Software & Online
ClassLink announced a new single sign-on connection to Britannica School, the online classroom information solution from Britannica Digital Learning for students and teachers in K-12. ClassLink OneClick delivers single sign-on to digital learning resources, like Britannica School, and to files, whether they are stored in the cloud, on a device, or on the school network.
CONTENTKEEPER LOADBALANCING APPLIANCE
ContentKeeper, a provider of Web and mobile filtering and reporting solutions for next-generation learning environments, released the ContentKeeper Load Balancing Appliance (CK-LBA). The CK-LBA is fully integrated with ContentKeeper Web and ContentKeeper Secure Internet Gateway, but can be used with any layer 2 device. The CKLBA comes in multiple configurations to accommodate different traffic requirements, from 1G to 40G. The appliance allows districts to seamlessly spread multi-gig traffic loads across an array of devices. The CK-LBA also allows districts to build in both high availability and fault tolerance into their network infrastructure.
Dremel announced the Dremel Dreams program, a digital ecosystem that promotes a student-driven learning environment for 3D printing. The program equips educators with a comprehensive toolkit for classroom support, including 3D-specific lesson plans and intuitive design software and hardware. The program integrates 3D printing into the classroom with lesson plans developed by curriculum experts at Florida State University. The lesson plans and resources are designed to nurture the confidence of educators and students as they explore hands-on applications of STEM in the classroom. Ten curriculum-based lesson plans and their corresponding 3D model kits are included with the Dremel 3D Idea Builder printer.
EPALS GLOBAL COMMUNITY
A division of Cricket Media, ePals safely connects millions of students and teachers across 200 countries to reinforce culture, language, and subject-based learning. With the free ePals Global Community, students can collaborate with peers in countries around the world. STEAM, English Language Arts, and Social Studies are among the core-curricular skills students practice within the larger context of cultural investigations on topics such as what it’s like to grow up in Turkey or Cambodia, the causes and effects of poverty globally, and how recipes from Spain, Russia, Holland, and the American South reflect regional beliefs and customs. A revamped interface, navigation, and connection capabilities now make it easier for teachers to search and find the right professional matches for collaborative classroom “Experiences.”
FOLLETT AND CENGAGE CTE
To help prepare students in grades 9 through 12 for college and careers, Follett teamed up with Cengage Learning to offer more than 1,700 of Cengage Learning’s CTE titles, focusing on Business Education, Computing, and STEM. Cengage Learning’s CTE digital and textbook resources – including virtual labs and simulations – fully support 21st century learning skills and center on outcomes that empower, engage, and help learners achieve success in the classroom and beyond.
FRONT ROW ELA
Front Row Education, Inc. expanded their ELA program to offer a new writing component for students in grades 1-8. The new writing feature is integrated into the larger ELA assignments, providing a writing prompt for every article, at every level. Teachers assign the prompts directly to their students based on their proficiency level. Once completed, teachers can review and provide feedback directly from their dashboard.
FUEL EDUCATION CAREER READINESS PATHWAYS
To help high schools launch comprehensive CTE programs that offer students opportunities to earn a high school diploma and industry certifications, Fuel Education (FuelEd) has launched Career Readiness Pathways, an online and blended learning program for CTE. Schools can implement Career Readiness Pathways with their own teachers, or they can opt to fully or partially staff their CTE programs with FuelEd’s certified instructors to expand students’ access to different career pathways. The program offers both a comprehensive four-year program and an accelerated program so students can start a career pathway as late as 11th grade and still be prepared for certification by graduation.
GREEN TEST PREP
GreenTestPrep.com offers a customized learning program for SAT and ACT test that adapts to students at all levels of advancement and presents curriculum in a “choose your own adventure” style. Students can customize their study based on strengths, weaknesses, schedule, and the amount of time they have to prep. The program tracks student scores so parents and students can monitor progress. The average Green Test Prep user’s scores have been shown to increase by an average 346.57 points on the SAT and 4.66 points on the ACT (independently verified by the Better Business Bureau).
K3000+ FIREFLY ENHANCEMENTS
Kurzweil Education announced a next-generation interface for k3000+firefly, a comprehensive solution for helping students read, understand, and demonstrate knowledge. The new interface features tabs and icons that simplify pathways. Additional enhancements include simplified navigation, a Recent Documents section where users can pick up where they left off, and quickly adjustable Audio Options in user-friendly dropdowns.
