Software & Online
Sonocent launched version 4 of its Audio Notetaker tool, enabling users to work more effectively with information in text, audio, and visual formats. The latest version offers a range of new features providing more ways to acquire, express, and represent information, accommodating the principals of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and developing vital study skills techniques. New tools include Scribe Feature, automatic speech recognition that integrates with Dragon Naturally Speaking, and an Audio Clean Up tool to gain clarity from the audio recordings by removing background noise interference.
BoomWriter’s free, interactive, group-writing platform challenges students with writing projects and strengthens their literacy skills across the board: from improving vocabulary, to developing nonfiction projects, to writing stories. With a Web-based platform that uniquely enables collaborative writing, students first write and submit their work independently and receive personalized feedback from the teacher, and then assess their classmates’ entries and anonymously vote for the best version. Boomwriter works on any computer, tablet, or mobile device.
BREAKING THE FRENCH BARRIER IBOOKS
Breaking the Barrier announced that the 2015 Breaking the French Barrier series of iBooks textbooks is now available for download on Apple’s iBooks Store. The release includes a video introduction to each chapter by Series Editor John Conner. Audio recordings of native speakers accompany each sample sentence. The 2015 series also introduces a new feature, Voyons Voir, virtual blackboard lessons that highlight key grammatical points. Motion graphics along with authentic voices help to illustrate all concepts.
BRITANNICA ESCOLAR ONLINE
Britannica Digital Learning announced a new and enhanced version of Britannica Escolar Online, its resource for accurate and age-appropriate educational content in Spanish. Created for grades K-8, its new features make it more valuable for native Spanish speakers, bilingual students and students learning Spanish. Britannica Escolar Online now offers two distinct levels of content—Primaria (elementary) and Secundaria (middle school), with relevant information for students at every grade and reading level. New, responsive design provides access to the site anytime, anywhere on any device, including tablets, smartphones and laptops. Users can expand how and where they search for information easily, moving from one level with a single click to get results on the same topic at the other level.
The latest from Agilix Labs, Inc., is Buzz, a personalized and blended learning solution that empowers teachers to coach and curate work as students follow their unique path to specific learning objectives. Offering student-specific approaches, Buzz also prompts students to regularly assess their own interest, effort, and understanding, and then provides feedback teachers can use to coach them to a successful outcome. Buzz recently teamed up with PowerSchool to free up teacher time by reducing their administrative burden.
CARNEGIE ESL AND ESP
Sunburst and Carnegie Speech have released two new solutions for K12: Carnegie ESL and Carnegie ESP. Carnegie ESL is a comprehensive program that (as demonstrated in research) improves a student’s speaking skills by more than two times in as little as 10-20 hours of use. The program includes real-time voice analysis of 110 native languages ensuring that each learner has an individualized, highly adaptive path to ESL success. Carnegie ESP, Early Speech Program, provides a turnkey program for students in K-5 who only visit school speech pathologists and language therapists 1-2 times per week.
ClassLink, provider of OneClick Single Sign-On technology, now offers two editions of its platform, Free and Enterprise, giving schools a new way to explore, adopt, and grow with the technology. ClassLink Free Edition accommodates up to 50 users, and provides streamlined access to those users’ most important applications, websites, and files from any device. ClassLink Enterprise users benefit from expanded access along with support and training from ClassLink. Additionally, ClassLink has introduced OneRoster into its platform for both editions, integrating an effective and secure way to deliver data across a school district’s entire digital ecosystem. OneRoster is the IMS Global standard used by ClassLink for secure API delivery of class rosters, from any Student Information System to any third party, decentralized and at no additional cost.
COLLABORATE TO THE CORE! 2
Mimio is offering its second go-to-source for promoting collaboration skills in students from kindergarten through grade 12. The new guide, Collaborate to the Core! 2, shares helpful tips on how to establish a collaborative environment in classrooms and provides relevant and engaging lessons, organized by subject matter and grade level. There are lessons in math, language arts, science, and social studies for three grade ranges encompassing the K-12 spectrum. All lessons meet the Common Core State Standards, include tips, and can be used with or without educational technology.
eBackpack, Inc. has upgraded its learning management system with increased functionality, deep integrations, and an intuitive interface. Standards tagging of assignments and assessments enables teachers to create clear learning outcomes for individual students and to evaluate progress towards those goals. eBackpack has over 50 state and other academic standards preloaded, including Common Core, Texas, and Next Generation Science Standards, with the ability to draw in almost any set of established standards. Other new features include LTI (Learning Tool Interoperability) certifications and integrations with third party sources such as Khan Academy, Quizlet, Youtube, and Turnitin; visibility controls; translation tools; and automated offline access for assignments on iOS. Additionally, eBackpack has created a new parent site which is directly connected to their student’s account, in order to give parents increased real-time visibility into their student’s learning environment.
