Software & Online
Aerohive Networks introduced Aerohive Connect, a new cloud networking solution that delivers enterprise connectivity and centralized management starting at $229 per access point. Connect allows organizations to grow as they go, simplify their network operations, and easily upgrade to the full suite of Aerohive solutions as their needs change. As part of the new Connect offering, Aerohive also announced the launch of the AP122, a new enterprise-grade 802.11ac access point.
Assessment company Apperson, Inc., and the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, launched a new company, Aperture Education, that provides strength-based assessments and resilience-building resources to help schools and out-of-school-time organizations address the whole child. The new company offers products and services to support educators, student support personnel, administrators, and out-of-school time professionals as they implement social and emotional learning (SEL) programs within their organizations. These programs include Evo Social/Emotional, a K-8 online assessment and intervention tool that uses the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) to help educators measure students’ SEL skills and implement individualized, classroom and school-wide strategies for instruction and intervention.
Allovue released Balance Budget to help budget directors allocate resources to decision-makers throughout the district without having to manage many custom, static spreadsheets. Title I grant managers, teaching and learning departments, and school principals can now all manage their allocations to budget staff and other resources that are aligned to district goals. Late-stage changes to salary and benefits packages can be updated across dozens or hundreds of budgets with a few keystrokes.
CLASSLINK AND SAFARI MONTAGE
ClassLink announced a strategic alliance with SAFARI Montage to provide users with a seamless digital learning environment. ClassLink OneClick delivers single sign-on to Windows, Google, web applications such as SAFARI Montage, and instant access to files at school and in the cloud. SAFARI Montage provides K–12 school districts with an integrated Learning Object Repository, Video Streaming Library, and IPTV & Live Media Streaming solutions, designed to handle video efficiently. The platform provides a single interface for users to search, access, and manage their digital resources from educational publisher courseware, OERs, licensed libraries, uploaded videos, Google Drive, and more. SAFARI Montage is interoperable with nearly all major learning management systems and Google Classroom.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt added two new, original short-form animated series to Curious World, the company’s subscription content service and app for preschool-aged children and their families. Through the Woods is produced by the Fred Rogers Company and follows an adventurous boy named Rider as he embarks on discoveries in his own backyard. Melia and Jois, produced by Billy Aronson and Jennifer Oxley, is about best friends who bring science and art together to build creative inventions.
DREMEL AND 3DPRINTEROS
Dremel has partnered with the digital manufacturing system company 3DPrinterOS to enable complete, cloud-based connectivity for the Dremel Idea Builder 3D printers. Access to the 3DPrinterOS system will allow users of the Dremel Idea Builder 3D printer to prepare models and monitor print progress anytime with any device — without the need to download software.
Edgenuity, a leading provider of online and blended learning, announced the launch of UpSmart, a supplemental solution designed to help all students in grades 6–8 demonstrate mastery of state standards in English language arts and math. Using a completely adaptive learning engine and technology-enhanced assessments, UpSmart provides the right level of instruction and practice on each topic for each student. UpSmart personalizes the learning environment for every student as a companion to the core curriculum or as a test-readiness program, and can be used in variety of settings – as part of a classroom-based blended learning program, in an advisory period or study skills class, or as homework.
RobotLAB released a new digital platform that provides robot-based lessons for a wide range of subjects and age levels. Engage! K-12 is a hands-on learning experience organized by themes, such as soccer-playing robots or autonomous cars. Students and teachers can access the browser-based learning ecosystem from any device. Teachers without programming experience can bring their lessons to life with virtual or physical robots. Lessons are searchable by grade level, subject, and CCSS or TEKS standard, and cover topics from coding to STEM to storytelling. Teachers can use RobotLAB’s existing lessons, customize them for their classes, or create their own.
FOLLETT MAKERSPACE BUNDLES
Follett recently responded to the growing trend of librarians and schools embracing makerspaces by offering age-level specific Makerspace Bundles, which encourage students’ inquiry and exploration through hands-on production. The bundles, designed to save time and take the guesswork out of starting a makerspace, allow librarians to get started in the makerspace concept without doing all of the curation work themselves. Easy to set up and safe to use, the Dremel Idea Builder enables students to interact with their 3D models in the physical space – ultimately enhancing retention of abstract concepts. For educators, the printer’s comprehensive teaching and learning kits easily integrate with existing STEM curriculum and includes access to Dremel’s 1:1 customer support and training. The Dremel Idea Builder 3D 40 printer also features Wi-Fi connectivity, active filament monitoring, a clog-resistant extruder, and assisted leveling.
