What’s New: New Tools for Schools

Software & online


Adobe has unveiled their newest cloud offering, Adobe Document Cloud, offering a new way to manage critical documents for educational institutions across devices. At the heart of the Document Cloud is the new Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, a PDF solution that features a touch-enabled interface and supporting mobile apps. The combination of Acrobat desktop software, the new Acrobat DC mobile app, and Document Cloud services lets users create, edit, sign, and track PDFs in any location and from any device.


McGraw-Hill Education has announced a re-engineered, tablet-friendly interface for ALEKS (Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces), an adaptive learning system that provides an individualized learning experience for K-20 students based on their strengths and weaknesses. The student experience has been redesigned based on a deep understanding of five distinctive student archetypes, categorized by varying degrees of learning confidence and social behavioral patterns. The result is a tailormade learning experience for each student, designed so they can accelerate through course materials and retain knowledge in math and science at a much higher level.


Amplify is now offering 30 educational games, available as part of its digital curriculum products or for sale separately. The games, currently available for iOS devices, are designed to help middle school students achieve core educational goals in English Language Arts and STEM. Players explore a vast game world, which includes a virtual library, through new activities that arrive over the course of the school year.


Bridg-it has launched Bridg-it School, an online school safety solution that addresses the full lifecycle of an incident, from reporting through resolution. Bridg-it School also features a Resource Center of curated content with restorative techniques that foster positive outcomes. Available via computer, tablet, or smartphone, Bridg-it School allows students, teachers, parents, and administrators to securely file a confidential report in less than one minute. The solution immediately alerts the appropriate stakeholders when a report is filed, and also provides educators with aggregated data about a school’s behavioral climate and trends in real time.


McGraw-Hill Education recently launched a new version of Building Blocks, a supplemental math program that uses personalized lessons and research-based learning paths to improve student math skills through games and adaptive learning technology. The new version includes 50 percent more games, increased support through Grade 8 based on CCSS, and iPad accessibility. Building Blocks tailors instruction based on each student’s unique understanding and learning trajectory. Students play a series of games based on their abilities or as assigned by the teacher, and progress automatically through the program once they master each math concept.


Instructure, the creator of the Canvas LMS for K-12, has partnered with Pearson to integrate Canvas with Pearson’s PowerSchool student information system. The agreement will save teachers from duplicate data entry between the two systems. PowerSchool helps educators make timely decisions that impact student performance while creating a collaborative environment for parents, teachers, and students to work together. The two-way integration between the systems also allows for schools to easily provision a Canvas account using the information they already have stored in PowerSchool.


STI, a provider of education data management, student achievement, and professional learning solutions for K-12, recently rebranded as Chalkable. Chalkable offers a comprehensive student achievement solution that facilitates collaboration, access to information and personalized learning. Requiring only a single point of data entry, Chalkable lets teachers easily manage day-to-day tasks, differentiate instruction, and keep track of which students need help and which ones need a challenge. Students benefit through integrated communication tools and opportunities to self-help and personalize their own learning.


CHALK Preschool Online is a new, Netflixstyle entertainment and educational platform for children ages 18 months to 7 years. CHALK Preschool Online offers over 800 original entertainment and learning videos, broken down into three main categories: Daily Lessons, CHALKUTAINMENT, and Hands-On Activities. Specialized programming includes two original 30-minute series, “CHALK-Lets” and “What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up,” hosted by Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy), who interviews people like Master Lego builder David Howard.


The CK-12 Foundation recently launched a new simulations module, designed to increase student engagement for the free, CK-12 STEM platform. CK-12 designed the new physics simulations (sims) to help students learn key concepts by relating them to real world examples. Examples include “stadium wave”, a simulation of fans in a stadium to learn about wave speed and wave interference, and “prom night”, a simulation of a student seeing themselves dressed up for prom in front a full length mirror to learn about plane mirrors and the law of reflection. The simulations work on all computers and tablets (in html5) as well as in 1:1 learning environments. The company plans to continue building additional simulations for other STEM subjects.


Edmentum has announced computing as a new subject available in EducationCity, a foundational learning program for grades pre-K through 6. The new subject offers an introduction to computer science, digital literacy, and information technology through interactive content. The new subject focuses on three critical areas: digital literacy, computer science, and information technology. EducationCity provides teaching resources and student activities for language arts, math, science, computing, and ESL.


Curriculum Associates recently conducted research using data from more than 750,000 students to identify the reading and math Common Core State Standards that students find the most challenging. These standards, as well as free instructional resources specifically targeted to them, are now available on Curriculum Associates’ new microsite that helps educators address difficult areas as they teach to the rigor of the CCSS.


