software & online
ATOMIC LEARNING’S “LESLIE FISHER PRESENTS”
Atomic Learning’s new training course features educator Leslie Fisher’s tips and tricks for using technology in the classroom. Leslie covers tried and true methods for using several different software applications, including Screenleap, Recordit, and others, to make their classrooms more interactive and curriculum more impactful.
COMPASS LEARNING DIGITAL LEARNING ACTIVITIES
Compass Learning has enhanced its intervention and blended learning solutions with over 800 new digital learning activities for grades 6-8. The activities feature new multimedia and tech-enhanced question types that align to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC). Student learning gaps are first identified in Pathblazer and Hybridge through built-in diagnostic assessments or through NWEA MAP, Scantron Performance Series, and Renaissance Learning STAR assessment data. Based on the results, the software prescribes individualized learning paths targeted to each student consisting of a series of Common Core-aligned digital learning activities.
COREL VIDEOSTUDIO PRO X8 AND ULTIMATE X8
Corel has released VideoStudio Pro X8 and VideoStudio Ultimate X8, bringing together new tools, intelligent features, and enhanced performance. Features include Freeze Frame and Video Masking, Audio Ducking for pro-quality sound, and 4K hardware acceleration that’s more than 4 times faster on 5th generation Intel Core processors. Corel VideoStudio lets users make video projects, ranging from action-cam and personal movies, to slideshows, video blogs, screen recordings, stop motion animation, and more.
Edulastic has upgraded its formative assessment platform to mirror the Common Core-aligned tests created by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). The upgraded (and still free) Edulastic now includes 23 different technology-enhanced question types and instant scoring, enabling teachers to see where students are struggling and course-correct between now and the start of testing in March.
FOLLETT LEARNING SUMMER SCHOOL READING AND MATH
Follett has announced the release of summer school reading and math bundles designed to bring students up to grade level and keep them engaged. The bundles are geared to students who for the 2015-16 school year will be entering grades 2-6, especially those at risk of failing. The bundles include award-winning fiction and informational texts from a wide range of authors and publishers. Additionally, the bundles focus on skills required by Common Core State Standards, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards, and other state standards. They also are appropriate for Extended School Year (ESY) and Individualized Education Program (IEP) students, plus English Language Learners (ELLs).
FUEL EDUCATION SUMMER SCHOOL SOLUTION
Personalized learning solutions provider Fuel Education has announced that enrollment is now open for school districts that want to provide students opportunities to catch up through online credit recovery, or get ahead through online original credit courses this summer. The FuelEd Summer School solution provides the curriculum, technology, and support that educators need to help their students stay engaged over the summer. The solution provides districts with the option to offer 19 credit recovery courses and over 170 original credit core courses for middle school and high school students, including electives and world languages. The program can be used in online or blended environments, and educators can track student progress through the PEAK Personalized Learning Platform.
GAGGLE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
Gaggle Reputation Management helps schools and districts protect their Web sites from hackers and malicious use. Anytime a Web page is changed, the content is scanned for inappropriate text and images, and Gaggle alerts users if a Web site has been compromised. The solution also features a blocked word list, helping safeguard a school’s reputation. Gaggle Reputation Management also checks links to Web sites and reviews the content on those pages. In addition, the user account responsible can be disabled and the Web page(s) in question reverted to a previous version. Reputation Management is available for all Web sites hosted by Gaggle, but support for other content management systems and Web applications is in development.
A GUIDE TO SURVIVING MIDDLE SCHOOL MATH: GRADE 7 MATH AND PRACTICE WORKSHEET
Tabtor has released a free e-book to help students navigate the critical learning progression that takes place in middle school and prepare for new math concepts introduced with Common Core State Standards. Tabtor’s personalized learning solution for grades 7 and 8 is available through the iTunes App Store for iPads.
HMH EDUCATION SERVICES
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has created HMH Education Services, an organization that will provide a full spectrum of support to K-12 districts, administrators, and educators. In addition to technical support and guidance, the team will also introduce new ways to deliver professional development to educators, including additional digital and blended learning options. These will be delivered through a new “Digital Learning Essentials” series, which offers best practice training for technology-enhanced instruction, and “AskHMH,” an online teacher resource available 24/7.
LEARNING.COM CURRICULUM FOUNDRY
Learning.com has announced that Curriculum Foundry, a solution that helps districts access, organize, and share digital resources, is now ready for full-scale district implementation. Through this solution’s comprehensive set of lesson- and unit-development tools, districts can build and share their own curriculum. Curriculum Foundry includes a searchable content repository of open education resources (OER) and other free digital resources covering core K-12 subjects. Curriculum Foundry also features single sign-on, enabling students and teachers to easily access digital content in their repository. Once districts have created their own curriculum using Curriculum Foundry, they can export their content via Thin Common Cartridge to be used in a number of compatible learning systems.