Google updated Classroom, its free (to students and teachers) service where teachers can distribute assignments to and interact with their students. Now, teachers can more easily assign work to individual students and groups based on their unique needs. As they’re creating an assignment, post, or question, teachers can choose whether to share it with the entire class or just with a subset of students. Students can also discreetly receive extra practice if they’re falling behind. Additionally, teachers now receive two new types of Classroom notifications—one when students submit work after the due date, and one when students re-submit work.
Curriculum Associates recently launched i-Ready Ideas to provide teachers with an online, community-driven forum where they can view and share best-practice tips and resources for using i-Ready, the award-winning online assessment and instruction program. This new forum will include images, videos, and downloadable resources to help teachers engage students, explore the use of data, and use i-Ready with greater fidelity in their Reading and Mathematics classrooms.
IMPERO EDUCATION PRO V6
Impero Software launched the latest version of Impero Education Pro. Version 6 offers an advanced, cloud-based, cross-server reporting and analytics tool, Impero Insight, as an add-on module. Impero Insight pulls a school/district’s data (collected by Impero Education Pro on one or across multiple servers) into detailed and visually-rich graphical reports designed to aid in decision-making, support best practices, and keep students safe. Impero Insight’s reports are designed to be simple to access and easy to understand. Presented in pre-defined, tailored dashboards, the interactive reports provide schools and districts access to cross-school data in order to compare, contrast, and review data in a single centralized view. This data can be reviewed on an individual school, classroom, or student basis.
IXL LEARNING ADAPTIVE SCIENCE AND SOCIAL STUDIES CONTENT
IXL Learning, a K–12 learning program used by 1 in 9 U.S. students, introduced adaptive science and social studies content for grades 6–8. Each skill in the curriculum leads students through a series of concepts using multistage challenges, which they complete by answering interactive questions. This progression helps students build mastery of complex topics, while the challenges make the learning process engaging. With this release, IXL now offers science and social studies for grades 2–8 and math and English language arts for grades pre-K–12.
LEGO EDUCATION MAKER ACTIVITIES
LEGO Education supports teachers in incorporating Maker learning into their classroom with age and curriculum-relevant materials that facilitate engaging lessons. Two Maker curriculum packs are currently available – one for elementary school (grades 3-5) that’s based on Simple Machines, and one for middle school (grades 6-8) that’s based on Simple & Powered Machines. The activities include an introduction to how the design process works, three lesson plans, inspiration sheets that include pictures of problems to be solved, and student worksheets that include a self-assessment rubric based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
LIVINGTREE PHONE ALERTS
LivingTree, a private social network for PK-12 family engagement, recently introduced Phone Alerts. With this new capability, all communications can be delivered via the LivingTree platform. Voice messages are delivered to a parent’s phone number of choice with opt in and opt out functionality in place. Based on parent preferences, phone alerts are delivered to recipients as a message post, email notification, mobile notification, and/or a phone call -- becoming a voicemail if there is no answer. With voice translation to 26 languages and text translation to more than 100 languages, recipients receive the call or message in their preferred language.
MINECRAFT: EDUCATION EDITION
Minecraft: Education Edition now includes 60 Global Minecraft Mentors representing 19 countries around the world. Each week a different mentor will post blogs, livestreams, videos, and other contributions for the community to enjoy as part of the Mentor of the Week series. Additionally, Minecraft Education Edition has been updated with new features: “global pause” to take a quick break, accessibility features such as text to speech for in-game chat, an updated user interface with easier settings management, and a streamlined uploading process for educators with .mcworld file support.
MYON VERSION 3.7
myON announced the release of version 3.7, bringing re-envisioned faculty reports and more support for student readers. Now, students can select the read-aloud speed of any book in the myON collection. For early readers, additional native benchmark items are available that use pictures and simple sentences to track changes in students’ reading scores as they progress. When creating reading tasks, educators can use book alignments to state and national standards to connect titles to support curriculum goals.
OneNote has announced a set of improvements across OneNote Class Notebook, Learning Tools, and Office Lens. Now, teachers can access Class Notebook Tools on OneNote Online and the Windows 10 app and give stickers to students in their Class Notebooks. Additionally, teachers will find new, embeddable content types from partners. Microsoft also released Office Lens for iPad, including Learning Tools.