Knomadix introduced a customizable, interactive learning platform that converts static content such as PDFs and videos into fully interactive, dynamic content. This approach to teaching allows educators to create personalized lessons that integrate mobile devices into workflows and maximize the power of digital devices in today’s classrooms. District-level and school-level Instructional specialists, as well as teachers, can transform static PDF or video resources into engaging dynamic content such as interactive worksheets with instant feedback, automatic grading, and differentiated instruction; multimodal, gamified content; customized instructional videos with embedded activities and assessments; and virtual interactive manipulatives, including number board, geometry toolbox, and multimedia flashcards, that deepen student engagement.
KNOVATION CONTENT COLLECTION
Knovation has increased access to its content collection, containing hundreds of thousands of professionally-evaluated online resources that are hand-selected, standards-aligned, and tagged by curriculum experts following a rigorous certification process. Previously, the Knovation Content Collection was only available through the netTrekker and icurio.
LEARNING BIRD QUIZZES
Learning Bird added quizzes to its learning platform, simplifying the process for teachers to create and assign quizzes and enabling students to test their understanding of a topic. Teachers have direct access to tens of thousands of topic-aligned questions that they can use to build quizzes. This allows them to easily check for understanding and respond quickly and intervene as needed. Administrators can now also see reports on overall Learning Bird usage and can view student results and progress at the individual, class, and school levels.
Microsoft is acquiring MinecraftEdu and investing in a new and expanded version of Minecraft for the classroom called Minecraft: Education Edition. Arriving this summer, Minecraft: Education Edition aims to reach educators around the world with a richer set of features and thriving community. Minecraft is an open world that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem solving. It’s enjoyed by a worldwide community of over 100 million players who constantly inspire us with their creations. Microsoft also introduced Learning Tools for OneNote, a toolbar add-in for OneNote 2013 and 2016, which improves reading and writing experiences for all students—including for students with learning differences like dyslexia. The OneNote Learning Tools Immersive Reader uses simultaneous highlighting and voicing text, allowing users to improve focus and reading speed.
EXO U announced the North American launch of Ormi, its new BYOD teaching platform. Ormi (meaning “momentum” in Greek) was designed to minimize steps and eliminate common interruptions experienced by teachers when attempting to integrate mobile devices into classroom lessons. Teachers and students (when given permission) can share content to individuals, groups, a central display, or the entire class. Students and teachers can also collaborate through group messaging and sharing. As an added bonus, setting up Ormi takes less than two minutes. The platform works with or without internet access and does not require upgrades to existing network infrastructure. Student devices remain tethered to the classes they are used in, so there is no need to reconnect and lose time at the start of every lesson or day. An activity manager enables teachers and students to immediately return to any class or content from the previous week.
ROCKET WEB FILTER
Lightspeed Systems released version 3 of its Rocket Web Filter, a content filter for K-12 schools, with increased speed, live reports, easy SSL traffic handling, and more. The upgrade features a sleek new user interface as well as a variety of new features to simplify school network management. Rocket Web Filter is powered by Lightspeed Systems’ Rocket appliances, either on school networks on in the cloud.
SCHOLASTIC NEWS ELECTION 2016
(www.scholastic.com/election (opens in new tab))
The new Scholastic News Election 2016 Web site is designed engage students in the 2016 Presidential Election and enhances the news stories from Scholastic classroom magazines. The site features age-appropriate news and information about the electoral process, and helps kids learn about the candidates and the democratic process, track the latest primary and caucus results on interactive maps, and vote in polls on the issues that matter most to them. Also featured are original reports from the campaign trail written by Kid Reporters ages 10–14 in the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps.
SRA FLEX LITERACY PROJECTS JUMPSTART
McGraw-Hill Education launched SRA FLEX Literacy Projects Jumpstart, a free and easy-to-implement introduction to project-based literacy intervention for grades 3-12. The complimentary 15-day lesson plan covers all five stages of the SRA FLEX Project Experience in an easy-to-follow sequence, aiming to boost literacy skills through reading, writing-centered activities, and group collaboration. The bundle includes the FLEX Literacy Projects Startup Guide and Login Card, FLEX Literacy Projects resources for either Elementary (3-5) or Secondary (6 and above) classrooms, a Collaboration, Presentation and Writing Assessment Guide, and a FLEX Literacy Projects ePresentation, among other FLEX Literacy Projects Resources.
