output Cards, DM Ultra Cable, and the 4K HDMI Distribution Amplifier.

Acer (www.acer.com) has expanded its popular 2-in-1 notebook line with the Switch 11 Pro Series, offering a full Microsoft Windows-based notebook and tablet in one flexible device. This new line features two models featuring Windows 8.1 Pro, an active stylist pen, and 10-point touch technology. The Switch 11 Pro line can be used in four distinct modes for touch, typing, viewing, and sharing, while the pen provides fast, precise input for handwritten notes.

HP (www.hp.com) has released HP Education Edition tablet, built tough to withstand the rigors of daily academic use and featuring a battery life that can last the entire school day. The tablets come equipped with the HP School Pack, a set of tools to help enhance instruction and encourage active educational use. The HP Pro Tablet 10 EE (shown) and HP Pro Slate 10 EE Education Edition Tablets are toughened with IP52 rating for dust and moisture and were designed to pass drop tests. The HP ProBook 11 Education Edition notebook is constructed using co-molded industrial rubber, and features an optional touchscreen.