ENGLISH UPGRADE COURSES
Learning Upgrade launched three new English courses to serve students in grades 3, 4, and 5. Each of the standards-aligned English Upgrade courses is designed by educators and integrates exciting songs, video, and games to engage students. Similar to the English Upgrade courses for grades 1 and 2, English Upgrade 3, 4, and 5 are designed to support student mastery in reading literature, informational text, phonics, decoding, foundational writing skills, language skills, listening, and grammar. Interactive lessons allow students to actively engage in their education by practicing until a concept is mastered. Students follow a differentiated path to proficiency in grade level ELA standards.
EPIPHANY LEARNING PERSONALIZED LEARNING APPLICATION
Epiphany Learning launched version 2.0 of its Epiphany Learning Personalized Learning Application, a K-12 Learning Relationship Management System (LRMS). New features include the ability for schools to customize the application at the district, school, grade and class level without custom development, as well as Teacher Dashboards, where educators can access all classes, students, and assignments by different levels and layers for ease of use in a more intuitive and user-friendly dashboard. The application supports co-teaching environments by letting teachers easily share information among colleagues/co-teachers.
Apperson is adding to the Intervention Strategies available in their online social-emotional assessment system, Evo SEL. These strategies support educators as they address the specific social-emotional skills gaps identified in the assessment. Evo SEL features the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA), a standardized, strength-based measure of social-emotional competencies of children in kindergarten through the 8th grade. Once a student’s strengths and areas for improvement have been identified, a variety of intervention strategies are available to bolster the student’s social-emotional skills. The Evo SEL strategies are organized by grade level—Primary, Intermediate and Middle—and can be used with an entire class, in a small-group setting, individually, and at home.
THE FLIPPED LEARNING SERIES
The International Society for Technology in Education announced the publication of three new titles in The Flipped Learning Series. Co-authored by flipped learning pioneers Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams, Flipped Learning for English Instruction, Flipped Learning for Math Instruction, and Flipped Learning for Social Studies join Flipped Learning for Science Instruction in the series of guidebooks designed to support teachers as they infuse flipped learning and technology in specific subject areas. In all three books, the flipped learning instructional model is introduced and then the authors offer practical guidance specific to the subject areas. Each resource offers practical guidance on lesson planning, what to do with class time, and how the flipped model can work alongside learning through inquiry. They also explore instructional activities to foster student-driven learning specific to each subject area.
GOGUARDIAN FOR TEACHERS
GoGuardian for Teachers allows teachers to better understand and control the way Chromebooks are used in their classrooms. From a user-friendly portal, teachers are able to keep students focused on lessons and resources, direct students to new tabs, and close off-topic tabs on one or multiple devices. GoGuardian for Teachers aids classroom focus and communication between teachers and students, increasing the value of other in-class software without interfering with their use.
Aerohive Networks announced HiveManager Next Generation (HiveManager NG), a cloudenabled network management solution, as well as the addition of several new features for troubleshooting, reporting, monitoring, backup, and feedback. With HiveManager NG Virtual Appliance, customers can simplify the planning, configuration, and management of their networks with the same ease of use that’s available with HiveManager NG in the cloud. HiveManager NG also offers the flexibility to change deployment method should a customer’s needs change. New features to HiveManager NG include enhanced reporting, with the ability to share reports with an HTML link that can be accessed from any device, and updated security, with added rogue AP and client visibility.
Ron Ayotte, a math teacher and corporate applications developer, developed the Web-based i4Class software that shows students how they’re doing, shows teachers who needs more help, and helps parents track their child’s assignments. The teaching tool offers real-time curriculum and formative assessment along with a reporting tool. The student does an assignment, showing their work on a tablet scratchpad. They learn instantly if that answer is right or not. If having trouble, the student taps a ‘help’ button for more explanation. The teacher is able to watch every student’s progress and offer assistance to any who are struggling. Teachers and administrators receive real-time analytics on student and class results.