OVERDRIVE EDUCATION SHARED COLLECTIONS
OverDrive Education now offers shared collections, a collaborative eBook platform that enables two or more schools or districts to borrow eBooks and audiobooks via a single, easy-to-use website, with all purchased titles available to all participating institutions’ users. OverDrive content specialists make title suggestions based on collective need and feedback, but individual schools make purchasing decisions. Books purchased for a shared collection are available to all participating schools or districts through the OverDrive digital reading platform. eBook and audiobooks are filtered by grade level to ensure the right titles are reaching the right students.
PANOPTO VIDEO PLATFORM
Panopto announced the latest release of its video platform which introduces a new quizzing tool. The quiz maker enables instructors to test comprehension, reinforce key concepts, and improve knowledge retention. Instructors can easily create multiple choice, multi-select, and true/false quizzes. The quizzes can then be embedded into videos using the Panopto video editor. Additionally, Panopto’s HTML5-based video editor now supports multi-camera switching in post-production, and the ability to upload slide decks and synchronize slides with a video or audio file. Panopto will also expose the output of their automatic speech recognition (ASR) so that customers can import machine-generated captions and then correct them in the video editor. With the latest release, Panopto also built on its existing platform for iOS live streaming to support Android devices.
Tales2go Inc. announced an introductory subscription offering for its award-winning service. Different from a building license, which provides a take-home license for every student, a Tales2go library license provides up to 10 licenses for use in the library/media center and 25 lendable licenses that can be shared with individual students on mobile devices. Tales2go supports the development of literacy skills during a student’s early childhood and elementary school years. The Tales2go service easily adds a listening component to classroom reading instruction. Tales2go works with leading audio book publishers ranging from Recorded Books, Scholastic, and Oxford University Press, as well as established storytellers such as Bill Harley and Odds Bodkin.
Follett and VitalSource Technologies have integrated systems to eliminate the need for passcodes to access VitalSource content via Follett’s BryteWave digital textbook reader. Students simply log in to their LMS and click a link for instant access to their needed materials. Follett’s new integration with VitalSource extends seamless content access to all students purchasing VitalSource content through a Follett managed campus store, in-store or online.
ADOBE APPS FOR CHROMEBOOKS
Adobe announced the launch of updated Android applications optimized for select Chromebooks. Adobe Creative Cloud apps are offered as a Google beta. School administrators can approve and push Adobe apps on select managed Chromebooks by using the Google Admin console. The initial release of apps includes Photoshop Mix, Lightroom Mobile, Illustrator Draw, Photoshop Sketch, Adobe Comp CC, and Creative Cloud Mobile. Schools can expect an additional wave of Adobe apps to be launched later this year.
BiomeViewer is a new, free app that pulls back the curtain on any terrestrial location on the planet. Users can drop a pin or search for their favorite location to see monthly climate data, discover the wildlife that lives in the area, and see how humans changed the land use over the last 300 years. Engaging animations enable users to track temperature or precipitation throughout the year. The app also offers an educator guide with tips for using BiomeViewer in the classroom.
ClassTag, a free parent engagement app for teachers and schools, is announcing a fully customizable and automated newsletter functionality to augment its communications and scheduling capabilities. ClassTag’s Weekly Update has been designed to replace labor-intensive paper newsletters. An email newsletter with an overview of all upcoming activities will be sent to parents invited by the teacher to her class weekly, at a time and day set by the teacher. Teachers can add custom content or let ClassTag keep parents in the loop.
EDTHENA CHROMEBOOK APP
With Edthena’s new Chromebook app, teachers can complete an entire video coaching cycle – from recording to upload to feedback – on a Chromebook device. With this release, Edthena offers video tools for all major device platforms found in schools – Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Chrome OS. Edthena’s Chromebook app automates the process of recording and uploading videos of any length. With the app, teachers select a video length and hit record; the app automatically stops recording after the specified time and begins the upload process.
INFORMUSIC MUSIC HISTORY APP
Informusic is a music history app for iOS devices and smartphones. Created and refined with a select team of leading musicologists, performers, professors, and historians, Informusic is an all-in-one music history and composer resource that means that music students and classical music fans alike will now be able to access a wealth of detailed musical history facts and information with just the swipe of a finger.