Aegis Identity Software, Inc. has created an educational community platform that offers a place for educators, students, parents, and administrators to securely discover and access district-approved educational resources. The platform protects students by only allowing access to student information for approved educational purposes by approved people within approved systems. Additionally, the platform enables Single Sign On (SSO) for improved teacher effectiveness


Engage is a classroom management system that provides modern management for the classroom by seamlessly connecting today’s teachers and learners. Teachers can take control of their lessons by directing students’ attention, encouraging student interaction, and adjusting instruction based on student needs, all from an easy to use interface. The system can be integrated and synchronized with existing systems. Additionally, Engage enables teachers to centralize course content and present it to students in a week-by-week, planner view.


Fuel Education has added 70 new high school courses to its online catalog for the 2015-2016 school year. The FuelEd Online Courses high school curriculum now includes over 230 courses, including more than 75 electives and 35 world language courses. Most courses are delivered with Spanish translation, text to speech, and dictionary support. The courses are designed to be used in class, at home, in a blended program, or in a fully online environment. They are available in several levels: Core, Comprehensive, Honors, AP, and even Remediation and Credit Recovery for students who need extra help.


Gale is integrating Gale Artemis: Primary Sources into Cengage Learning’s MindTap e-learning platform. Institutions that use MindTap and Gale library resources, specifically Gale Digital Collections, can now link the two through the MindTap platform. Instructors using MindTap can select specific primary source documents from Gale Artemis: Primary Sources, Gale’s primary sources crosssearch interface, and link them directly to syllabi readings, quizzes, research projects, classroom discussions, or other activities. Through MindTap, students can access Gale Artemis: Primary Sources at the document level, but they can then perform additional research through the platform alongside their coursework. Students benefit from easy access to materials through a single interface.


Aerohive Networks has updated its HiveManager Next Generation (NG) cloud management platform for mobile-first organizations. The update offers easy onboarding, streamlined user experience, and simplified troubleshooting. The combination of HiveManager NG with Aerohive’s new 802.11ac access point, the AP130, delivers a complete mobility solution. The platform centralizes the management, provisioning, and monitoring of mobility networks, without sacrificing the distributed intelligence located at the edge of the network within each Aerohive device. With the AP130, organizations can now upgrade their wireless networks to 802.11ac without having to upgrade existing Power over Ethernet (PoE) infrastructure.


Ross Local School District in Ohio has selected icurio as a key component of its 1:1 Personalized Learning Initiative. Created by Knovation, icurio delivers a library of educator-vetted, standards-aligned Open Educational Resources (OER)covering every grade, subject area, and learner need. The district’s 1:1 Personalized Learning Initiative provides every student in grades 5-12 a Chrome-book laptop to promote personalized learning. The district will use icurio to target digital resources and tools for building and delivering personalized instruction. In addition to enabling educators to easily find and deliver the best digital content, icurio also gives educators real-time insights into student understanding and lets them provide personalized feedback at the point of learning.


Learnteria is a “Yelp-style” resource for the education community, offering ratings and unbiased information on the resources that educators and parents use every day. Users can add star ratings to resources and search the Web site to find what they need, saving time and money in comparing educational resources.


The myON literacy environment for PreK-12 now features four packages of digital content from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH). The Picture Book package features Curious George. Middle Readers package features stories as: Miranda the Great, Pinky Pye, and Yes! She Can. The Award Winners package includes The Bronze Bow, The Midwife’s Apprentice, and a variety of Newbery Honor books. The Middle and High School packages feature titles from authors such as Eleanor Estes, Glenn Stout, Gary Paulsen, and Roland Smith. All content on myON has an unlimited building license, which removes the traditional check-in/checkout barrier.


Naiku has announced its Professional Learning Series, offering monthly webinars that are free for educators and led by trained psychometricians, professors, and other educational experts in a graduate seminar format. The Professional Learning Series informs educators about research-based, technology-enabled assessment practices that help transform and accelerate student learning. Educators gain practical ideas to adopt in their classrooms and schools, and increased confidence in using learnercentric assessment methods, such as self-assessment, goal-setting, student reflection, bi-directional feedback, and adaptive learning resources, to differentiate instruction and personalize learning for all learners in a standards-based environment.


Atomic Learning recently added an online course on the SAMR model to its library. Dr. Ruben Puentedura developed the SAMR model, and it stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. Each brief video shows what a completed project or idea would look like, and is designed to bridge the gap between technical knowledge and practical application, both for students and for teachers’ professional development.