Awareity, Inc. introduced a new hotline/phone service option from Childhelp. The TIPS/Childhelp Hotline partnership empowers community members to come forward and provides a valuable and easy to use service for anyone who prefers to make a phone call and talk to a real person to report a threat or concern involving their organization, school, or community.
Teach n’ Kids Learn (TKL) and DimensionU have partnered to create an online professional development course that supports teachers’ instruction in mathematics and language arts through gamification, quickly and easily. The DimensionU portfolio of educational games offers a solid foundation with demonstrated improvement in students’ achievement results. TKL’s instructional methodology guarantees teachers immediate implementation in the classroom, individualized support, and easy-to-use examples for applying the newly acquired techniques.
TURNITIN REVISION ASSISTANT
Turnitin introduced Revision Assistant, a formative writing tool that offers immediate, actionable feedback on all aspects of student writing. Turnitin Revision Assistant, for grades 6-12 and developmental writing in higher education, lets students request a ‘Signal Check’ which provides a visualization of how they are performing on writing traits such as focus, use of evidence, or organization. Actionable comments appear in the margins of students’ compositions and are tied to sentences highlighted in the text. This feedback emphasizes areas of strength, as well as suggestions for sentence-level improvements.
The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.) partnered with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to provide the Florida Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs with an after-school version of the popular Space Station Academy course. Space Station Academy was developed by VHS in collaboration with astronauts, scientists, and educators at the Association of Space Explorers and the Technical Education Research Center (TERC). The course treats students as cadets in training for their first flight to space.
WITH MATH I CAN
Amazon Education and TenMarks, in partnership with ASCD, Character Lab, Common Sense Education, National Council of Teacher Mathematics (NCTM), Project for Education Research That Scales (PERTS), ClassDoJo, and Teaching Channel, has announced an initiative to stop the statement, “I’m not good at math.” The initiative promotes a “growth mindset,” the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed, which leads to an increased focus on the process of learning rather than the outcome. “With Math I Can” asks teachers and students who take the pledge to replace saying, “I’m not good at math” with statements like, “I will learn from my mistakes” or “I will persevere through challenges in math.” The “With Math I can” Web site also offers free resources for teachers to use with their students to make a change.
ADOBE VOICE FOR IPHONE
(www.adobe.com (opens in new tab))
Adobe announced the availability of Adobe Voice for iPhone, a free animated video app that lets users create and share engaging video stories in minutes. The app reimagines presentation, story creation, and delivery in an easily shareable format for any audience – and now users can create on their iPad or iPhone and their projects will automatically sync.
BELKIN STAGE PRO 3.0
(www.belkin.com (opens in new tab))
Belkin released the newest version of its easy-to-use video production platform Stage Pro, version 3.0. As an ideal tool for documenting or creating presentations, Stage Pro is a classroom teaching and learning asset. Previously only available for use in non-iOS tablet devices, Stage Pro v.3.0 is now optimized for the iPhone and iPad.
Bloomz introduced its mobile and Web app that connects teachers with today’s mobile and social-media-savvy parents. The app saves teachers time by integrating communication, coordination, and community-building tools—all in one easy-to-use app. Bloomz allows teachers to connect with parents by sharing photos and updates about the day’s activities, and can also send announcements for assignment due dates, reminders of registration deadlines, or alerts for urgent matters. Its integrated class calendar gives school communities one place where they can coordinate with parents, whether planning class activities, organizing field trips, or tracking parent-teacher conference signups. Bloomz also empowers parents to collaborate with each other, volunteer, and participate in these school activities.
PBS WORLD EXPLORER VIDEO COLLECTION
PBS LearningMedia released its PBS World Explorer video collection, which tells the tales of world-famous explorers, both from centuries ago and modern times. The short (mostly under five minutes) videos provide “on-the-go” students and adults with a convenient way to watch and learn in mini “cram sessions.” Each video includes fun animations and engaging music to capture the viewer’s interest. Featured famous explorers include Ponce de Leon, Amerigo Vespucci, Neil Armstrong, and Marco Polo.