I HAVE A WORD
Dig-It! Games released its newest app, I Have A Word. The vocabulary-building app challenges players to apply deductive reasoning skills to win. Learners must guess a word that corresponds to a certain number of blank spaces that represent letters. Players are told if the mystery word is alphabetically before or after the clue and must use critical thinking skills to ultimately identify the word. With more than 2,500 words stored in the game, players choose from three levels of difficulty. Learners are able to ask for hints, at a cost. The goal of the game is to achieve the lowest score—each hint or guess will increase the final tally.
LIGHTSPEED SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT BUNDLE FOR WINDOWS
The Lightspeed Systems Management Bundle for Windows is a complete solution for the management of Windows and other devices in K-12 schools. The bundle offers mobile device management, classroom management, and Web filtering. Administrators can control device features, view student screens, set secure testing policies, and more, all from an easy-to-use central interface.
littleBits Electronics, Inc. announced littleBits Education, a line of products for education that spans the spectrum of integration from a single teacher engaging in online professional development to a district-wide 1:1 program. littleBits Education offers four new education programs designed in collaboration with educators. littleBits STEAM PD, a stand-alone professional development offering, is an online course that helps teachers learn about how to use littleBits to integrate STEAM instruction in grades 2-8. littleBits Invention Lab, a bundle specifically for makerspaces, supports up to 72 students. littleBits Classroom Integration, for schools or districts that want to start integrating STEAM into the curriculum, supports up to 160 students, or 32 students per classroom, and also provides a makerspace for the whole school to use. Lastly, the littleBits 1:1 bundle provides every student with their own mobile makerspace to use across subjects, both in and outside school.
Mobiliya Edvelop, a digital classroom platform, recently launched a virtual bag feature. The virtual bag will replace the school bags that the children carry to school and gives access to curriculum textbooks on the Mobiliya Edvelop platform. The virtual bag allows the student to access textbooks and bookmark, annotate, highlight, and doodle on the textbooks. Students and teachers can also make side-notes on each page and share, all in one go. An offline access to content means that users can access key course content anytime, anywhere. The feature also allows teachers to attach additional reference materials (text/video/PPT) with every chapter and share with students, to deliver a highly personalised and engaging learning experience.
MUZZY LANE AUTHOR AND FEED THE FOX
Muzzy Lane Software announced the release of Muzzy Lane Author, a growing suite of tools for authoring dynamic game-based content. Designed to be mobile first, games created with Muzzy Lane Author help assess whether students can apply what they’ve learned. Muzzy Lane Software also teamed up with adaptive learning company Knewton to develop game-based assessments and explore adaptivity in games. The companies jointly developed Feed the Fox, a science game prototype for upper elementary to early middle school students. In Feed the Fox, students construct food webs in various biomes to learn about species classification, the environmental pressures different biomes present, and how organisms work in relationship to one another in an ecosystem.
In under a minute and with 90% accuracy, Myverse psychometrically matches individual students to various career paths to explore. The free service offers guidance for any student taking Career and Technical Education Courses in middle and high school, and serves as a tool for teachers and counselors in helping their students. The Web-based platform offers videos highlighting each career path and enables the student to learn more about their individual results.
Nepris is a cloud-based social platform where teachers and industry professionals connect and collaborate through virtual, interactive sessions and show students science, technology, engineering, the Arts, and math applied in the real world. The latest features in Nepris allow companies and industry groups to proactively reach out to teachers so they can introduce students to career opportunities and bring real-world relevance to STEM. Industry experts can now “offer sessions” on topics of their choice and – with Nepris’ new social features – interact more with educators. Nepris has also teamed up with LinkedIn for Good, the social impact arm of LinkedIn, to reach out to professionals who can sign up for skills-based volunteering through Nepris.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt announced a new partnership with Osmo, to bring HMH’s math programs, learning content, and manipulatives to the new Osmo Numbers game for the iPad. The game utilizes Osmo’s Reflective Artificial Intelligence technology to create a dual on screen and off screen environment for children learning math. Osmo Numbers can be used with dedicated HMH manipulatives that are part of HMH core math programs GO Math! and Math Expressions. Additionally, HMH will provide Osmo activity guides as a resource for educators using these programs in conjunction with the Osmo platform. These guides offer suggested games and creative activities using Osmo Numbers that align with HMH’s curriculum and grade-level course work.
PATHS TO COLLEGE AND CAREER ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS CURRICULUM
PCG Education announced the release of its Paths to College and Career English Language Arts Curriculum for grades 6-12. Through its recent partnership with John Wiley and Sons, Inc., PCG Education will offer the curriculum in print and digital formats to educators nationally. Paths to College and Career is the next generation of rigorous Common Core instructional materials. The program offers engaging learning activities for students, guidance for teachers, and a suite of tools to ensure student success.