SOTI Inc., a provider of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy management, has announced broadened EMM capabilities with the general availability of SOTI MobiControl 12.1. SOTI’s MobiControl solution for education is designed to enhance the learning experience while providing IT admins peace-of-mind across all mobile devices deployed. This new version offers a same-day enterprise mobility management solution for devices using Android for Work; support for the latest version of Samsung KNOX; and streamlined deployment of iOS devices. SOTI MobiControl 12.1 provides enhanced manageability and security functionality across a wide range of mobile devices, allowing educators to enhance the total learning experience while students get the most out of a virtual curriculum.


STEM Jobs, Victory Media’s K-12 STEM solutions platform, has partnered with leading educators to develop the research-driven STEM Jobs Classroom Training Series. The series, comprised of 34 lessons segmented into five modules, introduces teachers to “7 principles of practice” that will help build classroom environments where all students can feel comfortable and successful at studying STEM. The Classroom Training Series complements the suite of STEM Jobs media and digital tools for high school students, designed to connect classrooms to careers.


StorTrends has optimized support for a complete range of virtual environments, including VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix Xen, and Red Hat RHEV. The result is a suite of storage arrays that offer enterprise-level performance and reliability at an affordable price point. One of the key offerings is StorTrends’ iDATA Tool, which automatically identifies an environment’s actual storage needs and requirements before a customer makes a purchasing decision. Running quietly in the background of an existing IT environment, the StorTrends iDATA Tool will, after seven days, reports on key metrics including capacity utilization, IOPS usage, reads versus writes for volumes, network bandwidth performance, server statistics, and application information. This helps IT professionals identify the storage requirements needed for optimum operation and eliminates the need to over-provision costly resources.


Texthelp has announced Teach for Google, a professional development solution that helps educators increase student achievement using proven tools and strategies within the Google Apps for Education environment. Teach for Google offers a library of short, easy-to-implement courses with “How-To” videos, strategy overviews, templates, checklists, and more, designed to help teachers successfully implement effective strategies in the classroom.


Think Through Learning, creators of Think Through Math (TTM), recently launched a higher education version of their Web-based math instructional system. The new version supports students who require additional foundational math skills to be ready for college-level mathematics. TTM provides engaging and rigorous adaptive lessons designed to build deep, conceptual understanding of math. Online math teachers are available to support struggling students as they go through the program.


“Trending Words”, BoomWriter’s newest feature for its interactive vocabulary tool, WordWriter, enables educators to easily create vocabulary lists by selecting from top trending terms used by peers on BoomWriter. Trending Words blends easy-to-use technology and academically impactful tools with social media, where teachers can see what vocabulary words are “trending” for a particular grade, subject matter, or location based on site usage. For Trending Words’ first phase, vocabulary terms tagged as ELA-focused will be featured, with other subjects and options to follow.


Literacy publisher MindPlay recently released a new online professional development course for K-12 teachers and parents, offering expert insight on how to identify students who have dyslexia and sharing instructional strategies that help those students learn to read. Understanding Dyslexia is a Web-based program that participants can complete at their own pace using a computer, tablet, or iPad with Internet access. The program includes modules on definition and description of dyslexia, components of assessment, and effective instruction.



Aerohive Networks’ ID Manager now has an accompanying iOS app that enables self-service guest and BYOD registration by employees. The intuitive design and automated workflow helps avoid mistakes and reduce help-desk calls to IT. ID Manager is an enterprise access management system that leverages the cloud to simplify and automate the deployment and on-boarding of guest and employee personal devices to the enterprise network.


Bublish has partnered with Edmodo to create Author Connect, an app designed to reinvigorate the way literature is experienced in classrooms around the world. Offering educators and students a virtual, interactive opportunity, Author Connect lets teachers schedule live, online classroom visits with authors. The discussions take place on Edmodo, where students are able to share their thoughts and ideas with their peers, teachers and the guest authors. The app will be available through the Edmodo Store this fall.


GoodReader, the PDF reader and file management app for the iPhone and iPad, now offers three-tap access to precomposed signatures, which are stored securely and can optionally be protected by a fingerprint on devices equipped with Touch ID. When a document needs to be signed, the user simply chooses one of the precomposed signatures stored in GoodReader. Additionally, the latest version adds support for Bluetooth-connected foot pedals, ideal for music teachers who use iPads to read sheet music.


Quick Key Mobile now offers an Android version of its mobile scanning app. With a user-friendly interface, the Android app has all the same capabilities as the iOS version. Additionally, the new Quick Key Pro and Pro Website apps have expanded student tracking, created custom student IDs, added a new Quiz Builder that lets users write and print quizzes, and created a way to form teams and share quizzes with other Quick Key Mobile users. The complete Quick Key Mobile solution is free for educators and schools performing occasional assessments.