LIGHTSAIL STARTER LIBRARY
LightSail, a K-12 literacy solution, has added a free Starter Library for all customers. The library includes 350 texts spanning elementary, middle, and high school reading levels. Each free text in the Starter Library comes with LightSail’s signature feature: multiple-measure assessments that are embedded into the text and completed as students read. LightSail monitors student progress and updates their individual Lexile score instantly, enabling the library to adapt based on reading level. In addition to free texts, districts and schools can purchase ebooks for use with LightSail’s literacy solution from a selection of more than 80,000 titles spanning 400 publishers.
MCGRAW-HILL EDUCATION AND CEREGO
McGraw-Hill Education has teamed with Cerego, a memory management tool, to power its adaptive learning experience for the K-12 world languages market. The partnership furthers McGraw-Hill’s mission of delivering personalized learning experiences through adaptive technology, with the Cerego-powered experiences joining the company’s two main families of adaptive products, LearnSmart and ALEKS. McGraw-Hill Education will offer the Cerego-powered adaptive technologies in tandem with McGraw-Hill Education’s core programs for the course, which can also be used in conjunction with LearnSmart.
METAMETRICS AND OGMENT
MetaMetrics, developer of the Lexile Framework for Reading, and EvoText, LLC, a provider of custom eLearning solutions for schools and educational publishers, have partnered to incorporate MetaMetrics’ Lexile Analyzer technology into Ogment, EvoText’s cloud-based K-12 lesson creation tool for teachers. With Ogment, teachers can clip articles, videos, and other content from Web sites, and use that content to build interactive lessons. Teachers can bring an article or text from a Web site into Ogment, and the Lexile Analyzer will instantaneously provide an approximate Lexile measure for that text.
Literacy publisher MindPlay announced that is has created new corporate and product brands to reflect the full range of student ages that it now serves in K-12 through to adult teacher learners. The MindPlay Web site has been redesigned with a modern look, and product names have been updated along with their individual brands. MindPlay’s suite of online-based reading products for K-12 students include RAPS 360, now called Universal Reading Screener; MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach; and FLRT, now called MindPlay Reading Fluency. These are all aligned to Common Core State Standards. The latest product, MindPlay Teacher Companion, is the first in a series of online professional development products for reading and primary teachers authored by Drs. Nancy Mather and Blanche Podhajski.
The New York Times and CIG Education Group have joined forces to launch NYT EDUcation, an education initiative that will offer courses and programs covering a range of subjects, including communications and media. Courses will range from pre-college level to higher education, continuing education, and executive education by incorporating the skills, knowledge, and experience of The New York Times. The first programs will be available in time for the 2015-2016 school year.
NUREVA TROOVE DIGITAL PORTFOLIO
Nureva Inc. has announced the Nureva Troove digital portfolio software. This cloud-based solution is designed for K–12 students to provide evidence of their learning progress, to reflect on their learning, and to receive ongoing input from teachers and parents. Troove software provides alignment to curriculum standards, including Common Core State Standards, and assessment using ready-made, teacher-leveled rubrics. From the Troove software web client or the iPad and Android tablet apps, teachers create class projects. Based on project requirements, students prepare their work, reflecting on what they learned by commenting in their project space. Students can also include documents, attachments, media files and links to YouTube, Vimeo, and Google Drive within their project.
PANORAMA LEADERSHIP DASHBOARD
Panorama Education, a company that partners with K-12 schools to collect and analyze feedback from teachers, parents, and students, has launched a new Leadership Dashboard, designed to provide school district leaders with a comprehensive view into critical metrics. Principals and superintendents can select the metrics they want to track from a list of nearly 50 options, such as Parent Involvement, Quality of School Leadership, and Quality of Teacher-Student Relationships. The Leadership Dashboard has been beta tested in more than 300 K-12 schools, and will be rolled out to thousands more this spring.
PARENTSQUARE ANALYTICS DASHBOARD
ParentSquare, a simple and secure communication platform, has launched a new analytics dashboard to help administrators view, track, and enhance parental engagement. The platform is split between a “user dashboard” and “message dashboard,” and provides statistics on the number of users engaged throughout the school year. Schools can see how many users receive messages via email, text, or app notification and ensure 100 percent deliverability. Administrators can also track how parents are interacting with messages by either appreciating, commenting, or signing up to bring items.
QUICK KEY MOBILE PRO
Quick Key Mobile has released a Pro version of its mobile app and Web dashboard, offering unlimited mobile scanning for teachers. Teachers can align their quiz questions to standards, as well as add questions, text for answers, and images to quizzes. Teachers can also import student information and assign students to classes, and then track performance and progress via the mobile app or Web site. The app helps is available for iOS and Android devices.