Panorama Education announced Playbook, an online professional learning platform built by teachers, for teachers. With Panorama’s survey platform, teachers get feedback from their students and can discover strengths and areas for growth in the classroom. Now, with Playbook, teachers receive recommended resources and ideas that they can use immediately. Playbook’s recommendations are personalized based on which areas (such as student engagement) the teacher wants to improve. Playbook will recommend successful strategies from teachers of similar grade levels and subject areas at similar schools. Teachers can then assess their improvement in the targeted areas again with student feedback with Panorama.
RANDSTAD AND NEPRIS
Randstad US has partnered with Nepris to virtually connect K-12 classrooms with STEM professionals and other experts throughout the United States, to encourage students to pursue a career in STEM. Through a dedicated portal on the Nepris website, Randstad’s network of clients and talent have the opportunity to register as subject matter experts and volunteer to present interactive, cloud-based sessions with students on their areas of expertise.
SCHOLASTIC COMPREHENSIVE LITERACY SOLUTIONS
Scholastic has expanded its resources and organization to provide customized Comprehensive Literacy Solutions for schools and districts. The company has combined its teaching and learning programs into a comprehensive literacy improvement program in four key areas: research-based programs including print and digital content for instructional reading and writing; expert-led consulting services and resources for professional learning; programs that engage families and the community; and independent reading support through Reading Club, Book Fairs, classroom libraries, and magazines, including digital learning supplements.
STEM JOBS AND NATIONAL 4-H COUNCIL
STEM Jobs, an educational platform focused on helping students connect their passions to real-life STEM careers, recently announced their partnership with the National 4-H Council, a youth development and empowerment organization. In this partnership, the organizations will offer free STEM resources for educators and students including STEM Job’s STEM Type Quiz designed to help 13 to 18-year-olds find a STEM field they love. The content created and distributed as part of the partnership will reach students both at home and in school, and will sync with each quarterly issue of STEM Jobs Magazine. Topics will include avionics, geoscience, music technology, toy design, biotech, beauty, extreme sports, extreme environments, and more.
TabPilot announced support for new MDM features in iOS 9, including the ability to assign VPP apps directly to devices. This new feature can make managing app distribution easier for schools, particularly in shared-device environments. TabPilot also supports new iOS restrictions such as preventing students from changing the wallpaper, resetting or adding a passcode, or changing the device name. Support for disabling the new iOS News app and screenshot function is also included.
TeacherMatch has announced strategic research partnerships with Peter Goff, PhD; Ron Ferguson, PhD; and Tripod Education Partners, Inc. TeacherMatch’s software portfolio, which includes the predictive analytics platform the Educators Professional Inventory (EPI), was developed in collaboration with a research consortium of universities, education nonprofits, and experts in predictive analytics and psychometrics. Through their ongoing, collaborative partnership with Dr. Goff, Dr. Ferguson, and Tripod, TeacherMatch builds upon its research-based offerings that provide district partners with insights that better inform their hiring practices.
TEQ PD PLATFORM
Teq announced a major upgrade to its online professional development platform, including the “Instructional Support Now” feature, enabling K-12 educators to instantly connect via live video with a member of Teq’s PD team. New district administrative features include the ability to string similar videos together into a PD “playlist,” and improved sections for online discussions and PD planning. The company also released several new online PD classes including Microsoft 365 and Google Apps for Education Digital Teacher Certifications. Teq Online PD courses are broadcast live online, providing a format that allows educators to interact with the instructor, and then review the recorded video at their own pace.
The Think Earth Environmental Education Foundation, a non-profit provider of environmental education for primary and secondary schools, is offering its curriculum for free online. Kindergarten through third grade teachers can now access free Think Earth materials to teach students about the environment and the everyday behaviors that can help protect it. Grades four through eight will be available online in 2015 and 2016. Each of Think Earth’s behavior-based instructional units provides teachers with everything they need to teach five to eight environmental lessons. Materials include a teacher’s guide, posters, handouts, practice exercises, videos, and songs. Each lesson helps students think about the environment and then take action to conserve natural resources, reduce waste, and minimize pollution. Students also receive Family Activity Sheets that educate parents about the program and encourage students to share Think Earth behaviors at home.