Skyward has revealed a new framework to its mobile app, launching in June. The revamped app will reduce page loads, increase data capacity, and provide better browse functionality. The company has also introduced its Professional Development Center (PDC), an online university.


The Acer Iconia Tab 10 for Education was designed specifically for the education space and syncs with the Google Education ecosystem. The tablets are equipped with NFC for setup and sharing capabilities; districts can set up a whole classroom of tablets in minutes. It is durable, with a Corning Gorilla Glass 4, full HD 10.1-inch display and a reinforced mechanical design. It features Acer Precision Plus for greater accuracy for writing and sketching. It is powered by an Intel Atom processer, so it delivers solid performance and up to 7.5 hours of battery life. It runs Android 5.0 tablet and will be available in May starting at $299.

The HP Pro Tablet 10 EE is built for the classroom and provides enterprise-grade security with features like HP Client Security that help keep students and their data protected. The HP Pro Tablet 10 EE gives students the same durable body, passive pen, and keyboard dock options as the HP Pro Slate 10 EE with an operating system that supports legacy applications. Enjoy out-of-the-box productivity with the new HP School Pack, a software suite that delivers a unique combination of learning and IT software resources and data, from ebooks and classroom management to onboard IT support.

The Dell Venue 10 5000 (available in either Android 5.0 Lollipop or Windows 8.1) features a 10.1-inch HD or Full HD display. It allows students to work in five different positions when configured with the optional, attachable, and reversible keyboard. An optional active stylus also provides the pen and paper “inking” experience on a tablet. The Dell Venue 10, based on Android 5.0, is certified with Google Play for Education. It is equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) so teachers can instantly download content to students by simply bumping devices, making it even easier for every student to seamlessly access digital content.

Surface 3 is the best of a tablet yet works like a laptop. Surface 3 offers offline and online capabilities, a breadth of choice in education content—from Office apps to thousands of education apps in the Windows Store—and the durability and mobility to shuttle between classes, staff meetings, and home. Touch and inking capabilities make Surface 3 ideal for connecting with students and enhancing classroom activities. Built with security and privacy in mind, Surface and Windows provide a consistent, controlled, and protected environment for students’ and schools’ information.

The Galaxy Tab 4 Education is Samsung’s first tablet exclusively developed for K-12 schools. With up to 10 hours of battery life, the Galaxy Tab 4 Education is classroom- and backpack-ready with a bundled protective case, Corning Gorilla Glass, and optional connected keyboard. With a Web-based console, IT administrators can easily manage and update a fleet of devices, freeing up IT resources. The Galaxy Tab 4 Education also includes NFC technology, making it easy to set up devices with just a few taps. Compatible with Google Play for Education, it also provides access to curated educational content searchable by grade, subject, and Common Core Standard.

InFocus Corporation (www.InFocus.com) has released three new 10.1-inch, Windows 8.1 tablets specifically designed for use at home, in school, and at work. The second-generation InFocus Q Tablet series now consists of the INP-120Q for consumers, INP-120Q-ED for use in schools, and INP-120Q-PR for business. Each of the new models features a 10.1-inch display, a version of the Window 8.1 operating system, an Intel Atom 1.8 GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, and dual front and rear-facing cameras. The models also feature network connectivity, USB-A, USB-C 3.0, and an SD card slot. For power and increased productivity similar to a PC, the INP-120Q-PR and INP-120Q-ED run a full version of the Windows 8.1 Pro operating system. The education version is specially priced for school budgets.

Isabella Products, Inc. (https://vizitme.com/aboutfable) has released Fable, a kids-only tablet with a highly durable design and child-friendly features. The browser-free tablet enables teachers and parents to set up student profiles that provide a safe way for interaction and exploration of educational content, so they don’t have to worry about security. The company also offers free pilot programs and customized content that aligns with classroom curriculum.

Lumens Integration Inc. (www.mylumens.com) has unveiled the new DC-W50 wireless base for the Ladibug DC125 Flyer HDvisualizer. The DC125 Flyer is designed for use in a one-to-one learning environment. Educators can visually share the teaching material from anywhere in the classroom and onto the students’ tablets or laptops with the help of the wireless document camera and base. Students can easily share their work or completed project with their classmates without having to worry about any attached power cords. The DC-W50 wireless base supports 2.4 GHz and 5GHz wireless transmission and HDMI-out transmission simultaneously with a distance of up to 15 meters. When the wireless base is fully charged, it can operate up to six hours.