Acer (www.acer.com) announced the new TravelMate Spin B1, the first “Spin” product in the TravelMate line with a 360-degree hinge that allows for versatile student learning with Laptop, Stand, Tent, and Tablet modes. The TravelMate Spin B1 features a durable design with pressure-resistant screen, shock-absorbent rubber bumper, and spill-resistant keyboard. It provides up to 13 hours of battery life and includes a stylus that supports Windows Ink as a way to take notes, edit documents, and sketch. Acer also announced the new Chromebook Spin 11, a rugged machine with a Wacom EMR (Electro-Magnetic Resonance) stylus ideal for classroom use. The Chromebook Spin 11 is fitted with two Acer HD wide view HDR webcams – one 1MP camera above the screen and another 5MP camera above the keyboard. Like the TravelMate Spin model, the Chromebook Spin 11 features a 360-degree dual-torque hinge.
Casio America, Inc. (www.casio.com) is expanding its line of PRIZM graphing calculators and recently released the fx-CG50. The calculator includes new capabilities such as 3D graphing, as well as an enhanced new look. Students can easily draw 3D graphs such as planes, cylinders, and spheres, and view them from various angles. The calculator also offers an improved catalog function so students can use commands more quickly. Additionally, a new casing design in a rectangular shape offers improved ease-of-use.
Vernier (www.vernier.com) launched the Go Direct family of sensors, offering versatile ways for users to collect scientific data either wirelessly or through USB connection. The 16 new, low-cost sensors, which are designed primarily for chemistry, physical science, and middle school science, can be used in more than 190 teacher-tested experiments developed by Vernier and are supported by free graphing and analysis software, Graphical Analysis 4 app. Vernier also partnered with Google to expand the availability of software that can graph scientific and engineering data on mobile devices. STEM students can now use Vernier sensors to collect and graph data in real time within Google’s Science Journal app on Google Play for Android devices. To begin the data-collection process, students launch the app and then connect one of over 45 supported Vernier sensors to wirelessly stream and record data, such as temperature, pressure, pH, heart rate, and more. With Science Journal, students can organize their ideas into projects, make predictions, collect data in multiple trials, take notes, upload images from the experiment, and annotate results.
Spectrum Industries (www.spectrumfurniture.com/Connect36) released the Connect36 and Connect18 Device Cart, the latest addition to its mobile device cart line. The Connect36/18 cart securely stores and charges up to 36 Chromebooks, tablets, or notebooks up to 15.6 inches (an accessory power plug may be needed). All metal overhead wire management aids the wiring integration of the Connect36/18 and allows charging plugs to hang in front of each device. Three charging options are available on the Connect36 so the end-user can choose the right option for their technology. There is also a large brick tray in the back that will easily hold all the necessary cords from a fully-wired cart.
Epson (www.epson.com) announced two new printers to its EcoTank all-in-one printer line: the Expression ET-2650 and Expression ET-2600. Both printers feature cartridge-free printing and include up to two years of ink in the box, enough to print up to 4,000 pages black and 6,500 pages color – equivalent to about 20 ink cartridge sets. The new printers represent Epson’s continued commitment to the Supertank category and offers consumers with a reliable and affordable solution that addresses everyday home printing needs. Featuring all-in-one capabilities, as well as built-in wireless printing and an unbeatable combination of convenience and value, the ET-2600 and ET-2650 bring low-cost, hassle-free color printing to the home.
Optoma (www.optomausa.com) released the ZW300UST laser phosphor, ultra short throw projector, combining a laser light source for virtually maintenance-free operation with high reliability, flexibility, and image quality. The ZW300UST features an ultra short throw ratio of .27, weighs less than 13 pounds, and measures 15 by 5 by 12.5 inches, making it the ideal WXGA projector for space-constrained settings. By leveraging a laser phosphor light source, the projector also offers up to 20,000 hours of use. With 3,000 lumens and a 22,000:1 contrast ratio, the projector also produces vibrant colors.
NEC Display Solutions of America (www.necdisplay.com) released eight new XGA- and WXGA-resolution projectors. The light-weight, portable ME Series projectors include 3,000-, 3,300-, 3,600-and 4,000-lumen options that meet the color reproduction needs of the K-12 classroom. The units include a 1.7x zoom lens for added installation flexibility, making it easy for new and replacement situations. Supporting collaboration and screen sharing are key drivers of the new ME Series projectors. They utilize NEC’s MultiPresenter, a multi-user (up to 16 connections from smart phones, tablets and PCs) collaborative screen-sharing solution that allows students and instructors to share images, files, documents, presentations, and more simultaneously over a wired or wireless network. Operating system agnostic, it combines users of Windows, MAC, iOS and Android operating systems onto a single screen.