TABPILOT TEACHER TOOLS FOR IOS
TabPilot recently released Teacher Tools for iOS. The app lets teachers control student iPads in their classrooms with tools previously only accessible through the cloud-based teacher console, normally accessed on the teacher’s computer. Teacher Tools is a set of features of TabPilot MDM for Schools. Teachers choose a class to manage and then have the ability to freeze student screens, lock students into a single app, clear student passcodes with a few clicks, or lock students into a single web site or group of pre-selected sites. Teachers can also choose a student iPad to be broadcast to the classroom projector via Apple Airplay.
SMART Technologies and Samsung (www.samsung.com/education (opens in new tab)) have teamed up to offer a classroom-widepackage including ten Samsung Chromebook 3 devices, 60 associated licenses for SMART amp, ten Google Device Management licenses, and access to SMART’s online professional development. SMART amp is a cloud-based solution that connects interactive displays, PCs, laptops, and tablets while enabling teachers and students to collaborate and co-create in real time, do in-class assessment, connect to shared digital workspaces, and interact with Web-based learning materials regardless of location or device. This new bundle, which is fully integrated with Google Classroom and Apps for Education, provides the hardware, software, and training necessary to achieve a pedagogical shift toward student-led learning.
Vernier (www.vernier.com) has developed LabQuest Stream, a wireless and USB sensor interface that allows students to collect scientific data from multiple sensors with a mobile device, Chromebook, or computer. LabQuest Stream provides educators the flexibility to collect data using a wide variety of computing platforms, and it is compatible with more than 50 Vernier sensors. Supported software includes Vernier Graphical Analysis apps, Logger Pro, and Logger Lite software. The interface’s five sensor ports support a wide array of Vernier sensors for conducting multi-variable experiments and data-logging activities. Students can use LabQuest Stream to collect up to 10,000 samples per second using wireless functionality or up to 100,000 samples per second when using USB connectivity.
Promethean (www.prometheanworld.com/activwall) released the next generation of its ActivWall System. The widescreen surface of the new ActivWall product line is designed as a comprehensive collaborative learning solution, offering multi-touch interactivity, HD viewing, and dry-erase writing. Directly from the home screen, teachers can browse the Web, start a white-boarding session, and wirelessly connect to mirror their devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops to the surface. The ActivWall system includes a widescreen interactive surface, a DLP solid-state projector, built-in speakers, interactive software, and a wireless mirroring system.
BenQ America Corp. (www.benq.us) announced its RP790 interactive flat panel (IFP) display, a 79-inch, 4K classroom-ready IFP that replaces standard blackboards, whiteboards, and interactive whiteboards. The RP790 offers easy-to-use, accurate and reliable multi-touch technology with high image quality and complete multimedia connectivity to any learning environment. Featuring ten touch points, the 79-inch, 4K UHD IFP lets users interact with vibrant content using an integrated Android PC annotation program. To boost the visual experience, the panel comes equipped with BenQ’s suite of Eye-Care tools such as antiglare glass to counter light reflection, Low Blue Light technology, and ZeroFlicker backlight to reduce eye fatigue during long hours of content viewing and instruction.
HP (www.hp.com (opens in new tab)) announced the HP Chromebook 11 G4 Education Edition (EE), a durable, lightweight, fanless Chromebook that’s just 20 mm thin and weighs 2.7 pounds. With rugged construction accents like co-molded rubber edges, the device passes HP’s 70 cm drop test. The spill-resistant keyboard helps keep the Chromebook safe from water-related accidents and includes features like a 180-degree hinge that allows the Chromebook to lay flat for easy collaboration, as well as an optional IPS panel that provides wide viewing angles, ideal for students working together on a project.
Lightspeed Technologies (www.lightspeed-tek.com) released a new line of classroom audio solutions featuring Access Technology, designed for the full-access, collaborative classroom. The 955 Access component-based system supports whole-room instruction, while delivering clarity and even distribution of sound throughout the classroom. The Access Link lets teachers add wireless microphones to virtually any amplifier and speaker system, and works in any classroom configuration and at long distances. The third solution, Flexcat, is a two-way audio communication system designed for small-group instruction. It consists of a wireless microphone and earpiece for the teacher and multiple two-way audio pods equipped with a microphone and a speaker for each small student group.