Peerless-AV (www.peerless-av.com) has announced new additions to its line of SmartMount video carts and stands. Instead of purchasing multiple displays for multiple rooms, users can now order one display and create a mobile solution that is used in numerous locations. In addition, all new SmartMount carts and stands are UL tested and certified. The new line of Peerless- AV SmartMount carts and stands include the SR560M, a flat panel mobile display cart for general viewing capabilities; the SR575M, a flat panel mobile display cart that offers tool-less display height adjustment; the SR598, best for extra large displays; the SS560M/SS560F, stands with (SS560M) and without (SS560F) metal shelf for general display stand applications; and the SS560G stand with gloss finish and glass shelf for residential and office applications.

Steelcase Education (www.steelcase.com) has developed Thread, a carpet-based power distribution system designed to provide PreK-20 learning spaces with power wherever students and educators need it. Thread transforms any carpeted floor throughout a building into a power source. The system uses the building’s power source by running power through a thin modular track designed to be seamlessly laid under carpet. With six outlets, standing, heigh-tadjustable power hubs connected to the track provide support to power laptops as well as mobile and tablet devices.

PASCO (www.pasco.com) has released the SPARK Element, a rugged, water-resistant, lightweight, and portable device designed for modern science classrooms. The handheld device features a multi-touch display and HD camera, as well as USB, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity. It comes pre-loaded with SPARKvue, PASCO’s science learning application for sensor-based data collection, sharing, visualization, and analysis, and connects to PASCO’s line of more than 80 sensors. The SPARK Element includes interactive science lab activities to guide students through the process of inquiry and investigation and promote critical thinking and group discussion.

Tripp Lite (www.tripplite.com) has introduced a line of tablet charging stations that charge, sync, and secure up to 48 tablets and feature USB charging ports that provide up to 2.4 amps (12 watts) per port. Users can easily configure, back up, and restore tablets using a host computer. Sturdy steel construction and a locking door keep tablets safe without interfering with charging. The charging stations also match each tablet’s top charging speed. They can be mounted to the wall or deployed on a desk, table, counter, or floor, with support for optional rolling casters, a reversible handle, and stacking configurations.

Kensington (www.kensington.com) has released the BlackBelt 2nd Degree Rugged Case (shown) for iPad Air 2 and the KeyFolio Thin X2 for iPad Air. The BlackBelt case offers sturdy tablet protection in a case that’s easy to hold, and is also available for the iPad mini. Surrounded in a strong, cushioned layer of rubber over a polycarbonate X-frame to protect against bumps and drops, the BlackBelt meets military-grade MIL-STD-810G testing for drop protection. The KeyFolio Thin X2 offers a light, thin, form-fitting design that maintains the sleek profile of the iPad Air. Key features include an integrated Bluetooth keyboard featuring six rows of high-performance scissor keys and a row of dedicated shortcut keys for greater productivity in fewer keystrokes.

RGS, a business unit of Avnet, Inc. (www.avnet.com), has introduced the RGS Education Chromebook, a new digital learning device purpose built for education. Built to handle the challenges of maintaining sensitive technology appliances in a demanding classroom environment, the RGS Education Chromebook features a 9.5-hour battery life, plastic bumper, water resistant keyboard, and anti-peel keyboard keys, and is designed to withstand a fall from a standard-height student desk (70 cm). Additionally, the Chromebook features a snap-on magnification lens, enabling the Chromebook to function as a microscope. Educators can combine the microscope with popular STEM applications and calculators available in the Google Chrome Web Store.

Absolute Software Corporation (www.absolute.com) has announced that its Persistence technology will be installed in a new suite of HP’s mobile devices. With Persistence technology, Absolute allows K-12 districts to track, manage, and secure educational devices and support 1-to-1 curriculum plans with these devices. The new HP Education Edition tablets and notebook are specifically designed for classroom learning, providing all of the technology and services required for a comprehensive mobile solution. The devices also come preloaded with the HP School Pack, a set of instructional tools to help students learn and enable educators to teach more efficiently.

LocknCharge (www.lockncharge.com) has launched four new products for safely storing, syncing, and charging mobile devices at schools. The new, compact Carrier 20Cart is designed for transporting through tight hallways and can efficiently store, sync, and charge up to 20 mobile devices at once. The universal Cart works with iPad, iPad Air, or iPad Mini devices and most other tablets, laptops, and Chromebooks. In addition, three new desktop or wall mounted charging stations offer smaller options to help schools store, sync, charge, secure, and distribute as many as ten devices in the iQ 10Charging Station, iQ 10 Sync Charge Station, and Carrier 10 Charging Station.