REDBIRD MATHEMATICS: ADVANCED EDITION
GiftedandTalented.com recently launched Redbird Mathematics: Advanced Edition, a digital mathematics program based on Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY). The program combines ongoing Stanford research on K-12 accelerated learning with adaptive learning technology, rich graphics and games, and real world inspired digital learning projects. The curriculum is designed to help students achieve mathematical mastery at an accelerated rate by delivering engaging, personalized lessons that match each student’s unique learning style and pace.
VNC FOR RASPBERRY PI
RealVNC has released its flagship VNC product for the Raspberry Pi, allowing users to connect to their Pi from any Windows, Mac, or Linux computer. Once VNC has been downloaded to the Pi ,users can apply a Free license or, for more features, a Personal or Enterprise license. Raspberry Pi users will also be able to connect to their Pi from an iPad, iPhone, Android, or Chrome device by downloading RealVNC’s free VNC Viewer app.
Mentoring Minds has unveiled an update to its Total Motivation supplemental curriculum. Now, district leaders can run standards-mastery and item analysis reports at both the school and district levels. The new reporting function empowers administrators to make instructional decisions based on student progress, making it easier to identify learning gaps as well as to quickly analyze students who are mastering the material and students who require intervention. Total Motivation is optimized for iPads, Chromebooks, Macs, and PCs.
AmpliVox (www.ampli.com) has released the SW6240 All-Weather Hailer Kit, a rugged, portable system can be set up by one person and put into service anywhere, regardless of rough terrain or harsh weather. The All-Weather Hailer Kit includes a communication unit and set of two tripod-mounted speakers. The system uses a pair of two-way MURS radios (available separately), one acting as a receiver enclosed in the Hailer Kit’s weatherproof box and the other acting as the user’s transmission microphone. This radio connection allows users to transmit from a safe distance, up to two miles from the Hailer Kit’s location. Multiple stations can be set up at different locations and activated to work as a group to cover larger areas. The system also includes a flex antenna, rechargeable battery, integral charger, and 110V AC power supply. All electronics are housed in a sealed, fully weatherproof carrying case.
ELMO USA Corp. (www.elmousa.com) has unveiled the new TT-12iD Interactive Document Camera. The TT-12iD now has an HDMI input, which allows users to connect the HDMI output from their computer to easily switch between their camera and computer display. The TT-12iD is UVC compliant, so it can act like a webcam for use with third party software. The TT-12iD can also save live images, play back saved images, pause live images, and record time-lapse video. When its 12x optical zoom is combined with its 8x digital zoom, images can be enlarged up to 96x.
iboss Cybersecurity (www.iboss.com) has announced an upgrade to its advanced APT defense solution, FireSphere. The latest release uses the company’s patented network traffic anomaly monitoring technology to provide comprehensive protection against sophisticated and evasive malware exploits. The technology continuously monitors and compares current network traffic to pinpoint unusual behavior that can signify a network has been compromised. Once a problem is revealed, the data transfer is immediately stopped and IT is alerted to the problem, which can significantly reduce data exfiltration.
Connected Data (www.filetransporter.com/for-groups) has released two new private cloud file sync and share appliances that deliver file sharing features, performance, and capacity to small businesses, departments, and remote offices. The Transporter 15 and 30 appliances work to preserve the privacy and control of business data while offering users the same benefits and experience as public cloud solutions such as Dropbox. Data is 100% private and stored only onsite, ensuring that it meets the increasing data locality legislation in countries including Canada, China, Germany, Japan, and Russia.
Vernier Software & Technology (www.vernier.com) has launched the Vernier Structures & Materials Tester (VSMT ) to help students from high school to college explore key engineering concepts. Using the VSMT, along with the engineering design method, students can design, build, and test structures, as well as conduct bridge competitions and investigate and analyze beam designs and material properties. The VSMT is equipped with a force sensor that measures up to 1000 N and a displacement sensor with a measured precision of 0.1 mm resolution. Additionally, students can use Vernier’s Logger Pro video analysis software in conjunction with sensor data to visualize the exact moment when their structures bend and break.
Califone (www.califone.com) recently introduced its upgraded Bluetooth-enabled VoiceSaver. The PA283 personal amplifier provides teachers with clarity while delivering lessons, and now features a wireless headset for hands-free flexibility. Designed to assist soft-spoken presenters and protect against vocal fatigue, the VoiceSaver offers enough power to amplify a voice for use in mid-sized classrooms and tour groups of up to 25 people. The VoiceSaver’s lightweight frame means it can free-stand on a table or desktop, and a long battery life (6 to 8 hours) ensures the device is ready for a full school day.