Panasonic (www.business.panasonic.com/PT-RZ570U) introduced a new PT-RZ570U 1-Chip DLP Laser Phosphor projector. This compact model is the latest in the SOLID SHINE lineup and is positioned towards the middle of Panasonic’s range for education, offering a balance of high 5,000 lm brightness, brilliant picture quality, up to 20,000-hour maintenance-free operation, and practical features for use in mid-size classrooms with about 50-student capacity. Utilizing the latest DLP module for detailed WUXGA resolution and new-generation solid-state laser diodes, PT-RZ570U’s performance stems from a four-segment Quartet Color Harmonizer color wheel that improves efficiency from the laser light source, boosting the perceived brightness and improving color accuracy.
Kensington (www.kensington.com (opens in new tab)) launched the Secure Cabinet Trolley for the safe and easy movement of Kensington Charge & Sync Cabinets, Universal Tablet. The Secure Cabinet Trolley can stack up to two Charge & Sync Cabinets, Universal Tablet that hold the iPad, Galaxy Tab, Microsoft Surface 3 and other tablets. Four rubber wheels allow trolley to spin and roll in any direction, while locking pedals on the two front wheels ensures trolley won’t roll out of position.
Califone International LLC (www.califone.com) has updated its best-selling 3068AV headphone by offering the tool as a headset. The headset features an attached noise-reducing microphone to engage students in active speaking and listening, and includes two of the most popular audio plugs, the 3.5 mm To Go and USB, for versatile use with mobile, computer, or gaming devices.
LocknCharge (www.lockncharge.com) released the Joey 30 Cart, an ultra-compatible charging and storage cart for mobile devices. The cart can charge, store, and transport up to 30 of nearly any mobile device. The divider system and top-loading design make accessing devices easy for students and educators, and multiple access points allow students to get devices faster. The Cart is manufactured with high quality steel material, but in a lightweight form.
Samsung also partnered with Tidebreak (www.tidebreak.com) to combine Tidebreak’s collaboration software with Samsung large-format and interactive displays (LFD), for a BYOD compatible solution that enables peer-to-peer collaboration and co-creation of content on a single screen. Student devices – including laptops, tablets, and smartphones – can connect wirelessly, enabling students to quickly share content and freely exchange ideas, while educators can facilitate the experience. Each bundle includes Samsung Large Format Displays and/or E-boards and a 30-day license for one of Tidebreak’s collaboration software options (ClassSpot, ClassSpot PBL, or TeamSpot), depending on instructional needs.
Epson (www.epson.com/documentcameras (opens in new tab)) announced the new DC-21 high-definition document camera for education. The portable document camera delivers advanced clarity and color with HD 1080p resolution and a large imaging sensor, as well as 12x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom. The DC-21 offers HDMI connectivity for high-definition video and an included microscope adapter for sharing vivid magnified images. In addition, educators can record audio with video using the built-in microphone to create lessons for remote classrooms or re-watch lessons for review.
InFocus Corporation (www.infocus.com) is enhancing its focus on the education market with products, extended services and support, and discount programs. The Inspire Education Program offers schools additional discounts and extended warranties on presentation and collaboration solutions tailored for the classroom, including the InFocus JTouch interactive displays, InFocus Mondopad, InFocus Q Tablets, and projectors with built-in wireless abilities.
Acer (www.acer.com (opens in new tab)) announced its new TravelMate B117 notebooks, tailor-made for education and available in late March 2016 with prices starting at $229.99. The notebooks are powered by Windows 10 Pro and support Acer TeachSmart, which empowers teachers with tools and cloud-based services to distribute, collect, and monitor class materials and assignments digitally. The TravelMate B117 features a ruggedized frame with a rubber strip framing the chassis to protect the device from bumps and drops. The device is easy to carry, weighing 2.9 pounds and measuring just 0.8 inches thin. A solid hinge which opens to 180 degrees can take up to 25,000 swings, while the cover can withstand up to 132 pounds of pressure. Additionally, the spill-resistant keyboard has a water drainage design that protects against accidental spills.