THINK THROUGH MATH
Think Through Learning, creators of the Think Through Math (TTM) instructional system for grades 3 and above, has incorporated high quality benchmark assessments within TTM. The benchmarks use the Quantile Framework for Mathematics from MetaMetrics to provide an objective measure of each student’s ability level and readiness to learn new math skills and concepts. The benchmarks can be used in place of third party assessments. Seamlessly integrated into the flow of TTM lessons, they are easy to use and they eliminate the process of importing testing data from other systems. The embedded benchmarks accurately measure each student’s learning gain across the school year, and can be viewed by educators on their class, school and district level TTM dashboards.
Tuva – a data literacy platform where teachers use interactive, visual graphing tools and curated datasets to teach problem solving, modeling, evidence-based thinking, and other key skills – has launched Tuva Premium. Teachers can choose from hundreds of authentic, curated data sets from primary sources including NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), NASA, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the World. Teachers use these data sets, alongside Tuva’s easy-touse graphing and charting tools, to bring inquiry-based activities and lessons into their classroom. Students can choose from a dot plot, bar chart, histogram, box plot, or other ways to display the data and then consider what the chart tells them about the attributes’ relationships.
THE VHS MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL COURSES
The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.), a non-profit that offers online learning programs, is offering new semester course offerings specifically developed to keep middle and high school students engaged and motivated in a virtual learning environment. The new courses are focused on enhancing study skills, engagement with the crew of the International Space Station, and climate investigations. The courses use real-world scenarios and teach practical skills to keep students captivated with the subject matter.
D-Link (www.dlink.com) announced the Vigilance line of affordable, enterprise-level IP surveillance cameras. The Vigilance Full HD Outdoor Dome Network Camera (DCS-4602EV) and the Vigilance HD Outdoor Mini Bullet Network Camera (DCS-4701E) both feature infrared LED night vision, 2.8mm lens (96 degree field of view), video motion detection, IP66 weatherproof rating, ONVIF compliance, and a built-in 802.3af compliant PoE module for easy installation. The DCS-4602EV and DCS-4701E are available for an estimated street price of $185 each.
Califone (www.califone.com) released a Mobile Peripheral Package featuring a fully adjustable TPT tablet stand, Bluetooth keyboard, and choice of E3T earbuds with inline microphone and volume control or 3068AV headphones. The keyboard syncs with any iOS, Windows, or Android Bluetooth-enabled device. From now through the end of the year, the pack is available at a discounted price of $37-$49.75.
Epson (www.epson.com/printers) announced its next generation of Expression Premium XP-830, XP-630, XP-530, and Photo XP-960 Small-in-One printers. These ultra-slim printers deliver multi-tasking families and photo enthusiasts with superior quality, borderless prints up to 8” x10”, and documents with sharp text. The Expression Photo XP-960 Small-in-One prints vivid, professional-quality borderless photos up to 11”x17.” Each Small-in-One also allows users to edit, scan, and share photos directly to Facebook or the cloud. Plus, the Epson Creative Print app is featured on all models to easily print Facebook photos and create custom cards, coloring books, stationary, and more.
Canon USA (www.usa.canon.com) announced four new color laser multifunction printers (MFPs) and one monochrome laser MFP in its imageCLASS lineup. The Color imageCLASS MF729Cdw/MF726Cdw (MF700 series) and MF628Cw/MF624Cw (MF600 series) models replace the discontinued Color imageCLASS MF8580Cdw/MF8280Cw models. The four new color MFPs offer wireless direct connection mode, which allows a user to connect their mobile device directly to the printer without the need for a Wi-Fi router or pre-existing Wi-Fi network for easy access, as well as scan-to-cloud support, which can be accessed via a new and enhanced bundled scanning software application from Canon called MF Scan Utility, to send important scanned documents directly into cloud storage platforms such as Dropbox and Evernote. All five models support the recently announced Canon PRINT Business application, available in the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Trident Case (www.tridentcase.com) has released the TechJacket rugged case solution for 11-inch laptops and Chromebooks. Offering drop protection from up to four feet, the TechJacket fully shields laptops and Chromebooks from classroom wear-and-tear. In addition to its protective guard, the TechJacket’s design includes anti-skid protective corners, access to all ports (USB and charging) while the case is on, as well as shock-absorbing lining. Furthermore, the case also provides users with comfortable nylon fabric carrying straps. The straps, which are attached to the reinforced corner guards, are designed to fit Chromebook and laptop brands up to 11.6” in size. Devices can be used with the case attached.